Circa 2094 - Circa 2047 b.c.e.
King of Ur
King of Ur. As the ruler of Ur, Shulgi built on the foundation established by his father Ur-Namma (circa 2112–2095 b.c.e.), continuing to build and refurbish temples, encourage trade, and pursue military conquest. Basking in his success, Shulgi declared himself a god, a status that rulers in Mesopotamia had not claimed since the fall of the Sargonic empire in the previous century.
Patron of Learning. Following in his father’s footsteps, Shulgi traced the origins of his dynasty back to the early legendary kings of the city of Uruk. Under his patronage, literary compositions about the epic monarch Lugalbanda, whom Shulgi claimed as his father, and the hero Gilgamesh, whom he claimed was his brother, were put into a final form. These compositions, as well as legends about Enmerkar, another early ruler of Uruk, were probably used as foundation myths to glorify the dynasty. Shulgi was featured in literary letters and may have been a patron of Wisdom literature. He also either commissioned or supported the creation of new hymnal compositions praising the gods and goddesses of his realm.
School Reforms. Shulgi—or a member or members of his administration—introduced major reforms of the school curriculum. During his reign, scribes no longer copied the large corpus of old Sumerian myths and literary compositions created during the first part of the third millennium b.c.e., a body of work that now exists only in fragmentary form. It cannot be determined if this restructuring of Sumerian scholarship had ideological or religious roots. In the place of the old myths and compositions appeared a new form of literature, the royal hymn, which lauded the accomplishments of the dynasty and its rulers. In these hymns Shulgi claimed that he was able to speak all five of the languages spoken in his realm and that he had achieved excellence as a musician. He was also the only king during the third millennium b.c.e. who claimed to be literate.
Jeremy Black, Graham Cunningham, Jarle Ebeling, Esther Flückiger-Hawker, Eleanor Robson, Jon Taylor, and Gábor Zólyomi, The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, The Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, 1998- <http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk>.
Jacob Klein, Three Šulgi Hymns (Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar IIan University Press, 1981).
"Shulgi." World Eras. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/shulgi
"Shulgi." World Eras. . Retrieved March 20, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/shulgi
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.