Sargon II

died 705 B.C., king of Assyria 722-705.

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died 705 BC

Assyrian king (r. 721–705 BC).

He continued the empire-building work of his presumed father, Tiglath-pileser III. One of his aims was to prove the might of the Assyrian god Ashur by enlarging the empire he had inherited. His conquests ranged from southern Babylonia to Armenia and the Mediterranean. He probably died in battle in northwestern Persia. His son, Sennacherib, succeeded him.

Sargon II, detail of a relief from the palace at Khorsabad; in the Louvre, Paris

By courtesy of the Musee du Louvre, Paris; photograph, Maurice Chuzeville

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▪ king of Assyria

died 705 BC
 one of Assyria's (Assyria) great kings (reigned 721–705 BC) during the last century of its history. He extended and consolidated the conquests of his presumed father, Tiglath-pileser III.

      Sargon is the Hebrew rendering (Isaiah 20:1) of Assyrian Sharru-kin, a throne name meaning “the king is legitimate.” The name was undoubtedly chosen in reminiscence of two former kings of Assyria, particularly in commemoration of Sargon of Akkad (flourished 2300 BC).

      Although Sargon's ancestry is partly veiled in mystery, he was probably a younger son of Tiglath-pileser III and consequently a brother of his predecessor Shalmaneser V, who may have died ignominiously or may have been deposed. It was for Sargon to resume the conquests and to improve the administration of the empire his father had begun to assemble.

      Upon his accession to the throne, he was faced immediately with three major problems: dealing with the Chaldean (Chaldea) and Aramaean chieftainships in the southern parts of Babylonia, with the kingdom of Urartu and the peoples to the north in the Armenian highlands, and with Syria and Palestine. By and large, these were the conquests made by Tiglath-pileser III. Sargon's problem was not only to maintain the status quo but to make further conquests to prove the might of the god Ashur, the national god of the Assyrian empire.

      When Sargon succeeded to the Assyrian throne, Marduk-apal-iddina II (Merodach-Baladan II) (Merodach-Baladan of the Old Testament), a dissident chieftain of the Chaldean tribes in the marshes of southern Babylonia, committed the description of his victory over the invading Assyrian armies (720 BC) to writing on a clay cylinder, which he deposited in the city of Uruk (biblical Erech; modern Tall al-Warkāʾ). The presence of this record obviously did not suit Sargon. After having discharged other commitments, he uncovered Marduk-apal-iddina's record and removed it to his own residence, then at Kalakh (modern Nimrūd), substituting what has been described as an “improved” version that was more to his liking.

      The extant texts reveal little about Sargon himself. With few exceptions, ancient Mesopotamian rulers have left no documents from which to write an actual biography. No personal documents have survived from Sargon's reign; but it seems fair to assume that phraseologies uncommon in the inscriptions of other Assyrian kings, found in his texts, must have met with his approval, even though it is uncertain whether such phrases—sometimes turning into what is obviously poetry—were in fact conceived by Sargon himself or ascribed to him by his historiographers. The discovery, at Nimrūd (Calah), of a series of omens, the texts of which are written in cuneiform on beeswax encased in ivory and walnut boards and marked as being the property of the palace of Sargon, perhaps also throws some light on Sargon the man. Although he may not have introduced the method of recording cuneiform texts on wax, this novel method of committing texts to writing apparently took his fancy. This assumption tallies well with the interest he took in the engineering projects undertaken in cities he conquered. Sargon's palace at Khorsabad (Dur Sharrukin) was dedicated in 706 BC, less than a year before he died.

      An unparalleled record of Sargon's eighth campaign (714 BC)—in the form of a letter to the god Ashur—has been recovered. According to this letter, Sargon, in 714, led the Assyrian armies from Kalakh, which at the time was still his residence, into the areas around modern As-Sulaimānīyah in Iraqi Kurdistan and into the highlands of the Zagros range beyond. His purpose was to come to the aid of allies of the Assyrian realm who were threatened by Rusa I, a king of Urartu and a bitter enemy of Assyria. During the progress of this campaign, the author of the account visualized, or anticipated, the reactions of his adversary as, from a mountain, he watched the approach of the Assyrian armies. The passage, like many others in this unique text, constitutes an ingenious stylistic device unparalleled in Assyrian historical literature. The phraseology employed by the author is original by Mesopotamian standards as they are known today: inventive, resourceful, testifying to a fertile mind, and clearly deviating from the commonplace platitudes that mostly characterize the standard accounts of Assyrian kings. Whether or not Sargon himself is responsible for the wording of this narrative, it is to his credit that an account of this nature emerged from his chancery, with his approval and endorsement. Sargon is assumed to have died in battle in 705.

Jorgen Laessoe
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sargon II. — Sargon II. und ein Würdenträger Šarrum ken II., auch biblisch Sargon II., (Scharrum ken, Sarrum ken), von 721 v. Chr. bis 705 v. Chr. König des neuassyrischen Reiches und Namensgeber der Sargoniden Dynastie . Er führte den Titel Statthalter des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sargon II — ( Akkadian Šarru kinu legitimate king , reigned 722 – 705 BC) was an Assyrian king. Sargon II became co regent with Shalmaneser V in 722 BC, and became the sole ruler of the kingdom of Assyria in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V. It is not …   Wikipedia

  • Sargon — may refer to: Persons *Sargon of Akkad (Šarrukînu, also known as Sargon the Great , Sargon I ), Mesopotamian king, founder of the city of Agade and the Akkadian dynasty, unifier of Sumer and Akkad (2334 BC 2279 BC). *Sargon I, Assyrian king (r.… …   Wikipedia

  • Sargon — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Sargon Información personal Origen Barcelona, España …   Wikipedia Español

  • SARGON II — (Heb. סַרְגּוֹן), king of Assyria and Babylonia,(722–705 B.C.E.), successor of Shalmaneser V, and father of sennacherib . There are conflicting opinions among scholars as to whether or not he was a son of Tiglath Pileser III. The circumstances… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sargón II — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bajorrelieve del palacio de Sargón en Dur Sharrakin (Khorsabad) Museo del Louvre Sargón II (ܣܪܓܘܢ en siríaco) (722 a. C. 705 a. C.) Sargón (heb. Sargôn, quizá príncipe del sol o él establece al …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sargon — (Scharru kin oder Šarrum kēn/Scharrum kēn, altakkadisch „Der König ist legitim“ oder „legitimer König“) ist der Name folgender mesopotamischer Herrscher: Sargon von Akkad Sargon I. von Assyrien., siehe Šarrum ken I. Sargon II. von Assyrien Sargon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Sargon I — was a king of the old Assyrian Kingdom and reigned from ca. 1920 BC 1881 BC. Not to be confused with the Akkadian Sargon of Akkad. Limmu officials by yearAnnual limmu officials from the year of accession of Šarru kin to his death. [Klaas R.… …   Wikipedia

  • Sargon I. — Sargon I. bezeichnet folgende Personen: Šarrum ken I., assyrischer König Sargon von Akkad, Dynastiebegründer und König von Akkad (falsch verwendete Bezeichnung) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sargon — [sär′gän΄] 1. fl. c. 2300 B.C.; founder of the Akkadian kingdom 2. Sargon II died 705 B.C.; king of Assyria (722 705) …   English World dictionary

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