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The Mitanni were a people of Indic origin who ruled a vast kingdom (with a common Hurrian population) in West Asia in the second millennium BC. Mitanni arose near the sources of the Khabur River in Mesopotamia sometime after 1500 BC. It was a feudal state led by a warrior nobility. The kingdom ruled northern Mesopotamia (including Syria) for about 300 years, out of their capital of Washshukanni, (or Wassukkani, or Vasukhani, meaning "a mine of wealth.") Their warriors were called marya, which is the proper Sanskrit term for it.

By approximately 1350 BC, the Mitanni kingdom had weakened, and had become practically dependent on the Hittites, then under the rule of Shuppiluliuma I. Assyria, previously under Mitanni control, was able to assert its independence during the reign of Ashuruballit I in approximately 1330 BC.

They seem to have venerated Vedic deities and their nobility used Indo-Aryan names, and worshipped Indo-Aryan gods. In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni, Indic deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. A text by a Mitannian named Kikkuli uses words such as aika (eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pancha, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round). Another text has babru (babhru, brown), parita (palita, grey), and pinkara (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of vishuva (solstice) very much like in India. It is not only the kings who had Sanskrit names; a large number of other Sanskrit names have been unearthed in the records from the area.


Kirta 1500 BC-1490 BC

Suttarna I 1490 BC-1470 BC

Baratarna 1470 BC-1450 BC

Parsatatar 1450 BC-1440 BC

Saustatar 1440 BC-1410 BC

Artatama 1410 BC-1400 BC

Suttarna II 1400 BC-1385 BC

Artashumara 1385 BC-1380 BC

Tushratta 1380 BC-1350 BC

Mattivaza 1350 BC-1320 BC

Sattuara I 1320 BC-1300 BC

Vashasatta 1300 BC-1280 BC

Sattuara II 1280 BC-1270 BC

The name Sutarna I means ("good sun"). He was followed by Paratarna I ("great sun"), Parashukshatra ("ruler with axe"), Saukshatra ("son of Sukshatra, the good ruler"), Paratarna II, Artatama or Ritadhama ("abiding in cosmic law"), Sutarna II, Dasharatha, and finally Mativaja (Matiwazza, "whose wealth is prayer") during whose lifetime the Mitanni state appears to have become a vassal to Assyria.

The daughter of the King Tushratta (Tushyaratha or Dasharatha), Princess Tadukhipa, became the second queen of Akhenaten; the daughter of King Artatama was married to Thutmose IV, Akhenaten's grandfather; and the daughter of Sutarna II (Gilukhipa) was married to his father, Amenhotep III, the great builder of temples who ruled during 1390-1352 BC ("khipa" of these names is the Sanskrit "kshipa," night). In his old age, Amenhotep wrote to Dasharatha many times wishing to marry his daughter, Tadukhipa. It appears that by the time she arrived Amenhotep III was dead. Tadukhipa married the new king Akhenaten and she became famous as the queen Kiya (short for Khipa).