The Akkadian Empire c. 2350–2230 BCE


Map Code: Ax00112

In c. 2350 BCE the Semite Sargon, reputed to be the adopted son of a Kish gardener, conquered Lugalzagesi’s kingdom and became ruler of his coalition of Sumerian cities. Taking Akkad as his capital, he turned the region into the heart of an empire which would encapsulate ‘the four quarters of the universe’. Over his 56-year reign, Sargon succeeded in conquering southern Mesopotamia, northern Syria, southern Anatolia and Elam (western Iran). This expanded his empire and provided valuable plunder, such as copper and silver. Under his leadership, he stabilized the region by improving its infrastructure, building irrigation systems and introducing the first postal service. After his death, the region destabilized and there were several revolts. His grandson and successor, Naram-Sin, who believed himself a god, restored stability and expanded the empire further. He launched many military campaigns, including laying siege to the territories south of the Persian Gulf.

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