From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Statue of Idrimi in the British Museum.
Tablet with the seal of King Idrimi. Ref:131493 .
A slave exchange treaty between Idrimi and Pilla of Kizzuwatna. Ref:

Idrimi was the king of Alalakh in the 15th century BC (ca. 1460-1400 B.C.). He was a Hurrianised Semitic son of Ilim-Ilimma I the king of Aleppo who had been deposed by the new regional master, Barattarna, king of the Mitanni. Nevertheless he succeeded in regaining his seat with the assistance of hapiru or his father's displaced supporters and was recognized as a vassal by Barattarna.[1] Idrimi founded the kingdom of Mukish, and ruled from Alalakh as a vassal to the Mitanni state. He also invaded the Hittite territories to the north, resulting in a treaty with the country Kizzuwatna. Idrimi has been well-known from an inscriptive statue found at Alalakh by Leonard Wolley, revealing new insights about the history of Syria in the mid-second millennium.[2] Idrimi's campaign map.

Sources of Idrimi[edit]

Statue Text: A rough Akkadian autobiographical inscription on the Statue of Idrimi's base found at Alalakh within a pit of a Level 1 temple at the site of Tell Atchana in northern Syria(ca. 1200) records Idrimi's vicissitudes.[3] The first part of the inscription revealed Idrimi's circumstances fleeing from Aleppo. The translated inscription, according to author Amelie Kuhrt, stated: "I am Idrimi, the son of Ilimilimma, servant of Teshub (storm-god), Hepat (Teshub's consort), and Shaushga (an Ishtar-like deity), the lady of Alalakh, my mistress. In Aleppo, in the house of my fathers, a crime had occurred and we fled. The Lords of Emar were descended from the sisters of my mother, so we settled in Emar. My brothers, who were older than me, also lived with me..."[4] After his family had been forced to flee to Emar, with his mother's people, he realized that he wouldn't wield real power in Emar, saying "...but he that is with the people of Emar, is a slave." As a result, He left his family and brothers, took his horse, chariot, and squire, went into the desert, and joined the "Hapiru people" in "Ammija (Amiya) in the land of Canaan", where other refugees from Aleppo ("the people from Halab [Aleppo], people from the land Mukish [dominated by Alalakh], people from the land of Nihi [near the Orontes River in Syria], and people of the land Amae (possibly between Aleppo and Apamea) recognized him as the "son of their overlord" and "gathered around him."[5]

The second part of the inscription revealed major events in Idrimi's life including a campaign in Hurrian territory to reclaim Alalakh. After living among the habiru for seven years, he led his new friends and Habiru allies in a successful attack by sea on Alalakh, where he became king sometime in 1450 B.C. and promoted his subjects' welfare. The inscription further stated: "In the seventh year, Teshub turned towards me. As a result, I built ships. The x-soldiers I caused to enter the ships...when my country heard of me, cattle and sheep were brought before me. In a single day...Nihi...Amae...the country of Mukish and Alalah, turned towards me like one man. My brothers heard of this and came to me. My brothers and I swore mutual alliance; I placed my brothers under my protection." Idrimi built ships and likely gathered soldiers from Mukish, Amae, Nihi, and Alakah, which was enough to impress his own brothers to join him in reclaiming Alalakh. He somehow gained the trust of Barattarna who recognized Idrimi's oath of alliance with his brothers and placed himself within the alliance.[6] A final section requested a blessing of the statue from Sharruwa, the statue's scribe, and cursed those who would deface his statue.[7] However, there is a strong danger of using the statue's text as an uncritical historical source. Just like the inscriptions of Rameses II's poetic prose of the Battle of Qadesh, the statue of Idrimi's text possibly suggests that Idrimi's real campaigns were probably glorified to make himself legitimate, suggesting a form of propaganda. Many scholars studying the inscription have suggested it to be a form of psuedo-history, possibly based on facts of his campaigns.[8]

Idrimi Tablet 1: This tablet was excavated by Leonard Wolley between 1936-1949 at Tell Achtana Alalakh in northern Syria. It dates back to ca. 1500-1450 B.C. The tablet contained Idrimi's royal seal and revealed an agreement that Idrimi made for the annual dues of gold and sheep to be paid to him or to his successor, his son Niqmepa, who often used his own father's seal. The seal's inscription also read: "Idrimi, servant of the God Adad" (the local storm god in Alalakh). The tablet suggested that Idrimi not only wielded absolute power in Alalakh, but it also suggested that Idrimi had exercised some independence through his own Self-deification.[9]. This tablet is seen on this page's photograph (Reference number:131493).

Idrimi Tablet 2: This tablet was also excavated at Tell Achtana in northern Syria between 1936-1949 and dates back to about 1480 B.C. The tablet revealed a treaty that Idrimi made with another vassal ruler to Mittani, Pilla of Kizzuwatna.[10] The treaty was for possibly slave exchanges between Idrimi and Pilla.[11]

Early Life of Idrimi[edit]

Looking at the first part of Idrimi's autobiography on his statue, Idrimi claimed that an incident had occurred in Halab (Aleppo) and he and his family had to flee. The inscription gives a vague description of the incident so it is helpful to turn to the dissertation of Jack Sasson of the University of North Carolina. Sasson speculated that Idrimi didn't claim relationship to Halab's rulers and speculated that Ilim-Ilimma I, Idrimi's father, either was dethroned from the throne of Halab (Aleppo) or had attempted to usurp the throne of Halab from an unknown king but failed to do so.[12]. Idrimi goes to Emar because of his maternal ancestral connections to the Lords of Emar. However, while living in Emar, he considered himself as a slave possibly due to his refugee status. According to author Tremper Longman, lines 8b-9 of his autobiography indicated that Idrimi possibly had some thoughts about retaking his father's lost throne at Alalakh and he tried to get his brothers involved in joining his valiant cause. His brothers weren't really interested in participating for Idrimi's cause so he goes toward Alalakh alone but ends up fleeing to Ammiya in the land of Canaan to join with other refugees from the nearby towns of Mukish, Aleppo, Niya, and Amae.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Freedman, David Noel (2014-11-21). The Anchor Bible Dictionary (Third ed.). New York City: Doubleday. pp. 381–382. ISBN 0-385-19361-0. 
  2. ^ Freedman, David Noel (2014-11-21). The Anchor Bible Dictionary (First, Vol. 3 ed.). New York City: Doubleday. p. 382. 
  3. ^ Freedman, David Noel (2014-11-21). The Anchor Bible Dictionary (Third ed.). New York City: Doubleday. p. 381. ISBN 0-385-19361-0. 
  4. ^ Kuhrt, Amelie (1995). The Ancient Near East, c. 3,000-300 B.C. (First edition, volume 1. ed.). New York and London: Routledge. p. 289. ISBN 0-415-01353-4. 
  5. ^ Kuhrt, Amelie (1995). The Ancient Near East: 3,000 to 300 B.C. (First edition, volume 1 ed.). New York and London: Routledge. p. 290. ISBN 0-415-01353-4. 
  6. ^ Kuhrt, Amelie (1995). The Ancient Near East c. 3,000-300 B.C. (First edition, volume 1 ed.). New York and London: Routledge. p. 291. ISBN 0-415-01353-4. 
  7. ^ Freedman, David Noel (2014-11-21). The Anchor Bible Dictionary (First, Vol. 3 ed.). New York City: Doubleday. p. 382. ISBN 0-385-19361-0. 
  8. ^ Freedman, David Noel (2014-11-21). The Anchor Bible Dictionary (First, Vol. 3 ed.). New York City: Doubleday. p. 382. ISBN 0-385-19361-0. 
  9. ^ "Tablet/Seal Impression". The British Museum. The British Museum. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tablet/Seal Impression 2". The British Museum. The British Museum. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Google Images". Google. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Sasson, Jack. "On Idrimi and Sarruwa the Scribe". Discover Archive. Vanderbilt University. 
  13. ^ Longman, Tremper (1991). Fictional Akkadian Autobiography: A Generic and Comparative Study. Warsaw, IN: Eisenbrauns. p. 61. ISBN 9780931464416. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 

External links[edit]