Akkad

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Akkad

Akkad (ăˈkăd, äˈkäd), ancient region of Mesopotamia, occupying the northern part of later Babylonia. The southern part was Sumer. In both regions city-states had begun to appear in the 4th millennium B.C. In Akkad a Semitic language, Akkadian, was spoken. Akkad flourished after Sargon 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 Lagash under Gudea. Lagash was later absorbed by the 3d dynasty of Ur, which governed both Akkad and Sumer. Toward the end of the 3d millennium Elam took over most of the power as a new wave of Semitic-speaking peoples entered Mesopotamia. It was by defeating the Elamites that Hammurabi was able to create Babylonia. The name Akkad also appears as Accad.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Akkad

 

(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

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Akkad

, Accad
1. a city on the Euphrates in N Babylonia, the centre of a major empire and civilization (2360--2180 bc)
2. an ancient region lying north of Babylon, from which the Akkadian language and culture is named
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Seifert and Lemke have estimated that the comet crash (otherwise known as the 4.2k Year event) extinguished the Akkadian Empire and the old Egyptian Kingdom.
The head from the Akkadian Empire, unearthed by Iraqi archaeologists in 1982, has been united with a replica of a headless torso discovered over a century ago, Baghdad Museum curator Mohsen Hassan Ali told AFP.
This discovery offers a unique view of the social world nearly 4,300 years ago at Nagar, a city that belonged to Mesopotamia's Akkadian Empire, say Joan Oates of the University of Cambridge in England and her colleagues.
A growing body of evidence from joint archaeological and paleoclimatological studies shows linkages among ocean-related climate shifts, "megadroughts," and rapid collapses of civilizations, including the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia 4,200 years ago, the Mayan empire in central America 1,500 years ago, and the Anasazi in the American southwest in the late 13th century.
Although they were mostly short-lived ones based in the old Sumerian heartland, they at times dominated most of modern Iraq, southwestern Iran, and parts of northern Syria.(48) The periods of imperial hegemony were those under the Sargonid or Akkadian Empire (circa 2334-2193 B.C., represented in Figure 4), the Third Dynasty of Ur, or Ur III Empire (circa 2112-2004), the first Assyrian Empire under Shamshi-Adad (circa 1813-1780), and the Old Babylonian Empire of Hammurabi (circa 1760-1730).
We don't know when the first laws were written down, but the first relatively complete law code that we still have was established by Hammurabi, king of Babylon (reigned 1792-1750 B.C.), who founded a rather short-lived Babylonian Empire in the Tigris-Euphrates valley, one that succeeded the Akkadian Empire.
Moreover, the finding now links the decline of the Indus cities to a documented global scale climate event and its impact on the Old Kingdom in Egypt, the Early Bronze Age civilisations of Greece and Crete, and the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, whose decline has previously been linked to abrupt climate change.
That article, as background, recounted how the Akkadian Empire created the world's first professional army, which it used to conquer the Sumerians and rule much of Iraq and half of Syria in the Third Millennium B.C.
For example, Marlies Heinz ("Sargon of Akkad: Rebel and Usurper in Kish") says far more about the establishment of the Akkadian empire and its reception by its subjects that can responsibly be gleaned from the sources.
For example, Reade concludes that the famous copper head of an Akkadian ruler was mutilated around the time of the collapse of the Akkadian empire, rather than at the fall of the Neo-Assyrian empire.
Queen Puabi's Headgear -- Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia CAIRO -- 31 January 2018: Through history, the lands of Mesopotamia witnessed several civilizations like the civilizations of the Sumerian and Akkadian empires. Mainly, people of Sumer lived in the southern lands of Mesopotamia due to its location between Euphrates and Tigris; it is one of the earliest civilizations and human settlements in history, according to "Civilization of Ancient Iraq" by author and researcher Benjamin R.