Yervand H. Grekyan
Key words – C.F. Lehmann-Haupt, Biainili-Urartu, chronology, king list, Rusa Sarduriḫi, Rusa Erimenaḫi, Rusa Argištiḫi, Toprakkale, Keşiş-Göl, Gövelek (Ermanc‘).
Among the pioneers of Urartian studies C.F. Lehmann-Haupt was the first scholar who compiled and presented the chronology of the Urartian kings on a scientific basis. In his study published in 1894 he considered Rusa, the son of Erimena as the first king who bore that name.
Like C.F. Lehmann-Haupt, another prominent Assyriologist of that period – François Thureau-Dangin, presumed that Ursa of Urartu, the adversary of Sargon II of Assyria in 714 B.C., was Rusa, the son of Ermiena, whom he considered to be the founder of a new dynasty.
Later on, C.F. Lehmann-Haupt, whom already became known the existence of another king named Rusa, the son of Sarduri, considered him to be the king of Urartu during the Sargon II’s campaign to Urartu in 714 B.C. In contrast to his previous opinion, he positioned Rusa, the son of Erimena at the end of the Urartian king list, after Rusa, the son of Sarduri, and Rusa, the son of Argišti, naming him “Rusa III”.
Apart from the succession of the Urartian kings, many other ideas of Lehmann-Haupt were refused by almost all following researchers. On the other hand, the Keşiş-Göl inscription ascribed by Lehmann-Haupt to Rusa, the son of Sarduri, was connected with the foundation of the new city Rusaḫinili named after the Urartian king. It was considered as a new political center of the Urartian kingdom after the devastation of the old capital city Ṭušpa by Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria during his campaign to Urartu in 735 B.C. Thus, Rusa, the son of Sarduri became Rusa I, the son of Sarduri II.
Publication of the inscription on a preserved upper part of a stele discovered not far from the modern city Van in 2002, near the ancient Armenian village Ermanc‘ (Ermanis, nowadays, Gövelek), opened a new page in these discussions, as soon as it became clear that it was the missing upper part of the well-known Keşiş-Göl inscription. In 2006 another inscribed stele, the duplicate of that inscription was also discovered at Hefšesorik (nowadays, Savacık). Thus, there was no doubt that both stelae were left by Rusa, the son of Erimena. This discovery made to review the chronology of the Urartian kings in the 8th7th centuries B.C.
The article discuss the arguments, which allow to consider Rusa, the son of Erimena as “Rusa I” (variant A), “Rusa II” (variant B) and “Rusa III” (variant C) and offers succession of the Urartian kings of the 8th-7th centuries B.C. with different variations. The “variant B” seems more convincing. Moreover, it seems possible to date the period of his reign between 713- 708 B.C. The possible short-term reign of Rusa, the son of Erimena, could explain the small number of monumental stone inscriptions left by him, informing us only about the king’s building activity, and the fact, that one of these inscriptions remained unfinished.