This is a question about Assur-Danin-Pal and his relationship to the Babylonian kings. First I need to introduce the characters:

Shalmaneser III: King of Assyria (859-824)

Assur-Danin-Pal: His son, who rebelled

Shamsi-Adad V: his other son, who put down the rebellion and became king in 824

Marduk-Zakir-Sumi I: King of Babylon (855-819), contemporary of Shalmaneser III

Marduk-balāssu-iqbi: his son (r. 819-813)

Marduk Zakir Sumi I helped Shamsi Adad V put down the rebellion. Shamsi Adad V was therefore indebted to the Babylonian King and married his daughter Shammuramat. This is conventional knowledge.

The page for Assur Danin Pal says that he (the usurper) sought the support of the Babylonian king Marduk-balāssu-iqbi. It describes the revolt as "marauding armies of Babylonians". This information is uncited and seems obscure. Marduk-balassu-iqbi suceeded his father a few years later.

Marduk-balassu-iqbi initially ruled an area in northeast Babylon that had been contested for centuries between Assyria and Babylon. He would have been well positioned to invade Assyria. If the above account is true then it raises the question of what the relationship was between the Babylonian king and his son. Was he acting as a vassal or rebel to his father when he backed Assur-Danin-Pal? It seems unlikely that his father would let him act on his own from this strategic location, unless he wanted him to embark on a fool's errand. The chronology may be telling; the son led his armies into Assyria's civil wars then his father had the last word. The son later became a rival to his sister Shammuramat.

Bounty: Did Marduk-ballasu-iqbi help Assur-Danin-Pal?

Can this also be answered: What was the relationship of Marduk-Zakir-Sumi to his son's invasion, if it did happen?


1 Answer 1


We know that Assur-danin-pal rebelled even before the death of his father, King Shalmaneser III. We know that it was a serious rebellion that spread to at least 27 cities, including Ashur Nineneh, and Arbela. We know that it took four years to put the rebellion down [Kuhrt, 1995, Vol 2 p490].

It seems that the rebellion was eventually put down by Assur-danin-pal's brother, Shamshi-Adad V, probably with assistance from Marduk-zakir-shumi I. According to the Cambridge Ancient History:

"The Babylonian assistance is usually inferred from a surviving fragment of a treaty between Shamshi-Adad V and Marduk-zakir-shumi I in which the Assyrian ruler is clearly put on a lower footing than his Babylonian counterpart".

  • [p308]

However, as the Cambridge Ancient History also observes,

"The only preserved narrative of the events [of the rebellion] is in the annals of Shamsi-Adam V."


So, it appears that if Assur-danin-pal received aid from Marduk-balassu-iqbi while Marduk-zakir-shumi I was still king, we have no surviving record.

Marduk-balassu-iqbi probably only ruled in Babylon for a little over a decade. He was defeated and captured by Shamshi-Adad V in 813 BCE and deported to Assyria. Turning once again to the Cambridge Ancient History, we see that

"... Marduk-balassu-iqbi is known chiefly from Assyrian texts as the object of Assyrian campaigns"

  • [p308]

There is an article about Marduk-balassu-iqbi on Revolvy which includes some further background about him and the surviving sources (together with some references that might be of interest to you). Unfortunately, it makes no mention at all of Assur Danin Pal.

Given all the above, it is hard to see what the source of the information in the Wikipedia page might be. For now, I'd be careful about reading too much into an unsourced article on Wikipedia.


  • What you have added is that Assur Danin Pal led a large rebellion that included most of Assyria. He actually ruled out of (nineveh?) with 26 other cities backing him. His rule may have represented a pro-Assyrian resentment to the "babylonian party" aka the influence of Marduk Zair Sumi. The information about Marduk-balassu-iqbi is a probable situation so I am pursuing it.
    – John Dee
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 4:35
  • @JohnDee Good luck. :) Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 4:43
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    It's just so easy to broadcast things here that have little hope. People could not care because 1) It doesn't matter, or 2) Its too hard too verify.
    – John Dee
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 5:38
  • So theres a paltry amount sources on Marduk-balassu-iqbi? I bet such information would come from Shalmaneser III or Shamsi Adad Vi's records then.
    – John Dee
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 5:41
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    @JohnDee Unless there have been some recent discoveries of new material that I'm not aware of, I think the sources mentioned in my answer are all we have for that period. It's a shame that the user that added the information to the Wikipedia page didn't include their source. I certainly haven't been able to find anything online to support it. Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 5:56

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