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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 183 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MESOMEDES of Crete, Greek lyric poet, who lived during the and century A.D. He was a freedman of the emperor Hadrian, on whose favourite Antinous he is said to have written a panegyric. Two epigrams by him in the Greek anthology (Anthol. pal. xiv. 63, xvi. 323) and a hymn to Nemesis are extant. The hymn is of special interest as preserving the ancient musical notation written over the text. Two other hymns—to the muse Calliope and to the sun—formerlyeastward from northern maritime Syria. The earliest Name, appearance of a Semitic name of this kind is in the last paragraph of the biography of Ahmose of el-Kab, the aged officer of Tethmosis (Thutmose) I. As early therefore as the late 16th century B.C. the name Naharin (N'h'ryn') was in use. That the name was connected with nahar (a river) was plain to some of the Egyptian scribes, who wrote the word with determinative for water " in addition to that for " country." The scribes show no suspicion, however, of the name's being anything but a singular.' Is it possible that a consciousness that the word was not a plural can have survived till the early Christian centuries, when the Targum of Onqelos (Onkelos) rendered Naharaim by " the river Euphrates " (Pethor of Aram which is on the Euphrates: Deut. xxiii. 4 [51)? The Naharin or Naharen of the Egyptian texts appears some five generations later in the Canaanitic of the Amarna letters in the form Nabirim(a), which would seem therefore to be the pronunciation then prevalent in Phoenicia (Gebal) and Palestine (Jerusalem). About the same time Naharin (N-h-ry-n) is given as the northern boundary of Egypt's -domain (year 30 of Amenhotep or Amenophis III.), over against Kush in the south (tomb of Khamhet: Breasted, Anc. Rec. ii. 350). The origin of the name is suggested by the Euphrates being called " the water of Naharin,"-on the Karnak stele more fully " the water of the Great Bend (phr wr) of Naharin (N-h-r-n) " (Breasted, Anc. Rec. ii. 263), or on the Constantinople obelisk simply " the Great Bend of Naharin " (loc. cit. note d). The precise meaning of phr wr is not certain. When Breasted renders Great Bend " of the Euphrates he is probably thinking of the great sweep round between Birejilc-Zeugma and Ralcica-Nicephorium. W. M. Muller, on the other hand, rendering Kreislauf, explains it of the Euphrates water system as a whole, thought of as encompassing Naharin. The Sea of the Great Bend would seem to be the sea fed by the north-to-south waters of Naharin, just as the Mediterranean, fed by the south-to-north' waters of the Nile, is called the Great Circle (In wr). For many centuries after Amenophis IV. the name cannot be found. The next occurrence is in Hebrew (Gen. xxiv. 1o=J) where the district from which a wife for Isaac is brought is called Aram-Naharaim. The diphthongal pronunciation of the termination aim is probably a much later development. We should probably read something like Aram-Naharim. The meaning is: the Naharim portion of the Aramaic speaking domain? Probably the author thought primarily of the district of Harran.3 Some generations later Aram-Naharim is used of the district including Pethor, a town on the west bank of the Euphrates' (Deut. xxiii. ' The threefold n after Nahar in a stele of Persian or Gretk.. times (healing of Bentresh) is probably only the determinative for " water," a fourth n being accidentally omitted (Breasted, Ancient Records, iii. § 434). - 2 Cf. Aram-Damascus, which means, the Damascus portion of the Aramaic domain ; and har-Ephraim, which means, the Ephraim portion of the (Israelitish) highlands—EV " Mount Ephraim.' - 3 Hal6vy's suggestion that we are to look towards the Hauriin, and think of the rivers of Damascus, has not met with favour. Padan-Aram (Rev. Vers. better Paddan-Aram), Gen. xxv. 20, &C., rendered by the Septuagint " Mesopotamia of Syria," is obscure. Paddan has been connected phonetically with Patin, west of the Euphrates, and explained by others as a synonym for Harran. ¢=D). The Syriac version of the Old Testament (and cent. A.D. ?) uses Beth Nahrin. This may or may not imply the belief that Nahrin is a plural. Eventually that belief was general, as is proved by the substitution of the normal feminine plural (for the supposed masculine) in the alternative form Beth Nahrawatha (e.g. Wright, Chron. Joshua Styl. §§ 49, 5o). Beth is probably the Syriac equivalent of the Assyrian Bit as in Bit-Adini (see below, § 3 viii.), as is shown by such names as Beth `Arbaye, " district of Arabians," Beth Armaye, " district of Aramaeans." The Parapotamia of Strabo xvi. 2, 11, would be a suitable Greek equivalent. Mesopotamia seems to imply the view that beth is the preposition " amid, which has the same form,' but need not imply the meaning " between," that is, the idea that there were precisely two rivers. There is evidence of the use of this form as early as the Septuagint translation of the Pentateuch (3rd cent. B.c.). It is natural to suppose it was adopted by the Greeks who accompanied Alexander's expedition. Xenophon does not use it. As early as the time of Ephraem (d. A.D. 373) the use of the Syriac Gezirthd, " island," had come in, and over a century earlier Philostratus reported (Life of Apollonius, i. 20) that the Arabs designated Mesopotamia as an island' This term in the form al-Gazira became, and still is, the usual Arabic name. The absence of any equivalent names in Babylonian or Assyrian documents is noteworthy,' especially as the Babylonians spoke of the " Sea-Country " (mat Tamtim). The name was not distinctive enough from the point of view of Babylonia, which belonged to the same water system. Tiglath-pileser L (Octagon Prism, 6, 40, 42 seq.) sums up the results of the military operations of his first five years as reaching from the Lower Zab Riviera to the Euphrates Riviera (ebirtan Puratti, well rendered " Parapotamia " by Winkler') and Uatte-land; but this is obviously not a proper name in the same sense as Naharin.b That probably originated in the maritime district of Syria. Whilst the names we have mentioned are derived from physical geography, there are related names the meaning and origin of which are not so clear. Tethmosis III. is said, in a tomb which contains a picture of " the chief of Kheta," to have " overthrown the lands of My-tn " (Breasted, Anc. Rec. ii. § 773), which lands are mentioned also in his hymn of victory (Breasted, Anc. Rec. ii. § 659). Amenophis II. receives tribute from the " chiefs of My-tn (Breasted, Anc. Rec. ii. § 804). In the bilingual Hittite inscription of Tarqudimme the land is called " the land of the city of Metan," just as in the Hittite documents the Hittite country in Asia Minor is called " the land of the city of Khatti." Metan is clearly the same as Mitanni, over against Khatti, mentioned e.g. by Tiglath-pileser I. (vi. 63), which is the same as Mitanni, several letters from which are in the Amarna collection. Since a Mitanni princess of these letters is called in E ptian scarabs a princess of Naharin, it is clear that Mitanni and Naharin are more or less equivalent, whilst in the Amarna letters even Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, seems to use in the same way the name Khanigalbat. A shorter form of this name is Khani, which it is difficult not to connect with Khana, the capital of which at one time was Tirqa, on the Euphrates, below the Khabur (see § 4). The slowly accumulating data have not yet made it possible to determine precisely the probably varying relations of these various names. The great astrological work uses a term of still wider signification, Subartu, eventually Sun (written Su. EniN ; see especially Winckler's discussion in Or. Lit.-Zeit., 1907). This represented one of the four quarters of the world in the early Babylonian view, the other three being Akkad (i.e. Babylonia) in the " north," Elam in the " south," and Amurru in the " west." It appears to have denoted the territory above Babylonia stretching from Anshan in the south-east north-westwards, across the Tigris-Euphrates district, indefinitely towards Asia Minor. At an early time it seems to have formed along with Anshan a distinct kingdom. Strabo (xvi. 746) makes the south limit of Mesopotamia the Median wall; Pliny (v. 24 § 21) seems to extend it to the Persian Extent Gulf. The Latin term naturally varied in meaning Tekrit. In the tract defined, physical changes unconnected with civilization have been slight as compared with those in Babylonia; the two great rivers, having cut themselves deep channels, could not shift their courses far. i. Natural Divisions.—The stretch from Samsat and Jeziret-ibn-`Omar to the alluvial plain seems to divide itself naturally into three parallel belts, highland watershed district, un- dulating plains and steppe. (I) The Taurus foothill barrier that shuts off the east to west course of the Euphrates and, Tigris culminates centrally in the rugged volcanic I{araja-Dagh (6070 ft.) which blocks the gap between the two rivers, continued eastwards by the mountainous district of Tar-`Abdin (the modern capital Midyat is at a height of 3500 ft.) and westwards by the elevated tract that sends down southwards the promontory of J. Tektek (c. 1950 ft.). (2) At the line where this east to west wall ends begins the sea of undulating plains where there is enough rain for abundant wheat and barley. (3) From the alluvial flats upwards toward these undulating plains is an extensive stretch of steppe land almost destitute of rain. Not fat above the transition from the barren steppe is a second mountain wall (125 m. between extremities) roughly parallel with the first, consisting of the Sinjar chain (about 3000 ft., limestone, 5o m. long, 7 m. broad), continued westwards after a marshy break by the volcanic Tell Kokab (basalt, about 1300 ft.), and then the `Abd al-'Aziz range (limestone), veering upwards towards its western end as if to meet the Tektek promontory from the north. ii. Drainage.—The water system is thus determined. West of Tektek drains into the Belikh, east of Tektek into the Khabur. All this drainage, collected into two rivers, the Belikh and the Khabur, is towards the left bank of the Euphrates, for the Mesa-. potamian watershed seems to be only some 15 m. or less from the Tigris until, south of the Sinjar range, it lies farther west, and the Tharthar river is possible. The Belikh (Balkh, Bilechas, Ba),Leaos 7) a stream some 30 ft. wide, has its main source some 50 M. north in the `Ain Khalil ar-Raliman, but receives also the waters of the united Nahr al-Kut (in its upper course formerly the Daisan, ZKtaros) from Edessa and Kopru Dagh, and the Jullab from Tektek Dagh about as much farther north. The Khabur (Chabur, Chaboras'), 8o-too ft. wide, before its last 40 M. reach in a south-west direction, has a 70 m. reach due north and south from Tell Kokab (about 1300 ft.), near which are united the jaghjagh (earlier, Hirmas, 20 ft. in width), which has come 5o m. from Nasibin in the north-east, bringing with it the waters of the many streams from the Tar 'Abdin highlands; the north `Awij, which at certain seasons brings much water due south from Mardin, and the main stten ii of the Khabur, which has come 6o m. from Ras al-'Ain-in the north-, west, after flowing So m. by way of Weranshahr from Karaja Dagh in the north. The Tharthar (Assyrian Tartar, in Tukulti-Ninib II.'§ inscription) begins in the Sinjar range and runs southwards, to lose itself in the desert a little above the latitude of Hit. So it was two generations before Ahab (Annales de Tukulti Ninip, V, Scheil, 1909).. The Arabian geographers represent the Tharthar as connected at its upper end (by a canal?) with the Khabur system. ' In general the Tigris is considered to belong to Assyria or Babylonia, and all west of the Euphrates to Arabia or Syria. 7 Cf. Ritter, Erdkunde, v. 250-253. Ibid. xi. 253-265. with the changing extent of Roman authority. For example, under Trajan Mesopotamia reached the gulf and was bounded by Assyria and Armenia. In modern times it is often There may be further evidence of the prevalence of the interpretation " amid " if the difficult bainath athrawatha of Cureton, Anc. Syr. Doc. p. 112, I. 21, is correctly rendered in Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syr. 469, " Mesopotamia," and if we may assume a reading Nahrawatha for Athrawatha. 'Compare the use of the adjective, Ephr. Op. Gr. ii. 403 (cf. B. O. i. 145, 168, 169), and the noun, B. O. ii. to8, 109. Mesopotamian personal names like Na-ha-ra-a-u occur (cf. Johns, Deeds and Documents, iii. 127) ; but these may be connected with a divine name Nachor. ' Aussug vorderas. Gesch. 34; on the meaning see Alt.-orient. Forsch. iii. 349. It seems worth considering, however, whether ebir nari (see johns, Assyr. Doomsday Book, 69; Winckler, Alt.-or. Forsch. 212; Wins, Anc. Heb. Trail., index) is not in origin practically a Begriff equivalent to Naharin. used for the whole Euphrates-Tigris country.' That would pro-vide a' useful name for an important geographical unit, but is too misleading. In view of historical and geographical facts there is much to be said for applying the name Mesopotamia to the country drained by the Khabur, the Belikh, and the part of the Euphrates connected therewith. It would thus include the country lying between Babylonia on the south and the Armenian Taurus highlands on the north, the maritime Syrian district on the west, and Assyria proper on the east. That is practically the sense in which it is treated in this article.' We may begin, however, with the definition of Jezlra by the Arabic geographers, who take it as representing the central part of the Euphrates-Tigris system, the part, namely, lying between the alluvial plains in the south and the mountainous country in the north. Measured on the Euphrates, this would be from the place where the river, having bored its way through the rocks, issues on to the high plain a little above Samsat (Samosata) only 1500 ft. above the sea, to somewhere about Hit (Is=Id), where, probably less than 150 ft. above the sea, it begins to make its way through the alluvial deposits of the last'few millenniums. In these 750 M. it has descended less than 1400 ft. Measured on the Tigris Mesopotamia would stretch from some-where between Jeziret-ibn-'Omar and Mosul to somewhere below iii. Character of Surface'—(1) The tract between the Belikh and the Euphrates is in its middle section exceedingly fertile, as is implied in the name Anthemusia, and according to v. Oppenheim (Z. d. Gesellsch. f. Erdkunde, 36, 1901, p. 8o) the same is true of the southern portion also. The plain extending from Urfa to a dozen miles below Harran has a rich red-brown humus derived from the Nimrod Dagh east of Edessa. (2) The rolling plains north of the 'Abd at 'Aziz Sinjar mountain wall are intersected by the many streams of the Khabur system (the Arab geographer Mustaufi speaks of 300 feeders), which under favourable political and administrative conditions would produce a marked fertility. At Nasibin (Nisibis) rice is cultivated with success. (3) The country south of the mountain range is steppe land, imperfectly known, and of little use except for nomadic tribes, apart from the banks of the rivers (on which see EUPHRATES, TIGRIS). It consists mainly of grey dreary flats covered with selenite; and a little below the surface, gypsum. Bitumen is found at Hit, whence perhaps its name (Babylonian Id in Tukulti Ninib II.'s inscription referred to above), and near the Tigris .2 iv. Climate.3—Mesopotamia combines strong contrasts of climate, and is .a connecting link between the mountain region of western Asia and the desert of Arabia. At Der ez-Zor, for example, the heat is intense. (I) In the steppe, during the sandstorms which frequently blow from the West Arabian desert the temperature may rise to 122° F. On the other hand, in winter the warm currents coming in from the Persian Gulf being met to a large ex-tent by northerly currents from the snow-covered tracts of Armenia, are condensed down on to the plain and discharge moisture enough to cover the gravel steppes with spring herbage. (2) In the higher plains, in mid winter, since the high temperature air from the gulf is drawn up the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris there may be, e.g. at Mosul, a " damp mildness." In spring the grass on the rolling plains is soon parched. So when the hot sandstorms blow in the lower steppe the scorching heat is carried right up to the foot of the mountains. On the other hand, since the spurs of the Taurus bring the winter cold a long way south, and the cold increases from west to east as we leave the mild coast of the Mediterranean, far down into the Mesopotamian plain the influence of the snow-covered ridges can be felt, and in the higher parts of the plain snow and ice are not infrequent; and although there is no point of sufficient altitude to retain snow for long, the temperature .may fall as low as 14° F., especially if the cold north winds are blowing. The cycle of vegetation begins in November. The' first winter rains clothe the plain with verdure, and by the beginning of the year various bulbous plants are in bloom. The full summer development is reached in June. By the end of August, everything is burnt up; August and September are the low-water months in the rivers, March to May the time of flood. v. Flora.*—(I) Botanical lists have been published by von Oppenheim (Von; Mittelmeer zum Persischen Golf, ii. 373-388) of a collection made in 1893 containing 43 entries for Mesopotamia, and by E. Herzfeld (Herbaraufnahmen aus Kal'at-. erjeat-Assur, in Beiheft II. zur Or. Lit.-Zeit, 1908, pp. 29-37) of a collection made in 1903-1905 in the neighbourhood of Assur, containing 181 entries. (2) The following are among the more important products of the central zone of Mesopotamia: wheat, barley, rice (e.g. at Saruj, the Khabur), millet, sesemum (for oil, instead of olive), dura (Holcgts sorghum and H. bicolor) ; lentils, peas, beans, vetches; cotton, hemp, safflower, tobacco; Medicago saliva (for horses); cucumber, melons, water-melons, figs (those of Sinjar famed for sweetness), dates (below, 'Ana and Tekrit); a few timber trees; plane and white poplar (by streams), willow and sumach (by the Euphrates). The sides of Karaja-Dagh, J. 'Abd el-'Aziz and Sinjar are wooded, but not now the neighbourhood of Nisibis. (3) In the steppe the vegetation is that which prevails in similar soil from Central Asia to Algeria; but many ofPthe arborescent plants that grow in the rockier and more irregular plateaux of western Asia, and especially of Persia, have been reported as missing. Endless masses of tall weeds, belonging to a few species, cover the face of the country—large Cruciferae, Cynareae and Umbelliferae—also large quantities of liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra and echinata) and Lagonychium, and the white ears of the Imperata. In autumn the withered weeds are torn up by the wind and driven immense distances. vi. Faunas—The following abound: wild swine, hyaena, jackal, cheetah, fox; gazelle (in herds), antelope species (in the steppe); jerboa, mole, porcupine, and especially the common European rat (in the desert); bat, long-haired desert hare. The following are rare: wild ass; beaver, said to have been observed on the Euphrates; wolf, among others a variety of black wolf (Canis lycaon), said to be found in the plains; lion, said to roam as far as the Khabur. On the Euphrates are the following: vulture, owl, raven, &c., also the falcon (Tinnanculus alaudarsus), trained to hunt. Among game birds are: wild duck and goose, partridge, francolin, some kinds of dove, and in the steppe the buzzard. The ostrich seems almost to have disappeared. Large tortoises abound, and, in the 'Ain el-'Arus pool, fresh-water turtles and carp. Of domestic 1 Ritter, Erdkunde, xi. 493-498. 2 See Geog. Journ. Ix. 528-532 (with map). litter, xi. a98-499. ' Ibid., xi. 499-502. `6 Ibid., xi. 502-510.animals in the steppe the first place belongs. to the camel; next come goat and sheep (not the ordinary fat-tailed variety); the common buffalo is often kept by the Arabs and the Turkomans on the Euphrates and the Tigris; on the Euphrates is found the Indian zebu. vii. Towns.'—The towns that have survived are on the rivers. Such are Samsat (see SAMOSATA), Ralfl a (Nicephorium) above the mouth of the Belikh, Deer ez-Zor, a rising town on the right bank, where there is (since 1897) a stone bridge, 'Ana (on an island; see ANA), Hit (Is, Bab. Id), on the Euphrates; Jeziret ibn 'Omar, Mosul (q.v.), Tekrit, on the Tigris; Edessa (q.v.), Harran (q.v.), on confluents of the Belikh; Veranshehr (Tela), Ras al-'Ain (Rhesaena), Mardin (half-way up the mountain wall), and Nasibin (Assyr. Nasibina' Nisibis), on confluents of the Khabur; Sin*. (Singara) on the Tharthar. Villages are more numerous than has often been supposed. Von Oppenheim counted in the district west of Edessa: and Harran, in a stretch of two days' march, 30o flourishing villages. At one time, however, Mesopotamia was teeming with life. The lines of the rivers are marked at frequent intervals by the ruins of flourishing towns of Assyrian, Roman and Caliphate times. Such are BirejIl , Jerablus, TellAbmar, Kal 'at en-Najm, Balis, Karkisiya (Qarqisiya, Circesium), on the Euphrates; Kuyunjik, Nimrod on the Tigris; Khorsabad on a small tributary; `Arban, Tell Khalaf, on the Khabur. The interesting oasis town el-Haar (Hatra) is near the Tharthar. Excavation has hardly begun. The country is covered with countless mounds (tells), each of which marks the site of a town. The documents from the ancient Tirqa said to have been found at `Ishara, a few miles belowKartcisiya, are referred to below (§ 4). At Anaz( = DUr of Tiglathpileser IV.) was found in' 1901 a slab (Pognon, Inscript. Am. de la Syrie, Plate xxvi. No. 59)' with a bas-relief and an inscription of the governor of Mir, Mushezib Shamash? The stele referred to below (§ 7, end) as being probably' Nabonidus's was found in 1906 some 15-20' W. of Eski-Harran, a little nearer to it thdn to Umeira, which is west of Eski-Hardin, an hour and a half north-east of the ruins of Harran. Parts of Mesopotamia have probably always harboured wandering tribes. Exactly how far the intervening lands beyond reach of the streams have done so it is difficult to make out. Fraser (Short Cut to India, p. 134) insists that in the undulating plains the direct rainfall is quite sufficient for agricultural purposes. viii. Political Divisions.—On the whole the natural lie of. the country has been reflected in the political divisions, which have of course varied in detail. We only mention some of those most often occurring. In the pre-Persian period, besides those referred to elsewhere, we may cite Kashyari (TUr `Abdin), Guzanu (Gozan of 2 Kings 6; in the Khabur district), Bit Adini (Osroene), Kummukh (north-west corner and beyond) ; in the Roman period,, Osroene (q.v.), Mygdonia (in the east), and in Syriac" usage Beth 'Arbaye (between Nisibis and Mosul) ; in the Arab period, Diarbekr (Toe 'Abdin), Dias. Rebi'a (Mygdonia), Diar Mudar (Osroene). ix. Roads.'—The routes of communication have probably changed little in the last 5000 ,years. It has not yet been proved that Edessa is an ancient city (see EDESSA: § 2) but it probably was, and its neighbour I;larran, the tower of which can be seen from it, bears a name which seems to indicate its position as a highway centre. (I) An obvious series of routes followed the course of the rivers: from Thapsacus (Dibse) down the Euphrates, from Jeziret ibn 'Omar down the Tigris, from Circesium up the Khabur. The Euphrates was crossed at Birejil (Tit Barsip?), or Jerablus (Carchemish ?), or Tell Ahmar (unidentified), or Thapsacus.10 (2) Probably the modern route from Samosata eastwards behind the Karaja Dagh to Diarbekr was also well known. The same is doubt-less true of the route from Osroene by Ras al-'Ain and Nasibin, and that by Veranshehr and Mardin to the Tigris. About other cross-roads, such as those from Harran to Tell Shaddada on the lower Khabur, or from `Ana. by al-IJaclr to Mosul it is difficult to say. Functionally, Mesopotamia is the domain that lies between Babylonia and the related trans-Tigris districts on the one hand, and the west Asian districts of Maritime Syria and mstory; Asia Minor on the other. Its position has given it a Earliest long, complicated and exciting history. The great Times. rivers, in later times theoretically regarded as its boundaries,. have never really been barriers (cf. e.g. Winckler, Altorient. Forschungen, iii. 348), whence the vagueness of the geographic) terminology in all times. Its position, along with its character, has prevented it often or long, if ever, playing a really independent part. Who the earliest inhabitants of Mesopotamia in approximately historical times were is not yet clear. It is possible that its. 'Ritter, Erdkunde, xi. 279-492. 7 For the interpretation cf. Or. Lit.-Zeit. xi. 242-244. On the interpretation see P. Dhorme, Rev. Bibl.(Jan., 1908). ' Ritter, Erdkunde,. xi. 265-278. 10 On these and other crossing places, see Ritter, Erdkunde, x. 959-1004. connexion with the north, and Asia Minor, goes back to a very early date. It may be that some of the early north Babylonian kingdoms, such as Kish, extended control thither. The earliest Babylonian monarch of whose presence in Mesopotamia there is positive evidence is Lugalzaggisi (before 2500 B.C.), who claims, with the help of En-lil, to have led his countless host victorious to the Mediterranean. His empire, if he founded one, was before long eclipsed, however, by the rising power of the Semites. Excavation in Mesopotamia may in time cast some light on the questions whether the Semites really reached Babylonia by way of Mesopotamia,) when, and whom they found there, and whether they partly settled there by the way. Whether Shaun- GI, Manishtusu and Remush (often called Uru-mush) really preceded, and to some extent anticipated, " Sargon " i.e. Shargani-sharri, as L. W. King now 2 plausibly argues, is not certain; nor- whether the 32 kings who revolted and were conquered' by Manishtusu, as we now learn, were by the Mediterranean, as Winckler argued, or by the Persian Gulf, as King holds. That-Sargon was or became supreme in Mesopotamia cannot be doubted, since there is contemporary evidence that he conquered Amurru. The three versions of the proceedings of Sargon (Sharru-GI-NA) in Suri leave us in doubt what really happened. As he must have asserted himself in Mesopotamia before he advanced into the maritime district (and perhaps beyond: see SARGON), what is referred to in the Omens and the Chronicle 26,472 may be, as Winckler argued (Or. Lit.-Zeit. 1907, col. 296), an immigration of new elements into Suri—in that case perhaps one of the early representatives of the " Hittite " group. According to the Omens text Sargon seems to have settled colonies in Suri, and suggestions of an anticipation of the later Assyrian policy of transportation have been found by King (op. cit.) under the rulers of this time, and there are evidences of lively intercommunication. Mesopotamia certainly felt the Sumero-Babylonian civilization early. It was from the special type of cuneiform developed there, apparently, that the later Assyrian forms were derived (Winckler, Altorient. Forsch. i. 86 seq.). What the " revolt of all lands " ascribed to the later part of Sargon's reign means is not yet clear; but he or his son quickly suppressed it. Mesopotamia would naturally share in the wide trade relations of the time, probably reaching as far as Egypt. The importance of Ilarran was doubtless due not only to its fame as a seat of the Moon-god Sin, honoured also west of the Euphrates, and to its political position, but also to its trade relations. Contemporary records of sales of slaves from Amurru are known. When the Semitic settlers of the age of Sargon, whom it is now common with some justice to call Akkadians (see SUMER), had become thoroughly merged in the population, there appeared a new immigrant element, the Amurru, whose advance as far as Babylonia is to be traced in the troubled history of the post-Gudean period, out of the confusion of which there ultimately emerged the Khammurabi dynasty. That the Amurru passed through Mesopotamia, and that some remained, seems most probable. Their god Dagan had a temple at Tirqa (near `Ishara, a little below Circesium), the capital of Khana (several kings of which we now know by name), probably taking the place of an earlier deity. At Tirqa they had month names of a peculiar type. It is not improbable that the . incorporation of this Mesopotamian kingdom with Babylon was the work of Khammurabi himself. Not quite so successful eventually was the similar enterprise farther north at Asshur [or Assur (q.v.)] on the east margin of Mesopotamia, although we do not know the immediate outcome of the struggle between Asshur and the first Babylonian king, Sumu-abi. Possibly the rulers of Babylon had a freer hand in a city that they apparently raised to a dominant position than the Semitic rulers of Asshur, who seem to have succeeded to men of the stock which we have hitherto called Mitanni, if we may judge ' On the theory that it was climatic changes in Arabia that drove the Semites to seek new homes along the route mentioned above, see L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad (191o), which appeared after this article was written. 2 See the preceding note.from the names of Ushpia who, according to Shalmaneser I. and Esarhaddon, built the temple, and Kikia who, according to Ashur-rem-nisheshu, built the city walla The considerable number of such names already found in First Dynasty records seems to show that people of this race were to be found at home as far south as Babylonia. Whether they were really called Shubaru, as Ungnad suggests, we may know later. When Khammurabi's fifth successor saw the fall of the Amorite dynasty in consequence of an inroad of " Hittites," these may have been Mesopotamian Shubaru-Mitanni; but they may, as Ungnad suggests, represent rather an- Hittite Times. cestors of the Hittites of later times. It is difficult in any case not to connect with this catastrophe the carrying away to Khani of the Marduk statue afterwards recovered by Agum, one of the earlier kings of the Kassite dynasty. Whether Hittites were still resident at Khana we do not know. The earlier Kassite kings of Babylon still maintained the Amorite claim to " the four quarters; " but it is improbable that there was much force behind the claim, although we have a document from Khana dated under Kashtiliash. It is just as uncertain how long Asshur remained under the Babylonian suzerainty of which there is evidence in the time of Khammurabi, and what the relation of Asshur to western Mesopotamia was under the early kings whose names have lately been recovered. All these matters will no doubt be cleared up when more of the many tells of Mesopotamia are excavated. Only two have been touched: `Arban on the Khabur, where remains; of a palace of uncertain date, among other things an XVIII. dynasty scarab, were found by Layard in 1851, and Tell Khalaf, where the confluents join, and remains of the palace of a certain Kapar, son of •Hanpan of " Hittite " affinities but uncertain date, were found by von Oppenheim in 1899. A long inscription of a certain Shamshi-Adad [Samsi-Hadad], extracts from which are quoted by Delitzsch (Mitt. d. Deutsch Or.-Gesellschaft No. 21 p. 5o), unfortunately cannot be dated exactly, or with certainty even approximately; but if Delitzsch and Ed. Meyer are right, it belongs to a time not many generations after Agum recovered the Marduk statue. Shamshi-Adad's claims extend over the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates, and he says that he erected memorials of himself on the shore of the Great Sea. The mystery of the Hyksos has not yet been solved; but it is not impossible that they had relations with Mesopotamia. After they had been driven out of Egypt (q.v.), when Ahmose, the officer of Tethmosis (Tbutmose) I., mentions Naharin (late 16th century), he does not say anything about the inhabitants. He seems to imply, however, that there was more than one state. The first mention of Mitanni, as we saw, is under Tethmosis III., who clearly crossed the Euphrates. It is at least possible that common enmity to Mitanni led to a treaty with Assyria (under Ashur-nadin-akhe).4 Victorious expeditions into Naharin are claimed for Amenophis II., Tethmosis IV. and Amenophis III. The Egyptian references are too contemptuous to name the rulers; but Sliaushatar may have begun his reign during the life-time of Tethmosis III., and from cuneiform sources we know the names of six other Mitanni rulers. As they all bear Aryan names, and in some of their treaties appear Aryan deities (Indra, Varuna, Mithra, &c.), it is clear that Mesopotamia had now a further new element in its population, bearing apparently the name Kharri.5 Many of the dynasts in North Syria and Palestine in the time of Tushratta bear names of the same type. The most natural explanation is that Aryans had made their wax into the highlands east of Assyria, and thence bands had penetrated into Mesopotamia, peacefully or otherwise, and then, like the Turks in the days of the Caliphate, founded dynasties. The language of the Mitanni state, however, was neither Aryan nor Semitic, and may very well be that of the mysterious " Hittite " hieroglyphic inscriptions (see HTTTITES). Mitanni was one of the great powers, alongside of Egypt and Babylonia, able to send to Egypt the Ninevite 'Ishtar; and at this time as much as at any ' Ungnad, Beitr. z. Assyr. VI. v. 13. 4 See e.g. P. Schnabel, Stud. z. bab.-ass. Chron. p. 25 (1908). 5 Winckler has identified the Kharri with the Aryans, to whom he assigns a state in Armenia (Or. Lit: Zell., July 1910). other, we must think of common political relations binding the Now that Mesopotamia had passed out of the hands of districts east and west of the Euphrates. The king mentioned above (Shaushatar) conquered Asshur (Assur), and Assyria remained subordinate to Mitanni till near the middle of the 14th century, when, on the death of Tushratta, it overthrew Mitanni with the help of'Alshe, a north Mesopotamian state, the allies dividing the territory between them. The Hittite king's interference restored the Mitannite state as a protectorate, but with a smaller territory, probably in the north-west, where it may have survived long. Assyria was now free, and Ashur-uballit [Assur-yuballidh acc. to Sayce] knew how to make use of his opportunities, and, in the words of his great grandson, " broke up the forces of the widespread Shubari " (AKA, p. 7,1.32 seq.). Knowing what we know of the colonizing power of the Assyrians, we may assume that among the " Mitanni " and other elements in the Mesopotamian. population there would now be an increase of people of " Assyrian " origin. On the tangled politics of this period, especially Mesopotamia's relations with the north-west, the Boghaz-Keui documents may be expected to throw a great deal Qf light. We know already a little more of the chequered history of the Amorites in the Naharin district, beset by great powers on three sides. When Mitanni fell Babylon no doubt adhered to its older claims on Mesopotamia; but the Kassite kings could do little to contest the advance of Assyria, although several rectifications of the boundary between their spheres are reported. Mitanni's fall, however, had opened the way for others also. Hence when Ashur-uballit's grandson, Arik-den-ili (written Aremaeans PU.DI.ili), carried on the work of enforcing Assyria's claim to the heirship of Mitanni, he is described as conquering the warriors ' (?) of the Akhlame and the Suti. The references to these people, who practically make their first appearance in the Amarna correspondence,2 show that they were unsettled bands who took advantage of the loosening of authority to introduce themselves into various parts of the country, in this case Mesopotamia. Gradually settlements were made, the names of many of which are given by the various Assyrian kings who had at one time or another to assert or reassert supremacy over theln—such as Chindanu, Laqe, Subi along the South Euphrates boundary of Mesopotamia, and various districts bearing names compounded with Bit = settlement (see above), such as Bit-Adini (nearly equal the later Osroene; see EDESSA), or Bit-Zamani in the north near Diarbekr. The specific name Aramaean first appears in the annals of Tiglath-pileser I., unless we identify the Arimi of Shalmaneser I. in Tar `Abdin with the Aramu;3 but the name may probably with fitness be applied to a very large number of the communities mentioned from time to time. Their position in Mesopotamia must have been very like that of the Shammar at the present time (see ad fin.). As they gradually adopted settled life in various parts of the country the- use of Aramaic spread more and more (see below, § " Persians "). Meanwhile Mesopotamia continued to be crossed and re-crossed by the endless marches of the Assyrian kings (such as Adad-nirari, Shalmaneser I. and his son), building Assyrian and rebuilding the Assyrian empire (see BABYLONIA Empire.
End of Article: MESOMEDES

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