(reigned 721–705 B.C.)
   Assyrian king who acceded to the throne in unclear circumstances after the death of Shalmaneser V. His succession was not uncontested, though he was backed by the citizens of Assur. There were also rebellions from Assyria’s vassals, and in 720, Sargon faced a coalition of Syrian contingents at Qarqar, which he defeated. He then marched south toward the Egyptianborder where he stationed a garrison at Gaza. He was less successful in Babylonia, where the Assyrian army was beaten by the Elamite allies.
   Sargon’s northern campaigns against Urartu and the Mushki (i.e., the Phrygians under their king Midas) took up several years. Midas, who had been accused of fomenting rebellions against Assyria, was forced to a peace treaty, and the Urartians were beaten in battle. Sargon also sacked the city of Musasir, as the wall reliefs in the palace of his new city, Dur-Sharruken (Sargon’s Fort), illustrate. Sargon could then concentrate on sorting out Babylonia; he chased Merodach-baladan into exile and assumed direct rule over the country. Sargon died on another campaign in Anatolia. His grandiose new foundation, “Sargon’s Fort,” was abandoned by his successors. His immediate successor was his son Sennacherib.
   See also SARGONIDS.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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