Šamšī-Adad III

Šamšī-Adad III was a second millennium king of Aššur who is known from the Assyrian King List [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/kinglists/assyriankinglist/index.html] (AKL), the Synchronistic King List [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/kinglists/synchronistickinglist/index.html] (SKL), and a small number of fragmentary royal inscriptions. Of the five inscriptions attributed to him, only two preserve his name (text nos. 1 and 2); the other three inscriptions (text nos. 1001, 1002, and 1003) are attributed to Šamšī-Adad III on contextual grounds. Although he appears in the SKL, the name of his Babylonian contemporary is completely broken away. According to the AKL, Šamšī-Adad III exercised kingship for sixteen years, and he was preceded by Išmē-Dagān II [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/ishmedaganii/index.html] and succeeded by Aššur-nērārī I [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/ashurnararii/index.html]. Both Šamšī-Adad III and Aššur-nērārī I are said to have been sons of Išmē-Dagān II, but this might not have been true of Šamšī-Adad because the AKL states that his father was the son of Šū-Nīnua [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/shuninuaorkidinninua/index.html] (or Kidin-Nīnua); Išmē-Dagān II is referred to in that same text as the son of Šamšī-Adad II [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/shamshiadadii/index.html]. S. Yamada (1994, 28) suggests that Šamšī-Adad III was not the son of Išmē-Dagān II but rather of an otherwise unattested Išmē-Dagān, who was the brother of Šū-Nīnua's immediate successor Šarma-Adad II [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/sharmaadadii/index.html]. This argument is possibly strengthened by text no. 2), in which Šamšī-Adad III mentions his father but does not refer to him as the "vice-regent of the god Aššur." The significant omission of the title may suggest that Šamšī-Adad III's father had not been ruler of Aššur. If the attribution of text no. 1003 is correct, however, it poses a problem for this interpretation as that text refers to Išmē-Dagān as "vice-regent of the god Aššur" in relation to the king's father. Many centuries later, Tiglath-pileser I [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/tiglathpileseri/index.html] described both Šamšī-Adad III and Aššur-nērārī I as sons of Išmē-Dagān II (text no. 1 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005926/] vii 62f). However, this is inconclusive as it may have been the result of confusion in the later tradition.

[Poppy Tushingham]


Baker, H.D., 'Šamšī-Adad III.,' Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 11 (2006-08), 636.
Yamada, S., 'The Editorial History of the Assyrian King List,' ZA 84 (1994), 11-37.

Browse the RIAo Corpus [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/pager/]

1   2   1001   1002   1003  


A proprietary label of Šamsī-Adad III is partially preserved on a fragment of a jar rim discovered at Aššur. The present whereabouts of the object are not known.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005682/] of Šamšī-Adad III 1.

Source: Ass 18496


1926 Meissner, IAK IX 1 (edition)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LIX 1 (translation)


A brick fragment from Aššur preserves part of an inscription recording that Šamsī-Adad built a structure (reading uncertain) in the New City quarter.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q006658/] of Šamšī-Adad III 2.

Source: VA Ass 03219


1984 Marzahn and Rost, Ziegeln 1 no. 87 (study)
1985 Rost and Marzahn, VAS 23 no. 28 (copy)


Two fragmentarily preserved bricks discovered at Aššur are inscribed with an inscription of an Old Assyrian king (name broken away) commemorating the renovation of the ziggurats of the twin Anu-Adad temple at Aššur; Samsī-Addu I is mentioned as a previous builder. The attribution to Šamsī-Adad III is based on the fact that he is the only Assyrian ruler who is known from extant textual sources to have worked on this structure between the reigns of Samsī-Addu I and Tiglath-pileser I. Presumably, other Old and Middle Assyrian rulers from that period sponsored work on that temple and, therefore, this inscription could belong to one of them.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005683/] of Šamšī-Adad III 1001.

Sources: (1) Šamši-Adad III 1001 ex. 1 VA Ass 03220 (Ass 12780 + Ass 12794)     (2) Šamši-Adad III 1001 ex. 2 VA Ass 03216h (Ass 05971)


1926 Meissner, IAK p. 17 n. 2 (ex. 1, study)
1926 Weidner, IAK p. 148 n. 4 (ex. 1, study)
1934 J. Lewy, RA 31 p. 170 (ex. 1, copy, study)
1945-51 Weidner, AfO 15 p. 94 n. 57 (ex. 1, edition)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LIX 2 (ex. 1, translation)
1984 Marzahn and Rost, Ziegeln 1 nos. 8 and 86 (exs. 1-2, study)
1985 Rost and Marzahn, VAS 23 nos. 8 and 27 (exs. 1-2, copy)


A fragment of a stone tablet bears only part of one line of an Old Assyrian inscription and that line mentions the Anu-Adad temple at Aššur. For the same reason as the preceding text, this inscription is tentatively attributed to Šamsī-Adad III. The present location of the object, which was discovered near the south-west ziggurat of the Anu-Adad temple, is not known.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005684/] of Šamšī-Adad III 1002.

Source: Ass 12697


1945-51 Weidner, AfO 15 p. 94 n. 57 (edition)
1954 Landsberger, JCS 8 p. 41 n. 54 (study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LIX 3 (translation)


A fragment of a clay cone found at Aššur and now in Istanbul (Eski Șark Eserleri Müzesi of the Arkeoloji Müzeleri) preserves part of an inscription of an Old Assyrian king. The text may have been written in the name of either Šamsī-Adad III or his immediate successor Aššur-nārārī I. As pointed out by A.K. Grayson, the structure whose renovation this inscription commemorates may be the same as that in Šamsī-Adad III 2.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005685/] of Šamšī-Adad III 1003.

Source: Ist A 03392 (Ass 03818)


1984 Donbaz and Grayson, RICCA no. 1 (copy, edition)

Jamie Novotny & Poppy Tushingham

Jamie Novotny & Poppy Tushingham, 'Šamšī-Adad III', The Royal Inscriptions of Assyria online (RIAo) Project, The RIAo Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2021 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/shamshiadadiii/]

Back to top ^^
© RIAo, 2015-. RIAo is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/] license, 2007-17.
Oracc uses cookies only to collect Google Analytics data. Read more here [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/doc/about/cookies/index.html]; see the stats here [http://www.seethestats.com/site/oracc.museum.upenn.edu]; opt out here.