SARGON OF AKKAD
(reigned C. 2340 – C. 2284 B.C.)
   King and founder of the Akkadian Dynasty. Sargon became the subject of a variety of cuneiform texts in which he is generally portrayed as an exemplary ruler. He was described as destined by the gods (especially Ishtar) to conquer the “four corners of the universe” and as presiding over peace and prosperity. Some of these accounts also credit him with a mysterious birth (by a priestess) and a miraculous Moses-like rescue from abandonment in a basket in the river. He was said to have journeyed very far and to have settled disputes in Anatolia. Much of this is fictional, but even the evidence of his royal inscriptions, which were copied in the Old Babylonianperiod, is confusing, and the chronology of events referred to in his royal inscriptions remains problematic.
   It appears that Sargon began his career a courtier of King UrZababa of Kish. His rise to power was triggered by his victory over Lugalzagesi of Uruk. He then gained control over all the other Sumerian citiesbut based himself at Akkad, presumably a new foundation. He always called himself king of Akkad. During his long reign, he claims to have led various campaigns abroad: he subdued Elam to the east and moved westward, conquering Mari and other cities in Upper Mesopotamia and southern Anatolia. Sargon promoted the use of the Semitic language Akkadian in his inscriptions. His daughter Enheduanna was appointed priestess of the moon god at Ur.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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