Vizier (Ebla)

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Vizier ( /vɪˈzɪər/ or /ˈvɪzɪər/ ), is the title used by modern scholars to indicate the head of the administration in the first Eblaite kingdom. The title holder held the highest position after the king and controlled the army. During the reign of king Isar-Damu, the office of vizier became hereditary.


Title and responsibilities

Vizier is a rendering presented by Alfonso Archi to indicate the second in command official of Ebla, [1] whose native title was probably "head of the administration" (lugal sa-za). [2] Eblaite viziers' authority was of great importance, that they were thought of as kings during the earliest stages of deciphering the tablets of Ebla, as the names of actual monarchs rarely appeared in administrative tablets. [2] Aside from heading the administration, the vizier was in command of the kingdom's trade, army and acted as the head of provincial governors. [2]


The title was not created until after the period of king Igrish-Halam (fl c. 2360 BC), [2] but high officials were already prominent during his reign, most importantly Darmiya and Tir (whose name appear on an important agreement named the Abarsal treaty). [2] [3] [4] The first vizier was Arrukum and he was appointed by king Irkab-Damu. [5] He was followed by Ibrium who kept his office for 20 years, and managed to establish a parallel dynasty of viziers next to the royal family, being succeeded by his son Ibbi-Sipish. [2]

Eblaite viziers

Arrukum Irkab-Damu Kept his office for five years, [4] and had his son Ruzi-Malik marrying princess Iti-Mut, the daughter of the king. [6]
Ibrium Irkab-Damu, Isar-Damu Served his first two years under Irkab-Damu. [4]
Ibbi-Sipish Isar-DamuCollaborated with his son Dubuhu-Ada, [7] who was prevented from assuming his father's office by the destruction of Ebla. [8]

See also


  1. Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg; Nathan H. Winter (2002). Eblaitica Vol. 4. p. 59. ISBN   9781575060606.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mario Liverani (2013). The Ancient Near East: History, Society and Economy. p. 122. ISBN   9781134750849.
  3. Joan Aruz; Ronald Wallenfels (2003). Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. p. 462. ISBN   9781588390431.
  4. 1 2 3 Douglas Frayne (2008). Pre-Sargonic Period: Early Periods, Volume 1 (2700-2350 BC). p. 148. ISBN   9781442690479.
  5. Alfonso Archi (1998). Archiv für Orientforschung, Volume 44,Deel 1 -Volume 45,Deel 1. p. 108.
  6. W. de Gruyter (2002). Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie, Volume 92. p. 162.
  7. Pontificium institutum biblicum (2003). Orientalia, Vol 72. p. 348.
  8. Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg; Nathan H. Winter (2002). Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 24. ISBN   9781575060606.

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