Kadašman-Enlil I, typically rendered mka-dáš-man-dEN.LÍL in contemporary inscriptions (with the archaic masculine determinative preceding his name), was a Kassite King of Babylon from ca. 1374 BC to 1360 BC,[1] perhaps the 18th of the dynasty.[2] He is known to have been a contemporary of Amenhotep III of Egypt, with whom he corresponded (Amarna letters). This places Kadašman-Enlil securely to the first half of the 14th century BC by most standard chronologies.

Kadašman-Enlil I
King of Babylon
Cylinder seal-(modern rolled clay impression) bearing seven-line Sumerian inscription mentioning a [Ka]dašman-[( )]Enlil in the Walters Art Museum.[i 1]
Reign1374 BC-1360 BC
PredecessorKurigalzu I
SuccessorBurna-Buriaš II

Correspondence with Egypt


Five cuneiform tablets are preserved in the Amarna letters corpus. The letters designated EA (for El Amarna) 1 through 5 include three letters authored by Kadašman-Enlil and two by Amenhotep III, who is addressed as and calls himself Nibmuareya, or variants thereof (from Neb-Maat-Ra). In the first letter from Amenhotep III, EA 1,[i 2] he writes to assure Kadašman-Enlil that his sister, the daughter of Kurigalzu I, has not in fact died, nor had she been banished to a distant harem as a minor concubine, and to acknowledge the offer of one of Kadašman-Enlil’s daughters, to become, as yet another wife. He suggests Kadašman-Enlil dispatch a kamiru, tentatively translated as eunuch, to identify his sister, rather than the pair of envoys actually sent, on whom Amenhotep casts aspersions, describing one as a donkey-herder. The text is not entirely legible at this point, and the unfortunate envoy may actually be referred to as a caravan leader, and his companion a merchant, thus – these “nobodies” are merely common 'tradesmen' unfamiliar with the members of the royal household and thus unable to recognize Kadašman-Enlil’s sister.[3]

In EA 2[i 3] he declares “my daughters are available (for marriage).”

In EA 3,[i 4] Kadašman-Enlil feigns offence about being overlooked for an invite to the isinnu festival. Disarmingly, however, he invites his “brother” (Pharaoh Amenhotep III) to his own inauguration. ‘Now I am going to have a grand opening for the palace. Come yourself to eat and drink with me. I shall not do as you did!”[4]

In another of his letters, EA 4,[i 5] Kadašman-Enlil complains to Amenhotep III about not being given one of his daughters as a wife, quoting Amenhotep’s earlier response that “since earliest times no daughter of the king of Egypt has ever been given in marriage [to anyone]”.[5] He urges that if he could not receive a princess, then a beautiful woman should be sent, but immediately follows up by proposing to exchange one of his own daughters for gold, needed to fund a building project he had in mind.

In EA 5,[i 6] Amenhotep writes to detail the long list of gifts that will be provided in exchange for Kadašman-Enlil’s daughter, and the deal is sealed.

Building works


Difficulties are encountered distinguishing between inscriptions belonging to Kadašman-Enlil I and his descendant Kadašman-Enlil II, who ruled around one hundred years later. Historians disagree on whether building inscriptions at Isin, for the Egalmaḫ of Gula, or in Larsa, on bricks bearing a sixteen-line inscription of the restoration of the Ebabbar temple for Šamaš,[i 7] should be assigned to the earlier King. The inscriptions from Nippur which include stamped bricks from the east stairway of the ziggurat and elsewhere describing work on the Ekur, the “House of the Mountain” of Enlil, four inscribed slab fragments of red-veined alabaster,[i 8] a five-line agate cameo votive fragment,[i 9] an engraved stone door socket, [i 10] and so on, could be assigned in part to either King.[2][6]

Length of reign


An economic tablet[i 11] from Nippur is dated “15th year (of) Kadašman-Enlil, month of Tašrītu, 18th day”, and is ascribed to him, rather than his descendant name-sake, because of the more archaic use of the masculine personal determinative before the royal name (the single vertical cuneiform stroke), and the likelihood that the later king reigned for no more than nine years.[2] Another one refers to the 1st year of Burra-Buriaš and the 15th of the preceding king, presumed to be Kadašman-Enlil.[2]

His successor was his son, ascertained from an inscription on an irregular block of lapis lazuli[i 12] found in Nippur and now housed in the İstanbul Arkeoloji Műzeleri,[2] the considerably more well-known Burna-Buriaš II, who also wrote several letters preserved in Egyptian archives to the Egyptian pharaoh (Amarna letters).


  1. ^ Cylinder Seal No. 42.619, in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
  2. ^ Tablet EA 1, “The Pharaoh complains to the Babylonian King,” BM 029784 in the British Museum,CDLI ORACC transliteration
  3. ^ Tablet EA 2, “Proposals of Marriage,” VAT 00148 + VAT 02706 in the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin CDLI ORACC Transliteration
  4. ^ Tablet EA 3, “Marriage, grumblings, a palace-opening,” C. 4743, Cairo Museum, CDLI ORACC Transliteration
  5. ^ Tablet EA 4, “Royal deceit and threats,” VAT 01657 in the Vorderasiatisches Museum, CDLI, ORACC Transliteration
  6. ^ Tablet EA 5, “Gifts of Egyptian furniture for the Babylonian palace,” BM 029787 in the British Museum, + Cairo 4744, CDLI ORACC Transliteration
  7. ^ For example, brick L. 7078, in the İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri.
  8. ^ Slabs CBS 19911-19914 in the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.
  9. ^ Votive fragment CBS 8674 in the University Museum, Philadelphia.
  10. ^ Door socket BM 121192 in the British Museum.
  11. ^ Tablet Ni. 437 in the Nippur collection at the İstanbul Arkeoloji Műzeleri.
  12. ^ Block BE I 68 i 5-15 in the İstanbul Arkeoloji Műzeleri.


  1. ^ J. A. Brinkman (1977). "Appendix: Mesopotamian Chronology of the Historical Period". In A. Leo Openheim (ed.). Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization. University of Chicago Press. p. 338.
  2. ^ a b c d e J. A. Brinkman (1976). Materials for the Study of Kassite History, Vol. I. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. pp. 130–134, 140, 144, 107. p. 387 for date translation.
  3. ^ Eva von Dassow (2006). Mark William Chavalas (ed.). The ancient Near East: historical sources in translation. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 185–191.
  4. ^ Trevor Bryce (2003). Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East: The Royal Correspondence of the Late Bronze Age. Routledge. p. 79.
  5. ^ After a French translation by Claire Lalouette, Thèbes ou la naissance d’un empire, Fayard, Paris 1986
  6. ^ R. L. Zettler, ed. (1993). Nippur Volume 3, Kassite Buildings in Area WC-1, OIP111. Chicago: The Oriental Institute. p. 97. assigns various inscriptions to Kadašman-Enlil II.