… 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.
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.
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.
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.
I am stopping our chronological progression to talk a bit about the people we have been concerned with. I am going through a list of the civilisations, cultures, and languages of western Iran. We know of most of these through Assyrian and Sumerian, and occasionally Babylonian sources. I will talk a bit more about the Elamite culture, the Kassites and the Gutians, the Lullubi, and finally the Manneans. This will set up the scene for the whole “Indo-Iranian” migration story which seems to be overshadowing so much of early Iranian history.
I talk about the Loristan Bronzes in this episode. Here is an example of a couple of anthropomorphic horses from the BM. They are very common, so much so that you can even buy some of them on the Ebay! (I STRONGLY discourage you from doing this. Do NOT encourage looters and dealers!).
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!).
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.
— This is episode three, out after some mishaps… Download/Stream it from here
— I promised a list of terms and names I was using, so here they are.
Chalcolithic = the so-called “copper” age, or the coper-stone period
Elam = The civilisation I talked about the most, and will continue talking about for the next episode
Tepe Sialk = Archaeological site in central-northern part of the plateau
Tepe Hissar= Archaeological site on the northeast of the Iranian Plateau
Shahr-e Sukhte = the Burnt City, site on the east side of the plateau, by the Helmand River
Sargon of Agade = the first king of the Empire of Agade/Akkad (2332 BCE).
Gutians and Lulubians = mountain tribes/confederations to the north of Elam
Jiroft = archaeological side on the central eastern part of the plateau
Naram-Sin= Grandson of Sargon
Ur-Namma (2112-2095) = the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur
Puzur Inshushinak = contemporary of Ur-Namma, king of Awan, the first Elamite ever mentioned
Shimashki= the dominant city of Elam after 2004 BC
Sukkalmah=the title of the “governor” of Elam under Larsa’s dominance; later the most powerful rulers in the region
Gungunum of Larsa (1932-1906) = the founder of the dynasty of Larsa
And here is a map (note that Malyan is Anshan!)