Naram-Sin of Assyria

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Narām-Sîn or –Suen, inscribed in cuneiform on contemporary seal impressions as dna-ra-am-dEN.ZU, was the or waklum of Aššur (da-šùr), listed as the 37th king of Assyria on the later Assyrian king lists, where he is inscribed mna-ram-dEN.ZU,[i 1][i 2][i 3] or a fragmentary list where he appears as -d30.[i 4] The length of his reign is uncertain, but based on various excavated eponym lists, the lists of officials after whom the Assyrians named their years, his reign and that of his son and successor Erišum II had a combined length of 64 years.[1]:29 As his successor’s rule was prematurely ended by the conquest of Šamši-Adad I, it is likely that his reign was the greater part of the period and the broken figure on the Nassouhi king list ends 4, so perhaps he reigned 44 or 54 years.(ca. 1872 onward, middle chronology).[2]:45 Despite this, there are no extant monumental inscriptions recording his activities.[3] He was son and successor of the short-reigning Puzur-Aššur II, filiation preserved in his seal impression on the envelopes of the waklum-letters to his expat Anatolian-based traders at Kaneš as well as the later king lists.


He was named for the illustrious Narām-Sîn of Akkad and, like his grandfather, Šarru-kīn I, took the divine determinative in his name. He should not be confused with the Narām-Sîn who ruled Eshnunna for around twelve years, the successor and son, as identified on an inscription, of the long-reigning Ebiq-Adad II.[4] It is probable that he was himself, however, contemporaneous with the earlier part of Ebiq-Adad II’s reign, whose last attestation was in the Mari Chronicle (MEC B line 25) some fifty-six years after Narām-Sîn’s inauguration.[2]:46

The city-state of Aššur which he had inherited would have been fairly wealthy as the hub of the trading network at the height of its Old Assyrian activity and, despite the destruction of the trading post at Kaneš partway through his reign, commerce apparently continued elsewhere.[2]:46

The Assyrian king list records that Šamši-Adad I “went away to Babylonia in the time of Narām-Sîn”. He was not to return until taking Ekallatum, pausing three years and then overthrowing Erišum II, Narām-Sîn’s son and successor.[5]

List of eponyms[edit]

The last twenty-seven eponyms listed on the extant Kültepe Eponym Lists (KEL) represent his first years, ending nearly a decade before the ancient trading colony at Kaneš was destroyed (ca. 1837, the II layer), during his thirty-fifth year.[1]:29 The Mari Eponym Chronicle (MEC B), which resumes the listing until the seizure of Ekallatum by Šamši-Adad I, provides no clue as to when the succession of Narām-Sîn by his son took place. Also, a gap of up to four years is apparent between the end of the KEL and the beginning of MEC B.[2]:5 The dating is per middle chronology:

1872 BC Šu-Suen, son of Bab-ilum
1871 BC Aššur-malik, son of Alahum
1870 BC Aššur-imitti, son of Ili-bani
1869 BC Enna-Suen, son of Šu-Aššur
1868 BC Akkutum, son of Alahum
1867 BC Mas.i-ili, son of Irišum
1866 BC Iddi-ahum, son of Kudanum
1865 BC Samaya, son of Šu-Balum
1864 BC Ili-Anum, son of Sukkalia
1863 BC Ennam-Anum, son of Aššur-malik
1862 BC Ennum-Aššur, son of Duni-Ea
1861 BC Enna-Suen, son of Šu-Ištar
1860 BC Hannanarum
1859 BC Dadia
1858 BC Kapatia
1857 BC Išma-Aššur, son of Ea-dan
1856 BC Aššur-mutappil, son of Azizum
1855 BC Šu-Nirah, son of Azuzaya
1854 BC Iddin-abum
1853 BC Ili-dan, son of Azuza
1852 BC Aššur-imitti, son of Iddin-Ištar
1851 BC Buzia, son of Abia
1850 BC Dadia, son of Šu-Ilabrat
1849 BC Puzur-Ištar, son of Nur-ilišu
1848 BC Isaya, son of Dagan-malkum
1847 BC Abu-Šalim, son of Ili-Anum
1846 BC Aššur-re'i, son of Ili-emuqi


  1. ^ SDAS List, IM 60484, i 34.
  2. ^ Nassouhi List, Istanbul A. 116 (Assur 8836), i 33.
  3. ^ Khorsabad List, IM 60017 (excavation nos.: DS 828, DS 32-54), i 34.
  4. ^ Assyrian Kinglist fragment VAT 9812 = KAV 14: ‘3


  1. ^ a b Klaas R Veenhof (2008). Mesopotamia: The Old Assyrian Period. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 
  2. ^ a b c d Klaas R. Veenhof (2003). The Old Assyrian List of Year Eponyns from Karum Kanish and its Chronological Implications. Turkish History Society. 
  3. ^ A. K. Grayson (1972). Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, Volume I. Otto Harrassowitz. p. 18. 
  4. ^ Stephanie Dalley, A. T. Reyes (1998). "Mesopotamian Contact and Influence in the Greek World". In Stephanie Dalley. The Legacy of Mesopotamia. Oxford University Press. p. 87. 
  5. ^ I. J. Gelb (1954). "Two Assyrian King Lists". Journal of Near Eastern Studies 13 (4): 212–213. 
Preceded by
Puzur-Aššur II
King of Assyria
1872–1828/18 BC
Succeeded by
Erišum II