Sumerian (Civ4)
Introduced in Beyond the Sword
Leaders Gilgamesh
Unique Unit Vulture (replaces Axeman )
Starting techs Agriculture
The Wheel
Unique Building Ziggurat (replaces Courthouse)
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The Sumerian people represent a civilization in Civilization IV.


The Sumerian Empire is a balanced nation. Gilgamesh's "Creative" trait provides Sumerian cities with extra culture and extra-large borders, while his "Protective" trait makes life difficult for any enemies foolish enough to cross them. This is especially true once they encounter the Vulture, the powerful Sumerian replacement for the Axeman. Finally, the Sumerian Ziggurat, an easily produced Courthouse, will bring speedy stability to Sumerian cities.

Civilopedia EntryEdit

The Sumerian Empire was founded along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in modern day Iraq, in roughly 3000 BC. Sumeria was the world's first civilization and created the world's first historians through the invention of cuneiform, the original written language.

The Sumerian people were organized into a series of carefully irrigated city-states, each with its own ruler and local deities. The surplus of wheat grown from the verdant fertility of the Tigris and Euphrates allowed the Sumerians to create an exceptional urban civilization. Never numbering more than a dozen or so, the cities of Sumeria were major centers of commerce, culture and defense, and the Sumerians were the first truly metropolitan population. In fact, the Sumerian creation myth states that first there was nothing; then there was a city - Eridu.

Sumerian cities were seas of sun-cooked brick, rushing irrigation ditches and mountainous ziggurats (the Sumerian temples to the gods). Facing near-constant warfare, each city was defined by a series of intimidating walls and well-placed canals. Indeed, the Sumerians are the first people known to employ a professional army, necessary to fight the perpetual skirmishes that characterized Sumerian daily life.

Unity in Sumeria was only established at the end of a spear. The first Sumerian King to lay claim over a number of cities was Eannatum of Lagash. Initiating a campaign against the city of Umma (Lagash's ancient rival) over a border dispute, Eannatum followed up his victory by sweeping over and conquering the remainder of Sumeria. An uprising within Umma would later shatter this new empire, but a mutual treaty would again bring peace to Sumeria.

However, the Sumerians were not alone in the Fertile Crescent. Their competitors included the Akkadians, a Semitic people to the North. In 2334 BC, Sargon, a highly skilled military strategist, was born in Akkadia. Upon reaching maturity, Sargon would found his own dynasty - the Akkadians - bringing all the peoples of the Fertile Crescent, including the Sumerians, under his rule.

In roughly 2250 BC, a new people, the Gutians, thundered into the Fertile Crescent, deposing the Akkadians and establishing themselves as the new rulers of the land. But the rigors of invasion severely weakened the new overlords of Mesopotamia, allowing the long-dominated Sumerians the chance for rebellion. With the rise of a new leader, Utu-khegal, the Sumerians threw off their Gutian overlords and reestablished the supremacy of Sumerian culture throughout the Fertile Crescent.

Under Ur-Nammu, a successor of Utu-khegal, order was restored in the fractured state, and the period of The Third Dynasty of Ur began. Ur-Nammu was a reformer and builder as well as a warrior, and he created roads and walls throughout his new empire. This golden age would last until 2004 BC, when internal feuding fractured the Sumerian nation decisively.

The story of Sumeria comes to us through the many cuneiform tablets that have been discovered. Unfortunately, many of these tablets aren't especially evocative: tireless record-keepers, the Sumerians would just as often record the season's flock of sheep as the reign of ancient kings. Several tablets, though, have been of a religious nature and have provided great insights into the foundation of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Tales of a great flood abound in Sumerian myth. Man, they said, was formed from clay.

Although the first great empire vanished from history, Sumerian culture would survive to influence the next great civilization to spring from the Tigris-Euphrates Valley - Babylon.

List of CitiesEdit

Founding Order City Name Notes
1 Uruk (Unug/Erech/Warka) Capital of Gilgamesh, largest and one of oldest cities, seat of Ishtar
2 Eridu (Urudug) Oldest and southernmost city, first capital, near Persian Gulf
3 Kish One of the earliest capitals, major city near later Babylon
4 Lagash (Sirpurla) Capital of Eannatum; one of largest and oldest cities; on Tigris
5 Ur (Urim) Large, important trade centre near Persian Gulf, once a capital
6 Nibru (Nippur) Principal religious city in Sumer, seat of the god Enlil
7 Bad-Tibira Major antediluvian city and metal working centre, capital of a city state
8 Zimbir (Sippar) Major antediluvian trading centre in northern Sumer, near Baghdad
9 Shuruppak (Curuppag) Principal grain distribution centre, seat of grain goddess Nunlil
10 Umma (Tell Jokha) Powerful Sumerian city state; industrial and trading centre, rival of Lagash
11 Larsa (Ellasar) Important late Sumerian capital and trading centre near Uruk
12 Isin Cultural centre and late Sumerian capital, rival of Larsa
13 Girsu Religious and trade centre in the state of Lagash (modern Telloh)
14 Adab (Ud-Nun) Briefly capital of Sumer at its zenith and important trading centre
15 Zabalam (Zabala) Important port city and industrial centre
16 Akshak Major Sumerian city and late capital, on Tigris near Baghdad
17 Larak Major antediluvian city, destroyed in flood
18 Kisiga (Kuara) Principal sea port on the Persian Gulf, birthplace of the god Marduk
19 Nina (Sirana/Surghul) Important Sumerian city under Lagash rule, on Tigris
20 Dilbat Major agricultural centre near Babylon, forerunner of Babylon
21 Kutu (Kutha) Ancient northern trading centre
22 Marad Sumerian desert city, near later Babylon
23 Enegi Major naval shipyard centre on the Euphrates near Uruk
24 Abu Salabikh Early site of Sumerian culture
25 Ki-an Ancient cultural centre
26 Pazurish-Dagan Important administrative centre in late-Sumerian times
27 Dabrum Small city, agricultural centre and way station between Adab and Zabalam
28 Kissura Small city near Zabalam
29 Kutallu (Kutalla) Small agricultural and industrial centre dependent on Ur
30 Nagsu Small trading centre
31 Kesh Large inland military outpost and agricultural centre
32 Aratta City in the Zagros Mountains; mythologically first city, built by gods
33 Der Large military outpost that protected the delta from mountain raiders
34 Hamazi Briefly capital of Sumer, according to Sumerian king list
35 Apisada Small military outpost that protected the delta from mountain raiders
36 Jemdet Nasr Early site of Sumerian culture
37 Ubaid Earliest site found of (pre-)Sumerian culture

Unit DialogueEdit

The Sumerian units speak Sumerian. Any similarities between Sumerian and Akkadian are due to language borrowing. Corresponding English dialogue appears in parentheses.

Order000: (As you wish!)

Order001: (Move out!)

Order002: An-na! (Certainly! or Yes!)

Order003: (We're on it!)

Order004: (No problem!)

Order005: (Consider it done!)

Order006: (Very well!)

Order007: (On our way!)

Order008: (Let's get moving!)

Order009: (You can count on us!)

Select000: (Reporting for duty!)

Select001: Perhaps: Zid-i sum-mu-ra sig. (I strengthen to be given to please?)

Select002:(Tell me what to do!)

Select003: (Awaiting your orders!)

Select004: Ŋa-e sig-i ŋen. (I please to go.)

Select005: An-am dima? (What's the plan? (lit. "What decision?"))
[Note: Dima is a loanword from the Akkadian ṭēmu. Refer to BabylonSelect005 (Mīnu ṭēmu? = What's the plan?).]

Select006: An-am? (Yes?)

Select007: (Your orders?)

Select008: (What do you need?)

Select009: (All present and accounted for!)