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Marriage, Age at

(1,038 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] I. Object of Research and Method In pre-industrial societies, the age of husband and wife at first marriage - alongside mortality and the menopause - determined the time-span available for procreation. An extension of this period usually caused a proportional rise in fertility. At the same time, the age of the husband influenced the size of the generation gap and the social and legal relations within the oíkos and familia. Ancient historians have developed various methodological approaches to establish this age, which differ in the choice of the so…

Parysatis

(274 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Παρύσατις; Parysatis, Babylonian Purušātu). [German version] [1] Daughter of Artaxerxes [1] I and the Babylonian Andia Daughter of Artaxerxes [1] I and the Babylonian Andia; wife of her half-brother Darius [2] II, mother of Artaxerxes [2] II and Cyrus [3] the Younger (Ctesias FGrH 688 F 15; Plut. Artoxerxes 2,4) among other children. According to Greek tradition, she is said to have had a great influence on Darius (Ctesias ibid.; Plut. Artoxerxes 2,2), preferred Cyrus (Xen. An. 1,1,3; Ctesias FGrH 688 F 17), a…

Nishapur

(76 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] ( Nēv Šābuhr). City founded by Šābuhr I (Sapor) (Ḥamza Iṣfah, Šahristānihā-i Ērān; Ṭabarī: Šābuhr II), capital of the Sāssānid province of Abaršahr in Westḫorāsān (Iran). Under Yazdgird II (5th cent. AD) it was for a time the most important royal residence of the Sāssānids (battles against the Hephthalites), and the city, in whose vicinity was also an important fire sanctuary, remained a flourishing metropolis until the Mongol Conquest of the 13th cent. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

Comisene

(109 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Border territory of Media, opposite Parthyene east of the Caspian Gates (the modern territory of Dāmghān). Although it had already been lost for a period to the Seleucids before the eastern campaign ( anábasis) of  Antiochus [5] III, it did not finally fall to the Parthians (along with its central town of  Hecatompylus) until the 2nd cent. BC (cf. Str. 11,9,1). In the late Sassanid period the province ( šahr) Kōmiš, which incidentally was probably never a Christian diocese [1], separated the provinces of Gurgān and Ray. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 R. Gysel…

Xenippa

(122 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Fertile and densely settled area in Sogdiana, mentioned only in Curt. 8,2,14 as "bordering Scythia." The location and region are today identified with Erkurgan and its surrounding area near Karshi in the plain of the River Qashqadaryo in Uzbekistan. At the approach of Alexander [4]  the Great in the winter of 329/8 BC the inhabitants of X. expelled the Bactrians (Bactria) that had defected from the Macedonians and sought refuge in their land. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 F. Grenet, Zoroastre au Badakhshân, in: Studia Iranica 31, 2002, 193-214 2 C. Rapin, …

Gaugamela

(149 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Xenophon | Alexander Large village (κώμη μεγάλη, probably modern Tall Gōmil near Ǧabal Maqlūb, 35 km north-east of Mosul) on the river Bumelos in northern Mesopotamia (Arr. Anab. 6,11,6), near which (cf. Arr. Anab. 3,8,7) the battle between  Alexander [4] the Great and  Darius [3] III took place on 1 October 331 (Arr. Anab. 3,11-15; Curt. 4,13,26-16; Plut. Alexander 31-33; Diod. Sic. 17,56-61; Iust. 11,14). After Alexander stalled a flanking manoe…

Media

(554 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Region in north-western Iran, in Neo-Assyrian records referred to as KUR Ma-da-a-a. The borders of M. changed in the course of history and cannot be defined exactly in geographical terms; its political centre was Ecbatana. In historical times, the ethnolinguistic classification of M.'s predominant inhabitants was Iranian ( Medes). More or less neglected by classical Greek records, the geography of M. gained importance in the Western mind from the Alexandrian period. Polybius praised the stra…

Oroetes

(86 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ὀροίτης; Oroítēs). Persian governor in Sardeis who (according to Hdt. 3,120ff.) had Polycrates [1] enticed from Samos to Magnesia and crucified. When O. refused to assist Darius [1] I after the death of Cambyses [2], Darius had him disposed of (according to Herodotus, through a command from the royal envoy Bagaeus to the O.'s bodyguard). From the entourage of O., the physician Democedes came to the Persian court. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography P. Briant, Histoire de l'Empire perse: de Cyrus à Alexandre, 1996, s.v. Oroites

Life expectancy

(861 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] The term life expectancy (LE) is used in historical demography and population sociology to indicate how many years a person of a certain age has left to live under the mortality conditions in a specific society. It must be noted that this term in no way indicates the average age of death, and that the LE of a person changes significantly over the course of his or her life. In societies before the demographic transition (transition to a low birth and mortality rate), due to high mo…

Cunaxa

(126 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Xenophon (Κούναξα; Koúnaxa). City on the left shore of the Euphrates river mentioned only by Plut. Artaxerxes 8,2. In its vicinity,  Cyrus [3] the Younger lost the battle and his life against his brother  Artaxerxes [2] II in the autumn of 401 BC. According to Plut., the city was 500 stadia away from Babylon, but according to Xen. An. 2,2,6, the distance was 360. Thus, until today the city's location cannot be clearly ascertained (Tell Kuneise?). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography H. Gasche, Autour des Dix Mille: Vest…

Matiane

(144 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] In Ionian Greek Matiene (Ματιανή/ Matianḗ, Ματιηνή/ Matiēnḗ), its inhabitants are Matieni (Ματιηνοί; Matiēnoí). According to Hdt. 5,49; 52 a region east of Armenia and the sources of the Little Zab river (Zabatus), according to Hdt. 1,202 also of the Gyndes and the Araxes [2] (contra: Strab. 11, 14, 13). M. was part of Media according to Strab. 2,1,14; 11,7,2; 11,8,8 and Steph. Byz. s.v. M., while according to Strab. 11,13,2; 7 it may have extended from the southern shore of Lake Urmia to the …

Medes

(473 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Μῆδοι, Mêdoi, Old Persian Māda, Lat. Medi). Ethnolinguistically, the population is defined as western Iranian, and their north-west Iranian language is only indirectly documented in loan words and names in secondary transmission (Achaemenid royal inscriptions, Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian cuneiform texts) from the 9th cent. BC onwards. The Medes were first mentioned in 835 BC in the annals of Salmanassar III as enemies of the Assyrians. The Median tribes were apparently only linked …

Naqš-e Raǧab

(78 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Rock crevice with four Sāssānid reliefs (and  inscriptions) 3 km north-east of Persepolis in Persis. The reliefs show Šābuhr I (Sapor) with his entourage (with Middle Persian-Parthian-Greek inscription [1. ŠNRb]), the bust of the Zoroastrian ‘priest ’Karter ( Kirdīr, with Middle Persian inscription [2. KNRb]) , as well as the respective investitures of Ardaxšīr (Ardashir [1]) und Šābuhr I. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 M. Beck, Die sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, 1978 2 Ph. Gignoux, Les quatre inscriptions du mage Kirdīr, 1991.

Sittace

(127 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Xenophon (Σιττάκη/ Sittákē, cf. Hecat. FGrH 1 F 285). City in and eponym of the region of Sittacene (in Mesopotamia), later called Apolloniatis. Antiochus [5] III won a victory over the rebellious Molon [1] there in 220 BC (Pol. 5,53,2 ff.) and established his own administrative district. In the Parthian Period the border between Apolloniatis and Babylonia ran near Seleucia [1] (Isidorus from Charax, Stathmoí Parthikoí 2). If Xen. An. 2,4,13 and 2,4,25 confused S. and Opis [3] (modern Tulūl al-Muǧaili), S. would probabl…

Zarotis

(82 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] River, mentioned only in Plin. HN 6,99, which flowed into the Persian Gulf. Presumably identical to the Or(o)atis, named in Plin. HN 6,111; 136 as the border river between Persis and Elymais (cf. Ptol. 6,3,1; 6,4,1 f.: Oroátis; Amm. Marc. 23,6,26: Oroates; modern Šūr Āb) or the Arosis, described in Arr. Ind. 39,9 as the border between the Persians and the Susians (modern Zohre/Hendīǧān). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 M. G. Schmidt, Die Nebenüberlieferung des 6. Buchs der 'Geographie' des Ptolemaios, 1999, 25 f.

Satibarzanes

(137 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Σατιβαρζάνης; Satibarzánēs). [German version] [1] Chamberlain of Artaxerxes [1] I 'Eunuch'/chamberlain in the entourage of Artaxerxes [1] I (Plut. Artaxerxes 12,4. Plut. Mor. 173e; Ktes. FGrH 688 F 30). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [2] Satrap of Areia, 4th cent. BC Persian satrap of Areia [1], fought in the battle of Gaugamela on the left flank (Arr. Anab. 3,8,4), follower of Bessus and one of the assassins of Darius [3] III (Arr. Anab. 3,21,9 f.). He surrendered in 330 to Alexander  [4] the Great (Arr. Anab. 3,25,1 f.; …

Satrap

(933 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Old Persian ḫšaçapāvan-, 'protector of the kingdom/dynasty', Elamic šá-ak-šá-ba-ma, Akkadian aḫšadrapanu, Imperial Aramaic ḥšatrapan, Greek usually σατράπης/ satrápēs [9]; Latin satrapa, -es, satraps). Title of a Persian-Achaemenid (seminal: [3]), later also Seleucid, Parthian and Sassanid provincial governor (Parthian ḥštrp / ḫšahrap/; Middle Persian štrp / šahrap/). The title appears first in the Bīsutūn inscription of Darius [1] I [11. DB III 14.56], where it denotes two appointees of the new king in Bactria and Arachosi…

Sassanids

(3,054 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
In the narrower sense, the term S. designates the members of the Iranian dynasty of the descendants of Sāsān; in the broader sense, it designates the inhabitants of the Sassanid Empire or its political elite (3rd-7th cents. AD). [German version] I. Evidence Among the written sources (discussion and literature in [25. 153-164, 283-287]; cf. also [1; 6; 27]), the contemporary indigenous evidence should have priority, esp.: a) the inscriptions, some multilingual, of kings and dignitaries (of the 3rd cent. AD) of Persis, the ancestral homel…

Megabazus

(144 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Μεγαβάζος; Megabázos). Name of several distinguished Persians. [German version] [1] Commander under Dareius [1] I. Commander under Darius [1] I, father of Oebares (Hdt. 6,33) and of Bubares (7,22). After his Scythian campaign in 513, the king left him in Europe to conquer Thrace (Hdt. 5,2). M. subjugated all the inhabitants of the Hellespont, Perinthus (5,2), and Thrace (ibid.) who were not already subjected to the Persians (Hdt. 4,144), as well as the Paeonians (5,15). He accomplished the subjugation of the Macedonian king Amyntas [1] through envoys (Hdt. 5,17f.; Iust. 7,3,7). Wiese…

Cyaxares

(438 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Κυαξάρης, ancient Persian Uvaxštra-, etymology uncertain). [German version] [1] Median king of the 7th or 6th cent. BC Median ‘king’ of the 7th/6th cents. BC. In the Median lógos of Herodotus (Hdt. 1,73f.; 103-107) C. appears as τύραννος/ týrannos or βασιλεύς/ basileús of the Medes, as the son of  Phraortes, grandson of  Deioces and father of  Astyages. During his 40-year reign, he is said -- after a Scythian interregnum -- to have conquered the Assyrians and to have fought against Alyattes of Lydia (probably for possession of Cappado…
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