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[[File: Sargon.jpg|250px|thumbnail|left|Bronze Head of an Akkadian Ruler Believed to Be Sargon or One of His Successors]]__NOTOC__
Few rulers in ancient Mesopotamia influenced history more than Sargon I, also known as Sargon of Akkad (ruled ca. 2334-2279 BC). Rising to power from obscurity, from a city that has still not been located by archaeologists, Sargon led his people, the Akkadians, to conquer most of Mesopotamia, instituting many enduring changes in the process. Perhaps the most important, and certainly the most apparent, influence Sargon had on Mesopotamia was the introduction of the Akkadian language, which was still used over 2,000 after the king’s death. Sargon also influenced Mesopotamia in the shorter term by unifying the region under one dynasty and instituting changes to the religion and royal ideology followed by subsequent dynasties.