Shammuramat

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Shammuramat
Queen of Assyria
Reign 811 BCE – 808 BCE or 809 BCE - 792 BCE
Successor Adad-nirari III
Spouse Shamshi-Adad V
Issue Adad-nirari III

Shammurāmat or Sammuramat was an empress regnant of Assyria between 811 and 808 BCE [1] or from 809 to 792 BCE.[2] She was one of the first known women to rule an empire.

Family[edit]

Shammuramat was a wife of King Shamshi-Adad V and after he died in 811 BC, she ruled the Neo-Assyrian Empire as its regent for five years until her son Adad-nirari III came of age.[1] Other chronologies suggest that her regency lasted from 809 to 792 BCE.[2]

She ruled at a time of political uncertainty, which is one of the possible explanations for why Assyrians may have accepted her rule (as normally a woman as ruler would have been unthinkable). In the city of Ashur, she had an obelisk built and inscribed, which read:

Stele of Sammuramat, queen of Shamshi-Adad, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, Mother of Adad Nirari, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, Daughter-in-Law of Shalmaneser, King of the Four Regions of the World.[3]

Her son was King Adad-nirari III and her grandson was King Shalmaneser IV.[4]

Monuments[edit]

Shammuramat's stela (memorial stone) has been found at Assur, while an inscription at Nimrud indicates that she was dominant there after the death of her husband and before the rule of her son.

Semiramis[edit]

The legendary Semiramis is usually considered a purely mythical figure; however, there is evidence in Assyrian records suggesting that she may, in fact, be a Greek reflection of Shammuramat. This identification is disputed. Another possibility is that she is given that title after death to reflect similarities with an earlier Sumerian deity.[1]

See also[edit]

Hatshepsut

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sammu-ramat (queen of Assyria)". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  2. ^ a b Reilly, Jim (2000) "Contestants for Syrian Domination" in "Chapter 3: Assyrian & Hittite Synchronisms" The Genealogy of Ashakhet;
  3. ^ "Sammu-Ramat and Semiramis: The Inspiration and the Myth". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  4. ^ Georges Roux: Ancient Iraq, Penguin Books, London 1992, ISBN 0-14-012523-X, page 302.