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Article

R. M. Errington

Attalus II (220–138 bce), king of *Pergamum (158–138), second son of *Attalus I, called ‘Philadelphus’ (‘Brother-loving’). Attalus served under his brother *Eumenes (2) II as loyal general against *Antiochus (3) III, the *Galatians, *Prusias (1) I, and Pharnaces I, and as diplomat, especially in Rome, where after 167 some senators favoured him against Eumenes. As king—he bore the title already in Eumenes' lifetime—he married Eumenes' widow Stratonice and adopted her son Attalus. He recognized Roman paramountcy and acted accordingly: he restored *Ariarathes V to Cappadocia, supported *Alexander (10) Balas against *Demetrius (10) I in Syria (153–150), *Nicomedes II of Bithynia against *Prusias (2) II (149), whom with Roman help he had recently defeated, and sent troops against *Andriscus (148) and to *Corinth (146). He founded *Philadelphia (2) in Lydia and *Attaleia (Antalya) in Pamphylia, continued Eumenes' building programme at Pergamum and the tradition of magnificent gifts to Greek cities and shrines (e.

Article

R. M. Errington

Attalus III (c. 170–133 bce), son of *Eumenes (2) II, last king of Pergamum (138–133), who bequeathed his kingdom to Rome. Called ‘Philometor’ (‘Mother-lover’) because of his close relationship to Stratonice, he was allegedly unpopular and had a reputation for being brutal and uninterested in public affairs, though given early experience by *Attalus II, devoting himself rather to scientific study, especially botany and pharmacology.

Article

Axumis  

Robert G. Morkot

Axumis (mod. Aksum), from the 1st to the 7th cent. ce the eponymous capital of a kingdom of northern *Ethiopia which covered the modern provinces of Tigre and Eritrea. Through their port *Adulis, the Aksumites traded busily with Arabians, Greeks, Romans, and Indians. Aksum was the earliest tropical African state to adopt coinage. By the 2nd cent. their power extended to Somalia and parts of southern *Arabia, and they controlled much of the traffic to *India from that time until far in the Byzantine era. Aksumite military activities in the west probably contributed to the collapse of *Meroe. Fragments of their history are known from inscriptions and classical references. The summit of Aksumite influence was in the 4th and 5th cents. Converted to Christianity in the 4th cent., the city of Aksum remains one of the most important centres for the Ethiopian Church.

Article

Babylon  

Amélie Kuhrt

The ruins of the city extend over several mounds in the vicinity of modern Hillah (c.80 km. (50 mi.) south of Baghdad); the most important are Babil, Kasr, Merkes, Homera. Babylon is attested as a settlement from the third millennium bce to the early Islamic period. It became politically important under Hammurabi (1792–1750 bce); but its time of greatest splendour was as capital of the Neo-Babylonian empire (605–539 bce). Most of its famous buildings date from this period. Babylon was an important centre for the *Achaemenid and *Seleucid rulers, who supported its cults (in which they sometimes participated personally) and continued to use and maintain its palace. Contrary to later classical writers (e.g. App.Syr. 58; Plin.HN 6. 122), Babylon did not decline following the foundation of *Seleuceia (1) on Tigris.R. Koldewey excavated the site 1899 to 1917; an Iraqi team explored further in the 1970s and 1980s. The city area inside the double fortifications (described by Herodotus 1.

Article

Amélie Kuhrt

Babylonia, country in south Iraq, stretching from modern Baghdad to the Arab-Persian Gulf, drained by the *Euphrates and *Tigris rivers. Settlement (dependent on irrigation) is first attested in the sixth millennium bce. The population was mixed; non-Semitic *Sumerian dominates the literary record in the third millennium, gradually replaced by Semitic *Akkadian in the second millennium, which in turn was displaced by *Aramaic in the later first millennium.Babylonia's political pattern until the 15th cent. bce was one of contending city-states, some of which succeeded in imposing control on their rivals (e.g. Agade: 2340–2200; Third Dynasty of Ur: 2100–2000; Babylon: 1760–1595). From then on, Babylonia formed a territorial state with *Babylon as its capital. Babylonia was subject to *Assyria from the late 8th cent. until the Babylonian general, Nabopolassar, fought back the Assyrians and, with Median help, destroyed Assyria's empire (626–609). Nabopolassar founded the Neo-Babylonian empire, stretching from Palestine to the Iranian frontier, ruled from Babylon. The most famous Neo-Babylonian king was his son, Nebuchadnezzar II (604–562), who rebuilt Babylonia's cities extensively and sacked Jerusalem (587).

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

Amélie Kuhrt

Baetocaece, sanctuary of *Zeus, inland from *Arados, perhaps a centre of healing (deduced from the *Semitic toponym Betocici = ‘house of ricin’). The cult is attested from the *Seleucid period (precise date uncertain), when a King Antiochus provided for it in response to information about the god's power (energeia). The site, in the satrapy of *Apameia, included a village, large temple, and smaller precinct. It survived for around 500 years attested by a dossier of inscriptions drawn up by its katochoi setting out the royally granted privileges (right to the site and revenues, regular tax-free fairs, monthly festivals, exemption from garrisoning, *asylia).

Article

Eric Herbert Warmington and Romila Thapar

Barygaza (Bhrigukaccha/Bharukaccha in Indian sources, earlier Broach, now Bharuch) near the mouth of the Narmada on the gulf of Cambay. The navigational use of the *monsoon winds, erroneously associated with *Hippalus, led to ships financed by traders from the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt sailing to Barygaza direct from the *Red Sea and Aden; conducted by pilots, they were towed from the coast to the port. They brought merchandise, presents, and Roman coins. To Barygaza were brought Indian and Chinese products (see seres) from the north through Modura (Mathura) and Ozene (Ujjain), and merchandise from central India and the Deccan through Tagara (Ter) and Paethana (Paithana). Indian ships sailed from Barygaza to the Gulf, the southern Arabian coast, and the Horn of Africa. It was also important to the Persian trade.

Article

Belus  

Amélie Kuhrt

Belus (Βῆλος), Hellenized form of the Levantine god Baʼal and Babylonian Bel (both meaning ‘lord’). Baʼal is attested from the third millennium bce on at *Ebla and *Ugarit. In *Babylonia, Bel describes Marduk (earlier Enlil), god of *Babylon and head of the pantheon certainly by the 12th cent. bce (cf.

Article

Joyce Reynolds and Dorothy J. Thompson

The name of several Ptolemaic dynastic foundations. Among the best known are:(a) Berenice (mod. Benghazi), the westernmost Cyrenaican city, founded in the mid-3rd cent. bce (exact date and circumstances disputed) after the abandonment of Euhesperides (whose harbour had silted up) and named for *Berenice (3) II who gave a city-wall. It was the starting-point of M. *Porcius Cato (2)'s march across the Syrtica to Thapsa and birthplace of Andronicus, opponent of *Synesius. Inscriptions highlight pirate raids in the 1st cent. bce and its self-governing Jewish community; excavations reveal the development of a suburb in considerable detail. See pentapolis.Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft 3 (1899), 282, no. 8.J. A. Lloyd (ed.), Excavations at Sidi Khrebish, Benghazi 1 (1977).J. A. Lloyd (ed.), Excavations at Sidi Khrebish, Benghazi 2 (1979).J. A. Lloyd (ed.), Excavations at Sidi Khrebish, Benghazi 3 (1985).A. Laronde, Cyrène et la Libye hellénistique (1987), 382 f.

Article

Berenice (1) I, first mistress and then wife of *Ptolemy (1) I Soter, came to Egypt with her aunt Eurydice whom she supplanted as queen. By her first marriage (to Philippus, a Macedonian), she was mother to Magas, king of Cyrene and Antigone, wife of *Pyrrhus of Epirus. Her later children were *Arsinoë II, *Ptolemy (1) II, and Philotera.

Article

Friedrich M. Heichelheim and Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Berenice (2), ‘the Syrian’, daughter of *Ptolemy (1) II and *Arsinoë I (b. c.280 bce), was Ptolemy III's sister. *Antiochus (2) II married her after the ‘Second Syrian War’ (252). At Antiochus' death (246), *Laodice (2), his divorced first wife, murdered Berenice and her son by Antiochus before Ptolemy III could intervene.

Article

Berenice (3) II, daughter of Magas of Cyrene and Apama II, was born c.273 bce. Following the murder that she initiated of her mother's candidate Demetrius, her marriage in 246 to *Ptolemy (1) III Euergetes returned *Cyrene to Ptolemaic control. She survived into the reign of her son *Ptolemy (1) IV, falling a victim to palace intrigues in 221.

Article

Johannes Haubold

Beros(s)us, Greek Bērōs(s)os, Akkadian Bēl-rē’ûšunu(?), Babylonian priest and historian of the late 4th to early 3rd centuriesbce. Berossus wrote a now fragmentary history of Babylon in Greek, the Babyloniaca, which he dedicated to the Seleucid king Antiochus I.1 He worked in Babylon, where he was attached to the main temple complex of the city, the Esagila. Vitruvius (BNJ 680 T 5a) suggests that he later moved to the Greek island of Cos (then under Ptolemaic rule) to found a school of astronomy. Pliny the Elder claims that the Athenians erected a statue in Berossus’ honour (BNJ 680 T 6), while Pausanias reports the view that he was the father of a prophetess called Sabbe, the Babylonian Sibyl according to some (BNJ 680 T 7a). This last piece of information takes us into the realm of myth and suggests just how little was known about Berossus already in the 2nd centuryce.

Article

Berytus  

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, Henri Seyrig, Jean-François Salles, and J. F. Healey

Berytus (mod. Beirut), a *Phoenician city mentioned in the letters of el-Amarna letters (14th cent. bce) and also attested in the Persian period. From *Antiochus (4) IV on it issued a coinage as Laodicea in Phoenice, but with the old name of Canaan inscribed in Phoenician. The reverse shows *Poseidon, the tutelary god of the city, also known from the wealthy colony of the Poseidoniasts of Berytus in Hellenistic *Delos. In c.16 bce, it became a Roman colony with the *ius Italicum, *veterans of two legions being settled there by Agrippa. Recent archaeological work suggests there was much expansion and rebuilding in the Roman period. A great trading-town, it was also famed for its wine and linen, and, from the end of the 3rd cent ce, for its school of Roman law.

Article

Aren Maeir

Biblical archaeology is defined as the study of the archaeological remains of the peoples, cultures, and periods in which the biblical texts were formed. While in the past biblical archaeology was often seen as an ideologically motivated field of inquiry, currently, a balanced and scientifically advanced approach is common among most practitioners. The large body of research in this field, continuing to the present, provides a broad range of finds, insights, and understanding of the relevant cultures, peoples and periods in which the biblical texts were formed.Biblical archaeology may be defined as the study of the archaeological remains of the regions, cultures, and periods, in which the biblical texts were formed. Modern biblical archaeology does not attempt to prove or disprove the Bible. Rather, archaeological study of the cultures in which the Bible was formed, or which are included in the Bible narratives, can provide a better understanding of the material and intellectual context of the biblical texts. The primary aim, however, is to study the archaeology of these regions, periods, and cultures associated with the Bible, the biblical interface being secondary. Biblical archaeology focuses primary attention on the regions and cultures of the Southern Levant, specifically the region of modern-day Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and southern Syria. Nearby regions such as Egypt, northern Syria, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Cyprus, and the Aegean are within its scope of interest. The main chronological focus of biblical archaeology are the periods in which the actual biblical texts were formed and written down—the Iron Age, Persian period, and Hellenistic period for the Hebrew Bible, about .

Article

Bisitun  

Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Amélie Kuhrt

Bisitun (mod. Behistun; Βαγίστανον ὄρος), (Ctesias in Diod. Sic. 2. 13. 1)), a cliff 30 km. (18 ½ mi.) east of Kermanshah, with a relief and a long trilingual inscription (*Elamite, Babylonian, Old *Persian) by *Darius I. The three versions differ in minor (though significant) details. Cols. 1–4 report on his victories over the usurper Gaumata and other rebel kings in his first regnal year. The inscription was carved in stages; the OP version was added last. Copies were sent out (Inscription of Darius I at Bisitun 4. 88 ff.) and parts have been found at Elephantine (*Aramaic) and *Babylon. Bisitun is the only narrative OP text. Cols. 1–4 follow models from *Mesopotamia and *Urartu. Col. 5, on Darius' second and third years, (OP only) is closer to the ahistoric style of the later OP inscriptions.

Article

Amélie Kuhrt

Borsippa (mod. Birs Nimrud), c.20 km. (12 ½ mi.) SW of *Babylon, cult-centre of Nabu, god of wisdom. The 47-m.- (154-ft.-) high ruins of its temple-tower (ziggurat) have attracted archaeologists: the main temple complex (Ezida) was explored by H. Rassam and R. Koldewey (1879–80; 1902), the ziggurat by Austrians in the 1980s. Borsippa flourished from c.2000 bce to the early Islamic period; *Antiochus (1) I rebuilt Ezida; Strabo (16. 1. 7) described it as a centre of *linen manufacture.

Article

Bostra  

J. F. Healey

Bostra (Semitic Buṣrā)was a commercial and administrative city of the *Nabataean kingdom at the northern end of the Wādī al-Sirḥān trade route. It was refounded by *Trajan as the capital of the province of Arabia (era of Bostra beginning 22 March 106) and at least part of the Legio III Cyrenaica was installed (with VI Ferrata also having some role).

Article

Dorothy J. Thompson

Bubastis, the local cat-goddess of Bubastis (mod. Tell Basta), also worshipped elsewhere in Egypt (see Hdt. 2. 60, 66–7). Analysis of Ptolemaic cat-mummies has shown that cats bred for dedication were slaughtered at regular intervals. Egyptian animal-worship was puzzling to outsiders; *Diodorus (3) Siculus (1. 83. 8) recounts firsthand the near-disastrous fate of a visiting Roman who unwittingly killed a cat in Alexandria (1). See egyptian deities.