Sargon had two sons and both will sit on the throne. Rimush will do all the work, while Manishtushu will enjoy all the rewards. Both are fairly interesting on their own, but suffer from being the interlude between two fascinating characters, Sargon and Naram-sin, and thus are less remembered then they perhaps deserve.
The exact timing of this massive rebellion is super confused. Possibly, there were constant rebellions, and equally possibly there was only one at the start of Rimush’s reign that gets mistakenly transposed to the end of Sargon and various points in Manishtushu’s reign. But every other indication indicates stability for these other periods, which may well be propaganda, but seems likely to reflect a certain reality to me. Clearly the subject cities had a resentful element and rebelled when they saw the opportunity, I just don’t think they saw many opportunities and the Akkadian empire really was largely stable aside from the major rebellion in Rimush’s reign and the coming major rebellion in Naram-Sin’s reign. Because these cities are rational and know that the penalties for rebellion are so harsh you aren’t going to do it without all your neighbors supporting you.
Also interesting is the fact that no one seems to be the least bit put off by these palace assassinations. My own suspicion is that they were common enough occurrences in the various city states of the previous era, and so folks were more or less used to them, especially since there were usually no extra candidates for the throne aside from the murderer to cause instability.
|Rimush’s Head. Handsome fellow.|
|Manishtushu’s torso. Maybe his face wasn’t so handsome.|