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Euphrates • Terqa • Tuttul
|Yaggid-Lim • Yahdun-Lim
Zimri-Lim (Queen Shibtu)
|Investiture of Zimri-Lim
Statue of Ebih-Il
Statue of Iddi-Ilum
Zimri-Lim was king of Mari from about 1775 to 1761 BC.
Zimri-Lim was the son or grandson of Iakhdunlim, but was forced to flee to Yamhad when his father was assassinated by his own servants during a coup. The city was occupied by Shamshi-Adad I, the king of Assur, who put his own son Yasmah-Adad on the throne. Shortly after the death of Shamshi-Adad I, Zimri-Lim returned from exile and was able to oust Yasmah-Adad from power with the help of Yarimlim, the king of Yamhad.
Zimri-Lim ruled Mari for about thirteen years, and campaigned extensively to establish his power in the neighbouring areas along the Euphrates and the Khabur valley. He extended his palace in the city, which was possibly the largest at the time, and certainly the envy of other kings.
He was also active on a wider stage, and for a time (perhaps about 1764 BC) was allied with Hammurabi in his wars against Elam, Eshnunna, and Larsa. Zimri-Lim lent troops to Hammurabi's campaigns, and although the two kept extensive diplomatic contacts, it appears they never met in person.
After the defeat of Elam, there was no outside force to keep the precarious balance of power between the Kings of Mesopotamia. The alliance between Zimri-Lim and Hammurabi deteriorated after Babylon's conquest of Larsa. In 1762 BC, Hammurabi conquered and sacked Mari (though it may be that the city had surrendered without a fight), despite the previous alliance. At this time Zimri-Lim disappears from historical view, and is presumed to have been killed.
Zimri-Lim's personal life is partly known through tablets preserved in the state archive of Mari. He married Shibtu, a princess of Yamkhad (Aleppo and surrounding territory), and is known to have had at least eight daughters through various wives. Several of his daughters were married to rulers of local towns, and two others are known to have become priestesses. Correspondence between the king and his daughters provides evidence that Zimri-Lim thought highly of women and considered them competent at making decisions.
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- Sasson, J. M. (1998). "The king and I. A Mari king in changing perceptions". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 118 (4): 453–470.
- Charpin, D. (1992). "Les legendes de sceaux de Mari: Nouvelles Données". In Young, Gordon D. Mari in Retrospect: Fifty Years of Mari and Mari Studies. Eisenbrauns. pp. 59–76. ISBN 978-0-931464-28-7.
- Van de Mieroop, Marc (2005). King Hammurabi of Babylon (Third ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 16–78. ISBN 1-4051-2660-4.