A long essay that I recently wrote on the various views of the fall of the Sasanian Empire and the coming of Islam was recently featured on the Mizan Project website. You can read the first part here, and the second part here.
… and here are some pictures and maps to help with visualisation. Also, look at this Achaemenid Daric (Achaemenid gold coin) which is very close to the Lydian prototype.
Nice, short article on Cyrus. Livius is generally a good site and I would trust most of its contents.
This episode will explain the local (mainly Anshanite) context for the rise of Cyrus, as well as telling a bit about the version of the story of the birth of Cyrus told by Herodotus.
1- Cyrus’ genealogy:
- Cyrus’ name is written as Kurush (II) son of Kambujia (Cambyses I) son of Kurush (I) son of Chish-pish (Tespes).
- He is said to be the son of Mandane (daughter of Astyages of Media) by Herodotus.
2- Here is a useful article on the site of Malyan/Malian (ancient Anshan) and the archaeological excavations of it.
3- Another article on the description of Cyrus as presented in Herodotus’ History.
The new episodes of the podcast are on their way. In the meantime, I invite the readers to check out the blog of my friend and colleague Arash Zeini, now a collective effort of him and several other friends, which is dedicated to introducing the new publications in Iranian Studies. The blog is a great resource and I will use it from here on as a resource for the podcast and for the History Page. Check it out here!
Finally we arrive at the tale of Cyrus, what you have all been waiting for. Get the episode from here…
This is the introduction to the history of Cyrus, looking at the world in which he started his career. I go from the Mediterranean to China and back to Mesopotamia, surveying the Eurasian world in 550 BCE or so, as well as making some preliminary remarks about Cyrus himself.
Check out the Bibliography for items added for this subject.
You can download the new episode form this link…
As usual, the feed is here.
Names of the characters mentioned
Dioces: the “founder” of the Median Empire according to Herodotus (possibly inspired by the Mannean Diakku, mentioned in Assyrian annales)
Phraortes: his son, possibly the chief Kashtariti mentioned in the chronicle of Essarhaddon
Cyaxares: the greatest of the Median kings, according to Herodotus, and the “conqueror” of Assyria. Possibly Umakishtar who is mentioned in the Gadd Chronicle and said by the Babylonian chronicles to be the person who sacked Assur/Ashur.
Astyages: the last of the Median Emperors, possibly Ishtumigu of the Babylonian chronicles.
Medes are on their way…
One of the dear readers of this weblog, and listeners to the podcast, suggested that I make a list of the names I so much enjoy pronouncing. I think it is a good idea, except someone has already done it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rulers_of_Elam (for the chaps mentioned this week, scroll down to the Neo-Elamite period).
You should notice that pronunciation occasionally vary. Some of the Elamite pronunciations are being perfected. Temti-Human-Inshushinak now seems to be more like Tepti-Humban-Inshushinak (which is the way I say it). Some are better known (if you can say that about anything Elamite) by their Akkadian names. Shutruk-Nahunte is sometimes written Shutruk-nakhunte or Shutruk-Nahhunte. These are attempts at rendering Elamite in English. The sound /h/ in his name is a laryngeal sound which does not exist in English, similar to Arabic ح.
Apart from these Elamites, I mentioned a few Assyrians and some Babylonians. Sargon II, Esarhaddon, Sennacherib, and Ashurbanipal are the Assyrian ones. Merodach-Baladan the Chaldean was really the only “Babylonian” I mentioned.
I will post a similar list from the next episode on.
This episode goes back to the Elamites and their adventures with the Neo-Assyrians, and their murky last century.