Sargon of Akkad: The Father of Empire Building

James Patrick Gregory


This paper examines the life of Sargon of Akkad, a man once forgotten and buried for over a millennium. Sargon laid the foundation for empire building through conquest of Mesopotamia and with the founding of the Akkadian Empire (2334 B.C. – 2154 B.C.). To explore the life of and role Sargon had upon ancient political thinking, this paper analyzes sources from Sargon’s time period, later written documents from other ancient cultures, as well as modern archaeological evidence. Sargon’s masterful manipulation of politics, religion, and military tactics pushed the ability of his empire to a point in which he conquered a dominating majority culture. Once he conquered Mesopotamia, Sargon instituted political and religious propaganda to ensure his domination. To guarantee the control of the empire, Sargon employed new military tactics, religious change, and engineering to build a strong infrastructure.  Sargon’s empire not only changed the culture in Mesopotamia but also changed the view point of the world as to how a people can be conquered, held, and ruled over. The methodology Sargon employed can be seen copied until the late 20th century thus deserving him recognition for being the founding father of empire building.


Sargon; Mesopotamia; Akkadian Empire; Empire Building

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