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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…

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…

Osroene

(186 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Ὀσροηνή/ Osroēnḗ). Territory in northern Mesopotamia, perhaps also a Parthian administrative district, also called Osdroene, Orrhoene (Ὀσδροηνή/ Osdroēnḗ, Ὀρροηνή/ Orrhoēnḗ) among others; possibly derived from the Iranian personal name Osroes. O. included the region around Edessa [2] and at times eastern territories up to the Euphrates, which bordered on the region of Adiabene. Plin. HN 6,9,25; 31,129 described its inhabitants as Arabs. Inscriptions for AD 195 and 212 attest to the procurator Augusti of a Roman province of Osrhoena that bordered the …

Tornadotus

(156 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] Tributary of the Tigris rising in the Iranian uplands, mentioned in Plin. HN 6,132, modern Diyālā. Its name is recorded from the 2nd millennium BC, Akkadian Turan/ Turnat, and as late as in mediaeval Arabic sources as Tāmarrā. The main route to Babylonia from the eastern Tigris region and the Iranian uplands ran along the lower reaches of the T. From the lower T. numerous canals branched off towards the southeast to the Tigris; these may have been identical with rivers mentioned in Graeco-Roman sources, such as Phy…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

Topazos

(80 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Τόπαζος; Tópazos). Island, of which Pliny gives a detailed account, allegedly the place of origin of the name of the precious stone topaz. According to Plin.  HN 37,24;108 it was 300 stadia from the Arabian coast in the Red Sea, and  in the language of the Trogodytae T. means 'seek', since the fog-enshrouded island often had to be looked for by seafarers. It appears as an Indian island in Steph. Byz. s.v. Τοπάζιος. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)

Marde

(113 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Μάρδη/ Márdē, Μάρδις/ Márdis, Lat. Maride). Fortress on the southern edge of the Izala mountain range (Ṭūr Abdīn), modern Mardin. Apart from a dubious identification with the ancient Oriental settlement of Mardaman, there are no indications that M. was of major significance prior to late antiquity. In Amm. Marc. 19,9,4, M. is one of the castella praesidiaria against the Persians. Under Iustinianus (AD 527-565) M. was refortified (Procop. Aed. 2,4,14) and according to Byzantine, Syrian and Armenian sources, it continued to be an impor…

Ḥarran

(281 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Christianity | Coloniae | Mesopotamia Settlement 40 km south-east of Edessa, old Oriental Ḫarrān(u), Greek Κάρραι; Kárrai, Latin Carrhae, Aramaic Ḥrn, modern Harran, important commercial centre and important cult centre of the moon god  Sin; documented since the 3rd millennium BC, Assyrian provincial capital and, from 611-610 BC, residence of the last Neo-Assyrian king; new temple construction under  Nabonid (finds of steles). In the biblical tradition, H. wa…

Nisibis

(786 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids | Syria | Xenophon | Zenobia | Commerce | India, trade with | Asia Minor | Limes | Pompeius | Rome (Νίσιβις/ Nísibis, Byz. Νισίβιν/ Nisíbin). Town in Mesopotamia, also Nesibis, Assyrian Naṣībīna, Arabian Naṣībīn, present-day Nusaibīn, probably ‘the pillars’ in Aramaic folk etymology. N. was situated in a strategically important position on the Ǧaġǧaġa river (Mygdonius), at the foot of the mountains of Mardin (Mons Izala, Ṭūr Abdīn). In Assyrian sources N. is mentioned f…

Nymphaeus

(63 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Νυμφαῖος/ Nymphaîos). Nowadays called Kahta Cayi, it is a tributary of the Euphrates in Commagene. The ancient name is known only through the citing of the name of the town, Arsameia on the N., on an inscription of Antiochus [2] I of Commagene found at Arsameia (now Eski Kâhta) [2]. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography F.K. Dörner, Arsameia am Nymphaios (IstForsch 23), 1963, 40.

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…

Gyndes

(105 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Γύνδης; Gýndēs). According to Herodotus (1,189; 202; 5,52) a Mesopotamian river name. The Persian king Cyrus is said, before the capture of Babylon in 539 BC, to have diverted the water of the G. into 360 canals. Herodotus describes the  Araxes that was geographically untenable as the source area of the G. as well as describing the Persian region  Matiane. Because of the direction in which Cyrus marched, a link with the Diyālā (Babylonian Turan/ Turnat; Latin Tornadotus, Plin. HN 6,132) and the canal system between Diyālā and  Tigris is the most probable. Kessler, Karlhe…

Simia

(122 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Greek forms i.a. Σημεία /Sēmeía, Σημέα /Sēméa, Σίμα /Síma, Aramaic smy), in the past often interpreted as a Syrian goddess, is the deified divine standard of ancient Oriental origin, usually with a crescent moon at the top, often assimilated to Roman signa. The etymology could be Aramaic [1] but the word was linked to Greek σημεῖον/ sēmeîon (sign, standard) early on. Lucianus (De Syria Dea 33) describes the Sēmḗion of Hierapolis [2]/Bambyce, where it is placed, as in Dura-Europus, between Atargatis (Syria Dea) and Hadad (relief, coins). S. is identified ( i.a.) with …

Naarmalcha

(171 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] Name of an Aramaic river or canal in central Babylonia, corresponding to Akkadian nār šarri, Greek Naarsárēs (Νααρσάρης, Ptol. 5,19,2; 6) and Latin Marses (Amm. Marc. 23,6,25) and glossed in Greek ( basíleios potamós etc., see Str. 16,1,27; Ptol. 5,17,5; Zos. 3,19,3) and Latin translation ( regium flumen etc., see Plin HN 5,21,90; Amm. Marc. 24,2,7) as ‘Royal River’. Several canals of this name are known from Assyriological sources. The various names are often confused by ancient authors. It is doubtful whether the N. mentione…

Mennis

(79 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] Only Curtius Rufus (5,1,16) reports that Alexander [4] the Great reached the city M. after four days on the road from Arbela [1] to Babylon. A strong spring of naphtha was said to gush forth from a cave nearby. The city wall of Babylon was said to have been built of asphalt from M., which was probably located in the petroleum region of Kirkūk. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography F. H. Weissbach, s.v. Mennis, RE 15, 896.

Ichnae

(112 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Ἴχναι; Ichnai). Fortified settlement on the Balissus (Balīḫ̣); according to  Isidorus of Charax, situated between Alagma and  Nicephorium (Isidorus of Charax 1 Schoff; Plut. Crassus 25,17; Cass. Dio 40,12,2). Supposedly a Macedonian foundation; despite a similarity to Greek place names, the name may be identical with the old Babylonian Aḫūnā [1. 6].  Licinius Crassus won a skirmish near I. in 54 BC against the Parthian satrap Silaces. Publius, the son of Crassus, was advised to fl…

Calachene

(47 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Καλαχηνή; Kalachēnḗ). Region bordered by the  Tigris and the Great Zab around the earlier Neo-Assyrian capital  Kalḫu (now Nimrūd), east of the Tigris, north of the  Adiabene (Str. 11,4,8; 11,14,12; 16,1,1; Ptol. 6,1,2) Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography F. H. Weissbach, s.v. K., RE 10, 1530.

Centrites

(107 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[German version] (Κεντρίτης, Kentrítēs, Xen. An. 4,3,1; Diod. Sic. 14,27,7); according to the route description in Xenophon, the same as the eastern confluent of the Tigris Bohtan Su (province of Siirt), Byzantine Zirmas, Arabic Zarm. Accordingly, the C. formed the boundary between the region of the  Carduchi and Armenia, or rather the Armenian satrapy of  Tiribazus. In the winter of 401/400 BC the Greeks crossed the C. at a widening of the valley with settlements on river terraces, possibly c. 15 km north of the confluence with the Tigris, near the mouth of the Zorova Su. Kessler, Karlhe…

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…

Gyndes

(83 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Γύνδης). Nach Herodot (1,189; 202; 5,52) mesopot. Flußname. Der Perserkönig Kyros soll vor der Einnahme Babylons 539 v.Chr. das Wasser des G. in 360 Kanäle abgeleitet haben. Herodot bezeichnet, geogr. unhaltbar, als Quellgebiet des G. den Araxes und die pers. Region Matiane. Wegen der Anmarschrichtung des Kyros ist eine Verknüpfung mit der Diyālā (babylon. Turan/ Turnat; lat. Tornadotus, Plin. nat. 6,132) bzw. dem Kanalsystem zw. Diyālā und Tigris am wahrscheinlichsten. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography M. Streck, s.v. G., RE 6, 2091f.

Kainai

(97 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Xenophon (Καιναί). Siedlung am westl. Tigrisufer, nahe der Einmündung des Unteren Zab; nach Xen. an. 2,4,28 eine große und blühende Polis; vgl. auch Κάναι bei Steph. Byz.; zweifelhaft ist die Identität mit neuassyr. Kannu nahe Assur, s. [1]. Biblisch ist der Ort als Kannē(h) belegt (Ez 27,23), ebenso eine Lokalisierung bei Tekrit [2]. Die Etymologie ist unklar, vielleicht zu aram. gannā, “Einfriedung”. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography 1 F.R. Weissbach, s.v. Καιναί, RE 10, 1508 2 R.D. Barnett, Xenoph…

Nisibis

(661 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Handel | Indienhandel | Kleinasien | Limes | Pompeius | Roma | Sāsāniden | Syrien | Xenophon | Zenobia (Νίσιβις, byz. Νισίβιν). Stadt in Mesopotamien, auch Nesibis, assyr. Naṣībīna, arab. Naṣībīn, h. Nusaibīn, wohl aram. volksetym. “die Säulen”. N. lag in einer strategisch wichtigen Position am Ǧaġǧaġa-Fluß (Mygdonios), am Fuß der Berge von Mardin (Mons Izala, Ṭūr Abdīn). In assyr. Quellen wird N. erstmals 901/0 v.Chr. als Zentrum des aram. Stammes der Teman unter dem …

Korsote

(69 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Xenophon (Κορσωτή). Xen. an. 1,5,4 erwähnt K. als große, in der Wüste gelegene Stadt südl. der Einmündung des Chaboras (Ḫabur) in den Euphrat. Sie sei umgeben von dem Fluß Maskas, wohl eher ein Kanal. Lokalisierungsansätze bei Bāġūẓ oder Ḫirbat ad-Dīnīya sind zweifelhaft. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography R.D. Barnett, Xenophon and the Wall of Media, in: JHS 73, 1963, 3-5.

Osroene

(162 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Ὀσροηνή). Nordmesopotamische Landschaft, vielleicht auch parthischer Verwaltungsbezirk, auch Osdroene, Orrhoene (Ὀσδροηνή, Ὀρροηνή) u.a; evtl. abgeleitet vom iran. PN Osroes. Zur O. wurden neben der Region um Edessa [2] auch zeitweise östl. Territorien bis zum Euphrat gerechnet, angrenzend an die Adiabene. Plin. nat. 6,9,25; 31,129 beschreibt ihre Bewohner als Araber. Inschr. belegen für 195 und 212 n.Chr. den procurator Augusti einer röm. Prov. Osrhoena, die an das noch selbständige Territorium der Vasallenkönige von Edessa grenzte, d…

Naarmalcha

(154 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] Aramäische Fluß- bzw. Kanalbezeichnung im zentralen Babylonien, die akkad. nār šarri, griech. Naarsárēs (Νααρσάρης, Ptol. 5,19,2; 6) und lat. Marses (Amm. 23,6,25) entspricht und in griech. ( basíleios potamós u.ä., s. Strab. 16,1,27; Ptol. 5,17,5; Zos. 3,19,3) und lat. Übersetzung ( regium flumen u.ä., s. Plin. nat. 5,21,90; Amm. 24,2,7) als “Königsfluß” wiedergegeben wird. Altoriental. Quellen kennen mehrere Kanäle dieses Namens. Bei den ant. Autoren sind oft Verwechslungen der verschiedenen Bezeichnungen zu konstatier…

Kentrites

(88 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Κεντρίτης, Xen. an. 4,3,1; Diod. 14,27,7); nach der Wegbeschreibung bei Xenophon identisch mit dem östl. Tigrisnebenfluß Bohtan Su (Provinz Siirt), byz. Zirmas, arab. Zarm. Der K. bildete danach die Grenze zw. dem Gebiet der Karduchoi und Armenien bzw. der armen. Satrapie des Tiribazos. Die Griechen überschritten im Winter 401/400 v.Chr. den K. bei einer Talweitung mit Siedlungen auf Flußterrassen, evtl. ca. 15 km nördl. des Zusammenflusses mit dem Tigris, nahe der Mündung des Zorova Su. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography F.H. Weissbach, s.v. K.,…

Nerabos

(95 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Νήραβος). Ort in Syrien (Nikolaos von Damaskos FGrH 2,341 Fr. 17), h. Nairab südl. von Aleppo, aram. nrb, neuassyr. Nirabu/ Nērebu, zugehörig zur Prov. Arpad. Bei arch. Unt. wurden zwei Stelen mit aram. Grabinschr. von Priestern des Mondgottes Šahr (Mondgottheit) freigelegt, außerdem babylon. Keilschrifttexte (ca. 560-500 v.Chr.), welche die Geschäfte einer lokalen Familie bezeugen, die zeitweilig (im Exil) in einem ebenfalls N. genannten Ort in Babylonien weilte. Zu trennen davon sind identische m…

Assyria

(340 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Assyrien). Die Bezeichnung A. geht auf assyr. māt-Aššur “Land (der Stadt) Assur” zurück. Im engeren Sinne als Kernland des assyr. Reiches westl. und vor allem östl. vom Tigris (etwa h. Nord-Irak) verstanden, wird der Begriff postassyr. oft erweitert gebraucht. Möglicherweise übernahmen bereits die Meder A. als Bezeichnung der eroberten nicht-babylon. Gebiete des früheren Assyrerreiches. Die achäm. Inschr. gebrauchen apers. Aθurā (akkad. Aššur, aram. twr) teils umfassender für das nichtbabylon. nordmesopotamische Ter…

Naarda

(105 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Νάαρδα, auch Νέερδα, Néerda). Am Euphrat nahe Sippar gelegene, bisher nicht lokalisierte mesopot. Stadt (Arr. FGrH 2,861 Fr. 42; Ptol. 5,17,10); hauptsächlich von Juden besiedelt, das Nehardea des Talmud. Von N. aus etablierten die Brüder Anilaios und Asinaios ca. 20-35 n.Chr. eine eigene jüd. Herrschaft in Mesopot. (Ios. ant. Iud. 18,9,1ff.). Im 2./3. Jh.n.Chr. war N. Sitz einer berühmten jüd. Akademie mit Samuel als bedeutendstem Vertreter. Um 260 n.Chr. wurde N. (von Odaenathus?) zerstört und verlor allmählich seine Bedeutung. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emski…

Maiocariri

(106 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] Befestigter Ort im Gebirge an der Straße von Mardin nach Amida (Diyarbakır). Amm. 18,6,6 schildert die Lage von M. in einer bewaldeten Region mit Wein- und Obstanbau. Nach Amm. 18,10,1 zog Šābuhr vor der Belagerung von Amida 359 n.Chr. von Horra (Horren) über M. nach Carcha (Kerh). Die Not. dign. or. 36,36 nennt als Besatzung die Cohors XIV Valeria Zabdenorum. Der Name M. bedeutet aram. “kaltes Wasser”. M. läßt sich noch nicht exakt lokalisieren, ist aber etwa beim h. Ceyhan zu suchen. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen) Bibliography L. Dillemann, Haute Mésopotamie Ori…

Ichnai

(105 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Ἴχναι). Befestigte Siedlung am Balissos (Balīḫ̣), nach Isidoros von Charax zwischen Alagma und Nikephorion gelegen (Isidoros von Charax 1 Schoff; Plut. Crassus 25,17; Cass. Dio 40,12,2). Angeblich maked. Gründung; trotz Anlehnung an griech. Ortsnamen ist der Name vielleicht identisch mit altbabylon. Aḫūnā [1. 6]. Bei I. gewann Licinius Crassus 54 v.Chr. ein Gefecht gegen den parth. Satrapen Silakes. Publius, dem Sohn des Crassus, wurde geraten, in das römerfreundliche I. zu fliehen. Die alte Gleichsetzung [2] mit dem modernen Toponym Ḥnez ist zweifelhaft. Ke…

Kossaioi

(169 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Κοσσαῖοι). Ein in Stämme gegliedertes Bergvolk im Zagros, etwa im Bereich des h. Luristan, vgl. lat. Cossiaei (Plin. nat. 6,134); Cossaei (Curt. 4,12,10). Kossaía als Landschaftsname findet sich bei Diod. 17,111,5. Unklar bleibt die Beziehung zu den Kíssioi bzw. der Landschaft Kissía (Hdt. 5,49; 5,52; Diod. 11,7,2). Die K. sind wohl identisch mit den Kassiten ( Kaššu), deren Clans etwa ab dem 17. Jh.v.Chr. Mesopotamien infiltrierten. In der Folge etablierte sich ein bis zum 12. Jh.v.Chr. dauerndes, langlebiges kassitisches Königtum i…

Maskas

(77 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] (Μάσκας). Xen. an. 1,5,4 erwähnt südl. der Einmündung des Chaboras (Ḫabur) in den Euphrat den Fluß M., der die in der Wüste gelegene Stadt Korsote umfloß. Es kann sich allenfalls um einen Kanal handeln. Etym. liegt vielleicht akkad. mašqû, “Tränke, Wasserstelle” vor. Ein neuassyr. Ort Mašqite lag nördl. von Anat. 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.

Izala

(114 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] In neuassyr. Quellen ab dem 9. Jh. v.Chr. ist I., ein Zentrum des Weinanbaus, der Gebirgsbereich zw. Ḥarran, Amida (h. Diyarbakır) und Mardin im nö Mesopotamien. Babylon. wird das Toponym auch noch später gebraucht. Dareios I. besiegte in I. (altpers. Izalā, elam. Izzila) die Armenier (TUAT 1, 433 § 29,53). 359 n.Chr. war der mons Izala (Amm. 18,6,12; 19,9,4) Schauplatz von röm. Kämpfen gegen die Perser. In syr. u. byz. Texten (Bar Hebraeus; Theophylaktes Simocatta: Ἰζάλας) kann I. auch das Mardin-Gebirge bzw. den Ṭūr Abdīn umfassen. Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskir…

Königsstraße

(291 words)

Author(s): Kessler, Karlheinz (Emskirchen)
[English version] Ab dem 9. Jh. v.Chr. sind im neuassyr. Reich K. als klar definierte, nur in Städten teilweise gepflasterte Verbindungen zwischen Königsresidenz und Provinzgouverneuren belegt. Sie wurden durch Straßenstationen gesichert, die im königl. Auftrag Reisende aufnahmen, mit Maultiergespannen versorgten und für den Transport von Post verantwortlich waren (für Palästina vgl. auch Nm 20,17; 21,22; Dt 2,27). Im babylon. Chaldäerreich wurden neue K. angelegt. Die ähnlich strukturierten achäm. K., von den Griechen als vermeintlich perfektes Kommunikati…
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