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Iter-pisha on Wikipedia

King of Isin
Reignca. 1769–1767 BC
House1st Dynasty of Isin

Īter-pīša, inscribed in cuneiform as i-te-er-pi/pi4-ša and meaning "Her command is surpassing",[1] ca. 1769–1767 BC (short chronology) or ca. 1833–1831 BC (middle chronology), was the 12th king of Isin during the Old Babylonian period. The Sumerian King List[i 1] tells us that "the divine Īter-pīša ruled for 4 years."[nb 1] The Ur-Isin King List[i 2] which was written in the 4th year of the reign of Damiq-ilišu gives a reign of just 3 years.[2] His relationships with his predecessor and successor are uncertain and his reign falls during a period of general decline in the fortunes of the dynasty.


He was a contemporary of Warad-Sin (ca. 1770 BC to 1758 BC) the king of Larsa, whose brother and successor, Rim-Sin I would eventually come to overthrow the dynasty, ending the cities' bitter rivalry around 40 years later. He is only known from Kings lists and year-name date formulae in several contemporary legal and administrative texts.[3] Two of his year-names refer to his provision of a copper Lilis for Utu and Inanna respectively, where Lilissu is a kettledrum used in temple rituals.[4]

He is perhaps best known for the literary work generally known as the letter from Nabi-Enlil to Īter-pīša formerly designated letter from Īter-pīša to a deity, when its contents were less well understood. It is extant in seven fragmentary manuscripts[i 3] and seems to be a petition to the king from a subject who has fallen on hard times.[5] It is a 24-line composition that had become a belle letter used in scribal education during the subsequent Old Babylonian period.[6]

External links

  • Īter-pīša year-names at CDLI, but note the tablet reference BM 85384 in year-name (b) is incorrect.


  1. Sumerian King List, Ash. 1923.444, the "Weld-Blundell Prism."
  2. Ur-Isin King List tablet MS 1686.
  3. Tablets UM 55-21-329 +, 3N-T0901,048, 3N-T 919,455, CBS 7857, UM 55-21-323, and CBS 14041 + in the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and MS 2287 in the Schøyen Collection.


  1.ša mu 4 i.ak.


  1. atāru, CAD A/2, vol. 1 (1968), p. 489.
  2. Jöran Friberg (2007). A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts: Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection: Cuneiform Texts. Springer. pp. 131–134.
  3. D. O. Edzard (1999). Dietz Otto Edzard (ed.). Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Ia – Kizzuwatna. 5. Walter De Gruyter. p. 216.
  4. Dahlia Shehata (2014). "Sounds From The Divine: Religious Musical Instruments In The Ancient Near East". In Joan Goodnick Westenholz; Yossi Maurey; Edwin Seroussi (eds.). Music in Antiquity: The Near East and the Mediterranean. Walter de Gruyter. p. 115.
  5. Pascal Attinger (2014). "40) Nabu-Enlil-Īterpīša (ANL 7)". Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires (NABU) (2): 165–168.
  6. Eleanor Robson (2001). "The tablet House: a scribal school in old Babylonian Nippur". Revue d'assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale. 93 (1): 58. doi:10.3917/assy.093.0039.