Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

First Babylonian Dynasty

The chronology of the first dynasty of Babylonia is debated, because there is a Babylonian King List A and a Babylonian King List B. Hereby we follow temporarily the regnal years of List A, because those are widely used, although we believe that the other list is better, at least for one or two reigns out of the first six. (The reigns in List B are longer, in general. Unfortunately, it is not available for the editor. Please add the info here if you have it.)

First Babylonian Dynasty:

1959-1945 Su-abu or Suum-abum
1945-1909 Sumula-ilum
1909-1895 Sabium or Sabum
1895-1877 Apil-Sin
1877-1857 Sin-muballit
1857-1814 Hammurabi
1814-1776 Samsu-ilana
1776-1748 Abi-eshuh or Abieshu
1748-1711 Ammi-ditana
1711-1690 Ammi-zaduga or Ammisaduqa
1690-1659 Samsu-ditana

Hammurabi's other name was Hammurapi-ilu, meaning Hammurapi the god or perhaps Hammurapi is god. He could have been Amraphel king of Shinar or Sinear in the Jewish records and the Bible, a contemporary of Abraham. (Abraham lived from 1871 to 1784, according to modern interpretations of the Old Testament's figures that have been usually reckoned in modern half years before the Exodus, from equinox to equinox.

Ammizaduga's Venus-tablets (i.e., several ancient versions on clay tablets) are famous, and several books had been published about them. Several dates have been offered but the old dates of many sourcebooks seens to be outdated and incorrect. There are further difficulties: the 21 years span of the detailed observations of the planet Venus may or may not coincide with the reign of this king, because his name is not mentioned, only the Year of the Golden Throne. A few sources, some printed almost a century ago, claim that the original text mentions an occultation of the Venus by the moon. It seems to me a misinterpretation because the original texts in the book of Erica Reiner and D. Pingree, The Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa there is no such sentence. Prof. P.J. Huber's detailed calculations at this point also prefer 1659 for the fall of Babylon, based on the statistical probability of dating based on the planet's observations. He finds the presently accepted middle chronology too low from the astronomical point of view.

A text about the fall of Babylon by the Hittites of Mursilis I at the end of Samsuditana's reign tells about a twin eclipse is crucial for a correct Babylonian chronology. (The reading of the word Babylon is uncertain but why should a Babylonian tablet refer to another city?). The pair of lunar and solar eclipses occurred in the month Shimanu (Sivan). Professor Peter J. Huber has computed several options that would satisfy the conditions of the detailed description. The lunar eclipse took place on February 9, 1659 BCE. It started at 4:43 and ended at 6:47. The latter was invisible which safisfies the record which tells that the setting moon was still eclipsed. The solar eclipse occurred on February 23, 1659. It started at 10:26, has its maximum at 11:45, and ended at 13:04. See Peter Huber, Astronomical dating of Babylon I and Ur III in Monographic Journals of the Near East (1982: 41).