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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…

Arderikka

(117 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
(Ἀρδέρικκα; Ardérikka). [German version] [1] Village on the Euphrates According to Hdt. 1,185, ‘Assyrian’ κώμη ( kṓmē) on the Euphrates above Babylon, otherwise not mentioned. The river was supposedly artificially redirected to form three rings around the city. Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) [German version] [2] Estate belonging to Darius I According to Hdt. 6,119, the estate belonging to Darius I in the land of the Cissians, where prisoners from Euboean Eretria were resettled in 490 BC. As per the details given by Herodotus, this was about 50-60 …

Oannes

(226 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Ὠάννης/ Ōánnēs, probably the short form of Sumerian u4-an-na-a-da-pà). Babylonian mythical creature (half human, half fish; Monsters), who is said to have imparted the foundations of civilisation to mankind. O. is part of the seven antediluvian wise men (Sumerian abgal, Akkadian apkallu). The written tradition in Berosus (FGrH 3C1, 680, F 1) is augmented by references to him in cuneiform, mainly on a tablet from Hellenic Uruk, where he is named as the first of the wise men [1. 44-52]. On account of the spelling u4-ma-a-dnúm, which points to a pronunciation * uwaan( um)…

Characene

(301 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Term derived from the city of Charax ( Charax Spasinou), and describing the territory at the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris and on the northern margin of the Persian Gulf (Plin. HN 6,136, on  Susiana; Ptol. Geogr. 6,3,3, on  Elymaeis); as a geographical term roughly corresponding to  Mesene (original form in oriental sources: Maišan), although the exact relationship between the two terms is unknown. Once power had passed from the Seleucids to the Parthians (141 BC), the local rulers were able to establish and assert thems…

Nabonidus

(408 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Last king of the Neo-Babylonian Chaldaean Dynasty (555-539 BC; Chaldaei), Akkadian Nabû-nāid; Greek Ναβόννεδος ( Nabónnedos) or  Ναβονάδιος ( Nabonádios; also in the Ptolemaic canon; Kings' lists; [5. 98]). In Hdt. 1,74,17; 77,12; 188,4 Labynetus probably refers to N. After the murder of his predecessor Lābāši-Marduk (son of Neriglissar), N. was elevated to the throne at an advanced age. He was neither a member of the previous royal house nor of one of the economically influential families of Babylon. According to th…

Hyspaosines

(218 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Greek Ὑσπαοσίνης/ Hyspaosínēs, Σπασίνης/ Spasínēs, Πασίνης/ Pasínēs; Latin Spaosines, cuneiform Aspasine, name of Iranian origin). Son of Sagdo(do)nacus, founder of a dynasty of independent local rulers in the  Characene, according to Pliny (HN 6,139) king ( rex) of the Arabs, who were indeed mentioned in the cuneiform texts of his time but not in connection with him. In c. 165 BC appointed by Antiochus IV as administrator of Eparchia on the Red Sea, he succeeded, in conjunction with the passing of control of southern Mesopotamia from t…

Mesopotamia

(7,071 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
I. General [German version] A. Name The name M., i.e. ‘[land] between the rivers [ Euphrates [2] and Tigris]’, first appears in Arrian (Arr. Anab. 3,7,3; 7,7,3) as a designation for the area of what is now eastern Syria and northern Iraq, probably corresponding to the Aramaic beyn nahrīn and the Akkadian māt birīt nārim (both ‘between the rivers’). However, this expression designated only the region between the bend of the Euphrates and Baliḫ/Ḫabur [1; 2]. Later, M. could also refer to the entire region of the two rivers (Plin. HN 5,86). In modern,…

Babylonia

(412 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] In its lexical meaning, the term B., as used by Greek and Latin writers, (also expanded by γῆ, , μοῖρα, moîra or rather χώρα, chṓra) refers to the territory of the city of  Babylon (its wider surroundings); however, its use in that sense is frequently not unambiguous. In derivation, the term is nowadays generally taken to refer to the entire southern part of Mesopotamia, between the Persian Gulf and roughly the 34th northern parallel. Ancient oriental sources, though, do not use an equivalent regional …

Ampe

(100 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] (Ἀμπη; Ámpē). According to Hdt. 6,20, a settlement ( polis) on the Lower Tigris in which Darius I is supposed to have settled captured Milesians in 494 BC. Regarded since the 19th cent. as a mistaken transcription of Agine/Aginis (equated with the Babylonian Dūr-Jakīn, which can be located near the lower reaches of the Euphrates using Assyrian inscriptions [1]). Aginis is identified with Aple (Plin. HN 6,134), whilst the oppidum Ampelone, colonia Milesiorum (Plin. HN 6,159) is to be considered separately due to the description of its location. Oelsner, Joachim (Leipz…

Opis, Upis

(392 words)

Author(s): Ambühl, Annemarie (Groningen) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
(Ὦπις/ Ôpis, Οὖπις/ Oûpis). [German version] [1] Epithet of Artemis In Ephesus an epithet of Artemis, derived in antiquity from her companion O. [2] (Callim. H. 3,204 with scholia; Antimachus fr. 99 Matthews [1]; Macrob. Sat. 5,22; different in Cic. Nat. D. 3,58). Ambühl, Annemarie (Groningen) [German version] [2] Hyperborean Hyperborean woman (Hyperborei), whose tomb on Delos was worshipped in cult (Hdt. 4,35). She is mostly mentioned along with Hecaerge [4] (Paus. 1,43,4; 5,7,8; Pl. Ax. 371a); in Callim. H. 4,292 Loxo is also added. O. was cl…

Marduk-apla-iddin(a)

(237 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
Name of two Babylonian kings. [German version] [1] M. I. Kassite king Antepenultimate king of the dynasty of the Kassites (1171-1159 BC; Cossaei). Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) [German version] [2] M. II. King of the Chaldaeans (721-710 BC and 703) from the Chaldaean tribe ( Chaldaei) of the Bīt Jakīn; the Merodachbaladan of the OT (in Ptolemy: Μαρδοκέμπαδος/ Mardokémpados). As King of the Sealand he paid a tribute to the Assyrian Tiglatpilesar III in 729, and subsequently in 721 he succeeded as the leader of an anti-Assyrian coalition in Babylon (in the…

Adiabene

(280 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Term for the region between the upper and lower Zab, but also the adjacent northern regions (referred to in oriental sources as Hadjab). A. comprises essentially the old territory of Assyria along with  Arbela (Plin. HN. 5,66; 6,25 ff.; Amm. Marc. 23,6; SHA Sev. 9,18; Str. 11,503; 530; 16,736; 745; Ptol. 6,1,2). As a Parthian feudal state ruled by a local dynasty that professed its faith in Judaism in the 1st cent. AD, A. gets involved in the battles between Rome and the Parthians…
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