Last updated
Išši’ak Aššur
Reign fl. c. 1900 BC
Predecessor Shalim-ahum
Successor Erishum I
Father Shalim-ahum

Ilu-shuma or Ilu-šūma, inscribed DINGIR-šum-ma, [i 1] son of Shalim-ahum [1] :7–8 was the thirty-second king of Assyria, c. 1900 BC (short chronology.) The length of his reign is uncertain, as the Assyrian King List records him as one of the "six kings whose names were written on bricks, but whose eponyms are not known", [2] referring to the lists of officials after which years were named.

Shalim-ahum or Šalim-ahum was a ruler of the city-state of Assur fl.c. 1900 BC The Assyrian King List records his name as Šallim-aḫḫe, inscribed šal-lim-PABMEŠ, meaning, “keep the brothers safe”, and he appears among the six kings “whose eponyms are not found”, meaning that the length of his reign was unknown. He was described as the son of Puzur-Ashur I in his only known inscription. He is the earliest independent ruler to be attested in a contemporary inscription. Carved in curious archaic character mirror-writing in Old Assyrian on an alabaster block found during the German excavations at Assur under Walter Andrae, this sole exemplar of his contemporary inscriptions records that the god Ashur “requested of him” the construction of a temple and that he had “beer vats and storage area” built in the “temple area”.

Assyria Major Mesopotamian East Semitic kingdom

Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. It existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC - spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East.

The short chronology is one of the chronologies of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 1728–1686 BC and the sack of Babylon to 1531 BC.


His son, Erishum I, is identified as the king who succeeded him and reigned for 30 years (or 40, depending on the copy of the Assyrian King List), [nb 1] followed by Ilu-shuma's other son, Ikunum. He titled himself "vice-regent of Assur, beloved of the god Ashur and the goddess Ishtar." The Synchronistic King List [i 2] records, "eighty-two kings of Assyria from Erishum I, son of Ilu-shuma, to Ashurbanipal, son of Esarhaddon", in the concluding colophon.

Erishum I or Erišu(m) I c. 1905 BC — c. 1866 BC or c. 1974 BC — c. 1935 BC, son of Ilu-shuma, was the thirty-third ruler of Assyria to appear on the Assyrian King List. He reigned for forty years. One of two copies of the Assyrian King List which include him gives his reign length as only 30 years, but this contrasts with a complete list of his limmu, some 40, which are extant from tablets recovered at Karum Kanesh. He had titled himself both as, "Ashur is king, Erishum I is vice-regent" and the, “Išši’ak Aššur”ki, at a time when Assur was controlled by an oligarchy of the patriarchs of the prominent families and subject to the “judgment of the city”, or dīn alim. According to Veenhof, Erishum I’s reign marks the period when the institution of the annually appointed limmu (eponym) was introduced. The Assyrian King List observes of his immediate predecessors, “in all six kings known from bricks, whose limmu have not been marked/found”.

Ikunum was a king of Assyria between 1867 BC – 1860 BC and the son of Ilushuma. He built a temple for the god Ninkigal. He strengthened the fortifications of the city of Assur and maintained commercial colonies in Asia Minor. The following is a list of the sixteen annually-elected limmu officials from the year of accession of Ikunum until the year of his death. BC dates are based on a date of 1833 BC for the recorded solar eclipse in the limmu of Puzur-Ištar:

Assur archaeological site in Iraq

Aššur, also known as Ashur and Qal'at Sherqat, was the capital of the Old Assyrian Empire, the Middle Assyrian Empire, and for a time, of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The remains of the city lie on the western bank of the Tigris River, north of the confluence with its tributary, the Little Zab, in what is now Iraq, more precisely in the al-Shirqat District of the Saladin Governorate.


The Chronicle of Early Kings records his contemporary as Su-abu, who was once identified with the founder of the First Dynasty of Babylon, Sumu-abum, c. 1830 BC. [i 3] The word "battles" [nb 2] is discernible on the subsequent, fragmentary line of the Chronicle and this has led some historians to believe Ilu-shuma may have engaged in conflict with his southerly neighbor. A brick inscription of Ilu-shuma describes his relations with the south and reads:

Chronicle of Early Kings

The Chronicle of Early Kings, Chronicle 20 in Grayson’s Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles and Mesopotamian Chronicle 40 in Glassner’s Chroniques mésopotamiennes is preserved on two tablets, tablet A is well preserved whereas tablet B is broken and the text fragmentary. Episodic in character, it seems to have been composed from linking together the apodoses of omen literature, excerpts of the Weidner Chronicle and year-names. It begins with events from the late third-millennium reign of Sargon of Akkad and ends, where the tablet is broken away, with that of Agum III, c.a 1500 BC.

Sumu-Abum was an Amorite, and the first King of the First Dynasty of Babylon. He reigned from 1830-1817 BC. He freed a small area of land previously ruled by the fellow Amorite city state of Kazallu which included Babylon, then a minor administrative center in southern Mesopotamia. Sumu-Abum makes no claim to be King of Babylon, suggesting that the town was at this time still of little importance.

"The freedom [nb 3] of the Akkadians and their children I established. I purified their copper. I established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur, Awal, and Kismar, Der of the god Ishtaran, as far as Assur." [1] :7–8

Ur Archaeological site in Iraq

Ur was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia, located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in south Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate. Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland, on the south bank of the Euphrates, 16 kilometres from Nasiriyah in modern-day Iraq.

Nippur archaeological site in Iraq

Nippur was among the most ancient of Sumerian cities. It was the special seat of the worship of the Sumerian god Enlil, the "Lord Wind", ruler of the cosmos, subject to An alone. Nippur was located in modern Nuffar in Afak, Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate, Iraq.


Awal is an ancient name of Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf. The name Awal had remained in use, probably for eight centuries. Awal Premi was derived from the name of a god that used to be worshiped by the inhabitants of the islands before the advent of Islam. Awal resembled the head of an ox. As for the meaning of this name, there are ʼawwal 'first, first part, previous'; ʼawwalan 'firstly, at first'; ʼawwalī 'prime, primordial, original'.

The historian M. Trolle Larsen has suggested that this represented an attempt to lure traders from the south of Assur with tax privileges and exemptions, to monopolize the exchange of copper from the gulf for tin from the east. [3] The cities cited therefore are the three major caravan routes the commodities would have traveled rather than campaign routes for the king. [4]

Ilu-shuma's construction activities included building the old temple of Ishtar, a city wall, subdivision of the city into house plots and diversion of the flow of two springs to the city gates Aushum and Wertum. [1] :8 Tukultī-Ninurta I recorded that he preceded him by 720 years, on his own inscriptions commemorating his construction of an adjacent Ishtar temple. [2] From this it might be deduced that, despite later being among the "kings whose year names are not known", the reign length of Ilu-shuma was still known in the time of Tukulti-Ninurta I to be 21 years. [5] Larsen has suggested that he may have been a contemporary of Iddin-Dagan and Ishme-Dagan of Isin, which would clash with the synchronization with Sumu-abum, [2] but make more sense given the current chronology favored.[ clarification needed ]

Tukulti-Ninurta I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. He is known as the first king to use the title "King of Kings".

Iddin-Dagan was the 3rd king of the dynasty of Isin. Iddin-Dagan was preceded by his father Shu-Ilishu. Išme-Dagān then succeeded Iddin-Dagan. Iddin-Dagan reigned for 21 years He is best known for his participation in the sacred marriage rite and the risqué hymn that described it.


Ishme-Dagan was the 4th king of the First Dynasty of Isin, according to the "Sumerian King List" (SKL). Also according to the SKL: he was both the son and successor of Iddin-Dagān. Lipit-Ištar then succeeded Išme-Dagān. Išme-Dagān was one of the kings to restore the Ekur.

Preceded by
Išši’ak Aššur
c. 1830 BC
Succeeded by
Erishum I

See also


  1. Khorsabad copy of the Assyrian King List i 24, 26.
  2. Synchronistic King List iv 17.
  3. Chronicle of Early Kings, BM 26472, 37.


  1. Lines 27 to 28: [IE-r]i-šu dumu Iilu-šum-ma [šá li-ma-ni]-šu-ni 40 mumeš lugalta.
  2. Battles, gigam.didli.
  3. Freedom = addurāru.

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Chronicle P

Chronicle P, known as Chronicle 22 in Grayson’s Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles and Mesopotamian Chronicle 45: “Chronicle of the Kassite Kings” in Glassner’s Mesopotamian Chronicles is named for T. G. Pinches, the first editor of the text. It is a chronicle of the second half of the second millennium BC or the Kassite period, written by a first millennium BC Babylonian scribe.

Timeline of the Assyrian Empire

The timeline of the Assyrian Empire lists the kings, their successors and the major events that occurred in the Assyrian history.

Early Period (Assyria)

The Early Period refers to the history of Assyrian civilization of Mesopotamia between 2500 BCE and 2025 BCE. It is the first of the four periods into which the history of the Assyrian civilisation is traditionally divided. The other periods are the Old Assyrian Empire, the Middle Assyrian Empire and the Neo-Assyrian Empire.


  1. 1 2 3 A. K. Grayson (1972). Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, Volume 1. Otto Harrassowitz.
  2. 1 2 3 Jean-Jacques Glassner (2005). Mesopotamian Chronicles. SBL. pp. 137, 7, 271.
  3. M. Trolle Larsen (1976). The Old Assyrian City-State and its Colonies. Akademisk Forlag. p. 87.
  4. Emélie Kuhrt (1998). "The Old Assyrian merchants". In Helen Parkins, Christopher Smith (ed.). Trade, traders, and the ancient city. Routledge. p. 20.
  5. Cambridge Ancient History: Assyria 2060-1816 BC, 1966, p. 22.