I am Sargon, the mighty king, king of Akkad. My mother was a changeling, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My home city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates.
My changeling mother conceived me and gave birth to me in secret. She set me in a basket of rushes and sealed the lid with bitumen. She cast me into the river which rose not over me. The river carried me away to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, lifted me out as he was dipping his bucket. Akki, the drawer of water, raised me as his son and appointed me as his gardener.
While I was a gardener, the goddess Ishtar granted me her love. For fifty four years I exercised kingship. I ruled over the black-headed people. I governed. With pick-axes of bronze I conquered mighty mountains. The upper ranges I scaled, the lower ranges I traversed, and I circled the sea lands three times. Dilmun my hand captured and I went up to the great Der….
Whatever king may come after me, let him also rule, let him govern the black-haired people. Let him conquer might mountains with pick-axes of bronze. Let him scale the upper ranges. Let him traverse the lower ranges. Let him circle the sea lands three times. Let his hand capture Dilmun. Let him go up to the great Der and […] from my city of Akkad (the remainder is broken away and lost)
Trans. Albrecht Goetze, ed. Robert Shurmer.
Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities.- Marcus Terentius Varro
We cannot afford merely to sit down and deplore the evils of city life as inevitable, when cities are constantly growing. We must set ourselves vigorously about the task of improving them.Theodore Roosevelt, 1895