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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

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

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

Cyprus  

Hector Catling

Cyprus, third largest Mediterranean island (9,282 sq. km.: 3,584 sq. mi.) was of strategic and economic importance to the Mediterranean and near eastern powers, and significant both to their relations with western Asia and with one another. It is vulnerable to the power politics of its neighbours, by one or other of whom it has often been occupied or governed, and whose mutual conflicts have sometimes been fought out on its soil or its seas. Though mountainous (the highest points on its Troödos and Kyrenia ranges are 1,951 and 1,023 m. (6,403 and 3,357 ft.) respectively), its central plain (Mesaoria) is fertile, while its extensive piedmont and river-valley systems are suited to crop and animal husbandry. The island suffers intermittently from serious seismic disturbance. Rainfall is uncertain, drought endemic, and fertility dramatically responsive to irrigation capacity. Copper ore, chiefly located in the Troödos foothills at the junction of igneous and sedimentary deposits, has been exploited since prehistory. Timber resources played a major role in the region's naval history.

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).

Article

Margaret Stephana Drower, Eric William Gray, and Antony Spawforth

Samosata (mod. Samsât), a fortified city on the right bank of the *Euphrates; the residence of the kings of *Commagene. Like *Zeugma, it guarded an important crossing of the river on one of the main caravan routes from east to west, and it was consequently of considerable strategic and commercial importance. Its formidable defences twice withstood a Roman siege, but in ce 72, when the client-kingdom of Commagene was annexed, it was forced to surrender, and it was then garrisoned by a Roman legion. The city was captured by *Sapor I (256) and had a chequered history during the frontier wars against the *Sasanid Persians until in 637 it was finally captured by the Arabs. The partly excavated remains include the royal palace (1st cent. bce) and the walls mentioned by *Lucian of Samosata (Hist. conscr.24).

Article

Synnada  

Stephen Mitchell

Synnada (mod. Şuhut), was an assize centre (see conventus(2)) in the province of Asia (see asia, roman province) and one of the most important cities of *Phrygia. In the 160s bce it played a role in the wars of *Eumenes (2) II against the Galatians (see galatia(1)), and was one of the minting centres of the silver cistophoric coinage (see coinage, greek, 7), after 133 bce. It lay on the route from Asia followed by *Cicero in 51 bce and briefly belonged to the province of *Cilicia. Later inscriptions show that it was the administrative centre not only for large imperial estates (see domains) but also for the *marble quarries of *Docimium, whose products were often known as Synnadic marble. Its inhabitants claimed descent from both Athenian and Spartan founders.