The Parthians rose to power under the banner of the Arsacid dynasty, their claim to fame being the victory over the Romans in Carrhae (53
This article examines consumerism, with some evidence for the character of consumption in a very particular time and place: Athens in the two centuries between about 500 and 300
Daniel T. Potts
Elamites are the more obscure counterparts of the Babylonian and Assyrian dynasties, inhabiting the southwestern flanks between the Bronze Age and the early Islamic era. They were longtime adversaries of the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. The Elamite language is not rooted in any known proto-language, although hypothetical links are forged with early strains from the prehistoric Indian subcontinent. The primary hints of a polity, called Elam, are based on the Sumerian King List, an ancient document, the contents of which are doubtful. There, however, exist other sources such as the Ur dynasty records, listing the king of Elam as an adversary. Hence, felling of the Akkadian dynasty by the Guti, hailing from the region of Gutium, presumably spelt well for Elamites. Under continuous raids by the forces of the last Ur dynasty (Ur III), the Elamites finally joined forces with another tribe, the Shimashkians, to fell the last Ur dynasty.
Hans van Wees
This article examines genocide in the ancient world, by examining European literature and comparing the atrocities committed during the events of the Trojan War. The massacre of all Troy's male inhabitants and the enslavement of its women and children were fictional, but it had many counterparts in ancient history. It was almost the normative form of genocide in ancient Greece and some other parts of the ancient world, although mass enslavements and mass executions which made no distinctions of gender or age are also widely attested. The Greeks' reasons for treating the Trojans so brutally were typical of the motivations for genocide in antiquity: it was usually an act of ‘conspicuous destruction’, a display of force designed to assert the power and status of the perpetrator in the face of a perceived challenge. Ancient genocide sometimes had a religious dimension.
The lack of Persian sources, both about the fall of the Achaemenid Empire and Seleucid rule in Iran, is an important issue for the Iranian history of this period. All available records being in Greek and Latin, there is a stark absence of the defeated side's (Persian) perspective. Also, while there exists ample record of Alexander's conquest of Iran, the same is not true for the Selueucid period. Alexander's invasion of the Persian empire was the result of political antagonism between the two empires, in the previous two centuries. Both Darius III and Alexander, borne out of internal turmoil of Persia and Greece, respectively, after a long drawn war, spread out across Asia minor, fought the decisive battle at Gaugamela, which resulted in a total Persian defeat. The destruction of the Persepolis, as a reprimand, etched a gross memory in the Persian psyche, enabling a negative profile of Alexander forever.
Michael G. Morony
The fall of the Sasanian Empire in seventh century
Unlike Mesopotamia/Egypt, which possesses a linear topography, Iran's broken topography renders documentation of its archaeological history difficult. An inconsistent topography has engineered development of region-based sociocultural diversity. As such, archaeological documentation has differentially highlighted across the Iranian spectrum. Since it is vertically bracketed between two seas, Iran was the only land bridge accessible to prehistoric hunter-gatherers during migration from Africa to southeast Asia. The rise of early states in the region commenced during the last lithic era (ca. 4000 to 3200 ,,
Philip van der Eijk
This article focuses on a number of developments that have made the place of Graeco-Roman medicine in surveys of the history of medicine. A further development discussed is that medical history now also prominently includes the topic of health, both physical and mental health and related topics such as lifestyle, quality of life, well-being, fitness, and ‘flourishing’. It identifies a number of different mental states or conditions on a scale from an optimum to a pessimum, and thus presents a good example of the scalar, gradualist view of health characteristic of Greek medicine. This article shows philosophy competing with medicine for the role of authoritative guide to health, mental as well as physical, and diagnostic as well as therapeutic. The study of Graeco-Roman medicine has profited significantly from connections and comparisons with the study of the history of medicine, science, and culture from other time frames and other parts of the world.
The Arsacid dynasty found itself, at once, confronting the Romans, and experiencing internal dynastic quarrels. This era concluded with the defeat of the reigning monarch Ardawan IV at the hands of the rebel Ardashir and the latter's conquest of Persis/Fars. The Sasanian campaign ensued on a religious note: Ardashir's father Pabag, also a priest of the fire temple of the Zoroastrian goddess Anahid, rode on the religious factor to dethrone the existing ruler and establish control over Fars. Shupur, Pabag's elder son, died under mysterious circumstances prior to his intended coronation. Ardashir's ascension to throne marked a new era in Persian history. It was during his reign that the Romans were defeated in the battle of Carrhae. Zoroastrianism steadily gained prominence only during the Sasanian era. From the accounts of Zoroastrian priest, Karter, it follows that the Sassanian state functioned in duet with the Zoroastrian order, consolidated and indoctrinated by Karter himself.
David A. Teegarden
This chapter provides an analytical framework for interpreting the history of tyrannicide in ancient Greece. It first explores the Athenians’ idealization of Harmodius and Aristogeiton—two Athenian tyrannicides—during the late archaic and early classical periods. Next, it analyzes the subsequent promotion of tyrannicide outside of Athens: on the Greek mainland in the late classical period; in western Asia Minor during the early Hellenistic period; in the Peloponnesus during the third century B.C.E. Finally, it accounts for the popularity of tyrannicide in ancient Greek political culture, arguing that such acts helped democracy supporters mobilize against nondemocratic regimes and were not considered to be problematic.