|Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the Great "the Great King" was a Semitic Akkadian emperor famous for his conquest of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th and 23rd centuries BC. The founder of the Dynasty of Akkad, he was originally referred to as Sargon I until records of an Assyrian king also named Sargon (now usually referred to as Sargon I) were unearthed.|
Sargon's vast empire is thought to have included large parts of Mesopotamia, and included parts of modern-day Iran, Asia Minor and Syria. He is often regarded as the first in recorded history to create a centrally ruled empire and a professional army.
|After coming to power, Sargon killed the king of Kish, and attacked Uruk. He captured Uruk and dismantled its famous walls. The defenders fled the city.|
Sumerian forces fought two pitched battles against the Akkadians and were routed. Sargon pursued his enemies to Ur before moving eastwards to Lagash, to the Persian Gulf, and then to Umma.
Uruk was renowned for its walls which were first built 4,700 years ago by the Sumerian King Gilgamesh, hero of the epic named after him.
|Sargon died around 2215 BC. Sargon of Akkad was regarded as a model by Mesopotamian kings for two millennia after his death. The Assyrian and Babylonian kings who based their empires in Mesopotamia saw themselves as the heirs of Sargon's empire. Akkadian influence was seen through trade throughout much of the known world from Eastern Europe to Northern Africa to India.|
Akkadian customs – language, religion, art, architecture – were the standard for almost two millennia until the Greeks and Persians established their own mighty empires.