The Info List - Gutians

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The Guti (/ˈɡuːti/) or Quti, also known by the derived exonyms Gutians or Guteans, were a nomadic people of the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
(on the border of modern Iran
and Iraq) during ancient times. Their homeland was known as Gutium
(Sumerian: 𒄖𒌅𒌝𒆠,Gu-tu-umki or 𒄖𒋾𒌝𒆠,Gu-ti-umki)[1][2] Conflict between people from Gutium
and the Akkadian Empire
Akkadian Empire
has been linked to the collapse of the empire, towards the end of the 3rd Millennium BCE. The Guti subsequently overran southern Mesopotamia
and formed a royal dynasty in Sumer. The Sumerian king list
Sumerian king list
suggests that the Guti ruled over Sumer
for several generations, following the fall of the Akkadian Empire.[3] By the 1st Millennium BCE, usage of the name Gutium, by the peoples of lowland Mesopotamia, had expanded to include all of western Media, between the Zagros and the Tigris. Various tribes and places to the east and northeast were often referred to as Gutians or Gutium.[4] For example, Assyrian royal annals use the term Gutians in relation to populations known to have been Medes
or Mannaeans. As late as the reign of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
of Persia, the famous general Gubaru (Gobryas) was described as the "governor of Gutium".


1 Origin 2 History

2.1 Overview 2.2 25th to 23rd centuries BCE 2.3 Prominence during the early 22nd century BCE 2.4 Decline from the late 22nd century BCE onwards

3 Physical appearance 4 Modern connection theories 5 References

Origin[edit] Little is known of the origins, material culture or language of the Guti, as contemporary sources provide few details and no artifacts have been positively identified.[5] As the Gutian language
Gutian language
lacks a text corpus, apart from some proper names, its similarities to other languages are impossible to verify. The names of Gutian-Sumerian kings, suggest that the language was not closely related to any languages of the region, including Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, Hittite and Elamite. W. B. Henning
W. B. Henning
suggested that the different endings of the king names resembled case endings in the Tocharian languages, a branch of Indo-European known from texts found in the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
(in the northwest of modern China) dating from the 6th to 8th centuries CE, making Gutian the earliest documented Indo-European language. He further suggested that they had subsequently migrated to the Tarim.[6] Gamkrelidze and Ivanov explored Henning's suggestion as possible support for their proposal of an Indo-European Urheimat in the Near East.[7][8] However, most scholars reject the attempt to compare languages separated by more than two millennia.[9] History[edit] Overview[edit] Since Gutian appears to have been an unwritten language, for information about the Guti, scholars must rely on external sources – often highly biased texts composed by their enemies. For example, Sumerian sources generally portray the Guti as an "unhappy", barbarous and rapacious people from the mountains – apparently the central Zagros east of Babylon
and north of Elam.[10] The period of the Gutian dynasty in Sumer
is portrayed as chaotic. Initially, according to the Sumerian king list, "in Gutium
... no king was famous; they were their own kings and ruled thus for three [or five] years".[11] This may indicate that the Gutian kingship was rotated between tribes/clans, or within an oligarchical elite. 25th to 23rd centuries BCE[edit] The Guti appear in texts from Old Babylonian copies of inscriptions ascribed to Lugal-Anne-Mundu (fl. circa 25th century BCE) of Adab as among the nations providing his empire tribute. These inscriptions locate them between Subartu
in the north, and Marhashe and Elam
in the south. They were a prominent nomadic tribe who lived in the Zagros mountains in the time of the Akkadian Empire. Sargon the Great
Sargon the Great
(r. circa 2340 – 2284 BCE) also mentions them among his subject lands, listing them between Lullubi, Armanum and Akkad to the north; Nikku and Der to the south. According to one stele, Naram-Sin of Akkad's army of 360,000 soldiers defeated the Gutian king Gula'an, despite having 90,000 slain by the Gutians. The epic Cuthean Legend of Naram-Sin claims Gutium
among the lands raided by Annubanini of Lulubum
during the reign of Naram-Sin (c. 2254–2218 BCE).[12] Contemporary year-names for Shar-kali-sharri
of Akkad indicate that in one unknown year of his reign, he captured Sharlag king of Gutium, while in another year, "the yoke was imposed on Gutium".[13] Prominence during the early 22nd century BCE[edit] As the Akkadians
went into decline, the Gutians began a campaign, decades-long of hit-and-run raids against Mesopotamia. Their raids crippled the economy of Sumer. Travel became unsafe, as did work in the fields, resulting in famine. The Gutians eventually overran Akkad, and as the King List tells us, their army also subdued Uruk
for hegemony of Sumer, in about 2147–2050 BCE. However, it seems that autonomous rulers soon arose again in a number of city-states, notably Gudea
of Lagash. The Gutians seem also to have briefly overrun Elam
at around the same time, towards the close of Kutik-Inshushinak's reign (c. 2100 BCE).[14] On a statue of the Gutian king Erridupizir at Nippur, an inscription imitates his Akkadian predecessors, styling him "King of Gutium, King of the Four Quarters". The Weidner Chronicle (written c. 500 BCE), portrays the Gutian kings as uncultured and uncouth:

Naram-Sin destroyed the people of Babylon, so twice Marduk
summoned the forces of Gutium
against him. Marduk
gave his kingship to the Gutian force. The Gutians were unhappy people unaware how to revere the gods, ignorant of the right cultic practices. Utu-hengal, the fisherman, caught a fish at the edge of the sea for an offering. That fish should not be offered to another god until it had been offered to Marduk, but the Gutians took the boiled fish from his hand before it was offered, so by his august command, Marduk
removed the Gutian force from the rule of his land and gave it to Utu-hengal.

Decline from the late 22nd century BCE onwards[edit] The Sumerian ruler Utu-hengal
of Uruk
is similarly credited on the King List with defeating the Gutian ruler Tirigan, and removing the Guti from the country (ca. 2050 BCE (short)).[11] Following this, Ur-Nammu
of Ur had their homeland of Gutium devastated, though according to one lengthy Sumerian poem, he died in battle with the Gutians, after having been abandoned by his own army. A Babylonian text from the early 2nd millennium refers to the Guti as having a "human face, dogs’ cunning, [and] monkey's build".[4] Biblical scholars believe that the Guti may be the "Koa" (qôa), named with the Shoa and Pekod as enemies of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 23:23,[15] which was probably written in the 6th Century BCE.Qôa also means "male camel" in Hebrew, and in the context of Ezekiel 23, it may be a deliberate, insulting distortion of an endonym such as Quti.[citation needed] Physical appearance[edit] According to the historian Henry Hoyle Howorth
Henry Hoyle Howorth
(1901), Assyriologist Theophilus Pinches (1908), renowned archaeologist Leonard Woolley (1929) and Assyriologist Ignace Gelb (1944) the Gutians were pale in complexion and blonde. This was asserted on the basis of assumed links to peoples mentioned in the Old Testament.[16][17][18][19] This identification of the Gutians as fair haired first came to light when Julius Oppert
Julius Oppert
(1877) published a set of tablets he had discovered which described Gutian (and Subarian) slaves as namrum or namrûtum, one of its many meanings being "light colored".[20][21] This racial character of the Gutians as blondes or being light skinned was also claimed up by Georges Vacher de Lapouge in 1899 and later by historian Sidney Smith in his Early history of Assyria
(1928).[22][23] Ephraim Avigdor Speiser
Ephraim Avigdor Speiser
however criticised the translation of namrum as "light colored". An article was published by Speiser in the Journal of the American Oriental Society criticizing Gelb's translation and consequent interpretation.[24] Gelb in response accused Speiser of circular reasoning.[25] In response Speiser claimed the scholarship regarding the translation of namrum or namrûtum is unresolved.[26] Modern scholars do not regard the Gutians as fair-skinned, as the only evidence is the disputed translation of a word. Modern connection theories[edit] The historical Guti have been regarded by many scholars as among the ancestors of the Kurds.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33] According to some scholars, the term Guti had by late antiquity become a "catch all" term to describe all tribal, nomadic and mountain peoples in the Zagros region. In the late 19th-century, Assyriologist Julius Oppert
Julius Oppert
sought to connect the Gutians of remote antiquity with the later Gutones (Goths), whom Ptolemy
in 150 AD had known as the "Guti", a tribe of Scandia.

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^ ETCSL. The Sumerian King List Archived 2010-08-30 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed 19 Dec 2010. ^ ETCSL. The Cursing of Agade Accessed 18 Dec 2010. ^ ETCSL - Sumerian king list ^ a b Van De Mieroop, Marc. "GUTIANS". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  ^ Patton, Laurie L., et al. (2004) The Indo-Aryan Controversy ^ Henning, W.B. (1978). "The first Indo-Europeans in history". In Ulmen, G.L. Society and History, Essays in Honour of Karl August Wittfogel. The Hague: Mouton. pp. 215–230. ISBN 978-90-279-7776-2.  ^ Gamkrelidze, T.V.; Ivanov, V.V. (1989). "Первые индоевропейцы на арене истории: прототохары в Передней Азии" [The first Indo-Europeans in history: the proto-Tocharians in Asia Minor]. Journal of Ancient History (1): 14–39.  ^ Gamkrelidze, T.V.; Ivanov, V.V. (2013). "Индоевропейская прародина и расселение индоевропейцев: полвека исследований и обсуждений" [Indo-European homeland and migrations: half a century of studies and discussions]. Journal of Language Relationship. 9: 109–136.  ^ Mallory, J.P.; Mair, Victor H. (2000). The Tarim Mummies. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 281–282. ISBN 978-0-500-05101-6.  ^ Eller, Jack David. Kurdish History and Kurdish Identity. p. 153.  ^ a b ETCSL - The victory of Utu-ḫeĝal ^ Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie By Erich Ebling, Bruno ^ Year-names for Sharkalisharri ^ Martin Sicker, 2000, The Pre-Islamic Middle East, p. 19, ^ See, for example, J. D. Douglas & Merrill C. Tenney, 2011, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary (3rd ed.), HarperCollins, p. 1897. ^ "The Early History of Babylonia", Henry H. Howorth, The English Historical Review, Vol. 16, No. 61 (Jan. 1901), p.32. ^ The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records and Legends of Assyria
and Babylonia, Theophilus Goldridge Pinches, Kessinger Publishing, 2005 (reprint), p. 158 ^ The Sumerians, Leonard Woolley, Clarendon Press, 1929, p. 5. ^ Hurrians
and Subarians, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, Gelb, 1944, p.88. ^ Gelb, 1944, p. 43 ^ Gelb, 1944, p. 88 - further translates a tablet passage as "a light (-coloured) slave girl who is pleasing to your eye." ^ Der Arier und seine bedeutung für die gemeinschaft, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, M. Diesterweg, 1939. ^ Early history of Assyria, Vol. 1, 1928, p. 72: "...one notable physical trait the Subaraeans and Gutians shared. Documents of the period of the Babylonian Amorite
or First Dynasty mention slaves from Gutium
and Subir (that is, Subartu), and specify that they shall be of fair complexion". ^ Were the ancient Gutians really blond and Indo-Europeans?, JAOS 50 (1930) p.338. ^ Gelb 1944, p.43: "Speiser's...reaction against the normal interpretation of namrum as 'light (-colored)' was caused by... assumption that Hurrians
or Subarians belonged to the Armenoid race, which according to them could hardly be called light-colored". ^ Hurrians
and Subarians, E. A. Speiser, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1948), p. 12. ^ "How to Get Out of Iraq
with Integrity".  ^ "The Middle East: A Reader".  ^ "Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East".  ^ "Peoples of the Near East Without a National Future".  ^ "Central Asiatic Journal".  ^ "Great Soviet Encyclopedia".  ^ "Art and Archaeology". 

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