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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

Michael Vickers

The official sculpture of the Persian empire was made in a distinctive style which owed much to Mesopotamian forerunners, and like them tended to the glorification of the ruler. It used to be thought that the style arose from the presence of particular groups of foreign craftsmen, notably Ionian Greeks, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Median, Persian, Babylonian, Sardian, Egyptian, and Ionian artisans who worked on the great palace complexes subordinated any indigenous traits to an international style devised to articulate the ideology of Achaemenid kings.Only a few sculptured reliefs are preserved from *Pasargadae, the city of *Cyrus (1). *Darius I is shown triumphant over a prostrate usurper in the *Bisutun relief, while *Ahuramazda hovers above. A colossal statue of Darius in Egyptian granite found at *Susa presents many problems: was it (and its lost pair) originally made for an Egyptian setting, or were they commissioned for Darius' Susan palace? The tombs of Darius and his successors at *Naqš-i Rustam show a royal personage on a platform borne by personifications of the lands of the empire.

Article

Pierre Briant

The term, as used by Herodotus (1. 125), refers to one of the three clans (phrētrē) of the Pasargadae tribe to which the Persian kings belonged; its eponymous ancestor was supposedly Achaemenes (Hdt. 7. 11). The statement corresponds in part to *Darius I's account at *Bisutun, where he links himself explicitly to Achaemenes (OP: Haxāmaniš): ‘For this reason we are called Achaemenids. From long ago we have been noble. From long ago we have been kings’ (DB 1. 2–3). But this is the official version promulgated by Darius after his brutal seizure of power. This also led him to erect inscriptions in *Cyrus (1)'s name at *Pasargadae describing the founder of the empire as an Achaemenid: they served to hide the fact that Darius himself had no genealogical claim to the throne in 522 bce. Probably around this time a foundation legend about Achaemenes was created and put into circulation; he is said to have been abandoned as a small child and brought up by an eagle (Ael. NA 12, 21).

Article

Guy Thompson Griffith and Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Achaeus (3) (d. 213 BCE), viceroy for *Antiochus (3) III of Seleucid Asia Minor and his kinsman (maternal uncle), probably the grandson of the Seleucid official Achaeus the Elder. In 223/2 he recovered Seleucid possessions in Anatolia from *Pergamum; exploiting Antiochus' involvement in the east (Molon's revolt and war against *Ptolemy (1) IV), he proclaimed himself king (220). His soldiers refused to fight Antiochus, but he maintained power until the king was free to quell his rebellion. After a two-year siege in Sardis, he was captured and duly executed as a traitor.

Article

Ada  

Simon Hornblower

Ada, *satrap (see mausolus) of the Persian province of *Caria, youngest child of *Hecatomnus, sister of *Mausolus and of *Idrieus, to whom she was incestuously married and with whom she was co-ruler of Caria until his death in 344 bce. (See L. Robert, Hellenica 7 (1947), 63 ff., an interesting inscription from *Sinuri, which also shows that the Ptolemaic tax called the apomoira was of *Achaemenid Persian origin.) She then ruled alone (344–341) until displaced by her brother *Pixodarus. But *Alexander (3) the Great reinstated her in 334, and she adopted him as her son: Arr. Anab. 1. 23. Remarkably, he entrusted to her the siege of *Halicarnassus (Strabo 14. 2. 17).

Article

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

Adiabene (mod. Halab), district of the two Zab rivers in north *Mesopotamia. Possibly a Seleucid hyparchy, it became a vassal kingdom, later a satrapy, of *Parthia, and was constantly involved in her internal disputes and her wars with Rome. One of the dynasties of Adiabene embraced Judaism (Joseph. AJ 20.

Article

Adulis  

Robert G. Morkot

Adulis or Adule, on the west coast of the Red Sea (at Zulla in Annesley Bay near Massawa), was used by Ptolemy II and III for elephant-hunts (see elephants), and became an important export-mart for African and re-exported Indian wares, a caravan-route leading thence inland. Greeks and Indians frequented it. When the Aksumite kingdom rose (1st cent. ce, see axumis) Adulis became its main port and base (for voyages to East Africa and *India), surpassing all others in the 3rd cent. ce. Two famous inscriptions (combined in OGI54) are among its monuments.

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

Joyce Reynolds

Africa was distinguished from Asia as the third continent by c.500 bce, with the Nile, later usually the Red Sea, as divider; but its interior and, even at the most extended period of knowledge, its coasts south of Cape Delgado on the east and Cape Yubi on the west, remained substantially unknown, locations of marvels and geographical features uncertainly identifiable (Ptol. Geog. 4). Some believed it circumnavigable (Hdt. 4. 42) and triangular in shape (Strabo 17. 3. 1), but no circumnavigation is satisfactorily attested (see hanno (1); eudoxus (3)), and there are modern scholars who think it impracticable for ancient ships; pure theorizing could account for the traditions. An inconsistent belief in a land bridge from Africa to Asia in fact prevailed (Ptol. 7. 3. 6).In Egypt, and to some extent in Cyrenaica, Greeks could supplement autopsy with local information, cf. Herodotus on the Nile valley (2. 29–31), the inland route therefrom, via oases, possibly to the Atlas (4. 181–3), and a Libyan foray perhaps reaching the Niger, more probably Chad (not the Nile as he supposed; 2. 32–3). Extended knowledge of the *Red Sea and NE coasts came from *Alexander (3) the Great's Indian expedition, more under Ptolemaic rule in Egypt, and still more in Roman times as a result of increasing trade with India (see especially, Peripl.

Article

J. David Hawkins

Country attested in the *Hattuša archives (alternative and older spelling, Ahhiya) as a foreign land, often associated with Arzawa, i.e. western Anatolia. References mention kings, persons, ships, and deities of Ahhiyawa, and in so far as they are datable, span the period c.1400–1220 bce. At least one king of Ahhiyawa was ranked as a ‘Great King’, thus the equal of the Hittite and Egyptian kings. Location and identification remain controversial: the identification as ‘Achaean’ (Mycenaean) Greece by Forrer in 1920 has been much disputed. Arguments against emphasize the difficulty both of seeing an early form of Achaea in Ahhiyawa, and of identifying archaeologically a political entity in Greece or the Aegean islands which could correspond to the character of Ahhiyawa. Some also seek to locate Ahhiyawa on the Anatolian mainland. Arguments in favour, which have been regaining ground since c.1980 with the increasing evidence for a Mycenaean presence in western Anatolia, emphasize principally the improbability that the *Hittites, with their interest in western Anatolia, should never have mentioned the Mycenaeans.

Article

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

‘Wise Lord’ or ‘Lord Wisdom’, Iranian supreme deity invoked as wise, benevolent god, creator and upholder of Aṣ̌a (truth, righteousness) in the Avesta (Yasna 31.8). In *Achaemenid inscriptions, which rarely mention other gods, he is creator of heaven and earth and protector of kings. By contrast, he occurs among many other gods in the administrative *Persepolis Fortification texts, and received smaller amounts in offerings than the originally Elamite god Humban. Greeks equated him with *Zeus (Hdt. 1. 189). Gk. Ὡρομάζης is first attested in the 4th cent. bce (Pl. Alc. 1. 122a, Arist. in Diog.Laert. 1.8). See religion, persian.

Article

Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Ai Khanoum, Greek Hellenistic city excavated (1965–78) by the French archaeological delegation in Afghanistan, is situated in the eastern part of *Bactria, at the junction of the river *Oxus (mod. Amu Darya) and a tributary of the left bank, the Kokcha river, at the frontier between Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union. The Greek name of the city is uncertain. It seems to have been built as a fortified frontier town, to guard against the nomadic tribes to the north and the mountain peoples to the east (the Badakhshan range). It was founded, commanding a fertile plain, by the end of the 4th cent. or in the early 3rd cent. bce, in an area where there had been earlier settlement, as indicated by an irrigation system and an Achaemenid fortress. Ai Khanoum passed from Seleucid control to that of the so-called Indo-Bactrian kings, certainly by the reign of *Eucratides (c.

Article

Stephanie Dalley

(1) Term used until 1869 for the language now known as *Sumerian. (2) Term used since 1869 for the East Semitic language that is also known by its northern and southern dialects as Assyrian and Babylonian. The language is first attested from personal names of the mid-3rd millennium when it began to supersede Sumerian. It was written on clay, stone, and waxed writing boards in *cuneiform script.

Article

Al-Mina  

Jean-François Salles and J. F. Healey

Al-Mina, a port at the mouth of the river *Orontes in Turkey, excavated by Sir Leonard Woolley in 1936–7. It was established as a trading-post (*emporion) by 800 bce and visited by Cypriots and Greeks (mainly Euboeans and islanders). The Greek interest became dominant, with east Greeks and carriers of Corinthian pottery replacing the islanders in the 7th cent. After an interval under Babylonian domination the port revived under the Persians, now with a strong Phoenician element (coinage); it flourished until eclipsed by the foundation of *Seleuceia (2) in 301 bce. The old identification with the Greek foundation at Posideum now seems unlikely, since the latter was almost certainly at mod. Ras el-Basit, 40 km. (25 mi.) further south.

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

Guy Thompson Griffith, Susan Mary Sherwin-White, and R. J. van der Spek

Alexander (10) Balas, king of the Seleudid empire (150–145 bce), claiming to be the son of *Antiochus (4) IV, usurped the Seleucid throne after the defeat and death of *Demetrius (10) I near *Antioch (1) (Antakya). He was a pawn of *Attalus II of Pergamum and *Ptolemy VI of Egypt and had support from the Roman senate.

Article

What makes Alexander Great? His story has captured the imagination of authors, artists, philosophers, and politicians across more than two millennia. He has provided a point of convergence for religious and spiritual thinkers, he has been co-opted as a champion for gender and sexual openness, he represents a paradigm for would-be charismatic dictators (and their opponents), he gives us scientific imperialism and justification for conquistadorial dreaming, and he exemplifies the risks of cultural appropriation. To understand why Alexander resonates so widely across so many different fields of study, interest groups, and media, is an exercise in reception. This Alexander who has captured the imagination is triumphantly equivocal and it is in the plurality of traditions through which this complexity is expressed that his enduring “greatness” lies. The imaginary quality of Alexander is unsurprising because more profoundly than for any comparable individual from classical antiquity, his history is a product of reception from the start: every encounter with Alexander the Great is part of a conversation that depends substantially on accounts and narrative evidence from long after his death, and at the least at one remove from the historians who first and contemporaneously chronicled his life and achievements.

Article

Alexandria (3) ‘of the Arachosians’, founded by *Alexander (3) the Great in 329 bce on the strategic site of the *Achaemenid capital of Arachosia (Old Kandahar). Besides a Graeco-Aramaic edict of *Ashoka (SEG 20. 326), a statue-base with a Hellenistic inscription has been found there (SEG 30.

Article

Alexandria (4) ‘of the Arians’, founded by *Alexander (3) the Great near Herat, on a different site from Artakoana. Important staging-point on route leading to Kandahar and India.

Article

Alexandria (5) Eschate (‘the farthest’), founded close to Cyreschata (mod. Leninabad/Khodjend) on the Syr-Darya (*Jaxartes), the largest of seven *‘Achaemenid' fortresses seized by *Alexander (3) the Great in this region. Renamed Antioch by *Antiochus (1) I.