Essay on Assyrian Weapons and Warfare Paper - …


From time to time doubt has beenexpressed as to the historical accuracy of the information contained inthe inscriptions, both contemporary and later, on the extent ofSargon's conquests. The doubt is, however, unwarranted. The sites ofbuildings, inscriptions, and reliefs cut in the rocks in regions fardistant from Akkad, all of them evidence that can certainly beattributed to Sargon and his immediate successors, demonstrate by theirvery presence that the influence of Akkad corresponded to theassertions made in the texts. By the quayside at Akkad, ships wereanchored that had come from the harbours along the east coast ofArabia: the eastern Tigris valley, Assyria (Subartu), parts of Syriaand even Asia Minor recognized the suzerainty of Akkad, and Sargonassumed the title 'King of the four quarters of the world', a titlethat expresses the desire for recognition as ruler over all theabove-mentioned lands. The unprecedented military successes of theAkkadians were to no small extent due to their novel methods ofwarfare. While the Sumerians fought in a closed phalanx, in which eachman was armed with a short spear for thrusting or made use of abattleaxe or mace, the Akkadians fought in open order armed with ajavelin for hurling and, in particular, with weapons that were later toprovide the Assyrians with their victories, namely the bow and arrow:such arms must have been as revolutionary in Sargon's time as the atombomb in our own.


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