Sargon I the Ancient

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sargon I the Ancient


(also Sargon of Akkad; in Akkadian, Sharru-Ken, Sharrum-Kin), the founder, in the 24th century B.C., of a kingdom in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, with its capital in Akkad. Sargon I was of Semitic origin, from the city of Kish; according to legend, he was of humble birth. He defeated the Sumerian king Lugal-zaggesi and conquered all the city-states of Mesopotamia. His armies ranged as far as Elam, Syria, and Asia Minor.

Under Sargon I, the holdings and economic activities of the temples were brought under royal authority. The state of Sargon I represented the first attempt to create a centralized despotic state, in which a low-born royal bureaucracy displaced the old tribal aristocracy and in which the organs of self-government of the earlier independent city-states—the council and the popular assembly—were turned into minor administrative bodies.


D’iakonov, I. M. Obshchestvennyi i gosudarstvennyi stroi Drevnego Dvurech’ia: Shumer. Moscow, 1959.
Hirsh, H. “Die Inschriften der Könige von Agade.” Archive für Orientforschung, 1963, vol. 20.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.