The Zhou dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty and preceded the Qin dynasty. The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history; the military control of China by the royal house, surnamed Ji, lasted from 1046 until 771 BC for a period known as the Western Zhou and the political sphere of influence it created continued well into Eastern Zhou for another 500 years. During the Zhou Dynasty, centralized power decreased throughout the Spring and Autumn period until the Warring States period in the last two centuries of the Zhou Dynasty. In this period, the Zhou court had little control over its constituent states that were at war with each other until the Qin state consolidated power and formed the Qin dynasty in 221 BC; the Zhou Dynasty had formally collapsed only 35 years earlier, although the dynasty had only nominal power at that point. This period of Chinese history produced; the Zhou dynasty spans the period in which the written script evolved into its almost-modern form with the use of an archaic clerical script that emerged during the late Warring States period.
According to Chinese mythology, the Zhou lineage began when Jiang Yuan, a consort of the legendary Emperor Ku, miraculously conceived a child, Qi "the Abandoned One", after stepping into the divine footprint of Shangdi. Qi was a culture hero credited with surviving three abandonments by his mother and with improving Xia agriculture, to the point where he was granted lordship over Tai and the surname Ji by his own Xia king and a posthumous name, Houji "Lord of Millet", by the Tang of Shang, he received sacrifice as a harvest god. The term Hòujì was a hereditary title attached to a lineage. Qi's son, or rather that of the Hòujì, Buzhu is said to have abandoned his position as Agrarian Master in old age and either he or his son Ju abandoned agriculture living a nomadic life in the manner of the Xirong and Rongdi. Ju's son Liu, led his people to prosperity by restoring agriculture and settling them at a place called Bin, which his descendants ruled for generations. Tai led the clan from Bin to Zhou, an area in the Wei River valley of modern-day Qishan County.
The duke passed over his two elder sons Taibo and Zhongyong to favor Jili, a warrior who conquered several Xirong tribes as a vassal of the Shang kings Wu Yi and Wen Ding before being treacherously killed. Taibo and Zhongyong had already fled to the Yangtze delta, where they established the state of Wu among the tribes there. Jili's son Wen moved the Zhou capital to Feng. Around 1046 BC, Wen's son Wu and his ally Jiang Ziya led an army of 45,000 men and 300 chariots across the Yellow River and defeated King Zhou of Shang at the Battle of Muye, marking the beginning of the Zhou dynasty; the Zhou enfeoffed a member of the defeated Shang royal family as the Duke of Song, held by descendants of the Shang royal family until its end. This practice was referred to Three Reverences. According to Nicholas Bodman, the Zhou appear to have spoken a language not different in vocabulary and syntax from that of the Shang. A recent study by David McCraw, using lexical statistics, reached the same conclusion.
The Zhou emulated extensively Shang cultural practices to legitimize their own rule, became the successors to Shang culture. At the same time, the Zhou may have been connected to the Xirong, a broadly defined cultural group to the west of the Shang, which the Shang regarded as tributaries. According to the historian Li Feng, the term "Rong" during the Western Zhou period was used to designate political and military adversaries rather than cultural and ethnic'others.' King Wu maintained the old capital for ceremonial purposes but constructed a new one for his palace and administration nearby at Hao. Although Wu's early death left a young and inexperienced heir, the Duke of Zhou assisted his nephew King Cheng in consolidating royal power. Wary of the Duke of Zhou's increasing power, the "Three Guards", Zhou princes stationed on the eastern plain, rose in rebellion against his regency. Though they garnered the support of independent-minded nobles, Shang partisans and several Dongyi tribes, the Duke of Zhou quelled the rebellion, further expanded the Zhou Kingdom into the east.
To maintain Zhou authority over its expanded territory and prevent other revolts, he set up the fengjian system. Furthermore, he countered Zhou's crisis of legitimacy by expounding the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven while accommodating important Shang rituals at Wangcheng and Chengzhou. Over time, this decentralized system became strained as the familial relationships between the Zhou kings and the regional dynasties thinned over the generations. Peripheral territories developed local prestige on par with that of the Zhou; when King You demoted and exiled his Jiang queen in favor of the beautiful commoner Bao Si, the disgraced queen's father the Marquis of Shen joined with Zeng and the Quanrong barbarians to sack Hao in 771 BC. Some modern scholars have surmised that the sack of Haojing might have been connected to a Scythian raid from the Altai before their westward expansion. With King You dead, a conclave of nobles declared the Marquis's grandson King Ping; the capital was moved eastward to Wangcheng, marking the end of the "Western Zhou" and the beginning of the "Eastern Zhou" dynasty.
The Eastern Zhou was characterized by an accelerating collapse of royal authority, although the king's ritual importance allowed over five more cent
David and Jonathan
David and Jonathan were heroic figures of the Kingdom of Israel, who formed a covenant recorded in the books of Samuel. Jonathan was the son of Saul, king of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, David was the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, of the tribe of Judah, Jonathan's presumed rival for the crown. David became king; the covenant the two men had formed led to David, after Jonathan's death, graciously seating Jonathan's son Mephibosheth at his own royal table instead of eradicating the former king Saul's line. The biblical text does not explicitly depict the nature of the relationship between David and Jonathan; the traditional and mainstream religious interpretation of the relationship has been one of platonic love and an example of homosociality. Some Medieval and Renaissance literature drew upon the story to underline strong personal friendships between men, some of which involved romantic love and could be described as romantic relationships. In modern times, some scholars and activists have emphasized elements of homoeroticism in the story.
A number of groups made up of gay Roman Catholics trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality have adopted the name - Davide e Gionata, David et Jonathan. The relationship between David and Jonathan is covered in the Hebrew Bible Book of Samuel; the episodes belong to the story of David's ascent to power, regarded as one of the sources of the Deuteronomistic history, to its additions. David, the youngest son of Jesse, slays Goliath at the Valley of Elah where the Philistine army is in a standoff with the army of King Saul. David's victory begins a rout of the Philistines who are driven back to the gates of Ekron. Abner brings David to Saul. Jonathan, the eldest son of Saul, has been fighting the Philistines. Jonathan takes an immediate liking to David and the two form a covenant: Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul did not let him return to his father's house. Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
Jonathan stripped himself of the robe, on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, prospered; as Saul continues to pursue David, the pair renews their covenant, after which they do not meet again. Saul and David are reconciled. Jonathan, however, is slain on Mt. Gilboa along with his two brothers Abinadab and Malchi-shua, there Saul commits suicide. David learns of Saul and Jonathan's death and chants a lament, which in part says: Saul and Jonathan and pleasant in their life, And in their death they were not parted. How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places. I am distressed for you. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women. How have the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished! "The sages characterized the relationship between Jonathan and David in the following Mishnah: “Whenever love depends on some selfish end, when the end passes away, the love passes away.
Which love depended on a selfish end? This was the love of Tamar, and which did not depend on a selfish end? This was the love of David and Jonathan." Rabbi Shimon ben Tzemach Duran delineated the significance of this mishnah: “Anyone who establishes a friendship for access to power, money, or sexual relations. A platonic interpretation for the relationship between David and Jonathan has been the mainstream view found in biblical exegesis, as led by Christian writers; this argues that the relationship between the two, although strong and close, is a platonic friendship. The covenant, made is political, not erotic. David and Jonathan's love is understood as the intimate camaraderie between two young soldiers with no sexual involvement; the books of Samuel do not document physical intimacy between the two characters aside from "kissing," while the euphemisms the Bible uses for sexual relations are missing, nothing indicates that David and Jonathan slept together. Neither of the men is described as having problems in their heterosexual married life.
David had an abundance of wives and concubines as well as an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, suffered impotence only as an old man, while Jonathan had a five-year-old son at his death. In response to the argument that homoeroticism was edited out, some traditionalists who subscribe to the Documentary Hypothesis note the significance of the lack of censoring of the descriptions at issue, in spite of the Levitical injunctions against homoerotic contact. Gagnon notes, "The narrator’s willingness to speak of David’s vigorous heterosexual life puts in stark relief his complete silence about any sexual activity between David and Jonathan."Presuming such editing would have taken place, Martti Nissinen comments, "Their mutual love was regarded by the editors
Concubinage is an interpersonal and sexual relationship in which the couple are not or cannot be married. The inability to marry may be due to multiple factors such as differences in social rank status, an existing marriage, religious or professional prohibitions, or a lack of recognition by appropriate authorities; the woman or man in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine. In Judaism, a concubine is a marital companion of inferior status to a wife. A concubine among polygamous peoples is a secondary wife of inferior rank; the prevalence of concubinage and the status of rights and expectations of a concubine have varied among cultures, as have the rights of children of a concubine. Whatever the status and rights of the concubine, they were always inferior to those of the wife and neither she nor her children had rights of inheritance. Concubinage was entered into voluntarily as it provided a measure of economic security for the woman. Involuntary or servile concubinage sometimes involved sexual slavery of one member of the relationship the woman.
Sexual relations outside marriage were not uncommon among royalty and nobility, the woman in such relationships was described as a mistress. The children of such relationships were counted as illegitimate and were barred from inheriting the father's title or estates in the absence of legitimate heirs. While forms of long-term sexual relationships and co-habitation short of marriage have become common in the Western world, these are not described as concubinage; the terms concubinage and concubine are used today when referring to non-marital partnerships of earlier eras. In modern usage, a non-marital domestic relationship is referred to as co-habitation, the woman in such a relationship is referred to as a girlfriend, fiancée, lover or life partner. Concubinage was popular before the early 20th century all over East Asia; the main function of concubinage was producing additional heirs, as well as bringing males pleasure. Children of concubines had lower rights in account to inheritance, regulated by the Dishu system.
In China, successful men had concubines until the practice was outlawed when the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949. The standard Chinese term translated as "concubine" was qiè 妾, a term, used since ancient times, which means "concubine. Concubinage resembled marriage in that concubines were recognized sexual partners of a man and were expected to bear children for him. Unofficial concubines are of lower status, their children are considered illegitimate; the English term concubine is used for what the Chinese refer to as pínfēi, or "consorts of emperors", an official position carrying a high rank. In premodern China it was illegal and disreputable for a man to have more than one wife at a time, but it was acceptable to have concubines. In the earliest records a man could have as many concubines. From the Eastern Han period onward, the number of concubines a man could have was limited by law; the higher rank and the more noble identity a man possessed, the more concubines he was permitted to have.
A concubine's treatment and situation was variable and was influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was attached, as well as the attitude of his wife. In the Book of Rites chapter on "The Pattern of the Family" it says, “If there were betrothal rites, she became a wife. Wives brought a dowry to a relationship. A concubinage relationship could be entered into without the ceremonies used in marriages, neither remarriage nor a return to her natal home in widowhood were allowed to a concubine; the position of the concubine was inferior to that of the wife. Although a concubine could produce heirs, her children would be inferior in social status to a wife's children, although they were of higher status than illegitimate children; the child of a concubine had to show filial duty to two women, their biological mother and their legal mother—the wife of their father. After the death of a concubine, her sons would make an offering to her, but these offerings were not continued by the concubine's grandsons, who only made offerings to their grandfather’s wife.
There are early records of concubines being buried alive with their masters to "keep them company in the afterlife". Until the Song dynasty, it was considered a serious breach of social ethics to promote a concubine to a wife. During the Qing dynasty, the status of concubines improved, it became permissible to promote a concubine to wife, if the original wife had died and the concubine was the mother of the only surviving sons. Moreover, the prohibition against forcing a widow to remarry was extended to widowed concubines. During this period tablets for concubine-mothers seem to have been more placed in family ancestral altars, genealogies of some lineages listed concubine-mothers. Imperial concubines, kept by emperors in the Forbidden City, had different ranks and were traditionally guarded by eunuchs to ensure that they could not be impregnated by anyone but the emperor. In Ming China there was an official system to select concubines for the emperor; the age of the candidates ranged from 14 to 16.
Virtues, character and body condition were the selection criteria. Despite the limitations imposed on Chinese concubines, there are several examples in history
Tukulti-Ninurta I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. He is known as the first king known to use the title "King of Kings" Tukulti-Ninurta I succeeded Shalmaneser I, his father, as king and won a major victory against the Hittite Empire at the Battle of Nihriya in the first half of his reign, appropriating Hittite territory in Asia Minor and the Levant. Tukulti-Ninurta I retained Assyrian control of Urartu, defeated Kashtiliash IV, the Kassite king of Babylonia, captured the rival city of Babylon to ensure full Assyrian supremacy over Mesopotamia, he set himself up as king of Babylon, thus becoming the first native Mesopotamian to rule there, its previous kings having all been non-native Amorites or Kassites. He took on the ancient title "King of Akkad" first used by Sargon of Akkad. Tukulti-Ninurta had petitioned the god Shamash before beginning his counter offensive. Kashtiliash IV was captured, single-handed by Tukulti-Ninurta according to his account, who "trod with my feet upon his lordly neck as though it were a footstool" and deported him ignominiously in chains to Assyria.
The victorious Assyrian demolished the walls of Babylon, massacred many of the inhabitants and plundered his way across the city to the Esagila temple, where he made off with the statue of Marduk. After capturing Babylonia, he invaded the Arabian Peninsula, conquering the pre-Arab states of Dilmun and Meluhha. Middle Assyrian texts recovered at ancient Dūr-Katlimmu include a letter from Tukulti-Ninurta to his sukkal rabi'u, or grand vizier, Ashur-iddin advising him of the approach of his general Shulman-mushabshu escorting the captive Kashtiliash, his wife, his retinue which incorporated a large number of women, on his way to exile after his defeat. In the process he defeated the Elamites, he wrote an epic poem documenting his wars against Babylon and Elam. After a Babylonian revolt, he raided and plundered the temples in Babylon, regarded as an act of sacrilege to all Mesopotamians, including Assyrians; as relations with the priesthood in Ashur began deteriorating, Tukulti-Ninurta built a new capital city.
However, his sons besieged him in his new city. During the siege, he was murdered. One of them, Ashur-nadin-apli, would succeed him on the throne. After his death, the Assyrian Empire fell into a brief period of stagnation; the Tukulti-Ninurta Epic describes the war between Tukulti-Ninurta I and Kashtiliash IV. Assyrian origins: discoveries at Ashur on the Tigris: antiquities in the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries, which contains material on Tukulti-Ninurta I
Battle of Gibeah
The Battle of Gibeah is an episode related in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible. The battle was triggered by an incident in which the concubine of a Levite was raped and abused by members of the Tribe of Benjamin and died; the Levite had offered his concubine to the mob in his place. In the morning he found the concubine unresponsive on the doorstep, he cut her body into twelve pieces, sent the pieces throughout all the territories of the Israelite tribes. The outraged tribes of Israel sought justice, asked for the miscreants to be delivered for judgement; the Benjamites refused, so the tribes sought vengeance, in the subsequent war, the members of Tribe of Benjamin were systematically killed, including women and children. The first king of Israel, was descended from these surviving men. Due to this war, the Tribe of Benjamin was subsequently referred to as "the smallest of all the tribes." A Levite from the mountains of Ephraim had a concubine, who left him and returned to the house of her father in Bethlehem in Judah.
Heidi M. Szpek observes that this story serves to support the institution of monarchy, the choice of the locations of Ephraim and Bethlehem, are not accidental. According to the King James Version and the New International Version, the concubine was unfaithful to the Levite. Rabbinical interpretations say that the woman was both fearful and angry with her husband and left because he was selfish, putting his comfort before his wife and their relationship, the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges argues that the translation as'angry' "suits the context, which implies a quarrel, but not unfaithfulness, on the woman’s part"; the Levite travelled to Bethlehem to retrieve her, for five days her father managed to persuade him to delay their departure. On the fifth day, the Levite declined to postpone their journey any longer, they set out late in the day; as they approach Jebus, the servant suggested they stop for the night, but the Levite refused to stay in a Jebusite city, they continued on to Gibeah.
J. P. Fokkelman argues that Judges 19:11–14 is a chiasm, which hinges on the Levite referring to Jebus as "a town of aliens who are not of Israel." In doing this, the narrator is hinting at the "rancid group egotism" of the Levite. Yet, it is not the "aliens" of Jebus who Benjaminites in Gibeah, they arrive in Gibeah just at nightfall. The Levite and his party wait in the public square, but no one offers to extend the customary hospitality. An old man came in from working in the field and inquired as to their situation. He, too had lived among the Benjaminites for some time, he invited them to spend the night at his house rather than the open square. He brought him into his house, gave fodder to the donkeys. Certain men of the city surrounded the house and beat on the door, they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him." “To know” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse here, as in other biblical texts and as the NRSV translates it.
The Ephraimite host offers instead the Levite's concubine. Ken Stone observes, "Apparently the sexual violation of women was considered less shameful than that of men, at least in the eyes of other men; such an attitude reflects both the social subordination of women and the fact that homosexual rape was viewed as a severe attack on male honor." When the men would not be dissuaded, the Levite thrust the concubine out the door. They abused her all night, not letting her go until dawn, when she collapsed outside the door, where the Levite found her the next morning. Finding her unresponsive, he continued his journey home; the account does not state where the woman died. Upon his return, he carved up her body into twelve pieces which he sent to all the Israelite tribes, demanding revenge. Outraged, the confederated tribes mobilized to demand justice and gathered a combined force of about 400,000 confederated Israelites at Mizpah, they sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, demanding that they deliver up the men who committed the crime to be executed, but the Benjaminites refused and decided to go to war to defend the men of Gibeah instead.
They gathered a rebel Benjaminite force of 26,000 to defend Gibeah. According to Judges 20:16, among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss; when the Tribe of Benjamin refused to surrender the guilty parties, the rest of the tribes marched on Gibeah. On the first day of battle the confederated Israelite tribes suffered heavy losses. On the second day Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah and cut down thousands of the confederated Israelite swordsmen; the confederated Israelites went up to the house of God. They fasted that day until evening, and the Lord said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand."On the thir
The Yellow Emperor known as the Yellow Thearch, the Yellow God or the Yellow Lord, or by his Chinese name Huangdi, is a deity in Chinese religion, one of the legendary Chinese sovereigns and culture heroes included among the mytho-historical Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors and cosmological Five Forms of the Highest Deity. First calculated by Jesuit missionaries on the basis of Chinese chronicles and accepted by the twentieth-century promoters of a universal calendar starting with the Yellow Emperor, Huangdi's traditional reign dates are 2697–2597 or 2698–2598 BCE. Huangdi's cult became prominent in the late Warring States and early Han dynasty, when he was portrayed as the originator of the centralized state, as a cosmic ruler, as a patron of esoteric arts. A large number of texts – such as the Huangdi Neijing, a medical classic, the Huangdi Sijing, a group of political treatises – were thus attributed to him. Having waned in influence during most of the imperial period, in the early twentieth century Huangdi became a rallying figure for Han Chinese attempts to overthrow the rule of the Qing dynasty, which they considered foreign because its emperors were Manchu people.
To this day the Yellow Emperor remains a powerful symbol within Chinese nationalism. Traditionally credited with numerous inventions and innovations – ranging from the Chinese calendar to an ancestor of football – the Yellow Emperor is now regarded as the initiator of Chinese culture, said to be the ancestor of all Chinese; until 221 BCE when Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty coined the title huangdi – conventionally translated as "emperor" – to refer to himself, the character di 帝 did not refer to earthly rulers but to the highest god of the Shang dynasty pantheon. In the Warring States period, the term di on its own could refer to the deities associated with the five Sacred Mountains of China and colors. Huangdi, the "yellow di", was one of the latter. To emphasize the religious meaning of di in pre-imperial times, historians of early China translate the god's name as "Yellow Thearch" and the first emperor's title as "August Thearch", in which "thearch" refers to a godly ruler. In the late Warring States period, the Yellow Emperor was integrated into the cosmological scheme of the Five Phases, in which the color yellow represents the earth phase, the Yellow Dragon, the center.
The correlation of the colors in association with different dynasties was mentioned in the Lüshi Chunqiu, where the Yellow Emperor's reign was seen to be governed by earth. The character huang 黄 was used in place of the homophonous huang 皇, which means "august" or "radiant", giving Huangdi attributes close to those of Shangdi, the Shang supreme god; the Records of the Grand Historian, compiled by Sima Qian in the first century BCE, gives the Yellow Emperor's name as "Xuan Yuan". Third-century scholar Huangfu Mi, who wrote a work on the sovereigns of antiquity, commented that Xuanyuan was the name of a hill where Huangdi had lived and that he took as a name; the Qing dynasty scholar Liang Yusheng argued instead that the hill was named after the Yellow Emperor. Xuanyuan is the name of the star Regulus in Chinese, the star being associated with Huangdi in traditional astronomy, he is associated to the broader constellations Leo and Lynx, of which the latter is said to represent the body of the Yellow Dragon, Huangdi's animal form.
Huangdi was referred to as "Youxiong". This name has been interpreted as either a clan name. According to British sinologist Herbert Allen Giles, that name was "taken from that of hereditary principality". William Nienhauser, a modern translator of the Records of the Grand Historian, states that Huangdi was the head of the Youxiong clan, which lived near what is now Xinzheng in Henan. Rémi Mathieu, a French historian of Chinese myths and religion, translates "Youxiong" as "possessor of bears" and links Huangdi to the broader theme of the bear in world mythology. Ye Shuxian has associated the Yellow Emperor with bear legends common across northeast Asia people as well as the Dangun legend. In Han dynasty texts the Yellow Emperor is called upon as the "Yellow God". Certain accounts interpret him as the incarnation of the "Yellow God of the Northern Dipper", another name of the universal god. According to a definition in apocryphal texts related to the Hétú 河圖, the Yellow Emperor "proceeds from the essence of the Yellow God".
As a cosmological deity, the Yellow Emperor is known as the "Great Emperor of the Central Peak", in the Shizi as the "Yellow Emperor with Four Faces". In old accounts the Yellow Emperor is identified as a deity of light and thunder, as one and the same with the "Thunder God", who in turn, as a mythological character, is distinguished as the Yellow Emperor's foremost pupil, such as in the Huangdi Neijing; the Chinese historian Sima Qian – and much Chinese historiography following him – considered the Yellow Emperor to be a more historical figure than earlier legendary figures such as Fu Xi, Nüwa, Shennong. Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian begins with the Yellow Emperor, while passing over the others. Throughout most of Chinese history, the Yellow Emperor and the other ancient sages were considered to be historical figures, their historicity started to be questioned in the 1920s by historians such as Gu Jiegang, one of the founde
Sargon of Akkad
Sargon of Akkad known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire, known for his conquests of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BC. He was the founder of the "Sargonic" or "Old Akkadian" dynasty, which ruled for about a century after his death until the Gutian conquest of Sumer; the Sumerian king list makes him the cup-bearer to king Ur-Zababa of Kish. His empire is thought to have included most of Mesopotamia, parts of the Levant, besides incursions into Hurrite and Elamite territory, ruling from his capital, Akkad. Sargon appears as a legendary figure in Neo-Assyrian literature of the 8th to 7th centuries BC. Tablets with fragments of a Sargon Birth Legend were found in the Library of Ashurbanipal; the Akkadian name is normalized as either Šarru-kēn. The name's cuneiform spelling is variously šar-ru-gen6, šar-ru-ki-in, šar-ru-um-ki-in. In Late Assyrian references, the name is spelled as LUGAL-GI. NA or LUGAL-GIN, i.e. identical to the name of the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II.
The spelling Sargon is derived from the single mention of the name in the Hebrew Bible, as סַרְגוֹן, in Isaiah 20:1. The first element in the name is šarru, the Akkadian for "king"; the second element is derived from the verb kīnum "to confirm, establish". A possible interpretation of the reading Šarru-ukīn is "the king has established" or "he has established the king"; such a name would however be unusual. There is some debate over whether the name was a birth name; the reading Šarru-kēn has been interpreted adjectivally. The terms "Pre-Sargonic" and "Post-Sargonic" were used in Assyriology based on the chronologies of Nabonidus before the historical existence of Sargon of Akkad was confirmed; the form Šarru-ukīn was known from the Assyrian Sargon Legend discovered in 1867 in Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh. A contemporary reference to Sargon thought to have been found on the cylinder seal of Ibni-sharru, a high-ranking official serving under Sargon. Joachim Menant published a description of this seal in 1877, reading the king's name as Shegani-shar-lukh, did not yet identify it with "Sargon the Elder".
In 1883, the British Museum acquired the "mace-head of Shar-Gani-sharri", a votive gift deposited at the temple of Shamash in Sippar. This "Shar-Gani" was identified with the Sargon of Agade of Assyrian legend; the identification of "Shar-Gani-sharri" with Sargon was recognised as mistaken in the 1910s. Shar-Gani-sharri is, in Sargon's great-grandson, the successor of Naram-Sin, it is not clear whether the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II was directly named for Sargon of Akkad, as there is some uncertainty whether his name should be rendered Šarru-ukīn or as Šarru-kēn. Primary sources pertaining to Sargon are sparse. Here, Sargon is mentioned as the son of former cup-bearer of Ur-Zababa of Kish, he took it to his own city of Akkad. Various copies of the king list give the duration of his reign as either 55 or 56 years. In absolute years, his reign would correspond to ca. 2340–2284 BC in the Middle Chronology. His successors until the Gutian conquest of Sumer are known as the "Sargonic Dynasty" and their rule as the "Sargonic Period" of Mesopotamian history.
Foster argued that the reading of 55 years as the duration of Sargon's reign was, in fact, a corruption of an original interpretation of 37 years. An older version of the king list gives Sargon's reign as lasting for 40 years. Thorkild Jacobsen marked the clause about Sargon's father being a gardener as a lacuna, indicating his uncertainty about its meaning. Ur-Zababa and Lugal-zage-si are both listed as kings, but separated by several additional named rulers of Kish, who seem to have been governors or vassals under the Akkadian Empire; the claim that Sargon was the original founder of Akkad has been called into question with the discovery of an inscription mentioning the place and dated to the first year of Enshakushanna, who certainly preceded him. The Weidner Chronicle states that it was Sargon who "built Babylon in front of Akkad." The Chronicle of Early Kings states that late in his reign, Sargon "dug up the soil of the pit of Babylon, made a counterpart of Babylon next to Agade." Van de Mieroop suggested that those two chronicles may refer to the much Assyrian king, Sargon II of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, rather than to Sargon of Akkad.
Sargon became the subject of legendary narratives describing his rise to power from humble origins and his conquest of Mesopotamia in Assyrian and Babylonian literature. Apart from these secondary, legendary, there are many inscriptions due to Sargon himself, although the majority of these are known only from much copies; the Louvre has fragments of two Sargonic victory steles recovered from Susa. Sargon appears to have promoted the use of Semitic in inscriptions, he calls himself "king of Akkad" first, after the city of Akkad which he founded. He appears to have taken over the rule of Kish at some point, also much of Mesopotamia, referr