Erra-imitti

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Erra-Imittī
King of Isin
Reign 1805–1799 BC
Predecessor Lipit-Enlil
Successor Enlil-bâni
House 1stDynasty of Isin

Erra-Imittī, (dèr-ra-i-mit-ti[i 1]) ca. 1805–1799 BC (short chronology) or ca. 1868–1861 BC (middle chronology),[1] was king of Isin, modern Ishan al-Bahriyat, and according to the Sumerian King List ruled for eight years. He succeeded Lipit-Enlil, with whom his relationship is uncertain and was a contemporary and rival of Sūmû-El and Nūr-Adad of the parallel dynasty of Larsa. He is best known for the legendary tale of his demise.

Biography[edit]

He seems to have recovered control of Nippur from Larsa early in his reign but perhaps lost it again, as its recovery is celebrated by his successor. The later regnal year-names offer some glimmer of events, for example “the year following the year Erra-Imittī seized Kisurra"[nb 1] (the modern site of Abū-Ḥaṭab) for the date of a receipt for a bridal gift and “the year Erra-Imittī destroyed the city wall of Kazallu,”[nb 2][2] a city allied with Larsa and antagonistic to Isin and its vassal, Babylon. A haematite cylinder seal[i 2] of his servant and scribe Iliška-uṭul, son of Sîn-ennam, has come to light from the city of Kissura.[3] The latest attested year-name gives the year he built the city wall of gan-x-Erra-Imittī, perhaps an eponymous new town.

When the omens predicted impending doom for a monarch, it was customary to appoint as a substitute a statue[nb 3] though inanimate as a scape-goat for a hundred days to deflect the disaster, at the end of which the proxy and his spouse would be ritually slaughtered and the king would resume his throne.[4] The Chronicle of early kings[i 3] relates that:

King Erra-imittī ordered Enlil-bâni, the gardener, to sit on the throne as a royal substitute (and) put the crown of kingship on his head. Erra-imittī died in his palace while swallowing hot porridge[nb 4] in little sips. Enlil-bâni, who sat on the throne, did not resign and was elevated to the royal office.[5]

—Chronicle of early kings, after Glassner but with correction

He was succeeded by Ikūn-pî-Ištar, according to two variant copies of the Sumerian King List, or Enlil-bâni, if the other sources are correct.[5]

External links[edit]

Inscriptions[edit]

  1. ^ Ur-Isin King List 14.
  2. ^ Cylinder seal BM 130695.
  3. ^ Chronicle of early kings (ABC 20) A 31 to 36 and repeated as B 1 to 7.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BM 85348: mu ús-sa ki-sur-raki dÌr-ra-i-mi-ti ba-an-dib.
  2. ^ YOS 14 319: mu dÌr-ra-i-mi-ti bàd ka-zal-luki ba-gal.
  3. ^ NU-NÍG-SAG-ÍL-e.
  4. ^ pappasu = a porridge, in CAD “p” vol. 12 (2005), p. 111, other translators say soup or broth.

References[edit]

  1. ^ D. O. Edzard (1999). Erich Ebeling, Bruno Meissner, ed. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Ia - Kizzuwatna 5. Walter De Gruyter Inc. p. 170. 
  2. ^ Anne Goddeeris (2009). Tablets from Kisurra in the Collections of British Museum. Harrassowitz. p. 16. 
  3. ^ Douglas Frayne (1990). Old Babylonian Period (2003-1595 B.C.): Early Periods, Volume 4. University of Toronto Press. p. 76. 
  4. ^ Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat (1998). Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. Greenwood Press. p. 189. 
  5. ^ a b Jean-Jacques Glassner (2005). Mesopotamian Chronicles. SBL. p. 271.