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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 228

Meagre details survive regarding the reign of the next king, Shalmaneser IV (781-772 B.C). These are, however, supplemented by the Urartian inscriptions. Although Adad-nirari boasted that he had subdued the kingdom of Urartu in the north, he appears to have done no more than limit its southern expansion for a time.

The Urarti were, like the Mitanni, a military aristocracy[501] who welded together by conquest the tribes of the eastern and northern Highlands which several Assyrian monarchs included in their Empire. They acquired the elements of Assyrian culture, and used the Assyrian script for their own language. Their god was named Khaldis, and they called their nation Khaldia. During the reign of Ashur-natsir-pal their area of control was confined to the banks of the river Araxes, but it was gradually extended under a succession of vigorous kings towards the south-west until they became supreme round the shores of Lake Van. Three of their early kings were Lutipris, Sharduris I, and Arame.

During the reign of Shamshi-Adad the Assyrians came into conflict with the Urarti, who were governed at the time by "Ushpina of Nairi" (Ishpuinis, son of Sharduris II). The Urartian kingdom had extended rapidly and bordered on Assyrian territory. To the west were the tribes known as the Mannai, the northern enemies of the Medes, a people of Indo-European speech.

When Adad-nirari IV waged war against the Urarti, their king was Menuas, the son of Ishpuinis.


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