The Kassites ( Akkadian Kassu ) were a people in ancient Mesopotamia. Following the Hittite raid on Babylon 1595 (or 1531) BC they gained around 1475 BC, the rule in Babylonia, which they until the conquest by the Elamites in 1155 BC, for a period of 400 to 500 years, dominated. After the Babylonian King List A they ruled 576 years. Their power in Babylonia thus lasted longer than any other dynasty.


After Brinkman about 12,000 documents have been preserved from this period that are unpublished for the most part.


The homeland of the Kassites is most wanted in the Zagros. So they settled Wilhelm Eilers in northern Luristan and wants the Kasgan -Rud, a tributary of the Saimarre interpreted as " Kassitenfluss ". W. Sommerfeld also assumes an origin in the Zagros. Levine suggested the Kassites on the eastern shore of the little Zab. Julian Reade localized Namri ( Namar ), the land of the Kassites (mat Kassi ), while west of Kermanshah. Archaeological and epigraphic evidence is lacking, however, were re - Assyrian times Kassu in the Zagros resident.

The Kassite tribe of Khabira moved well in the Babylonian plain, other tribes in the mountains northwest of Elam, and also south of Holwan when they were attacked 702 BC by Sennacherib.

The earliest written evidence of Kassites originated from the layer VII in Alalakh. A letter, perhaps from the time of the ancient Babylonian king Samsu - ILUMA is also used as evidence for the presences of Kassites, since he mentions the " Houses of Agum ", a bukašum where the envoys of the king of halaba, perhaps Aleppo unsuccessfully escort solicited. Agum is the name of several Kassite ruler, and the Kassites were organized in houses. Since the time of Samsu - ILUMA are mentioned in texts from Sippar Kassu, Dilbat and Jahrurum - šaplūm. An annual mentioned name of Abi - ESUH, perhaps in his third year of reign a battle against an army kassitisches ( ERIN2Ka - aš -SU- u2).


The Kassites are ( BC 1st dynasty of Babylon, in 1741 after the middle chronology ) was first mentioned in the 9th year of the reign of Samsu - iluna as agricultural laborers in Sippar. They lived there in their own neighborhoods and goods by patriarchal " houses" organized by Brinkman Kassites are busy towards the end of the Old Babylonian period and the Middle Euphrates, in Hana, Terqa and Alalakh. The presence in Terqa and Hana, however, is based solely on the name of the ruler Kaštiliašu, the other holding a Amorites. Another mention of Kassites found in Nuzi.

Probably it was both a social advancement of migrants - three generations later Kassites be mentioned as administrators and they had the right to acquire land - as well as for immigration an aristocratic elite and their entourage. The Kassites now distinguished themselves particularly by knowledge of horse breeding and carriage building. Agum became the first Kassite king of Babylon. The royal dynasty led their lineage back to the God of War Šuqamuna. Culturally, they adapted quickly to the culture of Babylonia, but the Kings still wore Cassite name.

In Kassite period was a significant part of the country to the king and the temples. However, land could be given away to individuals, which was often witnessed by a kudurru, a carved in stone deed. Also taxes on labor or services for the crown could be adopted on a permanent basis. It is believed that such donations were inherited. Over time, the Kassite kings must have lost through these donations considerable lands and tax revenues. The temple had an independent organization of workers had, but deduct tax to the king. The irrigation was under royal control, letters of the city princes to the king inform him of problems. Cities were managed by a GÚ.EN.NA, villages through a ḫazannu.


It has survived not only Kassite text. The language is known only from personal names and some appellatives from lexical lists, especially a list of Kassite names with their Akkadian equivalents, and some technical terms. In addition, some gods were incorporated into the Babylonian pantheon. The reason why so little of the Kassite language has survived, is that the administrative language of the time was Akkadian.

The Cassite was an agglutinative language. Contrary to the old hypotheses Cassite is therefore not Indo-European language. The theory Georg Hüsings, the Cassite was related to the Elamite, can no longer hold. According to current knowledge, the Cassite must be considered an isolated language.

Several hundred Cassite words were included in the Akkadian language. More than ten percent of these are names of gods.


Most important gods were Šumalija and the god of war Šuqamuna, which Kurigalzu I. Babylon inaugurated a huge temple. Šuqamuna was according to an inscription of Agum kakrime the ancestor of the Kassite royal house.


The contribution of the Kassites to the Babylonian culture is still discussed.


There have been repeated attempts to Kassu identfifizieren with strains from classical sources. Delitzsch suggested as the first neighbor of the Medes, with the Kassites before equating the Koσσαιoι ( Kossaioi ) Kossäer, according to Strabo ( Geography, 11.13.6 ). According to Polybius ( Hist. 5.44.7 ) they lived in the valleys of the Zagros. Lehmann-Haupt (1898, 212) points out: " this is only a single case of the general phenomenon that a written re fixirender foreign name is a anklingenden known foreign names simply equated. " Lehmann-Haupt, Theodore Nöldeke and Jules Oppert believed, however, that the Kassites were the Kissianer the Greek authors such as Aeschylus and Herodotus, who settled in the Susania. Also Brinton wanted Herodotus Kissia and bring the Kossäer with the Kassites in conjunction.

Hugo Winckler and George Hüsing wanted to identify the Kassites with the Elamites and Medes, a thesis that is linguistically untenable.

Ruler of the Kassites