History Files


Middle East Kingdoms

Ancient Mesopotamia




MapFeatures for Ancient MesopotamiaCity State of Larsa

Apart from one possible contender during the pre-flood period in which Bad-Tibira held the kingship, the city of Larsa doesn't seem to have had any other independent kings of its own until the very end of Sumerian civilisation.

Control of it was gained by the Amorite inheritors of southern Mesopotamia, becoming the centre of a moderately successful city state which also controlled Ur and Uruk. Its name (modern Tell as-Senkereh), was corrupted to Ellasar in the Bible, although the Biblical king Arioch of Ellasar is now thought to be the early Hurrian king Ariukki. Dates are according to the Middle Chronology, which (until recently at least) was the most popular. The Long Chronology sets the dates 120 years earlier, while the Low Chronology sets them 64 years later.

c.2025 BC

With the power of the Third Dynasty at Ur crumbling, it seems that Larsa becomes independent, at least to a degree, founding its own line of kings.

MapAmorite Rulers of Larsa

Larsa became a formidable force in southern Mesopotamia during the Old Babylonian Period. After the Third Dynasty of Ur collapsed, many of the larger city states hurried to fill the resultant power vacuum. Isin managed to regain many of the most important Sumerian sites, and appointed their own governors at Larsa. One of them, an Amorite of the Yamutbal tribe named Gungunum, broke with Isin, set up his own independent dynasty at Larsa, and seized the now diminished city of Ur. Whether his predecessors were also Amorites is not known.

c.2025 - 2004 BC

Naplanum / Nablanum

Presumably an Amorite of the Yamutbal.

c.2004 - 1998 BC


Possible son?

c.1998 BC

Larsa falls under the control of Isin in the century of disorder which follows the collapse of Sumerian civilisation. It seems by the Larsa king list that Emisum continues to govern the city, but probably only as a subject of Isin.

c.1998 - 1976 BC


c.1976 - 1941 BC


Possible son? Established Larsa as a rival to Isin.

c.1941 - 1933 BC

Zabaya / Zabaia / Zambija

Governor of Larsa under Isin's rule?

c.1932 - 1905 BC


Son? Governor of Larsa under Isin's rule. First king of Larsa.

c.1920? BC

Gungunum, Isin's governor of the province of Lagash, breaks with his masters and sets up his own dynasty in Larsa, although the reasons for this are largely unknown. To further frustrate Isin's rulers, he seizes Ur, cutting Isin's vital trade route and economically crippling the city.

c.1905 - 1894 BC

Abisare / Abi-sare


c.1905 - 1866 BC

Gungunum's two successors in the rule of Larsa and Ur seek to cut off Isin's access to water by rerouting canals to Larsa. There is evidence that acquiring access to water in this increasingly arid region poses quite a problem for most of southern Mesopotamia in this period, so making it an increasingly vital resource. After this period, Isin quickly loses political and economical force.

c.1894 - 1866 BC



c.1865 - 1850 BC


c.1850 - 1843 BC


c.1843 - 1841 BC



c.1841 - 1836 BC


c.1836 - 1835 BC



c.1835 BC

Silli-Adad is defeated and killed in battle by Sabium of Babylon, apparently leaving the kingdom in a political vacuum which is quickly filled by Elamites.

fl c.1835 BC


King of an Elamite state north of Susa?

c.1834 BC

Kudur-mabug, apparent king of an otherwise unknown Elamite state to the north of the Elamite capital at Susa, manages to install his son, Warad-Sin, on the throne of Larsa.

c.1834-1823 BC



Rim-Sin succeeds his brother and conquers much of southern Mesopotamia. Isin is taken in c.1796 BC (or perhaps earlier), and Sin-muballit of Babylon is defeated. Uruk is also defeated (c.1810 BC) and then finally captured (c.1803/2 BC). The city state's possessions reach their peak, such as it is, controlling about ten to fifteen other cities - nowhere near the territory controlled by many previous dynasties in Sumerian history. Even so, the city state manages to undertake huge building projects and agricultural undertakings.

c.1822-1763 BC


Brother. 'Shepherd of the land of Nippur'.

c.1763 BC

Rim-Sin is attacked by Hammurabi's Babylonian empire for his failure to provide any real assistance in the allied effort to beat back the growing threat of the powerful Elamites. Given Rim-Sin's ancestry perhaps the lack of support should not have been a surprise. Hammurabi now controls most of Sumer.

c.1741 - 1736 BC

Rim-Sin II

An adventurer.

Along with many others at the time of Hammurabi's death, Rim-Sin II sees an opportunity to lead a revolt against the rule of Samsu-iluna's Babylonian empire. The two fight for five years, with Rim-Sin allied to Eshnunna, and most battles taking place on the Elam/Sumer border before Rim-Sin is captured and executed.

c.539 BC

Archaeological evidence suggests that Larsa remains occupied until the end of the Neo-Babylonian empire, when it is abandoned, either upon Babylonia becoming part of the Persian Achaemenid empire, or shortly afterwards.