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Stephanie Dalley

Sumerian is the earliest known language of ancient *Mesopotamia, written on clay and stone in *cuneiform script. Unrelated to other known languages, it is agglutinative and ergative. Largely superseded by (Semitic) *Akkadian, it was used for some religious and literary purposes into the Seleucid period.



Christopher Pelling

Surenas or Sūrēn, name of one of the seven great Parthian families (see parthia). They ruled Seistan as vassals of the *Arsacids, and held certain hereditary rights and functions, especially those of crowning the king at the coronation ceremony and of military command in the field: thus ‘the Suren’ may designate the king's hereditary commander. The best-known Suren formed or took over a highly trained professional army of 10,000 heavy-armed cavalry and horse-archers, with a baggage-train of 1,000 Arabian *camels carrying a huge reserve of arrows. With this force he overthrew Mithradates III and secured *Orodes his throne (55/4 bce), and then defeated Crassus' invasion (53). His successes stirred jealousy among the Parthian nobles and nervousness in Orodes, who put him to death. Another ‘Surena’ in ce 36 crowned the pretender *Tiridates (3) king of Parthia (Tac.



William Woodthorpe Tarn and Michael Vickers

Susa, the ‘city of lilies’, was the capital of Elam, and afterwards the Achaemenid regional winter capital, where *Darius I built a palace with a large audience hall (*apadana) and a monumental gateway. *Artaxerxes (2) II built another palace on the opposite bank of the river. The surviving sculpture includes a large statue of Darius on a base inscribed with the names of subject peoples, as well as glazed brick reliefs of guardsmen. Under *Seleucids and Parthians (see parthia) its name was Seleuceia-on-the-Eulaeus; Susa was a *polis by the time of *Antiochus (3) III. In ce 21 it was still a fully Greek city, with a council, assembly, and elected magistrates whose qualifications were scrutinized; it could send embassies and though subject to Parthia, it had more than local autonomy. Beside Greeks, other peoples can be traced—Persians, Syrians, Jews, Anatolians, Babylonians, Elymaeans; its city-goddess was the Elamite Nanaia, renamed Artemis. Four Greek poems are known, one a lyric ode (1st cent. bce) addressed to Apollo by a Syrian title, Mara (Lord); they and the forms of decrees and manumissions show that Susa was well within the Greek culture-sphere.



Walter Eric Harold Cockle

Syene (mod. Aswân), town in Upper Egypt on the east bank of the *Nile below the first cataract. A customs-post on the Nubian frontier, it had important banks under the Ptolemies and military garrisons under Rome. Because it was near the Tropic of Cancer, *Eratosthenes used the well, which cast no shadow at the solstice, to calculate the earth's diameter. Its *quarries supplied red granite.


Symeon the Stylite the Younger  

Dina Boero and Charles Kuper

Symeon the Stylite the Younger (521–592 ce), a pillar-saint or “stylite,” practised his mode of Christian asceticism for more than sixty years on a mountain southwest of Antioch. Symeon’s lifetime, spanning most of the 6th century, coincides with a drastic time of transition in the history of Antioch, which began with the devastating earthquake of 526 ce and includes events such as the sack of Antioch in 540 ce and the Plague of Justinian in the following years. Symeon also happens to be one of the best-documented holy men from this period. The remains of his monastery have been preserved and studied extensively. A number of pilgrimage objects, most notably clay tokens, have also received much scholarly attention. The extant literary evidence is also vast, though understudied in comparison. It includes homilies, letters, and short hymns penned by the saint himself, as well as two hagiographies composed by members of his monastic community shortly after his death. Symeon, therefore, is a critical figure for understanding many issues relevant to the study of the Eastern Roman Empire during this period: political, social, and theological history; the development of cult sites and pilgrimage; the literary self-representation of a stylite and his community; and the construction of monumental architecture and water management in remote locations in Syria, among many others.



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.


Syrian deities  

J. F. Healey

Almost all the deities worshipped in Greek and Roman *Syria were Semitic, ancient near eastern in origin. Despite considerable regional differences, a few main types of cult can be distinguished: (i) cults of high places, of waters and springs, of trees and of stones, especially meteorites (these often associated with Arabian cultural contacts); (ii) close associations between some animals and certain anthropomorphic deities—particularly the bull, lion, horse, camel, snake, dove, and fish; (iii) cults of deities in human form. The last type forms the majority and the deities often represent agriculture and fertility, the sky and thunder; they may be family or tribal patrons and protectors, or bringers of military and commercial success; they may represent the sun, moon, or stars. The ‘Lord’ and ‘Lady’, the Ba ῾al and his consort the Ba ῾alat (or El and Elat), formed pairs of deities who originally protected a particular tribe or territory.


Syria, pre-Roman  

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, Henri Seyrig, Susan Mary Sherwin-White, and J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz

This region was a satrapy (‘Beyond the River’, i.e. the *Euphrates) of the Persian empire (see persia) until it was conquered by *Alexander (3) the Great in 332 bce. On his death (323) it was assigned to the Macedonian Laomedon, who was in 319–18 ejected by *Ptolemy (1) I. Thereafter it was disputed between Ptolemy and *Antigonus (1). After the battle of *Ipsus (301), *Seleucus (1) I gained north Syria (from the Amanus mountains in the north to the river Eleutherus in the south), which he kept, as well as ‘on paper’ Coele (‘Hollow’) Syria (the country behind the Lebanese coastal plain) and the Phoenician cities. However, Ptolemy I was already in occupation, and claimed control, of these last two areas; Seleucus I chose to drop his rights to Coele Syria and Phoenicia, with the southern border dividing off Ptolemaic possessions set at the river Eleutherus. The whole region suffered from repeated wars between the Ptolemies (see Ptolemy (1)) and the *Seleucids in the 3rd cent.


Syria, Roman  

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, Henri Seyrig, Susan Mary Sherwin-White, and J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz

The Roman province comprised besides the cities, a few of which were free, the client kingdoms of *Commagene and *Arabia, the ethnarchy of the Jews (*Judaea), the tetrarchy of the Ituraeans (*Ituraea), and many minor tetrarchies in the north. Antony (M. *Antonius (2)) gave to Cleopatra the Ituraean tetrarchy, the coast up to the Eleutherus (except *Tyre and *Sidon), *Damascus and Coele Syria, and parts of the Jewish and *Nabataean kingdoms.Syria (which probably included *Cilicia Pedias from c.44 bce to ce 72) was under the Principate an important military command; its legate (see legati), a consular, had down to ce 70 normally four *legions at his disposal. The client kingdoms were gradually annexed. Commagene was finally incorporated in the province in ce 72, Ituraea partly in 24 bce, partly (*Iulius Agrippa (2) II's kingdom) c.



Ian C. Glover

Taprobane (also Palaesimundu, Salice), ancient names for Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Mentioned by *Onesicritus, *Megasthenes, *Eratosthenes, *Hipparchus(3), and *Ptolemy(4), as a large island south of *India, twenty days' sail from the mouth of the Indus and projecting west almost to Africa. Mantai, perhaps Ptolemy's Moduttu*emporion, was the main port from the mid-1st millennium bce. Trade with the Mediterranean in pearls, tortoiseshell, precious stones, and muslin was well established by the 1st cent. bce (Peripl. M. Rubr. 61. 20) and Indo-Roman Rouletted Ware is known from many sites including Mantai, Kantarodai, and Anuradhapura. *Pliny(1) refers to Ceylonese envoys in Rome and coins of Nero have been found, but after the 1st cent. ce trade with the west declined, to be revived by the Axumites (see axumis) in the 4th–6th cents., when many late Roman coins are known.



Albert Brian Bosworth

Taxiles, eponymous ruler of the territory between the Indus and Jhelum dominated by the city of Taxila (Takshashila). He made overtures to *Alexander(3) the Great while the king was engaged in Sogdiana, and was confirmed in his realm when Alexander crossed the Indus (spring 326). He came immediately under the control of a Macedonian satrap (Philippus) and was eclipsed in Alexander's favour by his former enemy, *Porus.


Teucer (3), of Cyzicus, Greek writer, c. mid-1st cent. BCE  

Alexander Hugh McDonald and Kenneth S. Sacks

Wrote several books about the contemporary near east, including coverage of Pompey's settlement in 63–62. His Περὶ χρυσοφόρου γῆς (‘On the Gold-Producing Land’) does not necessarily identify him with *Teucer(4) of Babylon.


Thebes (2), capital of pharaonic Egypt  

Joseph Grafton Milne and Antony Spawforth

Thebes (2) (ancient Egyptian name Waset, modern Luxor), sometime capital of pharaonic *Egypt, visited by *Herodotus(1) (2.143), and still an important city at the Macedonian conquest, whereafter it was superseded as the administrative centre of the Thebaid by *Ptolemais(2). In Strabo's day it was no more than a group of villages (17.1.46, 815–816 C), having suffered through serving twice (207/206 and 88 bce) as a base for indigenous revolts against the Ptolemies; and in 30 or 29 bceC. *Cornelius Gallus sacked the city following anti-Roman unrest. Even so, Ptolemaic patronage of Egyptian religion extended to the Theban temples. Sporadic building continued under the Principate at least as late as c. 150ce; but the Egyptian cult in the temple of Amon (Karnak) had been abandoned before the late 3rd century, when the complex became a Roman fortress and pharaonic statuary was carefully buried. Long before, the Theban monuments had become a centre for Roman *tourism, above all the colossi of *Memnon and the pharaonic tombs.



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

Tigranocerta, city in *Armenia, in Arzanene; it was founded by *Tigranes (1) II (App. Mith.67) after 80 bce as a city in the Hellenistic style which he was building to be the centre of his new empire. Its precise position is still disputed (Silvan/Martyropolis? Tall Arman? near Arzan?), but its general location intended it to maintain communications between Armenia and Tigranes' southern possessions. He swelled its citizen body by netting the cities of conquered *Cappadocia, *Adiabene, and *Gordyene (Plut.Luc. 25 f.; Strabo 12. 2. 27). Its fortifications were incomplete when L. *Licinius Lucullus(2) defeated Tigranes in 69 and easily secured its capitulation. The captured exiles were sent home, but Tigranocerta was still an important fortified city in ce 50, for example, when the Roman general Cn. *Domitius Corbulo occupied it. In the wars of the *Sasanid king Sapor II, against Rome and Armenia in the 4th cent.



Josef Wiesehöfer

Tigris, the more easterly of the two rivers of *Mesopotamia and, together with the *Euphrates, of decisive importance for the geological, cultural, and historical development of Mesopotamia. Rising in the outward eastern *Taurus, it flows south-east through *Assyria (2) (touching *Nineveh (1) and Assur) and *Babylonia.


Tiridates (1), apocryphal Parthian figure  

Eric William Gray and Barbara M. Levick

(RE 3), the supposed brother, partner in revolt, and successor in rule of Arsaces I, founder of the Parthian empire (see parthia), is apocryphal.


Tiridates (2), pretender to the Parthian throne, 2nd half of 1st cent. BCE  

Eric William Gray and Barbara Levick

Tiridates, a pretender to the Parthian throne (see parthia) in revolt against *Phraates (1) IV shortly before 31 bce and temporarily successful in dislodging him. On Phraates' recovery both contestants sought the support of Octavian (see augustus). In 30/29 bce Octavian let Tiridates stay as a refugee in *Syria, retaining for himself as a hostage a son of Phraates kidnapped by Tiridates, but making no open offer to assist the latter. In 26 and 25 bce Tiridates carried out spring offensives as far as *Babylonia with at least the connivance of Augustus; but Augustus had no further use for Tiridates after his final ejection by Phraates (by May 25 bce), when he made an appeal for help to Augustus in Spain. The failure to eject Phraates through the instrumentality of Tiridates is ignored in Augustus' *Res gestae.


Tiridates (3), Parthian king, 36 CE  

Margaret Stephana Drower and Barbara Levick

Tiridates, grandson of *Phraates (1) IV, was sent by *Tiberius to contest the Parthian throne, with the military support of L. *Vitellius, governor of *Syria (Tac. Ann. 6. 32). Expelling *Artabanus II, he was welcomed by the pro-Roman faction in the cities of Mesopotamia, and was crowned at Ctesiphon (ce 36); he was subsequently driven out again by Artabanus.


Tiridates (4), Parthian king of Armenia, 54 CE  

Margaret Stephana Drower and Barbara Levick

Tiridates (4), brother of *Vologeses I of Parthia, who set him on the throne of *Armenia (54 ce). He fled before the Romans and was temporarily displaced by *Tigranes (4) V, but was reinstated by Vologeses. By a compromise with Cn. *Domitius Corbulo, Tiridates agreed to journey to Rome and receive the crown of Armenia ceremonially from *Nero (ce 66).



C. J. Tuplin

Tissaphernes, son of Hydarnes. Having suppressed Pissuthnes' revolt, he became *satrap of *Sardis (c.413 bce), receiving overall authority in western Anatolia. Instructed to collect tribute from the Greek cities, he interfered in the *Peloponnesian War, but, despite treaty-negotiations, active co-operation with Sparta soon dwindled (some blamed Alcibiades' influence). *Cyrus(2)'s arrival in 407 sidelined Tissaphernes—and the war prospered. He took revenge by accusing Cyrus of plotting against *Artaxerxes (2) II (404), disputing control of Asiatic Greek cities after Cyrus cleared himself and resumed office, and denouncing Cyrus' insurrectionary plans in 401. Prominent at *Cunaxa and in the ensuing weeks (he negotiated with Cyrus' Greek generals and then murdered them at a meeting summoned to clarify and resolve mutual suspicions), he became Cyrus' effective successor in Anatolia. A demand for tribute from Ionia prompted Spartan intervention (400/399).