THE real champion of Sumer and Akkad, the organizer of its most brilliant period, was Ur-Engur (Ur-Nammu). His name indicates that he was the devotee of an otherwise unknown goddess, Cur or Nammu. How peace was restored and the whole of western Asia subdued are related in a long panegyric found at Nippur. It refers to his military exploits as follows. “Those whom he plundered followed with him in tears ... in a place which had been unknown his ships were known”. Kish, the ancient Semitic rival of Sumer, rebelled against the Land and was conquered.
The foreign lands brought presents. But there is no definite statement concerning his conquests east and west, although a year-date at Lagash refers to the year when Ur-Nammu traversed Mesopotamia from the Upper Lands to the Lower Lands. The history of the kings of Ur is derived almost exclusively from the records of Sumerian cities which belonged to his kingdom, and at none of these was he recognized as a god. But at his own capital arose the cult of the god Ur-Nammu, and a tablet containing two hymns in his honor calls him the merciful lord who brought prosperity to Ur, the shepherd of Ur, who ruled also in far-away lands which paid heavy tribute to the capital. He was son of the mother-goddess Ninsun, and the Moon-god of Ur selected him to rule the dark-headed peoples; “Wickedness tarried not before him”, and he seems to have been the founder of the Sumerian code of laws.