- (reigned C. 2094 – C. 2047 B.C.)Sumerian king of the Third Dynasty of Ur. He was the second king of this dynasty founded by his father Ur-Nammu and concentrated on setting up a solid framework for the efficient and unified administration as well as defense of a centralized state that encompassed all of Mesopotamia. He created a standing army that was able to respond rapidly to any foreign threat and a host of bureaucrats to supervise the implementation of new tax regulations, as well as the state-owned and -managed production and distribution of agricultural and artisanal goods. Scribal training had to be intensified to meet the demand for literate personnel. All records were written in Sumerian. Shulgi also introduced a new official calendar to replace the many different local systems of reckoning time, and weights and measures were standardized. Temple estates also came under the supervision of state-appointed officials.To legitimize such radical reforms, which curtailed the economic independence of the Sumerian cities to an unprecedented degree, Shulgi elevated kingship to a divine office and, as in the times of Naram-Sin of Akkad, wrote his name with the divine determinative and ordered a cult of his statues. He was enthusiastically lauded by royal hymns, which describe his intimate relations with the great gods of Sumer (he was the “brother” of the sun god, and the “husband” of Inanna), as well as his physical and intellectual qualities. In his foreign policy, Shulgi used diplomacy (especially dynastic marriages) as well as military campaigns. His greatest success was the conquest of Anshan (in western Iran), which became part of his empire. Shulgi may have died a violent death in a palace revolt. He was succeeded by his son, Amar-Suen.See also ABI-SIMTI.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.