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Ur-Nammu (also Urnammu and Ur-Namma ) was a Sumerian king from 2112 to 2095 BC. From the city ​​of Ur in Mesopotamia . He founded the III. Dynasty of Ur and was initially general and governor of the Utuḫengal of Uruk on the throne of the king of Ur.

However, he quickly broke away from its supremacy. It is even speculated that Ur-Nammu was the brother of Utechengal. He began his career in Eschschu , a small town near Ur, from which his mother and her family probably came. There are indications in the sources that suggest that Ur-Nammu was initially inferior to Utuchengal.

When he finally shook off Utuchegal's power, he incorporated Uruk, Eridu , Larsa , Adab and Nippur , among others , after a victory over Namahani , a member of the Gudea dynasty from Lagaš, also the former state of Lagaš under his rule (it should be 23 City-states) and thus founded the third dynasty of Ur. Even parts of Akkad were under his rule. During the reformation of the state, he was guided by the old Sumerian traditions - especially the legendary city of Uruk , which is why this period is also called the Sumerian Renaissance . The reorganization resulted in centralization and bureaucratisation. Administration and jurisdiction have been reorganized, as shown by the cadastral texts and the law - Codex Ur-Nammu . In Uruk he installed one of his sons as the en- priest of the goddess Inanna . He had previously named one of his daughters high priestess of the moon god Nanna in Ur. For his coronation he moved to Nippur, the religious center of Sumer, where he sacrificed to the god Enlil . With that he had united the three most important religious centers in one hand.

Through this agreement of Sumer, he was also able to take over the sovereignty and supervision of long-distance trade. In the following years Ur was the center of trade with Magan and Meluḫḫa .

He had an eight-meter-high rampart and a wall built around the temple district in his capital, Ur, which had an estimated 30,000 inhabitants and an area of ​​about 63 hectares. Ur-Nammu is the client of the ziggurat of Ur and the ziggurat of Nanna . He had the canal and path system renewed and expanded. He also had the temples in other cities protected with walls. At the end of his life he began to rebuild the walls of Ur, which he could no longer finish.

Towards the end of his reign he grew up with the Elamites , who had allied themselves with the Guteans , a strong opponent. Urnammu died surprisingly after 18 years of reign, he was probably killed in a battle against the Guteans. He was succeeded by his son, King Sulgi .

Codex Ur-Nammu

The Codex Ur-Nammu is the oldest written collection of law. It is written in Sumerian and dates back to about 2100 BC. BC on behalf of Ur-Nammu or his son Šulgi.


predecessor Office successor
- King of Ur
2112–2095 BC Chr.