July 25

Ep. 0070: DHP Villains: Sargon of Akkad

Often described as the world’s first empire-builder, Sargon of Akkad may not entirely deserve that title.  But he’s the earliest empire-builder to achieve lasting notoriety.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • A brief excerpt from “The Legend of Sargon”
  • The historical context of ancient Mesopotamia and the Sumerians who peopled most of the southern part of the region which Sargon later conquered
  • Sargon’s rise from obscurity to the throne of Kish
  • His subsequent conquest of virtually all of Mesopotamia into one empire
  • The efforts of Sargon & his heirs to centralize their rule over this empire, with partial success
  • Sargon’s death, and a little bit about some of his successors, including Naram-Sin
  • Some thoughts about the degree to which Sargon was a prototype for many of the “great” rulers and conquerors who came later, and whether conventional notions of “greatness” might in fact have a tinge of psychopathy that serves the rulers’ interests

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Posted July 25, 2015 by profcj in category "Ancient History", "DHP Villains", "Podcasts


  1. By Halsingen on

    Interesting how Sargon’s name meant “the king is legitimate”.

    Is also Otto von Friesen’s thesis true, that the English title “King” (in German König or in Scandinavian languages Konung) is derived from the word “kona”, woman, meaning woman’s husband?


    The woman alluded to here, is the fertility goddess.

    If I understand him correct, it’s within the Germanic pagan natural religion, and the fertility cult, that the kingship have its roots?

    According to von Friesen, when the major holidays was celebrated it lied upon the “king” to practice sex before the people, with the goddess of fertility.

    The performance took place so the crops would grow, and the cattle multiply, and in the sexual intercourse with the goddess, he represented the people.


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