|Queen of Assyria|
|Reign||811 BCE – 808 BCE or 809 BCE - 792 BCE|
Etymology of her nameEdit
Sammu-ramāt's name is spelled MÍsa-am-mu-ra-mat in Assyrian sources. It was rendered as Σεμιραμις or Σεμυραμις by Diodurs Siculus (II 4.6), who claimed that the name meant "dove" in the "Syrian" (probably Assyrian) language, which would indicate a derivation from the Akkadian word summatu, or even summu. Rabbinic sages understood her name as šmy rʿm "thunder of heaven". The modern scholar M. Weinfeld suggested a Phoenician background (šmm rmm "high heavens"). Jamie Novotny has pointed out that her name could have either a West-Semitic or Akkadian structural background, with the former archetype being DN-rāmu/rāmat ("DN is exalted") and the latter DN-ramāt ("DN is beloved"). In both cases, the first part of the name should be considered as theophoric. Should it be West-Semitic, this first element may have been šammu (as W-Semitic /š/ was rendered as /s/ in Neo-Assyrian), should it be Neo-Assyrian sammu could be a variant of the deity dSa(-a-)mu (meaning "red").
She ruled at a time of political uncertainty, which is one of the possible explanations for why Assyrians may have accepted her rule (as normally a woman as ruler would have been unthinkable). In the city of Ashur, she had an obelisk built and inscribed, which read:
Stele of Sammuramat, queen of Shamshi-Adad, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, Mother of Adad Nirari, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, Daughter-in-Law of Shalmaneser, King of the Four Regions of the World.
The legendary Semiramis is usually considered a purely mythical figure; however, there is evidence in Assyrian records suggesting that she may, in fact, be a Greek reflection of Shammuramat. This identification is disputed. Another possibility is that she is given that title after death to reflect similarities with an earlier Sumerian deity.
- "Sammu-ramat (queen of Assyria)". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- Novotny, Jamie (2004). Baker, Heather D., ed. Sammu-rāmat or Sammu-ramāt. Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire 3/1. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. pp. 1083–1084. ISBN 951-45-9056-2.
- "Sammu-Ramat and Semiramis: The Inspiration and the Myth". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- Georges Roux: Ancient Iraq, Penguin Books, London 1992, ISBN 0-14-012523-X, page 302.
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