Think it was the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century AD. That's almost 1,600 years, more than 50 generations as understood by historians. Few nations from that time are still around today, major religions did not exist yet, and so on. Now consider that it's roughly the same amount of time between the reign of Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC, before the Roman Empire began, and the time of the Akkadian Warriors.
They are not the most famous empire despite their pedigree as, among other things, creating the first full-time professional armies. Their most famous leader, Sargon of Akkad, certainly did not conquer a vast empire compared to Genghis Khan or the aforementioned Alexander the Great. Yet what we saw was the work of the teams of archaeologists paints. Carving Out an Empire
2334 BC The city of Akkad (meaning spelled Agade) was set to be a city-state of many to one of the most important communities in ancient history. Sargon took the throne and began a career of vast conquest. First, he conquered cities of the Elamites (modern day Iranians). Syria and even far into modern day Turkey.
At least equally impressive as Sargon's ability to conquer a staggering 56-year reign. In spite of being tyrannical or hated in general, there were many rebellions for him to crush under his heels over the years, especially early on. One of Sargon's techniques was to forgo appointments over personal connections and administrators based on merit. Sargon thus had the foresight to have the walls of any city he conquered thoroughly demolished as he could, which left them both easier to reconquer and more vulnerable to attackers outside of the Akkadian Empire, and thus more reliant on Sargon's soldiers. There were also innovations put in place as private mail and steady trade routes to motivate cities to stay in the empire.
. 9 Conquest Motivations
The Akkadian Empire not only the first major empire of the Bronze Age – bronze itself was a contributing factor in motivated to conquer Northern Mesopotamia. Bronze was useful both for making more durable weapons and farming tools. The combination of copper and tin was one of the few available alloys which could have been sharpened razor sharpness .
Metallurgy had been refined even in the 24th Century BC, and had reached a point where bronze weapons could be extensively decorated. The amount and elaborateness of inlays in a blade or hilt quickly became a status symbol. silver from mines Sargon had conquered in Anatolia (modern day Turkey).
. 8 Weapon Advantage
Beyond their cache of bronze armaments, early on the Akkadians acquired another instrument of that proved to be a super-weapon for the time: composite bows. Essentially, composite bows differed from regular models in that when they struggled curved away from the archer's body, meaning the string was drawn tauter to function. This additional sturdiness came from the bow's wooden shaft being supplemented by horn and wound sinew.
Against the arrows of the Akkadian archers, which is vulnerable. The range of Akkadian archers thus expanded to roughly double that of their enemy archers. That meant 600 feet versus the usual 300-foot range their opponents could manage. The increase in range might not be so devastating, that's about 300 feet in maybe 15 seconds unencumbered. two aimed shots which could make all the difference. Additionally, it was invaluable for victory if the Akkadians' enemies were to be drawn out into the open.
. 7 The King of the People
Sargon of Akkad is not of royal birth. It's not even enough to say he came from a common family. Hey, what, in fact, a bastard birth. His parents took the steps to conceal that he was ever born, just short of actually killing him. He was placed in river rushes in a basket sealed with tar, later to be found and adopted by the Royal Gardner Akki . Moses by almost a millennium .
King Ur-Zababa of Kish's cupbearer: Sargon was able to rise through the ranks until he had the second most prominent and respected position. In fact, despite his low-sounding title, he said, Ur-Zababa's invaluable wine supply, and he was generally regarded as second only to the king. However, Ur-Zababa eventually grew suspicious of his cupbearer. When the Sumerian king Lugalzagesi marched on Kish, Ur-Zababa sent Sargon with a peace offer. Lugalzagesi to kill Sargon. In another parallel to the Bible, King David What did he say he was married to Bathsheba? Instead of killing the messenger he had no known grudge against, Lugalzagei invited Sargon to join him, and the two marched on Kish and drove the Ur-Zababa out.
Sargon was able to raise an army of his own and then marched on Kish. He defeated Lugalzagesi in battle, took the city, and declared himself king. Indeed, Sargon was not actually his birth name, but a title meaning "True King." Despite this grandiose title, Sargon's humble beginnings gave him a populist appeal that helped him keep his empire together and put in an administration and bureaucracy in place functionaries chosen on the basis of merit.
. 6 Relatively Small Army
For someone well-known today and who conquered such a large empire, it should be noted that the Akkadian Army created by Sargon was not particularly vast. Surviving records put it at 5,400 troops stating that what the number would be "eat with" Sargon. For comparison, Egyptian pharaohs such as Ramesses II fielded armies of many many 20,000 soldiers for their conquests.
Sargon divided into a series of battalions, 60. Each of these battalions would have been divided into regular infantry, archers, and light infantry called the "nim," presumably a ribbing nickname since that translates to "flies." The Wealthiest Soldiers were likely to be found riding chariots. Troops on horseback would not be recorded in the Middle East until centuries after the Akkadian Empire, by which time horses had been bred which were large enough to serve as reliable mounts.
. 5 Helmet Horn Pioneers
 In this article, the Vikings wore helmets with horns or wings on them during the height of their raids between the 9th and 11th AD centuries. Fans of that fashion choice should know that Akkadian Warriors actually had bull horns attached to their helmets. They were the first recorded soldiers to adopt that style. It was not as a symbol of intimidation as much as a supposed sign of their divinity.
While Sargon's looming over the Akkadian Dynasty, this is an innovation that can not lay claim to. The practice of putting horns on their helmets started with Naram-Sin, Sargon's grandson and the first king of all Mesopotamia to declare himself a God hence the need for a divine helmet. As immodest as that declaration what, he was at least able to back it up by raising the empire to its greatest size, greatest wealth, and highest level of development. The practice would continue for centuries after the end of Akkadian domination, including being used by a race known as the Sardinians during their war against the Egyptians.
. 4 Land Holdings
Sargon needed to be reliable at the time. So the Akkadian government adopted a policy called Ilkum . Sargon would become a matter of issue to his subjects, and if they did not serve in his military or send their children as substitutes, then he would repossess the country. It was one of several ways that the Akkadian Empire was an early example of a "planned economy."
Landowning soldiers were allowed to rent out their land. It's unclear if that's what they did. Babylonian laws known as Hammurabi's code and prefigured European and Asian feudalism.
. 3 The War of 33 Kings
As successful as Sargon and Naram-Sin were at the same time in their empire, Manishtushu, Manishtushu, who might have been the best at uniting people. Inconveniently for him. Manishtushu's soldiers found themselves facing an alliance of a staggering 32 kings of city-states.
It must be said that Manishtushu was hardly the victim here, as he faced this alliance because of the fact he is now known as the Persian Gulf for greater conquest. More importantly, as far as history is concerned, the Akkadian army is triumphant over the course of his 15 year reign despite Manishtushu's death in battle. Their prize was a rich haul of more silver mines.
. 2 Naked Enemies
One of the most elaborate artifacts of the Akkadian Dynasty was a stele (meaning a stone slab carved into it) for Naram Sin, which stands about 79 inches tall. It depicts the grandson of Sargon as a giant defending enemies equipped with a horned helmet and composite bow, truly trademarks of the Akkadian Empire. One enemy at his feet is begging for mercy while another has been impaled on a spear. On levels farther below are corpses of other enemies while Naram-Sin's soldiers are arrayed in formation. The fall enemies have a distinct lack of clothing in common.
For a long time, historians believed that the nudity was because the scene in question was meant to depict ceremonial sacrifices . More recent studies have just become a form of mockery of their opponents. Even the impaled man, presumably some sort of noble if he's at Naram-Sin's feet on the stele instead of among the piles of dead, is dressed in a mere Akkadian equivalent of a kilt. Only the defeated king of the Lullubi was sufficiently respected to be fully dressed while begging for his life.
. 1 The Mysterious Conqueror
The Akkadian Empire's downfall circa 2154 BC After a century of domination of Mesopotamia and beyond. The dominant theory was that between widespread revolts and invasions by enemies, especially the Gutian race, it was essentially. However, later scientific analysis as the knife in the dynasty's heart.
During Sargon and his immediate successors' great conquests there was a prolonged period of unusually beneficial weather that resulted in good crop yields. By the time Shar-Kalli-Saree took the throne, the region was struck with a drought. Trade was disrupted, discontent and desperation were widespread, and the empire could not stand up against its own citizens. So severe was the drought that one city, Tell Leilan which said to have been buried in a meter of sand as it was abandoned, and remained for over 300 years. Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh. Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh.
Dustin Koski wrote the urban fantasy novel Not Meant to Know .
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