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Showing posts from February, 2020

Episode 21 - Akkad 5 Surpassing Sargon with Naram-Sin

Who was the greatest king of the Akkadian Empire? Today I make the case for Naram-Sin, who brought the empire to the high water mark and really solidified everything his grandfather had worked to build, as well as creating his own innovations. He isn't well remembered by history, thanks to his tremendous hubris, but listen to his accomplishments and ask yourself if maybe his hubris was at least a bit justified.

Episode 20 - Akkad 4 Sargon, the Next Generation

Sargon had two sons and both will sit on the throne. Rimush will do all the work, while Manishtushu will enjoy all the rewards. Both are fairly interesting on their own, but suffer from being the interlude between two fascinating characters, Sargon and Naram-sin, and thus are less remembered then they perhaps deserve.

Episode 19 - Akkad 3 Sargon at war

Here is the meat of the Sargon Legend, his conquests. But he wasn't just conquering for the sake of conquest, his empire was formed from a vision which shows his very deep understanding of logistics, international trade, economies of scale. And all this, as we will see, is what makes his kingdom the world's first empire. I put in a little promotion for the History of Persia podcast because it is pretty neat. I don't plan on advertising on this show unless I have enough audience to quit my day job, which is a long way away, but I do want to promote other shows you may be interested in. Anyway, click the link to check it out. There is a whole lot of uncertainty in nearly every line of today's show. For me, the line between myth and history, especially in this early period, is super blurry, and I almost think it is a distinction that simply didn't exist in these times. And so I am perfectly content with treating this first as a story and only secondarily as an

Episode 18 - Akkad 2 Sargon at Peace

What did Akkadian power look like on the ground, and what did daily life look like for the average Sumerian during this period? Today I will use the occasion of the rise of the Akkadian Empire to pause and look at the human condition below that of gods and kings, since there are now enough sources to put together that we can at least sketch these things for the first time in human history. Not much story this week, just discussion of how things were. We will return to the story of the grand sweep of the empire next week. Where was Akkad? No one even knows. But in the map below, it is almost certainly somewhere in a box between modern Baghdad and ancient Kish, on either the Tigris or Euphrates rivers. That location was strategically critical since it meant Sargon could easily send men down either river, downstream being easier than upstream, with commands or weapons at relatively short notice. This in addition to his road network puts him in a strong central location for governing