|Occupation||King of Hittite empire|
Labarna I was the traditional first King of the Hittites, ca. the early 16th century BC (short chronology). He was the traditional founder of the Hittite Old Kingdom (fl. ca. 1600 – 1450 BC), though his existence is sometimes questioned by modern scholars. His wife was Tawannanna.
Labarna was not the first in line to the throne. PU-Sarruma designated Labarna as his successor after his own sons revolted against him. Upon PU-Sarruma's death, Labarna and Papahdilmah, one of PU-Sarruma's sons, contended for the throne, with Labarna emerging victorious.
What little is known about him is culled mainly from the Telepinu Proclamation, which states that he overwhelmed his enemies and "made them borders of the sea", a statement which may refer to conquests as far as the Mediterranean coast in the south, and the Black Sea in the north. He installed his sons as governors in several cities including Tuwanuwa, Hupisna, Landa, and Lusna (the identities of these cities are uncertain, but thought to perhaps be Tyana, Heraclea Cybistra, Laranda, and Lystra). Through his conquests, he was responsible for laying the groundwork for the Hittite empire that was to come.
Labarna was actually a title of the early Hittite rulers, rather than a personal name. Given the lack of contemporary references, and the fact that Hattusili I also used the title Labarna, some modern scholars have proposed that later Hittite historians mistook references to Labarna as being a separate king before Hattusili I. According to this theory, Labarna I and Hattusili I ("Labarna II") were really one and the same ruler.
As a variant of the name Labarna, Tabarna occurs widely in Hattian, Hittite, Hurrian and Akkadian texts of the Hittite archives".
ca. early 16th century BC
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