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Syennesis

(182 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Συέννεσις/ Syénnesis). Term for indigenous Cilician dynasts with their centre at Tarsus (Xen. An. 1,2,23). According to Hdt. 1,74, one S. is supposed to have mediated the accord between the Lydians and the Medes; in the war between Croesus and Cyrus [2], Cilicia was on the Persian side (Hdt. 1,28). Another S. took part in Xerxes's campaign against Hellas (Hdt. 7,98; Aesch. Pers. 326-328). It is generally assumed that the duplicity of the third known S., the husband of Epyaxa, duri…

Tissaphernes

(398 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Τισσαφέρνης/ Tissaphérnēs). Son of Hydarnes [4], grandson of Hydarnes [1]. After the removal of the rebellious satrap Pissuthnes T. became a satrap in 413 BC in Sardis and a káranos (Thuc. 8,5,4: stratēgòs tôn kátō, 'army leader of the lands on the coast') in the west of Asia Minor. As such he concluded a subsidy treaty with Sparta against Athens in 412 BC; in return Sparta entrusted the Greeks of western Asia Minor to the Great King (Thuc. 1,115,4; 8,5,4 f.; 8,17 f.; 8,43; 8,52 and 8,58; renewal of the treaty in…

Sima Qian

(214 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] ( Sīmǎ Qiān). C. 145 - c. 85 BC, author of the first Chinese dynastic history, the Shǐjì, which contains, primarily in chapter 123, important information on central Asia and Iran (e.g. on the decline of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom and characteristics of the Parthian Empire). S. was born in Longmen (modern province of Shanxi, near Chang'an, the capital of the time). After early travels through the whole Empire he later held office at the court of the Han emperor Wu (140-87 BC) as court astrologer a…

Hospitality

(1,855 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Wagner-Hasel, Beate (Darmstadt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In Egypt and Mesopotamia, hospitality was not regarded as a value in itself, but generosity to the needy was seen in both cultures as an obligatory norm, in the sense of a communicative and vertical solidarity [1; 2]. According to Egyptian sources, strangers were treated with reserve, and late teachings (Ankh-Sheshonqi 21,24f.) speak of the loneliness of a person in a strange city where (s)he has no relatives. Rarely, letters contain admonitions to treat an announced guest with proper attention…

Hermotimus

(132 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] [1] Prisoner of war from Pedasa Prisoner of war from Pedasa, who, according to Hdt. 8,104f., as a eunuch, had become one of the closest confidants of  Xerxes I and is said to have taken his revenge on the slave trader Panionius (Ath. 6,266e attests that the story was well known).  Eunuchs Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 P. Briant, Histoire de l'empire perse de Cyrus à Alexandre, 1996, 283-288 2 P. Guyot, Eunuchen als Sklaven und Freigelassene, 1980, Register s.v. [German version] [2] Mathematician from Colophon of Colophon, mathematician. He continued …

Persis

(477 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Περσίς/ Persís, Str. 15,3,1, etc.; Old Persian Pārsa). Region in Southwest Iran, which (as Anshan) belonged to the kingdom of Elam and was later the home of the dynasty of the Achaemenids [2] and Sāssānids (see below). Greek and Roman authors as well as Arab geographers divided P. into different geographical and climatic zones: the hot and infertile coastal region (with ports), the rugged, cold and inhospitable mountain region and the highly fertile region of well-watered valleys (Curt. 5,4,5-9; Str. 15,3,1; Arr. I…

Elymaei

(144 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Ἐλυμαῖοι; Elymaîoi). [German version] [1] Inhabitants of the Elymais Inhabitants of the  Elymais, described by ancient authors mainly as mountain dwellers or rather, in a military context, as mounted archers (cf. i.a. App. Syr. 32; Str. 16,1,17; Liv. 37,40,9). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) [German version] [2] Inhabitants of the Elburz region According to Pol. 5,44,9 neighbours to the inhabitants of  Media Atropatene in the Elburz region along the south-western corner of the Caspian Sea. Plut. Pompeius 36 reports of a ‘king of the Elymaei and Medes…

Zadracarta

(61 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Alexander | Hellenistic states | Hellenistic states (τὰ Ζαδρακάρτα/ tà Zadrakárta; Arr. Anab. 3,23,6; 25,1). Largest city and fortified Achaemenid residence in Hyrcania, whose precise location is not certain (Sārī?, Qale Ḫandān?). Alexander [4] the Great passed through Z. while pursuing Bessus in 331 BC. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

Myci

(121 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Μύκοι; Mýkoi). Ethnic group in the Persian empire (Hdt. 3,93; 7,68; Hecat. FGrH 1 F 289) who, together with the Sagartii, Sarangae, Thamanaei, Utii and the island inhabitants of the Persian Gulf, were classed as belonging to the 14th nomos by Herodotus. It is probably correct to assume that they were  the inhabitants of the regions on both sides of the strait of Hormūz, corresponding to the Maciyā, i.e. the inhabitants of Maka, known from Achaemenid inscriptions and reliefs as well as the fortification and treasury ta…

Asia Minor

(16,327 words)

Author(s): Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Genz, Hermann (Istanbul) | Schoop, Ulf-Dietrich (Tübingen) | Starke, Frank (Tübingen) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Name Strabo was the first to refer to the peninsula of Asia Minor (AM) west of the  Taurus (Str. 2,5,24; 12,1,3; cf. Plin. HN 5,27f.; Ptol. 5,2) as a single unit by the name of Asia in the narrower sense, as opposed to the continent of Asia. The term of Asia minor in this sense is first used in Oros. 1,2,26 (early 5th cent. AD). Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) [German version] II. Geography AM is the westernmost part of the Asian continent between 36° and 42° northern latitude, and 26° and 44° eastern longitude, stretching from the Aegean to the Euphrates ( c. 1,200 km), and fro…

Pylae

(411 words)

Author(s): Barceló, Pedro (Potsdam) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Hild, Friedrich (Vienna) | Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Sauer, Vera (Stuttgart)
[German version] [1] Pylae Gadeirides The Straits of Gibralter (Πύλαι Γαδειρίδες; Pýlai Gadeirídes). The Straits of Gibraltar; the sound (saddle depth 286 m), which is about 60 km long and at its narrowest point 13 km wide, lies between the southern tip of the Spanish Peninsula and the continent of Africa, and between the Mediterranean (Mare nostrum) in the east and Oceanus in the west. The ancient names for the straits are based on Gades (Plin. HN 3,3; 5; 74; 4,93: Gaditanum fretum; Plut. Sertorius 8,1: Γαδειραῖος πορθμός/ Gadeiraîos porthmós), on the temple of Heracles in Gades ('…

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. Linguistic and religious-historical reasons support the belief that the A. were an ori…

Elymais

(381 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ἐλυμαίς; Elymaís). Greek name of a region in south-west Iran ( Ḫūzestān) within the territory of the ancient empire of  Elam. Originally probably mainly used for the mountainous Baḫtı̄ārı̄ region (in contrast with the Susiana plains), the term increasingly also included the expanding territory of the Hellenistic-Parthian ‘kingdom’ of E. [1. 39-45; 2. 3-8]. E./Susiana was one of the political and economic core regions of the Achaemenid and Seleucid empires; however, for the actual E., it is to be expected that some special forms of…

Pahlawa

(162 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Indian name of the kings of the so-called Indo-Parthian dynasty, which is primarily known because of its coins. Gondophares, who ended the rule of the Shaka in Arachosia (Arachosia) and ultimately probably also in Gandhara (Gandaritis), is regarded as the founder of the dynasty. The inscriptions from Taḫt-i Bahī from the 26th year of this king established his rule quite precisely as from AD 20 to 46. In keeping with this, the apostle Thomas is said to have met Gondophares on his j…

Rhagae

(241 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (ἡ Ῥάγα/ hē Rhága: Str. 11,13,6; ἡ Ῥάγη/ hē Rhágē: Tobit 6,10; Ῥάγοι/ Rhágoi: Tobit 1,14 et alibi; (αἱ) Ῥάγαι/ (hai) Rhágai: Str. 11,9,1; Arr. Anab. 3,20,2 etc.). City (and district with a large population) of eastern Media, today an expanse of ruins south of Tehran. In the district of (Old Persian) Ragā (Elamic Rakka, Babylonian Raga), Darius [1] I captured the Median rebel Fravarti (Phraortes [3]) in 521 ([3. DB II 70 ff.]). In the summer of 330, Alexander [4] the Great rested his troops in R. for five days while in pursuit of Dariu…

Sar-e Pol-e Ẕahāb

(211 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Archaeological find site in Kurdistan, Iran (Old Persian Ḥulvān; Akkadian Ḫalmān), 20 km from the Iraqi border on the old Kermānshāh-Baghdad road. There, to both sides of the River Alvand, was found a total of four reliefs of the Lullubaean princes who reigned in the late 3rd or early 2nd millennium BC; among them, the triumphal relief of Anubanini [2. pl. 49], with the motif of trampling the enemy underfoot, provided the model for the relief of Darius [1] I at Bisutun. Below this image is …

Šīs

(205 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Place in Azerbaijan mentioned by Moslem authors. In the middle of the limestone interplateau projecting slightly over the plain was a more than 60 m deep (lifeless) lake. Š. is located about 30 km to the north of Takāb and identical with Taḫt-e Soleimān. During the Sassanid period, it was the location of one of the three main fire temples of the empire (Āzurgušnasp). The close relationship between this place and the Sassanid kings of the 5th-7th cents. (Sassanids) is documented by…

Bisutun

(388 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Old Persian bagastāna ‘place of gods’, Βαγίστανα; Bagístana), Βαγίστανον ὄρος; Bagístanon óros, Behistun). Rock face 30 km east of Kermanshah, on the road from Babylon to Ecbatana on the  Choaspes ( Silk Road [3. 11]), on which  Darius I had his achievements from c. 520 BC recorded pictorially and in inscription -- c. 70 m above the road level -- in several phases. Because of their trilingual form (Elamite, Babylonian, Old Persian) the inscription [1] was the key to decipherment of the  cuneiform script ( Trilinguals). The reli…

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)

Carmania

(311 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Καρμανία, Karmanía, Latin Carmania; etymology unclear). Name of an Iranian area east of the Persis and west of the  Gedrosia. In western documents the inhabitants of C. are called Καρμάνιοι/ Karmánioi, Latin Carmanii. This tradition distinguishes at the same time the barren north (ἡ ἔρημος Κ., e.g. Ptol. 6,5,1) from C. proper, which is described as particularly fertile (Str. 15,2,14; Arr. Ind. 32,4f.; Amm. Marc. 23,6,48). In the Achaemenid royal inscriptions, C. is mentioned as the supplier of yakā wood for the palace of Darius I in Susa [2. 14…
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