Enlil-nirari (“Enlil is my helper”) was King of Assyria from 1330 BC to 1319 BC, (or from 1317 BC to 1308 BC short chronology) during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365 - 1050 BC). He was the son of Aššur-uballiṭ I. He was apparently the earliest king to have been identified as having held eponym, or limmu, office.
He recorded on clay cones his repairs to a dilapidated stretch of the wall from the Craftsman’s Gate to the Sheep Gate around his capital, the city of Assur, now the tell-site of Qal’at Shergat which lies beside the Tigris. He proffered a prayer that future restorations would preserve his inscriptions.
His sister, Muballiṭat-Šērūa, was married to the Kassite king Burna-Buriaš II, and his nephews, Kara-ḫardaš and Kurigalzu would succeed to the Babylonian throne, separated by a short-lived revolt which was put down by Aššur-uballiṭ and the Assyrian army. Around this time, there is evidence of the exchange of gifts of textiles and votive ornaments between the Kassite and Assyrian ruling classes.
Despite their earlier close ties, he fought against Kurigalzu, who grew to become one of the mightiest and most belligerent kings of the Kassite dynasty, in the battle of Sugagu to establish the boundary between both states. The two extant chronicles which record the battle provide contradictory accounts of the outcome. The Assyrian version describes the division of land from Shasili of Subartu, which was a region thought to be northeast of Assyria and possibly their vassal during this time. A second battle may have taken place at Kilizi as recorded on a poorly preserved chronicle fragment, possibly dated to the limmu-year of Silli-Adad. This was a provincial town in Qasr Shamamok not far from modern Mosul.
He had left very specific instructions in the event of a death in the royal family. If the passing took place when he was a few hours travel away, a sealed message should be sent, but if he was more distant, the wives of the palace were to mourn as prearranged and no message was necessary. A warning was given to those who might be tempted to spread the news without the assent of the head-steward, risking a no longer legible part of their anatomy (tongue?) to be amputated.
- Samuel Henry Hooke (1953). Babylonian and Assyrian religion. Hutchinson's University Library. p. 25.
- Assyrian King List, number 74, “Enlil-nirari, son of Aššur-uballiṭ, ruled for 10 years.”
- I. E. S. Edwards; et al., eds. (1970). "Chronology". The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 1, Part 1: Prolegomena and Prehistory. Cambridge University Press. p. 194.
- A. K. Grayson (1972). Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, Volume 1. Otto Harrassowitz. pp. 51–54.
- J. A. Brinkman (1976). "The Chronicle Tradition Concerning the Deposing of the Grandson of Aššur-uballiṭ I". Materials for the Study of Kassite History, Vol. I. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. pp. 418–423.
- Tablets CBS 3235, CBS 3776 and BE XVII 91.
- The Assyrian Synchronistic Chronicle (ABC 21), tablet A, obverse, lines 18 to 23 and the Babylonian Chronicle P (ABC 22), tablet BM 92701, column 3, lines 20 to 22.
- VAT 13056, the name “Kizili” appears on lines 2, 6 and 7 of the 10 line obverse of this tablet.
- Jean-Jacques Glassner (2004). Mesopotamian Chronicles. Society of Biblical Literature. p. 185. note the name is distinct but the context is not.
- Simo Parpola (2009). Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal: Commentary and Appendix No. 2. Eisenbrauns. p. 86.
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