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Masistes

(154 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Μασίστης; Masistēs). According to Hdt.7,82 son of Darius [1] I and Atossa [1], satrap of Bactria (Hdt. 9,113) and Persian commander-in-chief (Hdt. 7,82). After the cruel death of his wife, M. is said to have been killed by the king's troops in 479/8 BC, together with his sons, while on his way to Bactria bent on insurrection (Hdt. 9,107-113). The name M. probably derives from the Old Persian ma θ iišta- (Greek μέγιστος/ mégistos, ‘the greatest’). Iust. 2,10,1-11 and Plut. Mor. 173b-c; 488d-f recount how, in exchange for recognising his kingship, Xerxe…

Hecatompylus

(135 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Alexander | Hellenistic states | India, trade with According to Appianus (Syr. 57,298, Ἑκατόμπολις/ Hekatómpolis), a new foundation of Seleucus I in Comisene; according to Pliny (HN 6,17,44), 133 miles from the Caspian Gates. Probably the modern Šahr-e Qūmes near  Damghan. After brief Arsacid occupation at the beginning of the 2nd cent. BC, it became Parthian capital. Excavation has brought to light abundant evidence from the Parthian period, including - bes…

Mazaeus

(243 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Μαζαῖος; Mazaîos). Persian nobleman, highly respected at the Achaemenid court (Curt. 5,1,18; Plut. Alexander 39), father of Antibelus, Artiboles and Hydarnes. Under Artaxerxes [3] III, M. was satrap of Cilicia and Persian commander in the war against the rebellious Phoenicians (Diod. Sic. 16,42,1f.). Under Darius [3] III, he administered Coele Syria and ‘Syria between the rivers’. In 331 BC, he withdrew from his position near Thapsacus, enabling Alexander [4] the Great to cross th…

Naqš-e Rostam

(183 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Rock wall situated north of Persepolis with reliefs from the Elamite and Sassanid periods ([3. 167 No.1-8], partly with inscriptions) as well as cliff tombs with reliefs from the Achaemenid period [3. 167 No. I-IV], of which only that of Darius [1] I can be confidently attributed (through the inscription [1. DNa/b]). Others buried there are assumed to be Xerxes I, Artaxerxes [1] I and Darius [2] II. On the summit of the mountain and on the mountain generally there are numerous Zor…

Pasargadae

(375 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Alexander (Πασαργάδαι/ Pasargádai, cf. Curt. 5,6,10: Pasargada). In the masculine form, name of the Persian tribe to whom the Achaemenids are said to have belonged (Hdt. 1,125), in the feminine form, the Greek name for the residence built by Cyrus [2] II (after his victory over Croesus c. 550 BC at the site of the victory over Astyages (Str. 15,3,8)?) in the Murġāb Plain (1900 m/N.N.), 30 km north-east of Persepolis (Elamite name form: Batraqataš). In the Achaemenid period, the chief monuments were sc…

Great King

(273 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] The title Great King in the ancient Oriental tradition (from the 2nd millennium BC to the Achaemenids [1]) was adopted by Hellenistic rulers as μέγας βασιλεύς; megas basileûs (and continued as rex magnus [2. 253]). It is attested for the Seleucids  Antiochus [5] III, who did not use it on coins and in royal letters, but tolerated (or even promoted) its use elsewhere [3. 75-77],  Antiochus [9] VII (Iust. 38,10,6), Ptolemy III (OGIS I 54) and IV [5. 71-74], and later also for other Hellenistic kings and petty prin…

Karter

(187 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Middle Persian Kerdīr or Kirdīr). The name of a Sassanid religious-political official and dignitary of the 3rd cent. AD. In his four inscriptions [1. KKZ, KNRm, KNRb, KSM], originating from the times of King Vahrām II (276-293), K. describes his career from a simple hērbed (teacher priest) under Šābuhr I to mōbad and dādvar (judge) of the entire kingdom. Further, he praises his commitment to Zoroastrianism and explains his visions. The significant role attributed to him in the arrest of the Mani under Vahrām I is in fact merely se…

Oxathres

(184 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Ὀξάθρης/ Oxáthrēs). [German version] [1] Youngest son of Darius [2] II and Parysatis Youngest son of Darius [2] II and Parysatis (Plut. Artoxerxes 1,5). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [2] Son of Abulites, commander at Gaugamela Son of Abulites, commander of his father's troops at Gaugamela; he subjugated himself to Alexander [4] the Great, but he (now governor of Paraetacene) was executed in Susa in 324 because he failed to provide assistance to the Greek army marching through the Gedrosian desert (Arr. Anab. 3,8,5; …

Phrataphernes

(162 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Φραταφέρνης/ Phrataphérnēs). Satrap of the territories of Parthia and Hyrcania under Darius [3] III (Arr. Anab. 3,23,4); he commanded the Parthians, Hyrcanians and Topeirians in the battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC ( ibidem 3,8,4). After the death of Darius he was reinstated in his old post by Alexander[4] the Great ( ibidem 3,28,2; 5,20,7; Curt. 8,3,17) and became one of the most loyal followers of the Macedonian. He took part in the suppression of the rebellion in Areia [1] ( ibidem 3,28,2; 4,18,1), arrested the insurgent Autophradates [2] (ibidem 4,18,2; Curt. 8,3,17…

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)

Child exposure

(711 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Exposure of children (Greek έκθεσις/ ékthesis; Lat. expositio/ oblatio), which must be clearly distinguished from infanticide, is to be seen as a method of ancient family planning. The decision whether to expose an infant lay with the head of the family: in Greece -- with the exception of Sparta, where the phyle elders (των φυλετῶν οί πρεσβύτατοι) examined newly born infants either to order or to forbid that they be raised -- this was the κύριος/  kýrios ; in Rome the pater familias. Demographic theories regarding the frequency of infant exposure are not unprob…

Rhoxane

(278 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Ῥωξάνη/ Rhōxánē). [German version] [1] Wife of Cambyses [2] II Wife of Cambyses [2] II (Ctesias FGrH 688 F 13). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [2] Daughter of Hydarnes Daughter of Hydarnes, half-sister of Terituchmes, fell victim with her whole family to the vengeance of Parysatis [1] (Ctesias FGrH 688 F 15) because Terituchmes had turned away from his wife Amestris and devoted himself to R. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [3] Daughter of Darius [3] III According to Julius Valerius 2,33 among others, daughter of Darius [3] III who in 332 offered her…

Parthians

(1,586 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Πάρθοι/ Párthoi, Hdt. 3,93 i.a.; Παρθυαῖοι/ Parthyaîoi Pol. 10,31,15; App. Syr. 65 i.a.; Latin Parthi, Just. Epit. 41,1,1 et passim. In a narrower sense a term for the inhabitants of the province of Parthia and/or the Parni, who invaded Parthia, and in a wider sense the inhabitants of the Arsacid Empire (Arsaces) or their political elite. [German version] I. Evidence In the written tradition (for a discussion of the evidence and literature concerning it see [21]; see also [19. 117-129, 276-278]) on the Parthians, contemporary indigenous sources take pre…

Orxines

(84 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ὀρξίνης/ Orxínēs, Curtius: Orsines). Rich Persian, descendant of Cyrus [2] II, fought at Gaugamela, and in 326 BC, in the absence of Alexander [4] the Great, made himself satrap of Persis. When he attempted to have his position confirmed at a later stage, he was executed by Alexander, having been accused of killing numerous people, defiling temples and robbing the royal tombs (Arr. Anab. 3,8,5; 6,29,2; 30,1f.; Curt. 4,12,8; 10,1,24.37). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography J. Wiesehöfer, Die “dunklen Jahrhunderte” der Persis, 1994, s.v. O.

Fan Ye

(265 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Chinese author of a dynastic history that contains i.a. information on the geography of the Parthian empire and on contacts between the Parthians and the Chinese. Born AD 398 into a family of Chinese imperial officials, F. himself held the posts of administrative district officer and general in the imperial guard. Implicated in a conspiracy under emperor Wen (Sung Dyn.), he was executed in AD 446, which prevented the completion of his 100-chapter ‘History of the later Han Dynasty (AD 25-220)’, Hou Hanshu (10 chs. ‘basic annals’, benji of emperors and empresses, 80 b…

Rhodaspes

(92 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ρωδάσπης; Rhōdáspēs). Son of the Parthian king  Phraates [4] IV. In order to secure the royal succession of Phraates [5] V, his father sent him in 10/9 BC, with other sons and grandsons, to Augustus in Rome (R. Gest. div. Aug. 32; Str. 16,1,28; Vell. Pat. 2,94,4; Tac. Ann. 2,1,2; Suet. Aug. 21,3; 43,4) where he died (tomb inscription: ILS 842). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 E. Nedergaard, The Four Sons of Phraates IV in Rome, in: Acta Hyperborea 1, 1988, 102-115 2 K.-H. Ziegler, Die Beziehungen zwischen Rom und dem Partherreich, 1964, 51 f.

Sacaraucae

(212 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Σακαραῦκαι/ Sakaraûkai; on the name [2. 68]). A people originally living on the borders of Transoxiana, regarded by Str. 11,8,2 ( cf. Just. Epit. prol. 41), together with the Asii, Pasiani and Tochari, among the conquerors of Bactria (in the 2nd cent. BC). After Parthian kings had already been forced at the end of the 2nd cent. BC into conflict with nomadic peoples on the eastern border of the empire, in 78/77 BC the S. even succeeded in placing Sanatruces [1] on the Parthian throne, an Arsacid acce…

Gobryas

(423 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Γωβρύας; Gōbrýas, Akkadian Gu/Gú-ba/bar-ru( -u; Elamite Kam-bar-ma, ancient Persian Gaubaruva-). Name of various Achaemenid dignitaries. [German version] [1] Governor of Cyrus the Gr. ‘Governor’ of Cyrus the Great known from the Nabonidus Chronicle (3,20 [4]) who after the conquest of Babylonia appointed administrative officials there. Presumably identical to Ugbaru, the ‘Governor of Gutium’ mentioned in 3,15 who captured Babylon for the Persian king and died there a few days after Cyrus' arrival. In this case it i…
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