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Artabazus (c.387–c.325 bce), son of *Pharnabazus, *satrap of *Dascylium, and Apame, daughter of *Artaxerxes (2) II; c.361/0 he succeeded his half-brother, Ariobarzanes, who had been executed for rebellion (see satraps' revolt). When he in turn revolted against Artaxerxes II, he fled to the Macedonian court (352), before returning in 343. Like his son, Pharnabazus, he remained loyal to *Darius III; he only joined *Alexander (3) the Great after the murder of the Persian king and was given the Bactrian satrapy (see bactria), which he resigned soon after (327). He died a short time later.

Article

Pierre Briant

Artaphernes or Artaphrenes, but only the former is correct: cf. El. Irdapirna and OP †Rta-farnah-. (1) Full brother of *Darius I and satrap of Sardis, who put down the *Ionian Revolt. He figures in two Persepolis tablets (official journeys starting from *Sardis: PF 1404, 1455). (2) His son, who accompanied *Datis in 490 bce and was in *Xerxes I's army in 480 (Hdt.

Article

Josef Wiesehöfer

Artavasdes (1) II of *Armenia (55/4–34 bce) succeeded his father *Tigranes (1) II, and was Rome's ally when *Crassus invaded Mesopotamia; but *Orodes' simultaneous invasion of Armenia brought him over to Parthia's side, and he married his sister to Orodes' son Pacorus. When the news of the Roman defeat at *Carrhae together with Crassus' head reached Artaxata, the two kings were attending a performance of *Euripides' Bacchae. From then until 36 Artavasdes tried a policy of strict neutrality between Rome and Parthia before joining Mark Antony's expedition (see M. *Antonius (2)) against the Parthians and the king of *Media Atropatene. He deserted in the critical battle, and in 34 Antony, in revenge, entered Armenia with an army and captured the king and his family. Artavasdes was taken to Egypt and put to death by order of *Cleopatra (VII), on the eve of the Actium campaign.

Article

Josef Wiesehöfer

Artavasdes (2), king of *Media Atropatene, whose land and capital, Phraaspa, were attacked by M. *Antonius (2) in 36 bce. Enmity with the Armenian *Artavasdes (1) and a quarrel with the Parthian king, *Phraates (1) IV, soon swung him to Antony's side. In 33 Artavasdes and Antony met on the Araxes river, on which occasion Antony's son Alexander and the king's daughter Iotape were betrothed to one another.

Article

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

A royal city in *Armenia, in the district of Ararat, c.32 km. (20 mi.) SW of Erivan. It was founded by Artaxias I, traditionally with the advice of *Hannibal (Strabo 11. 14. 6; Plut. Luc.31). The Romans captured it several times during invasions of Armenia; the Roman general, *Corbulo, burnt it in ce 58 (Tac. Ann. 13. 41); it was rebuilt by *Tiridates (3) and renamed Neronia (Cass. Dio 63. 7), but reverted to its old name. Statius Priscus (ce 163) seized it when he invaded Armenia. He did not destroy it, but founded a new city, Caenopolis (later, Valarshapat) not far away. Artaxata was still important in the 4th and 5th cents. ce.

Article

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

Artaxerxes (1) I (OP Rtaxšaçā), one of *Xerxes' and Amestris' sons, who came to power in the obscure situation following his father's murder (August 465). The Egyptian Revolt, helped by Athens, ended with the reimposition of *Achaemenid control (454); fighting in Asia Minor seems to have finished with a serious Persian set-back—but the historicity of the Peace of Callias (449/8; see callias, peace of) remains debated. According to one chronological reconstruction, it was in his reign that first Ezra (458), then Nehemiah (445), carried out their missions in Jerusalem. The latest El. tablets and other documents attest to work carried out at *Persepolis and *Susa.

Article

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

Artaxerxes (2) II (405/4–359/8 bce), eldest son of *Darius II and Parysatis, Arsu/Arses succeeded his father smoothly in 405/4. His reign is usually seen as initiating a period of accelerated decline. This vision, based on an uncritical reading of the polemical, 4th-cent. Greek sources, is not confirmed by a more balanced assessment of the longest reign in *Achaemenid history.

Article

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

Artaxerxes (3) III (359/8–338 bce), Ochos (Umakuš in Bab. texts), one of *Artaxerxes (2) II's sons, proclaimed king with the name Artaxerxes (359/8). Apart from the relatively unimportant *Satraps' Revolt in Asia Minor (see artabazus), the great achievement of Artaxerxes' reign was the reconquest of Egypt in 343, following the crushing of the revolt of the Phoenician cities (345).

Article

Artaxerxes (4) IV (338–336 bce), throne-name of Arses, one of *Artaxerxes (3) III's sons. The *Aramaic version of the famous trilingual inscription from *Xanthus (RO 78) is dated to the first year of an Artaxerxes who can only be Arses.

Article

Josef Wiesehöfer

Artaxerxes (Ardashir), the name of several *Sasanid kings, the greatest being Artaxerxes I (d. ce 241), son of Pabag, founder of the Sasanian empire. Taking advantage of the Parthian preoccupation with Roman attacks to assume the kingship of Istakhr, and then to conquer the neighbouring provinces one by one, he finally defeated the *Arsacid king Artabanus IV in battle (28 April 224). After further campaigns his empire included Iran, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, and parts of NE Arabia. Though major changes in political, social, and religious affairs are attributed to him in later Iranian tradition, Ardashir actually owed a great deal to the Parthian legacy. He tried to present himself as a devout Mazda-worshipper and a worthy scion of his ‘forefathers’ both in his inscriptions and his rock reliefs. He fought an indecisive campaign against *Severus Alexander (230–2), but in a second invasion of Roman Mesopotamia (237/8–40) captured Carrhae, Nisibis, and Hatra. Towards the end of his reign his son *Sapor is believed to have become co-regent.

Article

Aryan  

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

Aryan (Skt.ārya-; Avestan airiia-), a social qualifier and mythical ethnonym sometimes used by ancient peoples of *India and Iran as self-designation with varying meaning and significance. *Achaemenid kings called their line and language āriya-. The modern linguistic concept (Indo-)Aryan’ denotes a branch of the *Indo-European languages (i.

Article

Ashoka  

Romila Thapar

Ashoka, the major king of the Mauryan dynasty ruling c.268–232 bce over almost all the Indian subcontinent (see mauryas). His edicts were inscribed on pillars and rock surfaces and were largely composed in Prakrit and written in Brahmi although some in the north-west were in Greek and *Aramaic.

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

D. F. Easton

Palaeolithic and mesolithic occupation was in caves and rock-shelters and has left simple paintings. The neolithic (c.8000–6500 bce) brought settlement in plains and valleys, growth of villages, and the domestication of plants and animals. Vigorous wall-paintings at Çatal Hüyük and clay statuary at Hacılar emphasize hunting, virility, fertility, and childbirth. Painted pottery first appears in the chalcolithic (c.6500–3400 bce). An economic upsurge in the early bronze age (c.3400–2000 bce) was made possible by developments in metallurgy, attested in metalwork from Troy and from royal burials at Alaca Hüyük, and was perhaps stimulated by Mesopotamian demand for native Anatolian metals. Greater wealth led to universal fortification of settlements and the rise of citadels (e.g. *Troy) and of palaces (e.g. Norşun Tepe). By the middle bronze age (c.2000–1700 bce) Assyrians had trading-stations in central Anatolia on which indigenous rulers at (e.g.) Kültepe, Alişar, and Acemhöyük imposed levies. *Cuneiform writing was introduced.

Article

Ian C. Glover

Known as Chrysē, ‘the Golden Land’ to Pomponius Mela (3. 70) and Pliny (HN 6. 54, 80). The Peripl. M. Rubr. (63. 20) refers to it as a place for regular trade on the edge of the inhabited world, but only a few coins, glass, seals, and bronzes from the Roman world are known. To the finds from Oc-éo in southern Vietnam, and the bronze lamp from Pong Tuk in Thailand, can be added a coin of the usurper *Victorinus found near U-Thong in western Thailand.

Direct contact between *India and south-east Asia is shown by the appearance of iron in the mid-1st millennium bce as seen at Ban Don Ta Phet in western Thailand and the Sa-Huynh culture of Vietnam. Imports from India include glass, semi-precious stone beads, carnelian lion pendants as found in early Buddhist reliquaries, and ‘etched’ beads. Bronzes, with scenes of people, houses, horses, cattle, and buffaloes, resemble those on the Kulu vase from Gundla, India, and knob-base vessels are paralleled by one in an early Buddhist reliquary at Taxila.

Article

Assyria  

Stephanie Dalley

1. Land of the patron god As̆s̆ur, the kingdom in the Upper Tigris region in modern Iraq, centre of an important state in the middle bronze age and then of two great empires in the late bronze, and early iron ages, ending 612 bce. Royal cities included Assur, *Nimrud, Khorsabad, and *Nineveh.

2. Region including *Babylonia with former Assyria from the *Achaemenid period; the province of Assyria formed by Trajan in 116 ce and abandoned by Hadrian (Eutr. 8. 2; Ruf. Fest. 14 and 20) corresponds to the later Sasanid ‘Asorestan’ with a new royal city at *Ctesiphon. The former heartland of Assyria was called (*Media) Adiabene in the Parthian period, when the city of Assur enjoyed a revival.

Article

John Steele

The term “Babylonian astronomy” is used to refer to a diverse range of practices undertaken by people in ancient Babylonia and Assyria including what in modern English would be referred to as astronomy, astrology and celestial divination, and cosmology. The earliest astronomical or astrological texts preserved from Babylonia and Assyria date to the early 2nd millennium bce, although some basic astronomical knowledge such as the identification of a regular cycle of the moon, the identification of the planets as a distinct type of celestial object from the stars, and the grouping of stars into constellations dates back much earlier, perhaps even before the development of writing in the 4th millennium bce. Astronomical and astrological texts were still being written around 2,000 years later during the 1st century ce. These texts are some of the latest known texts written in cuneiform. Babylonian astronomy encompassed a range of practices, including the cataloguing of stars and constellations, the regular observation of celestial phenomena, the development and use of methods of predicting those same phenomena, and the interpretation of observed and computed astronomical data through various forms of astrology.

Article

Francis Redding Walton and Antony Spawforth

Atargatis (Aramaic ῾Atar-῾Ata), the goddess of Hierapolis-Bambyce in Syria whose usual name among Greeks and Romans was the ‘Syrian goddess’ (Συρία θεά, dea Syria); a mother-goddess, giver of fertility. Her temple, rebuilt c.300 bce by *Stratonice, wife of *Seleucus I, was plundered by *Antiochus IV and by *Crassus, but was still in Lucian's day one of the greatest and holiest in Syria; its site has yet to be found. Her consort was Hadad; his throne was flanked by bulls, that of Atargatis by lions. At Ascalon, Atargatis was represented as half woman, half fish. Fish and doves were sacred to her; the myth records that, having fallen into a lake, Atargatis was saved by the fish ([Eratosth.] Cat. 38), or, in another version, that Atargatis was changed into a fish, and her daughter *Semiramis into a dove (Diod. Sic. 2. 4. 2–6; 2. 20. 1–2; Ov. Met.

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

R. M. Errington

Attalus I (269–197 bce), ruler of *Pergamum (241–197), the first Pergamene to use the royal title. Cousin and adopted son of *Eumenes (1) I, Attalus expanded and consolidated his kingdom through active self-defence policies, successfully fighting against some of the *Galatians before c.230 (to whom he had first refused customary payments) and against *Antiochus (8) Hierax before 227, a success which temporarily brought all Seleucid Asia Minor north of the Taurus into his sphere of influence. Most of this he lost again to *Seleucus (3) III and *Achaeus (3) from 223–212, though an agreement with *Antiochus (3) III against Achaeus (216) seems to have recognized Attalus' rights to Mysia and Aeolis, where Pergamene rule was re-established or consolidated. Friendly contacts with cities in Ionia and Hellespontine Phrygia were established, though hostility to the Bithynian kingdom was permanent. In Pergamum itself victories were celebrated by Attalus' taking the title ‘*Soter’ (‘Saviour’) and with monuments of spectacular expense and artistic quality (e.