King of Isin
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Ishme-Dagan (Akkadian: Išme-Dagān; fl. c. 1889 BC — c. 1871 BC by the short chronology of the ancient near east) was the 4th king of the First Dynasty of Isin, according to the "Sumerian King List" (SKL). Also according to the SKL: he was both the son and successor of Iddin-Dagān. Lipit-Ištar then succeeded Išme-Dagān. Išme-Dagān was one of the kings to restore the Ekur.

Stamped brick with the name of Ishme-Dagan, king of Isin, Isin-Larsa Period, from Ur, currently housed in the British Museum


  • Prince, you place justice in every mouth, and make propriety resplendent. Daily you make hearts content, daily you determine fates appropriately. [...] You brighten the night sky in the broad firmament, and illuminate the darkness. The Anuna gods stand by with prayers and supplications at your rising. The sweet sight of your resplendent crescent, full of loveliness, brings joy to the great lady of the Ki-ur, mother Ninli.
  • Great hero, strongest in heaven and earth! Ninurta, who controls perfectly the fifty divine powers in the E-kur! Governor for his father, rising raging storm, who extends terror [...] towards the foreign countries. [...] Who casts fear upon the people, who has no rival! Ninurta, surpassing in vigour! [...] Great and majestic strength, [...] ornament of the august shrine!
  • Uta-ulu, riding on fearsome radiance, [...] greatest amongt the great lords! [...] Ninurta, perfect in authority, caretaker of heaven and earth, [...] Lord who was given great strength by Nunamnir, confident in his strength, striding into battle!
  • August Nibru! No deity excels like your lord and lady!
    They are powerful princes; they are brilliantly revealed deities.
    No deity excels like Enlil or Ninlil!
    They are powerful princes; they are lords who can decide destinies.
    In your midst they have given divine powers to king Enki.
    Nibru, your holy songs are exceptionally precious, surpassing all praise!
    I, Icme-Dagan, have placed them in everyone's mouths for all time.

Quotes about Ishme-Dagan

  • He made the people follow the proper path, and ousted the enemy from Sumer. He removed the wicked tongues, and made justice shine forth like copper. That fathers should be feared and mothers respected, that sons should pay heed to the words of their fathers, and that mercy, compassion and pity should be shown, that one should provide even one's paternal grandparents with food and drink -- all this he established in Sumer and Akkad. Then she made Icme-Dagan, the son of Enlil, the en priest of Unug, into their guardian -- this is what Inana, the lady of heaven and earth, did; and the great An declared his consent.
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