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Pergamum  

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

Persepolis  

Margaret Stephana Drower and Michael Vickers

Persepolis, in Persis, a residence of the *Achaemenid kings. *Alexander (3) the Great in 331 bce took and looted Persepolis and set fire to the palaces (Diod. Sic. 17. 71–2). Two sets of sealed administrative documents (the bulk written in Elamite and Aramaic, but also in Old Persian, Greek and Phrygian) were found in the Treasury and the north Fortification wall. The royal quarters, built on a hill-terrace, contained a treasury and symmetrically planned palaces with immense square columnar halls.Excavations on the site have revealed that *Darius I levelled the rock-terrace and began the great *Apadana (audience hall), the main palace-buildings, and the ‘harem’. These were completed by *Xerxes I; *Artaxerxes (1) I finished the Hall of a Hundred Pillars and built his own palace; further building was carried out by his successors, the latest attested being *Artaxerxes (3) III. Around the whole complex was a fortification wall, and a great gate and stairway led up to the terrace. The bas-reliefs of these palaces are among the finest extant examples of Achaemenid art. These include the Audience reliefs originally set in the centre of the stairs leading up to the apadana and flanked by reliefs of Persian courtiers (behind the king) and delegations of subjects presenting gifts (facing the king), with a heraldic device of a lion attacking a bull at the outer edges. The tombs of *Artaxerxes (2) II and III as well as an unfinished one are located at the rear of the terrace.

Article

Persia  

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

In the narrow sense (Persis, Pārsa), Persia defines the country lying in the folds of the southern Zagros mountains. From the start of the first millennium bce, an Iranian population lived in close contact with the Elamite inhabitants here (see elam). This led to the emergence of the Persian ethnos and the kingdom of Anshan, which appears fully on the historical scene beginning with the conquests of *Cyrus (1) the Great. Even with the extension and consolidation of the *Achaemenid empire under *Darius I, Persia proper retained a prominent place in the way in which the Great Kings visualized their territorial power. At the same time, members of the Persian aristocracy received the highest governorships and offices in the central and provincial government. In this respect, the empire created by Cyrus and his successors may be described as Persian.The history of this large empire has been neglected for a long time: between the fall of *Babylon (539) and *Alexander (3) the Great's arrival (334–332), the Near East has resembled a gigantic historiographical ‘no-man's land’.

Article

Persian Gulf  

Daniel Potts

A shallow, epicontinental sea located between lat. 24°–30° 30´ N. and long. 48°–56° 30´ W., c.1,000 km. long (625 mi.), 200–350 km. wide (125–200 mi.), narrowing to c.60 km. (40 mi.) where it debouches through the Straits of Hormuz into the Indian Ocean. Human settlement on the coast of the Persian Gulf can be traced from c.5,000 bce onward. Fragments from a lost periplus of *Scylax of Caryanda have suggested to some scholars that Scylax explored the Persian Gulf sometime between c.519 and 480 bce, but this view is considered untenable by others. The Persian Gulf is possibly mentioned in Greek literature for the first time as Περσικὸς κόλπος in a no longer extant work by *Hecataeus (1) (c.500 bce), cited by Steph. Byz., by which name it was known to *Eratosthenes (Strab. 15. 2. 14; 16. 3. 2) and *Arrian (Anab.

Article

Persian, Old  

Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Josef Wiesehöfer

Old Persian (abbr. OP), an *Indo-European language of western Iran (first millennium bce). The identification of an administrative document written in OP among the texts in the Persepolis Fortification Archive indicates that, contrary to previous orthodoxy, the written language was not limited to royal inscriptions. The syllabic script has only 44 signs. The oldest extant and largest inscription is that of *Bisitun. It is debated whether the script was invented by *Darius I or had predecessors in western Iran. The majority of texts dates from the reigns of Darius and *Xerxes I. Thereafter texts are scarcer and contain more errors. OP was the first *cuneiform script to be deciphered (Grotefend, Rawlinson).

Article

Persian Wars: the Persian viewpoint  

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

One of the great problems for the historian is the absence of any direct reflection of the Persian angle on this celebrated conflict. In fact, besides the *Bisitun inscription and relief, which recounts *Darius I's accession, the Persians have not left us any narrative accounts of their history. The changes in the lists of provinces which appear regularly in the royal inscriptions cannot be used as a reliable criterion for tracing the growth or shrinkage of Persian territorial power. We find the only Persian version of the wars (at least, it is presented as such) in a late account by *Dio Cocceianus (Dio Chrys.Or. 11. 148–9). Dio cites the oral testimony of a fictional Mede, and asserts that the mission entrusted by Darius to *Datis and *Artaphernes in 490 was to sail against *Naxos (1) and *Eretria; according to this version, the Marathon episode (see marathon, battle of) was an unimportant failure; similarly, *Xerxes' victory at *Thermopylae, his punishment of Athens and the tribute imposed on the Greeks allowed him to present himself in a flattering light as a returning victor.

Article

Petra  

J. F. Healey

Petra (*Aramaicreqem or raqmū) was the capital of the *Nabataeans from before 312 bce until the establishment of the Roman province of *Arabia in 106 ce, when *Bostra was the base for Roman administration. Even in this late period Petra retained considerable significance and eventually became an important Christian centre (recent discoveries of 5th/6th-cent. churches). The town lies in a hollow surrounded by steep mountains. Most of its visible and excavated remains, including temples, a theatre, and a colonnaded street, date to the 1st cent. ce. The surrounding rock-faces have tombs cut in them. Some are small and have simple stepped patterns, others are extremely elaborate, have triclinia associated with them, and show artistic and architectural influence from Ptolemaic/Roman Egypt. Some fine tombs have been identified as royal and the general prominence of funeral architecture even led to the suggestion that Petra might have been a necropolis rather than a normal settlement site, although domestic architecture has been uncovered (some Nabataean dwellings may have been rather insubstantial, perhaps even tents, as reported by *Diodorus (3) Siculus/*Hieronymus (1) of Cardia (Diod.

Article

Pharnabazus  

C. J. Tuplin

Pharnabazus, son of Pharnaces, hereditary *satrap of *Dascylium or *Hellespontine Phrygia, distant cousin and son-in-law of *Artaxerxes (2) II. Instructed like *Tissaphernes to recover control of Asiatic Greek cities, he co-operated undeviously with Sparta, appearing personally at *Abydos, *Cyzicus (410), and *Chalcedon (408) and providing relief after Cyzicus. Cyrus (2)'s arrival (407) aborted Athenian negotiations with *Darius II via Pharnabazus, and he temporarily disappears (though his appointment of a female governor in the *Troas perhaps falls hereabouts). He had *Alcibiades murdered at *Lysander's request (404/3) but after Sparta's intervention in Anatolia his territory was invaded. *Agesilaus invited him to rebel but conceded his right to remain loyal to Artaxerxes (395). His advice had already prompted *Conon (1)'s naval counter-offensive, and after Cnidus he took the fleet to mainland Greece (393)—unparalleled for a Persian after 479—attacked Spartan territory and supplied money to Athens and her allies.

Article

Pharnaces I  

B. C. McGing

King of *Pontusc.189/8–c.155/4 bce. Realistic coin portraits reflect the ambition and aggression of his actions. His most important successes were the capture of *Sinope, and the establishment of diplomatic ties with the cities of the north and west coasts of the Black (*Euxine) Sea. His resources proved insufficient, however, to bring victory in the war of expansion he launched against almost all his neighbours in Asia Minor (c.183–179); see prusias(2)ii cynegus. Although dismissive of Roman diplomatic intervention during the war, defeat forced him to become the first king of Pontus to enter a relationship of ‘friendship’ with Rome. He probably married a *Seleucid princess, and was honoured as a benefactor at Athens and *Delos. If not entirely successful, Pharnaces' reign provided valuable lessons for his grandson *Mithradates VI Eupator.

Article

Pharnaces II  

B. C. McGing

Pharnaces II, son of *Mithradates VI Eupator and king of *Bosporus (2) (63–47 bce). After supplanting his father, he was given the throne of Bosporus by *Pompey. Little is heard of him until Rome was distracted by the civil war of *Caesar and Pompey, when he overran Lesser *Colchis, *Armenia, *Cappadocia, and eastern *Pontus.

Article

Phoenicians  

Jean-François Salles

Phoenicians (Φοίνικες, Poeni), a people (rather than a nation) occupying the coast of the Levant; they are thus described only in the classical sources and etymologically their name is Greek; their own name for themselves is unknown, although the Bible classes them as Canaanites (for the Greek tradition on Chna see *Hecataeus (1) in Steph. Byz.; also *Philon (5) of Byblos). The royal Assyrian inscriptions (9th–7th cent. bce) refer to the cities of *Tyre, *Sidon, *Byblos , etc. , as (in the form of ethnics) do the Phoenician inscriptions; but they are silent about ‘Phoenicia’ and ‘Phoenicians’, which were classical constructs.A common view derives Phoinikes from the Greek φοίνιος, φοίνος, meaning ‘red’. The Phoenicians were so designated (runs this view) from their copper skin, and/or their expertise in the *purple industry; other theories relate their name to the copper trade, the palm-tree and dates, textiles (based on a tablet of ambiguous sense from Minoan Cnossus; see minoan civilization ), or to an Egyptian word for ‘woodcutters’.

Article

Phraates (1) IV, c. 38–3/2 BCE  

Josef Wiesehöfer

King of *Parthia. He secured his succession by murdering his father *Orodes II and many Parthian princes and nobles. In 36 he had to face a Roman invasion, when Antony (M. *Antonius (2)) penetrated into Media, but the Parthians made an attack on the rear of the Roman army, annihilated the two legions and forced Antony to raise the siege of Praaspa and to withdraw through the mountains of Armenia with heavy losses. From 31 to 25 bce Phraates had to contest his throne with the rebel *Tiridates (2), both of them asking for Roman military support. *Augustus' request for the lost Roman standards and the prisoners of war were fulfilled by Phraates, but not until 20 bce and in return for Roman renunciation of an offensive eastern policy. A few years later he sent his four sons to Rome; his reasons for doing so are debated. He was assassinated by his wife Musa, a former Roman slave presented to Phraates by Augustus. For the other kings named Phraates, see arsacids.

Article

Phraates (2) V, 'Phraataces', 3/2 BCE–2 CE  

Josef Wiesehöfer

King of *Parthia; the son of *Phraates IV by Musa. Wife and son secured the murder of Phraates IV, and Phraataces succeeded. He drove a certain Artavasdes, who was the nominee of *Augustus, out of Armenia and tried to take a strong line with Augustus. Because of heavy Roman protest and the expedition of C. *Iulius Caesar (3) against him Phraates gave in, met the Emperor's grandson on an island in the Euphrates (ce 1) and promised not to interfere in Armenia again. In ce 4 Phraates, who had married his mother Musa in ce 2, was deposed by the Parthian nobles who chose Orodes III. Neither he nor his successor Vonones, one of the four sons of *Phraates (1) IV at Rome, were able to secure this noble support and pursue an active foreign policy. This changed when *Artabanus II prevailed.

Article

Polemon (1) I, king of Pontus  

Christopher Pelling

King of *Pontus and accomplished survivor. He probably aided his father, the wealthy rhetorician Zeno, to defend his city *Laodicea-Lycus against the *Parthians in 40–39 bce. Antony (M. *Antonius (2)) first made him ruler of parts of *Lycaonia and Cilicia (39), then promoted him to rule the recently enlarged kingdom of Pontus (37) and subsequently Lesser *Armenia (?33). He was captured during Antony's Parthian expedition and ransomed (36); the next year he mediated between Antony and *Artavasdes (2) of Media. After *Actium*Augustus confirmed his title but took away Lesser Armenia. In 15/14 he was awarded the turbulent Bosporan kingdom (see bosporus(2)); *Agrippa helped him to occupy it, but local opposition was bitter, and he was eventually captured and killed in 8/7. His widow Pythodoris succeeded him in Pontus.

Article

Porus, eponymous ruler, d. 318 BCE  

Albert Brian Bosworth

Porus, eponymous ruler of the Pauravas, an Indian people (see india) between the rivers Jhelum and Chenab, refused to acknowledge the superiority of *Alexander (3) ‘the Great’ and organized a brave but futile defence. Defeated crushingly at the battle of the *Hydaspes (spring 326 bce), he displayed a heroism which commended him to his conqueror. Alexander expanded his kingdom and in 326/5 declared him paramount ruler of all territories east of the Jhelum (Hydaspes). By 324 his sway may have included Sind, now cleared of European occupation, but he could give no cohesion to his disparate realm, and his assassination at the hands of Eudamus (Macedonian commander at Taxila) left western *India an easy prey for Chandragupta (*Sandracottus).

Article

Psammetichus I  

Alan Brian Lloyd

Psammetichus I, first of the *Saites, came to the throne in 664 but initially had to contend for control of Egypt with rival kinglets, Assyrians, and Nubians (see assyria; nubia). With the help of Carian (see caria) and *Ionian*mercenaries and diplomatic skill he secured the entire country by 656. This position he consolidated by establishing permanent mercenary camps in the Delta and by developing commercial links with the Greeks, particularly through the trading post of *Naucratis. In foreign policy his major concern was the Levant where he successfully defended Egyptian interests against Assyrians, Scythians, and Chaldaeans. He died in 610 and was buried at Sais.

Article

Ptah  

Dorothy J. Thompson

Ptah, the mummiform Egyptian god primarily of *Memphis whom, as a creator-god, patron of craftsmen, the Greeks recognized as *Hephaestus. The great temple at Memphis also contained the enclosure of the *Apis bull and other sacred animals, considered as different embodiments of Ptah. It was here that the Ptolemies were crowned, at least from the reign of *Ptolemy (1) V Epiphanes.

Article

Ptolemy(1), name of the Macedonian kings of Egypt  

Dorothy J. Thompson, Albert Brian Bosworth, Theodore John Cadoux, and Ernst Badian

The name of all the Macedonian kings of Egypt.(‘Saviour’) (c. 367–282 bce) son of Lagus and Arsinoë, served *Alexander (3) the Great of Macedon as an experienced general and childhood friend. At Susa in 324 he married Artacama (also called Apame), daughter of *Artabazus, whom he later divorced. He later married the Macedonian Eurydice (6 children) and subsequently *Berenice (1) I, mother of the dynastic line. After Alexander's death (323) he hijacked the conqueror's embalmed corpse and, taking it to Memphis in Egypt, established himself as satrap in place of *Cleomenes (3). In the following year he took Cyrene and in 321 repulsed the invasion of *Perdiccas (3). In the complex struggles of Alexander's successors he was not at first particularly successful. In 295 however he recovered Cyprus, lost in 306 to *Demetrius (4) Poliorcetes, and from 291 he increasingly controlled the Aegean League of Islanders (.

Article

Ptolemy III Euergetes (“Benefactor”) I, king of Egypt, early 246 to 221 BCE  

Stanley Burstein

Ptolemy III Euergetes (“Benefactor”) I, king of Egypt, early 246–February 221 bce. Born mid‑280s bce, the son of Ptolemy II and Arsinoë I, daughter of Lysimachus, married Berenice II, thereby reuniting Cyrene and Egypt. Two crises determined the course of his reign: the Third Syrian War (246–241 bce) and the first Egyptian uprising (c. 245 bce) and the accompanying famine. Initially having been begun in 246 bce in support of Ptolemy’s sister Berenice, widow of Antiochus II Theos, the Third Syrian War resulted in extensive territorial gains in Anatolia and Thrace, which Ptolemy strove to retain throughout the remainder of his reign. Almost simultaneously, the Egyptian uprising and famine that occurred c. 245–244 bce led to significant innovations in the internal governance of Egypt and relations between the government and the Egyptian priesthood, which was now required to meet annually in synods but also received important benefits, most notably an extensive temple-building program which included construction of the Serapeum at Alexandria and the temple of Horus at Edfu.

Article

pyramids  

Corinna Rossi

Ancient Egyptian pyramids were funerary monuments. Besides the three world-famous pyramids at Giza, Egypt contains the remains of over eighty other large royal pyramids that were built during the Old and Middle Kingdoms, and of hundreds of smaller pyramids that adorned the New Kingdom tombs of private individuals; large groups of small royal pyramids were later built in Nubia, modern Sudan. Symbols of the connection between earth and sky, pyramids were built along the Nile for nearly three thousand years, displaying a range of shapes, dimensions, and construction techniques.

Our knowledge of these monuments is extensive yet uneven: a linear evolution of shape and layout appears to proceed alongside the periodic appearance of unique elements; the few extant mathematical sources from ancient Egypt provide information on how the slope of these monuments was measured and calculated, but not on how it was chosen; the precision of the orientation of the sides towards the four cardinal points indicates a stellar alignment, but the identification of the stars involved in the process is still doubtful; the archaeological evidence suggests that ramps where used in the construction, but their structure and shape can only be guessed. Therefore, the main challenge in the ongoing study of pyramids is that of combining various sources and reckoning with the simultaneous presence of recurring elements and unique circumstances.