This articlefocuses on Achaemenid Persia’s rule of the Levant. It explains that the Levant fell under the control of Persia after Cyrus the Great defeated the last Babylonian king,Nabodinus, in 539 BC. The article describes the conquest and organisation of the Levant from 539–486 BC, the situation of the Levant under Persian domination in the fifth century and the disturbances and changes in the Levant from 404–332 BC. It also highlights the difficulty in reconstructing the history of Levant during the Iron Age III or the Persian Period.
This article discusses the Ptolemaic legacy and Egyptian independence; the annexation of Egypt; and the first Roman prefects in Egypt. In contrast to earlier changes of ruler, the annexation of Egypt by Octavian represents a particularly lasting break in the country's history. Octavian was quickly able to stabilize Roman authority in the newly created province. As in the other provinces of the empire, a new, well-designed, and effective administration was speedily introduced. It was headed by the prefect, the direct representative of the emperor. To secure his rule, Octavian-Augustus also sought engagement with the priests, the elite of the country. This is evident in the numerous temples that were built, particularly in areas of strategic and economic importance.
Roman Egypt is the only part of the ancient world where documentary evidence for the age composition of the general population has survived. Pertinent information is provided by extant census returns from the first three centuries of Roman rule. Gathered every fourteen years, these documents list the members of individual households with their names, familial status, and ages. Knowledge of the age distribution enables us to track mortality rates and infer average life expectancy, which is a critical measure of overall well-being. This article discusses mortality patterns, causes of death, and disease and physical well-being.
Paul J. Kosmin
Alexander’s conquest of the Achaemenid Empire marks a watershed in Iranian history. The conquest and the Greek sources available that discuss it are assessed, as is Alexander’s treatment of Iranian cities and their inhabitants. The influence of Achaemenid ceremony on Alexander and his successors is analyzed. The conflicts between Alexander’s successors, particularly Antigonus and Eumenes, over succession to his conquered domains were equally important for the future of western Iran, as was the eventual emergence of a new empire under Seleucus I. The organization of Seleucid rule in western Iran and the archaeological and epigraphic evidence of its extent are summarized.
Marjorie S. Venit
Distinguished in the first century
Randall W. Younker
This articleexamines some of the major developments in Ammon during the Iron Age II. It explains that the Ammonites became an important local polity on the central Jordanian plateau from about the middle of the second millennium BCEuntil the latter part of the first millennium BCE, and that they were known for their numerous encounters with the biblical Israelites and their control of the Fertile Crescent. The article also discusses the geographic extent of Ammon, the settlement patterns of the Ammonites, and their material culture and architecture.
This article addresses Anatolia during the Neolithic, a time-span covering approximately 5,000 years, and a geographical region broadly covering modern-day central and southern Turkey. The period is traditionally divided up chronologically into time spans which broadly correspond to those of the Levant. These are, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN), which is further subdivided into the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) (c.10000–8550), and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, which is itself further subdivided into early, middle and late: EPPNB (c8550–8100), MPPNB (c8100–7300), the LPPNB (c7300–6750), and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (PPNC) (c6750–6300). This is followed by the Pottery Neolithic (PN), which includes the subdivisions of ‘Hassuna’ and ‘Samarra’ (until c6000), and ‘Halaf’ (c6000–5200) periods. The sites chosen include features ranging from the small to large-scale: Domuztepe with its Death Pit, containing the disarticulated and further fragmented remains of around forty people; Göbekli Tepe, a mountain-top site displaying monumental stone pillars, sculptures, and shrines; and Çayönü Tepesi, with its communal architecture and ‘special buildings’, including the Skull Building, which contained the remains of over 450 people.
This article focuses on the relationship between the Hittites of Anatolia and the people of the Levant. It explains that a new orientation of Near Eastern contact and trade emerged during the late third and early second millennia which made the Levant a crossroad of land routes and maritime contacts. This article describes the Hittite military intervention in Syria, the situation of the Ugarit under Hittite overlordship, and the Ura and the Hittite participation in Mediterranean trade. It also discusses the breakdown of Hatti, Ugarit, and the economic and political systems of the Levant about 1200 BC and identities the factors that contributed to the decay of Hittite control in the Levant.
This article examines Anatolian–Transcaucasian interactions spanning the Chalcolithic through the Bronze Age. The five millennia surveyed here have highlighted some broad patterns of cultural interaction. At present, evidence suggests that farming was introduced to the Transcaucasus. It appears fully fledged in the late seventh millennium
G. Kenneth Sams
This article provides an overview of the first millennium