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824-811 BCE

Mesopotamia / Kings /
Assyria / Neo period / Kings /
Other spelling: Sammu-ramat

Ruler of Assyria, 811-808 BCE, 3 years, the only ruling queen of Assyria. Some chronologies suggest he ruled for up to 17 years.
She was the queen of king Shamshi-Adad 5, who died in 811, and mother of Adad-nirari 3, but a young boy upon his father's death.
Her position may formally have been secondary to her son, but inscriptions at Calah clearly suggest that she claimed full authority. Her stele has been found at Ashur.
In her case, legends lie thick over what may be historical data. In legends she is generally called Semiramis, largely known through the accounts of the 1st century BCE historian, Diodorus, and said to have ruled a gigantic empire, far bigger than what Assyria was before her, and after. Her alleged empire included Assyria, Armenia, Arabia, Persia, Egypt and beyond, and she is said to have ruled for more than 40 years. Her personal qualities had no end, not only was she beautiful but also a scholar in several fields of contemporary sciences.
Neither the dates of her birth or death are accounted for in historical sources.

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By Tore Kjeilen