SARGON II (Heb. סַרְגּוֹן), king of Assyria and Babylonia,(722–705 B.C.E.), successor of Shalmaneser V, and father of sennacherib . There are conflicting opinions among scholars as to whether or not he was a son of Tiglath-Pileser III. The circumstances which brought Sargon to the throne are obscure; he may well have been an usurper, or a descendant of a secondary line of the royal house. His name, identical with that of Sargon of Akkad and Sargon I of Assyria, means: "the legitimate king" (see Tadmor, in bibl.). The beginning of his reign was marked by domestic difficulties, which he solved by giving the Assyrians and the settlers of haran a charter freeing them from taxes and military service. In 720 Sargon marched against merodach-baladan , who had ascended the Babylonian throne the previous year. Supported by the Elamites, who were the chief opponents in the battle, Merodach-Baladan met Sargon at Dêr and defeated, or at least stopped, him. Engaged on practically all fronts in fighting rebellions – which he was able to suppress – Sargon could not take revenge against the Babylonian king until 710. This time his victory was complete. He entered Babylon, proclaiming himself king. Between 719 and 711 Sargon campaigned against the Medes, Mannai, and Ararat. In the "West" he completed the subjugation and conquest of Israel and Samaria, and, after quelling an Egyptian-sponsored revolt, rebuilt it and made it capital of his new province, Samerīna. Sargon's overall policy was the intermingling of the populations and the resources of the Near East under Assyrian leadership. For this purpose he went on to open the road to Egypt. In 716 he cleared and subjugated the western Sinai area and established an Assyrian kārum, a trade settlement, the purpose of this expedition being the opening up of Egyptian and Arabian trade to Assyria. In approximately 713–712 Sargon conquered and organized Ashdod (Isa. 20:1 alludes to the first steps of this campaign). Then, under the commander in chief the tartan, Azuri, the plotting king of Ashdod, was deposed. Ashdod was supported by Egypt and very likely by hezekiah king of Judah; but the latter changed his mind after the Assyrian conquest of azekah . Remains of a stele of Sargon were discovered in Ashdod. Near the modern Khorsabad he built a new capital city, Dûr-Sharrukin ("Sargon's fortress"). Sargon was killed in a campaign against the Cimmerians – newcomers in Urarṭu – and his encampment was sacked. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Tadmor, in: JAOS, 12 (1955), 22–40; idem, in: Eretz Israel, 5 (1959), 150–62; P. Artzi, ibid., 9 (1969) 28 n. 55; W.W. Hallo, in: BA, 23 (1960), 51–56.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Sargon — [sär′gän΄] 1. fl. c. 2300 B.C.; founder of the Akkadian kingdom 2. Sargon II died 705 B.C.; king of Assyria (722 705) …   English World dictionary

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