Sargon II was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the downfall of his predecessor Shalmaneser V in 722 BC to his death in battle in 705 BC. Though Sargon claimed to be the son of the previous king Tiglath-Pileser III, this is uncertain and he probably gained the throne through usurping it from Shalmaneser V. Sargon is recognized as one of the most important Neo-Assyrian kings due to his role in founding the Sargonid dynasty, which would rule the Neo-Assyrian Empire until its fall less than a century after Sargon's death.
The king probably took the name Sargon from the legendary ruler Sargon of Akkad, who had founded the Akkadian Empire and ruled most of Mesopotamia almost two thousand years prior. Through his military campaigns aimed at world conquest, Sargon II aspired to follow in the footsteps of his ancient namesake. Sargon sought to project an image of piety, justice, energy, intelligence and strength and remains recognized as a great conqueror and tactician due to his many military accomplishments.