Rim-Sin I.

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Rim-Sin I ("wild bull of the moon god ") was the last king of the ancient Babylonian dynasty of Larsa in Mesopotamia . According to the middle chronology, he ruled from 1822 to 1763 BC. And united southern and central Mesopotamia into a single empire. Rīm-Sîn I succeeded his brother Warad-Sîn and has the longest term of office in the history of Mesopotamia with 60 years of reign. Under Rīm-Sîn I, Larsa experienced the greatest heyday. This era was ended by the conquest of the kingdom of Larsa by Hammurabi I .

Foundation tablet Nanaia Louvre AO4412.jpg

Historical sources

Information on Rīm-Sîn I is left in numerous written documents. These include so-called royal inscriptions, which u. a. Keep temple buildings in mind. Furthermore, names of the years are written down, which were named after an important event of the previous year in praise of the king. Such events were usually of a military or structural nature. The seamlessly handed down year names form the chronological framework of the rule of Rīm-Sîns I. Finally, royal correspondence and documents from the economy and justice are known, from which foreign and domestic political information can be derived. However, this with considerable restrictions, as many documents come from illegal excavations and have come to the public through the art trade. The provenance and archaeological evidence are often unknown or uncertain.


Earlier years

The kingdom of Larsa, which Rīm-Sîn I, son of Kudur-Mabuk , inherited from his brother Warad-Sîn, extended from the Persian Gulf to central Babylonia. In addition to the capital, Larsa, the rulership included well-known cities such as Ur , Girsu and Nippur . The first names of the year indicate the construction of temples and the construction of city walls and irrigation canals.


In the 13th year of his reign, Rīm-Sîn I led a victorious battle against a powerful alliance of neighboring city-states, including Uruk , Isin and Babylon . Conquests continued successfully in the following years; This at least seems to be borne out by the names of the years. Such campaigns were followed by years, the names of which reflect intensive work on irrigation systems. Larsa was in the rain-poor southern Mesopotamia, for whose agriculture artificial irrigation was essential. These year names can also be interpreted as evidence of a lack of military success.


A decisive turning point was the conquest of the rival western kingdom of Isin in the 30th year of Rīm-Sin I's reign. Although the second half of the reign is poorly documented in contemporary sources, "... the kingdom of Larsa ... seems to have reached its climax". It is noteworthy that the next 30 year names are uniformly: "Year X after the conquest of Isin". It is scientifically controversial whether these terms reflect the stability or instability of the state of Larsa.

The End

During the second half of Rīm-Sîns I's reign, King Hammurabi I became a central leader in neighboring Babylon. Conflicts between the two states did not fail to exist and led to attacks on the state territory of Rīm-Sîns I. Finally, after six months of siege, the city of Larsa was destroyed in 1763 BC. Taken by Hammurapi I. He integrated the extensive reforms of Rīm-Sîns I into his administrative system. Hammurapi I had the probably 80-year-old Rīm-Sîn I and his sons imprisoned and deported to Babylon. There, Rīm-Sîns I trace is lost in contemporary cuneiform documents .

Reforms in the economy and society

The second half of the reign of Rīm-Sîns I was marked by numerous reforms. At the beginning of his reign, local temples and entrepreneurs made use of the country's resources, later the administration of the country was centralized and subordinated to the palace. The considerably strengthened position of the royal palace in Larsa also led to agricultural reforms. So the order of the fields was transferred to palace members, who in return had to do military service. Furthermore, debt reliefs for certain population groups are documented in the clay tablets in order to restore the original order within society. This also includes the restriction of debt slavery, the expropriation of large estates and the state decreed waiver of excessive interest.


The deification of the king, which was not in use at the time, is taken up again by Rīm-Sîn I and used in relation to his person. From the 20th year of his reign, his name is supplemented by a divine determinative , a cuneiform character that represents the divine status, which precedes the personal name . In addition to the deification of the king, this form of naming was also used for administrative officials and members of the ruling family.

In 1764 BC Rīm -Sîn I appointed his sister Enanedu as entum priestess (EREŠ.DINGIR = divine mistress) of the moon god Nanna in Ur. This dignity was considered the highest religious office in southern Mesopotamia.


  • Dominique Charpin, Dietz Otto Edzard, Marten Stol: Mesopotamia. The ancient Babylonian period. Academic Press Friborg, Friborg 2004, ISBN 3-7278-1488-8 : "(Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 160/4)" (Relevant sections in French)
  • Dietz Otto Edzard: History of Mesopotamia. 2nd Edition. CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-51664-1 .
  • Douglas Frayne: Old Babylonian Period (2003-1595 BC) . University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1990, ISBN 0-8020-5873-6 : "(The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia - Early Periods, Volume 4)"
  • Marc Van de Mieroop: The reign of Rim-Sin . Revue d´Assyriologie et d´archéologie orientale. tape 87 , no. 1 , 1993, p. 47-69 .
  • Rosel Pientka-Hinz: Rīm-Sîn I and II . Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Ed .: Michael Streck. tape 11 . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2006, ISBN 3-11-020383-9 , pp. 367-371 .
  • Walther Sallaberger, Fabienne Huber Vulliet: Priest . Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Ed .: Michael Streck. tape 10 . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-018535-0 , pp. 617-640 .
  • Wolfram von Soden: ruler in the ancient Orient . Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1954, ISBN 3-642-80527-2 .

Web links


  1. ^ Marc Van de Mieroop: The reign of Rim-Sin. P. 49
  2. ^ Marc Van de Mieroop: The reign of Rim-Sin. P. 53
  3. Rosel Pientka-Hinz: Rīm-Sîn I. and II. P. 369
  4. ^ Marc Van de Mieroop: The reign of Rim-Sin. Pp. 55, 57
  5. Walther Sallaberger, Fabienne Huber Vulliet: Priester, pp. 617–640
predecessor Office successor
Warad-Sin King of Larsa
1758–1699 BC Chr./1822–1763 BC Chr.
Babylonian rule