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A gold coin from Lydia

Episode 12: One more on Cyrus and the Origins of His Empire

Episode 12 is out… download it from here, or subscribe to the History of Iran Podcast via your favourite podcast catcher. Here is the feed for it.

… 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.

A (bit fanciful) map of the conquests of Cyrus.

A (bit fanciful) map of the conquests of Cyrus.

A famous vase showing Croesus on his "suicide" pyre...

A famous vase showing Croesus on his “suicide” pyre…

A Lydian coin... notice that the reverse is just a hollow blank.

A Lydian coin… notice that the reverse is just a hollow blank.

View of a part of Pasargadae

View of a part of Pasargadae

Tol-e Takht, the old citadel of Pasargadae

Tol-e Takht, the old citadel of Pasargadae

Ruins of one of the palaces in Pasargadae

Ruins of one of the palaces in Pasargadae

Elamite names “galore”

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. 

Episode 5: the Middle Elamite Kingdoms

The new episode is out. As usual, you can get it directly from here or subscribe to it from FeedBurner

I owe everyone an apology. I have moved for the year from Europe to North America, and the move proved more overwhelming that I imagined. I had to arrange too many things, teach, and do much writing. I have everything under control now, and will be sticking to a real schedule henceforth.

As for the episode, it is full of weird names, so here is something to orient you (and here is a useful list of all Elamite rulers, real and fictional!):

Names:

Kidinu: founder of the first dynasty (Middle Elamite I: Kidinuids)

Tepti-Ahar: the Kidinuid king who founded the site of Haft Tepe (Kabnak) near Susa, where his tomb also is.

Igi-halki: the founder of the second dynasty (Middle Elamite II: the Igihalkids)

Untash-Napirisha: the most important king of the Igihalkids, a maternal grandson of Kurigalzu I of Babylonia (of the Kassite dynasty).

Kidin-Hutran III: the Igilhakid who removed Assyrian puppets from the Babylonian throne.

Tukulti-Nimurta: the Assyrian king who removed the legitimate line of Kassite kings; they were later restored

Shutruk-Nahhunte: the founder and greatest ruler of the Middle Elamite III dynasty, the Shutrukids. He conquered Babylonia and put and end to the rule of the Kassites.

Kutir-Nahhunte: son and successor of Shutruk-Nahhunte

Shilhak-Inshushinak: brother and successor of Kutir-Nahhunte and the last great king of the Shutrukids

Sites:

Susa: Shusha; the low-land capital of Elam

Anshan/Anzan: the highland capital of Elam

Haft Tepe/Kabnak: site east of Susa; tomb of Tepti-Ahar

Al-Untash-Napirisaha: the archaeological site of Chogha Zanbil, with its impressive Ziggurat; the religious and political centre of the Igilhakids, near Deh-e Now, their home town.

Nebuchadnezzar I: the fourth king of the Babylonian dynasty of the Sealand and the bane of the Shutrukids

Hutelutush-Inshushinak: the last of the Shutrukids; he escaped Nebuchadnezzar and took refuge in Anshan/Anzan; also reliefs at Kul-e Farah in Izeh.

Middle Elamite relief from Kul-e Farah (Izeh)

Middle Elamite relief from Kul-e Farah (Izeh)

The Ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil

The Ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil

The aerial view of Chogha Zanbil/Al-Untash-Napirisha

The aerial view of Chogha Zanbil/Al-Untash-Napirisha

Episode 4: the Sukkalmah

This episode is about the Golden Age of the Old Elamite period, the period often associated with the title of Sukkalmah. Lasting between about 1950-1600 BCE, this is the height of Old Elamite power, when the Elamite king is known as the elder statesman of Mesopotamia and even Shamshi Adad and Hammurabi call Siwe-palar-huppak, “father”. The episode talks about the issues of ethnic make up of Elam, the highland vs. lowland duality, and prepares the scene for the Middle Elamite period, that of the Kings of Anshan and Susa (or Susa and Anshan, if you are reading the Babylonian texts!).

You can download the episode from here. You can also subscribe, using your favourite subscription tool!

Apologies for the long delay in releasing this episode. A series of life-crises prevented me from doing it any earlier. The episodes will be released on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future, at least until I catch up with the original schedule. Check in often, and please tell me what you think.

Old Elamite Statue

An Old Elamite statue with Linear Elamite writing

the Old Elamite relief at Kurangan

the Old Elamite relief at Kurangan

Map of the major sites in Elam and Sumer

Map of the major sites in Elam and Sumer

Some Bibliography:

The Archaeology of Early Egypt: Social Transformations in North-East Africa, c.10,000 to 2,650 BC (Cambridge World Archaeology)

Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece

The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran (Oxford Handbooks)

The First Episode!

At long last, we have the first episode out, or really episode 0, the Introduction!

Download it from here

Or point your podcast reader to this feed and subscribe!

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