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Early Kassite rulers

The early Kassite rulers are the sequence of eight, or possibly nine, names which appear on the Babylonian and Assyrian King Lists purporting to represent the first or ancestral monarchs of the dynasty that was to become the Kassite or 3rd Dynasty of Babylon which governed for 576 years, 9 months, 36 kings, according to the King List A.[i 1] In all probability the dynasty ruled Babylon for around 350 years.

The King list tradition

The era of the early Kassite rulers is characterized by a dearth of surviving historical records. The principal sources of evidence for the existence of these monarchs are the Babylonian King List A,[i 1] which shows just the first six, and the Assyrian Synchronistic King List,[i 2] which gives their names indistinctly, and are compared below, after Brinkman.[1]

Position King List A[i 1] Sync. King List[i 2] Proposed reading Reign
1 mgan-dáš m˹ga (?)-x-x˺ Gandaš 26 years
2 ma-gu-um IGI a-šú ma-˹gu-um˺ IGI ˹(x)˺-šu Agum I 22 years
3 m[kaš-til]-iá-ši mkaš-til-˹x˺-šu Kaštiliašu I 22 years
4 m˹x˺-ši A-šú ma-bi-˹ra˺-taš Abi-Rattaš[nb 1] unknown
5 m˹a-bi˺-Rat-taš mkaš-til-˹a˺-šu Kaštiliašu I (again) or II unknown
6 m˹UR-zi˺-U(= guru12)-maš UR-zi-g[u-r]u-˹ma˺-áš Ur-zigurumaš[nb 2] unknown
7 ˹mḫar˺-ba-˹(x)-x˺ Ḫarba-Šipak/Šihu, Ḫurbazum unknown
8 m˹x-ib-x˺-[(x)]-˹x-x˺ Tiptakzi, Šipta’ulzi unknown
9 m˹x-x-(x)˺ Agum-Kakrime (Agum II) unknown

The tenth position of the Synchronistic King List is occupied by Burna-Buriyåš I.


Possibly the earliest military action involving the Kassites is preserved in the date formula[nb 3] for Samsu-iluna's ninth year (1741 BC).[2] It is called "the year of the Kassite army",[nb 4] in which it seems that he was not wholly successful at repelling the raiders, a sign of weakness which triggered widespread revolts in cities all over Mesopotamia and a decisive response from Samsu-iluna.[3] The fourth year-name[nb 5] of Abi-Ešuh (1707 BC), the son and successor of Samsu-iluna, records that Abi-Ešuh "subdued the Kassites". Around the same time a king of the middle Euphrates kingdom called Ḫana, successor state of Mari,[4] bore the name Kaštiliašu, but apart from this name there is no evidence that the region was occupied by Kassites during this time, and he was succeeded by Šunuhru-Ammu, whose name is Amorite.[5] Two seal impressions[i 3] found at Ḫana's capital Terqa[4][6] read, "[Gi]mil Ninkar[ak], son of Arši-a[ḫum], [se]rvant of Ila[ba], [and K]aštili[ašu]". Frayne speculates that Kaštiliašu may have been a Babylonian installed by Samsu-iluna after his defeat of Iadiḫ-abu and not a native ruler.[7]

A first-millennium BC school text[i 4] purporting to be a copy of one of his inscriptions credits Gandaš with the conquest of Bà-bà-lam.[8]: H.3.1  This reads:

The bright whirlwind, the bull of the gods, the Lord of Lords

Gaddaš, the king of the four quarters of the world, the king of the land of Sumer
And Akkad, the king of Babylon, am I.
At that time, the Ekur of Enlil, which in the conquest
Had been destroyed (remainder gone) [nb 6]

— Inscription of Gandaš, First Millennium school text copy[9]

Agum I may be the subject of a 7th-century BC historical inscription which also mentions Damiq-ilῑšu, the last king of the 1st Dynasty of Isin.[i 5] The Agum-Kakrime Inscription[i 6] names Agum ra-bi-i,[nb 7] Kaštiliašu, Abi-Rattaš, and Ur-šigurumaš as ancestors of Agum-Kakrime (Agum II), each son of the preceding except Ur-šigurumaš, who is described as descendant of Abi-Rattaš. The traces in the ninth position of the Synchronistic King List do not allow for the name Agum, so Kakrime has been suggested as an alternative.[10]

The Tell Muḥammed texts

Excavations in the southeastern suburb of Baghdad known as Tell Muḥammed yielded two archives of the first Sealand Dynasty period. Those from level 3, excavated in the 1990s, were dated with year names, for example: "Year water carried King Ḫurduzum up to the city". Those from level 2, excavated in the 1970s, possessed a slightly different date formula, for example: "Year 38 Babylon was resettled.[nb 8] Year King Šipta'ulzi", and are mostly silver and cereal loans.[11] The layers are thought to be around a generation apart. The resettlement of Babylon has been linked to the aftermath of the Hittite sack of the city under Mursili I. Boese proposed the two kings be identified with those in positions seven and eight, and that a slightly different reading of Ḫurbazum for Ḫurduzum be adopted,[12] a position disputed by Brinkman.[13]


  1. ^ a b c King List A, BM 33332.
  2. ^ a b Synchronistic King List A.117, Assur 14616c.
  3. ^ Bulla seals TQ5-T105 and TQ5-T99.
  4. ^ BM 77438.
  5. ^ K. 3992 line 10.
  6. ^ Agum-Kakrime Inscription K. 4149+.


  1. ^ The reading of the King List A as Ušši or Uššiašu (Landsberger) have been suggested.
  2. ^ Sometimes read as Tazzigurumaš.
  3. ^ erin Ka-aš-šu-ú in the date formula.
  4. ^ "Year in which Samsu-iluna the king (defeated) the totality of the strength of the army / the troops of the Kassites".
  5. ^ "Year Abi-eszuh the king by the exalted command of An, Enlil and the great power of Marduk (subdued) the armies and troops of the Kassites", (BM 16998).
  6. ^ a-na u4-mu nam-ri dGU.DINGIR.DINGIR EN EN.EN
    mga-ad-daš LUGAL kib-ra-a-tú ár-ba-a LUGAL KUR šu-me-ri
    ù URUki-I LUGAL bà-bà-lam a-na-ku-ma
    i-nu-šu-ma É-kur den-líl šá i-na ka-šad bà-bà-lam
    [(?)-t]am-[si]-k[u] i-nu [x-x]-zu ú-pi-ši-[x]
  7. ^ rabû = "the great"
  8. ^ MU.38.KAM.MA ša KA2.DINGIR.RAki uš.bu.


  1. ^ J. A. Brinkman (1976). "A Chronology of the Kassite Dynasty". Materials for the Study of Kassite History, Vol. I (MSKH I). Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. pp. 9–11.
  2. ^ Albrecht Goetze (1964). "The Kassites and near Eastern Chronology". Journal of Cuneiform Studies. 18 (4): 97–101. doi:10.2307/1359248. JSTOR 1359248.
  3. ^ William James Hamblin (2007). Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. Taylor & Francis. p. 181.
  4. ^ a b Schwartz, Glenn M. (2013). Joan Aruz; Sarah B. Graff; Yelena Rakic (eds.). An Amorite Global Village. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-58839-475-0. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Podany, Amanda H. “Hana and the Low Chronology.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 73, no. 1, 2014, pp. 49–71
  6. ^ Arnold, Bill T. (2005). Who Were The Babylonians?. BRILL. p. 46. ISBN 90-04-13071-3.
  7. ^ Douglas Frayne (1990). Old Babylonian period (2003-1595 BC): Early Periods, Volume 4 (RIM The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia). University of Toronto Press. p. 727.
  8. ^ J. A. Brinkman. "Gandaš". MSKH I. pp. 127–128.
  9. ^ Peter Stein (2000). Die mittel- und neubabylonischen Königsinschriften bis zum Ende der Assyr erherrschaft. Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 149–150.
  10. ^ Michael C. Astour (Apr–Jun 1986). "The Name of the Ninth Kassite Ruler". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 106 (2): 327–331. doi:10.2307/601597. JSTOR 601597.
  11. ^ L. Sassmannshausen (2000). "The adaptation of the Kassites to the Babylonian Civilization". In K. Van Lerberghe; G. Voet (eds.). Languages and Cultures in Contact at the Crossroads of Civilizations in the Syro-Mesopotamia Realm. Peeters Publishers. pp. 413–414.
  12. ^ Johannes Boese (2008). ""Ḫarbašipak", "Tiptakzi" und die Chronologie der älteren Kassitenzeit". Zeitschrift für Assyriologie (98): 201–210.
  13. ^ J. A. Brinkman (March 2014). "The Seventh and Eighth Kings of the Kassite Dynasty" (PDF). Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires (N.A.B.U.) (1): 31–32.
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Early Kassite rulers
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