SARGON, more correctly Sarru-Kinu (“the legitimate king,” Sargon being a hybrid formation from the Semitic sar and the Sumerian gina, “established”), an Assyrian general who, on the death of Shalmaneser IV., during the siege of Samaria, seized the crown on the 12th of Tebet 722 B.C. He claimed to be the descendant of the early kings, and accordingly assumed the name of a famous king of Babylonia who had reigned about 3000 years before him. His first achievement was the capture of Samaria, 27,200 of its inhabitants being carried into captivity. Meanwhile Babylon had revolted under a Chaldaean prince, Merodach-baladan, who maintained his power there for twelve years. In 720 B.C. Yahu-bihdi of Hamath led Arpad, Damascus and Palestine into revolt: this was suppressed, and the Philistines and Egyptians were defeated at Raphia (mod. er-Rafa). In 719 B.C. Sargon defeated the Minni to the east of Armenia, and in 717 overthrew the combined forces of the Hittites and Moschi (Old Testament Meshech). The Hittite city of Carchemish was placed under an Assyrian governor, and its trade passed into Assyrian hands. The following year Sargon was attacked by a great confederacy of the northern nations—Ararat, the Moschi, Tibareni, &c.—and in the course of the campaign marched into the land of the Medes in the direction of the Caspian. In 715 B.C. the Minni were defeated, and one of their chiefs, Dāyuku or Daiukku (Deioces), transported to Hamath. In 714 B.C. the army of Rusas of Ararat was annihilated, and a year later five Median chiefs, including Arbaku (Arbaces) became tributary. Cilicia and the Tibareni also submitted as well as the city of Malatia, eastern Cappadocia being annexed to the Assyrian Empire. A league was now formed between Merodach-baladan and the princes of the west, but before the confederates could move, an Assyrian army was sent against Ashdod, and Edom, Moab and Judah submitted to Sargon, who was thus free to turn his attention to Babylonia, and Merodach-baladan was accordingly driven from Babylon, where Sargon was crowned king. Shortly after this Sargon sent a statue of himself to Cyprus and annexed the kingdom of Commagene. He was murdered in 705 B.C., probably in the palace he had built at Dur-Sargina, now Khorsabad, which was excavated by P. E. Botta.
(A. H. S.)