Open main menu

SHALMANESER [Ass. Sulmdnu-as arid, “the god Sulman (Solomon) is chief ”], the name of three Assyrian princes.

Shalmaneser I., son of Hadad-nirari I., succeeded his father as king of Assyria about 1310 b.c. He carried on a series of campaigns against the Aramaeans in northern Mesopotamia, annexed a portion of Cilicia to the Assyrian empire, and established Assyrian colonies on the borders of Cappadocia. According to his annals, discovered at Assur, in his first year he conquered eight countries in the north-west and destroyed the fortress of Arinnu, the dust of which he brought to Assur. In his second year he defeated Sattuara, king of Malatia, and his Hittite allies, and conquered the whole country as far south as Carchemish. He built palaces at Assur and Nineveh, restored “the world temple” at Assur, and founded the city of Calah.

Shalmaneser II. succeeded his father Assur-nazir-pal III. 858 b.c. His long reign was a constant series of campaigns against the eastern tribes, the Babylonians, the nations of Mesopotamia and Syria, as well as Cilicia and Ararat. His armies penetrated to Lake Van and Tarsus, the Hittites of Carchemish were compelled to pay tribute, and Hamath (Hamah) and Damascus were subdued. In 854 b.c. a league formed by Hamath, Arvad, Ammon, “Ahab of Israel” and other neighbouring princes, under the leadership of Damascus, fought an indecisive battle against him at Karkar (Qarqar), and other battles followed in 849 and 846 (see Jews § 10). In 842 Hazael was compelled to take refuge within the walls of his capital. The territory of Damascus was devastated, and Iehu of Samaria (whose ambassadors are represented on the Black Obelisk now in the British Museum) sent tribute along with the Phoenician cities. Babylonia had already been conquered as far as the marshes of the Chaldaeans in the south, and the Babylonian king put to death. In 836 Shalmaneser made an expedition against the Tibareni (Tabal) which was followed by one against Cappadocia, and in 832 came the campaign in Cilicia. In the following year the old king found it needful to hand over the command of his armies to the Tartan (commander-in-chief), and six years later Nineveh and other cities revolted against him under his rebel son Assur-danin-pal. Civil war continued for two years; but the rebellion was at last crushed by Samas-Rimmon or Samsi-Hadad, another son of Shalmaneser. Shalmaneser died soon afterwards in 823 b.c. He had built a palace at Calah, and the annals of his reign are engraved on an obelisk of black marble which he erected there.

See V. Scheil in Records of the Past, new series, iv. 36-79.

Shalmaneser III. (or IV.) appears as governor of Zimirra in Phoenicia in the reign of Tiglath-pileser IV. (or III.) and is supposed by H. Winckler to have been the son of the latter king. At all events, on the death of Tiglath-pileser, he succeeded to the throne the 25th of Tebet 727 b.c., and changed his original name of Ulula to that of Shalmaneser. The revolt of Samaria took place during his reign (see Jews § 15), and while he was besieging the rebel city he died on the 12th of Tebet 722 b.c. and the crown was seized by Sargon.

For all these rulers see Babylonia and Assyria, Sections V. and VIII., and works quoted.  (A. H. S.)