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China

(298 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Σῖνα; Sîna). C. comprises within its modern borders several ancient cultural zones, with various traditions and ties looking to the west and the south. The steppe zone in the north was in continuous contact with western Siberia and eastern Europe from at least the 2nd millennium BC, always under the influence of the central Chinese cultures of the Yellow River region and the coastal zone. Southern China was orientated towards the south and south-east. Traffic along the ‘silk roads…

Arsamosata

(87 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Byzantium | Hellenistic states | Hellenistic states | Limes Often mentioned stronghold in Armenia, mentioned by Pol. 8 .23 for the year 189 BC, located by Plin. HN 6.26 ( Arsamosata Euphrati proximum) and mentioned by Tac. Ann. 15.10 for the year AD 62. In Ptol. 5.12.8: Ἀρσαμόσατα ( Arsamósata). Either identical to Erzurum (upper western Euphrates) or situated south of the eastern Euphrates between the latter and the Tigris. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Treidler, Hans (Berlin)

Acadra

(73 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Coastal area of Indo-China A coastal area of Indo-China mentioned by Ptol. 7,2,6. Excavations in Arikamedu indicate that this region enjoyed trade with Rome during the 1st cent. AD. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) [German version] [2] City of southern China City of southern China recorded only by Ptol. 7,3,5, possibly associated with the πόλις Ἀσπίθρα ( pólis Aspíthra) and the Psitharas river mentioned by Plin. HN 6,35. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)

Albania

(175 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] [1] Caucasian landscape Caucasian landscape on the middle to lower  Cyrus (Kura) (Str. 11,4; Ptol. 5,11). The main city was Cabavla (Plin. HN 6,29 Cabalaca, Mount Kalak's name today is a reminder). The Ἀλβάνιαι πύλαι ( Albániai pýlai; Ptol. 5,9,15; 12,6) are presumably identical to the eastern Caucasian pass of Khacmȃz. Cabala and other cities in Albania have been excavated. A rock inscription on the Kobystan Cliff of the Caspian Sea verifies the advance of Domitian's XII legion (around AD 80). Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography L. Bretanizki, B. Weimarn, B.…

Drangae

(106 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques (Liege)
[German version] Eastern Iranian people (Σαράγγαι, Sarángai, in Hdt. 3,93) on the lower course of the  Etymander (the modern Hilmand/Helmand Rūd); the country itself was called  Drangiana, and that seems in any case to be the Medio-Persian form. Together with some tribes of the central desert and Carmania, the Sarangae appear in Herodotus as linked to a tax district, on the southern side of the Parthians and Hyrcanians. In the army of Xerxes the Sarangai bore Median weaponry (Hdt. 7,67,1). A legendary cycle is bound up with the hero-names Keršāsp and Rōstam. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Du…

Apasiaci

(63 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] From Âpaçaka = ‘Water Sacae’ (?), in Str. 11,6-7,513 and Pol. 10,48. Possibly in the Šany-darja delta, their residence  Cirik-Rabat-Kala (?). Babiš-Mulla 1 is a fortified palace, the funeral monuments Babiš-Mulla 2 and Balandy 2 are domed buildings and represent a preliminary stage of the development of Islamic mausoleums. The region was abandoned in 150 BC. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)

Maracanda

(443 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Wirth, Gerhard (Nuremberg)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Sassanids | Alexander | Graeco-Bactria | Graeco-Bactria (Μαράκανδα, ἡ Μαρακάνδα; Marákanda, hē Marakánda), modern Afrasiab/Samarkand, founded as an oasis city at the end of the 14th cent. BC in the fertile plain of the Polytimetus (modern Serafšān), old capital of Sogdiana (Arr. Anab. 3,30,6), the size of 60 stadia (Curt. 7,6,10). Trading centre for trade to the north and east (finds from the Tang period). There is hardly any information about the period before Alexander [4] the …

Climate, Environmental change

(804 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Sauer, Vera (Stuttgart)
[German version] I. General points Climate is the sum of the weather phenomena occurring in a given region over longer periods of time. In combination with the nature of the soil, the water resources and other natural conditions it determines the possibility of human existence. Natural irregularities lead to differences in the energy radiation on to the earth's surface, the circulation of air masses and therefore the distribution of moisture. Changes affect in particular those areas on the limits of …

Caucasiae Pylae

(44 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] (Καυκάσιαι Πύλαι; Kaukásiai Pýlai). Pass in the  Caucasus, only mentioned in Plin. HN 6,30; the same as what is now the Georgian military road, described in Ptol. 5,8,9 as Σαρματικαὶ Πύλαι ( Sarmatikaì Pýlai). Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Treidler, Hans (Berlin)

Artaxata

(91 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | Commerce | Hellenistic states | Limes | Rome Founded by Artaxias on the advice of Hannibal (188 BC), capital of  Armenia (today Artashat, south-east of Jerewan), on the left bank of the Araxes (today Aras), also called Ἀρταξιάσατα ( Artaxiásata) by Str. 11.14.5-6, otherwise attested by App. Mith. 104 (Ἀρτάξατα ἡ βασίλειος), Plut. Luc. 31.3 (τὸ Τιγράνου βασίλειον), Cass. Dio 36.51; 1.49.39.3 and Ptol. 5.12.5; 8.19.10; Tac. Ann. 2.56 and passim. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Treidler, Hans (Berlin)

Prason

(125 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Πράσον ἀκροτήριον/ Práson akrotḗrion). Southernmost cape on the African coast reached by the Greeks. It was considered to be the northwestern border of the legendary 'land of the south' (Ptol. 7,2,1) - the counterpart to Cattigara as the corner of Asia. According to the longitudinal data of several seafarers, it lay south of the equator, see Ptol. 1,8. It could have been Cape Ras Kansi near Dār as-Salām. P. was reached by the owners of trading vessels who were either driven south w…

Silk Road

(608 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Collective term for the caravan routes from China to western Asia. Used for general trade and interchange, the Silk Road acquired particular significance by bringing silk fabrics into the Mediterranean, where it was highly prized, particularly in Rome (silk had been known there since the 1st cent. BC; for evidence see Seres). It is not known when the use of these trade routes began - it presumably goes back to the 4th millennium BC; it is documented until the 16th cent. AD. Today'…

Baris Oros

(81 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] (Βάρις ὄρος; Báris óros). The ancient name for the highest mountain of  Armenia, the Ararat (5165 m). The source on which this is based is Nicolaus of Damascus, in Ios. Ant. Iud. 1, p. 95; p. 18 Niese. The Βaris Οros belonged to the Armenian landscape Μινουάς ( Minouás; today Manawazeau) and was located south-west of the old  Artaxata (today Artašat). Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Treidler, Hans (Berlin) Bibliography Atlas of the World II. Dardanelles, Bosporus, Turkey East, 1959, Pl. 37.

Nautaca

(68 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Graeco-Bactria | Graeco-Bactria (τὰ Ναύτακα; tà Naútaka). According to Arr. Anab. 3,28,9; 4,18,1; Curt. 8,2,1 ( Nauta), a settlement or region in Sogdiana. Possibly a venue for chariot-racing. Not located. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography J. Sturm, s.v. N., RE 16, 2033  R. Hauschild, Tirade der Wagenrennfahrt des Königs Haosravah und Junkers Neresmanah, in: MIO 7,1, 1959, 1-78.

Aeniana

(119 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] A place in Armenia on the upper Araxes (present-day Aras), recorded only by Str. in books 11,7,1; 14,14. It was incorrectly associated with the southern Thessalian Αἰᾶνες ( Aiânes). An inland area of Armenia called Hani, a place with the same name located south-west of Lake Urmia and also Ani, a place on the upper Aras, are all very old indigenous names which led to this incorrect conclusion. Also, the district Οἰταία ( Oitaía) and the mountain Οἴτη ( Oítē) were associated with the Οὐίτιοι ( Ouítioi) tribe and the Οὐιτία ( Ouitía) area in the Araxes region. This resulted…

Liwan

(78 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (= Eivan). Hall open at the front with a barrel vault, mostly accessible from an internal courtyard. Characteristic building form of the Parthian and Sassanid period (2nd cent. BC-7th cent. AD; Ḥatra [1], Parthian Palace in Assur [1], Ctesiphon [2], Sarwistān, Qaṣr-e Šīrīn) which later became a defining element of Islamic mosque and palace architecture and spread in this way to Morocco and India. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography O. Grabar, s.v. Īwān, EI 4, 287-389.

Sabbatha

(144 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Dietrich, Albert (Göttingen)
[German version] (Σαββαθά/ Sabbathá: Peripl. m. r. 27; Σάββαθα/ Sábbatha: Ptol. 8,14,22; Sabota: Plin. HN 6,155 and 12,52; corruption Χαβάτανον/ Chabátanon and variant: Str. 16,4,2; inscription Šabwat; already in the Arabic geographers in the form Šabwa: Hamdānī, Ǧazīra Müller 87; 98; Yāqūt, Muǧam Wüstenfeld 3,257). Maepha was the southern, S. the northern capital of Ḥaḍramaut in southern Arabia. Important for trade in incense, S. was the seat of Īlazz II. Yaliṭ (= Ἐλέαζος/ Eléazos, Peripl. m. r. 27) c. AD 29. S. was probably destroyed c. 200 by Yadail Bayyin of Ḥaḍramaut,…

Dargoidus

(61 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques (Liege)
[German version] River in  Bactria, which rises in the Parapanisus and flows northwards to join the Oxus ( Araxes [2]) east of the Zariaspes, and which used to supply the region of Choana (today known as Qunduz) with water. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques (Liege) Bibliography W. Henning, Surkh Kotal, in: BSO(A)S, 1956, 366f. Id., The Bactrian inscription, in: BSO(A)S, 1960, 47-55.

Chorezmia

(286 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Χορασμίη; Chorasmíē, Arabic Ḫwārizm). River-valley oasis on the lower Āmū-daryā. Settled by farmers since the 5th-4th millennia BC. In the Avesta ( Avesta script) as xwarizm; mentioned in the  Bisutun inscription. The Chorezmians together with the Aryans formed a satrapy (Hdt. III,93,173 Hecat. fr.). Abū Raiḥān al-Bı̄rūnī gives the year 980 before the era of Alexander (1292 BC) as the beginning of the Chorezmian era. When in 329/328 Alexander wintered in  Maracanda he was visited by  Pharasmanes, king o…

Air-tam

(60 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Graeco-Bactrian settlement on the north bank of the Amu-darja river. Remains include a Buddhist temple decorated with reliefs in the north Bactrian style of Gandhara art. Also found were the remains of two stupas and a Greek inscription of several lines from the time of Huvishka. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography B. Staviski, Mittelasien. Kunst der Kuschan, 1979, 134-138.
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