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Akkad(ă`kăd, ä`käd), ancient region of Mesopotamia, occupying the northern part of later Babylonia. The southern part was SumerSumer
and Sumerian civilization
. The term Sumer is used today to designate the southern part of ancient Mesopotamia. From the earliest date of which there is any record, S Mesopotamia was occupied by a people, known as Sumerians, speaking a non-Semitic language.
..... Click the link for more information. . In both regions city-states had begun to appear in the 4th millennium B.C. In Akkad a Semitic language, AkkadianAkkadian
, extinct language belonging to the East Semitic subdivision of the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages (see Afroasiatic languages). Also called Assyro-Babylonian, Akkadian (or Accadian) was current in ancient Mesopotamia (now Iraq) from about 3000
..... Click the link for more information. , was spoken. Akkad flourished after SargonSargon
, king of Akkad in Mesopotamia (reigned c.2340–c.2305 B.C.). By conquest he established a great empire that included the whole of Mesopotamia and extended over Syria and Elam, and he controlled territories W to the Mediterranean and N to the Black Sea.
..... Click the link for more information. began (c.2340 B.C.) to spread wide his conquests, which ranged from his capital, Agade, also known as Akkad, to the Mediterranean shores. He united city-states into a vast organized empire. Furthermore, he was overlord of all the petty states of Sumer and Akkad, as were his successors, most notably Naramsin. The merit of Sargonic art can be seen in the stele of Naramsin. The naturalistic sculpture, depicting a wide range of mythological scenes, reflected a high achievement in glyptic art. After more than a century the empire declined and was overrun by mountain tribes. When the Akkadian empire had fallen, Mesopotamia was in chaos. Peace was maintained only in the south in the city-state of LagashLagash
, ancient city of Sumer, S Mesopotamia, now located at Telloh, SE Iraq. Lagash was flourishing by c.2400 B.C., but traces of habitation go back at least to the 4th millennium B.C. After the fall of Akkad (2180 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. under Gudea. Lagash was later absorbed by the 3d dynasty of UrUr
, ancient city of Sumer, S Mesopotamia. The city is also known as Ur of the Chaldees. It was an important center of Sumerian culture (see Sumer) and is identified in the Bible as the home of Abraham. The site was discovered in the 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , which governed both Akkad and Sumer. Toward the end of the 3d millennium ElamElam
, ancient country of Asia, N of the Persian Gulf and E of the Tigris, now in W Iran. A civilization seems to have been established there very early, probably in the late 4th millennium B.C. The capital was Susa, and the country is sometimes called Susiana.
..... Click the link for more information. took over most of the power as a new wave of Semitic-speaking peoples entered Mesopotamia. It was by defeating the Elamites that HammurabiHammurabi
, fl. 1792–1750 B.C., king of Babylonia. He founded an empire that was eventually destroyed by raids from Asia Minor. Hammurabi may have begun building the tower of Babel (Gen. 11.4), which can now be identified with the temple-tower in Babylon called Etemenanki.
..... Click the link for more information. was able to create BabyloniaBabylonia
, ancient empire of Mesopotamia. The name is sometimes given to the whole civilization of S Mesopotamia, including the states established by the city rulers of Lagash, Akkad (or Agade), Uruk, and Ur in the 3d millennium B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. . The name Akkad also appears as Accad.
(Agade), an ancient city—later also a province—in the north of southern Mesopotamia, near Sippar (present-day Abu Habba, southwest of Baghdad; its exact location is not known. Akkad was one of the oldest centers of the Semitic population of Babylonia. In about 2300 B.C. it became the capital of the huge empire of Sargon the Ancient (of Akkad). The name of the city of Akkad was later extended to the whole northern region of southern Mesopotamia. Because of its location in the narrowest part of Mesopotamia, Akkad became a juncture of river and caravan trade routes leading from north to south (from Armenia to the Persian Gulf) and from east to west (from the Iran Plateau to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor). In about 2200 B.C. it was subjugated by the Guti. Subsequently Akkad lost its importance and Babylon became the main center of southern Mesopotamia. A few works of Akkad art from the 23rd century B.C. have been preserved: stone stelae of the kings Sargon and Naram-Sin with low reliefs representing military scenes, a bronze head of a ruler of Nineveh, and cylindrical seals with hunting scenes. The ruins of the Eshnunna group of palaces (present-day Tell-Asmar) attest to a high level of construction.
L. A. LIPIN