Hammurabi I

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Hammurabi I
Great King of Yamhad
Reign c. 1764 BC – c. 1750 BC. Middle chronology
Predecessor Yarim-Lim I
Successor Abba-El I
Great King of Yamhad
Issue Abba-El I
Princess Tatteya.[1]
Father Yarim-Lim I
Mother Gashera

Hammurabi I (reigned c. 1764 BC – c. 1750 BC - Middle chronology) is the third attested king of Yamhad (Halab).[2]

Early life[edit]

Hammurabi was the son of the Aleppan king Yarim-Lim I, and his mother was queen Gashera.[3] His private secretary as a crown prince was Sin-Abushu and is known from the tablets of Mari.[4] Nothing else is known about him before he ascended the throne, following the death of his father in ca. 1764 BC.


Yarim-Lim I left the kingdom on the height of its power and Hammurabi was among the strongest kings of his age, with no threats to his power as his father had made alliances with Babylon and Eshnunna and eliminated the danger coming from Qatna.

At the beginning of his reign, Hammurabi I sent troops to aid the Babylonian king Hammurabi against Siwe-Palar-Hupak of Elam who invaded Babylon.[5] Amut-Pi-El of Qatna tried to form an alliance with the Elamite king,[6] but Zimri-Lim of Mari warned Hammurabi I and the Elamite envoys were captured on the borders as they were trying to return to Elam.[7] After defeating Elam, Hammurabi I sent Hammurabi of Babylon troops to aid him against Larsa.[8][9] The kingdom of Yamhad was of the same status as Babylon, evidenced by Hammurabi of Babylon's treatment of Yamhad's envoys which caused the delegates of Mari to complain. [10] The fact that Zimri-Lim became king with the help of Yamhad meant that Mari was a semi-client state of Yamhad,[11] and in the correspondence between Zimri-Lim and Hammurabi's father Yarim-Lim I, the king of Mari calls Yarim-Lim his father. This situation helped Yamhad's trade because of Mari's location between Babylon and Aleppo. On one occasion, Hammurabi sent an army of 10,000 troops to aid Zimri-Lim.[12] Yamhad's lordship over Mari was so strong that the king of Ugarit asked Hammurabi to intermediate with Zimri-Lim to let him visit the famous Palace of Mari.[13]

The political - military alliance with Babylon ended with Hammurabi of Babylon invading Mari and destroying the kingdom in ca. 1761 BC,[14] however economical relations continued as Babylon did not advance into Aleppo territory. The invasion of Mari had a negative impact on trade between the two kingdoms, as the road became dangerous because of the loss of Mari's protection to the caravans crossing that road.[15] Later in Hammurabi I's reign, the city of Carchemish came under Yamhad's domination.[14]

Death and Succession[edit]

Hammurabi I gave his son Yarim-Lim the city of Irridu.[16] He died ca. 1750 BC and was succeeded by his other son Abba-El I. Another son called Nakkusse appears in the Tablets of Alalakh, holding a high position in its court.[17]

King Hammurabi I of Yamhad (Halab)
 Died: 1750 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Yarim-Lim I
Great King of Yamhad
1764 – 1750 BC
Succeeded by
Abba-El I



  1. ^ wilfred van soldt. Akkadica, Volumes 111-120. p. 108. 
  2. ^ Douglas Frayne (1990-01-01). Old Babylonian Period (2003-1595 BC). p. 783. ISBN 9780802058737. 
  3. ^ Daniel E. Fleming. Democracy's Ancient Ancestors: Mari and Early Collective Governance. p. 322. 
  4. ^ Joan Aruz; Kim Benzel; Jean M. Evans (2008). Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. p. 4. ISBN 9781588392954. 
  5. ^ I. E. S. Edwards; C. J. Gadd; N. G. L. Hammond; E. Sollberger. The Cambridge Ancient History. p. 264. 
  6. ^ Wolfgang Heimpel. Letters to the King of Mari. p. 527. 
  7. ^ Dominique Charpin. Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia. p. 124. 
  8. ^ trevor Bryce (2013-03-07). The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia. p. 44. ISBN 9781134159086. 
  9. ^ Wolfgang Heimpel. Letters to the King of Mari. p. 95. 
  10. ^ Amanda H. Podany (2010-06-10). Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East. p. 73. ISBN 9780199798759. 
  11. ^ J. A. Emerton. Prophecy: Essays presented to Georg Fohrer on his sixty-fifth birthday. p. 75. 
  12. ^ Jack M. Sasson. The Military Establishments at Mari. p. 19. 
  13. ^ Michael C. Astour (1965). Hellenosemitica, an Ethnic and Cultural Study in West Semitic Impact on Mycenaean Greece. p. 328. 
  14. ^ a b William J. Hamblin (2013-01-11). Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 259. ISBN 9781134520626. 
  15. ^ Gwendolyn Leick (2007-08-08). The Babylonian World. p. 212. ISBN 9780203946237. 
  16. ^ Nadav Naʼaman. Canaan in the Second Millennium B.C.E. p. 286. 
  17. ^ Nadav Naʼaman. Canaan in the Second Millennium B.C.E. p. 289.