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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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one of the four cities built by Nimrod, the founder of the Assyrian empire. ( See NIMROD. ) "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar," Genesis 10:10 . Thus it appears that Accad was contemporary with Babylon, and was one of the first four great cities of the world.

It would scarcely be expected that any thing should now remain to guide us in our search for this ancient city, seeing that Babylon itself, with which it was coeval, is reduced to heaps; and that it is not mentioned under its ancient name by any profane author. But the discoveries of modern travellers may be brought to aid us in our inquiry. At the distance of about six miles from the modern town of Bagdad, is found a mound, surmounted by a tower-shaped ruin, called by the Arabs Tell Nimrood, and by the Turks Nemrood Tepasse; both terms implying the Hill of Nimrod. This gigantic mass rises in an irregularly pyramidal or turreted shape, according to the view in which it is taken, one hundred and twenty-five, or one hundred and thirty feet above the gently inclined elevation on which it stands. Its circumference, at the bottom, is three hundred feet. The mound which constitutes its foundation is composed of a collection of rubbish, formed from the decay of the superstructure; and consists of sandy earth, fragments of burnt brick, pottery, and hard clay, partially vitrified. In the remains of the tower, the different layers of sun-dried brick, of which it is composed, may be traced with great precision. These bricks, cemented together by slime, and divided into courses varying from twelve to twenty feet in height, are separated from one another by a stratum of reeds, similar to those now growing in the marshy parts of the plain, and in a wonderful state of preservation. The resemblance of this mode of building to that in some of the structures at Babylon, cannot escape observation; and we may reasonably conclude it to be the workmanship of the same architects. The solidity and the loftiness of this pile, unfashioned to any other purpose, bespeak it to be one of those enormous pyramidal towers which were consecrated to the Sabian worship; which, as essential to their religious rites, were probably erected in all the early cities of the Cuthites; and, like their prototype at Babylon, answered the double purpose of altars and observatories. Here then was the site of one of these early cities. It was not Babylon; it was not Erech; it was not Calneh. It might be too much to say that therefore it must be Accad; but the inference is at least warrantable; which is farther strengthened by the name of the place, Akarkouff; which bears a greater affinity to that of Accad than many others which are forced into the support of geographical speculations, especially when it is recollected that the Syrian name of the city was Achar.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Accad'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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