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Article

Abydos  

Stephen Mitchell

Was the best harbour on the Asiatic side of the *Hellespont. In the Iliad (2. 836) an ally of Troy and then a Thracian settlement, it was colonized c.700 bce by Milesians (see colonization, greek; miletus). From 514 it was under Persian control and served in 480 as the Asiatic bridgehead from which *Xerxes crossed into Europe (Hdt. 7. 34, 43 ff.). Thereafter it was successively part of the *Athenian empire until it revolted in 411 (Thuc. 8. 61–2), a Spartan ally until 394, and under Persian rule again until freed by *Alexander (3) the Great in 334. It put up heroic resistance when besieged by *Philip (3) V of Macedon in 200 (Polybius 16. 29–34). In Roman times and in late antiquity it was an important customs-station (OGI521). There are no significant archaeological remains at the site, but its coinage, including early electrum issues, is important.

Article

Aezani  

Stephen Mitchell

Was the most important city of northern *Phrygia in Roman times. The well-preserved ruins of the site are dominated by the peripteral (colonnaded) Ionic temple of *Zeus, dedicated under Domitian in ce 92. According to local legend Zeus was born in the Steunos cave which overlooked the river Pencalas near the city (the site has been identified and excavated). There were extensive sacred lands around the city, which were used to settle military colonists from the Attalid and Bithynian kingdoms. A long dispute over the revenues from this land was settled by Roman proconsuls of Asia in the 120s, and this appears to have unleashed a period of great prosperity in the 2nd cent. ce. During this time Aezani was transformed from a modest agricultural town (there are traces of late Hellenistic buildings and it may have been the minting centre for the people of Phrygia Epictetus) into an imperial architectural show-piece, with a theatre, a stadium, a large bath-house, several bridges across the river Pencalas which flowed through the city, and cemeteries full of elaborately decorated tombs. Aezani was an enthusiastic member of the *Panhellenion at Athens, where its best-known citizen and civic benefactor, M.

Article

David C. Braund

Albania (Transcaucasian), the land between *Iberia and the *Caspian, to the north of *Media Atropatene: it now lies largely within northern Azerbaijan and Daghestan. Albania comprises an extensive and quite dry plain, with the eastern spur of the main Caucasus to the north: pastoralism was widespread, though archaeology indicates agriculture and significant settlements (so too notably *Ptolemy (4)). Through Albania, past Derbend, lay the easiest and most-frequented route south across the Caucasus. In extant manuscripts of classical texts the Albani are often confused inextricably with the *Alans across the mountains to the north. The Albani are first mentioned in the context of Alexander III's campaigns. Pompey brought them within the Roman sphere in 65 bce: a mythical link with *Alba Longa was claimed.

Article

Ancyra  

Stephen Mitchell

Ancyra (mod. Ankara), a settlement in the part of central Asia Minor occupied by the Galatian Tectosagan tribe, which became the most important city of the province of *Galatia after 25 bce. The Roman city was built on the west side of a strong acropolis, still dominated by fine Byzantine fortifications. Its buildings include the temple of Rome and Augustus, which carries a virtually complete text of the *Res gestae of Augustus (the Monumentum Ancyranum), a theatre, and a large gymnasium of the later 2nd or 3rd cent.

Article

Apamea  

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Apamea, a city on the *Orontes, *Syria, which replaced the Macedonian military colony of Pella. It was founded by Seleucus I (or perhaps Antiochus I). It was the military headquarters of Seleucid Syria, and the place where Seleucid breeding of *elephants (for war) is attested (Strabo 16. 2. 10). During the Principate it ruled a large territory; its citizen population numbered 117,000 under Augustus. Excavation has revealed mainly buildings and finds of the imperial period. See apame.

Article

Stephen Mitchell

The geographical term Asia Minor is used to denote the westernmost part of the Asian continent, equivalent to modern Turkey between the Aegean and the Euphrates. The western and southern coastal fringes were part of the Mediterranean world; the heartland of Asia Minor lay in the interior of Anatolia, comprising the hilly but fertile uplands of *Phrygia, the steppic central plateau, and the rugged and harsh country of *Cappadocia. These areas were framed by the Pontic ranges which rise steeply from the Black Sea in the north, and the long range of the *Taurus which snakes through southern Anatolia from Lycia to the Euphrates and separates Asia Minor from Syria. In the Graeco-Roman period the region's history is illuminated by an almost limitless flood of historical information, which makes it possible to identify the separate languages, cultures, and religious traditions of its various regions—*Bithynia, Mysia, *Lydia, *Caria, *Lycia, *Pisidia, *Cilicia, *Cappadocia, *Galatia, *Paphlagonia, and *Pontus—and also to document the influence of external powers and cultures, above all of Persia, Greece, and Rome.

Article

Stephen Mitchell

Attaleia (mod. Antalya), a city of *Pamphylia founded by *Attalus II and perhaps intended as a focus of Attalid political influence in southern Asia Minor. Its coins show that it claimed kinship with Athens. In 79 bce it was mulcted of territory by *Servilius Vatia Isauricus for its complicity with the pirate leader Zenicetes (see piracy). These lands were probably used by Augustus for settling *veterans of Italian origin, who dominated local politics in the early empire. The ruins include an impressive tomb of Italian style built above the harbour for a man of consular status in the early empire, and a triple-arched gate built through the still-surviving city walls to honour *Hadrian's visit in ce 129. Attaleia became a colony in the 3rd cent.

Article

Bactria  

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

Enormous region lying (roughly) between the *Oxus (Amu-Darya) to the north and the Hindu Kush to the south; the term occasionally also includes Sogdiana to the north (Tadjikistan/Uzbekistan). The Achaemenid satrapy (Bāxtriš) is cited several times in the *Persepolis tablets. Because of the silence of the classical sources, Bactrian history only becomes more fully recoverable with *Alexander (3) the Great, who had to fight tough battles here. The discovery of 30 parchments and 18 wooden boards from the late *Achaemenid period (*Artaxerxes (3) III to *Alexander (3) the Great), including two possibly dating to the 5th cent. (as well as palimpsests), written in Aramaic, is now revealing some details of the Achaemenid administration of the region (Bagavant, governor of Khulmi, under Akhvamasda, satrap of Bactria) and Persian-held domains. Recent excavations have profoundly enhanced our knowledge, especially excavation of the site of *Ai Khanoum, a Hellenistic city, (possibly) founded by Alexander himself, on the upper Oxus (Alexandria Oxiana?).

Article

Alexander John Graham and Stephen Mitchell

Byzantium, a famous city on the European side of the south end of the *Bosporus (1), between the Golden Horn and the *Propontis. The Greek city occupied only the eastern tip of the promontory, in the area now covered by the Byzantine and Ottoman palaces of Constantinople/Istanbul. The evidence of cults and institutions confirms the claim of the Megarians (see megara) to be the main founders, but groups from the Peloponnese and central Greece probably also participated in the original colony, which is to be dated 668 (Hdt. 4. 144) or 659 bce (Euseb. Chron.). Little material earlier than the late 7th cent. has yet emerged from excavations. Except during the *Ionian Revolt the city was under Persian control from *Darius I's Scythian expedition until 478. In the Athenian empire (see delian league) it paid fifteen talents' tribute or more, deriving its wealth from tuna fishing and from tolls levied on passing ships. The city also had an extensive territory not only in European *Thrace but also in *Bithynia and Mysia in Asia.

Article

Thomas Robert Shannon Broughton and Antony Spawforth

Cappadocia, at one time designated the whole region between Lake Tatta and the *Euphrates, and from the *Euxine Sea to *Cilicia; but the northern part became ‘Cappadocian Pontus’ or simply ‘*Pontus’, and the central and southern part Greater Cappadocia. This last consists of a rolling plateau, almost treeless in its western portion, some broken volcanic areas in the centre and the west (the cone of Mt. Argaeus reaches 3,660 m.: 12,000 ft.), and the ranges, for the most part well watered and well timbered, of the *Taurus and Antitaurus. A rigorous winter climate limits production to hardy cereals and fruits. Grazing was always important; the *Achaemenid kings levied a tribute of 1,500 horses, 50,000 sheep, and 2,000 mules, and Roman emperors kept studs of race-horses there. *Mines are mentioned of quartz, salt, Sinopic earth (cinnabar), and silver. Since the passes were frequently closed in winter the country was isolated.

Article

Coptus  

Walter Eric Harold Cockle

Coptus (mod. Qift), a nome-capital of Upper *Egypt on the east bank of the Nile. The temple of Min, repaired by Ptolemy II (see ptolemy(1)), remained important until the Christian period. The focus of caravans to the *Red Sea, it conveyed Indian maritime trade to *Alexandria (1). In the first century ce Coptus exceeded *Thebes (2) in population, attracting *Palmyrene merchants. As the centre of *Aurelius Achilleus' revolt *Diocletian largely destroyed it c. ce 297. The tariff inscription of ce 90 is important.

Article

Robert G. Morkot

Ethiopia was a name usually applied by the Greeks to any region in the far south (but north of the equator). Perhaps originally designating radiance reflected by dwellers in the east from the morning star, it soon came to mean the land of the ‘Burnt-faced People’. An ethnic connotation is found already in *Homer (Od. 1. 22 etc. ), and as geographical knowledge increased a distinction was made between western and eastern Ethiopians. Early Greek interest in Ethiopia was largely concerned with the source of the *Nile. Ethiopia was favoured by the gods, and hence has an important place in utopian literature. From Herodotus onwards Ethiopia designated especially the lands south of Egypt comprising most of the modern states of Sudan and Ethiopia, the ancient Kush, *Meroe, and Aksum. Ethiopians formed contingents in the Persian army during *Xerxes' invasion of Greece (Hdt. 7. 70) and Greeks visited Ethiopia from the 6th cent. bce onwards.

Article

John F. Lazenby

Gaugamela, village in Iraq (now Tell Gomel?), scene of *Alexander (3) the Great's decisive victory over *Darius III of Persia in 331 bce. The battle appears to have opened with a Persian attempt to outflank Alexander's right, which was defeated, while a charge of scythed chariots in the centre was also routed by Macedonian light troops. Then Alexander led his Companions (see hetairoi), and the right and centre of his *phalanx, to attack a developing gap in the centre of the Persian line, whereupon Darius fled with Alexander in pursuit. Meanwhile, a force of Persian cavalry may have exploited a gap in the centre of the Greek line to attack their camp, and although it was driven off by allied Greek infantry, the Macedonian left also came under extreme pressure. However, this attack, too, was eventually contained, and turned into a rout on news of the flight of the rest of the Persian army.

Article

John F. Lazenby

River in NW Asia Minor (now Kocabaş), scene of *Alexander (3) the Great's first victory over the Persians (334 bce). Of the sources *Arrian's version is probably preferable. Alexander began the battle on the right, launching an attack on the Persian cavalry lining the river-bank with the left squadron of Companions (see hetairoi) and other cavalry between them and the phalanx to their left. The attack was driven back, but when the Persians pursued into the river-bed, Alexander led his remaining Companions obliquely to the left into their disordered ranks. After a short fight, the Persian cavalry fled, leaving their Greek mercenaries, stationed in the plain beyond the river, to be surrounded and annihilated. Assessment of Alexander's tactics depends on whether his first attack was a feint, and whether his second, oblique advance was deliberate or dictated by the terrain.

Article

The district of *Asia Minor closest to the *Hellespont. See dascylium; pharnabazus.

Article

John F. Lazenby

River of the Punjab (probably the Jhelum), where *Alexander(3) the Great defeated *Porus in 326 bce. After continually stretching the enemy by marching and countermarching along the river, Alexander crossed it before dawn under cover of a thunderstorm, probably with only 6,000 foot and 5,000 horse. Porus sent forward an advance force of Indian cavalry and chariots which was routed by Alexander's cavalry screen, and interspersed his infantry with *elephants, placing cavalry and chariots on the wings. But under attack by Alexander's cavalry, the Indian horse took refuge amongst the infantry, causing confusion, and uncovering its flanks and rear. In the centre the Macedonian infantry were able to open gaps in their line to accommodate elephants where necessary, and to use their sarisae (‘pikes’) to drive others back on their own infantry, after dislodging their mahouts. Virtually surrounded, the Indian army was all but annihilated, and Porus himself captured.

Article

Jaffa  

Benjamin Isaac

The city of Joppe/Jaffa/Yafo on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, immediately south of modern Tel Aviv, has a long history of importance as an urban centre, from the Middle Bronze Age onward until the 20th century. It was one of the few sites along the Palestinian coast that had a usable anchorage. The present article focuses on the Hellenistic, Roman, and late Roman periods, giving a brief survey of the major events, the political, social, and administrative history, and the major sources of information.

Article

Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Media Atropatene (mod. Azerbaijan), the NW corner and least accessible part of *Media, in the isolated mountainous zone of the Urmia basin, named after the Achaemenid satrap, Atropates (328/7–323 bce). It was left independent by the *Seleucids under local Iranian dynasts (this probably dating from 323 bce). *Antiochus (3) III made a successful show of force against the then ruler, the aged Artabarzanes, to prevent possible collaboration with potential rebels in the context of Molon's revolt (Polyb. 5. 55. 1). Seleucid garrisons at the Karafto caves and Arvoman, on the borders of Media Atropatene, are likely to have been founded to keep an eye on the region. The area was regarded as an independent kingdom (Strabo 11. 13. 1) under first the Seleucids, then *Armenia and Rome.

Article

Sumerian-Akkadian mythology reaches back to the earliest lists of gods in the third millennium bce and preoccupied the Mesopotamian intellectuals for more than 2000 years. This overview describes four major moments in the earlier phases of that history, each putting in place a different type of cosmic building block: ontologies, infrastructures, genealogies, and interfaces. These four phases stretch from the first mythological narratives in the mid-third millennium down to the late second and first millennium bce, when Mesopotamian materials are reconfigured and adapted for cuneiform scribal traditions in northern Mesopotamia, Syria and the Levant. Rather than limiting ourselves to late, somewhat heterodox recompilations such as the Enuma Elish or the Baal Epic, this contribution argues that the most important and long-lived features of the mythological tradition in Mesopotamia came into existence between 2500 and 1500bce.Like the poetry of a particular language or the usual turns of phrase in a family, the mythology embedded in a particular culture or civilization provides decisive clues to the central concerns of that society. These clues are indirect hints at most, constrained by the need to transmit specific textual materials (mythologems, proverbs, or narratives), while at the same time producing the local pragmatic effects that they are thought to achieve. Surprisingly, then, mythological materials are also usually quite susceptible to translation, giving the unknowing reader the impression that things were not so very different four thousand years ago in ancient Iraq. If we adopt a definition of myth that limits our quarry to “stories about deities that describe how the basic structures of reality came into existence,” excluding thereby .

Article

Antony Spawforth and Charlotte Roueché

Pergamum, in Mysia c.24 km. (15 miles) from the *Aegean, a natural fortress of great strategic importance commanding the rich plain of the river Caïcus; important historically as the capital of the Attalid kings and, later, as one of the three leading cities of provincial *Asia, and archaeologically as the only excavated Hellenistic royal capital outside *Macedonia. First attested in Greek sources in 401 bce, Pergamum enters history's mainstream as a treasury of *Lysimachus, who entrusted it (c.302) to *Philetaerus (2), founder of Attalid fortunes (for the political history of the dynasty see also eumenes(1–2) and attalus i–iii). An indigenous community (in spite of the Attalid claim to foundation by the Heraclid *Telephus (1)), Pergamum had adopted Greek civic organization (see polis) by c.300 (OGI265) at the latest, and this was upheld by the Attalids, who maintained control in practice through their assumption (from Eumenes I) of the right to appoint the chief magistrates (stratēgoi).