Akkadian Empire

Akkadian Empire

𒆳𒌵𒆠  (Akkadian)
māt Akkadi
𒀀𒂵𒉈𒆠  (Sumerian)
c. 2334 – 2154 BC
Map of the Akkadian Empire (brown) and the directions in which military campaigns were conducted (yellow arrows)
Map of the Akkadian Empire (brown) and the directions in which military campaigns were conducted (yellow arrows)
Official languages
Common languagesAkkadian
Sumerian (declining)
Ancient Mesopotamian religion
• c. 2334–2279 BC
Sargon (first)
• c. 2170–2154 BC
Shu-turul (last)
Historical eraBronze Age
• Established
c. 2334 BC
c. 2340 – 2284 BC
• Disestablished
c. 2154 BC
2350 BC[1]30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi)
2300 BC[1]650,000 km2 (250,000 sq mi)
2250 BC[1]800,000 km2 (310,000 sq mi)
2200 BC[1]250,000 km2 (97,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Early Dynastic Period
Second Mariote Kingdom
Gutian Period (Sumer)
Third Mariote Kingdom

The Akkadian Empire (ən/)[2] was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia, centered in the city of Akkad d/[3] and its surrounding region, which the Bible also called Akkad. The empire united Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule. The Akkadian Empire exercised influence across Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Anatolia, sending military expeditions as far south as Dilmun and Magan (modern Bahrain and Oman) in the Arabian Peninsula.[4]

During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism.[5] Akkadian, an East Semitic language,[6] gradually replaced Sumerian as a spoken language somewhere between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC (the exact dating being a matter of debate).[7]

The Akkadian Empire reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests by its founder Sargon of Akkad.[8] Under Sargon and his successors, the Akkadian language was briefly imposed on neighboring conquered states such as Elam and Gutium. Akkad is sometimes regarded as the first empire in history, though the meaning of this term is not precise, and there are earlier Sumerian claimants.[9][10]

After the fall of the Akkadian Empire, the people of Mesopotamia eventually coalesced into two major Akkadian-speaking nations: Assyria in the north, and, a few centuries later, Babylonia in the south.

History of research

The Bible refers to Akkad in Genesis 10:10[11], which states that the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was in the land of Akkad. Nimrod's historical identity is unknown, but some have compared him with the legendary Gilgamesh, founder of Uruk.[12][13] Today, scholars have documented some 7,000 texts from the Akkadian period, written in both Sumerian and Akkadian. Many later texts from the successor states of Assyria and Babylonia also deal with the Akkadian Empire.[13]

Understanding of the Akkadian Empire continues to be hampered by the fact that its capital Akkad has not yet been located, despite numerous attempts.[14][15] Precise dating of archaeological sites is hindered by the fact that there are no clear distinctions between artifact assemblages thought to stem from the preceding Early Dynastic period, and those thought to be Akkadian. Likewise, material that is thought to be Akkadian continues to be in use into the Ur III period.[16]

Many of the more recent insights on the Akkadian Empire have come from excavations in the Upper Khabur area in modern northeastern Syria which was to become a part of Assyria after the fall of Akkad. For example, excavations at Tell Mozan (ancient Urkesh) brought to light a sealing of Tar'am-Agade, a previously unknown daughter of Naram-Sin, who was possibly married to an unidentified local endan (ruler).[17] The excavators at nearby Tell Leilan (ancient Shekhna/Shubat-Enlil) have used the results from their investigations to argue that the Akkadian Empire came to an end due to a sudden drought, the so-called 4.2 kiloyear event.[18] The impact of this climate event on Mesopotamia in general, and on the Akkadian Empire in particular, continues to be hotly debated.[19]

Excavation at the modern site of Tell Brak has suggested that the Akkadians rebuilt a city ("Brak" or "Nagar") on this site, for use as an administrative center. The city included two large buildings including a complex with temple, offices, courtyard, and large ovens![20][21]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Akkadiese Ryk
asturianu: Imperiu acadiu
azərbaycanca: Akkad
Bân-lâm-gú: Akkad Tè-kok
башҡортса: Аккад
беларуская: Акад
български: Акадска империя
bosanski: Akadsko carstvo
català: Imperi accadi
eesti: Akadi riik
español: Imperio acadio
Esperanto: Akada Imperio
فارسی: اکد
français: Empire d'Akkad
한국어: 아카드 제국
հայերեն: Աքքադ
hrvatski: Akadsko Carstvo
Bahasa Indonesia: Kekaisaran Akkadia
italiano: Impero di Akkad
Jawa: Akkadia
latviešu: Akadas valsts
lietuvių: Akado imperija
македонски: Акад
Bahasa Melayu: Empayar Akkadia
Nederlands: Akkadische Rijk
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Akkad
پنجابی: اکادی
português: Império Acádio
русский: Аккад
slovenčina: Akkadská ríša
slovenščina: Akadsko kraljestvo
کوردی: ئەکەد
српски / srpski: Акадско царство
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Akadsko Carstvo
тоҷикӣ: Аккад
українська: Аккад (держава)
Tiếng Việt: Đế quốc Akkad