The northwestern territorial extent of Sargon's Empire of Akkad : studies on the royal inscriptions and the historical literary texts on the horizons of the historical geography
The principal aim of this research is to contribute to solving a widely debatable
question relating to the northwestern territorial extent of the empire of Akkad, indicated
by the royal inscriptions and the historical literary or epic texts, during the reign of Sargon.
It is unfortunately impossible to define its territorial extent with certainty. However, some
contributions toward solving this historical problem have made an attempt to identify the
places involved. The capital city of the empire of Akkad has still not been located. If we
were to discover its capital city of Agade, it would raise the great possibility that
excavations on the site might produce evidence, which could eventually define the question
of Sargon's supremacy over the northwest.
The same can be said for the locations of some northwestern places mentioned in
two different genres of the cuneiform texts, the royal inscriptions and the historical literary
or epic texts. According to these texts, Sargon may have had a sort of political or military
supremacy over some places beyond Mari in the northwest of Mesopotamia. However, we
still cannot identify the locations of some of these places. Again, if the locations of these
places can be identified, we may also expect the discovery of written and archaeological
evidence, which might answer this controversial question.
Chapter 1 considers the nature of the problems surrounding Sargon's territorial
expansion toward the northwest of Mesopotamia, in the light of both the royal
inscriptions and the historical literary or epic texts. We cite and consider the varying
scholarly opinions relating to this problem. Following chapter 1, we consider the
methodology for identifying the locations of the toponyms. We try to define the different
natures of a number of pieces of topographical information, dividing them into three
different genres: primary topographical information or evidence, secondary topographical
information or evidence, and supportive secondary topographical information or evidence.
We describe how to use these pieces of evidence with the so-called cartographic approach.
From chapter 3 onwards, we begin the actual investigation into the locations of the
toponyms. We start searching for the capital city of Agade. In chapters 4 to 7, we
investigate the locations of the toponyms, which are referred to in the royal inscriptions of
Sargon in relation to his northwestern political supremacy. These places are Tuttul, Iarmuti,
the Cedar Forest and the Silver Mountains. In Chapters 8 to 9, we investigate the locations
of two cities: Hassum and Purushanta, which are only mentioned by the historical literary
or eplc texts.
The inquiry concludes with chapter 10. We firstly sum up the possible location of
the city of Agade. Subsequently, we define the possible northwestern territorial extent of
Sargon's empire in relation to the locations of the northwestern toponyms mentioned in
the royal inscriptions, then we compare its extent with the locations of the northwestern
toponyms of the historical literary or epic texts and identify their geographical relation.
Finally, we consider the possibility of Sargon's visit in the northwest in relation to the
horizons of the historical geography of Sargon's Empire of Akkad.