The Descent of the Sumerian Civilization And The Rise of the Akkadian Empire


The name of Sargon of Agade, or Akkad, bulks mainly in later Mesopoatmian tradition, and modern writers have regarded his reign as marking the most critical epoch in the ancient history of his country. The reference in the text of Nabonidus to the age of Naram-Sin has caused the Dynasty of Akkad to be taken as the canon, or standard, by which to measure the relative age of other dynasties or of rulers whose inscriptions have from time to time been recovered upon various early Mesopotamian sites. Even those historians who have refused to place reliance upon the figures of Nabonidus have not, by so doing, detracted from the significance of Sargon's position in history; and, since tradition associated his name with the founding of his empire, the terms "Pre-Sargonic" and "Post-Sargonic" have been generally employed as descriptive of the earlier and later periods in the history of Sumer and Akkad. The finding of early inscriptions of Shar-Gani-sharri of Akkad, and tablets dated in his reign, removed any tendency to discredit the historical value of the later traditions; and identify Shar-Gani-sharri with the Sargon of the Assyrian and Neo-Mesopotamian scribes ceased to be called in question. If anyone point in early Mesopotamian history was to be regarded as indeed established, it was the historical character of Sargon of Agade. A recent discovery at Susa has introduced an additional element into the problem and has reopened its discussion along unfamiliar lines. Before introducing the new data, that must be explained and reconciled with the old; it will be well to refer briefly to the steps by which Sargon's name was recovered, and his position in history deduced.

UpplÀsare: Alex White