Elizabeth Kolbert in the second of a three-part series in The New Yorker (part 1 here):

The world’s first empire was established forty-three hundred years ago, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The details of its founding, by Sargon of Akkad, have come down to us in a form somewhere between history and myth. Sargon—Sharru-kin, in the language of Akkadian—means “true king”; almost certainly, though, he was a usurper. As a baby, Sargon was said to have been discovered, Moses-like, floating in a basket. Later, he became cupbearer to the ruler of Kish, one of ancient Babylonia’s most powerful cities. Sargon dreamed that his master, Ur-Zababa, was about to be drowned by the goddess Inanna in a river of blood. Hearing about the dream, Ur-Zababa decided to have Sargon eliminated. How this plan failed is unknown; no text relating the end of the story has ever been found.

More here.