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Encyclopedia > Median Empire
History of Iran
Elamite Empire
Median Empire
Achaemenid dynasty
Seleucid dynasty
Parthian Empire
Sassanid dynasty
Ziyarid dynasty
Samanid dynasty
Buwayhid dynasty
Ghaznavid Empire
Seljuk Turkish empire
Khwarezmid Empire
Ilkhanate
Muzaffarid dynasty
Timurid dynasty
Safavid dynasty
Afsharid dynasty
Zand dynasty
Qajar dynasty
Pahlavi dynasty
Iranian Revolution
Islamic Republic of Iran

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. Ancient history Few nations in the world present more of a justification for the study of history than Iran. ... The ancient Elamite Empire lay to the east of Sumer and Akkad, in what is now southwestern Iran. ... Achaemenid empire in its highest extent The Achaemenid Dynasty was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire, including Cyrus II the Great, Darius the Great and Xerxes I. At the height of their power, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly encompassing some parts of todays Iraq... Seleucus I Nicator (Nicator, the Victor) (around 358–281 BC) was one of Alexander the Greats generals who, after Alexanders death in 323 BC, founded the Seleucid Empire. ... Parthia empire at its greatest extent The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Persian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BC, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BC and 224 AD. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the East and it limited... Head of king Shapur II (Sasanian dynasty A.D. 4th century). ... Tomb of Ghaboos ebne Voshmgir, built in 1007AD, rises 160 ft from its base. ... The Samanid dynasty (819-999) was a Persian dynasty in Central Asia, named after its founder Saman Khuda. ... The Buwayhids were a Shiite Muslim tribal confederation from the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. ... The Ghaznavid Empire was a state in the region of todays Afghanistan that existed from 963 to 1187. ... The Seljuk Turks (Turkish: Selçuk; Arabic: سلجوق Saljūq, السلاجقة al-Salājiqa; Persian: سلجوقيان Saljūqiyān; also Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq) were a major branch of the Oghuz Turks and a dynasty that occupied parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to 14th centuries. ... The Khwarezmid Empire (also known as the Khwarezmian Empire) was a Muslim state formed by Oghuz Turks in the 11th century in Khwarezmia that lasted until the Mongol invasion in 1220. ... The Ilkhanate (also spelled Il-khanate or Il Khanate) was one of the four divisions within the Mongol Empire. ... The Muzaffarids were a Sunni Arab family that came to power in Iran following the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 14th century. ... Timurids Map The Timurids were a dynasty of Iran established by the Emir of Kesh (Shahrisabz), known to history as Timur (Tamerlane). ... This page has been protected from editing to deal with vandalism. ... Tomb of Nader Shah Afshar, a popular tourist attraction in Mashad. ... The Zand dynasty ruled southern and central Iran in the eighteenth century. ... The Qajar dynasty was the ruling family of Persia from 1796 to 1925. ... The Pahlavi dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Iran from 1925 to 1979, from which two Shahs were drawn. ... Protestors take to the street in support of Ayatollah Khomeini. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica ( 1911) in many ways represents the sum of knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century. ...


The Medes were an Iranian people of Indo-Iranian origin who lived in the western and north-western portion of present-day Iran. By the 6th century BC (prior to the Persian invasion) the Medes were able to establish an empire that stretched from Aran (the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan) to Central Asia and Afghanistan. The Kurds of today consider themselves to be descended from the ancient Medes. Aryan is an English word derived from the Vedic Sanskrit and Avestan term arya, meaning noble or lord. In the 19th century, the term was often used to refer to what we now call the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... (7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC - other centuries) (600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - other decades) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Cyrus the Great conquered many... Persian art is conscious of a great past, and monumental in many respects. ... This page has been protected from editing to deal with vandalism. ... Map of Central Asia outlined in orange showing one set of possible borders Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a vast landlocked region of Asia. ... Kurds are one of the Iranian peoples and speak Kurdish, a north-Western Iranian language related to Persian. ...


Apart from a few personal names, the language of the Medes is entirely unknown, but was undoubtedly quite similar to the Avestan and Scythian languages. Yasna 28. ... Scythia was an area in Eurasia inhabited in ancient times by an Indo-Aryans known as the Scythians. ...

Contents

Early historical references to Medes

Median Empire

The Medes, people of the Mada, (the Greek form "Μηδοί" is Ionian for Madoi) appear in history first in 836 BC, when the Assyrian conqueror Shalmaneser II, in his wars against the tribes of the Zagros, received tribute from the "Amadai". His successors undertook many expeditions against the Medes (Madai). Sargon in 715 BC and 713 BC subjected them up to "the far mountain Bikni," i.e. the Elbruz (Damavand) and the borders of the desert. Download high resolution version (1306x735, 145 KB)Median Empire This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1306x735, 145 KB)Median Empire This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Centuries: 10th century BC - 9th century BC - 8th century BC Decades: 880s BC 870s BC 860s BC 850s BC 840s BC - 830s BC - 820s BC 810s BC 800s BC 790s BC 780s BC Events and Trends 836 BC - Shalmaneser III of Egypt. ... Assyria, a country named after its original capital city, Asshur on the Tigris, was originally a colony of Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. ... Shalmaneser II ruled Assyria (c. ... The Zagros Mountains (In Persian:رشته‌کوه‌های زاگرس) make up Irans second largest mountain range. ... Sargon II, captor of Samaria, with a dignitary Sargon II (721-705 BC) was an Assyrian King. ... Centuries: 9th century BC - 8th century BC - 7th century BC Decades: 760s BC 750s BC 740s BC 730s BC 720s BC - 710s BC - 700s BC 690s BC 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC Events and Trends Judah, Tyre and Sidon revolt against Assyria 719 BC - Zhou Huan Wang of the... Centuries: 9th century BC - 8th century BC - 7th century BC Decades: 760s BC 750s BC 740s BC 730s BC 720s BC - 710s BC - 700s BC 690s BC 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC Events and Trends Judah, Tyre and Sidon revolt against Assyria 719 BC - Zhou Huan Wang of the... Alborz Mountains underneath clouds seen from Tehran Alborz (in Persian البرز), also written as Alburz or Elburz, is a mountain range in northern Iran, stretching from the borders of Armenia in the north-west to the southern end of the Caspian Sea, where also Tehran and Irans highest peak... Mount Damavand (In Persian: دماوند), a dormant volcano, is the highest point in Iran. ...


An Assyrian military report from 800 BC lists 28 names of Mede chiefs, but only one of these is positively identified as Iranian. A second report from ca. 700 BC lists 26 names; of these, 5 seem to be Iranian, the others are not. Centuries: 10th century BC - 9th century BC - 8th century BC Decades: 850s BC 840s BC 830s BC 820s BC 810s BC - 800s BC - 790s BC 780s BC 770s BC 760s BC 750s BC Events and Trends 804 BC - Hadad-nirari IV of Assyria conquers Damascus. ...


At this early stage, the Medes were usually classed together with a kindred Iranian tribe, the Scythians. They were divided into many districts and towns, under petty local chieftains; from the names in the Assyrian inscriptions, it appears they had already adopted the religion of Zoroaster. In spite of repeated rebellions by the early chieftains against the Assyrian yoke, the Medes paid tribute to Assyria under Sargon's successors,Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal, whenever these kings marched in with their fierce armies. Zartosht, as popularly depicted by Iranian artists. ... Sennacherib in his chariot Sennacherib (In akkadian Sin-ehhe-erib, Sin (the moon god) has taken the place of brothers to me) was the king of the Assyrian Empire (705–681 BC). ... Esarhaddon (681 - 669 BC), in Akkadian Aššur-aha-iddina Ashur has given a brother to me, was a king of Assyria, the son of Sennacherib and the Aramaic queen Naqia/Zakitu, Sennacheribs second wife. ... Assurbanipal in a relief from the north palace at Nineveh There were several Assyrian kings named Assur-bani-pal, also spelled Asurbanipal, Assurbanipal (most commonly), Ashurbanipal and Ashshurbanipal, but the best known was Assurbanipal IV.  Ashurbanipal, or Assurbanipal, (reigned 668 - 627 BCE), the son of Esarhaddon and Naqia-Zakutu...


Josephus relates the Medes (OT Heb. Madai) to the biblical character, Madai, son of Japheth. "Now as to Javan and Madai, the sons of Japhet; from Madai came the Madeans, who are called Medes, by the Greeks" Antiquities of the Jews, I:6 Josephus, also known as Flavius Josephus (c. ... Madai was a Japhethic grandson of Noah in the Biblical tradition. ... Japheth (יֶפֶת / יָפֶת Enlarge, Standard Hebrew Yéfet / Yáfet, Tiberian Hebrew Yép̄eṯ / Yāp̄eṯ) is one of the sons of Noah in the Bible. ... In Jewish mythology Javan was the fourth son of Noahs third son Japheth. ... Madai was a Japhethic grandson of Noah in the Biblical tradition. ...


Other ancient historians including Strabo, Ptolemy, Herodotus, Polybius, and Pliny, mention names such as Mantiane, Martiane, Matiane, Matiene, to designate the northern part of Media. Strabo (squinty) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. ... Claudius Ptolemaeus, given contemporary German styling, in a 16th century engraved book frontispiece Claudius Ptolemaeus (Greek: Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαίος; c. ... Bust of Herodotus Herodotus (Greek: ΗΡΟΔΟΤΟΣ, Herodotos) was an ancient historian who lived in the 5th century BC (484 BC - c. ... Polybius (ca 203 BC - 120 BC) was a Greek historian of the Mediterranean world, especially the rise of the Roman Republic, which he attributed to Roman fitness and to the excellence of Roman civic and military institutions. ... There are two famous persons named Pliny: Pliny the Elder, a Roman nobleman, scientist and historian who died in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD The great-nephew of the former, Pliny the Younger, a statesman, orator, and writer who lived between 62 AD and 113 AD. This...


We can see how the Iranian element gradually became dominant; princes with Iranian names occasionally occur as rulers of other tribes. But the Gelae, Tapuri, Cadusii, Amardi, Utii and other tribes in northern Media and on the shores of the Caspian may not have been Iranian stock. Polybius (V. 44, 9), Strabo (xi. 507, 5o8, 514), and Pliny (vi. 46), considered the Anariaci to be among these tribes; but their name, meaning the "not-Arians", is probably a comprehensive designation for a number of smaller indigenous tribes.


The six Mede tribes in Herodotus

Herodotus, i. 101, lists the names of six Median tribes. Some of these are similar to tribal names of the Scythians, suggesting a definitive link between these two groups.


1. The Busae group is thought to derive from the Persian term "buza" meaning indigenous (i.e. not Iranian). Whether this was based on an originally Iranian term, or their own name, is unknown. Indigenous peoples are: Peoples living in an area prior to colonization by a state Peoples living in an area within a nation-state, prior to the formation of a nation-state, but who do not identify with the dominant nation. ...


2. The second group is called the Paraetaceni, or "Parae-tak-(eni)" in Persian, and denotes nomadic inhabitants of the mountains of Paraetacene. This name recalls the Scythian "Para-la-ti", the people of Kolaxis, believed to represent the common people in general. Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. ...


3.The third group is called Stru­khat.


4. The fourth group is the Arizanti, whose name is derived from the words Arya (noble), and Zantu (tribe, clan). Arya (árya-) is a Sanskrit term used by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and others. ...


5. The fifth group were the Budii, found also among the Black Sea Scythians as Budi-ni. Buddha was of the tribe Budha, the Saka (eastern Scythian) form of the name. Saka is also the name of a town in Hiroshima, Japan; for information on this town, see Saka, Hiroshima. ...


6.The sixth tribe were the Magi, who were actually of Mesopotamian (non-Aryan) origin. They were a hereditary caste of priests, not of a purely Iranian religion, but rather one partly derived from ancient Mesopotamian (Sumerian) concepts. The name Magi implies a link with the Sumerians, who called their language Emegir, over time becoming simplified to Magi. Hungarian tradition also traces pre-European Magyar (Hungarian) ancestry back to the Magi. In time, the Persians developed their own form of Magian religion, with significant differences from that of the original Mesopotamian-influenced Magi. Magi (Μάγοι) were Zoroastrian astrologer-priests from ancient Persia. ...


The Median Empire

In the second half of the 7th century BC, the Medes gained their independence and were united by a dynasty. The origin and history of the Median Empire is quite obscure, as we possess almost no contemporary information, and not a single monument or inscription from Media itself. The story that Ctesias gave (a list of nine kings, beginning with Arbaces, who is said to have destroyed Nineveh about 880 BC, preserved in Diod. ii. 32 sqq. and copied by many later authors) has no historical value whatever; though some of his names may be derived from local traditions. (8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC - other centuries) (700s BC - 690s BC - 680s BC - 670s BC - 660s BC - 650s BC - 640s BC - 630s BC - 620s BC - 610s BC - 600s BC - other decades) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Scythians arrived in Asia Collapse... Ctesias, of Cnidus in Caria, was a Greek physician and historian, who flourished in the 5th century BC. In early life he was physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, whom he accompanied in 401 BC on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger. ...


The account of Herodotus does contain more valuable historical elements; if he may be trusted, this dynasty derived its origin from Deioces, a Median chieftain in the Zagros, who was, along with his kinsmen, transported by Sargon to Hamath (Haniah) in Syria in 715 BC. Deioces was the first king of the Medes, an Aryan people in what would become Iran. ... The Zagros Mountains (In Persian:رشته‌کوه‌های زاگرس) make up Irans second largest mountain range. ... There have been two monarchs and a comic book fictional character named Sargon: Sargon of Akkad Sargon II of Assyria Sargon the Sorceror Sargon is also the name of a series of chess-playing software programs for personal computers. ... Centuries: 9th century BC - 8th century BC - 7th century BC Decades: 760s BC 750s BC 740s BC 730s BC 720s BC - 710s BC - 700s BC 690s BC 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC Events and Trends Judah, Tyre and Sidon revolt against Assyria 719 BC - Zhou Huan Wang of the...


The kings who established the Median Empire are generally recognized to be Phraortes and his son Cyaxares. They were probably chieftains of a nomadic Median tribe in the desert, the Manda, mentioned by Sargon, and they likely founded the capital at Ecbatana. The Babylonian king Nabonidus also designated the Medes and their kings always as Manda. Fravartish or Phraortes (c. ... Hvakhshathra or Cyaxares (625 - 585 BC) was the most capable king of Media (Iran). ... Ecbatana (Hañgmatana in Old Persian, Agbatana in Aeschylus, written Agamtanu by Nabonidos, and Agamatanu at Behistun) was the capital of Astyages (Istuvegü), which was taken by Cyrus the Great in the sixth year of Nabonidos (549 BC). ... Nabonidus (Akkadian Nabu-nāʾid) was the last King of Babylon, who reigned from 556 BC to 539 BC. His reign was characterized by his lack of interest in the politics and religion of his kingdom. ...


From Assyrian inscriptions, it is apparent that these early Mede dynasts, who had attempted rebellions against the Assyrians in the time of Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal, were allied with chieftains of the Cimmerians (who had come from the northern shore of the Black Sea and invaded Armenia and Asia Minor), of the Saparda, Ashguza and other tribes; and Jeremiah and Zephaniah in the Old Testament confirm that a massive invasion of Syria and Palestine by northern barbarians indeed took place in 626 BC. Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to the Asian portion of Turkey. ... The term Palestine may refer to: Palestine: A geographical region in the Middle East, centered on Jerusalem. ... Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 670s BC 660s BC 650s BC 640s BC 630s BC - 620s BC - 610s BC 600s BC 590s BC 580s BC 570s BC Events and Trends 627 BC - Death of Assurbanipal, king of Assyria; he is succeeded by Assur_etel_ilani (approximate...


According to Herodotus, the conquests of Cyaxares the Mede were interrupted by a Scythian invasion lasting twenty-eight years. The only certain fact is that in 612, Cyaxares (with the help of Nabopolasser the Chaldean) succeeded in destroying Nineveh, and by 606, the remaining vestiges of Assyrian control. This article is about the ancient Middle Eastern city of Nineveh. ...


From then on, the Mede king ruled over much of Iran, Assyria and northern Mesopotamia, Armenia and Cappadocia. His power was very dangerous to his neighbors, and the exiled Jews expected the destruction of Babylonia by the Medes (Isa. xiii., xiv., xxi.; Jerem. 1. li.). When Cyaxares attacked Lydia, the kings of Cilicia and Babylon intervened and negotiated a peace in 585 BC, whereby the Halys was established as the Medes' frontier with Lydia. Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon married a daughter of Cyaxares, and an equilibrium of the great powers was maintained until the rise of the Persians under Cyrus. Cappadocia in 188 BC In ancient geography, Cappadocia was an extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... Lydia was an ancient kingdom of Asia Minor, known to Homer as Mæonia. ... In ancient geography, Cilicia (Ki-LIK-ya) formed a district on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), north of Cyprus. ... Babylon (disambiguation). ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 620s BC - 610s BC - 600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC Events and Trends 589 BC - Apries succeeds Psammetichus II as king of Egypt 588 BC _ Nebuchadnezzar II of... In the Aeneid, Halys is a Trojan who defends Aeneas camp from a Rutullian attack. ... Nebuchadnezzar (or Nebudchadrezzar) II (ca. ... The name Cyrus (or Koresh in Hebrew) may refer to: Cyrus I of Anshan -- King of Persia around 650 B.C. Cyrus the Great -- King of Persia 576 B.C. - 529 B.C. Cyrus the Younger -- died 401 B.C. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists...


About the internal organization of the Median Empire, we know that the Greeks adopted many ceremonial elements of the Persian court, the costume of the king, etc., through Media.


Subjection to the Persians

In 553 BC Cyrus, king of Persia, rebelled against his suzerain, the Mede King Astyages, son of Cyaxares; he finally won a decisive victory in 550 BC resulting in Astyages' capture by his own dissatisfied nobles, who promptly turned him over to the triumphant Cyrus. Thus were the Medes subjected to their close kin, the Persians. In the new empire they retained a prominent position; in honor and war, they stood next to the Persians; their court ceremony was adopted by the new sovereigns, who in the summer months resided in Ecbatana; and many noble Medes were employed as officials, satraps and generals. After the assassination of the usurper Smerdis, a Mede Fravartish (Phraortes), claiming to be a scion of Cyaxares, tried to restore the Median kingdom, but was defeated by the Persian generals and executed in Ecbatana (Darius in the Behistun inscr.). Another rebellion, in 409, against Darius II (Xenophon, Hellen. ~. 2, 19) was of short duration. But the non-Aryan tribes to the north, especially the Cadusii, were always troublesome; many abortive expeditions of the later kings against them are mentioned. Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC Events and Trends Carthage conquers Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica 559 BC - King Cambyses I of Anshan dies... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC Events and Trends Carthage conquers Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica 559 BC - King Cambyses I of Anshan dies... Satrap (Greek σατράπης satrápēs, from Old Persian xšaθrapā(van), i. ... Darius II, originally called Ochus and often surnamed Nothus (from Greek νοθος, meaning bastard), was emperor of Persia from 423 BC to 404 BC. Artaxerxes I, who died shortly after December 24, 424 BC, was followed by his son Xerxes II. After a month and a half Xerxes was murdered...


Under Persian rule, the country was divided into two satrapies: the south, with Ecbatana and Rhagae (Rai), Media proper, or Greater Media, as it is often called, formed in Darius' organization the eleventh satrapy (Herodotus iii. 92), together with the Paricanians and Orthocorybantians; the north, the district of Matiane (see above), together with the mountainous districts of the Zagros and Assyria proper (east of the Tigris) was united with the Alarodians and Saspirians in eastern Armenia, and formed the eighteenth satrapy (Herod. iii. 94; cf. v. 49, 52, VII. 72).


When the Persian empire decayed and the Cadusii and other mountainous tribes made themselves independent, eastern Armenia became a special satrapy, while Assyria seems to have been united with Media; therefore Xenophon in the Anabasis always designates Assyria by the name of "Media". Xenophon (circa 427-355 B.C.) was an Athenian citizen, an associate of Socrates, a Philodorian and is known for his writings on Hellenic history and culture. ...


Media and Hellenistic Greece

Alexander occupied Media in the summer of 330 BC. In 328 he appointed Atropates, a former general of Darius (Arrian iii. 8, 4), as satrap (iv. 18, 3, Vi. 29, 3), whose daughter was married to Perdiccas in 324 (Arrian vu. 4, ~). In the partition of his empire, southern Media was given to the Macedonian Peithon; but the north, which lay far off and was of little importance to the generals fighting over Alexander's inheritance, was left to Atropates. Bust of Alexander III in the British Museum. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC - 330s BC - 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 335 BC 334 BC 333 BC 332 BC 331 BC - 330 BC - 329 BC 328 BC 327...


While southern Media with Ecbatana passed to the rule of Antigonus, and afterwards (about 310) to Seleucus I, Atropates maintained himself in his satrapy and succeeded in founding an independent kingdom. Thus the partition of the country, that Persia had introduced, became lasting; the north was named Atropatene (in Plin. Vi. 42, Atrapatene; in. Ptolem. Vi. 2, 5, Tropatene; in Pniyb, V. 44 and 55 corrupted in r?. isarpajr a KaXouu~va), after the founder of the dynasty, a name still preserved in the modern Azerbaijan; cf. Nldeke, Atropatene, in Zeitschrif.t der deutschen morgeni. Geselisclzaft, 34, 692 sqq. and Marquart, Eranshahr, p. 108 sqq.


The capital was Gazaca in the central plain, and the strong castle Phraaspa (Dio Cass. xlix. 26; Plut. 4nlon. 38; Ptol. Vi. 2, 10) or Vera (Strabo xi. 523), probably identical with the great ruin Takhti Suleiman, where are remains of Sassanid fire-altars and a later palace. The kings had a strong and warlike army, especially cavalry (Polyb. v. 55; Strabo xi. 253). Nevertheless, King Artabazanes was forced by Antiochus the Great in 220 BC to conclude a disadvantageous treaty (Polyb. v. 55), and in later times, the rulers became in turn dependent on the Parthians, on Tigranes of Armenia, and in the time of Pompey who defeated their king Darius (Appian, Mithr. 108), on Antonius (who invaded Atropatene) and on Augustus of Rome. In the time of Strabo (A.D. 17), the dynasty still existed (p. 523); later the country seems to have become a Parthian province. Head of king Shapur II (Sasanian dynasty A.D. 4th century). ... Silver coin of Antiochus III Antiochus III the Great, (ruled 223 - 187 BC), younger son of Seleucus II Callinicus, became ruler of the Seleucid kingdom as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. (His traditional designation, the Great, stems from a misconception of Megas Basileus (Great king), the traditional... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC - 220s BC - 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC Years: 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC 221 BC - 220 BC - 219 BC 218 BC... This article refers to the Roman General. ...


Atropatene is that country of western Asia which was least of all other countries influenced by Hellenism; there exists not even a single coin of its rulers. But the opinion of modern authors that it had been a special refuge of Zoroastrianism, is based on a wrong etymology of the name (falsely explained as "country of fire-worship"), and has no foundation whatever. There can be no doubt that the kings adhered to the Persian religion; but it is not probable that it was deeply rooted among their subjects, especially among the non-Aryan tribes. The Hellenistic period of Greek history was the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the Greek peninsula and islands by Rome in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which...


Southern Media remained a province of the Seleucid Empire for a century and a half, and Hellenism was introduced everywhere. Media is surrounded everywhere by Greek towns, in pursuance of Alexander's plan to protect it from neighboring barbarians, says Polybius (x. 27). Only Ecbatana retained its old character. But Rhagae became the Greek town Europus; and with it Strabo (xi. 524) names Laodicea, Apamea Heraclea or Achais (cf. Pun. Vi. 48). Most of them were founded by Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I. The Seleucid Empire was one of several political states founded after the death of Alexander the Great, whose generals squabbled over the division of Alexanders empire. ... Polybius (ca 203 BC - 120 BC) was a Greek historian of the Mediterranean world, especially the rise of the Roman Republic, which he attributed to Roman fitness and to the excellence of Roman civic and military institutions. ... Strabo (squinty) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. ...


In 221, the satrap Molon tried to make himself independent (there exist bronze coins with his name and the royal title), together with his brother Alexander, satrap of Persis, but they were defeated and killed by Antiochus the Great. In the same way, hI 16r, the Median satrap Timarchus took the diadem and conquered Babylonia; on his coins he calls himself the great king Timarchus; but again the legitimate king, Demetrius I, succeeded in subduing the rebellion, and Timarchus was slain. But with Demetrius I. the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire begins, which was brought on chiefly by the intrigues of the Romans, and shortly afterwards, about 150, the Parthian king, Mithradates I. (q.v.), conquered Media (Justin xli. 6).


From this time Media remained subject to the Arsacids or Parthians, who changed the name of Rhagae, or Europus, into Arsacia (Strabo xi. 524), and divided the country into five small provinces (Isidorus Charac.). From the Parthians, it passed in A.D. 226 to the Sassanids, together with Atropatene. The Arsacid Dynasty ruled Persia. ...


By this time the older tribes of Aryan Iran had lost their distinct character and had been amalgamated into one people, the Iranians. The revival of Zoroastrianism, enforced everywhere by the Sassanids, completed this development. It was only then that Atropatene became a principal seat of fire-worship, with many fire-altars. Arsacia (Rhagae) now became the most sacred city of the empire and the seat of the head of the Zoroastrian hierarchy; the Sassanid Avesta and the tradition of the Parsees therefore consider Rhagae as the home of the family of the Prophet Zoroaster.


See also


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