Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Patronage and Authority in the Sargonic Empire

Nov 01, 2019 — Nov 01, 2021

The purpose of this research project is to carry out a detailed study of the elite members of society in the Sargonic Empire (c. 2335-2150 BCE) in ancient Mesopotamia. The king in the Sargonic Empire was the epicenter of authority from whom land, wealth, and power flowed in a grand network of patronage that extended through intermediaries from the highest to the lowest persons. Yet, while the king is typically the focus of historical inscriptions, the aristocracy of the empire and other members of the royal household are often omitted or overshadowed in the historical record. Still, these high officials acted as key nodes within the networks of patronage because they disseminated wealth and promulgated the king’s authority. The activities of these elite persons are recorded in the everyday administrative records of archives which are scattered across Mesopotamia, as are the patronage affiliations between high officials and the dependents who acted on their behalf. This research project aims to identify the important actors in Sargonic society and examine the system of patronage in the Sargonic period by reconstructing these social networks, in order to further understand the system of patronage and the role of the elite as figures of authority at a critical point in early Mesopotamian history.

Institution: Institut für Altorientalistik
Project Management: Dr. Nicholas Kraus
Funded by: Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung
Duration: 01.11.2019 - 01.11.2021