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The list of Assyrian kings is compiled from the Assyrian King List, an ancient kingdom in northern Mesopotamia (modern northern Iraqmarker) with information added from recent archaeological findings. The Assyrian King List includes regnal lengths that appear to have been based on now lost limmu lists (which list the names of eponymous officials for each year). These regnal lengths accord well with Hittite, Babylonian and ancient Egyptian king lists and with the archaeological record, and are considered reliable for the age.

The Assyrian King List

The Assyrian King List is not merely a list of kings of Assyria, but is a very specific document recorded in several ancient locations, related to the ancient Sumerian King List, and sometimes considered a continuation of it. There are three extant versions of the King List, and two fragments. They date to the early first millennium BC—the oldest, List A, stopping at Tiglath-Pileser II (ca. 967–935 BC) and the youngest, List C, at Shalmaneser V (727–722 BC). Assyriologists believe the list was originally compiled to link Shamshi-Adad I (fl. ca. 1700 BC (short)), an Amorite who had conquered Assurmarker, to the native rulers of the land of Assur. Scribes then copied the List and added to it over time.

List of Kings

Early Period

Little is known of the earliest kings listed on the King List, other than a few recorded contacts with other kingdoms. No regnal lengths are given for kings before Erishum I.

Kings who Lived in Tents

This section shows marked similarities to the ancestors of the first Babylonian dynasty.

Kings whose Fathers are Known

These list the ancestors of Shamshi-Adad I.

Kings whose Eponyms are not Known

These are early rulers of Assurmarker.

Old Assyrian Period

Damage to the tablets in all three extant King Lists before Enlil-nasir II (ca. 1420–1415 BC (short)) prevents the calculation of approximate regnal dates from Erishum I to this point. Additionally, three kings attested elsewhere from this period are not included in the standard King List. The remainder of the King List then has an unbroken chain of regnal lengths from Enlil-nasir II on. Disparities between the different versions of the King List for the reigns of Ashur-nadin-apli (ca. 1196–1194 BC (short)) and Ninurta-apal-Ekur (ca. 1182–1180 BC (short)) contribute to the debate over the chronology of the ancient Near East.

Middle Assyrian Period

The dates up to Ninurta-apal-Ekur (ca. 1182–1180 BC) are subject to debate, as some of the regnal lengths vary over the different versions of the King List. The dates given below are based on Assyrian King Lists B and C, which give only three years to Ashur-nadin-apli, and the same to Ninurta-apal-Ekur. (Assyrian King List A gives four years to Ashur-nadin-apli and 13 years to Ninurta-apal-Ekur.) This timeframe is also subject to the overall debate about the chronology of the ancient Near East; the short (or low) chronology is used here.

Dates from 1179 to 912 BC, although less secure than dates from 911 BC onwards, are not subject to the chronology debate.

Neo-Assyrian Period

Synchronisms between the limmu lists and absolute dates known from Babylonian chronology provide good absolute dates for the years between 911 BC and 649 BC.

The dates for the very end of the Assyrian period are uncertain due to the lack of limmu lists after 649 BC. Some sources list Ashurbanipal's death in 631 BC, rather than 627 BC; Ashur-etil-ilani then reigns from 631 to 627, and Sin-shar-ishkun reigns until 612 BC, when he is known to have died in the sack of Nineveh.

See also


  1. For variants, see footnotes 49–56 in
  2. Comments on the Nassouhi Kinglist and the Assyrian Kinglist Tradition, J.A. Brinkman, Orientalia N.S 42, 1973
  3. Assyrian Rulers of the Third and Second Millennia BC, A.K. Grayson, University of Toronto Press, 1987, ISBN 0802026052
  4. The Chronology of Ancient Assyria Re-assessed, B. Newgrosh, JACF, vol. 08, pp. 78-106, 1999
  5. Landscape and Settlement in the Neo-Assyrian Empire, T. J. Wilkinson, E. B. Wilkinson, J. Ur, M. Altaweel, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Nov 2005
  6. [1] Neo-Assyrian Eponym List—
  7. [2] Empires and Exploitation: The Neo-Assyrian Empire, P Bedford, WA Perth, 2001


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