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His date is not quite certain, but 4th century ce (rather than three centuries earlier) seems likeliest. He is a source for much of the Arabian information in Stephanus of Byzantium, in whose treatise on ethnics he is praised highly.



J. David Hawkins

Urartu, iron age kingdom ( = Hebrew Ararat) in the territory of later *Armenia. The unified kingdom is known from its archaeology and monumental *cuneiform inscriptions under a dynasty c.830–640 bce. Its largely hostile relations with *Assyria (1) are documented by *Assyrian sources.



Amélie Kuhrt

Uruk (mod. Warka; Gk. Ὀρχόη), c. 170 km. (106 mi.) south of *Babylon. It was a substantial city from c.4000 bce to the Sasanian period (see sasanids) and the source of hundreds of *cuneiform texts dating between the 7th and 2nd cents. bce. German excavations (since 1912) have uncovered a walled town dominated by a sanctuary of the goddess of war and sex, *Ishtar (Eanna), replaced in importance by a temple of Anu (sky-god) and his consort (Bit Resh) in the late 5th cent. bce, and a third temple, Irigal. Architectural and textual finds of the *Seleucid period are very rich. The Parthian period (see parthia) is well attested by pottery, small finds, and graves. Uruk was one of the most important Babylonian cities of the neo-Babylonian (see babylonia), *Achaemenid and Seleucid periods. A Seleucid colony ‘Antioch-on-the-Ishtar-canal’, is attested near Uruk in 270 bce.


Margaret Stephana Drower, Eric William Gray, and Barbara Levick

King of *Parthia, 51 ce/2–79/80. His family belonged to *Media Atropatene. Much of his reign was spent in wars with Rome and on his eastern frontier. In 54 Vologeses set his brother *Tiridates(3) on the throne of *Armenia (Tac. Ann. 12. 50). Cn. *Domitius Corbulo, sent to re-establish Roman influence, was at first successful, Vologeses being occupied on his eastern frontier with a rebellion. Tiridates fled, and a Roman nominee *Tigranes(4) was crowned as king of Armenia. But Vologeses returned to the war, and at one time gained an advantageous treaty from L. *Caesennius Paetus, after the latter's capitulation at Rhandeia. Finally, peace was made and Tiridates agreed (63) to go to Rome and pay homage to *Nero for his throne: this he did in 66. Vologeses' later relations with Rome were friendlier: he sought *Vespasian's help against the invading Alani (Suet.


Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Amélie Kuhrt

Xerxes I (OP Khšāyaršā), son of *Darius(1) and Atossa, king of *Persia486–465 bce, chosen by his father as successor (XPf ll. 31 ff.; Hdt. 7. 2–3). At the beginning of his reign he crushed a revolt in Egypt (Hdt. 7. 3) and later two rebellions in *Babylon. Plans for an expedition against Greece were inherited from Darius: for the course of events see persian wars. No Persian document mentions the expedition.The more important palaces on the terrace of *Persepolis were built in Xerxes' reign, including the *Apadana with its impressive reliefs, illustrating the structure and the extent of the empire: king, court, and subject populations with their ethnographic characteristics. In the Daiva-inscription (XPh ll. 28–41) rebellion is equated with the neglect of *Ahuramazda and the worship of daiva's (‘bad gods’). Xerxes' destruction of the daiva-sanctuary marks no breach with his ancestors' presumed religious tolerance, as is often thought, since DB 5 already contains similar phraseology. Xerxes' reputation as a weakling and a womanizer depends on certain recognizably novelistic passages in Herodotus (7. 2–3, 9. 108–13) and on the reading of royal inscriptions as personal messages by the kings, rather than as formulaic royal statements. Seen from the heartland, his reign forms a period of consolidation, not of incipient decay. Xerxes was murdered in 465.



Margaret Stephana Drower, Eric William Gray, and Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Zeugma (mod. Bâlkîs, opposite Bîrecik), in *Syria on the right bank of the *Euphrates at its chief crossing, about 112 km. (70 miles) below *Samosata. Twin colonies Seleuceia (right bank) and Apamea (left bank) were founded by *Seleucus (1) I (PlinHN 5. 86), which came to be known by the generic name Zeugma (‘junction’), and gave Seleucus control of the lower river crossings of the Euphrates. It is possible that Apamea was merely a suburb of Seleuceia. It was here (in 221) that *Antiochus (3) III met his own bride, *Laodice(3), daughter of *Mithradates II of *Pontus, on her journey from Pontus and celebrated the royal wedding (Polyb. 5. 43. 1–4).


Zeuxis (1), painter, of *Heraclea(1) in Lucania, pupil of Neseus of Thasos or Damophilus of Himera. *Pliny(1) dates him 397 bce, rejecting 424. *Quintilian dates both him and *Parrhasius to the *Peloponnesian War. In *Plato(1)'s Protagoras (dramatic date about 430) he is young and a newcomer to Athens. His rose-wreathed *Eros is mentioned in Ar. Ach.991–2 (425). He painted Alcmena for Acragas before 406, and *Archelaus (2)'s palace between 413 and 399. He ‘entered the door opened by Apollodorus and stole his art’; he added the use of highlights to shading, and *Lucian praises in the *Centaur family (an instance of the unusual subjects which Zeuxis preferred) the subtle gradation of colour from the human to the animal body of the female Centaur; his paintings of grapes were said to have deceived birds; he said that if he had painted the boy carrying the grapes better, the birds would have been frightened off. His figures lacked the ethos (character) of *Polygnotus, although his Penelope was morality itself, and his Helen (for Croton or Acragas) an ideal picture compiled from several models; pathos (emotion) rather than ethos distinguished the Autoboreas with *Titan look and wild hair, and the *Menelaus (1) drenched in tears.


Simon Hornblower

Zeuxis (4), important *Seleucid viceroy of the time of *Antiochus (3) III: Polybius 5. 45. 4 and 16. 1. 8 with Walbank, HCP and J. Ma, Antiochus III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor (1999) for the inscriptions. Cf. SEG 36. 973 =Ma no. 29 for his title, and Ma nos. 123 ff. for his role. See amyzon; sardis.


Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and W. F. M. Henkelman

Zoroaster, Ζωροάστρης (Ζαθραύστης, Ζαράτας), is the Greek form Old Iranian Zarathuštra. He is considered by Zoroastrian tradition as prophet of a new religion; the revolutionary nature of his teachings is, however, debatable. In the oldest part of the Avesta, the Gāthā, he is called a ma̢thrān, ‘he who possesses the sacred formulas’. The Gāthā, ritualistic hymns, portray a dualistic system in which Aṣ̌a (truth, rightness) is opposed to Druj (lie, deceit) with *Ahura Mazdā is the supreme deity. They are dated, on linguistic grounds, to c.1000 bce. Whether Zoroaster was a historical figure, lived around this date, and wrote the Gāthā is debated; his persona certainly served as focal point of an emergent religious community. A date in the 6th cent. bce is suggested by late Zoroastrian tradition, but not supported by conclusive historical evidence. The Greeks knew of Zoroaster by the 5th cent. bce (*Xanthus(2) of Lydia in Diog.