Ibbi-Sin ( sux, , ), son of
Shu-Sin Shu-Sin, also Šu-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒋗𒀭𒂗𒍪: ''dingir, DŠudingir, DSin (mythology), Sîn'', after the Moon God Suen, Sîn", the ":Wikt:𒀭, 𒀭" being a silent honorific for "Divine", formerly read Gimil-Sin) was king of Sumer and Akkadian ...
, was king of
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

and Akkad and last king of the Ur III dynasty, and reigned c. 2028–2004 BCE (
Middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions and texts customarily record events in terms of a succession of officials or rulers: "in the year X of ki ...
) or possibly c. 1964–1940 BCE (
Short chronology The short chronology is one of the chronologies of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 1728–1686 BC and the sack of Babylon to 1531 BC. The absolute 2nd millennium BC dates resulting from these re ...
). During his reign, the Sumerian empire was attacked repeatedly by
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
s. As faith in Ibbi-Sin's leadership failed,
Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Br ...

declared its independence and began to raid as well. Ibbi-Sin ordered fortifications built at the important cities of
Nippur Nippur (Sumerian: ''Nibru'', often logographically recorded as , EN.LÍLKI, "Enlil City;"The Cambridge Ancient History: Prolegomena & Prehistory': Vol. 1, Part 1. Accessed 15 Dec 2010. AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian l ...
, but these efforts were not enough to stop the raids or keep the empire unified. Cities throughout Ibbi-Sin's empire fell away from a king who could not protect them, notably
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
under the Amorite ruler
Ishbi-Erra Ishbi-Erra (Akkadian language, Akkadian: 𒀭𒅖𒁉𒀴𒊏 ''Išbi-erra'', name was written phonetically in cuneiform: d''iš-bi-ir₃-ra'', in contemporary inscriptions; ''Floruit, fl.'' ''c.'' 1953 BC — ''c.'' 1920 BC by the short chronology ...
. Ibbi-Sin was, by the end of his kingship, left with only the city of
. In 2004 or 1940 BCE, the Elamites, along with "tribesmen from the region of
Shimashki The Shimashki or Simashki dynasty (, ''lugal-ene si-mash-giki'' "Kings of the country of Simashgi"), was an early dynasty of the ancient region of Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite: ''hatamti''; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Sylla ...
in the Zagros Mountains" sacked Ur and took Ibbi-Sin captive; he was taken to the city of Elam where he was imprisoned and, at an unknown date, died.

Amorite invasion

The Amorites were considered a backward people by Mesopotamian standards; Ibbi-Sin's 17th year was officially named "Year the Amorites, the powerful south wind who, from the remote past, have not known cities, submitted to Ibbi-Sin the king of Ur." However, despite his father Shu-Sin having built a "wall of Martu" across Mesopotamia against Amorite incursions, these were penetrated early in Ibbi-Sin's reign. Scholars have suggested that, by the reign of Ibbi-Sin, the empire was already in decline due to long-term drought – in fact, the same drought that helped to take down the
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
c. 2193 BCE may have been responsible for the fall of Ur III.
Studies of
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
sediments indicate that the stream flow of the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
was very low around 2100–2000 BCE. ..Any damage to the agricultural system by enemy raids, bureaucratic mismanagement, or an inattentive ruler would result in food shortages
In years seven and eight of Ibbi-Sin's kingship, the price of grain increased to 60 times the norm, which means that the success of the Amorites in disrupting the Ur III empire is, at least in part, a product of attacks on the agricultural and irrigation systems.

Invasion by Elam

These attacks brought famine and caused an economic collapse in the empire, paving the way for the Elamites under
Kindattu Kindattu (, ''ki-in-da-tu'', also Kindadu, reigned ca. 2000 BC, middle Chronology) 6th king of Shimashki Dynasty The Shimashki or Simashki dynasty (, ''lugal-ene si-mash-giki'' "Kings of the country of Simashgi"), was an early dynasty of the anc ...
to strike into Ur and capture the king. The
Lament for Sumer and Ur The lament for Sumer and Urim or the lament for Sumer and Ur is a poem and one of five known Mesopotamian City Laments, Mesopotamian "city laments"—dirges for ruined cities in the voice of the city's tutelary deity, tutelary goddess. The oth ...
describe the fall of Ur and the fate of Ibbi-Sin:

Year names

All the year names of Ibbi-Sin are known, documenting the major events of his reign. The main year names are:


File:Ibbi-Sin cylinder seal.jpg, Ibbi-Sin cylinder seal, with Ibbi-Sin enthroned. Inscription: "Ibbi-Sin the strong king, king of Ur, King of the four quarters f the world// Ilum-bani the overseer, son of Ili-ukin your servant". File:Administrative Tablet, Third Dynasty of Ur, 2026 BC.jpg, Administrative tablet of the reign of Ibbi-Sin, Third Dynasty of Ur, 2026 BC. File:Bead dedicated to the Moon god-AO 27622-IMG 0571-black-wb.jpg, Votive bead dedicated to the Moon god by Ibbi-Sin, god-king of Ur, in recognition for saving his life: "To (the god) Nanna, his master, Ibbi-Sin, god of his country, strong king, king or Ur, king of the four regions, has, for his life, dedicated this bead." File:Ibbi-Sin (name).jpg, Name of Ibbi-Sin () in inscription and standard cuneiform. File:Receipt for garnments sent by boat to Dilmun BM 130462.jpg, Receipt for garments sent by boat to
Dilmun Dilmun, or Telmun, (Sumerian: , later 𒉌𒌇(𒆠), ni.tukki = DILMUNki; ar, دلمون) was an ancient East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematic ...
in the 1st year of Ibbi-Sin's rule. British Museum BM 130462.Transcription:


, - {{Rulers of Sumer Sumerian rulers 21st-century BC Sumerian kings 20th-century BC Sumerian kings Third Dynasty of Ur