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Drangiana

(279 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (or Zarangiana), as the name of the region around the lower course of the  Etymander (the modern Hilmand/Helmand Rūd) in the Iranian province of Sı̄stān, goes back to the original Iranian name Zranka, which also described the inhabitants of the region and which has a disputed etymology. It appears in the inscription of  Bı̄sutūn of Darius I (1,16) and in Greek and Latin derivations; the ‘Persian’ variants have an initial d-. According to Strabo, D. (in the Parthian period) adjoined Areia in the north and west, Carmania in the west, Gedrosia in 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 by a fairly loose political union. They - or their …

Rhodogune

(226 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Ῥοδογούνη/ Rhodogoúnē). [German version] [1] Mother of Darius I Wife of Hystaspes [2], mother of Darius [1] I (Suda and Harpocr., s. v.). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [2] Daughter of Darius [1] I Daughter of Darius [1] I? (Hier. Adversus Iovinianum 1,45; PL 23, p. 287). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [3] Daughter of Xerxes I Daughter of Xerxes I (Ctes. FGrH 688 F 13). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [4] Daughter of Artaxerxes [2] II Daughter of Artaxerxes [2] II, wife of Orontes [2] I (Pl…

Gundeshapur

(108 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] ( Ǧundı̄sābūr, ‘Place of the army of Šāpūr’; middle Persian Veh-Andiyōk-Šābūr, ‘Šāpūr [made this city] better than Antioch’; Syrian Bēṯ Lāpāṭ). City located about 30 km east of Susa in which the Sassanid Šāpur ( Sapor) I settled artisans and specialists deported from Syria in the 3rd cent. AD. The town soon became a cultural and scientific centre with its own ‘university’ (important especially in the field of medicine), a main location for Persian silk manufacturing and a centre for th…

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…

Nihāwand

(92 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

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…

Neoi

(451 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (νέοι; néoi). In ancient Greece, the term neoi, which was also used unspecifically (‘the young’ vs. ‘the old’, gérontes/γέροντες), as a technical term described an age group or a group of young men organized as an association: neoi were the young men over 18 who had grown out of puberty, with the boundary between neoi and ἄνδρες ( ándres/men) often remaining undefined; in poleis with the ephebeia ( ephēbeía ; Athens) they followed the paídes (Child) and éphēboi by age and, therefore, belonged to the citizens with military service obligations; Xenophon cons…

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

Aryans

(327 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] The peoples of ancient India and ancient Iran, who spoke Aryan languages referred to themselves as A. (cf. Old Indo-Aryan árya-, Iranian arya-; etymology disputed). In the 19th cent. the until then purely linguistic terms A./Aryan were for a time used synonymously with Indo-Europeans/Indo-Germanic and in this way came to be used in anthropology and ethnology, which in the Nazi era perverted them with an anti-Semitic bias into the positive counterpart of Jews/Jewish. Lin…

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 …

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…

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…

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?).…

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…

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) …

Zarama

(30 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ζαράμα; Zaráma). Not precisely locatable township, mentioned only in Ptol. 6,2,16, in the interior of Media, presumably to the southwest of Europus (Rhagae). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

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 Jahrhund…

Pan Ku, Pan Chao

(57 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Siblings (1st cent. AD), authors of the Hanshu (Qian Hanshu), the official Chinese dynastic history of the Former or Western Han, containing information on the Parthian empire (Parthians; Parthia), among other subjects. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography D.D. Leslie, K.H. J. Gardiner, The Roman Empire in Chinese Sources, 1996, s.v. Pan Ku/Pan Ch'ao.

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…
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