Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Flash in the Pan for Sippar

Few people today have ever heard of Buntahtun-ila, probably only slightly fewer than four millennia ago when he lived. He was the ruler of Sippar and his reign lasted for only about a year. His story, what we know of it, is an interesting tale and was pieced together by Rivkah Harris in her illuminating study, Ancient Sippar (pp. 4-5).

The local rulers of Sippar, after the collapse of the Ur II Dynasty, functioned much like kings, but did not claim the titles. That changed with Buntahtun-ila, who seems to have usurped the office, supplanting the earlier ruler Immerum about 1865 B.C. Buntahtun-ila, having deposed or at least replaced Immerum, made himself king. His rule, however, was short lived as the Babylonian king, Sumu-la-ila, took over in his twenty-ninth year. and was thereafter ruler of Sippar. Sippar's nearly half century of independence came to an end. Thereafter Buntahtun-ila has scarcely been thought of.