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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 211 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PART HIA). 5. The Arians ('Ape?oL, Pers. Haraiva), in the vicinity of the river Arius (Heri-rud), which derived its name from them. This name, which survives in the modern Herat, has of course no connexion with that .of the Aryans. 6. The Drangians (Zaranka in Darius, Sarangians in Herod. iii. 93, 117, vii. 67), situated south of the Arians, in the north-west of Afghanistan (Arachosia) by the western affluents of Lake Hamun, and extending to the present Seistan. 7. Arachotians (Pers. Harauvati), in the district of the Helmand and its tributaries, round Kandahar. They are mentioned in the lists of Darius, also by the Greeks after Alexander. In Herodotus their place is taken by the Pactyans, whose name survives to thepresent day in the word Pushtu, with which the Afghans denote their language (Herod. iii. 102, iv. 44, vii. 67, 85). Probably it was the old tribal name; Arachosia being the local designation. The Thamanaeans, who appear in Herodotus (iii. 93, 117), must be classed with them. 8. The Bactrians (Pers. Bakhtri), on the northern declivity of the Hindu Kush, as far as the Oxus. Their capital was Bactra, the modern Balkh (see BACTRIA). 9. The Sogdians (Pets. Sugudu), in the mountainous district between the Oxus and Jaxartes. to. The Chorasmians (Khwarizmians, Pers. Uvarazmiya), in the great oasis of Khiva, which still bears the name Khwarizm. They stretched far into the midst of the nomadic tribes. 11. The Margians (Pers. Margu), on the river Margus (Murghab); chiefly inhabiting the oasis of Merv, which has preserved their name. Darius mentions the district of Margu but, like Herodotus, omits them from his list of peoples; so that ethnographically they are perhaps to be assigned to the Arians. 12. The Sagartians (Pers. Asagarta) ; according to Herodotus (vii. 85), a nomadic tribe of horsemen; speaking, as he expressly declares, the Persian language. Hence he describes them (i. 125) as a subordinate nomad clan of the Persians. They, with the Drangians, Utians and Myci, formed a single satrapy (Herod. iii. 93). Ptolemy (vi. 2, 6) speaks of Sagartians in the Eastern Zagros in Media. 13. We have already touched on the nomadic peoples (Ddha, Dahans) of Iranian nationality, who occupied the steppes of Turkestan as far as the Sarmatians and Scythians of South Russia. That these were conscious of their Aryan origin is proved by the names Ariantas and Ariapeithes borne by Scythian (Scolot) kings (Herod, iv. 76, 87). Still they were never counted as a portion of Iran or the Iranians. To the settled peasantry, these nomads of the steppe were always " the enemy " (dana, daha, that, Dahae). Side by side with this name we find " Turan " and " Turanian "; a designation applied both by the later Persians and by modern writers to this region. The origin of the word is obscure, derived perhaps from an obsolete tribal name. It has no connexion what-ever with the much later " Turks," who penetrated thither in the 6th century after Christ. Though found neither in the inscriptions of Darius nor in the Greek authors, the name Turan must nevertheless be of great antiquity; for not merely is it repeatedly found in the Avesta, under the form Tura, but it occurs already in a hymn, which, without doubt, originates from Zoroaster himself, and in which " the Turanian Fryana " and his descendants are commemorated as faithful adherents of the prophet (Yasna, 46, 62). The dividing line between Iranian and Indian is drawn by the Hindu Kush and the Soliman mountains of the Indus district. The valley of the Kabul (Cophen) is already occupied by Indian tribes, especially the Gandarians; and the Satagydae (Pers. Thatagu) there resident were presumably also of Indian stock. The non-Aryan population of Iran itself has been discussed above. Of its other neighbours,-we must here mention the Sacae, a warlike equestrian people in the mountains of the pamir plateau and northward; who are probably of Mongol origin. Herodotus relates that the Persians distinguished " all the Scythians all the northern nomads—as Sacae; and this statement is confirmed by the inscriptions of Darius. The Babylonians employ the name Gimiri (i.e. Cimmerians) in the same sense. religion and in many views common to both peoples. A great number of gods—Asura, Mithras, the Dragon-slayer Verethraghna (the Indra of the Indians), the Water-shoot Apam napat (the lightning), &c.—date from this era. So, too, fire-worship, especially of the sacrificial flame; the preparation of the intoxicating soma, which fills man with divine strength and uplifts him to the gods; the injunction to " good thoughts and good works," imposed on the pious by Veda and Avesta alike: the belief in an unwavering order (rta)—a law controlling gods and men and dominating them all; yet with this, a belief in the power of magical formulae (mantra), exclamations and prayers, to whose compulsion not merely demons (the evil spirits of deceptiondruh) but even the gods (daeva) must submit; and, lastly, the institution of a priesthood of fire-kindlers (athravan), who are. at once the repositories of all sacral traditions and the mediators in all intercourse between earth and heaven. The transition, moreover, to settled life and agriculture belongs to the Aryan Aryan Religion. period; and to it may be traced the peculiar sancitity of the evident that before the Achaemenids there were in Bactria only small local principalities of which Vishtaspa's was one: and it is possible that the primeval empire of the Saga is only a reflection of the Achaemenid and Sassanid empires of reality, whose existence legend dates back to the beginning of the world, simply because legend is pervaded by the assumption that the conditions obtaining in the present are the natural conditions, and, as such, valid for all time. Closely connected as are the Mythology and Religion of Indian and Iranian, no less clearly marked is the fundamental difference of intellectual and moral standpoint, Difference which has led the two nations into opposite paths between the of history and culture. The tendency to religious Iranian and thought and to a speculative philosophy, compre- Indian hending the world as a whole, is shared by both and Rettion. is doubtless an inheritance from the Aryan period. But with the Indians this speculation leads to the complete abolition of all barriers between God and man, to a mystic pantheism, and to absorption in the universal Ego, in contrast with which the world becomes an unsubstantial phantasm and sinks into nothingness. For the Iranian, on the contrary, practical life, the real world, and with them the moral commandment, fill the foreground. The new gods created by Iran are ethical powers; those of India, abstractions of worship (brahman) or of philosophy (atman). These fundamental features of Iranian sentiment encounter us not only in the doctrine of Zoroaster and the confessions of Darius, but also in that magnificent product of the Persia of Islam—the Sufi mysticism. This is pantheistic, like the Brahman philosophy. But the pantheism of the Persian is always positive, —affirming the world and life, taking joy in them, and seeking its ideal in union with a creative god: the pantheism of the Indian is negative—denying world and life, and descrying its ideal in the cessation of existence. This contrast in intellectual and religious life must have developed very early. Probably, in the remote past violent religious disputes and feuds broke out: for otherwise it is almost inexplicable that the old Indo-European word, which in India, also, denotes the gods—deva—should be applied by the Iranians to the malignant demons or devils (daeva; mod. div); while they denote the gods by the name bhaga. Conversely the Asuras, whose name in Iran is the title of the supreme god (a/Jura, aura), have in India degenerated to evil spirits. It is of great importance that among the Slavonic peoples the same word bogu distinguishes the deity; since this points to ancient cultural influences on which we have yet no more precise information. Otherwise, the name is only found among the Phrygians, who, according to Hesychius, called the Heaven-god (Zeus) Bagaeus; there, however, it may have been borrowed from the Persians. We possess no other evidence for these events; the only document we possess for the history of Iranian religion is the sacred. writing, containing the doctrines of the prophet who gave that religion a new form. This is the Avesta, the Bible of the modern Parsee, which comprises the revelation of Zoroaster. As to the home and time of Zoroaster, the Parsee tradition yields us no sort of information which could possibly be of historical service. Its contents, even if they go back Zoroaster. to lost parts of the Avesta, are merely a late patch- work, based on the legendary tradition and devoid of historical foundation. The attempts of West (Pahlavi Texts Translated, vol. v.) to turn to historical account the statements of the Bundahish and other Parsee books, which date Zoroaster at 258 years before Alexander, are, in the present writer's opinion, a complete failure. Jackson (Zoroaster, the Prophet of Ancient Iran, 1901) sides with West. The Greek theory, which relegates Zoroaster to the mists of antiquity, or even to the period of the fabulous Ninus and Semiramis, is equally valueless. Even the statement that he came from the north-west of Media (the later Atropatene), and his mother from Rai (Rhagae) in eastern Media, must be considered as problematic in the extreme. Our only trustworthy information is to be gleaned from his own testimony and from the history of his religion. And here we may take it as certain that the scene of his activity was laid in cow in India and Persia. For the cow is the animal which voluntarily yields nourishment to man and aids him in his daily labours, and on it depends the industry of the peasant as contrasted with the wild desert brigand to whom the cow is unknown. Very numerous are the legends common to both nations. These, in part, are rooted in the primeval Indo-European days, though their ultimate form dates only from the Aryan epoch. Foremost among them is the myth relating the battle of a sun-god (Ind. Trita, generally replaced by Indra, Iran. Thraelona) against a fearful serpent (Ind. Ahi, Iran. Azhi; known moreover as Vrtra) : also, the legend of Yama, the first man, son of Vivasvant, who, after a long and blessed life in the happy years of the beginning, was seized by death and now rules in the kingdom of the departed. Then come a host of other tales of old-world heroes; as the " Glorious One (Ind. Sushrava, Pers. Husrava, Chosrau or Chosroes), or the Son who goes on a journey to seek his father, and, unknown, meets his end at his hands. These legends have lived and flourished in Iran at every period of its history; and neither the religion of Zoroaster, nor yet Islam, 'Iranian has availed to suppress them. Zoroastrianism—at saga. least in that form in which it became the dominant creed of the Iranians—legitimized not only the old gods, but the old heroes also; and transformed them into pious helpers and servants of Ahuramazda; while the creator of the great national epic of Persia, Firdousi (A.D. 935-1020), displayed astonishing skill in combining the ancient tradition with Islam. Through his poem, this tradition is perfectly familiar to every Persian at the present day; and the primitive features of tales, whose origin must be dated 4000 years ago, are still preserved with fidelity. This tenacity of the Saga stands in the sharpest contrast with the fact that the historical memory of the Persian is extremely defective. Even the glories of the Achaemenid Empire faded rapidly, and all but completely, from recollection; so also the conquest of Alexander, and the Hellenistic and Parthian eras. In Firdousi, the legendary princes are followed, almost without a break, by Ardashir, the founder of the Sassanid dynasty: the intervening episode of Darius and Alexander is not drawn from native tradition, but borrowed from Greek literature (the Alexander-romance of the Pseudo-Callisthenes) in precisely the same way as among the nations of the Christian East in the middle ages.' Needless to say, however, this long period saw the Saga much recast and expanded. Many new characters—Siyawush, Rustam, &c.—have swelled the original list: among them is King Gushtasp (Vishtaspa), the patron of Zoroaster, who was known from the poems of the prophet and is placed at the close of the legendary age. The old gods and mythical figures reappear as heroes and kings, and their battles are fought no longer in heaven but upon earth, where they are localized for the most part in the east of Iran. In other words, the war of the gods has degenerated to the war between Iranian civilization and the Turanians. Only the evil serpent Azhi Dahaka (Azhdahak) is domiciled by the Avesta in Babylon (Baum) and depicted on the model of Babylonian gods and demons: he is a king in human form with a serpent growing from either shoulder and feeding on the brains of men. In these traits are engrained the general conditions of history and culture, under which the Iranians lived: on the one hand, the contrast between Iranian and Turanian; on the other, the dominating position of Babylon, which influenced most strongly the civilization and religion of Iran. It is idle, however, to read definite historical events into such traits, or to attempt, with some scholars, to convert them into history itself. We cannot deduce from them a conquest of Iran from Babylon: for the Babylonians never set foot in Iran, and even the Assyrians merely conquered the western portion of Media. Nor yet can we make the favourite assumption of a great empire in Bactria. On the contrary, it is historically ' The fundamental work on the history of the Iranian Saga is Nbldeke., Das iranische Nationalepos 1896 (reprinted from the Grundriss der Iran. Philologie, ii.). the east of Iran, in Bactria and its neighbouring regions. The contrast there existing between peasant and nomad is of vital consequence for the whole position of his creed. Among the adherents whom he gained was numbered, as already mentioned, a Turanian, one Fryana and his household. The west of Iran is scarcely ever regarded in the Avesta, while the districts and rivers of the east are often named. The language, even, is markedly different from the Persian; and the fire-priests are not styled Magians as in Persia—the word indeed never occurs in the Avesta, except in a single late passage—but athravan, identical with the atharvan of India (rupatboy " fire-kindlers," in Strabo xv. 733). Thus it cannot be doubted that the king Vishtaspa, who received Zoroaster's doctrine and protected him, must have ruled in eastern Iran: though strangely enough scholars can still be found to identify him with the homonymous Persian Hystaspes, the father of Darius. The possibility that Zoroaster himself was not a native of East Iran, but had immigrated thither (from Rhagae?), is of course always to be considered; and this theory has been used to explain the phenomenon that the Gathas, of his own composition, are written in a different dialect from the rest of the Avesta. On this hypothesis, the former would be his mother-tongue: the latter the speech of eastern Iran. This district is again indicated as the starting-point of Zoroastrianism, by the fact that dead bodies are not embalmed and then interred, as was usual, for instance, in Persia, but cast out to the dogs and birds (cf. Herod. i. 14o), a practice, as is well known, strictly enjoined in the Avesta, ruthlessly executed under the Sassanids, and followed to the present day by the Parsees. The motive of this, indeed, is to be found in the sanctity of Earth, which must not be polluted by a corpse; but its origin is evidently to be traced in a barbaric custom of nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes who leave the dead to lie on the steppe; and we know from Greek sources that this custom was widely diffused among the tribes of eastern Iran. The next clue towards determining the period of Zoroaster is, that Darius I. and all his successors, as proved by their inscriptions and by Greek testimony, were zealous adherents of the pure word of Zoroastrianism; which consequently must already have been accepted in the west of Iran. That Cyrus too owned allegiance to the creed, cannot be doubted by an unprejudiced mind, although in the dearth of contemporary monuments we possess no proof at first hand. The Assyrian inscriptions demonstrate, however, that Zoroaster's teaching was dominant in Media two centuries before Cyrus. For in the list of Median princes, to which we have already referred, are two bearing the name of Mazdaka—evidently after the god Mazda. Now this name was the invention of Zoroaster himself; and he who names himself after Mazda thereby makes a confession of faith in the religion of Zoroaster whose followers, as we know, termed themselves Mazdayasna, " worshippers of Mazda." Thus, if the doctrine of Zoroaster predominated in Media in 714 B.C., obviously his appearance in the role of prophet must have been much earlier. A more definite date cannot be deduced from the evidence at our disposal, but his era may safely be placed as far back as l000 B.C. The religion which Zoroaster preached was the creation of. a single man, who, having pondered long and deeply the problems of existence and the world, propounded the solution he found as a divine revelation. Naturally he starts from the old views, and is indebted to them for many of his tenets and ideas; but out of this material he builds a uniform system which bears throughout the impress of his own intellect. In this world, two groups of powers confront each other in a truceless war, the powers of Good, of Light, of creative Strength, of Life and of Truth, and the powers of Evil, of Darkness, Destruction, Death and Deceit. In the van of the first stands the Holy Spirit (spenta mainyu) or the " Great Wisdom " Mazdao. His helpers and vassals are the six powers of Good Thought (vohu manor 'thiav6s), of Right Order (asha, Ind. eta, Pers. aria, " lawfulness "), of the Excellent Kingdom (khshathra vairya), of Holy Character (spenta armaiti), of Health (haurvatat), and of Immortality (ameretat). These are comprised under the general title of "undying holy ones " (amesha spenta, amshaspand) ; and a host of subordinate angels (yazata) are ranked with them. The powers of evil are in all points the opposite of the good; at their head being the Evil Spirit (angra mainyu, Ahriman). These evil demons are identical with the old gods of the popular faith—the devas (div)—while Mazdao bears the name Ahura, above discussed; whence Ahuramazda (Ormuzd). From this it will be manifest that the figures of Zoroaster's religion are purely abstractions; the concrete gods of vulgar belief being set aside. All those who do not belong to the devils (devas), might be recognized as inferior servants of Ahuramazda: chief among them being the Sun-god Mithras (see MITHRAS) ; the goddess of vegetation and fertility, especially of the Oxus-stream, Anahita Ardvisura (Anaitis) ; and the Dragon-slayer Verethraghna (Gr. Artagnes), with the god of the intoxicating Haoma (the Indian Soma). In the religion of the people, these divinities always survived; and the popularity of Mithras is evinced by the numerous Aryan proper names thence derived (Mithradates; &c.). The educated community who had embraced the pure doctrine in its completeness scarcely recognized them, and the inscriptions of Darius ignore them. Only once he speaks of " the gods of the clans," and once of " the other gods which there are." Not till the time of Artaxerxes II. were Mithra and Anaitis received into the official religion of the Persian kings. But they always played a leading part in the propaganda of the Persian cults in the West. Only one element in the old Aryan belief was preserved by Zoroaster in all its sanctity: that of Fire—the purest manifestation of Ahuramazda and the powers of Good. Thus fire-altars were every. where erected ; and, to the prophet also, the Fire-kindlers (athravan) were the ministers and priests of the true religion and the intermediaries between God and man; at last in the popular mind, Zoroastrianism was identified with Fire-worship pure and simple, —inadequate though the term in reality is, as a description of its essentials. Midway in this opposition of the powers of Good and Evil, man is placed. He has to choose on which side he will stand: he is called to serve the powers of Good: his duty lies in speaking the truth and combating the lie. And this is fulfilled when he obeys the commands of law and the true order; when he tends his cattle and fields, in contrast with the lawless and predatory nomad (Dahae) ; when he wars on all harmful and evil creatures, and on the devil-worshippers; when he keeps free from pollution the pure creations of Ahuramazda—fire foremost, but also earth and water; and, above all, when he practises the Good and True in thought, word and work. And as his deeds are, so shall be his fate and his future lot on the Day of Judgment; when he must cross the Bridge Gillett', which, according to his works, will either guide him to the Paradise of Ahuramazda or precipitate him to the Hell of Ahriman. Obviously, it was through this preaching of a judgment to come and a direct moral responsibility of the individual man, that, like Mahomet among the Arabs, Zoroaster and his disciples gained their adherents and exercised their greatest influence. In this creed of Zoroastrianism three important points are especially to be emphasized: for on them depend its peculiar characteristics and historical significance 1. The abstractions which it preaches are not products of meta-physical speculation, as in India, but rather the ethical forces which dominate human life. They impose a duty upon man, and enjoin on him a positive line of action—a definite activity in the world. And this world he is not to eschew, like the Brahman and the Buddhist, but to work in it, enjoying existence and life to the full. Thus a man's birthday is counted the highest festival (Herod. I. 133) ; and thus the joie de vivre, rich banquets and carousals are not rejected by the Persian as godless and worldly, but are even prescribed by his religion. To create offspring and people the world with servants of Ahuramazda is the duty of every true believer.' 2. This religion grew up in the midst of a settled peasant population, whose mode of life and views it regards as the natural disposition of things. Consequently, it is at once a product of, and a main factor in civilization; and is thereby sharply differentiated from the Israelite religion, with whose moral precepts it otherwise coincides so frequently. 3. The preaching of Zoroaster is directed to each individual man, and requires of him that he shall choose his position with regard to the fundamental problems of life and religion. Thus, even though it arose from national views, in its essence it is not national (as, for instance, the Israelite creed), but individualistic, and at the same time universal. From the first, it aims at propaganda; and the nationality of the convert is a matter of indifference. So Zoroaster himself converted the Turanian Fryana with his kindred (see above) ; and the same tendency to proselytize alien peoples survived in his religion. Zoroastrianism, in fact, is the first creed to work by missions or to lay claim to universality of acceptance. It was, however, only natural that its adherents should be won, first and chiefly, among the countrymen of the prophet, and its further success in gaining over all the Iranian tribes gave it a national stamp. So the Susan translation of Darius' Behistun inscription i These ideas are strongly exposed in a polemic against the Christians contained in an official edict of the Persian creed to the Armenians by Mihr Narseh, the vizier of Yazdeggerd II- (about A.D. 450), preserved by the Armenian historian, Elishe. terms Ahuramazda " the god of the Aryans." Thus the creed and from a few allusions in the Old Testament. Of the Median became a powerful factor in the development of an united Iranian nationality, That a. religion, which lays its chief stress upon moral precepts, may readily develop into casuistry and external formalism, with an infinity of minute prescriptions, injunctions on purity and the like, is well known. In the Avesta all these recur ad nauseam, so much so that the primitive spirit of the religion is stifled beneath them, as the doctrine of the ancient prophets was stifled in Judaism and the Talmud. The Sasse nid Empire, indeed, is completely dominated by this formalism and ritualism; but the earlier testimony of Darius in his inscriptions and the statements in Herodotus enable us still to recognize the original healthy life of a religion capable of awakening the enthusiastic devotion of the inner man. Its formal character naturally germinated in the priesthood (Herod. i. 140; cf. Strabo xv. 733, &c.). The priests diligently practise all the precepts of their ritual—e.g. the extermination of noxious animals, and the exposure of corpses to the dogs and birds, that earth may not be polluted by their presence. They have advice for every contingency in life, and can say with precision when a man has been defiled, and how he may be cleansed again; they possess an endless stock of formulae for prayer, and of sentences which serve for protection against evil spirits and may be turned to purposes of magic. How the doctrine overspread the whole of Iran, we do not know. In the West, among the Medes and Persians, the guardianship The and ministry of Zoroastrianism is vested in an exclusive Maglaas. priesthood—the Magians. Whence this name—unknown as already mentioned, to the Avesta—took its rise, we have no knowledge. Herodotus (i. tot) includes the Magians in his list of Median tribes; and it is probable that they and their teaching reached the Persians from Media. At all events, they play here not merely the role of the " Fire-kindlers (athravan) in the Avesta, but are become an hereditary sacerdotal caste, acting an important part in the state-advisers and spiritual guides to the king, and so forth. With them the ritualism and magical character, above mentioned, are fully developed. In the narrations of Herodotus, they interpret dreams and predict the future; and in Greece, from the time of Herodotus and Sophocles (Oed. Tyr. 387) onward, the word Magian connotes a magician-priest. See further, ZOROASTER and works there quoted. IV. Beginnings of History.—A connected chain of historical evidence begins with the time when under Shalmaneser (Sal-Assyrian manassar II.), the Assyrians in 836 B.C. began for Conquest the first time to penetrate farther into the mounof media. tains of the east; and there, in addition to several non-Iranian peoples, subdued a few Median tribes. These wars were continued under successive kings, till the Assyrian power in these regions attained its zenith under Sargon (q.v.), who (715 B.c.) led into exile the Median chief Dayuku (see DEIOCES), a vassal of the Minni (Mannaeans), with all his family, and subjected the princes of Media as far as the mountain of Bikni (Elburz) and the border of the great desert. At that time twenty-eight Median "town-lords" paid tribute to Nineveh; two years later, (713 B.C.) no fewer than forty-six. Sargon's successors, down to Assur-bani-pal (668–626 B.c.), maintained and even augmented their suzerainty over Media, in spite of repeated attempts to throw off the yoke in conjunction with the Mannaeans, the Saparda, the Cimmerians—who had penetrated into the Armenian mountains—and others. Not till the last years of Assur-bani-pal, on which the extant Assyrian annals are silent, can an independent Median Empire have arisen. As to the history of this empire, we have an ancient account in Herodotus, which, with a large admixture of the legendary, The still contains numerous historical elements, and a Median completely fanciful account from Ctesias, preserved Bemire. in Diodorus (ii. 32 sqq.) and much used by later writers. In the latter Nineveh is destroyed by the Mede Arbaces and the Babylonian Belesys about 88o B.C., a period when the Assyrians were just beginning to lay the foundations of their power. Arbaces is then followed by a long list of Median kings, all of them fabulous. On the other hand, according to Herodotus the Medes revolt from Assyria about 710 B.C., that is to say, at the exact time when they were subdued by Sargon. Deioces founds the monarchy; his son Phraortes begins the work of conquest; and his son Cyaxares is first overwhelmed by the Scythians, then captures Nineveh, and raises Media .to a great power. A little supplementary information may be gleaned from the inscriptions of King Nabonidus of Babylon (555–539) Empire itself we do not possess a single monument. Consequently its history still lies in complete obscurity (cf. MEDIA; DEIOCES; PHRAORTES; CYAXARES). The beginnings of the Median monarchy can scarcely go farther back than 64o B.C. To all appearance, the insurrection against Assyria must have proceeded from the desert tribe of the Manda, mentioned by Sargon: for Nabonidus invariably de-scribes the Median kings as " kings of the Manda." According to the account of Herodotus, the dynasty was derived from Deioces, the captive of Sargon, whose descendants may have found refuge in the desert. The first historical king would seem to have been Phraortes, who probably succeeded in subduing the small local princes of Media and in rendering himself independent of Assyria. Further development was arrested by the Scythian invasion described by Herodotus. We know from Zephaniah and Jeremiah that these northern barbarians, in 626 B.C., overran and harried Syria and Palestine (cf. CYAXARES; JEws). With these inroads of the Cimmerians and Scythians (see SCYTHIA), we must doubtless connect the great ethnographical revolution in the north of anterior Asia; the Indo-European Armenians (Haik), displacing the old Alarodians (Urartu, Ararat), in the country which has since borne their name; and the entry of the Cappadocians—first mentioned in the Persian period—into the east of Asia Minor. The Scythian invasion evidently contributed largely to the enfeeblement of the Assyrian Empire: for in the same year the Chaldaean Nabopolassar founded the New-Babylonian empire; and in 6o6 B.C. Cyaxares captured and destroyed Nineveh and the other Assyrian cities. Syria and the south he abandoned to Nabopolassar and his son Nebuchadrezzar; while, on the other hand, Assyria proper, east of the Tigris, the north of Mesopotamia with the town of Harran (Carrhae) and the mountains of Armenia were annexed by the Medes. Cappadocia also fell before Cyaxares; in a war with the Lydian Empire the decisive battle was broken off by the celebrated eclipse of the sun on the. 28th of May 585 B.C., foretold by Thales (Herod. i. 74). After this a peace was arranged by Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and Syennesis of Cilicia, recognizing the Halys as the borderline. To the east, the Median Empire extended far over Iran, even the Persians owning its sway. Ecbatana (q.v.) became the capital. Of the states which arose out of the shattered Assyrian Empire (Media, Babylon, Egypt, Cilicia and Lydia), Media was by far the strongest. In Babylon the kings feared, and the exiled Jews hoped, an attack from the Medes (cf. Isa. xiii., xiv., xxi.; Jer. 1., Ii.); and Nebuchadrezzar sought by every means—great fortifications, canals and so forth—to secure his empire against the menace from the north. He succeeded in maintaining the status quo practically unimpaired, additional security being found in intermarriage between the two dynasties. In this state of equilibrium the great powers of Anterior Asia remained during the first half of the 6th century. V. The Persian Empire of the Achaemenids.—The balance, however, was disturbed in 553 B.C., when the Persian Cyrus, king of Anshan in Elam (Susiana), revolted against Conquests his suzerain Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, and of Cyrus three years later defeated him at Pasargadae (q.v.)). and Shortly afterwards Astyages was taken prisoner, cambyses. Ecbatana reduced, and the Median Empire replaced by the Persian. The Persian tribes were welded by Cyrus into a single nation, and now became the foremost people in the world (see PERSIS and CYRUS). At first Nabonidus of Babylon hailed the fall of the Medes with delight and utilized the opportunity by occupying Harran (Carrhae). But before long he recognized the danger threatened from that quarter. Cyrus and his Persians paid little heed to the treaties which the Median king had concluded with the other powers; and the result was a great coalition against him, embracing Nabonidus of Babylon, Amasis of Egypt, Croesus of Lydia, and the Spartans, whose highly efficient army seemed to the Oriental states of great value. In the spring of 546 B.C., Croesus opened the attack. Cyrus I See further, BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA: § v. History. flung himself upon him, beat him at Pteria in Cappadocia and pursued him to Lydia. A second victory followed on the banks of the Pactolus; by the autumn of 546 Sardis had already fallen and the Persian power advanced at a bound to the Mediterranean. In the course of the next few years the Greek littoral towns were reduced, as also the Carians and Lycians. The king of Cilicia (Syennesis) voluntarily acknowledged the Persian suzerainty. In 539 Nabonidus was defeated and Babylon occupied, while, with the Chaldean Empire, Syria and Pales-tine also became Persian (see JEws). The east of Iran was further subdued, and, after Cyrus met his end (528 B.C.) in a war against the eastern Nomads (Dahae, Massagetae), his son Cambyses conquered Egypt (525 B.C.). Cyprus and the Greek islands on the coast of Asia Minor also submitted, Samos being taken by Darius. On the other hand, an expedition by Cambyses against the Ethiopian kingdom of Napata and Meroe came to grief in Nubia. The usurpation of Smerdis (522–521 B.C.) and his death at the hands of Darius was the signal for numerous insurrections in Babylon, Susiana, Persis, Media, Armenia and many of the Eastern provinces. But, within two years (521-519), they were all crushed by Darius and his generals. The causes of this astonishing success, which, in the brief space of a single generation, raised a previously obscure and secluded Arens and tribe to the mastery of the whole Orient, can only be Armour. partially discerned from the evidence at our disposal. The decisive factor was of course their military superiority. The chief weapon of the Persians, as of all Iranians, was the bow, which accordingly the king himself holds in his portraits, e.g. on the Behistun rock and the coins (darics). In addition to the bow, the Persians carried short lances and short daggers. But it was not by these weapons, nor by, hand to hand fighting, that the Persian victories were won. hey overwhelmed their enemy under a hail of arrows, and never allowed him to come to close quarters. While the infantry kneeled to shoot, the cavalry swarmed round the hostile squadrons, threw their lines into con-fusion, and completed their discomfiture by a vigorous pursuit. In a charge the infantry also might employ lance and dagger; but the essential point was that the archers should be mobile and their use of the bow unhampered. Consequently, only a few distinguished warriors wore shirts of mail. For purposes of defence the rank and file merely carried a light hide-covered shield; which the infantry, in shooting, planted before them as a sort of barrier against the enemy's missiles. Thus the Persian army was lost, if heavy-armed hoplites succeeded in gaining their lines. In spite of all their bravery, they succumbed to the Greek phalanx, when once the generalship of a Miltiades or a Pausanias had brought matters to a hand to hand conflict ; and it was with justice that the Greeks—Aeschylus, for instance—viewed their battles against the Persian as a contest between spear and bow. None the less, till Marathon the Persians were successful in discomfiting every enemy before he could close, whether that enemy consisted of similarly accoutred bowmen (as the Medes), of cavalry armed with the lance (as the Lydians), or of heavily armoured warriors (as the Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks). To all this should be added the superiority of their leaders; Cyrus especially must have been an exceedingly able general. Obviously, also, he must have understood the art of organizing his people and arousing the feeling of nationality and the courage of self-sacrifice. In his time the Persians were a strong manly peasantry, domiciled in a healthy climate and habituated to all hardships—a point repeatedly emphasized, in the tales preserved by Herodotus, as the cause of their successes (e.g. Herod. ix. 122). Herodotus, however, also records (i. 135) that the Persians were " of all mankind the readiest to adopt foreign customs, good or bad," a sentence which is equally applicable to the Romans, and which in the case of both nations goes far to explain, not merely their successes, but also the character of their empires. The fundamental features of the imperial organization must have been due to Cyrus himself. Darius followed in his steps organize- and completed the vast structure. His role, indeed, Lion of was peculiarly that of supplementing and perfecting Darius. the work of his great predecessor. The organization of the empire is planned throughout on broad, free lines; there is nothing mean and timorous in it. The great god Ahuramazda, whom king and people alike acknowledge, has given them dominion "over this earth afar, over many peoples and tongues;" and the consciousness is strong in them that they are masters of the world. Thus their sovereign styles himself " the ,king of kings " and " the king of the lands " —that is to say, of the whole civilized world. For the provinces remaining unsubdued on the extreme frontiers to the west, the north and the. east are in their view almost negligible quantities. And far removed as the Persians are from disavowing their proud sense of nationality (" a Persian, the son of a Persian, an Aryan of Aryan stock " says Darius of himself in the inscription on his tomb)—yet equally vivid is the feeling that they rule the whole civilized world, that their task is to reduce it to unity, and that by the will of Ahuramazda they are pledged to govern it aright. This is most clearly seen in the treatment of the subject races. In contrast with the Assyrians and the Romans the Persians invariably conducted their wars with great subject humanity. The vanquished kings were honourably Nations. dealt with, the enemy's towns were spared, except when grave offences and insurrections, as at Miletus and Athens, rendered punishment imperative; and their inhabitants were treated with mildness. Like Cyrus, all his successors welcomed members of the conquered nationalities to their service, employed them as administrators or generals and made them grants of land: and this not only in the case of Medes, but also of Armenians, Lydians, Jews and Greeks. The whole population of the empire was alike bound to military service. The subject-contingents stood side by side with the native Persian troops; and the garrisons—in Egypt, for instance—were composed of the most varied nationalities. Among the subject races the Medes particularly stood high in favour. Darius in his inscriptions always names them immediately after the Persians. They were the predecessors of the Persians in the empire and the more civilized people. Their institutions, court ceremonial and dress were all adopted by the Achaemenids. Thus the tribal distinctions began to recede, and the ground was prepared for that amalgamation of the Iranians into a single, uniform nation, which under the Sassanids was completely perfected—at least for west of Iran. The lion's share, indeed, falls to the dominant race itself. The inhabitants of Persis proper—from which the eastern tribes of Carmanians, Utians, &c., were excluded and The formed into a separate satrapy—pay no taxes. Persians. Instead, they bring the best of their possessions (e.g. a particularly fine fruit) as a gift to their king on festival days; peasants meeting him on his excursions do the same (Plut. Artax. 4. 5; Dinon ap. Aelian. var. hist. i. 31; Xen. Cyr. viii. 5, 21. 7, I). In recompense for this, he distributes on his return rich presents to every Persian man and woman—the women of Pasargadae, who are members of Cyrus's tribe, each receiving a piece of gold (Nic. Dam. fr. 66. Plut. Alex. 69). In relation to his Persians, he is always the people's king. At his accession he is consecrated in the temple of a warrior-goddess (Anaitis ?) at Pasargadae, and partakes of the simple meal of the old peasant days—a mess of figs, terebinths and sour milk (Plut. Artax. 3). The Persians swear allegiance to him and pray to Ahuramazda for his life and the welfare of the people, while he vows to protect them against every attack, and to judge and govern them as did his fathers before him (Herod. i. 132; Xen. Cyr. xviii. 5, 25, 27). For helpers he has at his side the " law-bearers " (databara Dan. iii. 2, and in Babyl. documents; cf. Herod. iii. 31, V. 25, vii. 194; Esther i. 13, &c.). These—the Persian judges—are nominated by the king for life, and generally bequeath their office to their sons. The royal decision is based on consultation with the great ones of his people: and such is the case with his officials and governors everywhere (cf. the Book of Ezra). Every Persian able to bear arms is bound to serve the king —the great landowners on horseback, the commonalty on foot. The noble and well-to-do, who need not till their fields in person, are pledged to appear at court as frequently as possible. Their children are brought up in company with the princes " at the gates of the king," instructed in the handling of arms, in riding and hunting, and introduced to the service of the state and the knowledge of the law, as well as the commandments of religion. Then such as prove their worth are called to high office and rewarded, generally with grants of land. The highest rank was held by the descendants of the six great families, whose heads stood by Darius at the killing of the Magian. The Greeks class them and the king together., under the name of " the seven Persians." These enjoyed the right of entering the presence unannounced, and possessed princely estates in the provinces. Besides these, however, numbers of other Persians were despatched to the provinces, settled there, and endowed with lands. There existed, in fact, under the Achaemenids a strong colonizing movement, diffused through the whole empire; traces of this policy occur more especially in Armenia, Cappadocia and Lycia, but also in the rest of Asia Minor, and not rarely in Syria and Egypt. These colonists formed the nucleus of the provincial military levy, and were a tower of strength to the Persian dominion. They composed, moreover, the Persian council, and vice-regal household of the Satraps, exactly as the Persians of the home-country composed that of the king. Though the world-empire of Persia was thus deeply impressed by a national character, care was nevertheless exercised that the general duties and interests of the subject races should receive due consideration. We find their representatives, side by side with the Persians, occupying every sort of position in the regal and vice-regal courts. They take their part in the councils of the satraps, precisely as they do in military service (cf. the evidence of Ezra); and they, too, are rewarded by bounties and estates. To wield a peaceful authority over all the subjects of the empire, to reward merit, and to punish transgression—such is the highest task of king and officials. On his native soil Cyrus built himself a town, with a palace and a tomb, in the district of Pasargadae (now the ruins of Murghab). This Darius replaced by a new capital, Resid Rays/encesdeeper in the centre of the country, which bore the . name " Persian " (Pdrsa), the Persepolis (q.v.) of the later Greeks. But the district of Persis was too remote to be the administrative centre of a world-empire. The natural centre lay, rather, in the ancient fertile tract on the lower Tigris and Euphrates. The actual capital of the empire was therefore Susa, where Darius I. and Artaxerxes II. erected their magnificent palaces. The winter months the kings chiefly spent in Babylon: the hot summer, in the cooler situation of Ecbatana, where Darius and Xerxes built a residence on Mt Elvend, south of the city. From a palace of Artaxerxes II. in Ecbatana itself, the fragments of a few inscribed columns (now in the possession of Mr Lindo Myers and published by Evetts in the Zeitschr. f. Ass yr. V.) have been preserved. To Persis and Persepolis the kings paid only occasional visits especially at their coronations. Within the empire, the two great civilized states incorporated by Cyrus and Cambyses, Babylon and Egypt, occupied a position of their own. After his defeat of Nabonidus, Cyrus and Pt. proclaimed himself " King of Babel "; and the same title was born by Cambyses, Smerdis and Darius. So, in Egypt, Cambyses adopted in full the titles of the Pharaohs. In this we may trace a desire to conciliate the native population, with the object of maintaining the fiction that the old state still continued. Darius went still farther. He encouraged the efforts of the Egyptian priesthood in every way, built temples, and enacted new laws in continuance of the old order. In Babylon his procedure was presumably similar, though here we possess no local evidence. But he lived to see that his policy had missed its goal. In 486 B.C. Egypt revolted and was only reduced by Xerxes in 484. It was this, probably, that induced him in 484 to renounce his title of " king of Babel," and to remove from its temple the golden statue of Bel-Marduk (Merodach), whose hands the king was bound to clasp on the first day of each year. This proceeding led to two insurrections in Babylon (probably in 484 and 479 B.C.), which were speedily repressed. After that the " kingship of Babel " was definitely abolished. In Egypt the Persian kings still retained the style of the Pharaohs; but we hear no more of concessions to the priesthood or to the old institutions, and, apart from the great oasis of el-Kharga, no more temples were erected (see EGYPT: History). At the head of the court and the imperial administration stands the commandant of the body-guard—the ten thousand " Immortals," often depicted in the sculptures of The vizier Persepolis with lances surmounted by golden apples. and other This grandee, whom the Greeks termed " Chiliarch," Officials. corresponds to the modern vizier. In addition to him, we find seven councillors (Ezra vii. 14; cf. Esther i. 14). Among the other officials, the " Eye of the King " is frequently mentioned. To him was entrusted the control of the whole empire and the superintendence of all officials. The orders of the court were issued in a very simple form of the cuneiform script, probably invented by the Medes. This comprised 36 signs, almost all of which denote single sounds. In Otfkiai the royal inscriptions, a translation into Susan (Elam-Languages. itic) and Babylonian was always appended to the Persian text. In Egypt one in hieroglyphics was added, as in the inscriptions of the Suez canal; in the Grecian provinces, another in Greek (e.g. the inscription of Darius on the Bosporus, Herod. iv. 37, cf. iv. 91). The cuneiform script could only be written on stone or clay. Thus there has been discovered in Babylon a copy of the Behistun (q.v.) inscription preserved on a block of dolerite (Weissbach, Babylonische Miscellen. p. 24). For administrative purposes, however, it would seem that this inconvenient material was not employed ; its place being taken by skins (buihipat, parchment), the use of which was adopted from the western peoples of the empire. On these were further written the journals and records kept at the court (cf. Diod. ii. 22, 32; Ezra iv. I$, v. 17, vi. 2; Esther vi. 1, ii. 23). With such materials the cuneiform script could not be used; instead, the Persian language was written in Aramaic characters, a method which later led to the so-called Pahlavi, i.e. Parthian script. This mode of writing was obviously alone employed in the state-services since Darius I.; and so may be explained the fact that, under the Achaemenids, the Persian language rapidly declined, and, in the inscriptions of Artaxerxes III., only appears in an extremely neglected guise (see CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTIONS, ALPHABET). Side by side with the Persian, the Aramaic, which had long been widely diffused as +{•s speech of commerce, enjoyed currency in all the western hall of the empire as a second dominant language. Thus all deeds, enactments and records designed for these provinces were furnished with an official Aramaic version (Ezra iv. 7). Numerous documents in this tongue, dating from the Persian period, have been discovered in Egypt (cf. Sayce and Cowley, Aramai„ Papyri discovered at Assuan 1906), and the coins minted by the satraps and generals usually bear an Aramaic inscription. (So, also, a lion-weight from Abydos, in the British Museum.) The Demotic in Egypt was employed in private documents alone. Only in the Hellenic provinces of the empire Greek replaced Aramaic (cf. the letter to Pausanias in Thuc. i. 120: an edict to Gadatas in Magnesia, Cousin et Deschamps, Bulletin de corresp. hellenique iii. 53o, Dittenberger, Sylloge 2; so, also, on coins)—a clear proof that the Persians had already begun to recognize the independent and important position of Greek civilization.' Darius I. divided the Persian Empire into twenty great provinces, satrapies, with a " guardian of the country " (khshathrapavan; see SATRAP) at the head of each. A list is The preserved in Herodotus (iii. 89 sqq.); but the boun- satrapies. daries were frequently changed. Each satrapy was again subdivided into several minor governorships. The satrap is the head of the whole administration of his province. He levies the taxes, controls the legal procedure, is responsible for the security of roads and property, and superintends the subordinate districts. The heads of the great military centres of the empire and the commandants of the royal fortresses are outside his jurisdiction: yet the satraps are entitled to a body of troops of their own, a privilege which they used to the full, especially in later periods. The satrap is held in his position as a subject by the controlling machinery of the empire, especially the " Eye of the King "; by the council of Persians in his province with For the editions of the Persian inscriptions see BEHISTUN. For the Persian documents, Ed. Meyer Entstehung des Judentums, 19 sqq. The hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Suez Canal are pub-fished In the Recueil de trail. d'egyptol. et d'assyriol. vols. vii. ix. xi. xiii; the private documents from Babylonia and Nippur, by Strassmaier, Babyl. Urkunden, and Hilprecht and Clay, Babyl. Exped. of Univ. of ennsylvania, vols. ix. x. Numerous Jewish documents in Aramaic have been found at Elephantine (Sayce and Cowley, Aramaic Papyri discovered at Assuan, 1906), among them an official complaint of the Jewish colony settled at Elephantine, addressed to the Persian satrap of Judaea, in 408 B.C., which throws a new light on many passages in Ezra and Nehemiah, published by Sachan in Abhandlungen der berl. Akademie, 1907. whom he is bound to debate all matters of importance; and by the state, or an autonomous community—had developed since the the army: while in the hands of the messengers (Pers. &trr&vSat or 6yyapot—a Babylonian word: see ANGARIA) the government despatches travel " swifter than the crane " along the great imperial highways, which are all provided with regular postal stations (cf. the description of the route from Susa to Sardis in Herod. v. 52). Within the satrapies the subject races " and communities occupied a tolerably independent position; for instance, the subject Jews, under their elders and priests, who were even Commuai- able to convene a popular assembly in Jerusalem ties. (cf. the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah). Obviously• also, they enjoyed, as a rule, the privilege of deciding law-suits among themselves; their general situation being similar to that of the Christian nationalities under the Ottomans, or to that of many tribes in the Russian Empire at the present day. The pressure of despotism was manifest, not so much in that the king and his officials consistently interfered in individual cases, but that they did so on isolated and arbitrary occasions, and then swept aside the privileges of the subject, who was impotent to resist. For the rest, the subject population falls into a number of distinct groups. In the desert (as among the Arabian and Turanian nomads), in wild and sequestered mountains (as in Zagros in north Media, and Mysia, Pisidia, Paphlagonia and Bithynia in Asia Minor), and also in many Iranian tribes, the old tribal constitution, with the chieftain as its head, was left intact even under the imperial suzerainty. The great majority of the civilized provinces were subdivided into local administrative districts governed by officials of the king and his satraps. These the Greeks named ZOvrt, " peoples." Within these, again, there might lie large town settlements whose internal affairs were controlled by the elders or the officials of the community: as, for instance, Babylon, Jerusalem, the Egyptian cities, Tarsus, Sardis and others. On the same footing were the spiritual principalities, with their great temple-property; as Bambyce in Syria, the two Comanas in Cappadocia, and so forth. Besides these, however, vast districts were either converted into royal domains (Irap&Setvot) with great' parks and hunting grounds under royal supervision, or else bestowed by the king on Persians or deserving members of the subject-races (the " benefactors ") as their personal property. Many of these estates formed respectable principalities: e.g. those of the house of Otanes in Cappadocia, of Hydarnes in Armenia, Pharnabazus in Phrygia, Demaratus in Teuthrania, Themistocles in Magnesia and Lampsacus. They were absolute private property, handed down from father to son for centuries, and in the Hellenistic period not rarely became independent kingdoms. These potentates were styled by the Greeks &uv&vrat or µovapXot. The last class, quite distinct from all these organizations, was formed by the city-states (watts) with an independent The City constitution—whether a monarchy (as in Phoenicia), States. an aristocracy (as in Lycia), or a republic with council and popular assembly (as in the Greek towns). The essential point was that they enjoyed a separate legalized organization (autonomy). This was only to be seen in the extreme western provinces of the empire among the Phoenicians, Greeks and Lycians, whose cities were essentially distinct from those of the east; which, indeed, to Greek eyes, were only great villages (Kwµmr6Xets). It is readily intelligible that their character should have proved practically incomprehensible to the Persians, with whom they came into perpetual collision. These sought, as a rule, to cope with the difficulty by transferring the government to individual persons who enjoyed their confidence: the " tyrants " of the Greek towns. Mardonius, alone, after his suppression of the Ionic revolt—which had originated with these very tyrants—made an attempt to govern them by the assistance of the democracy (492 B.C.). The provinces of the Persian Empire differed as materially in economy as in organization. In the extreme west, a money currency in its most highly developed form—that of coinage minted by 7th century among the Lydians and Greeks. In the commerce main portion, however, of the Oriental world—Egypt, and Finance. Syria, Phoenicia and Babylonia—the old mode of commerce was still in vogue, conducted by means of gold and silver bars, weighed at each transaction. Indeed, a money currency only began to make headway in these districts in the 4th century B.C. In the eastern provinces, on the other hand, the primitive method of exchange by barter still held the field. Only in the auriferous and civilized frontier districts of India (the Punjab) did a system of coinage find early acceptance. There Persian and Attic money was widely distributed, and imitations of it struck, in the fifth and fourth pre-Christian centuries. Thus the empire was compelled to grapple with all these varied conditions and to reconcile them as best it might. At the court, " natural economy " was still the rule. The officials and Oriental troops received payment in kind. They were fed " by the table of the king," from which 15,000 men daily drew their sustenance (cf. Heraclides of Cyme in Athen. iv. 145 B, &c.) and were rewarded by gifts and assignments of land. The Greek mercenaries, on the contrary, had to be. paid in currency; nor could the satraps of the west dispense with hard cash. The king, again, needed the precious metals, not merely for bounties and rewards, but for important enterprises in which money payment was imperative. Consequently, the royal revenues and taxes were paid partly in the precious metals, partly in natural produce—horses and cattle, grain, clothing and its materials, furniture and all articles of industry (cf. Theopomp. fr. 124, 125, &c.). The satraps, also, in addition to money payments, levied contributions " for their table," at which the officials ate (Nehem. v. 14). The precious metals brought in by the tribute were collected in the great treasure-houses at Susa, Persepolis, Pasargadae and Ecbatana, where gigantic masses of silver and, more mono' ,and especially,' of gold, were stored in bullion or partially Coinage. wrought into vessels (Herod. iii. 96; Strabo xv. 731, 735; Arrian iii. 16, &c.) ; exactly as is the case to-day in the shah's treasure-chamber (Curzon, Persia, ii. 484). It is also observable that the conjunction of payments in kind and money taxes still exists. The province of Khorasan, for instance, with some half million inhabitants, paid in 1885 ,154,000 in gold, and in addition natural produce to the value of f43,000 (Curzon, op. cit. i. 181, ii. 38o). When the king required money he minted as much as was necessary. A reform in the coinage was effected by Darius, who struck the Daric (Pers. Zariq, i.e. "piece of gold "; the word has nothing to do with the name of Darius), a gold piece of 130 grains (value about 23s.) ; this being equivalent to 20 silver pieces (" Median shekels," at-yaoc) of 86.5 grains (value according to the then rate of silver-13, silver to i gold—about is. 2d.). The coining of gold was the exclusive prerogative of the king; silver could be coined by the satraps, generals, independent communities and dynasts. The extent of the Persian Empire was, in essentials, defined by the great conquests of Cyrus and Cambyses. Darius was no more a conquistador than Augustus. Rather, rmperlar the task he set himself was to round off the empire• poky. and secure its borders: and for this purpose in Asia Minor and Armenia he subdued the mountain-tribes and advanced the frontier as far as the Caucasus; Colchis alone remaining an independent kingdom under the imperial suzerainty. So, too, he annexed the Indus valley and the auriferous hill-country of Kafiristan and Cashmir (K uY1rtot or K&tr1retpot, Herod. iii. 93, vii. 67, 86; Steph. Byz.), as well as the Dardae in Dardistan on the Indus (Ctesias, Ind. fr. 12. 70, &c.). From this point he directed several campaigns against the Amyrgian Sacae, on the Pamir Plateau and northwards, whom he enumerates in his list of subject races, and whose mounted archers formed a main division of the armies despatched against the Greeks. It was obviously an attempt to take the nomads of the Turanian steppe in the rear and to reduce them to quiescence, which led to his unfortunate expedition against the Scythians of the Russian steppes (c. 512 B.c.; cf. DARIUS). Side by side, however, with these wars, we can read, even in the scanty tradition at our disposal, a consistent effort to further the great civilizing mission imposed. on the empire. In the district of Herat, Darius established a great water-basin, designed to facilitate the cultivation of the steppe (Herod. iii. 117). He had the course of the Indus explored by the Carian captain Scylax (q.v.) of Caryanda, who then navigated the Indian Ocean back to Suez (Herod. iv. 44) and wrote an account of his voyage in Greek. The desire to create a direct communication between the seclusion of Persis and the commerce of the world is evident in his foundation of several harbours, described by Nearchus, on the Persian coast. But this design is still more patent in his completion of a great canal, already begun by Necho, from the Nile to Suez, along which several monuments of Darius have been preserved. Thus it was possible, as says the remnant of an hieroglyphic inscription there discovered, " for ships to sail direct from the Nile to Persia, over Saba." In the time of Herodotus the canal was in constant use (ii. 158, iv. 39): afterwards, when Egypt regained her independence, it decayed, till restored by the second Ptolemy. Even the circumnavigation of Africa was attempted under Xerxes (Herod. iv. 43). It has already been mentioned, that, in his efforts to conciliate the Egyptians, Darius placed his chief reliance on the priest-hood: and the same tendency runs throughout the imperial policy toward the conquered races. Thus Cyrus himself gave the exiled Jews in Babylon permission to return and rebuild Jerusalem. Darius allowed the restoration of the Temple; and Artaxerxes I., by the protection accorded to Ezra and Nehemiah, made the foundation of Judaism possible (see JEws: §§ 19 sqq.). Analogously in an edict, of which a later copy is preserved in an inscription (see above), Darius commands Gadatas, the governor of a domain (irapaSecvot) in Magnesia on the Maeander, to observe scrupulously the privileges of the Apollo-sanctuary. With all the Greek oracles—even those in the mother-countrythe Persians were on the best of terms. And since these might reasonably expect an enormous extension of their influence from the establishment of a Persian dominion, we find them all zealously medizing during the expedition of Xerxes. For the development of the Asiatic religions, the Persian Empire was of prime importance. The definite erection of a single, vast, Religion . world-empire cost them their original connexion with the state, and compelled them in future to address themselves, not to the community at large, but to individuals, to promise, not political success nor the independence of the people, but the welfare of the man. Thus they became at once universal and capable of extension by propaganda ; and, with this, of entering into keen competition one with the other. These traits are most clearly marked in Judaism; but, after the Achaemenid period, they are common to all Oriental creeds, though our information as to most is scanty in the extreme. In this competition of religions that of Iran played a most spirited part. The Persian kings—none more so than Darius, whose religious convictions are enshrined in his inscriptions—and, with the kings, their people, were ardent professors of the pure doctrine of Zoroaster; and the Persians settled in the provinces diffused his creed throughout the whole empire. Thus a strong Persian propagandism arose especially in Armenia and Cappadocia, where the religion took deep root among the people, but also in Lydia and Lycia. In the process, however, important modifications were introduced. In contrast with Judaism, Zoroastrianism did not enter the lists against all gods save its own, but found no difficulty in recognizing them as subordinate powers—helpers and servants of Ahuramazda. Consequently, the foreign creeds often reacted upon the Persian. In Cappadocia, Aramaic inscriptions have been discovered (19oo), in which the indigenous god, there termed Bel the king, recognizes the " Mazdayasnian Religion " (Din Mazdayasnish)—i.e. the religion of Ahuramazda personified as a woman—as his sister and wife (Lidzbarski, Ephem. f. semit. Epigr. i. 59 sqq.). The gorgeous cult of the gods of civilization (especially of Babylon), with their host of temples, images and festivals, exercised a corresponding influence on the mother-country. Moreover, the unadulterated doctrine of Zoroaster could no more become a permanent popular religion than can Christianity. For the masses can make little of abstractions and an omnipotent, omnipresent deity; they need concrete divine powers, standing nearer to them-selves and their lot. Thus the old figures of the Aryan folk-religion return to the foreground, there to be amalgamated with the Babylonian divinities. The goddess of springs and streams (of the Oxus in particular) and of all fertility—Ardvisura Anahsta, Anaitisis endowed with the form of the Babylonian Ishtar and Befit. She is now depicted as a beautiful and strong woman, with prominent breasts, a golden crown of stars and golden raiment. She is worshipped as the goddess of generation and all sexual life (cf. Herod. i. 131, where the names of Mithras and Anaitis are interchanged) ; and religious prostitution is transferred to her service (Strabo xi. 532, xii. 559). At her side stands the sun-god Mithras, who is re-presented as a young and victorious hero. Both deities occupy the very first rank in the popular creed; while to the theologian they are the most potent of the good powers—Mithras being the herald and propagator of the service of Light and the mediator betwixt man and Ahuramazda, who now fades more into the background. Thus, in the subsequent period, the Persian religionappears purely as the religion of Mithras. The festival of Mithras is the chief festival of the empire, at which the king drinks and is drunken, and dances the national dance (Ctes. fr. 55; Duris fr. 13). This development culminated under Artaxerxes II., who, according to Berossus (fr. 16 ap. Clem. Alex. prat. i. 5, 65), first erected statues to Anaitis in Persepolis, Ecbatana, Bactria, Susa, Babylon, Damascus and Sardis. The truth of this account is proved by the fact that Artaxerxes II. and Artaxerxes III. are the only Achaemenids who, in' their inscriptions, invoke Anaitis and Mithra side by side with Ahuramazda. Other gods, who come into prominence, are the dragon-slayer Verethraghna (Artagnes) and the Good Thought (Vohumano, Omanos) ; and even the Sacaean festival is adopted from Babylon (Berossus fr. 3; Ctes., fr. 16; Strabo xi. 512, &c.). The chief centres of the Persian cults in the west were the district of Acilisene in Armenia (Strabo xi. 532, &c.), the town of Zela in Cappadocia (Strabo xii. 559), and several cities in Lydia. The position of the Persian monarchy as a world-empire is characteristically emphasized in the buildings of Darius and Xerxes in Persepolis and Susa. The peculiarly national basis, still recognizable in Cyrus's architecture at Pasargadae, `fin recedes into insignificance. The royal edifices and sculptures are dependent, mainly, on Babylonian models, but, at the same time, we can trace in them the influence of Greece, Egypt and Asia Minor ; the last in the rock-sepulchres. All these elements are combined into an organic unity, which achieved the greatest creations that Oriental architecture has found possible. Nevertheless, the result is not a national art, but the art of a world-empire; and it is obvious that foreign craftsmen must have been active in the royal services—among them, the Greek sculptor Telephanes of Phocaea (Pliny xxxiv. 68). So, with the collapse of the empire, the imperial art vanishes also: and when, some 500 years later, a new art arose under the Sassanids, whose achievements stand to those of Achaemenid art in much the same relation as the achievements of the two dynasties to each other, we discover only isolated reminiscences of its predecessor. For the organization and character of the Persian Empire, see Barnabas Brisson, De regio Persarum principatu libri iii. (1590); Heeren, Ideen fiber Politik, Handel and Verkehr der alien Welt, i. ; G. Rawlinson, History of Herodotus, ii. 555 sqq. ; Five Eastern Monarchies, iii. ; Eduard Meyer, Geschichte des Altertunts, iii. On the Satrapies, cf. Krumbholz, De Asiae minoris satrapiis persicis (1883). See also MITHRAS. 3. History of the Achaemenian Empire.—The history of the Persian Empire was often written by the Greeks. The most ancient work preserved is that of Herodotus (q.v.), who supplies rich and valuable materials for the period ending in 479 B.C. These materials are drawn partly from sound tradition, partly from original knowledge—as in the account of the satrapies and their distribution, the royal highway, the nations in Xerxes' army and their equipment. They also contain much that is admittedly fabulous: for instance, the stories of Cyrus and Croesus, the conquest of Babylon, &c. Forty years later (c. 390 B.C.), the physician Ctesias of Cnidus, who for 17 years (414–398 B.C.) remained in the service of the Great King, composed a great work on the Persian history, known to us from an extract in Photius and numerous fragments. Ctesias (q.v.) possesses a more precise acquaintance with Persian views and institutions than Herodotus; and, where he deals with matters that came under his own cognisance, he gives much useful information. For the early period, on the other hand, he only proves how rapidly the tradition had degenerated since Herodotus; and here his narrations can only be utilized in isolated cases, and that with the greatest caution. Of more value was the great work of Dinon of Colophon (c. 340), which we know from numerous excellent fragments; and on the same level may be placed a few statements from Heraclides of Cyme, which afford specially important evidence on Persian institutions. To these must be added the testimony of the other Greek historians (Thucydides, Ephorus, Theopompus, &c., with the histories of Alexander), and, before all, that of Xenophon in the Anabasis and Hellenica. The Cyropaedia is a didactic romance, written with a view to Greek institutions and rarely preserving genuine information on the Persian Empire. Of Oriental sources, only the contemporary books of Ezra and Nehemiah are of much importance: also, a few statements in the much later Esther romance. Berossus's history of Babylon contained much valuable and trust-worthy information, but next to nothing has survived. That the native tradition almost entirely forgot the Achaemenid Empire, has been mentioned above. For a more detailed account of these sources see separate articles on HERODOTUS, &c.; EZRA; and NEHEMIAH. Of modern accounts see especially Th. Noldeke, Aufsatze zur persischen Geschichte (1887). The works of Marquart, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte von Eran (2 pts., 1896-1905), abound in daring theories and must be used with caution. On the chronology, cf. Eduard Meyer, Forschungen zur alien Geschichte, ii. The external history of the empire is treated under the List of the individual kings (see also history sections of Kings. articles GREECE; EGYPT; &c.). The order is as follows:
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