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Itti-Marduk-balatu (king)

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King of Babylon
Stone tablet (type of kudurru), of the time of Itti-Marduk-balāṭu recording sale of arable land.[i 1]
Reignc. 1135–1138 BC[a]
House2nd Dynasty of Isin

Itti-Marduk-balāṭu, inscribed mKI-dAMAR.UTU-DIN[b] “with Marduk (there is) life,” c. 1135–1128 BC, was the 2nd king of the 2nd Dynasty of Isin that ruled over Babylon, and he was the son of its founder, Marduk-kabit-aḫḫēšu. He is thought to be the first of the dynasty actually to rule from the city of Babylon.[2]


Line art for Itti-Marduk-balāṭu’s stone inscription with elaborate titulary.[i 2]

He reigned for 8 years according to the King List C.[i 3] The King List A[i 4] records 6 years and the Synchronistic King List[i 5] inserts someone with this name after Marduk-nādin-aḫḫē, the 6th king c. 1099–1082 BC, although this part of the text has since crumbled away or been disputed.[2] An inscription[i 2] gives him some unusual titles, including šar šarr[i], king of kings, migir il[ῑ], favorite of the gods, and šakkanak bāb[ili], viceroy of Babylon,[3] and includes the epithet of nibītu, chosen, of Anum and Dagan in the royal titulary.[4]

There are five extant economic tablets dated to his reign[i 6] and these include the disposition of grain from the fields after harvest in his first year, provisions for the royal stables and officials, located in the town of Dūr-Sumulael on the Imgur Ishtar canal near Babylon, also hire paid for rented asses (2 tablets), and an inventory of slaves and their families also in his first year.[5] There is a black diorite tablet[i 1] dated to his reign which is engraved on both sides by the scribe Bau-akhu-iddina, the son of Sin-b[el-ki]tti, the seer, with a copy of a deed recording the sale of certain arable land and gardens in the neighborhood of Bit-Udashi, Bit-Sapri, and Bit-Naniauti, by [Eulmash]-dinanni, the son of Sin-epiri.[6]

Like his father before him, he made incursions into Assyria.[7] The Elamites, under their king Shilhak-Inshushinak, the brother of Kutir-Nahhunte, raided repeatedly into Mesopotamia up to the Tigris and as far north as Nuzi around this period.[8] It is believed that he was one of the richest citizens and kings of Babylon, with estimated income of 10 babylonian shekels/month, which will be circa 14 400€/month today, considering prices of silver, used in currency and median inflation rate.[9]


  1. ^ a b BM 91015, BBSt. No. XXX.
  2. ^ a b Inscribed stone VA 2577, published as VS I 112.
  3. ^ King List C, ii 18.
  4. ^ King List A, BM 33332 iv 2.
  5. ^ Synchronistic King List, Assur 14616c, ii, 18.
  6. ^ Economic tablets Gron. 846–850 in the Böhl collection, Leiden.


  1. ^ Previous scholarship assumed that Marduk-kabit-ahheshu, Itti-Marduk-balatu's predecessor, ruled for the first years of his reign concurrently with the last Kassite king, but per Beaulieu (2018), more recent research suggests that this was not the case. Itti-Marduk-balatu has previously been dated to about 1140–1132 BC, with 1135–1138 BC being Beaulieu's revised dates.[1]
  2. ^ [Itti]-(ilu)Marduk-balâṭu.


  1. ^ Beaulieu, Paul-Alain (2018). A History of Babylon, 2200 BC - AD 75. Pondicherry: Wiley. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-1405188999.
  2. ^ a b D. J. Wiseman (1975). "XXXI: Assyria and Babylonia, c. 1200-1000 BC". In I. E. S. Edwards (ed.). Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region, c. 1380-1000 BC. Cambridge University Press. p. 448.
  3. ^ Barbara N. Porter (1994). Images, Power, and Politics: Figurative Aspects of Esarhaddon's Babylonian Policy. Amer Philosophical Society. p. 80.
  4. ^ Lluis Feliu (2003). The God Dagan in Bronze Age Syria. Brill Academic Pub. p. 172.
  5. ^ J. A. Brinkman (1999). Dietz Otto Edzard (ed.). Reallexikon Der Assyriologie Und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Ia – Kizzuwatna. Vol. 5. Walter De Gruyter. pp. 220–221.
  6. ^ L. W. King (1912). Babylonian boundary-stones and memorial tablets in the British Museum. London: British Museum. pp. 108–110.
  7. ^ Stephen Bertman (2005). Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. Oxford University Press. p. 90.
  8. ^ Elizabeth Carter, Matthew W. Stolper (1985). Elam: Surveys of Political History and Archaeology. University of California Press. p. 41.
  9. ^ "Commodity Prices in Babylon 385 - 61 BC". www.iisg.nl. Retrieved 2022-05-29.