Rib-Hadda was king of Byblos during the mid fourteenth century BCE. He is the author of some sixty of the Amarna letters all to Akhenaten and his name is Akkadian in form and may invoke the Northwest Semitic god Hadad, though his letters invoke only Baalat Gubla, the Lady of Byblos. Rib-Haddas letters often took the form of complaints or pleas for action on the part of the reigning Pharaoh, in EA105, he begged Pharaoh to intervene in a dispute with Beirut, whose ruler had confiscated two Byblian merchant vessels. In EA122, Rib-Hadda complained of an attack by the Egyptian commissioner Pihuri, Rib-Hadda was involved in a long-standing dispute with Abdi-Ashirta, the ruler of Amurru, who hired mercenaries from among the Habiru, Shardana, and other warlike tribes. EA81 contains a plea for Egyptian aid against Amurru, whose ruler Rib-Hadda accused of luring away his followers and he reported further that an assassin sent by Abdi-Ashirta had attempted to kill him. Rib-Hadda pleaded with Akhenaten to send archers to defend him from the forces of Amurru, in one of the most poignant of the Amarna texts, Rib-Hadda wrote the people of Ammiya have killed their lord and I am afraid. He added, like a bird in a trap so I am here in Gubla, zemar, a city previously under his control, fell to Abdi-Ashirta. Shortly thereafter the Egyptian commissioner Pahannate was withdrawn from northern Canaan and his pleas for assistance evidently went unanswered and caused much annoyance to Akhenaten. Akhenatens irritation with Rib-Hadda is recounted in EA117 where the pharaoh is quoted saying to Rib-Hadda Why do you keep writing to me. Rib-Haddas sister and her daughters, who had sent to Tyre to keep them away from Abdi-Ashirtas Amurru invaders, were also presumed to be among those killed. If this was not bad enough, Rib-Hadda wrote again to report that the Hittites were invading Egyptian protectorates in Syria, at one point Rib-Hadda was forced to flee to exile in Beirut, under the protection of king Ammunira. In EA75, Rib-Hadda details the changing political situation around Byblos, b Hadda says to his lord, king of all countries, Great King, I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun,7 times and 7 times. May the king, my lord, know that Gubla, the maidservant of the king from ancient times, is safe, the war, however, of the Apiru against me is severe. Sons and daughters and the furnishings of the houses are gone, for the lack of a cultivator, my field is like a woman without a husband. I have written repeatedly to the palace because of the illness afflicting me, may the king give heed the words of servant. The Apiru killed Ad of Irqata-, but there was no one who said anything to Abdi-Ashirta, and so they go on taking. Miya, the ruler of Arašni, seized Arata, and just now the men of Ammiy<a> have killed their lord, may the king be informed that the king of Hatti has seized all the countries that were vassals of the king of Mitan<ni>. Rib-Hadda was ultimately exiled by his younger brother Ilirabih and not long afterwards and this event is mentioned in Amarna letter EA162 from Akhenaten to Aziru. Amarna letter EA86, Rib-Hadda to official Amanappa at the Egyptian court of Pharaoh Baikie, the Amarna Age, A Study of the Crisis of the Ancient World
Letter EA 362 written by Rib-Hadda to Pharaoh, one of the Amarna letters, Louvre Museum
Map of the Ancient Near East during the Amarna period, showing the great powers of the period: Egypt (green), Hatti (yellow), the Kassite kingdom of Babylon (purple), Assyria (grey), and Mittani (red). Lighter areas show direct control, darker areas represent spheres of influence. The extent of the Achaean/Mycenaean civilization is shown in orange.