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Nebuchadnezzar

(437 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
(Akkadian Nabû-kudurri-uṣur). [German version] [1] King of the Second Dynasty of Isin Most eminent king (1124-1103 BC) of the so-called Second Dynasty of Isin, who is still present in the later tradition. In addition to military successes (campaigns to Elam and against Assyria) there are religious and literary activities. It is probably in the context of the retrieval of the statue of Marduk from Elam that Marduk was placed at the head of the Babylonian pantheon. It is also about this time that the Babylonian creation poem Enūma Eliš originated. Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) Bibliography J.…

Charax Spasin(o)u

(192 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Commerce | Hellenistic states | India, trade with Important mercantile centre in southernmost Mesopotamia, and capital of  Characene; now convincingly located near Ǧabal Ḫayabir, between Qurna and Forat [1]. Charax Spasinou (CS) is regarded as a re-foundation of  Alexandria [4], a city established on the Persian Gulf by Alexander the Great (cf. [2. 1390-1395]), renovated by Antiochus IV in 166/165 and renamed Antioch [3. 2445]. The source of the name is the Aramaic karkā ‘fortified settlement’; the epithet Spasino…

Ambarra

(158 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Fortified Sassanid city on the Euphrates. The name means ‘storeroom’ and refers to the use as a supply centre at the edge of the fertile Mesopotamian alluvial plain in a strategically favourable site. In the time of the Romans, A. -- at that time the second most significant town in South Mesopotamia after Ctesiphon -- is first mentioned during the battles between Julian and Shapur II (363) as Pirisabora (Amm. Marc. 24,2,9; 5,3 Zos. 3,17,3), i.e. Perozes-Shapur, ‘Shapur is triumpha…

Nabopolassar

(212 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] First king (625-605 BC) of the neo-Babylonian (Chaldaean) dynasty (Chaldaei), Akkadian Nabû-apla-uṣur, graecised as Ναβουπολάσσαρος ( Naboupolássaros). N., according to Berossus, formerly an Assyrian general (according to a cuneiform tablet there was also a king of the Sealand of the same name [2. 46 no. 107]), managed to exploit a power vacuum arising after the death of the king Kandalanu, and after prolonged fighting, ultimately conquered the whole of Babylonia. A chronicle [2. no. 2] indicates…

Dara

(222 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] [1] City in Parthia This item can be found on the following maps: Graeco-Bactria | Graeco-Bactria | Hellenistic states City in the mountain region of Apavortene in Parthia. According to Pompeius Trogus (Iust. 41,5,2-4), this place was distinguished by its strategic and geographical merits (Plin. HN 6,46) and was founded by the Parthian king  Arsaces [1] I. As the region is mentioned elsewhere (as Apauarktikene, Isid. by Charax, 1,13, and Partautikene/ Artakana Ptol. 6,5), but not the city, it is assumed that the settlement diminished in importance la…

Albania

(175 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] [1] Caucasian landscape Caucasian landscape on the middle to lower  Cyrus (Kura) (Str. 11,4; Ptol. 5,11). The main city was Cabavla (Plin. HN 6,29 Cabalaca, Mount Kalak's name today is a reminder). The Ἀλβάνιαι πύλαι ( Albániai pýlai; Ptol. 5,9,15; 12,6) are presumably identical to the eastern Caucasian pass of Khacmȃz. Cabala and other cities in Albania have been excavated. A rock inscription on the Kobystan Cliff of the Caspian Sea verifies the advance of Domitian's XII legion (around AD 80). Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography L. Bretanizki, B. Weimarn, B.…

Neriglissar

(129 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Νηριγλίσαρος/ Nēriglísaros; Akkad. Nergal-šarra-uṣur). King of Babylon (559-556 BC), son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar II, at whose court he held an important position. He descended from an influential aristocratic family (extensive land ownership). If he is identical with Nergal-Sharezer in Jer 39:3; 13, he also held a senior military function. According to Berossus, he had his brother-in-law Amēl-Marduk (561-560; 2 Kg 25:27; Jer 52:31: Ewil-Merodach) murdered, and succeeded him on th…

Belsazar

(178 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Based on legendary tradition in the OT (Dan. 5), B. was the son of the Babylonian king  Nebuchadnezzar II. The historical Bel-šar-uṣur, however, was the firstborn son of  Nabonid (556-539 BC), the last ruler of  Babylon, who governed the empire during Nabonid's stay in Arabia ( Teima oasis; 553-543 BC). Despite this division of power, certain royal functions were reserved to Nabonid (the title of king and the recording of ruling years; the right to hold  New Year's celebrations in…

Neapolis

(2,079 words)

Author(s): von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Muggia, Anna (Pavia) | Meyer, Ernst (Zürich) | Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg) | Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Et al.
(Νέα πόλις/ Néa pólis, Νεάπολις/ Neápolis, ‘New City’). [German version] [1] Town on the northern coast of the Aegean This item can be found on the following maps: | Macedonia, Macedones | Moesi, Moesia Town on the northern coast of the Aegean to the west of the mouth of the Nestus river, across from the island of Thasos, modern Kavalla (Str. 7a,1,36; Ps.-Scyl. 67), probably a Thasian colony but the exact period of foundation is unknown. Early in the 6th cent. BC, autonomous silver coinage modelled on that of Eretria [1] (HN 196…

Saosduchinus

(176 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Σαοσδούχινος/ Saosdoúchinos). Hellenized form of the Assyro-Babylonian royal name Šamaš-šuma-ukīn in the so-called 'Ptolemaic Canon' (Claudius Ptolemaeus [65]; cf. Nabonassar; in Beros(s)us, hypocoristically Samoges; FGrH 680 F 7,34). Though the elder son of Asarhaddon, by his father's decree S. received only Babylonia as his realm, while the younger Assurbanipal assumed the succession in Assyria. Even as king of Babylon, S. was under the suzerainty of his brother, against whom he rebelled in 652 BC, s…

Dardanees

(58 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] [1] A people living by the river Gyndes A people living by the river  Gyndes (modern Diyālā), whose territory was traversed by  Cyrus II on his expedition to Babylon (Hdt. 1,189). Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) [German version] [2] see Dardae Another form of the name for the  Dardae (Δάρδαι; Dárdai) of northern India. Treidler, Hans (Berlin)

Salmanassar III

(220 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Assyrian Šulmānu-ašarēd). Assyrian king (858-824 BC), resided in Kalḫu like his father Assurnaṣirpal (883-859 BC), the actual founder of the Neo-Assyrian empire. His inscriptions report countless military campaigns and battles against the surrounding regions, esp. Syria, which was ultimately subjugated (853 BC: battle of Qarqar against a coalition under Adad-idri/Ben-Hadad of Damascus supported by Arab camel riders; undecided; tribute received from Byblus, Tyre and Sidon). S. adva…

Borsippa

(177 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Mesopotamia Important Babylonian town, attested from the end of the 3rd millennium BC (Third Dynasty of Ur) into the early Arab period. Its remains are located about 17 km south-west of  Babylon in the Birs Nimrud and Ibrahīm el-Ḫalīl sites of ruins. After sporadic investigations in the 19th cent., systematic excavations took place in 1902 and again in the 1980s. The excavations uncovered most of all parts of the sanctuary of the city god  Nabû,…

Isidorus

(2,455 words)

Author(s): Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Johne, Klaus-Peter (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ἰσίδωρος; Isídōros). [German version] [1] Pirate captain, defeated by Lucullus at Tenedus in 72 BC Pirate captain who organized the Cilician pirates in the area around Crete, was besieged in 78 BC by P. Servilius Isauricus (Flor. 1,41,3), later entered the service of Mithridates and in 72 was defeated by Lucullus in the naval battle of Tenedos at the entrance to the Dardanelles (App. Mithr. 77, Memnon 42,2 = FHG 3,548) and killed (Plut. Lucullus 12.2). Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) [German version] [2] I. of Charax Geographer, end of 1st cent. BC Geographer, certainly of the Augustan p…

Abydenus

(77 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Ἀβυδηνός; Abydēnós). Author of a ‘History of the  Chaldaeans’ (Euseb. Praep. evang. 9,41,1: περὶ Ἀσσυρίων; perì Assyríōn) that was used by Eusebius and others (partly available in Armenian only). The (lost) work was primarily based on excerpts from Alexander Polyhistor which in turn can be traced back to Berossus. Nothing is known about his life; his Ionizing dialect places him in the 2nd century AD (FGrH 3 C no. 680). Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)

Diacira

(102 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Mesopotamian town on the right bank of the Euphrates, not far from modern Hı̄t, exact location unknown. Amm. Marc. 24,2,3 and Zos. 3,15,2 (here variation Δάκιρα, Dákira) report on the destruction of the town situated in Sassanid territory and the rich booty in the battles of the Romans on the eastern border of the empire against the Sassanid empire under Julian (AD 363). According to Zosimus, the surrounding area had asphalt resources. The form of the name is Aramaic (analyzed as di/d and qı̄rā ‘[place] of asphalt’, aqı̄rā would be expected). Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) Bi…

Nabonassar

(165 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Ναβονάσσαρος; Nabonássaros). Graecised form of the Babylonian royal name Nabû-nāṣir. N.'s reign (747-734 BC) is not marked by any spectacular events. His fame is due to the fact that Claudius Ptolemaeus (Cens. 21,9) chose the beginning of the first year of N.'s reign (calculated to 26  February 747 BC) as the epoch for his astronomical calculations (‘Nabonassar Era’; in the ‘Ptolemaic Canon’, a continuous list of the kings ruling over Babylonia until Alexander [4] the Great, then …

Apamea

(592 words)

Author(s): Strobel, Karl (Klagenfurt) | Drew-Bear, Thomas (Lyon) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
(Ἀπάμεια; Apámeia). [German version] [1] City in  Bithynia This item can be found on the following maps: Theatre | Pergamum | Education / Culture City in  Bithynia, 1 km south-east of present-day Mudanya on the Sea of Marmara; founded by Colophon; originally Brylleion; from shortly after 330 BC Myrleia. From 433/32 BC attested as belonging to the  Delian League; at the end of the 4th cent. BC under the rule of Mithridates II of Cius; for a time in the 3rd cent. BC a member of the koinon of Athena Ilias. In 202 BC conquered by Philip V and delivered to Prusias I; newly founded as A…

Mesene

(242 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Μεσήνη, Hebr. Mēšān, Syr. Maišān, Mid. Pers. Mēšūn, Arab. Maysān). A designation for southernmost Mesopotamia, attested since Hyspaosines and used into Islamic times (corresponding approximately to the ‘Sealand’ of the older period, that is, the 2nd and 1st millenium BC). It is also used to form an ethnic term for the inhabitants of the region. The precise extent of the area, located in the region of the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates, varies in the sources (Str. 2,1,31; 16,1,8; 16,3,3; Plin. HN 6,129; 131f.; Steph. Byz. s.v. Mesene; cf. also Maisanítēs kólp…

Chaldaea

(347 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Used in the strictest sense, C. is the Greek, or respectively, Latin name for the extreme south of Mesopotamia and also the region around the Persian Gulf (also Χαλδαῖα χώρα; Chaldaîa chṓra, ‘Chaldaean land’); its extent -- at least partially -- coincides with the coastal land mentioned in early old oriental sources. The name is derived from the Semitic tribal group of the Chaldaeans -- probably to be distinguished from the Arameans -- who have been evident in the south of Mesopotamia from the early 1st millennium BC. Accad. māt Kaldi was used by Assyrians and Babyloni…
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