Founded in 2350 by Sargon the Great (the ruler of Mesopotamia and founder of one of the world’s earliest empire)- the Akkadian Empire covered large parts of ancient Mesopotamia (current Iraq), Anatolia (Turkey), and Elam (current western Iran). Although a famous king of his time, Sargon is not very prominent among today’s youth and people. It is said that Sargon was an attendant to king Ur-Zababa (king of Sumer, the southern region of Mesopotamia). Later, he also worked as a gardener like his father. The empire was centered around a Mesopotamian city known as Akkad hence it was named as Akkadian Empire.
Before Sargon came to power, the area of Mesopotamia was divided into regions: North and South. The two regions were not on good terms.
Under his rule, Sargon united the two regions by conquering almost all of the cities of both regions. Later, Sargon managed to extend his reign to Iran, modern-day Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Syria. Sargon did not only join two-regions but annexed two cultures as people of both North and South regions used to follow different cultures and speak contrasting languages. After amalgamation, people exchanged cultures and many became bilingualist. Both Akkadian and Sumerian languages were used for both communication and writing.
Sargon is said to have done a lot of wonders under his ruling. Under Sargon and his successor’s dynasty, the empire is said to have reached its zenith. The credit of introducing public services, postal systems, irrigation systems, military, roads, and up to date arts and science. Even today, many term the Akkadian empire as the land of the firsts. Historians claim that it was the Akkadian empire that introduced the concept of the dynasty. He was the first one to give the idea that only a ruler’s son would succeed him so that the power does not go out of the family. Although, Sargon gave a lot of respect to Sumerians but the Akkadians were still dominant. Sargon swore in Nobel Akkadians in various territories of the empire. On the other hand, the Akkadian kings assigned their sons and daughters as either city administrators or pastors. It is said that the economy of the Akkadian empire was dependent on irrigated farmland and agriculture.
Sargon’s two sons Rimush and Manistusu succeeded him as kings after his death and so on. After Sargon, another prominent name that comes to mind when talking about the Akkadian Empire is Naram Sin. He was the grandson of Sargon and the son of Manistusu. He was considered a great king who extended the empire and improved the administration. After Naram Sin, his son Shar Kali-Shari rose to power and that was when the empire started declining. After him, a period of power-struggle started. Followed by him was Dudu of Akkad who ruled for 21 years and then giving way to the last Emporer of the great Akkadian Empire- Shu-Darul. The empire was already in bad condition and weakened. It also became prey to attacks of outsiders and enemies as Shu-Durul failed to maintain further order. The Gutians (the nomadic people of West Asia) took advantage of the situation and overran the great Empire. Not much is known about Gutians but they were considered Barbarians who started movements against the Akkadians and harmed their economy. They formed the Gutians Dynasty after the Akkadian empire completely declined. However, they could not maintain the structure and gave rise to political instability and financial loss in the region.