Armi (Syria)

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Unknown–c. 2290 BC
Capital Halab
Languages Eblaite
Religion Levantine Relegion (Hadad) was the supreme deity
Government Absolute monarchy
Historical era Bronze Age
 -  Established Unknown
 -  Disestablished c. 2290 BC
Today part of  Syria

Armi, was an important Bronze Age city-kingdom during the late third millennium BC located in northern Syria. It was identified by some historians with the city of Aleppo.[1] Armi was a vassal kingdom for Ebla, it had its own kings and worked as a trade center and Trading intermediary for Ebla.[2]



Knowledge about Armi comes from the Ebla tablets and while most historians such as Wayne Horowitz identify Armi with Aleppo, German historian Adelheid Otto believes Armi to be the modern Tell Bazi,[3] a citadel on the bank of the Euphrates 60 km south of Jarabulus.

Relations with Ebla[edit]

Armi was the most quoted city in Ebla texts, Giovanni Pettinato describes Armi as Ebla's alter ego,[4] however the relations between the two cities is complicated, for it wasn't always peaceful, the texts of Ebla mentions gifts exchange between the kings but it also mentions wars between the two kingdoms.[5]

The relations between the two kingdoms is ambiguous as revealed by the readings of Ebla Tablets which is an ongoing work,[5] many Eblan merchants were active in Armi and viceversa, but despite intensive commercial exchanges, it seems that the relations deteriorated during the reign of Eblan king Irkab-Damu successor Isar-Damu and his powerful vizier,[6] Ebrium[7] who waged a war against Armi in his ninth year as vizier, the texts mentions that the battle Happened near a town called Batin (it could be located in northeastern Aleppo),[8] and that a messenger arrived in Ebla with news about the defeating of Armi.[8]

Ebrium son and successor as vizier Ibbi-Sipish conducted a military campaign in his third year against the city Bagara, the scribe which describes the campaign quotes a military expedition against Armi while speaking about the campaign against Bagara, which might means that Bagara belonged to Armi.[6]

Ibbi-Sipish conducted more military actions against Armi, several other texts of his mentions his campaigns against the kingdom, for example he received linen textiles for one of these campaigns.[9]

the complicated relations between Ebla and Armi is very similar to the relations between Ebla and Mari, the eblan texts mentions two interdynastic marriages with the son of the king of Nagar and that of Kish, but despite very close relations between Ebla and Armi an interdynastic marriage is never attested.[9]

During its last years, Ebla in alliance with Nagar and Kish conducted a great military expedition against Armi and occupied it, Ibbi-Sipish son Enzi-Malik resided in Armi.[9]


Armi wasn't mentioned after the destruction of Ebla. many theories were proposed for this destruction, Historian Michael C. Astour believes that the destruction of Ebla and Armi would have happened c. 2290 BC during the reign of Lugal-zage-si of Sumer, whose rule coincided with Sargon of Akkad first years.[10]

King Naram-Sin of Akkad mentions that he conquered Armanum and Ib-la and captured the king of Armanum,[11] the similarities between the names led historian Wayne Horowitz to identify Armanum with Armi. If Armi was in fact Armanum mentioned by Naram-Sin then the event can be dated to c. 2240 BC,[12] in all cases, its a confirmed fact that the whole of northern Syria including Ebla and Armi was under the domination of the Akkadian empire during the reign of Naram-Sin.[13]

Armanum and Armi[edit]

Naram-Sin gives a long description about his siege of Armanum, his destruction of its walls and the capturing of its king Rid-Adad.[11] Astour believes that the Armanum mentioned in the inscriptions of Naram-Sin is not the same city as Eblaite Armi, Naram-Sin makes it clear that the Ebla he sacked (in c.2240 BC) was a border town of the land of Arman, while the Armi in the Eblaite tablets is a vassal to Ebla and (according to Astour), the Syrian Ebla would have been burned in 2290 BC (based on the political map given in the Eblaite tablets) long before the reign of Naram-Sin.[10]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Wayne Horowitz, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, Eisenbrauns 1998, ISBN 0-931464-99-4
  2. ^ Cyrus Herzl Gordon,Gary Rendsburg,Nathan H. Winter. Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 130. 
  3. ^ Paolo Matthiae,Nicoló Marchetti. Ebla and its Landscape: Early State Formation in the Ancient Near East. p. 501. 
  4. ^ Pettinato, Giovanni (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991) Ebla, a new look at history p.135
  5. ^ a b Paolo Matthiae,Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 482. 
  6. ^ a b Paolo Matthiae,Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 485. 
  7. ^ Cyrus Herzl Gordon,Gary Rendsburg,Nathan H. Winter. Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 218. 
  8. ^ a b Paolo Matthiae,Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 484. 
  9. ^ a b c Paolo Matthiae,Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 486. 
  10. ^ a b Cyrus Herzl Gordon,Gary Rendsburg,Nathan H. Winter. Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 63,64,65,66. 
  11. ^ a b William J. Hamblin. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 220. 
  12. ^ Barbara Ann Kipfer. Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. p. 334. 
  13. ^ William J. Hamblin. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 98.