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Shulgi ( dŠulgi, formerly read as Dungi) of
Ur
Ur
was the second king of the
Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
. He reigned for 48 years, from c. 2094 – c. 2046 BC (
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. 2030 – 1982 BC (
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 ...
). His accomplishments include the completion of construction of the
Great Ziggurat of Ur The Ziggurat (or Great Ziggurat) of Ur (Sumerian language, Sumerian: "Etemenniguru", meaning "temple whose foundation creates aura") is a Neo-Sumerian ziggurat in what was the city of Ur near Nasiriyah, in present-day Dhi Qar Governorate, Dhi ...
, begun by his father
Ur-Nammu Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: , ruled c. 2112 BC – 2094 BC middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions a ...
. On his inscriptions, he took the titles "King of Ur", "
King of Sumer and Akkad King of Sumer and Akkad (Sumerian: ''lugal Lugal ( Sumerian: ) is the Sumerian term for "king, ruler". Literally, the term means "big man." In Sumerian, ''lu'' "𒇽" is "man" and ''gal'' "𒃲 GAL (Borger 2003 nr. 553; U+120F2 𒃲) is t ...
" and " King of the four corners of the universe". He used the symbol for divinity ( ) before his name, marking his
apotheosis Apotheosis (, from gr, ἀποθεόω/ἀποθεῶ, label=none, link=no, lit='to deify', transliteration=apotheoo/apotheo; also called divinization and deification from ) is the glorification of a subject to divine Divinity or the divine ...

apotheosis
, from the 23rd year of his reign.


Life and work

Shulgi was the son of
Ur-Nammu Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: , ruled c. 2112 BC – 2094 BC middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions a ...
king of
Ur
Ur
– according to one later text (CM 48), by a daughter of the former king
Utu-hengal Utu-hengal ( sux, , ), also written Utu-heg̃al, Utu-heĝal, and sometimes transcribed as Utu-hegal, Utu-hejal, Utu-Khengal, was one of the first native kings of Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately ...
of
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
– and was a member of the
Third dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
. Year-names are known for all 48 years of his reign, providing a fairly complete contemporary view of the highlights of his career. Shulgi is best known for his extensive revision of the scribal school's curriculum. Although it is unclear how much he actually wrote, there are numerous praise poems written by and directed towards this ruler. He proclaimed himself a god in his 23rd regnal year. Some early chronicles castigate Shulgi for his impiety: The ''Weidner Chronicle'' (ABC 19) states that "he did not perform his rites to the letter, he defiled his purification rituals". CM 48 charges him with improper tampering with the rites, composing "untruthful stelae, insolent writings" on them. The ''
Chronicle of Early Kings The Chronicle of Early Kings, Chronicle 20 in Grayson’s ''Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles'' and Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐ ...
'' (ABC 20) accuses him of "criminal tendencies, and the property of Esagila and Babylon he took away as booty."


Name

Early uncertainties about the reading of cuneiform led to the readings "Shulgi" and "Dungi" being common transliterations before the end of the 19th century. However, over the course of the 20th century, the scholarly consensus gravitated away from ''dun ''towards ''shul'' as the correct pronunciation of the sign. The spelling of Shulgi's name by scribes with the '' diĝir'' determinative reflects his
deification Apotheosis (, from gr, ἀποθεόω/ἀποθεῶ, label=none, link=no, lit='to deify', transliteration=apotheoo/apotheo; also called divinization and deification from ) is the glorification of a subject to divinity, divine level and most c ...
during his reign, a status and spelling previously claimed by his
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
predecessor Naram-Sin. File:Portraits of Shulgi.jpg, Portraits of Shulgi from his
Nuska Nuska (Assyrian: dnusku, also dEn-Šadibdib or dUmun-Šazedib) was the vizier of the chief Sumerian god Enlil. He is also described as a scribe who records events, and a boatman who takes Enlil to his future wife, Ninlil. His shrine was recorded ...
seal.
Louvre Museum The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's list of largest art museums, largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, and is best known for being the home of the ''Mona Lisa''. A central landmark of the city, it is ...
File:Portrait of Shulgi as a builder, on a foundation nail.jpg, Portrait of Shulgi as a builder, on a foundation nail.
Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building ...

Metropolitan Museum of Art


Personal glorification

Shulgi also boasted about his ability to maintain high speeds while running long distances. He claimed in his 7th regnal year to have run from
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 ...
to , a distance of not less than 100 miles. Hamblin, William J. ''Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC''. New York: Routledge, 2006. Kramer refers to Shulgi as "The first long distance running champion." Shulgi wrote a long royal hymn to glorify himself and his actions, in which he refers to himself as "the king of the four-quarters, the pastor of the ". Shulgi claimed that he spoke
Elamite Elamite, also known as Hatamtite, is an extinct language that was spoken by the ancient Elamites. It was used in present-day southwestern Iran from 2600 BC to 330 BC. Elamite works disappear from the archeological record after Alexander the Great ...
as well as he spoke .


Armed conflicts

While Der had been one of the cities whose temple affairs Shulgi had directed in the first part of his reign, in his 20th year he claimed that the gods had decided that it now be destroyed, apparently as some punishment. The inscriptions state that he "put its field accounts in order" with the pick-axe. His 18th year-name was ''Year Liwir-mitashu, the king's daughter, was elevated to the ladyship in
Marhashi Marhaši ( Sumerian: ''Mar-ḫa-šiKI'' , ''Marhashi'', ''Marhasi'', ''Parhasi'', ''Barhasi''; in earlier sources Waraḫše. Akkadian: "Parahshum" ''pa2-ra-ah-shum2-ki'') was a 3rd millennium BC polity situated east of Elam, on the Iranian plate ...
'', referring to a country east of Elam and her dynastic marriage to its king, Libanukshabash. Following this, Shulgi engaged in a period of expansionism at the expense of highlanders such as the
Lullubi Lullubi, Lulubi ( akk, 𒇻𒇻𒉈: ''Lu-lu-bi'', akk, 𒇻𒇻𒉈𒆠: ''Lu-lu-biki'' "Country of the Lullubi"), more commonly known as Lullu, were a group of tribes during the 3rd millennium BC, from a region known as ''Lulubum'', now the Shar ...

Lullubi
, and destroyed
Simurrum The Simurrum Kingdom ( akk, 𒋛𒈬𒌨𒊑𒅎: ''Si-mu-ur-ri-im'') was an important city state of the Mesopotamian Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ ...
(another
mountain tribe Hill people, also referred to as mountain people, is a general term for people who live in the hill A hill is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms t ...
) and nine times between the 26th and 45th years of his reign. In his 30th year, his daughter was married to the governor of
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
; in his 34th year, he was already levying a punitive campaign against the place. He also destroyed Kimash and Humurtu (cities to the east of , somewhere in
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 ...

Elam
) in the 45th year of his reign. Ultimately, Shulgi was never able to rule any of these distant peoples; at one point, in his 37th year, he was obliged to build a large wall in an attempt to keep them out.


Susa

Shulgi is known to have made dedications at
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
, as foundation nails with his name, dedicated to god
Inshushinak Inshushinak (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 B ...
have been found there. One of the votive foundation nails reads: ''"The god 'Lord of Susa,' his king, Shulgi, the mighty male, king of Ur, king of Sumer and Akkad, the..., his beloved temple, built."''. An etched carnelian bead, now located in the Louvre Museum ( Sb 6627) and inscribed with a dedication by Shulgi was also found in Susa, the inscription reading: ''"
Ningal Ningal ( , "Great Lady/Queen") was a goddess of reeds in the Sumerian religion Sumerian religion was the religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction i ...
, his mother, Shulgi, god of his land, King of Ur, King of the four world quarters, for his life dedicated (this)"''. The Ur III dynasty had held control over Susa since the demise of
Puzur-Inshushinak Puzur-Inshushinak (Linear Elamite: File:Puzur-Shushinak.jpg, 90px ''Pu-zu-r Šu-ši-na-k'', Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ''puzur3-dingir, dinšušinak'', also , ''puzur₄-dingir, dinšušinak'' "Calling Inshushinak"), also sometimes thought to ...
, and they built numerous buildings and temples there. This control was continued by Shulgi as shown by his numerous dedications in the city-state. He also engaged in marital alliances, by marrying his daughters to rulers of eastern territories, such as Anšan,
Marhashi Marhaši ( Sumerian: ''Mar-ḫa-šiKI'' , ''Marhashi'', ''Marhasi'', ''Parhasi'', ''Barhasi''; in earlier sources Waraḫše. Akkadian: "Parahshum" ''pa2-ra-ah-shum2-ki'') was a 3rd millennium BC polity situated east of Elam, on the Iranian plate ...
and Bashime. File:Votive tablet of Shulgi, excavated in Susa.jpg, Votive tablet of Shulgi, excavated in Susa: "For the goddess
Ninhursag , deity_of=Mother goddess, goddess of fertility Fertility is the capability to produce through following the onset of . The is the average number of children born by a female during her lifetime and is quantified . Fertility is addressed w ...
of
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
, his Lady, Shulgi, the great man, King of Ur, King of Sumer and Akkad, built her temple ".
Louvre Museum The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's list of largest art museums, largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, and is best known for being the home of the ''Mona Lisa''. A central landmark of the city, it is ...
, Sb 2884. File:Foundation nail-Sb 2879-P5280608-gradient.jpg, Foundation nail dedicated by Shulgi to the
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 ...

Elam
ite god
Inshushinak Inshushinak (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 B ...
, found in
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
.
Louvre Museum The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's list of largest art museums, largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, and is best known for being the home of the ''Mona Lisa''. A central landmark of the city, it is ...
File:Carnelian bead with dedicatory inscription by Shulgi-Sb 6627 (transcription).jpg, Carnelian bead with dedicatory inscription by Shulgi, found in
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
. Louvre Museum, Sb 6627


Modernization

Shulgi apparently led a major modernization of the
Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
. He improved communications, reorganized the army, reformed the writing system and weight and measures, unified the tax system and created a strong bureaucracy. He also promulgated the law code known as the
Code of Ur-Nammu The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest known law code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time ...
after his father.


Year names

There are extensive remains for the year names of Shulgi, which have been entirely reconstructed from year 1 to year 48. Some of the most important are:


Marriage with a princess from Mari

Shulgi was a contemporary of the ''
Shakkanakku In the Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages''. Ed. Roger D. Woodard (2004, ...
'' rulers of
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...
, particularly
Apil-kin Apil-kin ( ''a-pil-gin6''), was a ruler of the city of Mari, Syria, Mari, northern Mesopotamia, after the fall of the Akkadian Empire c. 2126-2091 BCE. He was a son of Ishgum-Addu, and ruled 35 years, according to the ''Shakkanakku Dynasty List''. ...
and
Iddi-ilum Iddi-ilum, also Iddi-El or Iddin-El (, ''i-ti-ilum'', ruled 2090-2085 BCE), was a military governor, or ''Shakkanakku'', of the ancient city-state of Mari, Syria, Mari in eastern Syria, following the conquest, the destruction and the control of the ...
. An inscription mentions that Taram-Uram, the daughter of Apil-kin, became the "daughter-in-law" of
Ur-Nammu Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: , ruled c. 2112 BC – 2094 BC middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions a ...
, and therefore the Queen of king Shulgi. In the inscription, she called herself "daughter-in-law of
Ur-Nammu Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: , ruled c. 2112 BC – 2094 BC middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions a ...
", and "daughter of Apil-kin, ''
Lugal Lugal ( Sumerian: ) is the Sumerian term for "king, ruler". Literally, the term means "big man." In Sumerian, ''lu'' "𒇽" is "man" and ''gal'' "𒃲 GAL (Borger 2003 nr. 553; U+120F2 𒃲) is the Sumerian cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram ...
'' ("King") of Mari", suggesting for Apil-kin a position as a supreme ruler, and pointing to a marital alliance between Mari and .


Artifacts and inscriptions

File:Lugal Urimkima Lugal Kiengi Kiuri, King of Ur, King of Sumer and Akkad, on a seal of Shulgi (transcription).jpg, ''Lugal Urimkima/ Lugal Kiengi Kiuri'' , "King of ,
King of Sumer and Akkad King of Sumer and Akkad (Sumerian: ''lugal Lugal ( Sumerian: ) is the Sumerian term for "king, ruler". Literally, the term means "big man." In Sumerian, ''lu'' "𒇽" is "man" and ''gal'' "𒃲 GAL (Borger 2003 nr. 553; U+120F2 𒃲) is t ...
, on a votive tablet of Shulgi. The final ''ke4'' is the composite of -k (
genitive case In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
) and -e (ergative case). File:Ancient_ziggurat_at_Ali_Air_Base_Iraq_2005.jpg, Shulgi completed the great
Ziggurat of Ur The Ziggurat (or Great Ziggurat) of Ur (Sumerian: "Etemenniguru", meaning "temple whose foundation creates aura") is a Neo-Sumerian ziggurat A ziggurat (; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ' ...

Ziggurat of Ur
File:Earrings from Shulgi.JPG, Earrings inscribed in the name of Shulgi. File:Seal of Shulgi, with Gilgamesh fighting a winged monster.jpg, Seal of Shulgi, with
Gilgamesh , image = Hero lion Dur-Sharrukin Louvre AO19862.jpg , alt = , caption = Possible representation of Gilgamesh as Master of Animals The Master of Animals or Lord of Animals is a motif in ancient art showing a human betw ...

Gilgamesh
fighting a winged monster: "To Shulgi, son of the king, Ur-dumuzi the scribe, his servant". File:Seal of Shulgi, with worshipper and seated deity.jpg, Seal of Shulgi, with worshipper and seated deity: "Shulgi, the mighty hero, King of Ur, king of the four regions, Ur-(Pasag?) the scribe, thy servant". File:Mace head inscribed with the name of Shulgi, from Ur, Iraq. British Museum.jpg, Mace head in the name of Shulgi (inscription upside down). British Museum. File:Official weight of 2 mina, reign of Shulgi, from Ur, Iraq. British Museum.jpg, Duck-shaped official weight of 2 mina, reign of Shulgi, from Ur, Iraq. British Museum. File:Meluhha village tablet - BM17751.jpg, A tablet from the period of Shulgi, mentioning the "
Meluhha or Melukhkha (''Me-luḫ-ḫaKI'' ) is the Sumerian name of a prominent trading partner of Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civ ...
" village in Sumer. British Museum, BM 17751.Simo Parpola, Asko Parpola and Robert H. Brunswig, J
"The Meluḫḫa Village: Evidence of Acculturation of Harappan Traders in Late Third Millennium Mesopotamia?"
in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Vol. 20, No. 2, 1977, p. 136-137
"Meluhha" () actually appears on the beginning of the other side (column II, 1) in the sentence "The granary of the village of Meluhha". File:Weight AO22187 mp3h9146.jpg, Weight of mina (actual weight 248 gr.) dedicated by King Shulgi and bearing the emblem of the crescent moon: it was used in the temple of the Moon-God at Ur. Diorite, beginning of the 21st century BC (Ur III). Louvre Museum, Department of Oriental Antiquities, Richelieu, first floor, room 2, case 6 File:Tablet of Shulgi.JPG, Tablet of Shulgi, glorifies the king and his victories on the Lullubi people and mentions the modern-city of Erbil and the modern-district of Sulaymaniyah, Sulaymaniyah Museum, Iraq


See also

* Correspondence of the Kings of Ur *
History of Sumer The history of Sumer spans the 5th to 3rd millennia BCE in southern Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical ...
*
Sumerian king list#Redirect Sumerian King List {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{Redirect from other capitalisation {{Redirect from move ...
*


References


External links


Shulgi's axe sold illegally in Germany
from the German Middle East magazine zenith

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