Addagoppe of Harran

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Addagoppe of Harran /ˈædəˌɡɒpi/ (c. 648-544 BC), also known as Adad-guppi, was an Assyrian priestess, a devotee of the moon god Sîn in the northern Assyrian city of Harran, and the mother of King Nabonidus (ruled 556–39 BC) of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.[1]



Historians have discovered two copies of what appears to be an autobiography of Addagoppe. The first copy, discovered by H. Pognon in 1906, was written on a broken stele excavated at Harran. The second copy, uncovered fifty years later by D.S. Rice, was written on the pavement steps of the northern entrance to the Great Mosque at Harran.[2]


The autobiography starts out with a first-person account by Addagoppe herself and ends with a description of her burial. Because Addagoppe was buried with the honors of a queen, some scholars have suggested that she acted as a regent for Nabonidus when he abandoned Babylon and moved to the oasis of Teima starting in 552 BCE.[3] However, this theory is difficult to reconcile with the chronology Addagoppe presents in her autobiography. She mentions that she was born in the twentieth year of Assyrian King Assurbanipal (about 648 B.C.), and that she cared for the sanctuaries of the moon god Sîn for 95 years. She also mentions that she lived to see her son Nabonidus made king over Babylon, which took place in 556 B.C., making her approximately 92 years old at his coronation, and 96 years old at his departure to Teima. She apparently died at the age of 104 (c. 544 BC), having lived with sound body and mind to see descendants to the fourth generation.

Addagoppe credited Nabonidus' call to kingship to the moon god Sîn, and her autobiography contains a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to Sîn. In response to this prayer, Addagoppe apparently received a prophecy from Sîn in a dream regarding future actions of her son as king:

Through you I will bring about the return of the gods (to) the dwelling in Harran, by means of Nabonidus your son. He will construct Ehulhul; he will complete its work. He will complete the city Harran greater than it was before and restore it. He will bring Sîn, Ningal, Nusku, and Sadarnunna in procession back into the Ehulhul.[4]


Addagoppe's prediction that Sin would make her son king so that he restore Harran seems to have been a major influence on Nabonidus, to the cost of his relationship with the priests of Babylon and their traditional gods, particularly Marduk. Other sources beyond Addagoppe's biography reveal that Nabonidus paid homage to Sîn during his reign as king of Babylon. He gave special attention to the temples of Sîn in Harran and Ur, and even turned the temple of Marduk in Babylon into a sanctuary for Sîn.[5] This, says one inscription, caused unrest in many parts of the kingdom.[6]


  1. ^ Van De Mieroop, Marc (2007). A History of the Ancient Near East. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 278–80. ISBN 978-1-4051-4910-5.
  2. ^ Hallo, William W. (2003). The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions, Monumental Inscriptions, and Archival Documents from the Biblical World. Boston: Brill Leiden. p. 477. ISBN 9004135677.
  3. ^ Jackson, Guida M. (1999). Women Rulers throughout the Ages. ABC Clio, Inc. p. 3.
  4. ^ Longman, Tremper (1991). Fictional Akkadian Autobiography. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. pp. 225–28. ISBN 0931464412.
  5. ^ Van De Mieroop, 2007, p. 280.
  6. ^ Bryce, Trevor (2016). Babylonia – A Very Short Introduction. Oxford Lake: Oxford University Press. pp. 85–6. ISBN 9780198726470.