Born: Eshnunna, 1774 BCE
Position: Priestess of Ishtar
Family: Niece of Muna, High Priestess of Ishtar
As an only child, Alittum was devoted to her parents. She grew up in a relatively poor part of Eshnunna, near the river, though her family were never close to starvation. This was largely due to aunt Muna, a priestess at the temple of Ishtar. Alittum was close to her aunt, and was raised on the stories of the Annunaki she vividly described. Every day she played along the riverbanks with her friends, learning to play dice and swim.
In 1766 BCE, the Emperor of Elam declared war on Eshnunna, shattering Alittum’s once peaceful childhood. Supported by both Babylon and Mari, the emperor’s soldiers quickly took control of the countryside. A short siege followed, during which King Ibal-pi-el and many other members of the royal family were slaughtered. Following the capture, the Elamites began a vicious and brutal assault, soldiers bursting into homes and killing indiscriminately. Like many others, Alittum and her parents hid in the temple of Ishtar, sheltering under the protection of the goddess.
While the fighting still raged, with smoke filling her nostrils and the screams of the dying echoing outside, Alittum promised herself to Ishtar. If the goddess would spare them from harm, Alittum would become a priestess.
The empire moved on, turning against its ally Babylon just a year later, in 1765 BCE. For a year, everything seemed to get back to something approaching normality. Alittum was a year away from joining the tablet house, and she used the time to forget about the horrors of war.
General Kunnam’s retreat
In 1764 BCE, one of the two great Elamite armies was defeated by Babylon. With the army of Mari approaching from the north, and Eshnunnan raiders attacking their supply lines, the other force, led by the fearsome General Kunnam, was forced to retreat. When they reached Eshnunna, the city closed its gates. Enraged, Kunnam diverted the Tigris, heavily damaging the city walls and flooding Alittum’s family home.
Once more facing a terrible slaughter. Alittum and her parents waited out the carnage huddled together in the courtyard of Ishtar’s temple. Once again, the goddess ensured their safety, reminding Alittum of her previous pledge.
With the Elamites gone, the leader of the most fearsome band of rebels was declared king, before Hammurabi and the Babylonians could swoop in and conquer what was left. The new King Silli-sin even secured a marriage to Hammurabi’s daughter. It was a grand state occasion, and a new hope began to fill the air. With Silli-sin beginning to clean up the city, it was time for Alittum to join the tablet house, which is where she makes friends with a fellow new student named Bani…