Email us for help
Lucius Tarquinius King of Rome, accepted by some scholars as a historical figure. His reign is dated from 534 to 509 bc.
The first Mesopotamian ruler who declared himself divine was Naram-Sin of Akkad. Naram-Sin reigned sometime during the 23rd century BCE but the exact dates and duration of his reign are still subject to research. According to his own inscription the people of the city of Akkad wished him to be the god of their city. This first instance of self-deification also coincides with the first world empire of the rulers of Akkad, the first time that a dynasty established a territorial ruler over large parts of Mesopotamia. It was also accompanied by certain changes in religion, in which the king proliferated the cult of the Ishtar, the goddess of war and love. Naram-Sin seems to have emphasized Ishtar in her war-like aspect (‘ashtar annunitum) and began to refer to himself as the husband/warrior of Ishtar.
After Naram-Sin no ruler declared himself divine until about 200 years had passed, when Shulgi (2095–2049 BCE), the second king of the Third Dynasty of Ur, took up the custom of self-deification once more. His self-deification may have been viewed in attempts to consolidate the empire he had inherited from his father. The cult of the divine ruler seems to have culminated under Shu-Sin, who was probably Shulgi’s son or grandson and began an extensive program of self-worship (Brisch in press). After Shu-Sin the divinization kings was abandoned once more.
Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond by Nicole Brisch
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
1155 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
February 23–24, 2007