Reform Edict of Urukagina

(ca. 2350 BCE )

About the Author

Urukagina was the last king of the Sumerian kingdom of Lagash before the era of Sargon, an Akkadian king who conquered Mesopotamia and neighboring areas, ushering in a period of political unification that lasted for over a century (ca. 2340 BCE). Urukagina was first mentioned as a high official during the reign of the previous king, Lugalanda. In fact, he did not take the title of “king” until the second year of his reign. His relationship to the previous monarch, as well as to the entire Lagashite dynasty before him, is unknown; Urukagina never mentions his father in any of the extant inscriptions. Some modern scholars speculate that Urukagina was a usurper, but no concrete evidence supports this. He must have had some affinity (or at least some connection) to the previous administration, as deliveries of supplies for various temples in the Lagash vicinity were still being made in the name of Bara-Namtara, the wife of Lugalanda, during the first year of...