Power then passed to the people of the southern city of Ur. The Third Dynasty of Ur had strong rulers, such as Ur-Nammu and his son, Shulgi. Although both Sumerian and Akkadian were spoken in Mesopotamia, southern cities such as Ur had been predominantly Sumerian-speaking. Now, Sumerian was being replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language. Sumerian literature flourished in scribal schools and the language was used in royal inscriptions, but Sumerian was increasingly a dying language. The power of the Third Dynasty of Ur collapsed as Amorites moved into the area from northern Syria. Around 2100 B.C., the power of Ur waned and Sumerian ceased to be a living language. (5)
Around 1900 B.C. the city of Babylon became a major power under the Amorites. The Babylonians spoke a dialect of Akkadian, which is a Semitic language. The Old Babylonian period lasted from about 2000 B.C. to 1595 B.C. Larsa, Eshnunna, Mari, and Ashur fell under Babylonian control during the reign of Hammurapi (c1792 - 1750 B.C.). Kassites dominated much of the Middle Babylonian period (1595 to 1000 B.C.). They quickly adopted Babylonian ways. Nebuchadnezzar I (1125 - 1104 B.C.) from the second Isin dynasty, was the most important king of this period. During his reign, Marduk was proclaimed the king of the gods. The Aramaeans, a Semitic-speaking, nomadic people, began to threaten the Babylonians during the end of Middle Babylonian times. The Neo-Babylonian period lasted from c1000 to 539 B.C. During this time, The Aramaean language began to dominate much of the area. The Semitic-speaking Chaldeans and the Assyrians to the north sought to control Babylonia. Nebuchadnezzar II, from a Chaldean dynasty, destroyed Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and sent the Jewish people into exile. Babylon itself fell to Cyrus the Great of Persia in 539 B.C. (4, 5)
Ahati-waqrat - a slave (3)
Ashlultum - A queen of Sargon. Her name is an abbreviation of the sentence, "I took you/her as spoil". (4)
Enheduana - Daughter of Sargon, high priestess of Ur and early poet, who
wrote in Sumerian. Her name is Sumerian. (4, 5)
Erishti-Aya - Daughter of Zimri-Lim of Mari c 1750 B.C. during the time of the Akkadians (6)
Ku-Baba - A tavern hostess who usurped the throne in Kish only a short time before the "Dynasty of Akkad". The name is Akkadian? Sumerian? (8)
Munawwirtum - a slave (3)
Burnaburiash - Kassite king of Babylonia (4)
Dudu - Ruler of Akkad (4)
Ea-nasir - A merchant from Ur who delivered copper from Dilmun (Bahrain) sometime between 2000 and 1750 B.C. (7)
Kadashman-Enlil - Kassite king of Babylonia (4)
Kurigalzu - Kassite king of Babylonia (4)
Manishtusu/Manishtushu - Ruler of Akkad, older son of Sargon (4, 5, 8)
Naram-Sin, Naram-Suen - King of Akkad, grandson of Sargon (4, 5)
Nur-Ayya - A scribe associated with the old Babylonian myth, Atrahasis (8).
Rimush - King of Akkad, the younger son of Sargon (4, 5)
Samsuiluna - Babylonian king 1749 - 1712 B.C. (4)
Sargon, (Akkadian)/Sarru-kin/Sharrukin - A ruler of Akkad from 2340 - 2315 B.C. (4, 5, 8)
Shar-kali-sharri - Ruler of Akkad (4)
Shu-Turul - Last king of Akkad (4)
Anu = The Akkadian god of the sky (5)
Ea = Semitic version of Enki, "Lord Earth" (5)
Ishtar = Mother goddess, Sumerian Inanna (4)
Marduk = King of the gods by the first millennium B.C. (4)
Shamash = The sun god (5)
Sources and Notes:
(N)= Names from Erech in the time of Nebuchadnezzar and
(S)= Erech in the time of the Seleucids
List of Personal Names
(3) Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History. Note: Names are from "Old Babylonia".
(4) The Penguin Encyclopedia of Ancient Civilizations, ed. Arthur Cotterell, New York: Penguin Books, 1980, 1988.
(5) Babylonians: People of the Past, H. W. F. Saggs, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000.
(6) Mesopotamia: Women in World History Curriculum.
(7) The Ancient Mariners: Seafarers and Sea Fighters of the Mediterranean in Ancient Times, Lionel Casson, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991.
(8) The Ancient Orient: An Introduction to the Study of the Ancient Near East, Wolfram von Soden, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994.
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Updated November 20, 2009