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Hassum (also given as Khashshum, Ḫaššum, Hassu, Hassuwa or Hazuwan) was a Hurrian city-state,[1] located in southern Turkey most probably on the Euphrates river north of Carchemish.[2]


The city was a vassal to Ebla, it was mentioned in the Tablets of Ebla as Hazuwan, and was governed by its own king.[3] it came under the influence of Mari for a short period of time in the 24th century BC,[4] before Irkab-Damu of Ebla regained influence over the area,[5] the city survived the Akkadians conquests in 2240 BC and flourished as a trade center in the first half of the 2nd millennia BC.[6]

In the beginning of 18th century BC, Hassum allied with Yamhad against Yahdun-Lim of Mari,[7] it later helped Yamhad against a kingdom in Zalmakum (a marshy region between the Euphrates and lower Balikh),[8] but then shifted alliance to Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria after he annexed Mari and sent him a 1000 troops to attack Sumu-Epuh of Yamhad.[9][10] later, Yarim-Lim I of Yamhad brought Hassum under his hegemony, the city remained subjugated to Yamhad until the Hittite conquest.[11]

Hittite Conquest

In the course of his war against Yamhad, Hattusili I of the Hittites, having destroyed Alalakh and Urshu, headed toward Hassum in his sixth year (around 1644 BC, middle chronology), Yarim-Lim III of Yamhad sent his army under the leadership of General Zukrassi the heavy-armed troops leader accompanied by General Zaludis the commander of the Manda troops, they united with the army of Hashshum,[12] then the battle of Atalur mountain ensued (Atalur is located north of Aleppo not very far from the Amanus, it can be identified with the Kurd-Dagh Mountains),[13][14] Hattusili destroyed his enemies and moved on to burn and loot Hassum. The citizens rallied their forces three times against the Hittites,[15] but Hattusili sacked the city and seized the statuses of the god Teshub, his wife Hebat and a pair of silver bulls that were the bulls of Teshub,[16] and carried them to Hattusa,[17] where they were kept in the temple of Arinna.[18]

The king of Hassum was captured and humiliated, he was harnessed to one of the wagons used to transport the loots of his city and taken to the Hittite capital.[19] a century later, Hittite king Telipinu (fl. c. 1500 BC) mentions Hassum as his chief enemy and his destruction of the city.[2][20][21]

See also



  1. ^ Roland de Vaux. The early history of Israel, Volume 2. p. 65.
  2. ^ a b Trevor Bryce. The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia. p. 295.
  3. ^ Pelio Fronzaroli. Lingua di Ebla e la linguistica semitica. p. 237.
  4. ^ Mario Liverani. The Ancient Near East: History, Society and Economy. p. 202.
  5. ^ Horst Klengel. Syria, 3000 to 300 B.C.: a handbook of political history. p. 28.
  6. ^ E. J. Peltenburg. Euphrates River Valley Settlement: The Carchemish Sector in the Third Millennium Bc. p. 157.
  7. ^ Yuhong Wu. A Political History of Eshnunna, Mari and Assyria During the Early Old Babylonian Period: From the End of Ur III to the Death of Šamši-Adad. p. 131.
  8. ^ Sidney Smith. Anatolian Studies: Journal of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. Special number in honour and in memory of John Garstang, 5th May, 1876 - 12th September, 1956, Volume 6. p. 38.
  9. ^ J. R. Kupper. The Cambridge Ancient History Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. p. 19.
  10. ^ Jack M. Sasson. The Military Establishments at Mari. p. 44.
  11. ^ Gordon Douglas Young. Ugarit in Retrospect: Fifty Years of Ugarit and Ugaritic. p. 7.
  12. ^ Robert Drews. The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.C. p. 106.
  13. ^ Shigeo Yamada. The Construction of the Assyrian Empire. p. 105.
  14. ^ Michael C. Astour. Hellenosemitica: an ethnic and cultural study in west Semitic impact on Mycenaean Greece. p. 388.
  15. ^ Trevor Bryce. Hittite Warrior. p. 43.
  16. ^ Roland de Vaux. The early history of Israel, Volume 2. p. 66.
  17. ^ J. R. Kupper. The Cambridge Ancient History Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. p. 38.
  18. ^ William J. Hamblin. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 287.
  19. ^ Trevor Bryce. The Kingdom of the Hittites. p. 83.
  20. ^ Harry A. Hoffner; Gary M. Beckman; Richard Henry Beal; John Gregory McMahon. Hittite Studies in Honor of Harry A. Hoffner Jr. p. 10.
  21. ^ Albrecht Götze. Kizzuwatna and the problem of Hittite geography. p. 72.

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