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Ilu-šūma, inscribed DINGIR-šum-ma,[i 1] son of Šalim-ahum[1] was the 32nd king of Assyria, ca. 1900 BC (short chronology). The length of his reign is uncertain, as the Assyrian King List records him as one of the “six kings [whose names were written on (?)] bricks, (but) whose eponyms are not known (?),”[2] referring to the lists of officials after which years were named. His son, Erišum, is identified as the king who succeeded him and reigned for 30 years, (or 40, depending on the copy of the King List),[nb 1] followed by Ilu-shuma's other son, Ikunum.


He titled himself “vice-regent of Aššur, beloved of the god Aššur and the goddess Ištar.” The Synchronistic King List[i 2] records “Eighty-two kings of Assyria from Erišum I, son of Ilu-šūma, to Aššurbanipal, son of Esarhaddon” in the concluding colophon.

The Chronicle of early kings records his contemporary as Su-abu, who was once identified with the founder of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon, Sumu-abum, ca. 1830 BC.[i 3] The word “battles”[nb 2] is discernible on the subsequent, fragmentary line of the Chronicle and this has led some historians to believe Ilu-šūma may have engaged in conflict with his southerly neighbor.

A brick inscription of Ilu-šūma describes his relations with the south and reads The freedom[nb 3] of the Akkadians and their children I established. I purified their copper. I established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur, Awal, and Kismar, Der of the god Ištaran, as far as the City (Aššur).[1] The historian M. Trolle Larsen has suggested that this represented an attempt to lure traders from the south of Assur with tax privileges and exemptions, to monopolize the exchange of copper from the gulf for tin from the east.[3] The cities cited therefore are the three major caravan routes the commodities would have traveled rather than campaign routes for the king.[4]

His construction activities included building the old temple of Ištar, a city wall, subdivision of the city into house plots and diversion of the flow of two springs to the city gates, “Aushum” and “Wertum”.[1] Tukultī-Ninurta I recorded that he preceded him by 720 years, on his own inscriptions commemorating his construction of an adjacent Ištar temple.[2] From this it might be deduced that, despite later being among the "kings whose year names are not known", the reign length of Ilu-shuma was still known in the time of Tukulti-Ninurta I to be 21 years.[5]

Larsen has suggested that he may have been a contemporary of Iddin Dagān and Išme-Dagān of Isin, which would clash with the synchronization with Sumu-abum,[2] but make more sense given the current chronology favored.[clarification needed]


  1. ^ Khorsabad copy of the Assyrian King List i 24, 26.
  2. ^ Synchronistic King List iv 17.
  3. ^ Chronicle of early kings, BM 26472, 37.


  1. ^ Lines 27 to 28: [IE-r]i-šu dumu Iilu-šum-ma [šá li-ma-ni]-šu-ni 40 mumeš lugalta.
  2. ^ Battles, gigam.didli.
  3. ^ Freedom = addurāru.


  1. ^ a b c A. K. Grayson (1972). Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, Volume 1. Otto Harrassowitz. pp. 7–8.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "grayson" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c Jean-Jacques Glassner (2005). Mesopotamian Chronicles. SBL. pp. 137, 7, 271. 
  3. ^ M. Trolle Larsen (1976). The Old Assyrian City-State and its Colonies. Akademisk Forlag. p. 87. 
  4. ^ Emélie Kuhrt (1998). "The Old Assyrian merchants". In Helen Parkins, Christopher Smith. Trade, traders, and the ancient city. Routledge. p. 20. 
  5. ^ Cambridge Ancient History: Assyria 2060-1816 BC, 1966, p. 22.

Preceded by
King of Assyria
c. 1830 BC
Succeeded by
Erishum I