History of The First Kolhinor Volume the Fourth by Inimabak
Written in the 641th year after the Winnowing of Shumer
Third Dynasty of Lagash
Shedurul, the final king of the 3rd Dynasty of Valhina left no male issue and he was succeeded by Laningin the husband of his eldest daughter, Eriana. His birth and parentage are in the highest degree uncertain; and the conjectures of the latest historians on the subject are so various and conflicting as to increase, rather than diminish, the obscurity which hangs about his origin. The newness of his name and that which he chose to give to his son and the recognition that he was the head of a new dynasty, combine to establish that he was not only unconnected by blood to previous lines but may well have been foreign. He was clearly deemed sufficient to marry a royal princess, which perhaps speaks of his talent and energy.
At an early stage in his reign, Laningin, removed himself and the royal court south to Lagash, there is, as in previous removals, no record of the reasons for the change of location; we are left only with the idle speculations of the ignorant. The dangers which had threatened Kholinor under the previous dynasty and which had been checked by those kings, revived and Laningin found the kingdom menaced by a rejuvenated Arata. In the first few years of his reign Dilmun was taken and the trade routes beyond the Southern Sea were largely closed to the Kingdom's merchants. There is very little of record concerning Laningin's campaign against Arata which he undertook in the 5th year of his reign. But he successfully mounted an invasion and although the well ordered hosts of the Aratians, on foot and on horseback gave battle to the invaders in the open field, and offered a gallant and stout resistance, the forces of Kholinor were successful and defeated their enemy with great slaughter. It is to be presumed that Laningin did not wish to attempt to rule a subjugated Arata; because the victory thus gained was followed by a treaty of peace. Laningen and his adversary, Appartu entered into a solemn agreement, by which enmity was turned to friendship; perpetual amity and good brotherhood being proclaimed between the two nations. Nevertheless it is also recorded that Kholinor recovered control of Dilmun and much tribute was paid by Arata.
This victorious king then enjoyed a long and fruitful reign and was succeeded by his son, Lagigir. He inherited from his father a land which was everywhere at peace with it's neighbours, and he could look forward to a tranquil and prosperous reign. And so it transpired for him and his grandson Kuda, both had peaceful reigns and much architectural energy was manifested in the temples and monuments they built; the most notable being the temple and palace built in what is today, central Arat, parts of which still remain visible. When Kuda died there would seem been no reason to think that he would not be followed by his son Biriga; however for reasons that are entirely unclear, a period of anarchy followed his death and for many years, we are told, the country was without a master; the chief authority belonging to the Lugals of the cities and towns who became interested in fighting each other and to quote one source – the Gods were treated like men and no one any more made offerings at the temples. Once more a series of kings of great distinction were followed, for no discernible reason, by a general state of confusion which threatened the complete dissolution of the whole fabric of Kholinorian society. For several years the is state of things continued and the sufferings of the people must have been great. Had the nation not possessed extraordinary vitality, recovery from so extreme a state of depression and exhaustion would have been impossible; but there was that in the Kholinorian character which almost defied adverse circumstances and enabled the monarchy to rise again and again.
After a period of no less than seven years, Apsusin, an official under Kuda comes to prominence and is eventually named King. There is no record of the events that led up to his accession, but there is some speculation that he may have conducted priestly duties in the courts of Kuda. The reasons for this speculation centre around a shift of religious emphasis during his relatively short reign (the recorded length of his reign almost certainly includes the seven years or so of anarchy). With regard to the entire period of which we are treating, nothing is more remarkable than the absence of any strong favouritism, and the equitable division of religious regard among the available deities. On the whole, Anu, the father of the Gods maintains his pre-eminence; but great attention is paid also to Enlil, Ninlil, Enkir, Meradoch, Utu, Nana and Innana. Iskur also, Ninuruta, Ninhursag and Nammu are frequently worshipped. Altogether more than fifty deities appear in the reliefs as objects of religious adoration during the period and the pantheon obtained its full development in the previous dynasty. Apsusin initiated changes to this order of things which removed Anu's pre-eminence and replaced it with a trinity of Enlil, Ninlil and their son Enkir. Coincidently it was at this time in Arata that Marduk (Meradoch in Kholinor) achieved pre eminence in their pantheon. Furthermore, hitherto the king-worship had been one of language and sentiment; now it took a material shape. Previous kings had associated themselves with gods and represented themselves as having received life from the gods but Apsusin took the further step of not only representing hiself as worshipped, bu actually to set up his own image for worship in temples together with, and on a par with, the trinity. The deification of the reigning monarch was complete. It is scarcely possible that any other religious sentiment can have maintained much influence over men, when the doctrine was accepted, that in their actual monarch they had present with them a deity as great as any.To provide emphasis to his deification Apsusin constructed a large tomb in the far North East, this mortuary has never been discovered but it is said it was constructed with great ingenuity to protect the God's body and the bodies of those who joined him in death.
The records of the two kings that succeeded Apsusin, his son and grandson, La-utu and Yarlagash are entirely taken up with religious benefits associated with the King, the methods of his worship and the development of religious architecture. We must presume the reigns were peaceful as no wars or other tribulations are mentioned and there is no archaeological evidence that suggest anything of that sort. The arts of life made a rapid advance under these kings and the costumes of kings and queens became more elaborate. La-utu is represented with three garments over his linen tunic, which itself has a complicated and brilliant ornament in front, consisting of a broad stripe in four colours, blue, red, yellow and green, with three pendant ends of riband on either side of it. He has also a broad belt, similarly variegated. The trials and subsequent death in battle of the final king of the dynasty La-erabum have been variously described as a consequence of the rise of such opulence and the temerity of the kingship in claiming deification.
The reign of last king of this dynasty has been described in some detail in Aventur's well researched volume on the last days of kingship and only a brief summary will be delivered here. The majority of La-erabum's reign was uneventful, his earliest occupation after his accession seems to have been the restoration and demarcation of the several social classes into which the part of the population directly connected with the court was divided. He arranged officials in four ranks or classes; his councillors of the Royal House, the Ens or Lords who ruled and/or represented the King in the provinces, leaders of the armies and finally subordinate officer and servants. Having completed these arrangements in the manner which he thought was most satisfactory, he turned his attention to foreign affairs and set himself the task of re-establishing, so far as might be possible, the authority of Kholinor. There is no actual record of his actions in this record, but Aventur is no doubt correct in suggesting that they in some way antagonised Arata sufficient to warrant the invasion that was to come in La-erabum's penultimate year.
The size of the force that Arata committed to the invasion of Kholinor, clearly indicated that their aim was subjugation and occupation as it had been during the 2nd Dynasty. As in that campaign the Kholinorian forces were quickly forced back to Warka in the West and Upi in the East; however this time their was no holding the advance at Upi. A battle on the central plain to the South of the city proved disastrous for Kholinor and what remained of their forces fled North to Valhina; fortunately the forces in the west were able to withdraw in rather better order led by Inki, both a fine general of armies and a priest of Enlil. Inki arrived in the North in time to delay the Aratian sufficient to gather the remaining forces of the East and the defeated King into a single body of defenders. Valhinor was abandoned at Inki's behest and the army retreated further North into the valley that today leads to the province of Kholinor; to make perhaps their last stand. It is thought that at this time the forces of Kholinor were outnumbered by at the very least four to one; some have suggested this may have been ten to one but Aventur considers this unlikely. The events of the final battle of the war are surrounded in mystery, there are all manner of tales, about the intervention of the gods, the use of sorcery and the landing of force from Dilmun at the Northern port. There is no evidence for any of this speculation, in the only inscription from the time, Inki records; the complete destruction of the Aratian army, the death of the king in battle, and the subsequent pursuit of Aratian forces out of Kholinor. There is also a monument that describes La-erabum as the last king of the 3rd Dynasty and the accession of Inki. The latter being the first of the Priest Kings of Kholinor.