A Tribute to King Sargon of Akkad

Sargon of Akkad (“Agade,” in this document) was a ruler who ruled the Akkadian state from 2334 BCE to 2279 BCE. The Akkadians were the first to conquer the many Sumerian city-states and unify them under one government. This document dates from later, after 1000 BCE

Sargon, King of Agade, by Ishtar’s royal insignia was
exalted,
And he had no rival or enemy. His glory he poured out
over the world.
The sea of the East n he crossed,
And in the eleventh year his hand subdued the Country of
the West in its full extent.
He united them under one control; he set up his images in
the west;
Their booty he brought over at his word.
He settled the sons of his palace for five biru around,
And over the hosts of the world he reigned supreme.
Against Kagalla he marched, and turned Kagalla into
mounds and ruins;
He destroyed within it, leaving not a bird’s resting-place.
Afterward in his old age all the lands revolted against him,
And they besieged him in Agade; and Sargon went forth
to battle and accomplished their defeat;
Their overthrow he brought about, and their wide spreading
host he destroyed.
Afterward he attacked the land of Subartu in his might,
and before his arms they bowed down,
And Sargon quelled that revolt, and accomplished their
defeat;
Their overthrow he brought about, and their wide spreading
host he destroyed.
Their possessions he caused to be brought into Agade.
The soil he removed from the trenches of Babylon,
And the boundaries of Agade he made like those of Babylon.

But because of the evil which he had committed the great
lord Marduk was angry,
And he destroyed his people by famine.
From the rising of the sun unto the setting of the sun
They rebelled against him and gave him no rest.

Questions for consideration:

  1. How does this document characterize Sargon? Is it a positive or negative characterization? Provide specific examples.
  2. This was written long after the events recorded. Of what use is this document to historians?