History of The First Kolhinor Volume the Third by Inimabak

Written in the 641th year after the Winnowing of Shumer

The Second Dynasty of Lagash

The Kings of this period as a general rule left no monuments; and the estimates of their reign lengths is entirely dependent on a fragmentary list discovered in the 3rd dynasty tomb of Yarlagash. It was until recently difficult to conjecture the causes which, after so glorious a dynasty as the First, suddenly reduced Kholinor under the Second to impotence and dumbness. There was no indication of foreign invasion and internal troubles were suggested as the most probable cause of the long silence; including suggestions of revolt, interior troubles and assassination by which the life and length of reign of the princes was not subjected to the ordinary conditions of human existence. Some no little light has been thrown onto the subject in recent times by the discovery of two fragmentary documents dating to the reign of Mennuna. The first concerns a foreign individual and his family who make an appearance in Kholinor sometime early in the reign of the first king. The name given in this text is Dranish, although as indicated by the second text they came to be called by Kholinorians; Eneneus or Eneneug (lit – Lords of Blood or Lords Death). This family over many years insinuated itself by marriage or otherwise into the ruling elite of Kholinor; fermenting as they did so discord within and between the great families of the kingdom. This led to a complete breakdown of central control for over a century as warring families competed for the sovereignty culminating in the Kingship being attained by Usiwish, himself one of the Eneneus. There is no record of how this scourge was brought to and end, but it must be presumed that Mennuna was a sufficiently strong enough leader to both wrest power from his predecessor and cleanse the noble families. It has been suggested that the paucity of texts from this period can now be explained by postulating that Mennuna undertook a redaction of the reigns of his predecessors. But it must be pointed out that there is absolutely no evidence for this and it must remain pure conjecture.

It would appear that Mennuna was already of mature years when he gained the throne, but was blessed with a long reign and a long life. When he finally expired his son Lugalngu was already of some age and had but a short reign of little note. When his son Hadanish gained the sovereignty he took over a settled kingdom and could perhaps have looked forward to a peaceful reign after the previous tribulations of the Dynasty. It was not to be.

The conquest of Kholinor by Arata, who continued to be the dominant power in the country for 150 years, was asserted by Etana a priest of the Fourth Dynasty in the most positive terms, and, though long misdoubted by modern scholars has become through recent discovery an acknowledged fact. Two native documents, one on stone, the other on clay, have proved beyond question the fact of Aratian rule. Further, two names of these rulers have been recovered from the inscriptions of that country; and though a deep obscurity still rests upon the period, upon the persons and circumstances of the conquest – an obscurity which we can scarcely hope to see dispelled – yet this 'dark period' has at any rate now taken it's place in history as a definite reality requiring consideration, inquiry, and, as far as possible, description.

Perhaps inevitably Arata had slipped from Kholinorian control sometime during the troubled Second Dynasty and had no doubt gained in strength as the strength of its northern neighbor was drained over the many years of internal disintegration. A prey to internal disorders, Kholinor invited attack from without, seeming to offer herself as a ready prey to the first comer, if only he had at his command a military force of fair quality and tolerably numerous. That an attack did not come sooner is a mystery that is unlikely to be solved as the records from Arata of this period are equally sparse. The attack came some time in the 11th year of Hadanish, a large force landed to the West of Eridu, no great battle was fought; and in a comparatively short space of time Eridu and Eruk were subjugated and the enemy stood before Lagash. Hadanish made some attempt to protect his capital but this was ultimately futile and the hastily gathered forces of Kholinor were defeated and the King and his court fled to Upi. The Aratian forces also captured Larsa before wintering in Lagash. Wherever they penetrated, they spread ruin and desolation around, massacred the adult male population, reduced the women and children to slavery, burnt the cities and demolished the temples. The next spring they advanced on Upi where Hadanish defended with the strength of the northern nobles behind him; the battle of Upi proved a bloody affair with the losses on both sides being catastrophic, and Hadanish himself fell in battle. The Army of Kholinor retreated from Upi to Beira under the command of Enshag the Lugal of Valhina. In the West an Aratian force had taken a lightly defended Ur but was prevented from penetrating much further by Eran the Lugal of Warka. However whether by intent or because of martial losses the Aratians were content to rule what they had and an uneasy peace settled over Kholinor.

Third Dynasty of Valhina

When it became clear that the forces from Arata were not to move further north Enshag negotiated a peace and proclaimed himself king of what remained of Kholinor. Heralding the Third Dynasty of Valhina. The reigns of Enshag and his son Kinishe were ones of reconstruction and uneasy peace; it was inevitable that trade should resume between Arata and Kholinor but relations seem to have been at best bad tempered. During the reign of Arganda the relations seem to have been the more frosty with Arata making increasingly unreasonable demands. The sequel seems to have been war. Arganda was not prepared to submit to whatever demands might be made upon him, and when he proved intractable compulsion was resorted to. A short inconclusive struggle seems to have ensued, although we can glean at this remote date no details; what is clear is that Arganda became the second Kholinorian monarch to die in battle; although like the first his sacrifice appears not to have been in vain and uneasy peace once again broke out. The unsteady status continued throughout the reign of Nanni; believed to be a nephew rather than son of Arganda. He is noted for a number of building works both utilitarian and religious and Kholinor seems to have prospered and recovered during his reign. It fell to his son, Meshkiang to restore Kholinor to its former boundaries. The warlike energy which had characterised the invaders at the time they made their original inroad, a century and a half earlier, had declined. Taking advantage of this circumstance, in the 15th year of his reign he advanced south with an army to take Upi; whilst simultaneously his son, Rimmush, advanced to take Ur. The campaign lasted two years and culminated in the Kholinorians besieging Lagash; the city was assaulted and after numerous such attempts the city fell. Over the next two years all Aratian influence was weeded out of Kholinor and, perhaps to reinforce the point, a number of punitive raids were carried out against Arata itself. Kholinor was restored and when Meshkiang died in the 28th year of his son inherited a reunited kingdom.

Rimmush settled down to the task of rebuilding the south of his enlarged domain; particularly the temples and monuments that had been destroyed. He would appear to have been content with this limited task because we have no record of any further raids against Arata and both he and his successor, Manish, appear to have to some extent restored commercial links with the erstwhile enemy. In any event the improvement in relations extended in the reign of Naramsin who took as one of his wives an Aratian princess named Enuba; this queen was certainly regarded as a personage of importance, she was called 'first priestess of Ninlil' and enjoyed some high post connected with the worship of that goddess at Valhina, Naramsin commemorated her on his monuments; during her sons reign she held, for at time, the reigns of power; while in after ages she was venerated as ' ancestress of the 3rd Dynasty of Vlahina'. Although this was somewhat inaccurate. Sharkali, either was of immature age at the death of his father, and placed at first under the guardianship of his mother, or else his attachment to her was such that he voluntarily associated her with himself and government. However little of his reign is known beyond this, nor of his successor Dudua. His son Shedurul is noted for his martial spirit and during his reign he added the island of Dilmun to his territory; although we have no record of how this was achieved. It is noteworthy that Dilmun had recently opened up a number of mines with rich seams of iron a much improved metal over bronze; this would certainly have encouraged any monarch to secure access to so valuable a resource. And so ended the Third dynasty of Valhina much improved from its beginnings.

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