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Tigris

(422 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Sumerian Idigna, Assyrian/Babylonian Idiqlat, Greek Τίγρης/ Tígrēs (Hdt. 1,189; 1,193; 2,150; 5,52; 6,20), Latin Tigris (Plin. HN 6,129 f. et passim), Arabic Diǧla, Turkish Dicle), at about 1850 km the second longest river of the Near East. The Euphrates [2] and the T. enclose the 'land between two rivers' called Mesopotamia. In Antiquity unclear ideas on the sources of the T. circulated. Assyrian inscriptions at the source cave of the Sebene locate its origin there. Plin. HN 6,127 f., who cites the etymology from Iranian tigri-, 'arrow', mentions a partly su…

Mascas

(93 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Μάσκας; Máskas). Xen. An. 1,5,4 locates the River M. south of the confluence of the Chabora ( Ḫabur) and the Euphrates and describes it as encircling the city of Corsote in the desert. It may well have been only a canal. Etymologically, it is perhaps connected with the Akkadian mašqû, ‘watering hole/place’. There was a Neo-Assyrian town called Mašqite in the north of Anatolia. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography R. D. Barnett, Xenophon and the Wall of Media, in: JHS 73, 1963, 4f. F. H. Weissbach, s.v. M., RE 14, 2069f.

Murašû

(224 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] Founder of a Babylonian family enterprise, often characterised as a firm. M.'s activities began under Darius [1] I. Evidence is provided by more than 830 cuneiform tablets from an archive in Nippur, which are dated between 454 and 404 BC. Most of them concern the enterprises of Ellil-šum-iddin und Rīmūt-Inurta, son and grandson of M. The family was involved in agriculture in the region of Nippur, e.g., in tenancy and subletting of land plots, leasing, tax collection, short-term mo…

Maiocariri

(114 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] Fortified location in the hills on the road from Mardin to Amida (Diyarbakır). Amm. Marc. 18,6,6 describes the location of M. in a forested region with winegrowing and orchards. According to Amm. Marc. 18,10,1 Šābuhr moved before the siege of Amida in AD 359 from Horre (Horren) via M. to Carcha (Kerh). Not. Dign. Or. 36,36 names the Cohors XIV Valeria Zabdenorum as occupation force. The name M. means ‘cold water in Aramaic. M. can not be localized exactly yet, but should probably be searched for near modern Ceyhan. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography L. Dillemann,…

Caenae

(110 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Xenophon (Καιναί; Kainaí). Settlement on the western bank of the Tigris close to the confluence of the Lower Zab; according to Xen. An. 2,4,28 a large, flourishing polis; cf. also Κάναι in Steph. Byz.; its identity with the Neo-Assyrian Kannu near Assur is doubtful, see [1]. In the Bible it is attested as Kannē(h) (Ez 27,23) and located near Tekrit [2]. Its etymology is unclear; perhaps it is related to Aramaic gannā, ‘wall’. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography 1 F. R. Weissbach, s.v. Καιναί, RE 10, 1508 2 R. D. Barne…

Corsote

(82 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Xenophon (Κορσωτή, Korsōtḗ). Xen. An. 1,5,4 mentions C. as a large city situated in the desert south of the confluence of the Chaboras ( Habur) and the Euphrates. He describes it as being surrounded by the river  Mascas, probably more of a canal. Attempts to locate it near Bāġūẓ or Hirbat ad-Dīnīya are dubious. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography R. D. Barnett, Xenophon and the Wall of Media, in: JHS 73, 1963, 3-5.

Izala

(121 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] In Neo-Assyrian sources from the 9th cent. BC onwards, I. is a centre of viticulture, the mountainous area between  Ḥarran,  Amida (modern Diyarbakır) and Mardin in north-eastern Mesopotamia. In Babylonian the toponym is also still used later. Darius I defeated (Old Persian Izalā, Elamite Izzila) the Armenians in I. (TUAT 1, 433 § 29,53). In AD 359, the mons Izala (Amm. Marc. 18,6,12; 19,9,4) was the scene of Roman battles against the Persians. In Syrian and Byzantine texts (Bar Hebraeus; Theophylaktes Simocatta: Ἰζάλας/ Izáles) I. can also include the Mardin…

Naarda

(113 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Νάαρδα/ Náarda, also Νέερδα/ Néerda). Mesopotamian town on the Euphrates close to Sippar, exact location as yet unknown (Arr. FGrH 2,861 fr. 42; Ptol. Geog. 5,17,10); mainly inhabited by Jews, the Nehardea of the Talmud. The brothers Anilaeus and Asinaeus established their own Jewish rule in Mesopotamia from N. c. AD 20-35 (Jos. Ant. Iud. 18,9,1ff.). In the 2nd/3rd cents., N. was the seat of an important Jewish academy, whose most important representative was Samuel. N. was destroyed (by Odaenathus?) in AD 260, and gradually dwindled in importance. Kessler, Karlhein…

Sophene

(84 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Σωφηνή/ Sōphēnḗ; Byzantine also Τζοφηνή/ Tzophēnḗ). Region to the east of the Euphrates, opposite the Melitene and to the north of Commagene, Urartian Ṣūpā, Assyrian Ṣuppu; Syrian and Armenian documentation. S. was often administratively linked with Sophanene to the east. Geographically S. was usually considered part of Armenia. Kings of S. are documented from the 2nd cent. BC until 54 AD (Tac. Ann. 13,7). Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography L. Dillemann, Haute Mésopotamie Orientale et pays adjacents, 1962, 116-124  F. H. Weissbach, s. v. S., RE …

Assyria

(388 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] The name Assyria goes back to Assyrian māt-Aššur ‘land (of the city of)  Assur’. In the narrower sense, understood as the heartland of the Assyrian empire to the west and, above all, to the east of the Tigris (today approximately northern Iraq); in post-Assyrian times the term is often used in a wider sense. The Medes may have already taken over A. as the name of the conquered non-Babylonian regions of the former Assyrian empire. The Achaemenid inscriptions use Old Persian Aθurā (Accad. Aššur, Aramaic twr), partly more comprehensive…

Melitene

(284 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids | Syria | Byzantium | Urarṭu | Christianity | Xenophon | Zenobia | | Commerce | Ḫattusa | Asia Minor | Asia Minor | Legio | Limes | Limes | Mesopotamia | Pompeius (Μελιτηνή/ Melitēnḗ; Lat. Melitene). Name of a town and region in eastern Cappadocia. M. controlled the access to Elbistan and the near-by Euphrates crossing at Tomisa. Remains of the ancient town are found in the ruin field of Eski Malatya, while the Ancient Oriental settlement (inhabited from the Chalcolithic…

Teleboas

(70 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
(Τηλεβόας; Tēlebóas). [German version] [1] Mythical people in western Acarnania See Teleboae. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) [German version] [2] Greek name of a river in Armenia Greek name for a river in Armenia described in Xen. An. 4,4,3 as beautiful but small. It is usually identified with the Karasu, an eastern tributary of the Euphrates in the Muh region. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography F. H. Weissbach, s. v. T. (3), RE 5 A, 313.

Mylissa, Mylitta

(118 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Μυλίσσα/ Mylíssa, Μυλίττα/ Mylítta). Hdt. 1,131 reports on prostitution in Babylon in conjunction with the cult of M., the Babylonian Aphrodite, in which every unmarried Babylonian woman supposedly had to participate. This was the cult of the Babylonian goddess Mulliltu/Mullittu (Assyrian Mulissu; Aramaic mlsṯ; older reading Ninlil), the wife of Enlil (see [2] for earlier evidence from Babylonia). Hsch. also cites M. In Nicolaus of Damascus (FGrH 2, 332 F 4) she is encountered as Molís (Μολίς). In late antique Mandaic incantations she appears as Mulit. Kessler, Ka…

Royal roads

(353 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] From the 9th century BC, RR are recorded in the Neo-Assyrian Empire. They constituted clearly defined links between the royal residence and provincial governors, which were paved only in cities to some extent. They were secured by road stations, which accommodated travellers by order of the king, supplied teams of mules and were responsible for the conveyance of mail (for Palestine cf. also Nm. 20:17; 21:22; Dt. 2:27). In the Babylonian Chaldean Empire new RR were built. The similarly structured Achaemenid RR, admired by the Greeks as a purportedly perfect…

Coele Syria

(214 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Κοίλη Συρία; Koílē Syría). Originally, the geographical term Coele Syria (CS), often used vaguely by authors in antiquity (the ‘hollow’ Syria; Aramaic kōl ‘whole’?), may have referred to the entire part of  Syria west of the Euphrates; others, based on Strabo 16,15,4, see it in a more limited fashion as the area of Biqa* between Lebanon and Antilebanon. First mentioned by Ps.-Scyl. (GGM I 15-96, especially p. 78 c. 104), CS more often only includes South Syria, sometimes incorporating parts or the whole of Phoenicia. Usually excluded is the land east of the Jordan. CS and…

Asarhaddon

(264 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] Assyrian king (680-669 BC). Assyrian Aššur-aḫu-iddina, biblical Asarhaddon, younger son of  Sanherib and Zakûtu (Aramaic Naqia), father of  Assurbanipal and Šamaš-šumu-ukīn. The murder of his father by a brother and the circumstances of his seizing power are mentioned in the Bible (2 Kg 19.37; Jes 37.38). Under A. Egypt was conquered. Even Cypriot minor states recognized Assyrian rulership. In the Iranian highlands Medes and  Cimmerian or  Scythian incursions constituted the great…

Nicephorium

(178 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Limes (Νικηφόριον/ Nikēphórion). Town at the point where the Baliḥ flows into the Euphrates. As a settlement, it succeeded Tuttul (Tall Bīa) and preceded the Arabic ar-Raqqa. Its founder is variously said to have been Seleucus I (App. Syr. 298), Alexander the Great (Plin. HN 6,119; Isidorus of Charax, Mansiones parthicae 1 GGM 1, 248) and, in Syrian sources, Seleucus II. In the middle of the 3rd cent. AD it was renamed Callinicum (or, in Greek, Καλλίνικος/ Kallínikos). It was also briefly called Constantina and Leontop…

Cossaei

(196 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Κοσσαῖοι; Kossaîoi). A mountain people of the Zagros that was divided into tribes, approximately in the area of modern  Luristan, cf. Latin Cossiaei (Plin. HN 6,134); Cossaei (Curt. 4,12,10). Kossaía as the name of a region is found in Diod. Sic. 17,111,5. The relationship to the Kíssioi and the Kissía region (Hdt. 5,49; 5,52; Diod. Sic.11,7,2) remains uncertain. The C. were probably identical to the Cassites ( Kaššu) whose clans infiltrated  Mesopotamia after the 17th cent. BC. Subsequently, a durable Cassitic dynasty, which retained certain Ca…

Nerabus

(117 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Νήραβος/ Nḗrabos). Town in Syria (Nicolaus of Damascus FGrH 2,341 Fr. 17), modern Nairab south of Aleppo, Arama ic nrb, Neo-Assyrian Nirabu/ Nērebu, part of the province of Arpad. During archaeological investigations two steles with Aramaic funereal inscriptions of priests of the moon god Šahr (moon deity) were uncovered, as well as Babylonian cuneiform texts ( c. 560-500 BC) which attest to the business of a local family that lived temporarily (in exile) in a town in Babylonia that was also called N. Not to be confused with this N. …

Arbela

(272 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] [1] City in eastern Assyria This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids | Syria | Xenophon | Zenobia | Commerce | Limes | Pompeius City in eastern Assyria on the road leading to the Iranian highlands; settled since the end of the 3rd millennium BC (Urbilum), Assyrian Arbail(u), Greek Ἄρβηλα ( Árbēla) and the Ἀρβηλῖτις ( Arbēlîtis) region (Ptol. 6,1, 2; Plin. HN 6, 41), today Erbīl. A. was the centre of a cult of Ištar and the seat of the governor in both Middle and New Assyria. The temple in A. was particularly favoured under …
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