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King of Isin
Reignc. 1752 – 1730 BC
SuccessorRīm-Sîn I
(Dynasty of Larsa)
HouseDynasty of Isin

Damiq-ilīšu, (Akkadian: 𒁕𒈪𒅅𒉌𒉌𒋗, da-mi-iq-i₃-li₂-šu), c. 1752 – 1730 BC (short chronology) or c. 1816 – 1794 BC (middle chronology) was the 15th and final king of Isin. He succeeded his father Sîn-māgir and reigned for 23 years.[i 1] Some variant king lists provide a shorter reign,[i 2] but it is thought that these were under preparation during his rule.[i 3][1] He was defeated first by Sîn-muballiṭ of Babylon (c. 1748 – 1729 BC) and then later by Rīm-Sîn I of Larsa (c. 1758 – 1699 BC).


His standard inscription characterizes him as the "farmer who piles up the produce (of the land) in granaries." Four royal inscriptions are extant including cones celebrating the building of the wall of Isin, naming him as “Damiq-ilišu is the favorite of the god Ninurta” also recollected in a year-name and “suitable for the office of en priest befitting the goddess Inanna.”[i 4] Construction of a storehouse e-me-sikil, “house with pure mes (rites?)”, for the god Mardu,[i 5] son of the god An. A cone records the construction of a temple, the é-ki-tuš-bi-du10, “House – its residence is good,” possibly for the deity Nergal of Uṣarpara. There is also a palace inscription and a copy of a dedication to Nergal of Apiak on a votive lion sculpture.[2]

Seal of Dakiya, son of Damiq-ilishu, as a high official of Samsu-iluna, after the loss of his father's kingdom.

An outline of the political events can be gleaned from an examination of the year names of the rival kingdoms. Rīm-Sîn’s year 14 (c. 1744 BC) records “Year the armies of Uruk, Isin, Babylon, Sutum, Rapiqum, and of Irdanene,[nb 1] the king of Uruk, were smitten with weapons.” This victory over a grand coalition seems to have awakened in Rīm-Sîn imperial ambitions. Damiq-ilišu’s year 13 (c. 1739 BC) records the “Year in which (Damiq-ilišu) built the great city wall of Isin (called) 'Damiq-ilišu-hegal’ (Damiq-ilišu is abundance)”. The holy city of Nippur seems to have been wrestled from the control of Larsa around 1749 BC by Damiq-ilīšu who held it until Rīm-Sîn reclaimed it around 1737 BC, the year he “destroyed Uruk,” based upon the dating of documents found there. Sin-muballit’s year 13 (c. 1735 BC) is called “Year the troops and the army of Larsa were smitten by weapons.” Rīm-Sîn’s year 25 (c. 1733 BC) is named “Year the righteous shepherd Rim-Sin with the powerful help of An, Enlil, and Enki seized the city of Damiq-ilišu, brought its inhabitants who had helped Isin as prisoners to Larsa, and established his triumph greater than before.” This setback seems to have crippled the tottering Isin state enabling Sîn-muballiṭ of Babylon to pillage the city in 1732 BC, during his year 16.[nb 2][3]

Rīm-Sîn’s year 29 (1729) recalls “Year in which Rīm-Sîn the righteous shepherd with the help of the mighty strength of An, Enlil, and Enki seized in one day Dunnum the largest city of Isin and submitted to his orders all the drafted soldiers but he did not remove the population from its dwelling place.” His year 30 (c. 1728 BC) reads “Year Rīm-Sîn the true shepherd with the strong weapon of An, Enlil, and Enki seized Isin, the royal capital and the various villages, but spared the life of its inhabitants, and made great for ever the fame of his kingship.” The event was considered so significant that from then on every year-name of Rīm-Sîn was named after it: the first year after the sack of Isin until “Year 31 after he seized Isin.”[3]

The Weidner Chronicle,[i 6] also called the Esagila Chronicle, is an apocryphal historiographical or supposititious letter composed in the name of Damiq-ilišu who addresses Apil-Sîn of Babylon (c. 1767 - 1749 BC) discussing the merits of offerings made to Marduk on their donors. There is also a belle letter from Damiq-ilīšu to the god Nuska. He seems to have become something of a folk-hero, because later kings hark back to him and describe themselves as his successor. The Sealand Dynasty seems to have considered itself the inheritor of the neo-Sumerian beacon and the 3rd king, Damqi-ilišu, even took his name. The founder of the 2nd Sealand Dynasty, Simbar-Šipak (c. 1025-1008 BC), was described as “soldier of the dynasty of Damiq-ilišu,” in a historical chronicle.[i 7]


  1. ^ CBS 19797, published as Hilprecht’s BE 20 no. 47 (1906).
  2. ^ The ‘’Ur-Isin king list’’, MS 1686 gives 4 years.
  3. ^ Ash. 1923.444 does not list him.
  4. ^ HS 2008 & CBS 9999 (Nippur), IB 1090 (Isin).
  5. ^ Cone A7556.
  6. ^ Weidner Chronicle (ABC 19).
  7. ^ Dynastic Chronicle (ABC 18) v 3.


  1. ^ Alternative reading of the name: Irnene.
  2. ^ Year 16 of Sîn-muballiṭ as recorded at CDLI, Fitzgerald says year 17.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jöran Friberg (2007). A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts: Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection: Cuneiform Texts. Springer. pp. 233–235.
  2. ^ Douglas Frayne (1990). Old Babylonian period (2003-1595 BC): Early Periods, Volume 4 (RIM The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia). University of Toronto Press. pp. 102–106.
  3. ^ a b M. Fitzgerald (2002). The Rulers of Larsa. Yale University Dissertation. pp. 139–144.