Agade/ Akkadian Dynasty

The period succeeding the Early Dynastic in southern Mesopotamia is named after the city of Agade (or Akkad), whose rulers united the region, bringing the competing Sumerian cities under their control by conquest. The precise dates of the Agade dynasty are disputed by modern scholars, but it lasted about 150 years from about 2330 BC. The city of Agade itself has not so far been certainly located, but it was probably founded before the time of Sargon (about 2334-2279 BC), the dynasty's first king.

Sargon conquered southern Mesopotamia (Sumer) and led military expeditions to conquer further east and north. He was succeeded by two of his sons, Rimush and Manishtushu, who consolidated the dynasty's hold on much of Mesopotamia. The empire reached its greatest extent under Naram-Sin (about 2254-2218 BC), and there are references to campaigns against powerful states in the north, possibly including Ebla. Control was maintained under Naram-Sin's successor, Shar-kali-sharri (about 2217-2193 BC), though at the end of his reign there appears to have been a power struggle for the throne. A number of city rulers re-established their independence in southern Mesopotamia, and the territory ruled over by the last kings of Agade (Dudu and Shu-Turul) had shrunk back to the region directly around the city.

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