People - Ancient Near East: Zimri-Lim
Ancient Near East
Zimri-Lim in Wikipedia
Zimrilim was king of Mari from about 1779 to 1757 BCE.
He was the son and heir of Iakhdunlim, but was forced to flee to Yamkhad when his father was assassinated by his own servants during a coup. The city was occupied by Shamshi-Adad I, the king of Assur, who put his own son Yasmah-Adad on the throne. Shortly after the death of Shamshi-Adad I, Zimrilim returned from exile and was able to oust Yasmah-Adad from power with the help of Yarimlim, the king of Yamkhad.
Zimrilim ruled Mari for about twenty years, and campaigned extensively to establish his power in the neighbouring areas along the Euphrates and the Khabur valley. He extended his palace in the city, which was possibly the largest at the time, and certainly the envy of other kings.
He was also active on a wider stage, and at one time (perhaps about 1764 BCE) was allied with Hammurabi in his wars against Eshnunna.
Zimrilim's personal life is partly known through tablets preserved in the state archive of Mari. He married Shibtu, a princess of Yamhad (Aleppo and surrounding territory), and is known to have had at least eight daughters through various wives. Several of his daughters were married to rulers of local towns, and two others are known to have become priestesses. Correspondence between the king and his daughters provides evidence that Zimrilim thought highly of women and considered them at least competent at making decisions, as shown when he appointed his daughter Kiru as mayor of a nearby town.
In 1757 BCE, Hammurabi conquered and sacked Mari (though it may be that the city had surrendered without a fight), despite the previous alliance. At this time Zimrilim disappears from historical view, and is presumed to have been killed.
It has been asserted before that Belassunu was one of his secondary wives, but this is now believed to be incorrect.
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