Ancient Sumeria: Oxford University Sumerian King List

This is a dry list, so I’m just skimming over it and picking out a few excerpts. My comments are in parenthesis below the excerpt.


The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature is based at the University of Oxford. Its aim is to make accessible, via the World Wide Web, over 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia during the late third and early second millennia BC. – Oxford U. main page


Sumerian King List page:

After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira. In Bad-tibira, En-men-lu-ana ruled for 43200 years… In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241200 years. Then the flood swept over.

(Note the extremely long reigns.)

After the flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kic. In Kic, Jucur became king; he ruled for 1200 years. Kullassina-bel ruled for 960 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 900) years… 23 kings; they ruled for 24510 years, 3 months, and 3 1/2 days. Then Kic was defeated and the kingship was taken to E-ana.

(Note how the reigns were drastically reduced after the flood.)

In E-ana, Mec-ki-aj-gacer, the son of Utu, became lord and king; he ruled for 324 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 325) years. Mec-ki-aj-gacer entered the sea and disappeared. Enmerkar, the son of Mec-ki-aj-gacer, the king of Unug, who built Unug (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2 have instead: under whom Unug was built), became king; he ruled for 420 (ms. TL has instead: 900 + X) years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 745 are the years of the dynasty of Mec-ki-aj-gacer. (ms TL adds instead: ……; he ruled for 5 + X years.) Lugalbanda, the shepherd, ruled for 1200 years. Dumuzid, the fisherman, whose city was Kuara, ruled for 100 (ms. TL has instead: 110) years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) He captured En-me-barage-si single-handed. Gilgamec, whose father was a phantom (?), the lord of Kulaba, ruled for 126 years. Ur-Nungal, the son of Gilgamec, ruled for 30 years… 12 kings; they ruled for 2310 (ms. Su2 has instead: 3588) years. Then Unug was defeated and the kingship was taken to Urim.

(Again, note the drastic reduction in kingly reigns. Also, here is mention of the half man, half god Gilgamesh, who here is described as the son of a phantom. This is a prototype for later mythological figures such as Hercules and Jesus, who were also half man and half gods.)

In Kic, Kug-Bau, the woman tavern-keeper, who made firm the foundations of Kic, became king; she ruled for 100 years. 1 king; she ruled for 100 years. Then Kic was defeated (ms. TL has instead: destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Akcak.

(This is the only female ruler mentioned so far. Note the vocation. I see other unusual vocations such as boatman, jeweller and leather worker describing these kings.)

In Agade, Sargon, whose father was a gardener, the cupbearer of Ur-Zababa, became king, the king of Agade, who built Agade (ms. L1+N1 has instead: under whom Agade was built); he ruled for 56 (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 55) (ms. TL has instead: 54) years. Rimuc, the son of Sargon, ruled for 9 (ms. IB has instead: 7) (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 15) years. Man-icticcu, the older brother of Rimuc, the son of Sargon, ruled for 15 (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 7) years… Then Agade was defeated (ms. S has instead: Then the reign of Agade was abolished) and the kingship was taken to Unug.

(Here is a mention of Sargon of Akkad. According to Wikipedia, Sargon ruled around the 24th century BCE.)

(The history is spotty towards the end of this translation. One of the more interesting aspects is that the Sumerian account of a Great Flood predates the Hebrew version by at least 1,000 years, if you go by contemporary archeology. This would be much longer if you go by the year ranges given here. The Noah in the Sumerian Great Flood is named Xisuthra in one of the myths, by the way. Also, the name of Gilgamesh just happens to pop up in the Dead Sea Scrolls, right along with the fables in the Bible, and you do have post-Flood Bible characters who lived hundreds of years as this early Sumerian text describes. People can debate the long lifespans all they want, but they cannot refute the truth that many Genesis Bible stories first originated in Sumeria. For your contribution to the Book of Rome, thanks, pagans!)

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