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Yamhad
Yamhad
was an ancient Semitic kingdom centered on Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military and diplomacy to expand their realm. From the beginning of its establishment, the kingdom withstood the aggressions of its neighbors Mari, Qatna
Qatna
and Assyria, and was turned into the most powerful Syrian kingdom of its era through the actions of its king Yarim-Lim I. By the middle of the 18th century BC, most of Syria
Syria
minus the south came under the authority of Yamhad, either as a direct possession or through vassalage, and for nearly a century and a half, Yamhad dominated northern, northwestern and eastern Syria, and had influence over small kingdoms in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
at the borders of Elam. The kingdom was eventually destroyed by the Hittites, then annexed by Mitanni
Mitanni
in the 16th century BC. Yamhad's population was predominately Amorite, and had a typical Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Syrian culture. Yamhad
Yamhad
was also inhabited by a substantial Hurrian
Hurrian
population that settled in the kingdom, adding the influence of their culture. Yamhad
Yamhad
controlled a wide trading network, being a gateway between the eastern Iranian plateau
Iranian plateau
and the Aegean region in the west. Yamhad
Yamhad
worshiped the traditional Northwest Semitic deities, and the capital Halab
Halab
was considered a holy city among the other Syrian cities as a center of worship for Hadad, who was regarded as the main deity of northern Syria.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Establishment 1.2 Rivalry with Assyria and expansion 1.3 Decline and end 1.4 Kings of Yamhad

2 People and culture 3 Economy 4 Religion 5 See also 6 References

6.1 Citations 6.2 Sources

7 External links

History[edit] Little of Halab
Halab
has been excavated by archaeologists, as Halab
Halab
was never abandoned during its long history and the modern city is situated above the ancient site.[4] Therefore, most of the knowledge about Yamhad
Yamhad
comes from tablets discovered at Alalakh
Alalakh
and Mari.[5] Establishment[edit] The name Yamhad
Yamhad
was likely an Amorite
Amorite
tribal name and is used synonymously with Halab
Halab
when referring to the kingdom.[2][6][7] The city of Halab
Halab
was a religious center in northern Syria, and was mentioned by the name Ha-lam,[8] as a vassal of the Eblaite empire, which controlled most of Syria
Syria
in the middle of the third millennium BC.[9] Halab's fame as a Holy City
Holy City
contributed to its later prominence;[10][11] the main temple of the north Syrian storm god Hadad
Hadad
was located in the city,[12] which was known as the "City of Hadad".[10] The name Halab
Halab
as well as that of Yamhad
Yamhad
appeared for the first time during the Old Babylonian period,[6] when Sumu-Epuh, the first Yamhadite king, was attested in a seal from Mari as the ruler of the land of Yamhad,[13] which included, in addition to Halab, the cities of Alalakh
Alalakh
and Tuba.[14][15] Sumu-Epuh consolidated the kingdom and faced Yahdun-Lim
Yahdun-Lim
of Mari who had a dynastic alliance with Yamhad
Yamhad
to oppose Assyria,[16] but eventually campaigned in the north threatening the kingdom.[17] The Yamhadite king supported the Yaminite tribes and formed an alliance with other Syrian states including Urshu, Hassum and Carchemish,[18][19] against the Mariote king who defeated his enemies,[20] but was eventually killed by his son Sumu-Yamam.[21] Rivalry with Assyria and expansion[edit]

Legal case from Niqmi-Epuh
Niqmi-Epuh
of Yamhad, to the king of Alalakh.

The rise of Shamshi-Adad I
Shamshi-Adad I
of Assyria proved more dangerous to Yamhad than Mari. The Assyrian king was an ambitious conqueror with the aim to rule Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and the Levant, and styled himself as "king of the world".[22] Shamshi-Adad surrounded Yamhad
Yamhad
by way of alliances with Charchemish, Hassum and Urshu to the north and by conquering Mari to the east, forcing Zimri-Lim
Zimri-Lim
the heir of Mari to flee. Sumu-Epuh welcomed Zimri-Lim
Zimri-Lim
and aimed to use him against Assyria since he was the legitimate heir of Mari.[21] Shamshi-Adad's most dangerous alliance was with Qatna, whose king Ishi-Addu became Assyria's agent at Yamhad's borders and married his daughter to Yasmah-Adad, the son of the Assyrian king who was installed by his father as king of Mari.[23] Sumu-Epuh was apparently killed during his fight with Shamshi-Adad and was succeeded by his son Yarim-Lim I,[24] who consolidated his father's kingdom and turned it into the most powerful kingdom in Syria
Syria
and northern Mesopotamia.[1][25][26] Yarim-Lim surrounded Shamshi-Adad by alliances with Hammurabi
Hammurabi
of Babylon
Babylon
and Ibal-pi-el II
Ibal-pi-el II
of Eshnunna,[27] then in 1777 BC he advanced to the east conquering Tuttul
Tuttul
and installing Zimri-Lim
Zimri-Lim
as governor of the city.[27] The death of the Assyrian king came a year later.[27] Yarim-Lim then sent his army with Zimri-Lim, to restore his ancestors throne as an ally-vassal to Yamhad,[27] cementing the relationship through a dynastic marriage between the new Mariote king and Shibtu, the daughter of Yarim-Lim.[28]

"There is no king who is mighty by himself. Ten or fifteen kings follow Hammurabi
Hammurabi
the ruler of Babylon, a like number of Rim-Sin of Larsa, a like number of Ibal-pi-el of Eshnunna, a like number of Amud-pi-el of Qatanum, but twenty follow Yarim-Lim of Yamhad."

A tablet sent to Zimri-Lim
Zimri-Lim
of Mari, describing Yarim-Lim I authority.[1]

Yarim-Lim spent the next years of his reign expanding the kingdom, which reached Mamma in the north.[29] The Syrian city-states were subdued through alliances or force; Mamma, Ebla
Ebla
and Ugarit
Ugarit
became vassals of Yamhad,[2][30] while Qatna
Qatna
remained independent but came to peace with Yamhad
Yamhad
following the death of its ally, the late Shamshi-Adad I.[23] A sample of Yarim-Lim policy of diplomacy and war can be read in a tablet discovered at Mari, that was sent to the king of Dēr in southern Mesopotamia, which included a declaration of war against Der and its neighbor Diniktum,[31] the tablet mentions the stationing of 500 Yamhadite warships for twelve years in Diniktum, and the Yamhadite military support of Der for 15 years.[31] Yarim-Lim's accomplishments elevated Yamhad
Yamhad
into the status of a Great Kingdom and the Yamhadite king title became the Great King.[2][23] Yarim-Lim I
Yarim-Lim I
was succeeded by his son Hammurabi
Hammurabi
I who had a peaceful reign.[27] He was able to force Charchemish into submission,[27] and sent troops to aid Hammurabi
Hammurabi
of Babylon
Babylon
against Larsa
Larsa
and Elam.[32] The alliance ended after the Babylonian king sacked Mari and destroyed it.[23] Babylon
Babylon
did not attack Yamhad, however, and the relations between the two kingdoms remained peaceful in later years;[23] the power vacuum caused by Mari's fall opened the way for Hammurabi
Hammurabi
to extend Yamhad's hegemony over the upper Khabur valley in the east, where the ruler of Shubat Enlil became his vassal.[33] Hammurabi
Hammurabi
I was succeeded by his son Abba-El I, whose reign witnessed the rebellion of the city Irridu, which was under the authority of prince Yarim-Lim, Abba-El's brother.[34] The king responded to the rebellion by destroying Irridu, and compensating his brother by giving him the throne of Alalakh, thus creating a cadet branch of the dynasty.[34] Decline and end[edit]

God head, discovered near Jabbul (c. 1600 BC).[35]

The era of Abba-El I's successors is poorly documented,[34] and by the time of Yarim-Lim III in the mid-17th century BC, the power of Yamhad declined due to internal dissent.[36][37] Yarim-Lim III ruled a weakened kingdom, and although he imposed Yamhadite hegemony over Qatna,[34] the weakening was obvious as Alalakh
Alalakh
had become all but independent under the self-declared king Ammitakum.[36] In spite of this regression, the king of Yamhad
Yamhad
remained the strongest king of the Syrian states, as he was referred to as a Great King
King
by the Hittites,[26] the diplomatic equal of the Hittite king.[38] The rise of the Hittite kingdom in the north posed the biggest threat to Yamhad,[39] although Yarim-Lim III and his successor Hammurabi
Hammurabi
III were able to withstand the aggressions of the Hittite king Hattusili I through alliances with the Hurrian
Hurrian
principalities.[34] Hattusili chose not to attack Halab
Halab
directly and began with conquering Yamhad's vassals and allies, starting with Alalakh
Alalakh
in the second year of his Syrian campaigns c. 1650 BC (Middle chronology) or slightly later.[40][41] Hattusili then turned to attack the Hurrians
Hurrians
in Urshu northeast of Halab, and won in spite of military support from Halab and Carchemish
Carchemish
for the Hurrians.[42] The Hittite king then defeated Yamhad
Yamhad
in the battle of Mount Atalur,[43] and sacked Hassum along with several other Hurrian
Hurrian
cities in the sixth year of his Syrian wars.[40] After many campaigns, Hattusili I finally attacked Halab
Halab
during the reign of Hammurabi
Hammurabi
III. The attack ended in a defeat, the wounding of the Hittite king and his later death c. 1620 BC.[44][45] Hattusili's campaigns considerably weakened Yamhad, causing it to decline in status: the monarch ceased to be styled a Great King.[46] Hattusili was succeeded by his grandson Mursili I, who conquered Halab c. 1600 BC and destroyed Yamhad
Yamhad
as a major power in the Levant.[47] Mursili then left for Babylon
Babylon
and sacked it, but was assassinated upon his return to his capital Hattusa, and his empire disintegrated.[48] Halab
Halab
was rebuilt and the kingdom expanded to include Alalakh again.[49] The reestablished kingdom was ruled by kings of whom nothing but their names is known; the first is Sarra-El, who might have been the son of Yarim-Lim III.[50] The last king of the dynasty to rule as king of Halab
Halab
was Ilim-Ilimma I,[51] whose reign started c. 1524 and was killed during a rebellion orchestrated by king Parshatatar
Parshatatar
of Mitanni
Mitanni
who annexed Halab
Halab
c. 1517 BC.[52][53] Ilim-Ilimma's son, Idrimi, fled to Emar
Emar
then conquered Alalakh
Alalakh
c. 1510 BC.[52][53] Seven years following his conquest of Alalakh, Idrimi
Idrimi
made peace with Mitanni
Mitanni
and was acknowledged as a vassal,[54] and allowed to control Halab, though he had to relocate the dynasty's residence to Alalakh
Alalakh
and relinquish the title of " King
King
of Halab"; the use of the name Yamhad
Yamhad
also ended.[55] Kings of Yamhad[edit] Dates are estimated and given by the Middle chronology.[38]

Abba-El I
Abba-El I
seal.

Niqmi-Epuh
Niqmi-Epuh
seal.

King Reigned Title Relation to Previous King

Sumu-Epuh c. 1810 BC – c. 1780 BC King

Yarim-Lim I c. 1780 BC – c. 1764 BC Great King Son.[23]

Hammurabi
Hammurabi
I c. 1764 BC – c. 1750 BC Great King Son.[56]

Abba-El I c. 1750 BC – c. 1720 BC Great King Son.[57]

Yarim-Lim II c. 1720 BC – c. 1700 BC Great King Son.[58]

Niqmi-Epuh c. 1700 BC – c. 1675 BC Great King Son.[59]

Irkabtum c. 1675 BC – Mid-17th century BC Great King Son.[60]

Hammurabi
Hammurabi
II Mid-17th century BC Great King Possible brother.[61]

Yarim-Lim III Mid-17th century BC – c. 1625 BC Great King Brother of Irkabtum.[62]

Hammurabi
Hammurabi
III c. 1625 BC – c. 1600 BC King Son.[63]

Sarra-El Early 16th century BC King Possible son of Yarim-Lim III.[50]

Abba-El II Mid-16th century BC King Son.[50]

Ilim-Ilimma I c. 1524 – c. 1517 BC King Possible son.[64]

People and culture[edit]

Seal of Abba-El II: the Egyptian ankh was a replacement for the cup usually held by the deity.

The people of Yamhad
Yamhad
were Amorites and spoke the Amorite
Amorite
language, and apart from a few Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Aegean influences,[65][66] Yamhad
Yamhad
belonged mainly to middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Syrian culture.[67] This culture influenced the architecture and the functions of the temples, which were mainly cultic, while political authority was invested in the royal palace, in contrast to the important political role of the temples in Mesopotamia.[67] Since the capital Halab
Halab
has not been excavated, the architecture of the kingdom is archaeologically best represented by the city of Alalakh,[68] which was subordinate to Halab
Halab
and ruled by a king belonging to the Yamhadite royal house.[69] The Amorites in general built large palaces that bear architectural similarities to old Baylonian-era palaces. They were adorned with grand central courtyards, throne rooms, tiled floors, drainage systems and plastered walls, which suggest the employment of specialized labor.[70] Evidence exists for the presence of Minoan Aegean fresco artists who painted elaborate scenes on the walls of the palaces in Alalakh.[70] Yamhad
Yamhad
had a distinctive Syrian iconography, which is clear in the seals of the kings that gave prominence to the Syrian gods. Egyptian influence was minimal and limited to the ankh, which cannot be interpreted as an emulation of Egyptian rituals but rather as merely a substitute for the cup held by the deity elsewhere.[71] Yamhad
Yamhad
had a special pattern of trim called the Yamhad
Yamhad
style, which was favored in Mari during the reign of king Zimri-Lim, whose queen Shibtu
Shibtu
was the daughter of Yarim-Lim I.[72] After the fall of the Akkadian Empire, Hurrians
Hurrians
began to settle in the city and its surroundings,[73] and by c. 1725 BC they constituted a sizable portion of the population.[74] The presence of a large Hurrian population brought Hurrian
Hurrian
culture and religion to Halab, as evidenced by the existence of certain religious festivals that bear Hurrian names.[75] Economy[edit] Halab's location has always been a factor in its prominence as an economic center.[76] Yamhad's economy was based on trade with the Iranian Plateau, Mesopotamia, Cyprus
Cyprus
and Anatolia,[77] with the city of Emar
Emar
as its port on the Euphrates,[23][78] and Alalakh
Alalakh
with its proximity to the sea as its port on the Mediterranean.[14] The actions of Yarim-Lim I
Yarim-Lim I
and his alliance with Babylon
Babylon
proved vital for the kingdom's economy, for they secured the trade between Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and northern Syria, with the king of Mari protecting the caravans crossing from the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
to Anatolia.[79] Emar attracted many Babylonian merchants, who lived in the city and had a lasting impact on the local scribal conventions. As late as the 14th century BC, texts of the so-called Syrian type from Emar
Emar
preserve distinct Babylonian traits.[79] The markets of Yamhad
Yamhad
became a source of copper, which was imported from the mountains (probably Anatolian) and Cyprus.[80] However, the Babylonian invasion of Mari had a negative impact on the trade between the two kingdoms,[79] as the road became dangerous because of the loss of Mari's protection to the caravans.[79] This led the Babylonian king Samsu-iluna
Samsu-iluna
to build many strongholds up the river valley, and to establish colonies of mercenaries known as the "Kassite Houses" to protect the middle Euphrates
Euphrates
area.[79] Those colonies later evolved into semi-independent polities that waged a war against the Babylonian king Ammi-Saduqa and caused the trade temporarily to stop.[79] Religion[edit]

Hadad
Hadad
Temple, Aleppo
Aleppo
Citadel.

The people of Yamhad
Yamhad
practiced the Amorite
Amorite
religion,[81] and mainly worshiped the Northwest Semitic deities. The most important of these were Dagon, who was considered the father of the gods,[82] and Hadad, who was the most important deity and the head of the pantheon.[83] The kingdom was known as the "land of Hadad", who was famous as the Storm-God of Halab
Halab
beginning in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.[83] His main temple was located on the citadel hill in the center of the city and remained in use from the 24th century BC,[84] until at least the 9th century BC.[85] The title "Beloved of Hadad" was one of the king's titles.[83][86] Hadad
Hadad
was the kingdom's patron god, and all treaties were concluded in his name, which was also used to threaten other kingdoms,[87] and to declare wars.[88] As the Hurrian
Hurrian
presence grew, so did Hurrian religious influences and some of the Hurrian
Hurrian
deities found a place in the Yamhadite pantheon.[75] King
King
Abba-El I
Abba-El I
mentioned receiving the support of the Hurrian
Hurrian
goddess Hebat
Hebat
in one of the Alalakh
Alalakh
tablets ( Hebat
Hebat
was the spouse of the Hurrian
Hurrian
main deity Teshub, but in Abba-El I's tablet, she is associated with Hadad).[75] Later, the Hurrians started to identify Teshub
Teshub
with Hadad, who became Teshub
Teshub
the Storm-God of Halab.[89] Beside the general gods, the kings had a "head god", that is, a deity who had an intimate connection for the worshiper. King
King
Yarim-Lim I described Hadad
Hadad
as the god of the state, but the Mesopotamian deity Sin as the god of his head. His son Hammurabi
Hammurabi
I did likewise.[90] See also[edit]

Syria
Syria
portal Ancient Near East portal

Armi Yamhad
Yamhad
dynasty List of rulers of Aleppo

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ a b c Dalley 2002, p. 44. ^ a b c d e Astour 1981, p. 7. ^ Hamblin 2006, p. 257. ^ Pioske 2015, p. 188. ^ Grabbe 2007, p. 58. ^ a b Hawkins 2000, p. 388. ^ Pfälzner 2012, p. 781. ^ Archi 1994, p. 250. ^ Hamblin 2006, p. 242. ^ a b Feliu 2003, p. 192. ^ Oldenburg 1969, p. 65. ^ Bryce 2014, p. 111. ^ Frayne 1990, p. 780. ^ a b Miller 1995, p. 10. ^ Schwartz 2010, p. 376. ^ Liverani 2013, p. 225, 226. ^ Wossink 2009, p. 128. ^ Sasson 1969, p. 45. ^ Wu 1994, p. 131. ^ Frayne 1990, p. 606. ^ a b Pitard 2001, p. 39. ^ Schwartz 2013, p. 9. ^ a b c d e f g Liverani 2013, p. 234. ^ Bryce 2009, p. 773. ^ Matthiae 2003, p. 383. ^ a b Pitard 2001, p. 40. ^ a b c d e f Hamblin 2006, p. 259. ^ Charpin 2011, p. 257. ^ Dodd 2007, p. 210. ^ Thuesen 2000, p. 61. ^ a b Sasson 1969, p. 2. ^ Charpin 2010, p. 102. ^ Lauinger 2015, p. 6. ^ a b c d e Hamblin 2006, p. 260. ^ Claire 2017. ^ a b Wiseman 1967, p. 121. ^ Miller 1995, p. 12. ^ a b Hamblin 2006, p. 258. ^ Bryce 2014, p. 27. ^ a b Liverani 2013, p. 260. ^ Collon 1995, p. 97. ^ Hamblin 2006, p. 298, 299. ^ Bryce 1999, p. 83. ^ Bryce 2014, p. 29. ^ Burney 2004, p. 107. ^ Bryce 1999, p. 152. ^ Hamblin 2006, p. 260. ^ Payne 2012, p. 3. ^ Bryce 1999, p. 126. ^ a b c Astour 1969, p. 382. ^ Drower 1973, p. 433. ^ a b Collon 1995, p. 109. ^ a b Astour 1989, p. 92. ^ Podany 2010, p. 136. ^ Astour 1981, p. 9. ^ Frayne 1990, p. 783. ^ Teissier 1996, p. 28. ^ Frayne 1990, p. 788. ^ Frayne 1990, p. 792. ^ Teissier 1996, p. 26. ^ van Soldt 2000, p. 106. ^ Frayne 1990, p. 795. ^ van Soldt 2000, p. 107. ^ Astour 1989, p. 19. ^ Schwartz 2013, p. 3. ^ Schwartz 2013, p. 10. ^ a b Liverani 2013, p. 232. ^ Feldman 2007, p. 55. ^ van Soldt 2000, p. 109. ^ a b Burke 2013, p. 409. ^ Teissier 1996, p. 38. ^ Dalley 2002, p. 51. ^ Owen 2000, p. 618. ^ Nathanson 2013, p. 72. ^ a b c Kupper 1973, p. 41. ^ Zohar 2013, p. 95. ^ Sicker 2003, p. 32. ^ Pruzsinszky 2007, p. 23. ^ a b c d e f van Koppen 2010, p. 212. ^ van Koppen 2010, p. 213. ^ Foster 2009, p. 148. ^ Fleming 2000, p. 90. ^ a b c Taracha 2009, p. 121. ^ Gonnella 2006, p. 166. ^ Gonnella 2010, p. 114. ^ Oldenburg 1969, p. 67. ^ Oldenburg 1969, p. 160. ^ Green 2003, p. 181. ^ Green 2003, p. 170. ^ van der Toorn 1996, p. 77, 88.

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Hadad
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temple discovery. Kay Kohlmeyer, an archaeologist at Berlin's University of Applied Sciences and the excavation co-director explain about the temple. Ansari- ancient Halab.

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