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
Akkadians lived in the North of Mesopotamia while the Sumerians lived in the south. Both had a similar government and culture but spoke a different language. The government was based on city-states. So each city had its own ruler that controlled the city and the surrounding area. City-states often fought with each other.
Over time, the Akkadian rulers began to unite their cities under a single nation. That was the origin of the Akkadian empire.
Sargon the Great
About 2300 BC Sargon the Great ruled the Akkadians. He created a new city named Akkad. When the Sumerian city of Uruk attacked his city, he conquered Uruk and the most important Sumerian city-states . Then he could unite northern and southern Mesopotamia .
The Empire Expands
Over the next two centuries, the Akkadian Empire continued its expansion and reached the Mediterranean Sea and Syria.
Naram-Sin was the grandson of Sargon and is considered as one of the most important kings of the Akkadian Empire. Naram-Sin ruled for over 50 years. He suppressed revolts and expanded the empire. His ruling was a flourisihing cultural period.
Fall of the Empire
In 2100 BC the Sumerian city of Ur revolted back and conqueredthe city of Akkad. The Empire was ruled by a Sumerian king, but it became weaker and weaker until its conquest by the Amorites in around 2000 BC.
Interesting ideas on Akkadians
- During the Akkadian empire people became bilingual because many people spoke Summerian and Akkadian languages.
- The major cities had good services such as postal service and were connected with roads to facilitate trade.