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 Ancient Man and His First Civilizations


The Sargon legend

Two parts, this story plus a bit of Sargons own propaganda below it.



Segment A translation;

To ...... the sanctuary like a cargo-ship; to...... its great furnaces; to see that its canals ...... waters of joy, to see that the hoes till the arable tracts and that ...... the fields; to turn the house of Kic, which was like a haunted town, into a living settlement again -- its king, shepherd Ur- Zababa, rose like Utu over the house of Kic. An and Enlil, however, authoritatively (?) decided (?) by their holy command to alter his term of reigning and to remove the prosperity of the palace.


Then Sargon -- his city was the city of ......, his father was La'ibum, his mother ......., Sargon ...... with happy heart. Since he was born .......


unknown number of lines missing


Segment B

One day, after the evening had arrived and Sargon had brought the regular deliveries to the palace, Ur- Zababa was sleeping (and dreaming) in the holy bedchamber, his holy residence. He realized what the dream was about, but did not put it into words, did not discuss it with anyone. After Sargon had received the regular deliveries for the palace, Ur- Zababa appointed him cupbearer, putting him in charge of the drinks cupboard. Holy Inana did not cease to stand by him.


After five or ten days had passed, king Ur- Zababa ...... and became frightened in his residence. Like a lion he urinated, sprinkling his legs, and the urine contained blood and pus. He was troubled, he was afraid like a fish floundering in brackish water.


It was then that the cupbearer of Ezina's wine-house, Sargon, lay down not to sleep, but lay down to dream. In the dream, holy Inana drowned Ur- Zababa in a river of blood. The sleeping Sargon groaned and gnawed the ground. When king Ur- Zababa heard about this groaning, he was brought into the king's holy presence, Sargon was brought into the presence of Ur- Zababa (who said:) "Cupbearer, was a dream revealed to you in the night?" Sargon answered his king: "My king, this is my dream, which I will tell you about: There was a young woman, who was as high as the heavens and as broad as the earth. She was firmly set as the base of a wall. For me, she drowned you in a great river, a river of blood."


Ur- Zababa chewed his lips, he became seriously afraid. He spoke to ......, his chancellor: "My royal sister, holy Inana, is going to change (?) my finger into a ...... of blood; she will drown Sargon, the cupbearer, in the great river. Belic-tikal, chief smith, man of my choosing, who can write tablets, I will give you orders, let my orders be carried out! Let my advice be followed! Now then, when the cupbearer has delivered my bronze hand-mirror (?) to you, in the E-sikil, the fated house, throw them (the mirror and Sargon) into the mould like statues."


Belic-tikal heeded his king's words and prepared the moulds in the E-sikil, the fated house. The king spoke to Sargon: "Go and deliver my bronze hand-mirrors (?) to the chief smith!" Sargon left the palace of Ur- Zababa. Holy Inana, however, did not cease to stand at his right hand side, and before he had come within five or ten nindan of the E-sikil, the fated house, holy Inana turned around toward him and blocked his way, (saying:) "The E-sikil is a holy house! No one polluted with blood should enter it!" Thus he met the chief smith of the king only at the gate of the fated house. After he delivered the king's bronze hand-mirror(?) to the chief smith, Belic-tikal, the chief smith, ...... and threw it into the mould like statues.


After five or ten days had passed, Sargon came into the presence of Ur- Zababa, his king; he came into the palace, firmly founded like a great mountain. King Ur- Zababa ...... and became frightened in his residence. He realized what was it about, but did not put into words, did not discuss it with anyone. Ur- Zababa became frightened in the bed-chamber, his holy residence. He realized what was it about, but did not put into words, did not discuss it with anyone.


In those days, although writing words on tablets existed, putting tablets into envelopes did not yet exist. King Ur- Zababa dispatched Sargon, the creature of the gods, to Lugal-zage-si in Unug with a message written on clay, which was about murdering Sargon.


unknown number of lines missing


Segment C

With the wife of Lugal-zage-si ....... She (?) ...... her feminity as a shelter. Lugal-zage-si did not ...... the envoy. "Come! He directed his steps to brick-built E-ana!" Lugal-zage-si did not grasp it, he did not talk to the envoy. But as soon as he did talk to the envoy ....... The lord said "Alas!" and sat in the dust.


Lugal-zage-si replied to the envoy: "Envoy, Sargon does not yield."After he has submitted, Sargon ...... Lugal-zage-si ....... Sargon ...... Lugal-zage-si ....... Why ...... Sargon ......?




End of Tablet




The Legend of Sargon translation

Sargons own Propaganda


(Some parts missing)




1. Sargon, the mighty king, king of AkkadÍ am I,


2. My mother was lowly; my father I did not know;


3. The brother of my father dwelt in the mountain.


4. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the bank of the Purattu [Euphrates],


5. My lowly mother conceived me, in secret she brought me forth.


6. She placed me in a basket of reeds, she closed my entrance with bitumen,


7. She cast me upon the rivers which did not overflow me.


8. The river carried me, it brought me to Akki, the irrigator.


9. Akki, the irrigator, in the goodness of his heart lifted me out,


10. Akki, the irrigator, as his own son brought me up;


11. Akki, the irrigator, as his gardener appointed me.


12. When I was a gardener the goddess Ishtar loved me,


13. And for four years I ruled the kingdom.


14. The black-headed peoples I ruled, I governed;


15. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze I destroyed (?).


16. I ascended the upper mountains;


17. I burst through the lower mountains.


18. The country of the sea I besieged three times;


19. Dilmun I captured (?).


20. Unto the great Dur-ilu I went up, I . . . . . . . . .


21 . . . . . . . . . .I altered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


22. Whatsoever king shall be exalted after me,


23. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


24. Let him rule, let him govern the black-headed peoples;


25. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze let him destroy;


26. Let him ascend the upper mountains,


27. Let him break through the lower mountains;


28. The country of the sea let him besiege three times;


29. Dilmun let him capture;


30. To great Dur-ilu let him go up.


The rest is missing.





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