Tukulti-Ninurta I.

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to the Assyrian king list, Tukulti-Ninurta I ruled for 36 years as the Assyrian king of the Central Assyrian period. The name means: "My trust rests in Ninurta ". He was the son of Shalmaneser I.

author Reign Remarks
Grayson 1969 1244-1208 BC Chr. middle chronology
Mob 1942 1242-1206 BC Chr.
Gasche et al. 1998 1240-1205 Ultra-short chronology
Freydank 1991 1233-1197

He managed to expand the power of Aššur significantly. Shortly after his accession to the throne, he attacked Babanḫi.


Tukultī-Ninurta I. built a new capital, Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta . It was on the east bank of the Tigris, not far from Aššur . It was heavily fortified and contained palaces (including é-gal me-šár-ra ), an Aššur temple ( é-kur me-šár-ra ) and a ziggurat . Tukultī-Ninurta I deployed numerous deportees in the construction of his new capital, Kar-Tukultī-Ninurta, including Kassites, Subaraeans (palace complexes), men from the Nairi countries, people from Katmuḫḫi , Alše , Purulumzi and Amadani.

The ration lists reveal:

In the later years of his reign he also expanded the fortification system of the city of Aššur. Tukultī-Ninurta had gušuru trees (probably conifers) felled by prisoners of war in the land of Meḫri, ​​probably located between the Tigris and the upper Zab . The beams were transported to Aššur and were used in the construction of the new palace.

A relief that shows him in two stages of movement is considered to be the earliest representation of motor skills (see photo of the relief there).


Tukultī-Ninurta I. calls himself Šar māt Karduniaš (King of Babylonia ) and bears the Babylonian titles Šamšu kiššat nišē "Sun of all peoples", Šar māt Sumeri u Akkadî (King of Sumer and Akkad), Šar kibrātt arbai "King of the four shores of the world "And nišīt d Aššur u d Šamaš" Favorite of Aššur and Šamaš ". "Sun of all peoples" he calls himself after the end of direct rule in Babylon.

Relationship with Hatti

In the first year of his reign, Tukultī-Ninurta crossed the Euphrates and, according to his military reports, which are recorded on two alabaster tablets from Kar-Tukultī-Ninurta from Tell B (area of ​​the Aššur temple), deported 28,800 Hittites to Assyria. Olmstead interpreted this as evidence of a major Hittite invasion, but few researchers have subscribed to this view. Klengel and Liverani want to start the relevant campaign much later. In the later course of his reign, relations with Hatti were largely peaceful. In the following years of government he moved to the East Tigrid foothills (Mat Qutî and Mat Papî), then the neighboring countries of Subartu , Katmuḫḫi and Alzi to the west, and finally attacked the Nairi countries in the north.

Victory over Babylon

The campaign against and the eventual victory of Tukultī-Ninurta over the king of the Kassites is described in the so-called Tukultī-Ninurta epic . It has been handed down on several clay tablets, the order of which is not always clear.

The king attacks the enemy at the head of his troops in his chariot , but must first turn around and flee. Later, however, Tukultī-Ninurta used this incident to challenge Kaštiliaš IV (approx. 1232 BC to 1225 BC), the king of Babylon : he would not find refuge in any fortress, regardless of how many victims he would offer to the gods that they would award him no victory. Before the decisive battle, Kaštiliaš questioned the interpreters. Tukultī-Ninurta prays to Shamash and reminds him of the alliance between himself and his ancestors. His warriors also implore the sun god to help them against the derogatory Kassites. In the battle itself, the Assyrians invoke the goddess of war Ištar . And indeed the gods themselves intervene in the battle: Ištar beats her lyre to cheer the warriors on to wild fury, Adad throws wind and rain at the opposing battle lines, Bel beats the enemy and consumes them with flames of fire. The warriors are so inflamed with fighting spirit that they throw off their armor and charge the enemy with their bare chests.

Tukultī-Ninurta reports: “At the lower sea of ​​the sunrise I set the border of my country”, which indicates a control of all Babylonia. Sippar and Babylon, Dilmun and Meluhha , Upper (Mediterranean) and Lower Sea (Persian Gulf), Subartu , Mat Qutî and the Nairi countries are listed among the dominated areas .

The destruction of Babylon and the kidnapping of the statue of Marduk and the transfer of the Aššur statue from Aššur to Kar-Tukultī-Ninurta seem to have been viewed by contemporaries as sacrilege and ultimately led to the overthrow of Tukultī-Ninurta. He was imprisoned by his son Aššur-nasir-pal and eventually killed. He was succeeded by another son, Aššur-nadin-apli.

As a text from Dūr-Katlimmu shows, iron has been made in Assyria since the reign of Tukultī-Ninurta.

Eponymous officials

  • Qarrad-Ashur
  • Urad-ilani, son of Išme-Adad
  • Abī-ilī
  • Aplija
  • Sulmānu-šumā-uṣur
  • Ina-Aššur-šuma-aatbat
  • Libūr-Zānin Aššur, first half of the government


  • R. Campbell Thompson: The Epic of Tukulti-Ninurta . In: The Annals of Archeology and Anthropology . Volume 20, p. 116 ff.
  • R. Campbell Thompson: The Excavations on the Temple of Sabu at Nineveh . In: Archaeologia NS. 1926, p. 128 ff.
  • G. Lambert: Three Unpublished Fragments of the Tukulti-Ninurta Epic. In: Archive for Orient Research . Volume 18, p. 38 ff.
  • PC Craigie: The Song of Deborah and the Epic of Tukulti-Ninurta. In: Journal of Biblical Literature . Volume 88/3, 1969, pp. 253-265.
  • Hannes D. Galter: 28,800 Hittites . In: Journal of Cuneiform Studies . Volume 40/2, 1988, pp. 217-235.
  • Albert T. Olmstead : History of Assyria . New York-London 1923
  • Horst Klengel : History of Syria in the 2nd millennium BC Berlin 1967/69.

Web links

supporting documents

  1. Erich Ebeling and Bruno Meissner , Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology. Walter de Gruyter, 1993, ISBN 311004451X , p. 268
  2. RIA 1 328f.
  3. ^ HD Galter, 28,800 Hittites. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 40/2, 1988, p. 228 and S. Jakob, Central Assyrian Administration and Social Structure. Cuneiform Monographs 29, 2003, p. 224.
  4. Betina Faist : The long-distance trade of the Assyrian Empire between the 14th and 11th centuries before Christ. AOAT 265, Münster, Ugarit Verlag 2001, 44
  5. E. Cancik-Kirschbaum , The Middle Assyrian Letters from Tell Šheh-Hamad, Berlin 1996, No. 16
  6. Amanda H. Podany, The Land of Ḫana. Kings, chronology and scribal tradition. Bethesda, CDL-Press 2002, 8, note 28
predecessor Office successor
Shalmaneser I. Assyrian king Aššur-nadin-apli