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Ceremony

(3,932 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Winterling, Aloys (Bielefeld) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In contrast with cultic  rituals, the secular ceremonies of Mesopotamia have up to now rarely been the subject of academic research. On the whole, it has to be assumed that individual and communal life in the societies of the Ancient Orient in general and that of the  ruler in particular were dominated by numerous rules, resulting in more or less standardized patterns of behaviour. The reconstruction of such non-cultic ceremonies is largely dependent on secondary refe…

Qaṣr-e Šīrīn

(126 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] A place in the Iranian province of Īlām near the Iraqi border, named after Šīrīn (Shirin), the Christian wife of the Sassanid Ḫusrau II (Chosroes [6]; 591-628). In the Islamic period, Q. was an important town on the trading and pilgrimage route from Hamadān to Baghdad. On the eastern edge of the city a large fire sanctuary (?) (Çahār Tāq) is located, and north of it, on an 8 m high terrace, a palace complex attributed to Ḫusrau II (Imārat-e Ḫusrau), 370 × 190 m in size. The entire complex should be pictured as part of a park ( parádeisos ) in Antiquity. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) B…

Paraetacene

(52 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Παραιτακηνή/ Paraitakēnḗ; inhabitants: Παρητακηνοί/ Par ētakēnoí, among others Hdt. 1,101 and Παραιτάκαι/ Paraitálai, Arr. Anab. 3,19,2). Mountainous area in western Iran, enclosed in the north and east by Media, Areia [1] and Carmania and in the south-west by Susiana. Str. describes the Paraitakēnoí as marauding mountain people (15,3,12). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

Carduchi

(175 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Καρδοῦχοι; Kardoûchoi). First mentioned by Xenophon (Xen. An. 3,5,15 and passim), a mountain people living in the northernmost foothills of the  Zagrus, the Καρδούχεια ὄρη (Diod. Sic. 14,27,4). Xenophon describes the C. as living in villages and cultivating the fields, growing wine and raising cattle, as well as doing craftwork. He particularly emphasizes their military significance as archers and catapult shooters. Whilst in the Greek reports it is mainly the (‘natural’) aggression of the…

Child, Childhood

(1,221 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] A. The conception of childhood and attitude towards the child In antiquity, numerous terms for the child (in literature, legal language etc.) distinguish stages of childhood (βρέφος/ bréphos, παιδίον/ paidíon, παῖς/ paîs; Lat. infans, puer), stress the different significance of the child to each of its parents ( pais/ téknon) or the child's unfitness to be held guilty or responsible before the law ( infans, impuber); some of these terms possess a broad spectrum of meaning [6. 12-22]. In the dichotomy of childhood and adulthood as observed in both Greece an…

Sisygambis

(145 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Σισύγαμβις/ Sisýgambis, in Diodorus mostly Σισύγγαμβρις/ Sisýngambris). Daughter of Ostanes, a brother of Artaxerxes [2] II, sister and wife of Arsames [2] (Diod. Sic.17,5,5), as well as the mother of Darius [3] III. In 333 BC, after the battle of Issus she fell into the hands of Alexander [4] the Great (Arr. Anab. 2,11,9; Plut. Alexander 21; Curt. 3,11,24) and was treated with deference by him (cf. her rescue of the rebellious Uxians: Curt. 5,3,12 ff.). She stayed behind with Prince O…

Empires, Concept of empire

(1,874 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The idea of a  rulership that encompassed the entire known world was expressed in Mesopotamia in various royal epithets ─ i.a. ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ ( šar kibrāt arbaim/erbettim), ‘Ruler over the Totality’ ( šar kiššatim), ‘Ruler of Rulers’ ( šar šarrāni). The title ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ is first documented for the Akkadian ruler  Naramsin (23rd cent. BC). However, the claim inherent in this title did not hold true according to contemporary documents, since Naramsin's…

Hyrcania

(910 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ὑρκανία; Hyrkanía < old Persian varkāna-, ‘Wolf's Land’; middle Persian gurgān). Historically and geographically important region of Iran (inhabitants: Ὑρκάνιοι, Ὑρκανοί, Hyrcani) on the south-east corner of the Caspian Sea (Hecataeus FGrH 1 F 291: Ὑρκανίη θάλασσα); it is shielded in the south and south-east by the eastern wing of the Elburz mountains and opens up to the north-east to the Aralo-Caspian steppe. It was favoured climatically as well as naturally by the precipitation raining down on th…

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

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…

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?). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography H. Gasche, Autour des Dix Mille: Vest…

Matiane

(144 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] In Ionian Greek Matiene (Ματιανή/ Matianḗ, Ματιηνή/ Matiēnḗ), its inhabitants are Matieni (Ματιηνοί; Matiēnoí). According to Hdt. 5,49; 52 a region east of Armenia and the sources of the Little Zab river (Zabatus), according to Hdt. 1,202 also of the Gyndes and the Araxes [2] (contra: Strab. 11, 14, 13). M. was part of Media according to Strab. 2,1,14; 11,7,2; 11,8,8 and Steph. Byz. s.v. M., while according to Strab. 11,13,2; 7 it may have extended from the southern shore of Lake Urmia to the …

Ostanes

(400 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Käppel, Lutz (Kiel)
(Ὀστάνης/ Ostánēs). [German version] [1] Persian governor of Babylonia and the Transeuphrates Akkadian Uštani. Persian governor of Babylonia and the Transeuphrates under Darius I (attested from 521-516 BC) [1]. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 M.W. Stolper, Entrepreneurs and Empire, 1985, 8, 66. [German version] [2] Persian magician (Hostanes: Apul. Apol. 90). According to the Graeco-Roman biographical tradition, O. was a Persian magician who accompanied the expedition of Xerxes against Greece (479 BC) (Plin. HN 30,8 = [1. fragment 1…

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 …

Naqš-e Raǧab

(78 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Rock crevice with four Sāssānid reliefs (and  inscriptions) 3 km north-east of Persepolis in Persis. The reliefs show Šābuhr I (Sapor) with his entourage (with Middle Persian-Parthian-Greek inscription [1. ŠNRb]), the bust of the Zoroastrian ‘priest ’Karter ( Kirdīr, with Middle Persian inscription [2. KNRb]) , as well as the respective investitures of Ardaxšīr (Ardashir [1]) und Šābuhr I. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 M. Beck, Die sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, 1978 2 Ph. Gignoux, Les quatre inscriptions du mage Kirdīr, 1991.

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…
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