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Article

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, Amélie Kuhrt, and Antony Spawforth

Ancient oasis-city, almost certainly the centre of the Achaemenid province ‘Beyond-the-River’ (note its role in 333 bce: Q. *Curtius Rufus 3. 8. 12, 13. 1), and a capital of the later *Seleucids, under whom it issued coins (some in the name of Demetrias, assumed for Demetrius III). Annexed by *Pompey in 64 bce, it was granted by M. *Antonius (2) to *Cleopatra VII, reannexed by *Octavian, granted by Gaius (1) to the king of the *Nabataeans (see aretas), and finally annexed c.ce 62. In the 3rd cent. it was made a colonia. It derived its wealth from the products of its territory (notably figs: ps.-Julian, Ep. 80 Loeb), from its wool production and from the caravan trade. *Theodosius (3) II and *Arcadius (2) built a church in honour of St John the Baptist. It was taken for good in 635–6 by the Islamic Arabs.

Article

Pierre Briant

Darius I (OP Darāyavauš) son of Hystaspes, a Persian of noble lineage already known in the reigns of *Cyrus (1) and *Cambyses. He seized power after a bloody struggle against an individual said by him to have been the magus Gaumata. It is quite possible that the person he in fact assassinated was Bardiya (Gk. Smerdis), the brother of Cambyses (522 bce). He then had to quell numerous revolts by subject peoples and deal with the insubordinate Oroites, satrap of Sardis. His achievements were commemorated for posterity, in text and picture, on the rock of *Bisitun in Media. To mark what he presented as a refoundation of the empire, he created two new royal residences: *Susa in *Elam and *Persepolis in *Persia. He also extended the empire in the east (Indus valley) and west (*Thrace). Soon after his brutal crushing of the *Ionian Revolt (c.

Article

Pierre Briant

Darius II (Ochus), who ruled *Persia from 424 to 404 bce, was one of *Artaxerxes (1) I's bastard sons; he acceded to the throne after a struggle with his brother, who was killed. Dissension between *Pharnabazus and *Tissaphernes in western Asia Minor meant that the Persians had not regained their former position in the region; this was why Darius sent his younger son, *Cyrus (2), there with exceptional powers. The documents from the centre of the empire are not very informative for Darius' reign, but Egypt and Babylonia are better known due to the *Aramaic documents and the Murashû archives respectively; for the latter see M. Stolper, Entrepreneurs and Empire (1985) and Cambridge Ancient History (2) (1994), ch. 8 b.

Article

Pierre Briant

A descendant of a collateral branch of the royal family, Artashata (not Codomanus) acceded to the throne after the assassination of *Artaxerxes (4) IV and took the name Darius (336 bce). Since antiquity Darius has been judged very negatively—a serious distortion of what was in fact a complex reality. His dynastic legitimacy is well established; he prepared himself well for the confrontation with *Alexander (3) the Great; to the last he adhered to a coherent strategy—unfortunately unsuccessful—in coping with an exceptional opponent. He died in 330 as a result of a plot, when his struggle against Alexander had definitively failed.

Article

David John Blackman and Stephen Mitchell

Dascylium was the seat of the Persian *satrap of Hellespontine *Phrygia on the shore of Lake Dascylitis (mod. Manyas Göl) and famous for its hunting-park (Xen. Hell. 4. 1. 15; Hell. Oxy. 17. 3; Strabo 12. 8. 10, 575C). The 1950s excavations of the site at Hisartepe near Ergili have recently (1989) been continued. Several Graeco-Persian relief sculptures have been found in the region and the dig has produced Greek pottery from the early 7th cent. bce, an Old Phrygian and *Aramaic inscriptions, Achaemenid clay seals of Xerxes' reign, and a Babylonian cylinder seal of the second millennium bce. There was another settlement called Dascylium on the sea of Marmara east of the mouth of the Rhyndacus, which appears in the Athenian *tribute lists and was a custom-station of Roman *Asia.

Article

Pierre Briant

Datames, son of Camisares, allied to the main family of *Paphlagonia. His career is known mainly from the Life by *Cornelius Nepos and his coins. He was satrap of *Cappadocia and rebelled against *Artaxerxes (2) II in the 360s; he died in the ensuing turmoil.

Article

Datis  

Simon Hornblower

Datis, a Mede (see media), Persian commander of the 490 bce*Marathon campaign; en route he made dedications at *Delos (Hdt. 6. 97) and Rhodian *Lindus: Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 532 D 1 and perhaps also F 1 32 (+D 1 for his ?earlier divinely foiled attack). A *Persepolis tablet attests him already in 494, ? in the *Ionian Revolt.

Article

Diodotus (1) I, founder of the Graeco-*Bactrian monarchy. Formerly the *Seleucid*satrap of Bactria-Sogdiana, the date and circumstance of his independence remain uncertain. Some place his rebellion as early as 256 bce, while others prefer a lower chronology falling in the reign of *Seleucus (2) II.

Article

Diodotus (2) II, son and successor of *Diodotus (1) I. During his reign (c.235–226 bce), he allied with the *Parthians and abandoned the use of the *Seleucid name Antiochus on his coinage. He was overthrown by *Euthydemus (2) I.

Article

Dios  

Tessa Rajak

Dios wrote in Greek a Phoenician history whose only remnant is a citation, appearing twice in identical form in Josephus (AJ 8. 147–9; Ap. 1. 112–15), concerning King Hiram's reconstruction of *Tyre, and his triumph in an exchange of riddles with King Solomon.

Article

Ebla  

Stephanie Dalley

Ebla (mod. Tell Mardikh in Syria), c.55 km. (34 mi.) south of Aleppo, occupied from c.3500 bce to the Byzantine period. Italian excavations from 1964 under P. Matthiae uncovered monumental building and vast archives dating from the second half of the third millennium bce. The texts are administrative, historical, lexical, and literary, written with ambiguous brevity in a dialect of Old *Akkadian using Sumerograms and showing West Semitic and Hurrian influence. Industry and trade in metals, textiles, timber, and stone made the city rich. Closely connected with *Mari and Emar on the Euphrates, with *Byblos on the Mediterranean coast, and with Hamazi in Iran, conquered by kings of Agade, c.2300 bce, it was later eclipsed by Halam, ancient Aleppo.

Article

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

Old capital of the *Median kingdom captured by *Cyrus (1) in 550; it became the capital of the Median satrapy and one of the *Achaemenid Persian royal residences. The royal inscriptions show that the Great Kings (especially *Artaxerxes (2) II) built extensively here. It is mainly known from Polybius' glowing description (10. 27–8), since the site has never been fully excavated, owing to the superimposition of the modern town (Hamadan). Because of its excellent strategic position, it always played a prominent role in the interaction between western Iran and central Asia conducted along the Khorasan route.

Article

Edessa  

Eric William Gray and Amélie Kuhrt

Edessa (mod. Urfa, from the indigenous Urhai, whence also Gk. Ὀρροηνή, Lat. Or (h)ei), old centre of the moon-god cult attested in neo-Assyrian and neo-Babylonian sources and later the capital of *Osroëne. It was favourably situated in a ring of hills open to the south and surrounded by a fertile plain. It was refounded as a military settlement by *Seleucus (1) I; later its official name was Antioch-Fairflowing (Kallirhoē). When Osroëne asserted its independence, traditionally in 132 bce, Edessa became the royal residence. From the time of Pompey, who made a treaty with Abgar II and allowed him an enlarged Osroëne to rule over, Edessa played an ambiguous role in the wars and tensions between Rome and *Parthia. Its sympathies were often with the *Arsacids when prudence dictated compliance with Rome. Captured and sacked in ce 116 and again by L. *Verus, it eventually became a Roman colony (Cass.

Article

Alan Brian Lloyd

Egypt began its historic period c. 3200 bce. By a convention derived from *Manetho this era is divided into 31 dynasties which are currently grouped into several phases: the Thinite or Archaic period (Dynasties 1–2, c. 3200–2700) is the formative stage of pharaonic civilization. The Old Kingdom (Dynasties 3–4, c. 2700–2159) sees the establishment of a highly centralized state which peaked in the Fourth Dynasty with the builders of the Giza pyramids. Foreign relations, peaceful and otherwise, were maintained with Nubia to the south, Libya, and Asia, but there was no attempt to establish an empire. Culturally, this age is distinguished by work of the highest quality in architecture, sculpture, and painting. The fabric of government collapsed at the end of the Sixth Dynasty to create the First Intermediate period (Dynasties 7–mid-11, c. 2159–2040), an age of political dissolution and cultural decline. The country was reunited by Montuhotep II c.

Article

Richard Gordon

The Graeco-Roman view of Egyptian religion is sharply fissured. Despite Herodotus 2. 50. 1 (comm. A. B. Lloyd, 1975–88), many writers of all periods, and probably most individuals, found in the Egyptians' worship of animals a polemical contrast to their own norms (though cf. Cic. Nat. D. 1. 29. 81 f.), just as, conversely, the Egyptians turned animal-worship into a symbol of national identity (cf. Diod. Sic. 1. 86–90). The first Egyptian divinity to be recognized by the Greek world was the oracular *Ammon of the *SiwaOasis (Hdt. 2. 54–7); but *oracles have a special status. The only form of Late-period Egyptian religion to be assimilated into the Graeco-Roman world was to a degree untypical, centred on anthropomorphic deities—*Isis, *Sarapis, and Harpocrates—and grounded in Egyptian vernacular enthusiasm quite as much as in temple ritual. The other gods which became known in the Graeco-Roman world, *Osiris, *Anubis, *Apis, *Horus, *Bubastis, Agathodaemon (see agathos daimon), Bes, etc.

Article

Dorothy J. Thompson

In the period from the death of Alexander (3) the Great in 323 bce until Octavian's conquest and the death of *Cleopatra VII in 30 bce the Egyptian throne was held by Macedonians, and from 304 by the one family (for which see ptolemy (1)) descended from Alexander's general Ptolemy son of Lagus. Externally the main problem remained the extent of the kingdom, while internally the nature of administrative control and relations with the native Egyptians formed the major concerns of this new resident dynasty of foreign pharaohs. For the modern observer it is the incomplete nature of the historical record which presents problems. Contemporary historical analysis is limited in period (*Polybius (1), *Diodorus (3) Siculus), much of it concentrating on the scandalous and sensational (*Pompeius Trogus, *Justin), and while numerous papyri and ostraca, preserved through the dry desert conditions, join with inscriptions to make Egypt better documented than other Hellenistic kingdoms, these illustrate the details of administration and everyday life without its wider context.

Article

Elam  

Stephanie Dalley

Ancient kingdom in SW Iran centred on two main cities, *Susa and Anshan (near *Persepolis), whose rulers were members of the same family at some periods. Connected with *Mesopotamia by raids, by the intermittent vassaldom of Susa, and by the use of *cuneiform script, its written records began c.3200 bce with proto-Elamite, still undeciphered, continued in *Akkadian, and ended in Elamite, a non-Indo-Iranian language, perhaps Dravidian, still in the process of analysis. It controlled the supply of minerals and timber to Mesopotamia, with which it shared many features of material culture. Famous for a special kind of bow, its archers were prized mercenaries in the 7th cent. The earliest known dynasties belong to the mid-third millennium, its latest to the early 6th cent., despite the sack of Susa by *Assyria in 646 bce. It was absorbed into the Achaemenid empire.

Article

Walter Eric Harold Cockle

Elephantine (mod. Gesiret Assuan), capital of the Ombite nome (see nomos (1)) in Upper *Egypt, on an island off Aswan below the first Nile cataract, occupied till the Arab period as a military and customs-post on the frontier with *Nubia. Jewish mercenaries formed a garrison here from the 26th Dynasty onwards and established a temple of Yahweh. Their papyri and ostraca allow detailed insights into Persian administration in Egypt and the daily life of the community. Many Ptolemaic ostraca survive. There were temples (with nilometers) of Chnum and Satet, the latter partly rebuilt by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Under the Romans Philae and *Syene became more important.

Article

Michael B. Charles

Elephants were widely used in the Mediterranean World and Middle East for military purposes. The Mediterranean world first encountered them during Alexander the Great’s conquest of Achaemenid Persia, but the first major battle between a Mediterranean power and elephants occurred at the Hydaspes (326 ce) during Alexander’s Indian campaign. Thereafter, the Successor kingdoms sought to maintain elephant corps. When Ptolemaic Egypt was cut off from supplies of Indian elephants, it had to look south. The nearby civilization of Meroë had an interest in elephants, although it is unknown whether they used them militarily. Like the Ptolemies, the Carthaginians and Numidians also trained African elephants for war. Although Rome first encountered the Indian elephants of Pyrrhus, it had to contend with the African elephants of Carthage in the First and Second Punic Wars. Having beaten elephants in several battles, and recognizing that elephants were often a danger to their own side, Rome showed little interest in the elephant other than for display and games. This, together with their appetite for ivory, resulted in the extinction of elephants in northern Africa. African elephants were last used for military purposes by the kingdom of Aksum, although it is uncertain whether this use was commonplace. In contrast, the final user of Indian elephants in classical antiquity was Sasanid Persia, which used them against Rome in various wars, most notably during the 4th century ce.

Article

Elymais  

Amélie Kuhrt

Greek term for western part of ancient *Elam, i.e. mod. Khuzistan in SW Iran. The main city is *Susa, lying in a well-irrigated plain, hence another term (broadly) for the region is ‘Susiana’. Elymais/Susiana constituted an important administrative and economic region under the *Achaemenids and *Seleucids, although it is possible that central control of the mountainous territory beyond the Susa plain was never tight. In the mid-2nd cent. bce, local dynasts claimed a measure of autonomy, declared by their issue of coins; throughout the *Parthian period, they exercised some authority. Some of their names show that, despite the marked Hellenization (see hellenism) of Susa, elements of Elamite culture survived, as is further attested by features of the local religion (Nannaia). The art of Arsacid Elymais has links with that of *Hatra. Elymais' autonomy came to an end under the first *Sasanid rulers.