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Re: Lugalzaggesi (for sheezi)
In Response To: Re: Lugalzaggesi (for sheezi) ()

Just trying to figure out why you have fixated on this particular king. Not that the "Big Z" is uninteresting. I talk about him in some detail in Chapters 5 & 7. Have you had a chance to look over the relevant sections? I think they help make the point that it is somewhat futile to stuff kings into tidy little lists of dynasties associated with particular cities.

Georges Roux (Ancient Iraq) makes him the sole member of the Uruk/Erech Dynasty III following the "Sumerian King List." But what kind of dynasty has only one member? And the Sumerian king list is suspect for other reasons. For example, from Sumerian legend Etana was the first king after the Flood, yet he is listed 14th in the Sumerian King List. Because of this and other contradictions, scholars have concluded that many of the first "dynasties" were actually comtemporary rather than sequential as indicated by the Sumerian king list. That is, kingship was not always literally carried off from one city to another, but this was more of a literary device used in the Sumerian King List.

Joan Oates (Babylon) simply calls Z a king of Sumer prior to the Sargon Era. He was first considered an "ensi" of Umma, then conquered Girsu/Lagash, followed by Uruk and the rest of Sumeria. Prior to this time, there had been a long-standing feud between Umma and Lagash. It began when an earlier king Mesilim of Lagash (who called himself the "King of Kish") divided his empire between two sons, one of which controlled Lagash and the other Lagash.

What interests me most about Z of Umma is that he was ordered by the Great King Ur-Zababa ("of Kish") to execute the young Sargon of Lagash. I want to know why he was chosen for this job. Specifically, what was the typecasting of Z that made him appropriate for this task.

Sargon later became a "Moses-figure." His typecasting may have dictated that he receive a death sentence but flee the country and later return. However, this may not have been the original typecasting of Sargon. His assoication with water and with dreams may indicate that he was first thought of as a "Joseph-figure." Joseph also was hated by his brothers. So, perhaps Ur-Zababa was playing the role of "Simeon" who wanted to kill Sargon and Lugalzagessi assumed the role of Judah or Reuben in placing Joseph in a "pit" so he could later be rescued. These roles were very ancient and derived from relationships in the so-called age of the gods. (I hope to demonstrate this more fully in a new summary of the on-line book that I'm currently working on.)