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ACCAD ăk’ ăd (אַכַּ֣ד, LXX ̓Αρχαδ; meaning uncertain.)

Mentioned in Genesis 10:10 with Babylon, Erech and possibly Calneh (cf. KJV) as one of the major cities founded by Nimrod (q.v.) in the land of Shinar. The exact location of the remains of this ancient Babylonian city are today unknown, although some identify it with Tell Dēr, Tell Sheshubar or even Babylon itself. The date of the city’s foundation cannot be determined by extra-Biblical documents. As early as c. 2350 b.c. a dynasty founded by a king named Sargon flourished at Accad. This dynasty controlled all of S Babylonia and sent trade missions and military expeditions into Syria, Central Asia Minor and Elam. Although the dynasty lasted only two centuries it became symbolic to later generations of Babylonians as an ideal empire, a kind of “golden age” kingdom. Favorable to this trend was the etymology of Sargon’s name (“true king”). The geographical name Accad was later applied to the whole of N Babylonia, contrasting with Sumer (= S Babylonia). The term Accadian is not used by modern scholars to designate the speakers of the Babylonian language, but rather that language itself, the oldest written form of which stems from documents composed during the reign of Sargon of Accad.


F. Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies? (1881), 209f.; F. Hommel, Ethnologie und Geographie des alten Orient (1926), 400-410; E. Unger, “Akkad,” in Reallexikon der Assyriologie, I (1928), 62; H. Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient (1954), 41-46; C. J. Gadd, “The Dynasty of Agade and the Gutian Invasion,” in The Cambridge Ancient History, rev. ed., vol. I, ch. XIX (1963).

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