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Zariaspa

(66 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Diadochi and Epigoni | Alexander | Graeco-Bactria | Graeco-Bactria | Hellenistic states | India, trade with | Mauryas (Ζαρίασπα/ Zaríaspa: Arr.  Anab. 4,1,5; 4,7,1; Pol. 10,49;  Str. 11,11,2; in Plin. HN 6,48 called Zariastes). Earlier name of the chief town of Bactria, which later was known as Bactra (Balkh). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

Gordyaea

(183 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Γορδυηνή/ Gordyēnḗ, Plut. Lucullus 21; 26; 29 and passim; Plut. Pompey 36; Ptol. 5,12,9; Str. 11,14,2; 14,8; 14,15; App. Mith. 105; Γορδυαία/ Gordyaía, Str. 16,1,8; 1,21; 2,5). Region on the border of Armenia, the Adiabene, and the Atropatene on the upper course of the Tigris, south of Lake Van, with the poleis Sareisa (modern Šārı̄š), Satalka, and Pinaka (modern Finek) (Str. 16,1,24). Strabo identifies the inhabitants of the region, the Gordyaíoi (Γορδυαῖοι), with the   Carduchi (Καρδοῦχοι) (cf. Xen. An. 4,1,8; Plin. HN 6,44). After …

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 …

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)

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
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