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Akkad (or Agade) was a city and its region of northern Mesopotamia, (located in present-day Iraq) between Assyria to the northwest and Sumer to the south. It reached the height of its power between the 22nd and 18th centuries BC, before the rise of Babylonia. Akkad gave its name to the Akkadian language, reflecting use of akkadű ("in the language of Akkad") in the Old Babylonian period to denote the Semitic version of a Sumerian text.
The earliest records in Akkadian date to the time of Sargon of Akkad (23rd century BC). While Sargon is traditionally cited as the first ruler of a combined empire of Akkad and Sumer, more recent work suggests that a Sumerian expansion began under a previous king, Lugal-Zage-Si of Uruk. However, Sargon took this process further, conquering many of the surrounding regions to create an empire that reached as far as the Mediterranean Sea and Anatolia.
In the later Assyro-Babylonian literature the name Akkadu, together with Sumer, appears as part of the royal title, as in the non-Semitic lugal Kengi (ki) Uru (ki) or ar māt umeri u Akkadi, translating to "king of Sumer and Akkad", which appears to have meant simply "king of Babylonia".
The site of Akkad has not been identified, though texts from as late as the 6th century BC mention it, and its ruined buildings.
Origin of the Name
- And the beginning of his [Nimrod's] kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (KJV)
The name Agade is probably from the Sumerian language, appearing e.g. in the Sumerian king list, the later Assyro-Babylonian Semitic form Akkadű ("of or belonging to Akkad") probably being derived from Agade.
It is possible that the name AGA.DE means "Crown of Fire" in allusion to Ishtar, "the brilliant goddess", whose cult was observed in very early times in Agade. This is suggested by the writings of Nabonidus, whose record  mentions that Ishtar worship of Agade was later superceded by that of the goddess Anunit , whose shrine was at Sippar. It is significant in this connection that there were two cities named Sippar, one under the protection of Shamash, the sun-god, and one under Anunit,suggesting proximity of Sippar and Agade. One theory held (as of 1911) was that Agade was situated opposite Sippar on the left bank of the Euphrates, and was probably the oldest part of the city of Sippar.
- Prince, "Materials for a Sumerian Lexicon", pp. 23, 73, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1906.
- I. Rawl. 69, col. ii. 48 and iii. 28.
- A. Leo Oppenheim , Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization
- Akkad History: from The History of the Ancient Near East
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