Dudu of Akkad

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Dudu the Great King of Akkad on an alabaster vase fragment Louvre Museum AO 6773.jpg
"Dudu the Great King of Akkad"
𒁺𒁺 𒁕𒈝 𒈗 𒀀𒂵𒉈𒆠
du-du da-num lugal a-ga-de3{ki}
on an alabaster vase fragment, Louvre Museum AO 6773.[1]
King of the Akkadian Empire
Reignc. 2189  BC – 2169  BCE
The rule of Dudu corresponds to a weakening of the Akkadian Empire, and increasing troubles with the Gutians. 19th century illustration.

Dudu (Sumerian: 𒁺𒁺, du-du), was a 22nd-century BCE king of the Akkadian Empire, who reigned for 21 years according to the Sumerian king list.

He is depicted as becoming king during the time of relative anarchy that had followed the death of Shar-Kali-Sharri.[2] The king list mentions four other figures who had been competing for the throne during a three-year period after Sharkalisharri's death. There are no other surviving records referencing any of these competitors, but a few artifacts with inscriptions confirming Dudu's rule over a rump Akkadian state that may have included little more than the capital, Akkad itself.[3] His inscriptions present him simply as "King of Akkad":

"Dudu the mighty, king of Agade: Amar-šuba the scribe (is) his servant."

— Seal inscription of Amar-šuba.[4]

He also seems to have campaigned against former Akkadian subjects to the south, including Girsu, Umma and Elam.[5] Dudu is said to have campaigned against Umma (vicinity of Girsu).[6] One inscription relates directly to his destruction of Girsu:

"To {d}inanna Ištar, Dudu, king of Agade, when Girsu he smote, from the booty of Girsu he dedicated it."

— Nippur fragment of Dudu.[7]

Dudu may also have campaigned against Elam, but this depends on a dubious interpretation of one of his year names.[8][6] Unlike preceding Akkadian kings, there are no certain "year names" known from this time, thus it is unlikely that Dudu could have actually reigned so long.

An alabaster vase in the Louvre Museum, since the year 2000,[9][10] has the following inscription:[11]

Alabaster vase of Dudu of Akkad, Louvre Museum AO 31549.[12][13]

𒁺𒁺 𒁕𒈝 𒈗 𒀀𒂵𒉈𒆠 𒀀𒈾 𒀭𒊊𒀕𒃲 𒀀𒉈𒀝𒆠 𒀀𒈬𒊒
du-du da-num lugal a-ga-de3{ki} a-na {d}ne3-iri11-gal a-pi5-ak{ki} a mu-ru

"Dudu, the Great king of Akkad, for Nergal of Apiak has dedicated this"

— Vase of Dudu, King of Akkad, circa 2170 BCE. Louvre Museum, AO 31549[14][15]

The inroads of the Gutians seem to have caused a fairly rapid collapse of Akkadian power during this period of instability, and it has even been suggested that one of the four named rivals for the throne, Ilulu, was himself a Gutian ruler. After this period, it seems Agade became much less important.[6]

Dudu was succeeded by his son Shu-turul per the king list, who became the last known king of the Akkadian Empire.


  1. ^ Thureau-Dangin, F. (François) (1918). La chronologie des dynasties de Sumer et d'Accad. Paris : Leroux. p. 63.
  2. ^ The first great civilizations: life in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Egypt by Jacquetta Hopkins Hawkes
  3. ^ "CDLI-Found Texts". cdli.ucla.edu.
  4. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  5. ^ Gwendolyn Leick, 2002, Who's Who in the Ancient Near East, p. 49.
  6. ^ a b c "One of its kings, Dudu, campaigned against Umma and Susa, but Agade was thereafter an unimportant place, although attested into the Achaemenid period" in Research, American Schools of Oriental (1997). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. Oxford University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-19-511215-3.
  7. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  8. ^ Potts, D. T. (1999). The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge University Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-521-56496-0.
  9. ^ "Site officiel du musée du Louvre". cartelfr.louvre.fr.
  10. ^ Formerly Collection Jean-Philippe Mariaud de Serres "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  11. ^ Delaporte, L. (2013). Mesopotamia. Routledge. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-136-19924-0.
  12. ^ "Site officiel du musée du Louvre". cartelfr.louvre.fr.
  13. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  14. ^ "Site officiel du musée du Louvre". cartelfr.louvre.fr.
  15. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  16. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Akkad
King of Kish, Uruk, Lagash, and Umma
Overlord of Elam

ca. 2189 – 2169 BCE (Middle)
Succeeded by