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Assyrian King List

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Sargon II (r) and Sennacherib (l) on a relief from Khorsabad, now in the Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
Continuity of government: King Sargon II (right) and his crown prince Sennacherib on a relief from Khorsabad, now in the Louvre, Paris.
Assyrian King List: list of rulers of ancient Assyria, used as a framework for the study of Mesopotamian chronology.

Incomplete lists of Assyrian kings have been discovered in every one of Assyria's three capitals: Aššur, Dur-Šarukkin, and Nineveh. There are also two fragments. The texts of these copies are more or less consistent and goes back to one original, which was based on the list of yearly limmu-officials, who were appointed by the king and had to preside the celebration of the New Year festival.

As a consequence, modern scholars tend to believe that the numbers of regnal years mentioned in the Assyrian King List are correct; however, there are minor differences between the copies. Down to the reign of Aššur-dan I, they offer identical information, and it is therefore reasonable to assume that the list is more or less reliable until his regnal years, 1178-1133. Before 1178, the three documents show divergences.
 

Edition:

Jean-Jacques Glassner, Chroniques Mťsopotamiennes (1993) (translated as Mesopotamian Chronicles, 2004)

Assyrian King List

[1-17] Tudija, Adamu, Janqi, Sahlamu, Harharu, Mandaru, Imsu, Harsu, Didanu, Hanu, Zuabu, Nuabu, Abazu, Belu, Azarah, Ušpija, Apiašal.
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Total: 17 kings who lived in tents.[1]
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[18-26] Aminu was the son of Ilu-kabkabu, Ila-kabkabi of Yazkur-el, Jazkur-ilu of Yakmeni, Jakmeni of Yakmesi, Jakmesi of Ilu-Mer, Ilu-Mer of Hayani, Hajanu of Samani,Samanu of Hale, Hale of Apiašal, Apiašal of Ušpia.
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Total: 10 kings who were ancestors.[2]
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[27-32] Sulili son of Aminu, Kikkija, Akija, Puzur-Aššur [I], Šalim-ahum, Ilušuma.
Total: 6 kings named on bricks,[3] whose number of limmu-officials is unknown.
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[33] Erišum [I], son of Ilušuma, [...] ruled for 30/40 years.
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[34] Ikunum, son of Erishu, ruled for [...] years.
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[35] Sargon [I], son of Ikunu, ruled for [...] years.[4]
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[36] Puzur-Aššur [II], son of Sargon, ruled for [...] years.
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[37] Naram-Sin, son of Puzur-Aššur, ruled for N+4 years.
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[38] Erišum [II], son of Naram-Sin, ruled for [...] years.
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[39] Šamši-Adad[I], son[5] of Ila-kabkabi, went to Karduniaš in the time of Naram-Sin. In the eponymy of Ibni-Adad, Šamši-Adad went up from Karduniaš. He took Ekallatum, where he stayed three years. In the eponymy of Atamar-Ištar, Šamši-Adad went up from Ekallatum. He ousted Erišum, son of Naram-Sin, from the throne and took it. He ruled for 33 years. (1813-1781)
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[40] Išme-Dagan [I], son of Šamši-Adad, ruled for 40 years.
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[41] Aššur-dugul, son of a nobody,[6] who had no title to the throne, ruled for 6 years.
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[42-47] In the time of Aššur-dugul, son of a nobody, Aššur-apla-idi, Nasir-Sin, Sin-namir, Ipqi-Ištar, Adad-salulu, and Adasi, six sons of nobodies, ruled at the beginning of his brief reign.
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[48] Belu-bani, son of Adasi, ruled for 10 years.
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[49] Libaja, son of Belu-Bani, ruled for 17 years.
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[50] Šarma-Adad [I], son of Libaja, ruled for 12 years.
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[51] Iptar-Sin, son of Šarma-Adad, ruled for 12 years.
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[52] Bazaja, son of Iptar-Sin, ruled for 28 years.
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[53] Lullaja, son of a nobody, ruled for 6 years.
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[54] Šu-Ninua, son of Bazaja, ruled for 14 years.
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[55] Šarma-Adad [II], son of Šu-Ninua, ruled for 3 years.
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[56] Erišum [III], son of Šu-Ninua, ruled for 13 years.
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[57] Šamši-Adad [II], son of Erišum, ruled for 6 years.
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[58] Išme-Dagan [II], son of Šamši-Adad, ruled for 16 years.
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[59] Šamši-Adad [III], son of [another] Išme-Dagan, brother of Šarma-Adad [II], son of Šu-Ninua, ruled for 16 years.
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[60] Aššur-nirari [I], son of Išme-Dagan, ruled for 26 years.
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[61] Puzur-Aššur [III], son of Aššur-nirari, ruled for 24/14 years.
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[62] Enlil-nasir [I], son of Puzur-Aššur, ruled for 13 years.
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[63] Nur-ili, son of Enlil-nasir, ruled for 12 years.
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[64] Aššur-šaduni, son of Nur-ili, ruled for 1 month.
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[65] Aššur-rabi [I], son of Enlil-nasir, ousted him, seized the throne and ruled for [...] years.
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[66] Aššur-nadin-ahhe [I], son of Aššur-rabi, ruled for [...] years.
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[67] Enlil-nasir [II], his brother, ousted him and ruled for 6 years (1420-1415).[7]
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[68] Aššur-nirari [II], son of Enlil-nasir, ruled for 7 years (1414-1408).
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[69] Aššur-bÍl-nišešu, son of Aššur-nirari, ruled for 9 years (1407-1399).
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[70] Aššur-rem-nišešu, son of Aššur-bÍl-nišešu, ruled for 8 years (1398-1391).
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[71] Aššur-nadin-ahhe [II], son of Aššur-rem-nišešu, ruled for 10 years (1390-1381).
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[72] Eriba-Adad [I], son of Aššur-bÍl-nišešu, ruled for 27 years (1380-1354).
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[73] Aššur-uballit [I], son of Eriba-Adad, ruled for 36 years (1353-1318).
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[74] Enlil-nirari, son of Aššur-uballit, ruled for 10 years (1317-1308).
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[75] Arik-den-ili, son of Enlil-nirari, ruled for 12 years (1307-1296).
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[76] Adad-nirari [I], son of Arik-den-ili, ruled for 32 years (1295-1264).
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[77] Šalmaneser [I], son of Adad-nirari, ruled for 30 years (1263-1234).
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[78] Tukulti-ninurta [I], son of Šalmaneser, ruled for 37 years (1233-1197).
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[79] During the lifetime of Tukulti-ninurta, Aššur-nadin-apli, his son, seized the throne and ruled for 4 years (1196-1193).
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[80] Aššur-nirari [III], son of Aššur-nadin-apli, ruled for 6 years (1192-1187).
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[81] Enlil-kudurri-usur, son of Tukulti-ninurta, ruled for 5 years (1186-1182).
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[82] Ninurta-apil-Ekur, son of Ila-Hadda, a descendant of Eriba-Adad, went to Karduniaš. He came up from Karduniaš, seized the throne and ruled for 3 years (1181-1179).
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[83] Aššur-dan [I], son of Aššur-nadin-apli, ruled for 46 years (1178-1133).
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[84] Ninurta-tukulti-Aššur, son of Aššur-dan, briefly.[8]
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[85] Mutakkil-Nusku, his brother, fought him and took him to Karduniaš. Mutakkil-Nusku held the throne briefly, then died.
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[86] Aššur-reš-iši [I], son of Mutakkil-Nusku, ruled for 18 years (1132-1115).
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[87] Tiglath-pileser [I], son of Aššur-reš-iši, ruled for 39 years (1114-1076).
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[88] Ašarid-apil-Ekur, son of Tiglath-pileser, ruled for 2 years (1075-1074).
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[89] Aššur-bÍl-kala, son of Tiglath-pileser, ruled for 18 years (1073-1056).
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[90] Eriba-Adad [II], son of Aššur-bÍl-kala, ruled for 2 years (1055-1054).
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[91] Šamši-Adad [IV], son of Tiglath-pileser, came up from Karduniaš. He ousted Eriba-Adad, son of Aššur-bÍl-kala, seized the throne and ruled for 4 years (1053-1050).
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[92] Aššurnasirpal [I], son of Šamši-Adad, ruled for 19 years (1049-1031).
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[93] Šalmaneser [II], son of Aššurnasirpal, ruled for 12 years (1030-1019).
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[94] Aššur-nirari [IV], son of Šalmaneser, ruled for 6 years (1018-1013).
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[95] Aššur-rabi [II], son of Aššurnasirpal, ruled for 41 years (1012-972).
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[96] Aššur-reš-iši [II], son of Aššur-rabi, ruled for 5 years (971-967).
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[97] Tiglath-pileser [II], son of Aššur-reš-iši, ruled for 32 years (966-935).
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[98] Aššur-dan [II], son of Tiglath-pileser, ruled for 23 years (934-912).
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[99] Adad-nirari [II], son of Aššur-dan, ruled for 21 years (911-891).
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[100] Tukulti-Ninurta [II], son of Adad-nirari, ruled for 7 years (890-884).
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[101] Aššurnasirpal [II], son of Tukulti-Ninurta, ruled for 25 years (883-859).
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[102] Šalmaneser [III], son of Aššurnasirpal, ruled for 35 years (858-824).
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[103] Šamši-Adad [V], son of Šalmaneser, ruled for 13 years (823-811).
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[104] Adad-nirari [III], son of Šamši-Adad, ruled for 28 years (810-783).
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[105] Šalmaneser [IV], son of Adad-nirari, ruled for 10 years (782-773).
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[106] Aššur-dan [III], son of Šalmaneser, ruled for 18 years (772-755).
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[107] Aššur-nirari [V], son of Adad-nirari, ruled for 10 years (754-745).
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[108] Tiglath-pileser [III], son of Aššur-nirari, ruled for 18 years (744-727).[9]
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[109] Šalmaneser [V], son of Tiglath-pileser, ruled for 5 years (726-722).
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Aššur copy. Hand of Kandalanu, scribe of the temple of Arbela. 20 LulubŻ, eponomy of Adad-bela-ka'in, governor of Aššur, during his second eponomy.[10]

Note 1:
Probably, the author of the Assyrian King List wanted to create the impression that these rulers, with their rhyming, invented names, were nomad kings.

Note 2:
It is not clear what is meant with 'ancestors'; nor is it understood why the sequence of kings is reverted. Perhaps, we must read 'my predecessors', but this raises the question who is their descendant. Note the calculating error: the writer has mentioned ten kings, but one of them, Apiašal son of Ušpia, has already been mentioned among the seventeen who lived in tents.

Note 3:
Bricks with inscriptions of some of these rulers are indeed known.

Note 4:
Sargon and Naram-Sin are also the names of kings of Akkad who probably ruled in the twenty-fourth and twenty-third centuries BCE. However, the two men mentioned in this list appear to be more recent.

Note 5:
If this Ila-kabkabi is identical to the king mentioned before, the word 'son' must be read as 'descendant'.

Note 6:
'Son of a nobody' means that someone seized power, although he did not belong to the royal dynasty. It appears that Aššur-dugul's reign was contested not only by the six kings mentioned in the next section, but also by Mut-Aškur, Rimu-xxx, and Asinum.

Note 7:
This appears to be the correct date. The implication is that Aššur-nadin-apli  ruled four years (the tablets mention 3 and 4) and Ninurta-apil-Ekur three (the tablets mention 3 and 13).

Note 8:
It is difficult to establish the length of the two 'brief' reigns of Ninurta-tukulti-Aššur and Mutakkil-Nusku, which makes all the dates offered above hard to verify. However, we know for certain that Aššur-uballit I, who was dated to 1353-1318, exchanged letters with his Egyptian colleague Akhenaten (1353-1336). The error can not be very large (five years?).

Note 9:
From the Assyrian Eponym List, it is known that Tiglath-pileser III became king in April/May 745.

Note 10:
Another tablet, written by a different scribe, contains another colophon:

Written and checked with the original. Tablet of BÍl-šuma-iddin, Aššur's exorcist. May Šamaš take away the man who steals this tablet.
The next king, Sargon II (721-705) came to power after a coup d'ťtat, which may have been the immediate cause for making this king list. The remaining kings were:
 
[110] Sargon II
721-705
[111] Sennacherib
704-681
[112] Esarhaddon
680-669
[113] Aššurbanipal
668-631
[114] Aššur-etel-ilani
?
[115] Sin-šumu-lišir
?
[116] Sin-šar-iškun
-612
[117] Aššur-uballit II
611-609
Jona Lendering © 2006
Latest revision: 31 March 2006

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