Sie sind auf Seite 1von 22

The Early History of the West Semitic Peoples

Author(s): I. J. Gelb
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1 (1961), pp. 27-47
Published by: The American Schools of Oriental Research
Stable URL: .
Accessed: 17/01/2012 12:15
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

The American Schools of Oriental Research is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend
access to Journal of Cuneiform Studies.


Chicago,Illinois, IJ.S.A.
In their continual struggle for survival, the
settled populationsand the establishedstates of
the Fertile Crescenthad to contend throughout
their historywith the inroadsof barbariansliving
on their flanks: the peoples of the mountainsin
the North, such as the Gutians, Lullubians,
Subarians, and Hurrians; and the Semitic nomadic and semi-nomadicpeoples of the deserts
and semi-desertsin the South and the East.
The monographhere discussedlrepresentsthe
first comprehensivestudy of a very important
topic, concernedwith the first appearanceand the
successivehistory of a groupof peopleswho were
nomads or are assumedto have been nomads at
one time in their past history. Ethno-linguistically speaking,all these peoplescan be subsumed
under the term "West Semitic," to be distinguished from "East Semitic," which includes
only the Akkadians (or Assyro-Babylonians).
Jean-Robertliupper, a member of the FrancoBelgian team of scholars,which under the aegis
of Andre Parrot and GeorgesDossin has done so
much for the enrichment of our knowledge of
arscient Western Asia through the discovery,
publication,and interpretationof the Mari materials, is best known for his several constructive
contributionsin the field of Mari studies, and
thus was well prepared to tackle this difficult
task, which would have been well nigh impossible
of accomplishmentonly a few years ago without
the light shed by the Mari discoveries.
In a brief introductionKupper begins with a
discussion of the general problem of nomadism
as it firstappearson the orientalscene. He notes
that the type of nomadismattested in the most
ancient sourcesis not the same as that known to
us so well as Beduin nomadism,since the former
was based on small cattle, while the latter was
based on the camel. Although the question of
the earliest date of the domestication of the
1. Review article of Jean-Robert SupperfiLes nomades
en Mesopotamieau temps des rois de Mari. Bibliotheque
de la Faculte de Philosophie et Lettres de l'Universite
de Liege, Fascicule CXLII. Paris, Societe d 'Edition
"Les Belles Lettres", 1957. Pp. xxxii + 283.

camel in the Ancient Orient has not yet been

solved satisfactorily,it is generallyassumedthat
the camel was unknown in Mesopotamiabefore
the 12th century B. C.2 Accordingto Kupper,
the lack of the camel as a vehicle of transportation, coupled with the need of keeping flocks of
smaller cattle near steady sources of water,
forced the early nomads to avoid the waste
lands of centralArabiaand to stick to the fringe
lands East and South of the Fertile Crescent,
in the areacalledHamad3by the Arabsof our day.
It is from that area that the four great Semitic
migrations4are generallyassumedto have come:
first the Akkadian, at some unknow] date in
antiquity;then the Amorite,mainly at the beginning of the Old Babylonian period; then, from
the 12th centuryB. C., the Aramean;and finally,
the well-knownArab migration. Of these four
migrations liupper treats in his book only the
two middle ones, namely the Amorite and the
The chronologyfollowed by liupper is apparently that of SidneySmith, as can be judgedfrom
his dating of Hammurapito about 1800 B. C.
(p. xviii).

Kupper'sdiscussionof the earlySemiticnomads

2. However, Kupper himself notes the mention of the
camel in the Patriarchal Stories, which has generally
been taken as anachronistic. A recently published
economie test from Alala4 (Wiseman, The A lalakh
Tablets No 269:59 - Wiseman, JCS XIII 29, 33, and
Goetze ibid. 37), dated to the late Old Babylonian
period, lists quantities of fodder for camels (ANSE.
GANI.MAL). [Cf. W. G. Lambert, BASOR 160 p. 42.]
3. The Arabic word hamad, denoting semi-arid lands,
of the type intermediate between fully cultivated land
and the desert, may have a long antiquity if my idea
that the hapax legomenon ha-Xza-te denotiIlg a topographical term for the area near the Tartar River ill
Scheil, Tukulti-Ninip II, line 47, represents the same
work in Akkadian garb. If this is right, then the seeond
topographical term in the same line of the same Assyrian
inscription, namely mar-ga-ni (in plural), may be identified with the Arabic marj 'smeadow", "grass-land".
4. S. Moscati, TheSemites in Ancient History (Cardiff,
1959) pp. 72 ff., argues persuasively that violent Semitic
invasions occurred from time to time on a background
of contintlous and mainly peaceftll penetraticon.


VOL.15 (1961)

is organizedin five large chaptersnumberedand

entitled: I Les ganeens, II Les Benjaminites,
III Les Suteens, IV Les Amorrheens,and V Les
gabiru. While Chapters I, II, and the first
half of III are based mainly on the Mari sources
and are concerned with peoples who appear at
approximatelythe same time on the political
horizon, the second half of Chapter III is concerned with the Ahlameansand Arameans,who
appear later5 than the three just mentioned
peoples,and couldhave been treatedmoreprofitably in a separatechapterat the end of the book.
Chapter IV is subdivided into three parts, of
which the first one treats of the countryAmurru
and the Amorites,the secondof the West Semitic
peoples, and the third of the god Amurru.The
treatment of the Amoritesand West Semites in
two separatesubdivisionsof ChapterIV is justified by Kupper on practical grounds. While,
as will be seen later, he takes these two groupsof
peoples to be of the same ethnic backgroursd,it
seemed advisableto him to gather the data pertaining to the two groupsseparatelyand to leave
to the general discussion the question of their
mutual relationship. The fact that the god
Amurruis so much at home in the religion of
Babyloniaproperand even Elam (p. 245), while
he is practicallyunknownin the West, that is, in
Mesopotamia6and Syria, has not been explained
to ourfull satisfaction(cf. also belowp. 47). This
whole chapteron the Amoritesand West Semites
is parallelled by the correspondingparts of
Edzard's recently published monograph.7 It is
5. The early references to a person called Ahlamlein
the Mari economic texts (pp. 108 and 136), to the geographical names Aram and Arame dated to Naram-Sin
(p. 113), the Ur III geographical name Arami (p. 112),
and the Ur III personal name Aramu (p. 112) seem to me
to have nothing in common with the Ahlameans and
Arameans, respectively, except a certain similarity in
sound. I even doubt the connection between the Ras
Shamra personal names 'aRMJ and Armeja, the eqlati
aramtmaof Alalahw(p. 114), and the Arameans. Staying
on safe historical ground, the first real reference to the
Ahwlameansare to be found in the EA letters and Middle
Babylonian texts (pp. 108 f.), and those to the Arameans
in the inscriptions of Tiglathpileser I (pp. 111, 133).
6. To avoid descriptive adJectives I use in this article
the term Mesopotamia", in the Greek sense, for the
area which corresponds to the modern Jezireh in contrast to the term ssBabylonia", which represents the
area south of the modern Baghdad.
7. Dietz Otto Edzard, Die sszweite Zwischenzei!"
Babylonien.s (Wiesbaden, 1957).

surprisingto what large an extent the two authors

agree in their main conclusions.Chapter ATon
the :Uabiru'sis kept to a minimum, since it is
intended simply as a resume of the questions
extensivelytreated previouslyin the monographs
by J. Bottero and M. Greenberg.8 To Kupper,
the term Habiru is not an ethnic term and has
nothingto do with the Hebrews,but representsa
descriptiveadjective or an appellativefor a certain class of the population,originallyof nomadic
origin, who, organizedin military bands, were in
the habit of roaming, fighting, and pillaging
either on their own or in the service of various
mighty princes. A short chapter with conclusions, a map of the ancient Near East, and an
extensive index of proper names complete the
Some generalremarkson the title and structure
of Kupper'smonographshould be made. First
of all, the book is not so much about the nomads
as it is about the early West Semitic populations.
These are found either roaming around as fullfledgednomads,or in a semi-settledstatus in the
service of WIesopotamianprinces and rulers, or
in a fully settled status in such areas as Babylonia and Syria. Furthermore,the book is not
limited to the times of the kings of WIari,as one
would gather from the title, but extends both
beforeand after that period. This is true of the
discussionof the Ahlameansand Arameans,which
takes us well into the first millenniumB. C., and
of the discussionof the Amoritesand the Habiru's,
whichtakes us to times both beforeand after the
Mari period. Thus, the organizationof the volume is not historical. While the first two and a
half chapters deal with peoples who are either
exclusively or best attested in the WIariperiod,
Chapter IV on the Amorites and West Semites
deals extensively with peoples who historically
8. J. Bottero et al., Le problemedes Habiru (Paris,
1954); M . Greenberg, The Hab/ piru (NeFtHaven, Conn.,
1955). Cf. also M. G. Kline, The Ha-BI-ru, kin or foe
of Israel", WestntinsterTheologicalJournal XIX (1956)
1-24, 170-184, XX (1957) 46-70; H. Cazelles, Hebreu,
Ubru et Hapirtl", Syria XXXV (1958) 198-217; and R.
Borger, T)as Problem der saplrll (Habiru')", ZDPV
LXXIV (1958) 121-132. According to the latter, the
term saptru, meaning dusty", covered with dust"
(meaning known from Syriac), may have acquired in
the course of time the general meaning of foreigner",
s simmigrant




representantecedentsto the peoplesknownfrom

the Mari sources. I am under the impression
that the author may have originallyintended to
write a monographon the nomadic populations
of the Mari period, but decided in the course
of time to extend the scope of the monographto
the form it now has. This impressionof mine
seems strengthenedif we analyze the monograph
on the basis of the extent of coverage. The most
complete appear to me the first two and a half
chapters, in which all the knowll informationis
exhaustively gathered, with detailed discussion
of the diFerent areas, leaders, occupations,
activities, names?and divinities connected with
the individualpeople. The otjlat chapterscover
their subject-matter less completely, especially
C:hapterIV on the Amorites and West Semites,
a topic Ollwhich I have done extensive research
in the past few years. Although the Egyptian
Execration Texts attesting West Semitic names
(pp. 238f.) and other Egyptian sources referring
to the Sutians (pp. 141ff.) are discussed, I can
filld nowhere in the monographa reference to
Egyptian sources concerning the Amorites. I
also miss a discussionof the Amoritesin the Old
The book is well written and should serve as a
modelfor historicalinvestigationsbased on philological sources. Its conclusions are generally
sound,and I have no doubt that they will rapidly
becomepart of our acceptedknowledgeof ancient
orientalhistory. The monographcontainsa number of new and importantgeographicalidentifications and some extensivelexical notes, such as
nawam "campement"(pp. 12ff., cf. also Edzard,
ZA LIII 168-173), sugagum"chef de clan ou de
arillage"(pp. 15-20), ga-ju "elan,""tribu"(p. 207
etymology unknowll), tebibtum "purification,
"enregistrement"(pp. 23-29, of. also CAD under
ebebamng. 2c-3'), dawtdum"victoire' (pp. 6062; actually dawdum,of. also Landsbergerapud
Tadmor,JXES XVII 129ff.,connectingthe WIari
word with Akkadian dabdu "defeat," and Gelb
in a forthcomingissue of JNES.)
I do not intend to discuss here the few points
of disagreementin respect to the interpretation
of West Semitic nameswhich exist betweenKupper and myself, such as his Ia-il (p. 215) for my
Jatil, his Abban (p. 267) for my fiAbba-'II9,
9. Cf below, p. 34.


Wtldeu (p. 282) for my Jatilanu, sillce this would

necessitatea full presentationof evidencewhichis
beyond the scope of this article. From his
remarkson Ibal-p-EI (p. 224 n. 1) and on the
Alalah hybrid names (p. 233) we can note that
Kupper is not entirely immune to the influence
of the variousMischnamen,Mischformentheories,
which, in contrast to the position taken on this
questionby Poebel, lDiesumerischenPersonennamen zur Zeit der Dynastie von Larsam und der
erstenDynastievonBabylon(Breslau,]910), have
of late been widely propoundedin the field of
In orderto give a better understandingof the
historicalpicture as reconstructedby Kupper, I
shall try in the following to discuss the early
historyof the NVestSemiticpeoplesin chronological order,from their first appearancein the PreSargonicand Sargonicsourcesthroughthe classical periodof the Old Babyloniandynastiesto the
middle of the second millennium B. C:. I will
leave out of the discussion the problem of the
relationshipof these early West Semites to the
later Ugaritans, Arameans, and South Arabs.
This is a chapter in the history of the ancient
Near East whichyet remainsto be written. Geographical]y,my discussionprogressesfrom Babylonia to Mesopotamiato Syria and Palestine.

The countryor regionknown as JIartu or Kur

Martu in Sumerian10and Amurra(m/)or mQt
Amurrsin Akkadianappearsoccasionallyas beillg
at war with the Sargonicand Ur III killgs. Its
locationis certainlyin the West, as can be judged
from the following data: (1) Sar-kali-sarrl,the
fifth king of the Sargonicdynasty, reportsin one
of his dates a victory over MAR.TU achievedin

10. The written MAR.TU is normally taken as Mar-tu

on the basis of the spelling M-ar-d[u]-e,listed in K. p.
149 n. 1. Instead of M-r-bl[v]-e, Falkenstein,
p. 120, n. 2, proposed recently
the reading M-r-r[il-e and explained the Sumerian
Marreas derived from Amurru(m) via ArZarr?X.
However, in favor of Martu,rather than Marre,cf. M-rtu-ne su-b-ti (Orient.XVIII 28 rev. 57) = Mar-ta-ne
su-b-tt (26 rev. 41)) compared with Elam-e-nesu-b-ti
(line 38), and possibly URU-M-ar-tiPK;I,
AN.AN.MAR.TU, in VAS VIII 13:14, discussed by
Feigin, AJSL LI 22 S., and Edzard, Die "zweite
Zwischenzeit"Babyloniensp. 23 n. Q4.


VOL.15 (1961)

the mountainsof Ba-sa-ar, whichcorrespond

the modernJebel el-Bisrl,situate(lwest of the
Euphratesill the directionof Palmyra. This
piece of informationagreeswith the statement
found in the Gudea inscription,accordingto
which large stones were broughtto Babylonia
from Ball-sal-la, the mountainof MAR.TU
(pp. 149f.). (2) The fourthyear of Su-Sin,the
fourthkingof the Ur III dynasty,is namedafter
the construction
of a fortressbuiltas a protectio
againstthe lMAR.TU
and namedMuriq-Didnim,
meaning"one which keeps Didnumdistant."
This informationparallelsthat found in the
Gudeainscription,accordingto whichalabaster
was broughtfrom Ti-da-num,the mountainof
MAR.TU (pp. 156ff.). For the interpretation
as Didnum, Didanum,rather than Tidnum,
The exactlocationof this ancientDidnumis unknown,but, to judge from the West Semitic
parallels,it musthave beensituatedin the area
betweenthe Euphratesand Syria.ll (3) IM.
MAR.TU "West"is one of the four cardinal
points of the compass,to be contrastedwith
IM.KUR "East," named after the mountain
range east of the Tigris (p. 165).12The selfevidentconclusion,whichis drawnby Kupper
from these sources,is that MAR.TUis to be
localizedwest of Babyloniaand not east of the
Tigris,as proposedby Landsberger
and Bauer.
The exact definitionof the term "west"in the
Old Akkadianperiodcan be given only on the
basisof the Basar: Jebelel-Bisrlequation. For
the locationof Amurruin Syriain laterperiods
see the discussionon pp. 41f. below.
At approximately
the sametime that the foreign countryMAR.TU appearsin the Babylonian sourceswe also find personswith an
appellativeMAR.TUlivingpeacefullyin Babylonia. While such names appear sporadically
in the Faraand Sargonictexts (pp. 150f.),it is
not untilthe Ur III period(p. 151-155)that the
largenumberof attestations over one hundred

11. The Hebrew and Arabic Dedan, which occurs as

URUDa-da-nuin an inscription of Nabonidus reeently
published by Gadd, Anatolian Studies VIII (1958)58:24,
represents the same name as Didnum but has to be located much farther south, near Medina in Arabia.
12. Commonly used in the Sargonic period, as, e.g.,
in HSS X 1; RTC 148;the Man-istusu Obelisk, etc. The
oldest occurrence is found in DP 211.

permitsus to drawcertainconclusionsas to
their linguisticcharacter.The personsbearing
such namescomefromdifferentcities of Babylonia. In some,suchas Lagash,theybearnames
whichare largelySumerianor Akkadian,while
in others,suchas Drehem,theybearnameswhich
are largelyneitherSumeriannor Akkadian,but
obviouslySemitic. Some Ur III texts referto
takenin bootyfromMAR.TU(p. 156).
Wenotethat in someareasthe Amoritesbecame
so assimilatedas to give their childrenlocal
names,whilein othersthey-retainedtheir own,
native, onomastichabits. The languageof the
latter names we call simply Amorite. More
aboutit later.

Towardsthe end of the reignof Ibbi-Sin,the

last kingof the Ur III dynasty,and duringthe
periodof the local dynastieswhichruledBabylonia after the break-upof the Ur III empire,
referencesto fightingwith the Amoritesrecur
moreoften (pp. 157-169). This time, however,
the fightingwith the Amoritesdoes not take
placein the West, outsideof the boundariesof
but rightwithinit. It is clearthat
at theendof the UrIII periodthedesertAmorites
weremovinginto Babyloniain a powerfulmigration andweretakingoverone city afteranother.
At the same time the onomasticpictureof
Babylonia underwenta substantial change.
Besides the great majorityof the population
bearingAkkadianand Sumeriannames, there
now appear hundreds,perhapsthousands,of
personsbearingSemitic names differentfrom
Akkadian. While some persons,ratherfew in
number,arecalledAmoritein texts(pp.169-174),
most of the personsbearingnamesof the same
type appear without any ethnic denotation
(pp. 213ff., 219-224). These non-Akkadian
namesare bornenot ollly by privateindividuals
and officials,but also by kings and rulersof
dynasties,suchas thoseof Larsa,Babylon,Kish,
Marad, Sippar,Kazallu,Eshnunnaand other
city-statesin the Diyala Region(pp. 197-206).
At Larsa,e.g., the firstsevenrulers,fromNaplanumto Sumu-El(withthe possibleexceptionof
names;they are followedby rulersallof whombearAkkadiannames.
At Babylon,the firsttwo rulers,namelySumu-

abuml3 and Sumu-la-El, bear non-Akkadian
names; they are followedby three rulersbearing
Akkadiannames, lvith Hammurapiand the rest
of the dynasty reviving the old, non-Akkadian,
tra(iltlonlll name glvlng.
As soon as scholarsbegan to study these new
Semitic names, appearingso profuselyin the Old
Babylonian period, they recognized that they
were couched in a West Semitic and not East
Semitic (= Akkadian) tongue. Up to about
years ago the question of what these
names were to be called was answered simply:
they were to be called Amorite. This conclu3ion
was based partly on the fact that some West
Semitic names occur with the denotation
MAR.TU and partly on the observationthat the
West Semitic names without this ethnic denotation begin to appear in mass in Babylonia after
and as a consequenceof the Amorite invasions
and conquestswhich took pl$ce at the end of the
Ur III dynasty and the beginning of the Old
Babylonian-period. The practical identity of
the West Semitic names of the Old Babylonian
period with names of persons called Amorite in
the Ur III period was taken for granted. The
fact that Amurruxvasknown from the previous
periods to be situated in the West (see above
p. 30), the recognizedhome of the West Semites,
seemed to strengthen the conclusion that the
West Semitic namesof Babyloniaare to be called
This picturewas completelyupset by the theories propoundedin 1925-26 by B. Landsbergerl4
and Theo Bauer,15accordingto whichthe country
Amurruwas not situated in the West but east
of the Tigris and the language of the TJrIII

13. Sumu-abum, the founder of the First l)ynasty of

Babylon, was famous enough to live in the onomastic
tradition of Syria, as is apparent from the name la-paah-Su-mu-a-bi in a text from Alalah (No . 56:47) and
JP-SMW-'B on objects from Byblos (Montet, Byblos
et l':2gypte pp. 165 f. = Pl. XCVII No. 618 and pp. 174
ff. = P1. XCIX ff. No. 653). For similar cases of semideification of historical figures, cf. Sumuabi-arim,
Usi-Sumu-abum,Ammt-sadaqa-iluniq Hammu-raps-bans,
and several other names of the Old Babylonian period.
14. "tber die Volker Vorderasiens im dritten Jahrtausend", ZA XXXV (1924) 213-238, especially pp.
236 ff.
15. Dte OsZkanaanaer(Leipzig, 1926). Cf. also his
"Eine Uberprufung der 'Amoriter-Fragen', ZA
XXXVIII (1929) 14S170.


MAR.TU names was to be sharplydistinguished

from that of the West Semitic names appearilzg
without any ethnic denotation in the Old Babylonian period.
According to the Lalldsberger and Bauer
theories, the localizationof the country Amurru
in the West is to be rejectedbecausethe locatioll
of Basar and Didnum in the West cannot be
proved and the connectionbetween the country
Amurruand the term West, denoting a point of
the compass,may be due to a late speculationon
the part of the Babylonianastronomers. Basing
themselveson one singlepiece of evidence,namely
the fact that Kudur-mabug,father of Warad-Sin
and Rlm-Sin,the two last kings of Larsa,bore at
times the title of ad-daKURMAR.TU
interchangeably with that of ad-daE-mu-ut-ba-lain Sumerian
or a-bu E-mu-ut-ba-lain Akkadian,which means
father of MAR.TU or of Emutbal, respectively,
they proposedinstead that Amurrube localized
in the area of the Pusht-i-Kuh mountains, east
of the Tigris. Landsberger'sand Bauer'sconclusion that the language of the Ur III MAR.TU
names is to be sharplydistinguishedfrom that of
the West Semitic names appearing in the Old
Babylonianperiodwithout any ethnic denotation
was based on their linguistic evaluation of the
names. According to them, while the Ur III
MAR.TU names were couched in a language
whichthey called"dialektakkadisch,"
the Semitic,
non-Akkadian names of the Old Babylonian
period were written in a variety of Canaanite,
which they called "ostkanaanaisch."
Almost every one of these conclusionsand the
supportingargumentswas found wantillg in the
course of time, as pointed out by scholarswho
participated in the discussion of the Amorite
problemin the years followingupon the appearance of Landsberger'sand Bauer's theories (e.g.,
Albright, Dhorme, Goetze, Jacobsen, J. Lewy,
Noth, Pick) and as is becomingever cleareron
the basis of new informationderived from the
discoveries made at Mari, Chagar Bazar, and
Alalah. Kupper's position is quite clear and
emphatic on these points.
The question of the localization of MAR.TU
in the West, based on the localizationof Basar in
the West, is ironcladand cannot be brushedaside
with one-sentence verdicts. Note especially
that the mountains Basar of the Old Akkadian

VOL.15 (1961)

periodappearas Bisuru, Besri in the laterAssyrian sourcesin a formmuchcloserto and even

identicalwiththe formJebelel-Bisrlof the present day (p. 150). Landsberger's
and Bauer's
conclusionthal;MAR.TUwas originallya designationof the West(-wind),
afterwhichthe COUlltry of the Amoritesof the middleof the 2nd
B. C. was namedandnot vice-versa,
was supportedby the observation
that whenthe
term MAR.TUis used for the West(-wind)it
nevercarriesthe geographic
indicator(= determinative)KI. Ofhowlittlevaluethisargument
is one can gatherby observingdozensof occurrencesof geographical
namesin thetextsof Sumer
andAkkadin the oldestperiodsappearing
without any geographicindicator. The fact that
called himself "fatherof KUR
MAR.TU" interchangeablywith "father of
Emutbal" means simply that he considered
himselfthe rulerof those Amoriteswho at one
time, at the end of the Ur III dynasty,establishedthemselvesin the areaof Emutbal,east of
the Tigris. Thefactthat at that timevast areas
east of the Tigriswerepopulatedby the MAR.
TU = Amoritesis well known. The use of
MAR.TUin the title of Kudur-mabug
does not
pointto the originallocationof MAR.TUin the
East Tigridianregion,but impliesa secondaty
conquestof that regionby someof the marauding
MAR.TUbeduins. This is also the positionof
Kupper(p. 243). The titles ad-da KUR MAR.
TU, lugal MAR.[TU],or lugal da-ga-an KUR
(also KI) MAR.TU(KI)
were borne by Hammurapi and Amml-ditana,kings of the Old
Babyloniandynasty (p. 176). Pertinentalso
is a text madeknownby Weidner,16
pale Amurrz (writtenBAL-eMAR.TU-i)"the
dynastyof the Amorites,"followingupon pale
Sulgi "thedynastyof Sulgi"(= Ur III dynasty)
the pale Kasst "thedynastyof the
" As "the dynasty of the Amorites"
should indicate the most importantdynasty
betweenthe Ur III and the Kassitedynasties,
it shouldbe equatedwiththedynastyof Babylon,
whosekingsboreat the time the title of "father
of the countryof the Amorites."Theuse of the
term (KUR) MAR.TU by Babylonianrulers
doesnot indicatethe existenceof a real,political,
organism,but reflectsa traditionwhichmay go
16. In MVAG XXVI/2 p. 40.

back to the time of the collquest alld full ethlaic

control of the coulltry by the Amorite invaders.
While it is difficultto visualize such Old Babyloniall rulersas Hammurapiand Amml-ditanaas
anythillgbut Akkadianin languageand in culture,
the persistenceof the Amorite ethnic elements
within Babylonia at the end of the Old Babylonian period is documentedin the Seisachtheia
of Amml-saduqa, which still recognizes two
separate ethnic groups, the Akkadiansand the
Amorites (pp. 31, 173).17
Accordingto the theories of Landsbergerand
Bauer the language of the Ur III MAR.TIJ
names is a dialect of Akkadian,which is to be
kept sharply apart from the East Canaailite
language,in whichappearthe vast numberof the
West Semitic names of the Old Babyloniall
period. The first point, referringto the alleged
dialectal Akkadian character of the Ur III
MAR.TU names, has never been substantiated
by its proponents,and consequentlyhas nearer
been taken seriouslyin the subsequentdiscussion
of the topic by other scholars. Let it sufficeto
referhereto an Ur III text,18whichwas published
a long time ago, but which apparently has remained unnoticed, mentioning a certain person,
named Ha-bi, who was an e m e - b a I MAR.
TU, that is, an interpreter or dragoman of
MAR.TU. The existence of MAR.TU dragomans impliesthat at least some MAR.TU people
were foreignerswho spoke a languagenot understandableto the populationof Babylonia. Onthe
second point, pertaining to the relationship
betweenthe languagesof the namesof the TJrIII
and Old Babylonianperiods,the variousopinions
are not so definite. Kupper himself, although
making both the people of the Ur III MAR.TU
names and of the West Semitic names of the Old
Babylonian period derive from the desert areas
in the West (p. 243), prefersto keep them terminologicallyseparate,by callingthe former"Amorites" and the latter "West Semites" There is
no problem about the term to be used for the
Ur III MAR.TU people, since the names bear
regularly the denotation MAR.TU and must
consequently be called "Amorite." Kupper
17. Cf. also the recent publication of F. R. Kraus,
Ein Edikt des Konigs Ammi-sadaqavon Bab?ylon(Leiden,
18. De Genouillac, La Trouvaille de Drehem (Paris,
1911) 81 rev. 15.

rejects the term "East Canaanite" of Landsberger and Bauer for the language of the nonAkkadian names of the Old Babylonian period
(pp. 239f., 243), and prefers to call it "West
Semitic"on the groundsthat "WestSemitic"is a
general, noncommittalterm, which leaves open
to the future the exact assignment of the onomastic material in question. In rejecting the
term "East Canaanite" on the grounds of its
narrowness, Kupper is completely right. The
proponentsof the term "East Canaanite"based
their conclusionson an all too subjectiveevaluation of a limited numberof isoglosseswhich link
the language of the West Semitic names of the
Old Babylonian period with Canaanite, that is,
for instance, Hebrew and Phoenician,and overlooked or played down all thoiseisoglosseswhich
link the Old Babyloniannames with other West
Semiticlanguages,for instance,Aramaicor South
Arabic. Indicative of the cavalier use of terminology is Bauer's defence of the term "East
Canaanite"in ZA XXXVIII 155. When forced
to admit the existence of certain important
isoglosseslinking the language of the Old Babylonian names with Aramaic,he began to consider
the possibility of a "hebr.-aram.Sprachgemeinschaft" and of a "kan.-aram.Gruppe,"and was
not unvilling to consider early Aramaic simply
as a dialect of Canaanite. The fact is that, if
Aramaicis to be includedunder Canaanite,then
the term "Canaanite"loses all its independent
value,l9as it could just as well be identifiedwith
North West Semitic. Up to the time of Bauer's
writing the term "Canaanite"had meaningonly
when used for a group of languages or dialects
(especially Hebrew and Phoenician) to be contrastedwith the Aramaicgroup,all linkedtogether
within the frame of North West Semitic. Now
Ugaritic has to be added to that group. The
preferencein favor of the term "West Semitic"
rather than "North West Semitic" for the language of the non-Akkadiannames of the Old
Babylonianperiodcan be justifiedon the grounds
that the widerterm "West Semitic"also includes
South Arabic, which cannot a priori be excluded
from the considerationof the linguisticaffiliation
19. Cf. Moscati, The Semifes in Ancient Hisfory pp.
98 f. "As for Canaanite, this term has, so to speak, a
purely negative value, being applied to whatever is not
Aramaic; and hence for the earlier phase, before Aramaic
makes its appearance, it has no raison d'etre."


of the languageof the Semitic,no]l-Akkadian,

namesof the Old Babylonianperiod.
Although,historicallyspeaking,K upperlinks
togetherthe two groupsof namesfromthe Ur III
andOldBabylonianperiodsby assigningthemto
twosuccessivewavesof the samenomadicpeoples
of the desert(pp.242f.,261ff.),he prefersto keep
the two groups terminologicallydistinct on
groundswhich are partly linguisticand partly
chronological.On the linguisticside, Kupper
drawsthe conclusionthat, while the linguistic
connectionsbetweenthe two groupsof names
cannotbe denied,they arerelativelyfewin number (pp. 154f.,197). On the chronological
Kupperpointsout that the two groupsof names
comefromtwo differentperiods. This artificial
bifurcationbetween "Amorites"and "West
grounds,comesmost clearlyto the
fore in Kupper'sdiscussionof the early history
of Larsa,whichhe beginswith the "Amorite"
Naplanumin one chapter(pp. 156, 196) and
continueswith the "WestSemite"Abi-sarein
another(p. 197).
It is my firmconvictionthat the degreeof the
betweenthe Ur III MAR.
TU and the West Semitic names of the Old
Babylonianperiodhas been seriouslyunderestimatedby all the scholarswho have writtenon
the subject.20Thiswillcomeout clearly,I hope,
in the articleon the Ur III MAR.TUnames
which I am now preparingfor publication.
However,I shouldlike to point out here a few
salient points. The great majorityof the Ur
III nameshave the well-known-anu?n ending,
as in Gulbanum,Humranum,Nukranum. Some,
muchfever in number,expressor begirswith a
verbalelementof the jaqtul form,as in Janbi''ilum, Jan?isum. Asseverativela occursin such
namesas La-tabum,'Ila-la-'II. M is preserved,
in spiteof the labialin the root,in Mardabanum,
Mardanum. All these characteristics
of the Ur
III MAR.TUnamesfindtheircorrespondence
the West Semiticnamesof the Old Babylonian
period. The practicalidentityof the language
of the Ur III MAR.TUnameswith that of the
WestSemiticnamesof the OldBabylonian
becomeseven moreapparentwhenwe note that
20. The only scholar who still keeps the two linguistic
groups completely separate is Landsberger; see J(7S
VIII 56.

and peoples hich are clearly



VOL.15 (1961)

sources,our picture
be very sketchy.
wordsandrootsappearin theIII MAR.
periodwe knowof a Mari
time over
appearin a form
holdinghegemonyfor a shortKingList.
of Akkadian
accordingto the
excavatedat Marilist a
Mari bearing
as En-gi-mu-umforIa-an-q{-mu-um
of rulersand officialsof
/ or dUTU-si-dIM
namesor names
but no West
of the
the largenumber
Empire,and the economic scarceas
namesof the early Old
Bazar,Tell Brak,and
by usagebelongto the
of Akkadian
are, show only a population
origins,but again
foundin the texts
in BIN IX (Milk-li-'II, from Tell
the Ur III periodourinformation
and the unpublished
especiallyas faras Mari
(Milk-la-'EI, 'Abba-'EI,
periodMari was under
all bearing
certain charactersure,
names. The general
can be detectedin the
whichcanllot be fully
wasalsoAkkadian,as can Marigathereda
be classedas
of personsconnectedwith [1938]80) and
time ago (Gelb,AJSL LV occurringin
additionalnamesfrom Mari ethnicsitualinguisticdifferences.We MAR.TUnames
publishedtexts. A similar
predilectionof the Ur III degreeunparalrecently
betweenthe end
prevailedevenin the period the Old Babythe
in the West Semitic
Ur III and the beginning fromthe texts
that the divine
period,as can be gathered XLYI (1952)
publishedby Jestin, RA
L (1956)
alld discussedby Gelb, RA
Ur III MAR.TUnamesis West Semitic
the city
The Babyloniancharacteris strengthDagan, when appearing fromWIari
is moreat homein names
whichcan be drawnfrom
of persons
by considerations
at Mari, all of
alist of divinitiesworshippedbackground(cf.
theMariregiollthan anywhere
are of Akkado-Sumerian [1954] 270).
pointsof emphasis,oreven
the Ur III
myconclusionsin JNES the Maripopulation
will,as can
and the OldBabylonian
the characterization
by Kupperp. 244
the Old
or "accadisee"is llOt
the knowndifferencein
beillg "babylonisee"
linguistic affiliation" (or
thetwogroupsin question,as that the different
22. The term "unknown
study, refers to languages
as used in
groupsof invadingllomads
The question of the
Sumerian, and non-Hurrian. ''urlknown" languages
of these





of the ethnoBeforepassingon to a discussionthe presentlinguisticsituationin Mesopotamia,period,we

day Jezireh,ill the Old Babylonian
eye view of the
shouldtry to obtain a bird's Owingto the
situationin the previousperiods.
of -anum in geographical
21. Cf. the distribution
and Palestine,
personal names of Syria
pp. 42.

vlltimate relationship
of Anatolia and the areas
and peoples with those
of Mesopotamia is of no
this study.
Parrot, Syria XXX (1953)
23. Cf. provisionally
" (= ensis), Kupper p.
24. Not "grands 'patesis'
25. Goetze, Journalof
over 60 names, some ver>
n. 4, pointed
and s?l(or
such as Ala-ah-?i-EI?
few-may be Amorite,





quite correct. The truth is that at least from

tne vre-argomc to ur 1ll perloclslvlarl was a
thoroughly Akkadian city, and we must consequently take the whole region on the Euphrates,
stretchingfrom Mari in the North to Rapiqu in
the South, as forminga provincialoutpost of the
Babylonian civilization. Outside of Mari, our
informationfor the Ur III periodis not so reliable
because the names are connected with cities
which may lie on the outskirts or even outside
the core area with which we are concernedhere.
From Mardamanin the northernpart of Mesopotamia, we knourof Guzuzu, Naktam-atal,and
Nerisahwunames which are either Hurrianor of
unknown linguistic background. The names
fromEbla (Gulaa, Ill^Dagan,Izin-Dagan,Kurbilag, Meme-sura,Zurim)and Ursu (Budur,Gulaa,
Ill-Dagan, Kurbilag,Nanau) are either Akkadian
or of unknournbackground.- While Ebla and
Ursu were probably situated in Syria just west
of the Euphrates,Mukis,fromwhichwe knowthe
name Cababa (of unknownlinguistic affiliation),
is certainlyto be localizedin the area of Aleppo.
A unique piece of information is found in an
unpublished tablet from Drehem quoted in
excerpts as follonTs:'dDa-gan-a-bulu ktn-gz-a
Ia-sz-lz-zmensi Tu-tu-laki"26,that,is "Dagan-abu,
the messengerof Ia-sz-lz-zm,the ensi of Tuttul."
While the name Dagan-abuis clearly Akkadiall,
the name Ia-sz-lz-zmmay be interpreted as
J assz-Ltm,27that is, West Semitic Jasst -Lztn,
and +arould
furnish the first and the only sure
proofof the existenceof West Semitesin Mesopotamia in the Ur III period.
In a study publishedsome time ago J. Lewy28
pointed out for the first time the existence of
West Semitic elements in the so-called "Cappadocian" (= Old Assyrian) texts from Kultepe,
dated roughly to the time following upon the
Third Dynasty of Ur. Among those worth
noting here is the -a ellding in the word Dumra
'priest" and the month name warah Tan-mar-ta
(and variants), as well-as such personalnames as
A-bi-la Wi-im-z-la,and A-bi4-su-ra.
26. Schneider, Le lffldseon
LII (1949)9>from a Pinches
manuscript. [Cf. now Sollberger, AOFSIX 120.1
27. While the reading Ia-si-li-im.seems the most
plausible, the possibility of reading SVi-si-li-im.,
S-sili-im.,and even S-lim.-li-imcannot be fully disregarded.
28. J. Lewy, "Zur AmoriterfrageS'>ZA XXXVIII


Further additions to the list of West Semitic

elements in Cappadocianwere made by J. Lewy
in a paper read at the meeting of the American
OrientalSociety in 1956,the manuscriptof which
he kindly placed at my disposal. I note from it
the occurrence of the West Semitic personal
names Bi-ni-ma-hu-um(and the parallel Bu-nima-hu-utn) and Ili5-ma-da-ar,as well as the
important observation that the god Amurrum
was frequently invoked by the Assyrian colonists (togetherwith the god Assur)to affirmthe
truthfulnessof their statements.
()ur conclusionsin respectto the ratherlimited
West Semitic imprinton the most ancient Mesopotamia, drawn mainly on the basis of personal
names, is confirmedby the study of geographical
names. Most of the place names of the earliest
periods, such as Atamhul, galwahvis, Suala,
Zumuhdur,are of unknown linguistic affiliation,
while a few, such as Kakkaban, Mardaman
Arman(um), may represent either
Semitic or Semiticizednames.
The emerging ethno-linguisticpicture of the
most ancientMesopotamia,northof the Baghdad
region, shows the populationof the area partly
composedof Akkadiansand partly of peoples of
unknownlinguistic affiliation,with but very few
traces of the West Semites. Since our informatiOllis sketchy, I do not wish to soulld too apodictic on this point. What needs to be stressed
is that our collelusionsare drawnon the basis of
aarailablesources,that these sourcesare at present rather limited in numberand weight, and it
is quite possiblethat new informationfromas yet
unpublishedtexts may force us to change our
conclusionsto some degree.
The ethno-linguisticsituation of the earliest
WIesopotamiachanges abruptly and radically
during the iMari period which corresponds
roughlyto the time when Samsl-Adadand IsmeDagan ruled in Assyria, alld Sin-muballit and
Hammurapi in Babylonia. Our kncowledgeof
this period has increased tremendously in the
past few years, thanks mainly to the great discoareriesat iMari,supportedby the new information uncovered at Chagar Bazar in northern
After the fall of the tTrIII dynasty in Babylonia, Mari becameindependentand was ruledby
a dynasty whosekingschosethe divine name Lim
as a componentof their names (pp. 32f.). The


VOL.15 (1961)

first independent rulers are Jaggid-Lim, whose

name appears on a seal recently published by
Weidnerin AOF XVIII (1957) 123, and who was
a contemporaryof Ila-kabkabA,father of SamslAdad, who later became king of Assyria, and
Jahdun-Limson of Jaggid-Lim,who called himself king of Mari, Tuttul, and the land of gana.
Mari fell underthe controlof
After Jahvdun-Lim,
Samsl-Adad,king of Assyria, and was administered in his name by his younger son, JasmahvAdad. Followingthe disorganizationwhich befell Mesopotamiaupon the death of Samsl-Adad,
Mari again became independentunder the rule
who was a
of Zimrl-Lim,son of Jahvdun-Lim,
contemporary of Isme-Dagan, son of SamslAdad, the weak king of Assyria, and of Hammurapi, the powerfulking of Babylonia. After
a reign of about thirty years, Zimrl-Limand his
kingdomfell to the risingstar of Babylon.
The rulers of the Lim dynasty at Mari bear
names which are clearly West Semitic. Since,
as we have seen above, Mari was Babylonian
both in respectto its local rulersand its individuals in the period precedingthe Lim dynasty,
the appearanceof a West Semitic dynasty on the
throne of Mari implies a radical change in the
ethno-linguistic situation of the Mari region.
The time whenthis changetook placeis unknown,
since the durationof the precedingperiodof the
Babylonian sakanakku's at Mari (see above
p. 34) is unknown. Neither can anything definite be said about the original home of the
Lim dynasty. -Tosuggestthat it may have come
from the area of Tuttul on the sole groundthat
we know of a Lim name of an ensi of Tuttul in
the Ur III period (see above p. 35), seems unwarranted. Kupper,pp. 32ff., is inclilledto CO11nect the origin of the Lim dynasty with the
Uana region (see also below p. 37).
During the Mari period Assyria, too, was
ruledby a dynasty of West Semiticorigin,beginning with Samsl-Adad,who established himself
on the throne of Assyria by gradual steps via
Babylonia (= Kardunias)and the city Ekallate
in Assyria. Samsl-Adad'sWest Semitic background is evidenced by the name of his father
Ila-kabkabu/ 'Ila-kabkabuhu/ or Ila-kabkabl
and the names of ten kings in the AssyrianKing
List, numbered11-20, who may well have to be
taken as ancestorsof Samsl-Adadbut who ruled
not as kings of Assyria,but as sheikhsof a tribe

in some unkllownpart of the large West Semitic

territory (pp. 207-213). While rejecting Landsberger's suggestion that the ancestral home of
Samsl-Adadmay have been in the Tirqa region
on the groundthat Tirqa urasunderthe political
controlof the Lim dynasty of Mari in the days of
Kupper (pp. 212f.) is inclined to
considerthe Upper gabur region,with its center
at Subat-Enlil,as the most likely possibility for
the ancestralhome of Samsl-Adad.
An interesting and perhaps rather important
point to note is that the conquest of Mari and
Assyriaby the West Semites was achieved later,
in fact some two hundredyears later, than that of
Babylonia, which was conquered by the West
Semites as far back as the time of Naplanum,
the first king of Larsa. This is clearly true for
Assyriaand it may not be far from true for Mari
if we can rely on the available evidence, which
does not take the West Semitic Lim dynasty of
Mari farther back than Jaggid-Lim. The conclusion which may be drawn from it is that the
great West Semiticexpansionwhich began at the
end of the Ur III and the beginningof the Old
Babylonian period started not in Mesopotamia
north of Baghdad, but in the desert regions
south of the Euphrates.
Kuppertreats the history of the West Semitic
peoples in three separate chapters, dedicated to
the Haneans, Benjaminites, and Sutians, respectively.
Of these three large tribal groups,the baneans
seem to be more involved in the history of the
Mari period than the two other groups. The
Haneans roam as nomads through the whole
expanse of the Mari kingdom, including the
UpperCountryin the regionof the UpperKhabur
river (pp. XVIII, 11). They live not only in
encampmentscalled nawam (p. 12), but also as
semi-nomads(p. 73), in villages and cities (pp.
12f.). They recognizethe authorityof the kings
of Mari, for whom they often furnish military
contingents (p. 260). The name of the people
called Haneans is connected with the name of
the country gana, which Kupper (pp. 38, 44)
dissociates from the name of the city ganat,
situated on the Euphrates some two hundred
kilometers south of Mari, and locates around
Tirqa in the area of Mari proper. On this point
I agree fully +srithKupper. Note that the city
ganat (present-day'Anat) is hardly ever men-


tionedin the Maritexts (p. 44) andthat,because

of its spelling
indicator,it is clearlyconnectedwith the name
of the femaledivinityganat (= West Semitic
'Anat),whilethe nameof the countrygana is
spelled in the oldest sourcesas Hi-naKI
38 n. 1) and in the Babyloniangeographicallists as
41ff.), presupposing a Semiticform, the first consonantof
whichis h, h, ', or j, the second', j or the like,
andthe thirdn.29
The nameof the countryHanaformspart of
the titularyof two rulersof Mari,Jahdun-Lim
and Zimrl-Lim,who call themselves"king of
Mari, Tuttul, and the countryVana" (p. 30).
Thefactthat Jahdun-Lim
foughtwiththe "seven
kings,sheikhsof bana"30is explainedplausibly
by Kupperin termsof a pacification
of his own
territoryratherthan a conquestof foreignlands
(p. 32). An importantMaritext, discussedby
Kupper(pp..31,35ff.)refersto the kingof MariX
as beingkingof the Haneansas well
as king of the Akkadians.3lWhat that implies
is the existenceof two mainstrataof population
at Mari:the olderAkkadians,
from the periodsprecedingthe Lim dynasty;
and the Vaneans,the West Semiticnewcomers,
includingthe new ruling class with its royal
family (p. 35). From the cases in which the
Haneansare mentionedin connectionwith other
as in Ha-na-a DUMU.MES
ia-mi-im (p. 72) or
(pp. 21, 73), one may drawthe conclusionthat
the term "Haneans"
may have acquiredseconddHa-na-atKI





29. Something like the name of the city 'Ijj on ill

Naphtali in the O.T.
30. The territory occupied by the nine Hanean kings
9 LUGAL.E.NE) in the geographical
treatise generally assigned to Sargon of Akkad, covers a
stretch of land on the southern bank of the Euphrates
extending "from the 'bridge' of Baza on the way to
Meluhha" (= Arabia) in the south to the "Cedar Mountains" (= Mt. Amanlls) in the north (KAV 92 = AOF
XVI 4).
31. Although the text offers philological difficulties,
its general meaning seems to be that, since the king of
Mari is not only king of the Haneans but also king of the
Akkadians, he should not ride horses, but a chariot or
mules, implying that it may have been the custom of the
Haneans to ride horses, but that the Akkadians were
in the habit of riding in chariots or on mules. Cf. also
below p. 41 n. 45 on the question of the origin of the

arilya generalmeaning"nomads,""bedouins"32.
The referencesto the ganeans may be rounded
out by mentioninglists of ganean workers
livingat MariandSuprumand receivingrations
(p. 34), and noting that Haniahhe, that is,
"Haneans"in Hurrian,representa social class
at AlalahIV (see belowp. 39) belowthe ruling
marijanni (pp. 44f.). For a discussionof the
see belowpp. 45fl.
Thus we can see that the Haneansrepresent
diSerentkindsof people:the nomadicand seminomadicpeoples who occupy extensive territoriesin Mesopotamia
andSouthof theEuphrates,
partlyin the serviceof the kingsof Mari,partly
in hostilityto them;the rulingdynastyof Mari;
and the West Semiticpopulationof Alalahand
presumablyother areasof northernSyria,subjugatedby the Hurrians.
ChapterII of Kupper's
is dedicated
to a discussionof the people whom he calls
Benjaminitesin French (after biblical usage)
and Bene-Yamina(p. 47) or Binimes-ia-mi-im
(p. 72) in WestSemitic(parallelto Bene-Sim'al,
pp. 54, 68, 81). Beforeacceptingeitherterm,we
shoulddiscussall the pertinelltspellingsfound
in the Maritexts. Fromthe materialsgathered
by Dossin,MelangesDussaud II 982, and RA
LII 60ff.,we knowthat the nameof the peoplein
questionis writtenregularlywith the logogram
DUMU.MESor (morerarely)DUMI:J,
by the syllabicspellings-ia-mi-na, -ia-mi-naKI,

-za-mt-na-a, -ta-me-na, -t-ta-mt-na, -ta-m-nt,

-ia-mi-nim, and -ia-mi-in.33 Agaillstthe West

Semitic illterpretationas Binu-Jamlnaor the

like it was recentlypointed out by Tadmor,
JNES XVII 130n. 12, that WestSemiticwords
used in the Akkadianof Mari wereneverrendered by a logogram;however,Tadmor'sinterpretationas maru iamtna "the sons of the
32. Some such secondary semantic development is
probably implied in the case of AhWlamu
Aramaja (p. 111)
and MAR.TU Su-ti-um (pp. 88, 178); for I)arallels cf.
also Ia-mu-ut-ba-la-ju Ha-bi-ru (p. 111).
33. For the time being, I leave out of consideration
two groups of spellings discussed by Dossin in the second
of the two articles cited above, namely DUMU.MESia-mi, DUMU.MES-ia-mi-i, DUMU.MES-ia-mi-im and
DUMU .MES-mi-i, DUMU-mi-im, Ma-ar-mi-i, because
I cannot see how they can be connected with, or phonetically derived from, the forms spelled DUMU.MESia-mi-na, etc., discussed in the body of the text.



VOL.15 (1961)

south," parallel to maru si-im-a-at "the sons of

the north",is improbablebecauseof the existence
of spellings such as DUMU.MES-ia-mi-naKI,
with the semanticindicatorKI, in ARM II 53:12,
26 and 137:27. In partial agreementzvithTadmor's suggestion the word in question is inmar-jamtna,Maruterpreted as marz?neS-jamtnan
jamtnaby Edzard,ZA LIII 169, and Falkenstein,
op. cit. p. 283. My own proposalto read simply
Jamlna "Jaminites"and to take DUMU.MES
and DUMU as semanticindicatorsis basedon the
following observations (1) that forms with or
without DUMU(.MES) are freely attested at
Mari, as, e.g., in the designation of the tribal
name Jawmavhamu(p. 73 n. 1) and Ja'ilanum
(p. 53);34 and 2) that the wordfor Jaminitesoccurs
once without DUMU(.MES) in [I]a-mi-nu-um
(ARM I 67:7, at the beginningof the line) and
once separated from DUMU.MES, in DUMU.
MES-Si-ma-al u Ia-mi-in (ARM I 60:9) . In
the followingdiscussionI write "Jaminites"consistently for Kupper's"Benjaminites."
Kupper, p. 47, begins Chapter II with the
following sentence: "a cote des Haneens, les
Benjaminites tiennent une place d'egale importance dans la correspondancede Mari." It
is true, of course, that the chapteron the Benjaminitesis not far behind that on the ganeans
in size and that the numberof referencesto both
in the Mari correspondencemay approximately
be equal, but does that mean that the Jaminites
and the ganeans played equal or approximately
equalrolesin the historyof Marior Mesopotamia
generallyin the Old Babylonianperiod? While
at first I had strongdoubts about the correctness
of the phrase "d'egaleimportance,"graduallyI
have come to realizethat Kuppermay be right,
perhaps not so much for the history of Mari
properin the Mariperiodas for that of Babylonia
at the end of the Ur III period.
The Jaminiteslead a way of life similarto that
of the ganeans, but they are more nomadic
(pp. 55, 72) and generallyappearmore hostile to
the kings of Mari (p. 72). They live in encampments, more rarely in cities (pp. 56f., 78). The
areas occupiedby the Jaminitesare widely scattered, around Mari and Tirqa (p. 47), in Jebel
el-Bisri (p. 47), in Syria (p. 49), and particularly
34. The parallel usage, with or without LU.MES or
Lo, is to be noted with the tribal designations Hanu,
Japtur, Jarihll, Jamutbal, Turukku, and Ubrabu.

in the areaof Harranandin UpperMesopotamia

(pp. 48, 79, 260). Kupper(pp. 49f.) furnishes
good evidencethat underJaminitesare to be
includedthe fourimportanttribesof the Ubrabu,
Jabruru,Amnanu,and Jarihu. Since the first
three are frequentlymentionedin the texts of
Babyloniaproper(pp.51ff.),the obviousconcluSiOll iS that the Jaminitesmust have playedan
importantrole duringthe periodof the West
Semiticmigrationsinto Babyloniaat the end of
the Ur III period. In the chapter on the
JaminitesKupperalso discussesthe tribes of
(pp. 53f.), and
Rabbu (p. 53), Jatilanum35
the reasonsfor
theirinclusionunderthe Jaminitesare not quite
evident. The inclusionof DUMU.MES-Sim'al,
who live in the UpperCountry(pp. 54f.) and
whomKupperdefinesas "filsdu Nord"in conwhom he
trast to the DUMU.MES-Jamina,
calls"filsdu Sud,"is doubtlessmorepertinent.
While our knowledgeof the ganeans and
periodis derived
Jaminitesin the OldBabylonian
mostlyfromthe Marisources,thatof the Sutians
sources. The
comesmostlyfromthe Babylonian
Sutiansare generallypeopleof the steppeand
desertsouthof the Euphrates(pp.90, 107,178),
often infiltratingthe settledareasof Babylonia
and Marias robbers(pp. 84, 260) or in the pay
of foreignrulers(p. 86).

to the Syro-PalesMovingfromMesopotamia
tinianareawe findthat ouravailableinformation
onthelatterupto andincludingthe UrIII period
scanty. Whatevercanbe saidfor
is exceedingly
sure about the few scatterednamesconnected
with NorthernSyriaandthe adjacentareaseast
of the Euphrates(seeabove p. 35) is that they
arenot WestSemitic.
Fora periodfrom1900to 1850B.C.,important
light Ollthe ethnicsituationof Palestineis shed
by the EgyptianExecrationTexts (pp. 238f.).
The majorityof the personalnamesoccurringin
the texts are clearly West Semitic. While a
numberof namescannotbe safely interpreted,
mainly becauseof difficultiesof the Egyptian
system of writing,there is no evidencein the
Textsof anyHurriannamesor names
35. Not Wilanu, as in K. p. 282; see above p. 29.


connectedwith other non-Semiticlanguagesof

the northern areas. The main divinities
occurringin the Semitic personalnames are
/Samsu/. Nlost of the namesare composedof
two elements, such as JTNHDDW/Jattinsomepreserved,
Hadadu/;mimationis sometimes
n is usuallypretimesomitted;pre-consonalltal
served, more rarely assimilated;the Semitic
suffix-anaoccursquiteoftenandnormallywithout mimation,as in JP'NW/Japa'ana/, but the
systemof writingdoes not permitus to decide
safely whetherthe suffixis -ana or -onu. The
sameuncertaintyprevailsalsoin all otherllames
in the ExecrationTexts in whicheitherthe Old
West Semitica or Canaaniteo couldbe reconstructed,as wellas in the caseof the consonantal
pairss and t, s ands, h andh, whichmayor may
distinctin the West
not have beellphonemically
Semiticnames of the ExecrationTexts. It is
forthisreasonthat I feelratheruneasyaboutthe
statementof Goetzein JSS IV (]959) 144f.that
thenamesof theExecration
as faras I canjudgethe situation,it is impossible
at the presenttime to decidebetweentwo conclusions,one, that the languageof the namesin
Textspreservesthe characteristics
the Execration
of the older West Semitic language,namely
Amorite,andthe other,thatit showstheinnovating featuresof Canaanite. For more on this
question,see belowp. 44.
Abouta hundredyearslaterthan the Eseeration Texts are the Mari sourcespertaitlingto
Syriaand Palestine. The approximately
namesofrulersandofficialsofsuchcitiesas Aleppo
(p. 232), Qatna (p. 236), Carchemish(p. '230),
Byblos (p. 237), and Vasura (p. 237) are a]l
West Semitic.37
The pictureof WestSemtIcSyriaas basedon
the Nlari sourcesis not correct,however,accordingto Kupper(p. 2.32),becausethe o]der
Alalahsources,whichare only two generations
later than the Mari sources,are said to show
Syria to be dominatedby Hurrians,with the
36. The spelling vvithdouble d in HI)DW indicates
probablyHadadu, not Haddu, because double consonants areusuallyexpressedin the Egyptianwritingby
single consonants,as in 'MW(= 'Ammu).
37. Only Ib-ni-dIM, king of Hasura, bears a name
which may representan Akkadianizedform of West
Semitic Jabnl-Haddu.

West Semites clearly playing a secondary role

(pp. 233tT.). The whole situation requires a
moredetailedinvestigationof the Hurrianexpansion westwardand of the relationof the Hurrians
to the West Semites, which I will attempt in the
Exceptingpossiblecasesof sporadicinfiltration,
the Mariand ChagarBazarsourcesshowHurrians
limited to the northern part of Mesopotamia
(pp. 230, 232).38 Two generationslater we find
strong Hurrian elements in the older texts of
AlalahVII in the formof Hurrianpersonalnames,
Hurrianmonth names, and Hurrianglosses and
linguistic forms. It is first of all on the matter
of the proportionof Hurriansto Semites in the
populationof Alalah VII that I am inclined to
disagreewith Kupper (p. 233), who t:kes them
while my own
to be in five-to-threeproportion,39
(ratherexact) count of the names yie]ds almost
the reverseproportionof three to seven (exactly
86: 188). Aside from these two classes of
names,AlalahVII containsa numberof Akkadian
names and many moreof unknownor uncertain
background. Although the names of the ruling
dynasty of Alalah (and Jamhad) are clearly
West Semitic, probably because of a trend to
preservedynastic names, the spoken languageof
the court, or perhapsrather of the scribes, may
have been Hurrian,as may be deducedfrom the
fact that the gentilicadjective"Amorite(groom)"
is not expressed by Akkadiall Amarru but by
Hurrian AmarahAi40,bearing the well-known
Hurriangentilicsuffix. A muchstrongerHurrian
imprint is recognizablein the later texts from
Alalah, from the so-called Alalah IV level. In
the matter of relations of Semites to Hurrians,
it is importantto note the existence of the term
Haniahhe(againwith the Hurriangentilic suffix),
';Haneans,"representinga social class below the
rulingmarijanni(see also above p. 37).
The ethnic reconstructionof the earliest Syria
given above is not fully paralleledby that obtained from the study of Syrian geographical
names. We are now fortunate in possessing
extensive informationin the form of sornethree
hundredplace names,found in the texts from the
38. Cf. also Gelb,Hurrians and Subarians pp. 62 ff.
39. Even higherHurrianproportionsare suggestedby
Wiseman,The Alalakh Tablets p. 9, and Alt, ZDPV
LXXI (1955)62.
40. Cf. Landsberger,JCSVIII 56 n. 103.


VOL.15 (1961)

AlalahVII and IV periods,whichshed important

light upon the toponymicsituationof the AlalahAleppo region. Out of all these names I have
found only four which are presumablySemitic,
namely Dimat, gursanu, Uuribte, and Maraba,
while all other geographicnamesare non-Semitic.
Many of these non-Semiticnamescan be grouped
by their suffixes: -uwa in Azazuwa, Suharuwa,
Usuwa, etc.; -ija in Iburija, Kubija, Kuzubija,
Uwija, etc.; -ik in Apratik, Arazik, Adabik,
Jarabik,etc.; -ka in Arnika,Unika, and Sanuka?
(or Tabega);-(a)se in Annase,Arinnase,Awirrase,
Hutilurase, Tarmanase, etc. Kupper (pp. 235
and 241) gives a simpleanswerto the questionof
what languageis representedin these non-Semitic
namesof Alalah;to him they are Hurrian.4' This
answerdoesnot appearsatisfactoryto me, because
at least the suffixes-awa, -ija, and -ka often occur
in names from areas or periodswhich cannot be
calledHurrian. As far as I am concerned,names
with these suffixes and the great majority of
Alalahvgeographicalnames are of unknown linguistic affiliation;only the names with the -(a)se
can legitimatelybe calledHurrianbecause
of parallels in Hurrian milieus, such as Nuzi,
but not outsidethe Hurrianarea.
Much moreinformationon the ethnic situation
of Syria can be obtained from the El-Amarna,
Bogazkoy, and Ugarit sources. Being later in
time than the AlalavhVII and IV sources, they
testify to a growing Hurrian expansion.
Especiallyvaluablein this respectare the numerous Ugarit materials (pp. 235f.). Agreeingwith
AlalahvVII and IV, the three main classes of
populationat Ugarit are of Semitic,Hurrian,and
unknown origin, but the proportionof Semites
to others is much greater at Ugarit than in the
North. Similarconclusionscan be drawnon the
basis of geographicalnames. The major part
of these names is still of unknown background.
As at Alalah<,these names can be recognizedby
the suffixes-awa (Arruwa,Ulmuwa,Zazaharuwa),
-ija (Ananija, Aranija, Ja'nija), -i1c (Atallik =
'TLG), -ka (burika, Sammiga,Satega,etc.). The
Hurrians are represented by names with the
suffix-(a)si (gismarasi,gundurasi, etc.). Again,
the striking differencebetween Ugarit, on the
41. He follows in this respect Wiseman, The Alalakh
p. 9.
42. Cf. now Goetze, "Hurrian Place Names in -s(s)e"
in Friedrich Festschrift pp. 195-206.

one hand, and Alalah, on the other, lies in the

much strongerproportionof Semitic geographical
names at Ugarit. This may be due partly to
differencein time, partly to differencein geographic location. Situated as it was between
the Alalah-Alepporegion in the North and the
Phoeniciancoast in the South, Ugarit may have
been more exposed to the Semitic influence
emanatingfrom the South than were the areas
situated north of Ugarit.
The sequence of the ethnic elements of Syria
can be reconstructedas follows. The first attested populationof Syria was of unknownethllic
affiliation;this is shown by the Ur III sources
pertainingto Syriaand by the extraordinarynumber of Syrian geographical names which are
neither Semitic nor Hurrian. The second population in time was West Semitic;this is shownby
the West Semitic personal names pertaining to
Syria occurring in the Mari sources and the
heavy proportionof West Semiticpersonalnames
in the older Alalah sources. The third ethnic
element is representedby the Hurrians;its late
appearanceon the Syrian scene is indicated by
the fact that no Hurriansare attested for Syria
in the Mari sources and by the growing, not
waning, Hurrianinfluencein Syria, as time went
on, from Alalah VII to Ugarit. Thus I am not
in accordwith the conclusionsreachedby Wiseman, TheAlalakhTabletsp. 9, that the Hurrians
represent "the native population of ancient
Syria," or that of Kupper, p. 235, "que les
tablettes d'Alalah, loin de nous faire assister au
debut de la penetrationhurrite en Syrie septentrionale,nousplongentdansun milieupositivement
hurrite." On the contrary, my position in this
respect is that, barringthe possibility of earlier
occasional infiltration, the time of Alalah VII
marksthe very beginningsof the Hurrianoccupation of Syria.43
As has been noted above, our conclusionsin
respect to the ethnic reconstructionof Syria
basedon personalnamesare not wholly paralleled
by those based on geographicalnames. There is
43. Certain of my conclusions presented here have
been anticipated by A. Alt, "Nichtsemitische Ortsnamen
im Gebiet von Ugarit", ZDPV LXVII (1945) 113-127;
idem, "Vorlaufiges uber die Ortsnamen des Landes
Mukis", ibid. LXXI (1955) 60-69; M. Noth, "Zum
Ursprung der phonikischen Kustenstadte", Die Welt des
Orients I (1947-52) 21-28.

nothingsurprisingabout this, since we knowfrom
many parallelsthat, while the geographicalnames
are conservative and tend to preserve the old
ethnic picture, personal names tend quickly-to
reflect a new ethnic situation. Our best parallel
comes from Babyloniaof the most ancient times,
wherealmost all the geographicalnames are nonSumerianand non-Akkadian,while the-personal
names are Sumerian and Semitic.
In respect to the question Semitic: nonSemitic,the ethnic situationin the South, that is,
in Palestine and along the Phoenician Coast,
differsthoroughlyfrom that reconstructedabove
for the North. The Egyptian ExecrationTexts
(see above p. 38) attest for Palestineonly West
Semitic personal and geographicalnames and a
small groupof nameswhichcannotbe interpreted
at the presenttime, but no trace of anythingthat
might safely be called Hurrian. The EA sources,
a few centurieslater, list a largenumberof Semitic
names, most of them agreeingin structureboth
with the names of the older Execration Texts
and the younger O.T. The non-Semitic geographicalnames of Palestine and Phoenicia occurring in the EA sources such as Lakisa =
Lachish in Palestine and Ammija in Phoenicia,
are exceedinglyfew. The correspondingpersonal
names in this area are either West Semitic or
Hurrian. The evidenceof the ExecrationTexts,
contrasted with that of the EA sources, shows
clearly that Hurriansare newcomersin Palestine
and Phoenicia.
Certain important conclusions can be drawnfor the whole Syro-Palestinianarea. (1) The
oldest attested populationof Syria is of unknown
ethnic affiliation,followedby West Semites, and
then by Hurrians,while the oldest attested population of Palestine and the Phoenician Coast is
West Semitic, follo^redby Hurrians. (2) Palestine and the Phoenician Coast were settled by
West Semites long before Syria was. (3) Palestine, and perhaps the Phoenician Coast, may
representthe originalhabitat of the West Semites.
Ournext problemis to investigatethe relationship of the West Semitic names occurring in
Syria and Palestineto the conceptof Amurruand
the Amorites.
In discussingthe Babyloniansourcesup to the
Ur III period we found Amurruto be situated
generallyin the West from the point of view of


Babylonia, and more specificallyin the area of

Jebel el-Bisrl and Did(a)num in the Syrian
Desert (above p. 30). In the Old Babylonian
period, at the time of Kudur-mabugof Larsa
(above pp. 31f.), Amurruformeda small political
unit east of the Tigris, representinga late and
ephemeral conquest by the Amorites. In the
sources from Mari, Alalah, El-Amarna,Ugarit,
and Bogazkoy,whichwe are about to cliscuss,the
conceptof Amurruis linked clearlywith Syria.
Two Mari texts, recently made known by
mention Amurruin importantcontexts
(K. p. 179). One refers to the ambassadorsof
four Amoritekings and of Uasura, and the other
alludesto Jaminitesin thelandsof Jamhad,Qatna,
and Amurru. The sequencein which the three
namesoccurin the latter passagemay or may not
be geographicallyoriented. If it is, then Amurru
shouldbe placedsouth of Qatna,whichis situated
north of Hamath in Syria (see also below p. 44).
The older Alalah sources referringto horses45
and grooms of Amurru,as well as to merchants
goingto and fromAmurru(p. 179) are llot specific
enough as to the location of Amurru,but considering the geographichorizons of l,he Alalab
materials,Amurrucouldnot have beentoo distant
from Alalah. It is because of the weight of the
Nlari and Alalah evidence that Landsberger
finallyadmittedin JCS VIII 56a that the Amurru
of the Old Babylonian period was situated in
the West, in contrastto his previousposition,accordingto which Amurrulay in the area east of
the Tigris.
The question of Amurruin the EA sources is
more complicated,and muchhas been writtenon
it all throughthe yearssincethe publicationof the
EA tablets. The discussionof Amurruin the EA
44. In Rivista degli Stlldi Orientali XXXII (1957) 37.
45. The mention of Amorite horses in the Alalah
texts, coupled with data based on the Old Babylonian
texts from Chagar Bazar concerning the training of
horses (K. p. 35) and from Mari concerning the riding of
horses by the Haneans (but not by the Aklcadians, see
above p. 37) raises an interesting question as to whether
the horse was actually imported into the Near East
from some undefinedarea in Central Asia, such as Turkestan, for instance, as generally assumed, or whether it
was not rather native to Amurru and the adJacent areas
of Arabia long before its alleged introduction into the
Near East, at the turn of the third millennium B.C., by
the Indo-Europeans. What is the provenience of the
equine strain or breed known as "the Arabian horse"?


VOL.15 (1961)

periodcannotbe dissociatedfromthat of Kinabna

The EA letters,supportedby the evidencefrom
Bogazkoyand Ugarit, show Amurruto be a state
with an unknowncapital and governedby rulers
who assured their independence by astute
diplomacy with two powerful neighbors, the
Hittites and their satellites in the North and the
Egyptians and their satellitesin the South. The
coreof Amurrulay in the areaeast of the Lebanon,
boundedon the north by the kingdomsof Ugarit,
Qatna, and Nuhassi,46on the east by those of
Kadesh and Damascus,and on the south by the
Egyptian possessions in Palestine. Its extelat
westward,toward the MediterraneanSea, is not
quite certain. We know not only from the EA
letters of Rib-Addi of Byblos, but also from
Ugarit47and Egyptian48sources that Amurru
reachedto the Sea, most probablyin the area of
SumurandIrqata,somedistancenorthof Byblos.
In contrastto the unifiedand independentstate
of Amurru,Kinabna '4Canaan"was, in the EA
period, a large region broken up into dozens of
city-states, all under the suzeraintyof the Egyptian pharaohs,who exercised their (ontrol over
the region by appointed vommissioners. The
EA evidence shows that the cities ginnatuna
(EA 8), Aksapa (RA XV 100), and Hasura (EA
148) in Palestine,and Sidon and Tyre (EA 148)
on the Phoenician Coast are to be included in
Canaan. Since we know from the Idrimi inscriptionthat Ammija,to be located near Byblos
accordingto EA texts, lies in Canaan,the indirect
evidenceof EA 131 and 137 shouldbe collstrued
as placingByblos svithinCanaan. The evidence
linking Sumur with Canaan (EA 131) is more
difficult to evaluate since the name of Bisitanu
of Sumur (1CA62) has an-anu ending, which is
not Canaanite(see below). Thus the texts cited
above place Canaan in Palestine and along the
Phoenician Coast as far north as Byblos and
Ammija (and even Sumur). In reconstructing
the boundariesof Canaanof the EA periodI have
relied on evidence which seems to me safe and
sure. I am fully awareof the fact that such EA
texts as A=o.109, 151, and 162 may be construed
by otherscholarsas containingevi-deneeextending
46. Tunipis at timesindependent(Bogaskoysources),
at times it belongsto Amurru(EA 161).
47. Nougayrol,(!RAI 1957 1). 80.
48. Breasted,ARE III 310.

Canaan into the territory which I include here

under Amurru.
The geographicaldistinction between Amurru
and Kinahna,as delineatedabove, receivesa full
confirmationfrom a study of the linguistic and
onomasticcharacteristicsof the two regions.
Whilethe geographicalnames ending in -una/i
(mostly in the obliquecase) are quite at home in
Palestine,as in Hinnatuna/i-Hebrew tlannaton,
Ajjaluna= Hebrew'Ajjalon,Asqaluna= Hebrew
'Asqelon,and on the Phoenician Coast, as in
Siduna = Hebrew Stdon, Batruna = modern
Batrun,we find names ending in -anu (and the
like) just north of Palestine, in Lablani,etc., =
Mt. Lebanon,Sarijana-Mt. Hermoll,and very
rarelyat Alalahw
(Hur$anu)and Ugarit (Rahbani,
Harmani/a,Sijan(n)i).49 As for personalnames,
the suffix -unu is attested nowhere,-anu only in
Bisitanu of Sumur,and occasionallyin the later
texts fromAlalahw
(but nonvherein the older texts
from Alalah), and passim in the texts of Ugarit.
Thus while -unu, with u, is at home in Palestine
and along the Phoenician Coast, which were
defined as Canaan (just above), -anu, with a,
is found in Alalahw
and Ugarit, with its southern
boundariesat Sumur Mt. Lebanon, and Mt.
Hermon,all comprisedmost probablywithin the
boundariesof the state of Amurru.
The distributionof the unu: -anu suffixin the
regionsof Canaanand Amurrushows the a > o
(writtenu in cuneiform)change,characteristicof
Canaanite. The same changeis exemplifiedalso
in many glosses,such as anaki = Hebrew'anoki,
zakini /sokin/ = Hebrew soken (as against
zakini /sakin/ at Alalah and Ugarit), rahi /ro'/
= Hebrew rote)., Be-ru-ta = Hebrew Be'erot,
Surri = HebrewSor, Gi-ti-ri-mu-ni-ma
= Gitt(i)rimontma,all found in letters comingfrom Palestine and the PhoenicianCoast, but not in letters
fromAmurruand elsesvhereoutsidethe Canaanite
The a.podicticstatementmade above in respect
to the a: o distributionin the Amurru: Canaan
areashas to be justified,since a numberof exceptions may be allegedagainst it.
49. Interesting conclusions about the present-day
distribution of the an *uffix and its variations in the
Syro-Palestinian area are drawn hy B. S. J. Isserlin,
"Place Name Provinces ill the Semitic-Speaking Ancient
Near East ", Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical
23ocietyXrII (1956))83110, esp. pp. 89 W.

First we shalldiscussthe casesin the Palestinian
and Phoenicianareaswherea occursinsteadof the
showexpectedo. The name dDa-ga-an-ta-ka-la,
ing Dagan, not Dagon, occurs in the WA letters
317-318, but theirbeing groupedwith Palestinian
letters in Knudtzon's WA edition is completely
arbitrary, as the letters could very well have
originated in the North. The occurrence of
Bisitanu (beside Sabi-ilu, Maja, and Arzaja)
at Sumur (EA 131) may mean that Sumur lies
on the boundary between the Amorite and
As for the cases in the Amorite area where o,
instead of a, occurs, we should note, first of all,
A-du-na-dIMat Mari (Syria XIX 109), which
was interpretedby Albright,JAOS LXXIV 228
n. 39, and Landsberger,JCS VIII 56 n. 103, as
containing the Hebrew word 'adon "lord;X5n
similarly interpretedby Gordon,RA L 132 was
the name A-du-ni-dUat Ugarit (MRS VI p. 196
No. 15.42 ii 20'). As the interpretationof a-duna/ni as ''lord" is impossiblein Amorite (since
the many occurrencesfrom Mari, ChagarBazar,
and Ugarit show only the form 'adattum,from
'adantum"lady," presupposinga masculineform
'adanum"lord"in the Amoritearea), the elemellt
a-du-namust be taken as "ouradum;"cf., for the
word, such parallels as A-di-DINGIR and, for
the formation,Na-ap-su-na-dIlM,both at Mari.
The interpretationof the divine name Elkunirsa,
husband of Asertu, occurringin a myth from
BogazkoySas Canaanite 'L QN 'RS "Schopfer
(oder Besitzer) der Erde" by Otten, JqIOF I
(1953) 125-150, esp. 135ff., and others, looks
speciouslygood in favor of the existence of o in
the north. Nevertheless,the phoneticdiHiculties
involved in the 'RS: irsa identificationand the
difficultquestionof houra Canaaniteform could
have reached the Hittites across the Amorite
territory make me hesitant about accepting the
proposed interpretationof the name Elkunirsa.
The word ab(b)utu ';fathers" occurs quite frequently in the EA letters (cf. EA Glossary p.
1361), especially in the letters from Byblos, but
also once each in the letters from Sidon (144),
Tyre (150), Samhuna in Palestine (224), and (55). While Byblos, Sidon, Tyre, and
50. The reading dA-dll-ni-AM on a seal inscription
tentativelr proposed by Albright, I0G.cit. should be
corrected most probably to A-dX.-an-n.i-am(I)UMU


Samhunalie in the Phoenician-Palestinianarea,

Qatna lies in the Amorite area. If it were true
that ab(b)utureproducesthe Hebrew form 'abot
for "fathers,"as claimedby Bohl, Die Spracheder
Amarnabriefep. 31, and by Dhorme, Recueil
EdouardDhormepp. 465f., then we would have
to admit that o forms were known at Qatna in
the Amorite territory. The new information
now availablefrom Mari, occurringin the phrase
abutbttim(ARM VII 190:16 and 214:7'), shows,
however, that ab(b)utuis llot a Canacaniteform
but an Akkadiall plural of the type of awtlutu,
stbutu,etc. Finally, in respect to the possibility
of assumingall a > o change in zuhra "back,"
occurringin letters from Canaan, but also from
Abd-Asirtaof Amurru(EA 64, 65), it should be
noted that EA zuhru correspondsin formation
to the Arabic word zuhr5'"noon," and not to
zahr "back," as assumed by Bohl, op. cit. pp.
15 and 83, and Dhorme,op. cit. p. 459.
In investigatingthe a > o phonetic<hangewe
should try to establish not only its geographical,
but also its chronologicaldistribution. The main
question beforeus is: when is the a > o change
attested for the first time? Disregarding the
ca6e of A-du-na-dIM,which has been taken care
of (just above), all the sourcesof the C)ldBabylonianperiod,fromBabylonia,Mesopotamia,and
Syria, show nothing but the vowel a in all cases
but one, the name of Hasura. The latter occurs
several times ill the Mari sources. We had occasion above p. 41, in the discussion of the
location of Amurru, to discuss the important
passagereferringto ambassadorsof fouI Amorite
kings and of Hasura. The passageis important
for the locationof Hasurabecause,if we take the
conjunction;'and"seriously,it would nweanthat
Uasura urassituated outside Amurruin the Old
Babylonian period. The second occurrenee52
(ARM VI 23:23, discussedabovep. 41 ctladK. p.
179) is also importantfor the locationof gasura,
since it lists gasura immediatelyfolloving upon
Jambad and Qatallum. That this geographical
sequenceis genuine,is indicatedby a late Assyrian
"routier,"listing a numberof plaees,amongthem
51. The same formation as in Hebrew ts.3h'7
52. The other referencesto Hasura in the Mari
archives (ARM VI 78:5, 10, 14, 15; VII 236:7') yield
nothingfor its location. Cf. also the referenceto IbniHadduking of Hasura,discllssedabove p. 39.


VOL.15 (1961)

Ha-zu-urKI(var. Ha-surKI)
upon gallaba and Qatana.53 Thus gasura must
be located south of Qatna, which correspondsto
modern Mishrife, situated north of Hamath in
Syria, and nothing stands in the way of identifying the Mari and late Assyriangasur(u) with
gasura of the EA letters and the biblical Hasor
of Galilee, urhichurasone of the most ponrerful
Palestiniankingdomsin pre-Israelitetimes.54
The biblicalname of Hasorhas been generally
explainedas expressingthe urordhasar,55with the
standard Canaanite a > o change. The word
hasar occurs in chronologicalorder first in the
Akkadian asarum of the Ur III geographical
names (MAD III 7), then in hasarum"enclosure"
in a Mari text (CAD) and passimin New Babylonian (CAD), and finallyin Arabichazar"wall,"
"enclosure." Theoretical at least, Has.6rcould
developfromHasur,a qatulformation,but this is
muchless likelybecauseof lack of parallelsto that
formationfrom either the root HZR or HDR in
other Semiticlanguages.
If gasura of the Mari texts is identifiedwith
the biblical Hasor, if the name of the biblical
Hasor representsan original qatal formation
and I wish to reiteratehere that I do not see anything anywherethat would deny the validity of
these two assumptions then we are faced in
gasura of the Mari texts with the oldest example
of the a > o change and consequentlywith the
oldest evidence of a Canaanitelanguage.56 This
linguisticcontrastbetweena Canaaniteformwith
o in Palestineand formswith a everywherein the
North fits perfectlythe statementof a Mariletter,
discussed above (p. 43), which refers to gasura

as outside the area occupiedby the four Amorite

kingdoms,as well as our definitionof Canaan,an
o area,contrastingwith Amurru,an a area,in the
EA period(see above pp. 42ff.).
In spite of the chainof evidencepresentedabove
in favor of the existenceof Canaanitein Palestine
in the Old Babylonian period as a linguistic
entity separate from Amorite, spoken in the
North, in the vast area stretching from Syria,
through NIesopotamia,to Babylonia, I am still
not fully convinced.57This doubt is basedon my
faithful attachmentto the principle"testis unus,
testis nullus." What we need is furtherevidence
concerningspecific Canaaniteisoglosses,such as
those pertaining to the consonantal structure,
from the Palestinian and possibly Phoenician
areasand dated to the OldBabylonianperiod. It
is quite possiblethat a more thoroughevaluation
of the ExecrationTexts may furnishus with such
While we may have difficultyin evaluatingthe
evidencein respectto the single or multiplecharacter of West Semitic in the Old Babylonian
period,there are no such problemsin the Middle
Babylonianperiod. The South, that is, Palestine
and the Phoenician Coast, was occupied by
Cannanite and the North, that is, Syria and
Mesopotamia,was occupiedby Amorite (e. g., at
Alalah),Ugaritic (in a small coastalenclave), and
the beginningsof what later becamethe Aramaic
dialects (as used by the early Awhlameans
Arameansliving in a nomadicand semi-nomadic
state in the desert areas between Syria and

53. Oppenheim, The Intelpretation of Dreams in the

Ancient Near East p. 268, 312 f., and Goetze, BASOR
No. 147 p. 23.
54. The identification was taken for granted by Dossin
and Kupper (p. 179), as against Landsberger, JCSVIII
115 n. 233, who pointed out that the variant spelling
Ha-sur in the Assyrian "routier" speaks in favor of
positing the form Hasu1, with , instead of Hasur, with s.
55. Gesenius-Buhl, Handworterbach;Koehler-Baumgartner, Lexicon; Boree, Die atten OrtsnamenPatastinas
p. 24.
56. The fact that an o form of Hasura occurs at Mari,
an a area, should not be disturbing since the forms of
the geographical names as a rule tend to be faithftllly
recorded in foreign areas. Cf., e.g., o forms of
Beirut (MRS IX p. 255) and KUltSidu-[na] = $idon (MRS VI p. 267), both occurring in
Ugarit, an a area.

West SemtttcMtgrations. Our oldest sources

pertainingto the West Semites come from Babylonia. While +vefind West Semites living there
peacefullyside by side with the native population
all the way from the Pre-Sargonic,through the
Sargonic,to the Ur III periods,it is only fromthe
last-namedperiodthat our attestationis sufficient
to permitcertainethnic and linguisticevaluations
(above pp. 29 f.). We know nothing about the
time when the West Semites moved into Babylonia. Since they are called MAR.TU "Amorites" in the sources (above pp. 30 f.), zve may
safely assume that they came ultimately from a


57. See above p. 39.

country called MAR.TU = Amurru,which contemporarysourcesplacein the West, morespecifically aroundJebel el-Bisrl, in the Syrian Desert
(abovep. 30).
Fromthe end of the Ur III and beginningof the
Old Babylonian periods, we find new waves of
West Semites entering Babylonia and Mesopotamia. They came in two large migrationsat an
interval of about two hundredyears. The first
wave enteringBabyloniasucceededin overthrowing the Ur III dynasty and establishingitself as
the dominant political force in the various parts
of the country,such as Larsa,Kish, Babylon,and
the Diyala region(above pp. 30 f.) Sinceduring
that periodMesopotamiawas most probablyfree
of West Semites we assume that the conquestof
Babyloniawas achievedby West Semitescoming
from the areas south of the Euphratesand not
from Mesopotamia. Two hundred years after
the beginningof the West Semitic penetrationof
Babyloniaimportantethnic changestook place in
the North. The thronesof MariandAssyriawere
occupiedby dynastiesof West Semiticbackground
and vast areasof Mesopotamiawere fully settled
by West Semitic peoples (above pp. 35 f.). It
may be taken for grantedthat the West Semitic
movement into Mesopotamiain the Old Babylonian periodoriginatedfrom acrossthe Euphrates, JUStas did the earlierWest Semiticmovement
Our sourcespertainingto the West Semites in
Syria and Palestine flow almost uninterruptedly
from the Old Babylonian period on. Two important conclusionscan be drawnon the basis of
the study of geographicalnamesand of other, less
importantconsiderations:(1) The Semitesentered
Syria in mass in the Old Babylonianperiod, encountering a population of unknown, but certainly not Hurrian, ethnic affiliation. (2) The
Semites must have been establishedin Palestine
long before the Old Babylonian period, and
nothingpreventsus fromassumingthat they may
have been native to the area from time immemorial(abovep. 41).
Thetr Languages. The language of the first
West Semiticwave enteringBabyloniacan be reconstructedonly +rithsome difficultybecause of
the scarcity of adequatematerials,which consist
mainly of over one hundred names of persons
called MAR.TU in the Ur III period, many of
svhomhad becomeso assimilatedduringtheirlong


stay in Babyloniathat they hore eitherAkkadian

or Sumerian names (above pp. 41f.). Our
knowledgeof West Semiticin the Old Babylonian
period has increased tremendouslyin the past
decades. Oursourcescome not only from Babylorlia,but also from Mesopotamia(lMari,Chagar
Bazar) and Syria (Alalah). The linguisticunity
of all these West Semiticsourcesof the Old Babylonianperiodis beyondall question. The conclusion whichI reachedon the basis of a study of the
Ur III MAR.TU namesis that any characteristics
which can be detected in the Ur III MAR.TU
namesas comparedwith the West Semitic names
of the Old Bablyonian period pertain more to
onomastic habits than to linguistic diSerences
(above pp. 3Sf.). As far as I can see, all the
availableevidencepertainingto the West Semites
up to and includingthe Old Babylonianperiod,
from Babylonia, Mesopotamia,and Syria, indicates one single West Semiticlanguage. Outside
of that area, only Palestineposes a problem. On
the basis of the occurrenceof gasura in the Mari
texts, for Hasor in Palestine, showingthe a > o
change,it may be assumedthat Canaaniterepresented a linguisticentity separatefromt,herest of
West Semitic already in the Old Babylonian
period. But the evidence is unique, and further
light, presumablyfrom the Egyptian E.xecration
Texts, is needed to settle the question (above p.
44). By the Middle Babylonian period West
Semitic is composedof severalseparatelinguistic
entities:Canaanite,Amorite,Ugaritic,and the be.


ot Aramalc.

Terminology. Thereis no difficultyin findinga

term for the West Semitesliving in Babyloniaup
to and including the Ur III period. As their
names normallycarry the appellationMAR.TU,
thereis no doubt that, at least withinthe confines
of Babylonia,their bearerswere called MAR.TU
';Amorites"(above pp. 30f.). The geographical
term MAR.TU = Amurrudenotes in the same
perioda territoryin the West, in the areaof Jebel
el-Besrlin the SyrianDesert.
Of the varioustermsused for the West Semites
of the Old Babylonianperiod, four will be discussed below. They are: (1) "West Semitic" or
"North West Semitic," (2) "East Canaanite"or
"Canaanite,"(3) "Uanean,"and (4) "Amorite."
We shall take them up one by one in this order.
The term "West Semitic" languages and dialects is used extensivelyby Rupperin his mono-


VOL.15 (1961)

graph and by myself in this article for all those

early West Semitic peoples who bore no known
ethnic appellation,primarilyin order to differentiate them fromthose peoples^rhocalledthemselves Amoriteand thus to avoid preJudicialJudgments in respect to their real terminology. The
term "WestSemitic"is definitelyto be preferred
to "North West Semitic,"becausethe formerincludes the Arabicgroupof languages,which cannot a priori be excluded from ethno-linguistic
considerationsconcerningthe earliestSemitesdifferentfromAkkadians. Whilethe use of the term
"WestSemitic"may be Justifiedill generaldiscussion, it is not an appropriateterm for a definite
ethno-linguistic entity. The term "West Semitic"is normallyused in the fieldof Semiticsfor
a groupof languageswhich were or are spokenin
the vast WestSemiticarea,at one time or another,
fromtime immemorialto the presentday. What
we shouldtry to do in the case of early West Semitic languagesis to findspecifictermsfor specific
There is no need, it seems to me, to discuss
further the term "East Canaanite" introduced
some thirty years ago by Landsbergerand Bauer,
as this was done exhaustively above pp. 30f.
The surprisingthing is the widespreaduse of the
term "East Canaanite"and its correlative"Canaanite"even up to the presenttime in Assyriological and Semitologicalliterature,even though
the terminologyand its underlyingtheorieshave
been generallyreJectedby all those scholarswho
participatedin the discussionof the topic immediately uponthe publicationof the studiesof Landsbergerand Bauer. Two main reasonsadvocate
against the terms East Canaaniteor Canaanite:
(1) The termsaretoo narrow,becausethey a priori
exclude all other West Semitic languages from
considerationof the linguistic relationshipof the
West Semiticlanguagein question,(2) The terms
are wrong,becausethe West Semitic languagein
questionis differentfrom Canaanite,as we know
it mainly from the EA periodon.
In a recent re-evaluatiollof the history of the
WestSemiticpeoplesof the OldBabylonianperiod
Landsbergerintroducedtwo new terms, namely
"westliche Halfte der Ostkanaanaer" and
" 'Uana'-Leute"(JCS VIII 56 n. 103). It is not
terms are to be applied to all the West Semitic
peoplesliving East of Babyloniaor only to those

living in Syria, specificallyaroundAlalab. While

the term "westernEast Canaanites"was introduced by Landsbergerfor either a part or the
whole of the west branchof the East Canaanites,
the term ":ganeans"is said to have been used by
the WestSemitesthemselves. The strange-sounding term "westernEast Canaanites"was Justly
criticizedby Goetze (JCS IV 144n.2) and, like all
the terms connectedwith "Canaanite",shouldbe
consignedto limbo. Moreseriousis the consideration of the term ''Uaneans.'' The only piece of
evidenceadducedby Landsbergerin favor of the
term ":ganeans" is the fact that the term
Haniahhe (that is, "Haneans") represents the
designationfor the native populationof Alalah
(above p. 37). Severalother considerationsmay
be added to this, such as that the king of Mari
calledhimselfking of the Akkadiansas well as of
the ganeans (above p. 37), that the term
":ganean"may have acquireda secondarymeaning of "nomad," "beduin" (above p. 37), that
the Uaneansformedan inherentpart of the population of Mari (above p. 37), and that the area
occupied by the seven or nine ganean kings
covereda long stretch of land extendingsouth of
the Euphrates,from Syria to southernBabylonia
(abovep. 37).
Returningto the term "Amorite,"discussedat
the beginningof this section on Terminotogy,
note the followingimportantuses of "Amorite"in
the Old Babylonianperiod in Babyloniaproper:
We findforeignAmoritesinvadingBabylonia(pp.
30f.), the Amorite dynasties established at
Babylon and Larsa (pp. 30f.), persons called
MAR.TU living in Babylonia (p. 30), and the
populationof Babyloniadivided into Akkadians
and Amoritesin the Seisachtheiaof Amml-saduqa
(p. 32). The link between,or ratherthe identity
of, the Amoritesand West Semites is established
by the fact that the names of the rulers of the
Amoritedynasties of Babylon and Larsa,and of
other Babylonian cities, such as Kish, Marad,
Sippar, Kazallu, Eshnunna,etc. (p. 30), as well
as of hundreds or perhaps thousands of individuals,are all West Semiticand almost identical
in type and structurewith the Amoritenames of
the precedingUr III period(pp. 36f.).
The importantthing to note is that the nameof
the divinity Amurruoccurs both independently
and as a componentof Akkadianpersonalnames
in Babylonia and Elam (p. 28), as well as As-


syria (p. 35) even in periods preeedillg Old

Babylonian. Sinee the llame of the god Amurru
occursin thoroughlyAkkadiancontext and not ax
a componentof 77VestSemitic names, it may be
suggestedthat Amurrurepresentsthe patrondeity
of the earliest Amorite wave elltering Babylonia
and Assyria,who beGamefully acceptedinto the
Alikadianpantheonand Akkadianonomastics(ef.
also K. pp. 245ff.).
As against the numeroususages of the term
"Amorite"in the sources from Babylonia alld
Assyria, this term is relatively rare in the West,
specificallyat Mari and Alalah. We learll from
the Mari sourcesthat Amurruwas a kingdomin
Syria (above p. 41), that Masum was a I)UB.
SAR MAR.TU58of the Assyrianking Samsl-Adad
(K. pp. 194, 252f.), and that A-mu-rumwas the
name of a ga-ju "clan" (K. p. 20, 181, cf. also
ARAI VII 227:12'). The Alalah sources often
referto horsesand groomsof . murru,as well absto
merchantsgoing to and from Amurru (above p.
-It is clear from the evidence presentedabove
that there are twoaand I believe only two, terms
whichmay vie with each otheras likely candidates
to cover the MrestSemites to the erld of the Old
Babylonian period. These arew'Uanean," used
mainly in the West, namely at Mari and Alalah,
and "Amorite,"use-dmainly-in Babylonia and
Assyria. Thereis no generaltermto coverall the
West Semites of the areas and periodsdiscussed
here, and none is expected if we can judge the
situationby the limitationsof ethnic terminology
usedelsewhere,suchas Itali, Graeci,(;ermani,ete.
The task of terminologyis not so much to choose
a 'veorrect"
term, whichit seemsto me is well-nigh
an impossibilityin the case of ethnic terminologyt
58. Cf. EME.BAIj MAR.TU in a11Ur III text discussed above p. 32.


but to ehoose one likely term and use it conslstently.

In pleadingin favor of the term "Amorite"as
against 'ganean," I shouldlike first of all to call
attention to the fact that the term "Amorite"for
the West Semiteswas fully establishedin Assyriologicalandorientalistcirclesbeforeits rivals"East
Canaanite"and "Canaanite"(requiescant
in pace)
gained currency,and that the term ''Uanean''is
relatively new and has a much narrowerover-all
applicationthan the term "Amorite." The most
importantsupportfor the term "Amorite"results
from the observationthat in the post-OldBabylonian period this term was used extensively by
the peoplesof the West Semiticarea (EA, Ugarit,
O. T.) and of the neighboringcountriesof Egypt,
Anatolia,and Assyria, whereand when the term
"ganean" is completelyunknown.
In conclusiollI shouldlike to proposethe following three subdivisionsof the term "Amorite"in
ethno-linguisticand historicalusages:
(1) OIdAmorite:From the oldest times to the
end of the Ur III dynasty. The countryAmurru
is in the West. Amorites3
are attested in Babylonia.
(2) ffiddle Amorite: Old Babylonian period.
The country Amurruis in Syria. Amorites are
attested in Syria, Mesopotamia,and Babylonia.
Onlyone WestSemiticlanguagewas usedthroughout that area. Palestine and the Phoenician
Coast may be eitherArlioriteor Canaanite.
(3) New Amorite:Middle Babylonian period.
The country Amurruis in Syria. The Amorite
language,used in Syria, is to be contrastedwith
Canaanite,Ugaritic, and possibly the beginnings
of Aramaic.
[FOFan important discusssionof cuneiformpassages pertainingto Hasoralncludinga newly discovered inscription on a jug see A. Malamat,
Journ. of Bibl. Lit. LXXIX (19B0) 12--19].