Ancient Near Eastern Names

These names were used in the ancient Near East. That is, by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Canaanites, Phoenicians and others. Listed separately are Ancient Egyptian names and Ancient Persian names.
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ADAD-NIRARImAncient Assyrian
Means "Adad is my helper", from the god's name ADAD combined with Akkadian nērāru meaning "helper". This name was borne by three kings of the Assyrian Empire.
ASHURBANIPALmAncient Assyrian (Anglicized)
From Akkadian Ashur-bani-apli meaning "ASHUR is creator of a son". This was the name of one of the final kings of the Assyrian Empire, reigning late in the 7th century BC. He appears in the Old Testament under the name Asnappar.
BELSHAZZARmBabylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר (Belshatzzar), the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Bel-sharra-usur meaning "BEL protect the king". This was the name of the son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire before it was conquered by the Persians in the 6th century BC. In the Old Testament Book of Daniel Belshazzar is the last king of Babylon who sees the mystical handwriting on the wall, which is interpreted by Daniel to portend the end of the empire.
ENHEDUANNAfAkkadian
From Sumerian En-hedu-anna, derived from 𒂗 (en) meaning "lady, high priestess" combined with 𒃶𒌌 (hedu) meaning "ornament" and the god's name AN (2). This was the Sumerian title of a 23rd-century BC priestess and poet, identified as a daughter of Sargon of Akkad. Presumably she had an Akkadian birth name, but it is unrecorded. She is regarded as one of the earliest known poets.
HAMILCARmPhoenician (Latinized), History
Means "brother of Melqart" from Phoenician ha "brother" combined with the name of the god MELQART. Hamilcar was a 3rd-century BC Carthaginian general, the father of Hannibal.
HAMMURABImBabylonian (Anglicized), History
From Akkadian Hammu-rapi, probably derived from Amorite, another Semitic language. Various meanings, such as "uncle is a healer", have been suggested.... [more]
HANNIBALmPhoenician (Latinized), History
Means "grace of Ba'al" from Phoenician hann "grace" combined with the name of the god BA'AL. Hannibal was the Carthaginian general who threatened Rome during the Second Punic War in the 3rd century BC.
HASDRUBALmPhoenician (Latinized), History
Means "Ba'al helps" from Phoenician azru "help" combined with the name of the god BA'AL. Hasdrubal was a Carthaginian general, the brother of Hannibal.
NABOPOLASSARmBabylonian (Anglicized)
From the Akkadian name Nabu-apla-usur meaning "Nabu protect my son", derived from the god's name NABU combined with aplu meaning "son, heir" and an imperative form of naṣāru meaning "to protect". This was the name of a 7th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire, the first of the Chaldean dynasty.
NARAM-SINmAkkadian
Means "beloved of Sin", from Akkadian narāmu and the god's name SIN. This was the name of a 23rd-century BC ruler of the Akkadian Empire, the grandson of Sargon.
NEBUCHADNEZZARmBabylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From נְבוּכַדְנֶאצֲּר (Nevukhadnetzzar), the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Nabu-kudurri-usur meaning "Nabu protect my eldest son", derived from the god's name NABU combined with kudurru meaning "eldest son" and an imperative form of naṣāru meaning "to protect". This name was borne by a 12th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire. It was also borne by a 6th-century BC king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. He captured Jerusalem, and ultimately destroyed the city's temple and deported many of its citizens, as told in the Old Testament.
NINOSmAncient Assyrian (Hellenized)
Probably from the name of the ancient city of NINEVEH in Assyria. According to Greek historians this was the name of the husband of Semiramis and the founder of Nineveh. In actuality he does not correspond to any known Assyrian king, and is likely a composite character named after the city.
PUABIfAkkadian
Means "word of my father", from Akkadian meaning "mouth" and abu meaning "father". Puabi was a 26th-century BC Akkadian noblewoman who was buried in the Sumerian city of Ur.
SEMIRAMISfAncient Assyrian (Hellenized)
Probably from a Greek form of the name SHAMMURAMAT. According to ancient Greek and Armenian sources, Semiramis (Շամիրամ (Shamiram) in Armenian) was an Assyrian queen who conquered much of Asia. Though the tales are legendary, she might be loosely based on the real Assyrian queen.
SENNACHERIBmAncient Assyrian (Anglicized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
From Akkadian Sin-ahhi-eriba meaning "Sin has replaced my (lost) brothers", from the god's name SIN combined with a plural form of aḫu meaning "brother" and riābu meaning "to replace". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Assyrian king who destroyed Babylon. He appears in the Old Testament.
SHALMANESERmAncient Assyrian (Anglicized), Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From שַׁלְמַנְאֶסֶר (Shalman'eser), the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Shulmanu-ashared meaning "SHULMANU is preeminent". This was the name of five Assyrian kings, including the 9th-century BC Shalmaneser III who expanded the empire. He is mentioned briefly in the Old Testament.
SHAMMURAMATfAncient Assyrian
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from a Western Semitic language and meaning "high heaven". Shammuramat was a 9th-century BC queen of Assyria. After her young son inherited the throne, she acted as his regent for five years. The legendary figure Semiramis may be based on her.
SHARRU-UKINmAkkadian, Ancient Assyrian
Original Akkadian form of SARGON.
SIN-AHHI-ERIBAmAncient Assyrian
Original Akkadian form of SENNACHERIB.
TASHLULTUMfAkkadian
Meaning unknown, presumably of Akkadian origin. It appears to end with the Akkadian feminine suffix -tum. This was the name of a wife of Sargon of Akkad.
TE'OMAmAncient Aramaic
Old Aramaic form of THOMAS.
TUKULTI-NINURTAmAncient Assyrian
Means "my trust is in Ninurta", from Akkadian tukultu meaning "trust, faith" and the god's name NINURTA. This was the name of a 13th-century BC king of the Assyrian Empire.
YESHUAmBiblical Hebrew, Ancient Aramaic
Contracted form of Yehoshu'a (see JOSHUA) used in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Hebrew Old Testament. The form was also used in Aramaic, and was most likely the name represented by Greek Iesous (see JESUS) in the New Testament. This means it was probably the real name of Jesus.
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