Sargon, king of Agade (about 2334-2279 BC)

Sargon's origins and rise to power are poorly known and are obscured by many later stories of his heroic deeds. A later legend tells how he was abandoned as a baby in a basket of reeds on the River Euphrates and found by a man drawing water. The name Sargon means 'the legitimate king' and so itself suggests humbler origins. It is likely that he established himself as an independent ruler at the city of Agade having earlier been associated with the city of Kish.

Sargon undertook expeditions to western Iran and as far as the Cedar Forest and Silver Mountain (possibly the Lebanon). He defeated the other cities of south Mesopotamia including his main rival, Lugalzagesi, ruler of Uruk. Governors from Agade were appointed to administer the cities and Sargon's daughter, Enheduanna, was appointed as high priestess at Ur. His achievements were glorified by later tradition and kings attempted to emulate Sargon's conquests.

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