Skip to main content

The Army of the Kings of Ur: The Textual Evidence

"The situation is paradoxical. During the last century of the 3rd millennium BC, several accounts testify that rulers of the Third Dynasty of Ur (Ur III) conducted, from the heart of Sumer, several wars of conquest beyond the frontiers of their kingdom, probably influenced by the imperial model initiated roughly two centuries earlier by the kings of Akkad. And yet very few documents, with little detail in them, are available on the armies that led these military conquests. Moreover, we know little about how these kings organized, from a military point of view, the defenses either at the center or at the outskirts of their kingdom. Although the military organization of this period is extremely important to the history of ancient Mesopotamia, the total evidence that we have to date is so sketchy and incomplete that it allows only minimal insight."

Author(s):  Lafont, Bertrand
Format:  Article
Publisher:  Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI)
Publication City:  Los Angeles
Date:  2009
Source:  Cuneiform Digital Library Journal (CDLJ)
Volume:  2009
Number:  5