 The Akkadian Empire(2340-2200B.C.E.)
 It was located on the western bank of the Euphrates, in
present- day Iraq.
 We will now delve into its history, culture, and
 Sargon of Akkad (2270-2215 BCE) helped establish the
Akkadian Empire.
 He led the Akkadian Empire to its greatest extent.
 Sargon conquered lands for his empire and his blood
reign went on for generations.
 Sargon’s blood reign went on for a few generations.
 Sargon was by far the most famous and successful
ruler, however.
 Later rulers such as Manishtushu Rimish maintained
Sargon’s rule.
 Eventually however, the Akkadian Empire shrunk and
collapsed due to Armani attacks.
 Agriculture was the economic backbone of Akkad.
 Like most ancient societies, Akkad utilized irrigation
and rainfall for crops
 Family was very important to Akkad
 Adultery was punishable by death for woman
 Akkadian government was known as classical
 The ensi was the main leader.
 The ensi, a preist- like figure, had to marry the goddess
Inana, solidifying his position.
 The kings in Akkad were at first below the ensi in
 However, later in history, the king became the
prominent ruler.
 As we said, agriculture was vital in Akkad.
 Due to very little rainfall, irrigation was key to
successful farming.
 Akkad had a surplus of cattle and crops
 However, it lacked other commodities like metals and
 Sargon of Akkad led many major conquests to expand
his empire.
He attacked and conquered Uruk.
He also conquered King Kashtubila of Kazalla.
Sargon’s were all for not, however.
Later leaders slowly lost the land until Akkad’s
eventual collapse.
 The population of pre-modern states was dependent
upon the agricultural system of the region.
 Two principals: irrigated farmlands or rain-fed
 This writing was developed and used in the middle
east among:
 Legal codes written in cuneiform scripts.
 Semitic language- Hebrew and Arabic
•empire was bound together by
roads, along which there was a
regular postal service
•Clay seals took the place
of stamps
example of Akkadian cuneiform
Length of reign
Sargon of Akakd 40 years
Rimush of
Naram-Suen of
Shar-kalli- Shari
Dudu of Akkad
9 years
15 years
56 years
25 years
21 years
15 years
 They followed the “Code of
 The Code of Hammurabi was carved
into a black diorite stone.
 Akkadian artists discovered “lost wax”
•Within 100 years the Empire of
Akkad collapsed, almost as fast as
it had developed, bringing in a
Dark Age
•The empire collapsed entire
from the invasion of barbarians
of the Zagros known as “Gutians”
• said
to be associated with
rapidly increasing dryness, and
failing rainfall in the region of
the Ancient Near East,
 King of ancient Mesopotamia during 2334
BCE to 2279 BCE
 known for his extremely long reigning period
 Formed the first Jewish dynasty in the region
 Founder of Mesopotamian military traditions
 Trade thrived under his rule
 When the King of Uruk was defeated Sargon took his
place to rule over the lands that he had collected
 Sargon had to defeat every city that tried to break free
from his rule
 He succeeded which formed the kingdom of Akkad
 Traded with the Indus Valley, islands in the Persian
Gulf, and Oman
 Imported things such as lapis lazuli (semi-precious
stone), cedar wood, and silver
 When Sargon was king military traditions such as
spearman formations and shield walls were
 People began to use the language that the Sumerians
had previously used
 Started a new form of calligraphy which they put on
clay tablets with beautiful scenes of mythology and
festive life
 Majority of conflicts were with Sumer
 Especially empire migration to the north
 2125 BCE: Ur revolted causing Akkad to fall as Sumer
rose to power again
 Barbarian invasion of the Zagros also known as
“Gutians” caused empire to collapse
 Dramatic advances
 One major king
 Sargon
 First Poet
 Enheduanna
 Historians are not exactly sure where it is
 They think it’s on the West bank of Euphrates
 Between Sippar and Kish
 In present day Iraq
 Farmers
Social Classes
 Ensis and Lugals
 Provincial Ensis
 Regular priests
 Nobels (Lugal’s trusted workers)
 Peasants (farmers, tradesmen, fishers)
 Slaves
 Egyptian style art
 Has been found in Turkey
 First statue made of lead
 Spoke their own Akkadian language
 (Assyrian-Babylonian)
 Discovered “lost wax” (bronze casting)
 Sumerian art was excellent during the Akkadian
 Enheduanna – first poet to actually record things
 Wife of Nanna – Sumerian moon god
 Daughter of Sargon
 Empire was bound together by roads
 Included a postal service
 Clay seals
 Sargon and son’s names
 Cadadstral survey
Wrritten ownership of land
 “Limmu” calendar system
 Year =big event
 Empire was bound together by roads first collection of
astronomical observations was made for a library
established by Sargon
 Set a standard for all Sumerian City-States
 Ensi
 Highest priest
 Married to “Inanna”, goddess of love, fertility, and war
 “Divine power” which was initially highest power
 Lugal
 Literally “Great man”
 Equivalent to king
 Was initially 2nd in power to an “Ensi”, but became 1st but later
dynastic times
Sargon and Naram-Sin Governing
 Purpose = spread and maintain control of land
 Made daughters (Enheduanna and Enmenanna) high
priestesses of moon goddess
 Married daughters off to other peripheral rulers
 Made sons provincial “Ensis”, equivalent to Governors
 Greatly dependent on agriculture
 Changed from year to year depending on rainfall and
crop yield
 Harvest was late spring and summer
 Had form of unemployment relief
 Government recruited farmers from August to September to
maintain Nile flooding and annual irrigation
 Imports were metals, timber, and building stone
 Polytheistic religion
 Worshipped gods and goddesses of or like those of the
 No seperation of religion and state, priests lead
 Divided into 2 sections: Beginning and Advanced
 Students began at young age (5-7)
 Mostly male students, but there is evidence of some female
 Education generally only available to the wealthy and elite
 Wrote in Cuneiform on clay tablets with a reed stylus
 Location
 Arabian Peninsula
 Present day = Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, and Kuwait
 Buildings
 Large temples (ziggurats) and monuments
 Tower of Babylon
 Walls – poorly constructed – made of clay
 Shaped like domes
 Food
 Hunted fish, duck, and geese
 Ate dates, bread, onions, beans, cucumbers, garlic
 Wash it down with beer or water
 Writing
 Cuneiform – shaped symbols
 Reed stylus
 Invented by Sumerians in 2500 BCE
 Art
 Resembled early Egyptian art
 Found in modern Turkey
 Cylinder Seals – examples of gem cutter’s art
 Poetry
 Priestess Enhedumanna
 Achievements
 Roads – postal service
 Clay seals – stamps
 Astronomy
 Library
 Limmu calendar system
 Years were named after one specific event
 Overpowered the Sumerian states
 King Sargon I of Akkad conquered military and
political centers of the south
 Mesopotamia united into one empire
 Akkad became the political, economic, and cultural
center of the empire
 Emperors gave themselves the title “Kings of the Four
Lands of the World”
 Government
 Ensi = highest functionary of Sumerian city-states
 To become an ensi you have to marry the goddess Inanna
 Validated the rulership through divine consent
 Sargon means “kind of universal domination”
 Started monarchy
 Ended power struggles
 Wasn’t raised royal (cupbearer of Ur)
 Came to power by overthrowing the king and then took the
 Sargon united the people into first
 Successful conqueror
 Successful battles – new tactics – looser form – javelins
and arrows
 Stationed troops
 Sargon gained land
 Formed better relationships with neighboring tribes
 Sargon gained better goods and ideas
 Religion, gods, new use of writing
 He was in control for 56 years but it ended when the
empire went in revolt
 “Lost wax” – method of bronze cast
 Postal service
 Clay seals
 Cuneiform
 Two languages (Assyrian and babylonian)
 Depended mainly on agriculture
 Nomadic groups (early Ammorites)
 Nomadic groups were allowed to let their sheep graze
on Akkadian’s farms, in exchange for payment to
 Always had a surplus of food
 Imported metals, timber, and building materials
because limited resources
 Akkadians were violent people in general
 Started empire based off of the relentless conquering
of Sargon
 Never at peace because people they conquered never
agreed with their rules
 Sargon’s conquests spread Akkadian’s ideas, culture,
and writing system
 Empires can encourage trade and bring peace to
 People of cultures share ideas, technology, and customs
 Adopted Sumerian culture and ideas
 Polytheistic - many gods: An, En – lil, E- ki
 Priests were mediators between people and gods
 Had decreased status
 Men and women were created by the gods to serve the
 To feed and clothe them, to honor and obey them
 Didn't have a code of ethics or morality
 Scribal education
 Akkadians were Semitic people and their descendents
that survive today as Jews and Arabs
 First ever epic
 Gathered by the Akkadians and written on 12 stone
 Tells the story of King Gilgamesh, who was 2/3 god
and 1/3 human, and his adventures
 Akkad is also known as Accad or Agade
 Left bank of the Euphrates river
 Height of its power between the 24 – 22 century BCE
 Gifted warriors of their time
 "Akkadians." Wikipedia. 10 Oct. 2008.
"Ancient Akkadians." History Guide. 3 May 2006.
Marcus, David. A Manual of Akkadian. New York:
Universal P, 1994.
Unknown. "Akkadians." 15 Dec. 2003. 3 Nov. 2008
 Pictures:
 <www.google.com>
 "Akkadian Empire." South and Southwest Asia. Ed.
Peter N. Peregrine and Melvin Ember. Vol. 8. New
York, NY: Springer, 2003. 21-23.
 "The Akkadian Empire." Wikipedia. 4 Nov. 2008.
Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. 7 Nov. 2008
 <http://i-cias.com/e.o/sargon.htm>.
 "Akkadian School Texts." Cuneiform Digital Library
Initiative. 7 Sept. 2008. UCLA. 16 Nov. 2008
 Guisepi, Robert A., and F. Roy Williams. "Akkad and
the Akkadians." History-world. History World
International. 7 Nov. 2008 <http://historyworld.org/akkadians.htm>.
 Hooker, Richard. "The Akkadians." Mesopotamia. 6
June 1999. Washington State University. 7 Nov. 2008
 Karr, Dr. Karen. "Akkadians." Histroy for Kids. 5 Oct.
2007. Portland State University. 7 Nov. 2008

Akkadian Society - World History 9H