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Ancient Mesopotamia

The Akkadian Empire

History >> Ancient Mesopotamia

The first Empire to rule all of Mesopotamia was the Akkadian Empire. It lasted for around 200 years from 2300 BC to 2100 BC.

How it Began

The Akkadians lived in northern Mesopotamia while the Sumerians lived in the south. They had a similar government and culture as the Sumerians, but spoke a different language. The government was made up of individual city-states. This was where each city had its own ruler that controlled the city and the surrounding area. Initially these city-states were not united and often warred with each other.

Over time, the Akkadian rulers began to see the advantage of uniting many of their cities under a single nation. They began to form alliances and work together.
Sargon the Great of Akkadia
Sargon of Akkad
from the Iraqi Directorate
General of Antiquities

Sargon the Great

Around 2300 BC Sargon the Great rose to power. He established his own city named Akkad. When the powerful Sumerian city of Uruk attacked his city, he fought back and eventually conquered Uruk. He then went on to conquer all of the Sumerian city-states and united northern and southern Mesopotamia under a single ruler.

The Empire Expands

Over the next two hundred years, the Akkadian Empire continued to expand. They attacked and conquered the Elamites to the east. They moved south to Oman. They even went as far west as the Mediterranean Sea and Syria.


One of the great kings of Akkad was Naram-Sin. He was the grandson of Sargon the Great. Naram-Sin ruled for over 50 years. He crushed revolts and expanded the empire. His reign is considered the peak of the Akkadian Empire.

Fall of the Empire

In 2100 BC the Sumerian city of Ur rose back into power conquering the city of Akkad. The Empire was now ruled by a Sumerian king, but was still united. The empire grew weaker, however, and was eventually conquered by the Amorites in around 2000 BC.

Interesting Facts About the Akkadians Activities Learn More about Ancient Mesopotamia:

Timeline of Mesopotamia
Great Cities of Mesopotamia
The Ziggurat
Science, Inventions, and Technology
Assyrian Army
Persian Wars
Glossary and Terms

Akkadian Empire
Babylonian Empire
Assyrian Empire
Persian Empire
Daily Life of Mesopotamia
Art and Artisans
Religion and Gods
Code of Hammurabi
Sumerian Writing and Cuneiform
Epic of Gilgamesh

Famous Kings of Mesopotamia
Cyrus the Great
Darius I
Nebuchadnezzar II

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Mesopotamia

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