History: Highland Tribes of the Zagros Mountains – Gutians and Lullubi

As is so often the case with the enemies of the Akkadians what we know of the fierce hill tribes of the Zagros and Taurus mountains is what the Akkadians care to tell us of them. In the case of the Lullubi, this information comes from the records of several Akkadian Kings, most significantly the stele of Naram Sin which pictures the great man himself casting down the defeated foe!

660px-Stele_Naram_Sim_Louvre_Sb4

Naram Sin defeats the Lullubi – about 2230BC

 

The Lullubi came from a distant region in the north-east of the Zagros mountains, most likely the part of the Lower Zab valley where the Iraqi city of Halabjha is situated today. To the south of them, and occupying a much broader territory within the central Zagros mountains, lived the far more numerous Gutians. Once more we only have the records of their enemies to tell us what these chaps were like – and needless to say they were a bunch of uncouth and violent savages who were disrespectful of the gods to boot!

Naram Sin not only sorted out those pesky Lullubi, he also campaigned against the Gutians, defeating their king Gula’am. Naram Sin’s son Shar-Kali-Sharri also fought several campaigns against the Gutians, enjoying such success that he went so far as to claim that, ‘the yoke was imposed upon Gutium’. Brave words indeed considering that within a few decades the Akkadian Empire had been overrun by those same Gutians. Thus began a period of untold misery and national decline that would endure until the invaders were eventually expelled upon the tide of the Neo-Sumerian renaissance. Getting rid of the Gutians proved no easy task: Ur Nammu the first King of the UrIII period was killed in battle against the Gutians, and his son Shulgi continued the struggle in a series of campaigns throughout his reign.

Over time the names Lullubi and Gutian became a little blurred in terms of their exact designation, and began to be used rather indiscriminately for any barbarous highlander. During the many centuries we are talking about, it is very likely these people moved about a good deal and eventually intermingled with and were either absorbed or absorbed by their neighbours. All that we have left to tell their story are a few personal names to suggest that they were distinct non-indo-european peoples who were – at least to start with – unrelated to the Semitic settlers of the plains, neighbouring peoples such as the Hurrians to the north, or – indeed – each other. No doubt in later times they coalesced or were subsumed into more recent highland groups – not least the Kassites who were to descend from the mountains and take control of Babylonia during the Late Bronze Age.

In terms of Hail Caesar a Gutian raiding force can only be speculatively reconstructed at best. On this basis I have put together a list that is contemporary with the Akkad and Sumer list from Hail Caesar Biblical Armies, and the Third Dynasty of Ur List included in a previous posting. I have included proto-chariots (at least one Gutian King attended battle riding a chariot) to give the list a little variety, but otherwise the list is largely made up of light infantry and skirmishers. The same list would enable the Lullubi or any Early Bronze Age highlander force from the region to be assembled with a fair degree of credibility.

GUTIAN RAIDERS 25-21st Century BC

Chariots up to one unit Up to one unit in the army can be chariots.
Infantry – 50%+ At least half of the units in the army must comprise infantry other than skirmishers.
Divisions 2+ units Divisions must contain at least 2 units excluding skirmishers and must be led by a commander.
Skirmishers per division 100% of infantry Divisions may contain up to as many skirmisher units as they contain non-skirmisher infantry.

TROOP VALUES

Type/stats

Combat

Morale Save

Stamina Special Points Value
Clash Sustained Short Long
Skirmishers with javelins fielded as a small unit. 3 2 2 0 0 4 11 points per unit
Skirmishers with slings fielded as a small unit. 2 2 2 2 0 4 11 points per unit
Gutian tribal warband with spears, javelins and throw sticks. 7 6 2 0 6+ 6 Wild Fighters 25 points per unit
Gutian light infantry with double-handed weapons (axes) and throw sticks and/or javelins fielded as a small unit. 5 4 1 0 6+ 4 Marauders 17 points per unit
Gutian light infantry archers fielded as a small unit. Up to 1 unit maximum. 4 4 2 2 0 4 Marauders 18 points per unit
Proto- Chariots light chariots with javelin armed crew. Up to 1 unit maximum. 8 6 2 0 4+ 6 28 points per unit
Commanders 1 Commander must be provided per division. All commanders including general have Leadership 8. Free

View Zagros Range