Babylonian: King

franknagy

Senior Member
The ancient denominations of rulers, like pharaoh, tyrannus, despota were preserved and widely used in living languages.
The word for Babylonian or Assyrian king has lost.
What was the "king" in the language of Babylon?
 
  • fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    The Akkadian (Babylonian/Assyrian) word for “king” is šarru. The Sumerian word is lugal (literally: “great man”).
     

    tFighterPilot

    Senior Member
    Israel - Hebrew
    While the word is not used in any modern language, its Hebrew cognate, שר (sar) is used in modern Hebrew in the meaning of "minister".
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    The Akkadian (Babylonian/Assyrian) word for “king” is šarru. The Sumerian word is lugal (literally: “great man”).

    Is there an Akkadian word related to Arabic "malik" or "sultaan"?
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Akkadian malku = king.
    Akkadian shalatu = to rule.

    Yes, but…

    Akkadian malku is used very rarely for the Babylonian or Assyrian king; usually it designates a foreign king. It is in any event not the main word for “king” in Akkadian.

    The root š-l-ṭ does mean “to rule”, but there is no word for “king” from this root in Akkadian. Actually, in Arabic sulṭān is primarily an abstract noun “rule, dominion” and only later does it take on the meaning “ruler, king”.
     
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    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Do we know the original meaning of the root for shar?

    Yes, but…

    Akkadian malku is used very rarely for the Babylonian or Assyrian king; usually it designates a foreign king. It is in any event not the main word for “king” in Akkadian.

    This is interesting. Do we know why they preferred a different word for foreign kings as opposed to local ones?

    The root š-l-ṭ does mean “to rule”, but there is no word for “king” from this root in Akkadian. Actually, in Arabic sulṭān is primarily an abstract noun “rule, dominion” and only later does it take on the meaning “ruler, king”.

    In the Quran it seems to mean "authority" in the sense of a "mandate" or "justification".
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Was too good to be true I guess.

    I think it's plausible to think the شرّ for 'evil' or 'harm' is related to شرر for flying sparks, which in turn seems related to the older Afro-Asiatic/Proto-Semitic sense of 'flying' in the link you posted.
     
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