Old Assyrian Sargon legend


Artifact: Clay tablet
Provenience: Kültepe
Period: Old Assyrian (ca. 1950-1835 BC)
Current location: Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi, Ankara (Kt j/k 0097)
Text genre, language: Literary; Akkadian

Description: The fame of the Old Akkadian king Sargon even reached the Assyrian merchants settled in the lower town of Kültepe/Kaneš. This is a unique composition, written with the Old Assyrian script and dialect. Some authors take this text at face value and read it as a “laudatory royal inscription,” whereas others see it as a “parody of inscriptions or legends about Sargon”, full of wordplays and puns, e.g. so is Sargon's running referred by the time it takes to dissolve an inscription on a clay brick when thrown into water. Upon defeat of the various cities Sargon states that he daily had to slaughter 7000 animals to feed his troops. His warriors take part in a large feast, but the meat does not suffice. So, the ox of the host needed to be slaughtered. CDLI page


Lineart: Archivum Anatolicum 3, 152-153


Editions: Günbattı, C. 1997. “Kültepe'den Akadli Sargon'a âit bir tablet,” Archivum Anatolicum 3, 131 - 155; Van de Mieroop, M. 2000. “Sargon of Agade and his successors in Anatolia,” Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici Fasc. 42/1, 133 - 59. A. Cavigneaux, “Les soirées sargoniques des marchands assyriens, » in A. Kolde, A. Lukinovich & A.-L. Rey, Mélanges offerts à André Hurst, Genève, 2005, p. 595-602 ; Dercksen, J. G. Adad is King ! The Sargon Text from Kültepe (with an appendix on MARV 4, 138; and 140), JEOL 39, p. 107-129; Foster, B. Before the Muses. An Anthology of Akkadian Literature, Third Edition, Bethesda, 2005, p. 71-75; Alster, B. & Oshima, T. 2007, Sargonic Dinner at Kaneš: The Old Assyrian Sargon Legend, Iraq 69, p. 1-20; Westenholz, J. G., Notes on the Old Assyrian Sargon Legend, Iraq 69, 2007, p. 21-27.


Photo: F. Kulakoğlu & S. Kangal, Anatolia’s Prologue, Kültepe Kanesh Karum. Assyrians in Istanbul, Kayseri, 2010, p. 324, no. 409; Archivum Anatolicum 3, p. 154-155.

(Cécile Michel)

old_assyrian_sargon_legend.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/18 12:04 by gombert
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