SARGON VERSUS MOSES
A STORY OF CULTURAL ADOPTION
Our article is about the resemblences of the Legends of Jewish Prophet Moses from the book Exodus and inscriptions about The Great Sargon, the legendary Akkadian King.
Sargon of Akkad (Sargon the Great) who reigned between 2334 to 2279 BCE was the founder of the Akkadian Empire. While he was clearly a brilliant military leader, he told a story about his youth which makes him exterd a powerful influence over the Sumerians he sought to conquer. He tried to represent himself as a man chosen by the gods to rule, he had a humbler image of himself as an orphan. According to the cuneiform inscription known as The Legend of Sargon which is accepted as his biography, he was born the illegitimate son of a "changeling", which could refer to a temple priestess of the goddess Inanna and never knew his father. His mother could not reveal her pregnancy or keep the child, and so she placed him in a basket which she then let go on the Euphrates River. She had sealed the basket with tar, and the water carried him safely to where he was later found by a man named Akki who was a gardener for Ur-Zababa, the king of the Sumerian city of Kish. Creating this legend, Sargon seemed distanced from the kings of the past and he aligned with the common people of the region rather than the ruling elite.
Second Ottoman Sultan ''Orhan Bey'' who got married with 3 Greek women.
By presenting himself as a "man of the people" within the society in which the class system was fairly rigid, he could garner support of ordinary people. Once he got the south of Mesopotamia under his control, he tried to create the first multi-national empire in history. Because, his reign was not always popular, once he was securely in power, is attested to by the number of revolts he was forced to deal with as described in his inscriptions.
His political situation or Kindom period is not our main subject in this article. What we are focusing in, is the legend about how he was born and raised. Because just as we will see in the legend of Moses, there are resemblences (or with a modern saying ''Copy-Paste'' actions) between two stories, which canalize us to think that the story of Moses was adapted from the story of Sargon.
Sargon The Great of Akkadian Empire
The inscription was discovered in the Assyrian city of Nineveh in 1867 CE by the archeologist Sir Henry Rawlinson. Rawlinson's most important discovery was uncovering the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh. The Legend of Sargon was part of that library and was a copy of a much earlier text. This, of course, indicates the story was still being read in the 7th century BCE, almost 2,000 years after Sargon's reign.
The cuneiform inscription known as The Legend of Sargon is as Follows
Sargon, the mighty king, king of Agade, am I.
My mother was a changeling, my father I knew not.
The brothers of my father loved the hills.
My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates.
My changeling mother conceived me, in secret she bore me.
She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid.
She cast me into the river which rose not over me,
The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water.
Akki, the drawer of water lifted me out as he dipped his ewer.
Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me.
Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener,
While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love,
And for four and years I exercised kingship,
The black-headed people I ruled, I governed;
Mighty mountains with chip-axes of bronze I conquered,
The upper ranges I scaled,
The lower ranges I traversed,
The sea lands three times I circled.
Dilmun my hand captured,
To the great Der I went up, I altered and
Whatever king may come up after me,
Let him rule, let him govern the black-headed people;
Let him conquer mighty mountains with chip-axes of bronze,
Let him scale the upper ranges,
Let him traverse the lower ranges,
Let him circle the sea lands three times!
Dilmun let his hand capture,
Let him go up to the great Der and..
We believe that, after reading these paragraphs, everybody recalled somethings similar with the story of sargon The Great. Especially the ones, who believe that all the monoteistic religions have been showed up in the same region and they were all built over the previous one using many of its materials, might have a smile on their faces.
Moses' story as well, purposefully employs the motif of the infant born of humble parents who later becomes a prince. At the time of the writing of Exodus a wery similar story had already been known in the Middle and Near East for almost 2,000 years through the Legend of Sargon of Akkad.
In the second chapter of the book, the unnamed pharaoh of Egypt was worried about the growing population of the Israelites. To be proactive in order to prevent this kind of a population increase which could be resulted with a racial domination, he decreeded that every male child must be killed. Moses' mother hides him for three months with difficulties. Then, she got afraid to be noticed out and killed. Therefore, she decided to set him adrift in a papyrus basket on the River Nile where he would float down to where the pharaoh's daughter and her attendants are bathing. The child is taken from the river by the princess who calls him "Moses", because she "drew him out of the water". It is asserted that "Moses" means "to draw out".
The Reality (Above & Below)
1849 Copper Engraving Moses Baby Nile Schopin Pharaoh Biblical Exodus
It is also wellknown that the first monotheistic belief of the world was shaped by Akhenaten, who was an Egyptian Pharoah with the assumed name of Amenhotep IV, but not the Moses as believed by billions of people without asking. It is also known that the Israelities were there at that time and working on the construction of Achenaten's sacred city. Achenaten was the son of Amenhotep III. In the fifth year of his reign, Akhenaten rejected the traditional religion in favour of worshiping the Aten, or sun disc, after whom he renamed himself as Achenaton which means ''The one on Aten's way''. He closed all the temples to the old gods and obliterated their names from monuments. He built a new capital, Akhenaten (Tel el-Amarna), on a previously uninhabited site in Middle Egypt, as well as introducing a completely new artistic style. Akhenaten's principal queen was Nefertiti.
Akhenaten was succeeded for a short period then Tutankhamun restored the traditional religion. The city of Akhetaten was abandoned, after being occupied for only 20 years.
we can not know exactly, but considering that there weren't real evidences about Moses and the stories told about him and his tribe there is always suspicions. There are also people who believe that, the ''Moses'' was already Achenaton himself which in fact sounds more realistic than what is inscripted in Exodus and other holly books. Some may find it worth to believe that Achenaton could have left the area with his believers after being unsuccessfull to widen his new worshipping system.