Išpuini, Minua, and Inušpua

Among the inscriptions of Išpuini, Minua and Minua's son Inušpua there is one rock inscription while the other texts are inscribed in bronze and silver object.

Map 04

Map showing the distribution of the stone inscriptions of Išpuini, Minua, and Inušpua, in: Mirjo Salvini, CTU I: 176

Išpuini / ass. Ušpina

Synchronism: ca. 820 BC = 2nd campaign of Šamšī-Adad V

Assyrian Sources

RIMA 3 A.0.103.1 ii 16b-34a: 2nd campaign led by the chief eunuch Muṭarris-Aššur to the land Nairi conquering of 11 fortified cities as well as 200 other cities of Ušpina

Urartian Sources

Stone inscriptions

Inscriptions on metal objects

CTU A 04-01: construction of a tower temple (susi) of the god Haldi and a "Gate of the god Haldi" in the vicinity of Tušpa

CTU B 04-01 A-D: four bronze rings with Urartian votive inscription; provenience: Yukarı Anzaf

CTU B 04-02: bronze ring with Urartian inscription; provenience: Yukarı Anzaf

CTU B 04-03 a-b: fragments of bronze rings with Urartian inscription; provenience: Yukarı Anzaf

Literatur: Fuchs 2013: 136 (study and date of Šamši-Adad's V 2nd campaign); Salvini 1995: 34-38

Royal titles

There are no royal titles given in any of the inscriptions mentioning Išpuini, Minua and Išpuini.

Building activities

The rock inscription A 4–1 which is located in Tabriz Kapısı on rock Van is composed as a speech of Išpuini that reports the erection of a tower temple and a gate for the god Haldi by Minua and Inušpua in or near the city Ṭušpa. Furthermore, the text reports that the erection of the buildings was accompanied by sacrifices.

04_Ishpuini_Minua_Inushpa_Tabriz Kapisi_rockinscription.jpg

Rock inscription of Tabrız Kapısı (A 4-1), in: Mirjo Salvini, CTU III: 103

Interestingly, no reference is made to a participation of Išpuini, neither in the building projects nor in the sacrifices. Apart from his role as the one giving the report, Išpuini is only mentioned as beneficiary in the blessing formulae along with Minua and Inušpua.

Another text that refers to joint activities of Išpuini, Minua and Inušpua is the inscription B 4–1 which is engraved in four bronze rings (duplicates A–D). According to it, Išpuini, Minua and Inušpua dedicated the rings after their conquest of the territory of the city Amuša. The military campaign therefore must have taken place in the later years of Išpuini's reign or, respectively, during the putative coregency of Išpuini and his son Minua (for further information see the portal page Išpuini and Minua).


Bronze rings with votive inscription of Išpuini, Minua, and Inušpua from Yukarı Anzaf, in: Mirjo Salvini, CTU IV: 27


Votive inscription of Išpuini, Minua, and Inušpua on bronze rings from Yukarı Anzaf, in: Mirjo Salvini, CTU IV: 27

All these inscriptions suggest that Inušpua was initially intended as Minua's successor, and not his brother Argišti I. Whether Inušpua has ever come into power remains unclear. Except for the inscriptions that mention him along with his grandfather and father, he is only mentioned in the dedicatory inscription B 2–4 on a silver bucket. The text states that Išpuini gave the bucket to Inušpua as a present because of his affection for his grandfather (see portal page Išpuini).

It is therefore likely that Inušpua reigned only for a short period, or that his brother Argišti I immediately followed his father on the thrown. The reason for this remains unclear. A struggle over the succession and a forceful death of Inušpua cannot be excluded. But since no attempts have been made to eradicate his name from the inscriptions and thereby erase him from the collective memory, it appears more likely that he died before ascending the throne or soon afterwards.

Further reading

Kroll, Stephan et al. (2012): Introduction, in: Stephan Kroll, Claudia Gruber, Ursula Hellwag, Michael Roaf, and Paul Zimansky (eds.), Biainili-Urartu. The Proceedings of the Symposium Held in Munich 12-14. Oktober 2007, (Acta Iranica 51), Leuven: 1-38
Salvini, Mirjo (1993) Reflexions about the Urartian shrines of the stelae, in: Machteld Johanna Mellink, Edith Porada and Tahsin Özgüç (eds.), Studies in honor of Nimet Özgüç, Ankara 1993, 543-548.
Salvini, Mirjo (1997): Geschichte und Kultur der Urartäer, Darmstadt 1995, 63-78.
Salvini, Mirjo (2012): Corpus dei testi urartei (Documenta Asiana VIII), Vol. IV. Le iscrizioni su bronzi, argilla e altri supporti. Nuove iscrizioni su pietra. Paleografia generale, Roma 2012, 1- 323 (CTU IV).

Birgit Christiansen

Birgit Christiansen, 'Išpuini, Minua, and Inušpua', Electronic Corpus of Urartian Texts (eCUT) Project, The eCUT Project, 2019 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/ecut/urartianrulersandchronology/ishpuiniminuaandinushpuaa4andb4/]

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