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Portal:Ancient Near East
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The Akkadian Empire reached the height of its power between the 23rd and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests of king Sargon of Akkad.
Because of the policies of the Akkadian Empire toward linguistic assimilation, the predominant Semitic dialect was named the Akkadian language, reflected in the word akkadû ("in the language of Akkad") during the Old Babylonian period to denote a Semitic-language version of a Sumerian text.
The story revolves around the relationship between Gilgamesh, a king who has become distracted and disheartened by his rule, and a friend, Enkidu, who is half-wild and who undertakes dangerous quests with Gilgamesh. Much of the epic focuses on Gilgamesh's thoughts of loss following Enkidu's death. It is about their becoming human together, and places a high emphasis on issues surrounding human mortality. It is often credited by historians as being one of the first literary works.