Armi, was an important Bronze Age city-kingdom during the late third millennium BC located in northern Syria.


Unknown–c. 2290 BC
Common languagesEblaite
Levantine religion (Hadad was the chief deity)
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Historical eraBronze Age
• Established
• Disestablished
c. 2290 BC
Succeeded by
Akkadian Empire
Today part of Syria




Knowledge about Armi comes from the Ebla tablets. It has been identified with Aleppo,[1] and with the Tall Bazi (by modern Tall Banat[2])[3] a citadel on the bank of the Euphrates 60 km south of Jarabulus. [4]

Relations with EblaEdit

Armi is the city most often referred to in the Ebla texts. Armi was a vassal kingdom for Ebla, it had its own kings and worked as a trade center and Trading intermediary for Ebla.[5]Giovanni Pettinato describes Armi as Ebla's alter ego.[6] However, the relations between the two cities is complicated, for it wasn't always peaceful: the texts of Ebla mention the exchange of gifts between the kings but also wars between the two kingdoms.[7]

The relations between the two kingdoms are ambiguous, as ongoing work on the Ebla Tablets has revealed.[7] Many Eblan merchants were active in Armi and vice versa, but despite intensive commercial exchange, it seems that relations deteriorated during the reign of the Eblan king Irkab-Damu's successor Isar-Damu, whose powerful vizier[8] Ebrium[9] waged war against Armi in his ninth year as vizier. The texts mention that the battle happened near a town called Batin (which might be located in northeastern Aleppo),[10] and that a messenger arrived in Ebla with news of the defeat of Armi.[10]

Ebrium's son and successor as vizier, Ibbi-Sipish, conducted a military campaign in his third year against the city of Bagara. The scribe who describes the campaign quotes a military expedition against Armi while speaking about the campaign against Bagara, which might mean that Bagara belonged to Armi.[8]

Ibbi-Sipish conducted more military actions against Armi, and several other texts of his mention his campaigns against the kingdom. For example, he received linen textiles for one of these campaigns.[11]

Relations between Ebla and Armi are no less complicated than the relations between Ebla and Mari. The Eblan texts mention two interdynastic marriages with the son of the king of Nagar and that of Kish, but despite very close relations between Ebla and Armi an interdynastic marriage is never attested.[11]

During its final years, Ebla—in alliance with Nagar and Kish—conducted a great military expedition against Armi and occupied it. Ibbi-Sipish's son Enzi-Malik took up residence in Armi.[11]


Armi wasn't mentioned after the destruction of Ebla. Many theories have been proposed for this destruction. Historian Michael C. Astour believes that the destruction of Ebla and Armi would have happened c. 2290 BC during the reign of Lugal-zage-si of Sumer, whose rule coincided with Sargon of Akkad's first years.[12]

King Naram-Sin of Akkad mentions that he conquered Armanum and Ib-la and captured the king of Armanum,[13] the similarities between the names led historian Wayne Horowitz to identify Armanum with Armi. If Armi was in fact Armanum mentioned by Naram-Sin, then the event can be dated to c. 2240 BC.[14] In any case, it is clear that the whole of northern Syria including Ebla and Armi was under the domination of the Akkadian empire during the reign of Naram-Sin.[15][16]

Armanum and ArmiEdit

Naram-Sin gives a long description of his siege of Armanum, his destruction of its walls, and the capture of its king Rid-Adad.[13] Astour believes that the Armanum mentioned in the inscriptions of Naram-Sin is not the same city as the Eblaite Armi, as Naram-Sin makes it clear that the Ebla he sacked (c. 2240 BC) was a border town of the land of Arman, while the Armi in the Eblaite tablets is a vassal to Ebla and (according to Astour), the Syrian Ebla would have been burned in 2290 BC (based on the political map given in the Eblaite tablets) long before the reign of Naram-Sin.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Wayne Horowitz, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, Eisenbrauns 1998 ISBN 0-931464-99-4
  2. ^ Projekt Tall Bazi,
  3. ^ Paolo Matthiae; Nicoló Marchetti (2013-05-31). Ebla and its Landscape: Early State Formation in the Ancient Near East. p. 501. ISBN 9781611322286.
  4. ^ Adelheid Otto, Archeological Perspectives on the Localization of Naram-Sin's Armanum, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. 58, pp. 1-26, 2006
  5. ^ Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg; Nathan H. Winter (1987). Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 130. ISBN 9781575060606.
  6. ^ Pettinato, Giovanni (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991) Ebla, a new look at history p.135
  7. ^ a b Paolo Matthiae; Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 482. ISBN 9783447061759.
  8. ^ a b Paolo Matthiae; Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 485. ISBN 9783447061759.
  9. ^ Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg; Nathan H. Winter (1987). Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 218. ISBN 9781575060606.
  10. ^ a b Paolo Matthiae; Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 484. ISBN 9783447061759.
  11. ^ a b c Paolo Matthiae; Licia Romano (2010). 6 ICAANE. p. 486. ISBN 9783447061759.
  12. ^ a b Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg; Nathan H. Winter (1987). Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, Volume 4. p. 63,64,65,66. ISBN 9781575060606.
  13. ^ a b William J. Hamblin (2006-09-27). Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 220. ISBN 9781134520626.
  14. ^ Barbara Ann Kipfer (2000-04-30). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. p. 334. ISBN 9780306461583.
  15. ^ William J. Hamblin (2006-09-27). Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 98. ISBN 9781134520626.
  16. ^ Benjamin R. Foster, “The Siege of Armanum,” JANES, vol. 14, pp. 27–36, 1982