Because Mesopotamia was such a big place and had such a long, storied history, there are a huge number of famous kings from the region; because of this, this article will just contain the ones whose legacy is thought to be important by modern-day historians.
Gilgamesh was the fifth ruler of the Sumerian Empire. He ruled sometime between 2800-2500 BC, though the precise dates are not known. Gilgamesh was deified (made a god) after his death, and is the main character of one of the world’s oldest surviving pieces of literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Sargon the Great rose to power in Akkad in 2300 BC. He founded the Akkadian Empire after defeating the Sumerians in battle, and then went on to conquer each city-state of Sumeria. Sargon was the first Mesopotamian ruler to truly unite all of its states under a single ruler. His children went on to rule the Akkadian Empire after his death, and he was the founder of his dynasty.
Shamshi-Adad was the ruler of the Assyrian Empire during its First Rise. The First Rise of Assyria refers to the first time the Assyrians came to power in Mesopotamia. Though this Rise did not last long, it laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Assyrians as a regional power in Mesopotamia, and paved the way for future generations to take full control of the Middle East. He ruled from 1813-1791 BC.
The first great King of Babylon was King Hammurabi. Hammurabi was born around 1810 BC, and was a native to the city of Babylon. Hammurabi was renowned as a great ruler. He united all of Mesopotamia under his rule by conquering each territory, who had previously been held by the Assyrian Empire.
Under his rule, the first Babylonian Empire was established. The Babylonian Empire had a very long lifespan and was ruled over by many kings. Hammurabi is particularly famous for the establishment of the world’s first written code of law, the Code of Hammurabi. Currently, the Code of Hammurabi is on display in the Louvre museum, in Paris.
Nebuchadnezzar II was a famous king of Mesopotamia. Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Under his rule, much of the damaged city of Babylon was rebuilt. He is known as the greatest king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar was born in 634 BC, as the son of the King of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is famous for both his appearance in the Bible and his role as King of Babylon.
Cyrus the Great was a famous king of the Persian Empire. He was born in 580 BC. Cyrus was famed as a ruler of Mesopotamia for his empire’s success in conquering neighboring kingdoms, and even defeating the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The Persian Empire is one of the five great Empires of Mesopotamia, and Cyrus the Great was its founder and first ruler. Cyrus the Great ruled from 559 BC – 530 BC.
Darius the Great was a famous King of the Persian Empire. After the second King of the Persian Empire, Cambyses II, was killed, Darius came to power. Before this, Darius had fought for Cambyses II as a spearman in his army. He ruled the Persian Empire from 522-486 BC. He was famed for his talent for military strategy, his excellent organizational abilities, and tolerance towards a great number of different religions in his empire.
– Gilgamesh, Sargon the great, Shamshi-Adad, Hammurabi, and Nebuchadnezzar II.
– Sargon the Great.
– Cyrus the Great.
– Cambyses II.
– The Epic of Gilgamesh.