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There are many legends surrounding the birth and upbringing of Sargon, though they probably have varying degrees of truth. When the events from the legends are combined, we see that Sargon’s rise to emperor was a huge accomplishment. While the identity of his father is not clearly known, the legend states that his mother was a temple priestess. Giving birth to him in secret and setting him in a basket to float, she abandoned him to the Euphrates river. Akki, a gardener, rescued him from the river and raised him. After working as a gardener for Akki, Sargon rose to the position of cup-bearer to Ur-Zababa, the king of Kish.
One legend tells how Ur-Zababa rose to power, appointed Sargon as cup-bearer, and then attempted to murder him. An and Enlil, Sumerian gods, decided to oppose the reign of Ur-Zababa and to remove his wealth from him. Then, fearful because of a dream that the goddess Inanna would give Sargon his kingdom, Ur-Zababa attempted to murder him. When this attempt failed, Ur-Zababa sent Sargon with a note to Lugalzagesi, king of Uruk, containing instructions to kill Sargon. Here the legend stops-but history continues. Instead of being killed by Lugalzagesi, Sargon later made war against Lugalzagesi’s empire, and became emperor in his place.