ABSTRACTS

ARTICLES


Edward Lipiński (Brussels, Belgium)

JEWISH WIFE REPUDIATES HER HUSBAND 

Keywords: repudiation, divorce money, ’āmāh, second-rank wife, qbšn, mmr

Abstract

The wife’s right to initiate the divorce and to repudiate her husband is attested by Near Eastern documents from the early second millennium B.C. on and it is implied by Ex. 21:7–11, where ’āmāh possibly designates a second-rank wife. This right is clearly formulated in the Jewish Aramaic marriage contracts from Elephantine, which follow a Near Eastern tradition, and it is attested by the legal repudiation of the husband by his wife, written on a papyrus found in the Judaean Desert. The document answers the requirements of such acts: it contains the declaration of divorce, a renunciation to belongings which correspond to the divorce money; it is dated and names the witnesses. The text dates from A.D. 135 and is thus somewhat posterior to the divorce bills sent to their husbands by women belonging to the Herodian family. The wife’s initiative in divorce matters is still well represented in texts from the Cairo Genizah, dated about the 10th century A.D.

 

Jason M. Silverman(Helsinki, Finland)

JUDAEANS UNDER PERSIAN FORCED LABOR AND MIGRATION POLICIES 

Keywords: Forced Labor, Persian policy, Judaeans, Temple function, sociology

Abstract

The use of forced migration and forced labor by the Achaemenids has received almost no scholarly attention, despite hints that both were widely used strategies. Moreover, the implications of these strategies for the Judaean populations within the empire have also gone mostly unnoticed. To understand the relations of these two neglected issues it is necessary to reconstruct both some of the historical evidence for their use and their likely sociological impacts within the Persian Empire with (ethnic) populations at large. Since this would be a major undertaking, this paper primarily seeks to determine on the basis of sociological models of forced labor and migration what kinds of impact on Judaeans can be expected from a few Persian case studies, and which of these impacts are likely to be directly visible within literary traces (i.e., the Hebrew Bible). This discussion will proceed under three headings: building projects, military colonies, and the organization of minority (work) groups. The implications of these results for further research are then suggested.

 

Michał Marciak(Rzeszów, Poland)

FROM EDOM TO IDUMEA:

ANALYSIS OF SELECTEDPASSAGES FROM THE HEXATEUCH 

Keywords: Edom, Idumea, Israel, Judah, Kadesh, Mt. Seir, Negev, ʿArabah

Abstract

This paper deals with selected parallel passages from the Hebrew (MT) and Greek (LXX) Bibles that are relevant to the historical geography of Edom/Idumea: Numbers 20:16, Deuteronomy 2:1, and Joshua 15:1–4. The purpose of the comparison of the Hebrew and Greek texts is to verify that the LXX passages do not contain any textual differences that may reflect historical events that occurred between the time of the composition of the Hebrew Bible and the time of the creation of the Greek Bible (LXX). To be more precise, the historical event in question is the migration of the Edomites from Transjordan into the Negev and southern Judah and the creation of the province of Idumea, which included the entire Negev and southern Judea as far as Beth-Zur. In the end, the comparison shows that, despite minor textual differences, the Greek text does not contain any differences which may be attributed to the influence of the historical event in question.

 

Alexander A. Sinitsyn (Russia)

BRASIDAS IN THE MEGARIAN OPERATION OF 424 BC

IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THUCYDIDES AND DIODORUS SICULUS

Keywords: Peloponnesian War, Thucydides, Diodorus, Brasidas, Hippocrates, Demosthenes, Megara, Nisaea, stasis, Helots

Abstract

By collating the accounts given by Thucydides and Diodorus of the στάσις in Megaris in the summer of 424 BC, the article analyses Brasidas’s actions during the frustrated attack on Megara; it specifies the strength of the defence put up by the Spartan general in this operation, attempts to explain the causes of his return to the Corinthian area after he had helped the Megarians out of their predicament. Loosely based on Thucydides’ account of these events, Diodorus’ account contains digressions from the original text. Diodorus must have upheld the established tradition associated with the legendary Spartan general, so the victory at Megaris, according to Diodorus, was easily won. The article discusses the question of the whereabouts of the Helots, mustered by Brasidas for the already planned march on Chalcidice.

 

Michał Podrazik (Rzeszów, Poland)


CYRUS THE YOUNGER, GREEK ENVOYS, AND THE SO-CALLED TREATY OF BOIOTIOS (409–408 BC)

Keywords: Cyrus the Younger, Athenians, Lakedaimonians, Boiotios, Greek envoys, Persia

Abstract

At the end of the 5th century BC the Persian Empire and the Hellenes from European Greece maintained rather strong relations. During the so-called Ionian War (413–404 BC), both the Lakedaimonians and the Athenians would send their envoys to Darius II, the Great King of Persia, or to his governors in western Asia Minor, with the hopes of gaining some support and winning the ongoing war. At the beginning of the last decade of the 5th century BC the Greek ambassadors began their journey to Susa, which coincided with the arrival of the royal son, Cyrus the Younger, to Anatolia. The subject-matter of the paper is to present political relationships between the Iranian prince and the Greek envoys, Athenian and Lakedaimonian in particular, sent to the Great King in the years 409–408 BC.

 

Aleksei N. Gorin (Uzbekistan)

A NEW SELEUKID MINT: SAMARKAND – MARAKANDA 

Keywords: Marakanda/Afrasiab, Seleukids, Hellenistic coins, Sogdiana, Bactria, An-tiochos

Abstract

The paper considers a group of four unique copper coins. These coins, representing a new type: crab / bee with the legend ‘King Antiochos’, were found between 2004 and 2012 at the site of Afrasiab – the ancient capital of Sogdiana (Marakanda) – and nearby. In the first publication of these coins, A. Atakhodzhaev attributed the coinage to the Seleukid king Antiochos III (223–187 B.C.) during his eastern campaign (c. 212–204 B.C.). The author argues that this coinage should instead be assigned to Antiochos I (ca. 295–281 B.C. – as co-ruler of the eastern satrapies, 281–261 B.C. – as sole ruler) or Antiochos II (261–246 B.C.). It is further postulated that the short-lived mint of Marakanda operated between c. 280 and 250 B.C.

 

Silvia Palazzo (Italy)

I PASSI DI MITRIDATE EUPATORE PER LA CONQUISTA DELL’EUROPA. ESERCITI E STRATEGIE NELLA PRIMA GUERRA MITRIDATICA

Keywords: Mithradates Eupator, Arkathias, Athens, Rome, Sulla

Abstract

Mithridates Eupator’s Steps towards the Conquest of Europe. Pontic Armies and Strategies during the First Mithridatic War

The focus of this paper concerns Arkathias’ military expedition in the First Mithridatic War with emphasis on illuminating Eupator’s strategic plans at the beginning of his war against Rome and determining the situation in Thrace and Macedonia. Although the ancient sources are silent about the beginning of Arkhathias’ expedition and the precise route that he followed, it will be argued that he began his expedition before or at the same time as Archelaos’ journey to Attica, and spent a great amount of time making his way along the difficult roads in Aegean Thrace. Moreover, it will be seen that Arkathias’ army was near the province of Macedonia and controlled a number of key points along the via Egnatia when Sulla arrived in Greece. The article will also argue why Sulla did not attack Arkathias. Finally, it will be argued that the affairs in Thrace and Macedonia are almost entirely absent in the accounts of the ancient authors, particularly Plutarch and Appian, because they relied on Sulla’s Memoirs in which these regions are largely passed over in silence.


Jason M. Schlude (USA)

THE EARLY PARTHIAN POLICY OF AUGUSTUS

Keywords: Parthia, Rome, Octavian/Augustus, Marc Antony, Phraates IV

Abstract

This article addresses the early Parthian policy of Augustus, which proved to be pivotal in the history of Roman-Parthian relations. Considering his importance in this regard, scholars have rightly focused on Augustus and Parthia. Yet they routinely begin their treatments in 31/0 B.C., neglecting evidence that he took action related to Parthia beforehand. In addition, while moderns recognize progressive elements of his Parthian policy, most still unduly emphasize his provocation of Parthia in and after 30 B.C. This article instead argues that Octavian, before 30 B.C., collaborated with Antony in creating an image of Parthia as conquered by Rome for domestic consumption, which later allowed him to pursue constructive foreign relations with Parthia.


Martin Schottky (Germany)

VORARBEITEN ZU EINER KÖNIGSLISTE KAUKASISCH-IBERIENS. 4. VON DEN ARSAKIDEN ZU DEN SASANIDEN


Keywords: Arsacids, Caucasian history, Georgia (Caucasus), Iberia (Caucasus), Pharnabazids

Prolegomena to a King List of Caucasian Iberia 4.

From the Arsacids to the Sasanians

After Xepharnug, who may have lived at the time of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, no Iberian king is mentioned in contemporary and classical sources for hundred years. When emperor Valerian fell in Persian captivity in AD 260, Amazaspos reigned in Iberia, who paid hommage to victorious Shapur. He married Drakontis, daughter of the Armenian Arsacid Vologaeses, who may have been titular ruler of Armenia under Persian overlordship. In this way the last Pharnabazids were indeed also Arsacids, as is maintained in Georgian historical tradition. In the second quarter of the 4th century one Dades ruled, who took over the name Fl(avius) from the so-called second or later Flavians, the house of Constantine the Great. This marks, according to Braund (1993), the end of the Pharnabazids, who must have held Roman citizenship for centuries. The Georgian Chronicle connects the dying-out of the former dynasty with Sasanian rise to power. Abeshura, heiress of the last Pharnabazid king Aspagur, is married to Mirian, son of the Persian great-king, but dies child-less. Modern scholars identify Mirian (called Mihran in Armenian historiography) often with Meribanes, an Iberian king mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus. The date of his attestation (AD 360/61) causes however chronological problems


Valentina Mordvintseva (Crimea)

DECORATED SWORDS AS EMBLEMS OF POWER ON THE STEPPES OF THE NORTHERN BLACK SEA REGION (3RD C. BC – MID–3RD C. AD)

Keywords: decorated sword, burials of elite, centers of political power, Iranians, Bosporan kingdom, nomadic empire

Abstract

The practice of using a sword in a funerary context as one of the items that accompanied the deceased varied considerably in ancient societies. The appearance of ornate swords in a funerary context might indicate that different societies had similar lifestyles and values. The North Pontic region in the “Sarmatian era” is one such territory where decorated swords of barbarian elites have been recovered. The region also consisted of different kinds of societies – Greek poleis, the Greco-barbarian Bosporan Kingdom, and nomadic and sedentary societies that depended to varying degrees on state structures. It is with these considerations in mind that we will focus on the practice of using decorated swords in the burial tradition of this region.


Marta Żuchowska (Poland)

“ROMAN TEXTILES” IN THE HOU HAN SHU.

A 5TH CENTURY CHINESE VISION VERSUS ROMAN REALITY

Key words: Silk Road, long distance trade, ancient textiles, Hou Han shu, Sino-Western relations, Da Qin

Abstract

The paper focuses on the interpretation of terms relating to fabrics from Da Qin (Roman Empire) in the Account of Western Regions (Xi Yu Zhuan) of Hou Han shu (The Book of Han), the official chronicle of the Later Han dynasty composed in the middle of the 5th century AD. A re-examination of the text reveals that Roman textiles as they appear in the Chinese Annals differ greatly from what we know of them in western literary accounts and archaeological remains. Moreover, the argument is made that the primary reason for this misunderstanding is due largely to Chinese philosophy and how the Chinese perceived the world beyond China’s borders


REVIEW ARTICLES


Michał Marciak (Poland)

ADIABENE AND HATRA: SOME REMARKS ON HATRA’S NEIGHBOR

Keywords: Hatra, Adiabene, Trajan, Septimius Severus

Abstract

The article reviews the book “Hatra. Politics, Culture and Religion between Parthia and Rome,” edited by L. Dirven and published in 2013 by Franz Steiner Verlag as volume 21 of the well-known series Oriens et Occidens. It is acknowledged that the book offers the latest research on Hatra. The aim of this article is to contribute to the research on Hatra by taking a look at the regional perspective. Specifically, it is argued that the available sources do not allow us to make far-reaching conclusions about the Roman influence in the neighboring kingdom of Adiabene in the times of Trajan and Septimius Severus. Thus, there was never a “Roman Adiabene” as a province or client kingdom of the Roman Empire. In this sense, both Hatra and Adiabene were integral parts of the Parthian Commonwealth. Furthermore, it is stressed that Hatra and Adiabene had good political and close cultural ties throughout most of the second and early third centuries CE, as they apparently shared the same international challenges and perhaps even the same enemies. In addition, it is likely that both kingdoms mutually profited from transregional trade in the region.


Marek J. Olbrycht (Poland)

Persia Beyond the Imperial Frontiers:

the Nomads of the South Ural Region versus the Near East

Keywords: Achaemenid empire, Iran, Arsacids, South Ural region, nomads, Central Asia

Abstract

This article addresses selected issues concerning the nomads of the South Ural region (= SUR), and their relations with Iran and the lands of the Trans-Caspian and Aral region as well as the Oxos/Amudarya Basin (including Chorasmia), in the Achaemenid and early post-Achaemenid periods. The cultures of the SUR were created by the Sauromatian and Sarmatian tribes belonging to the northern branch of the Iranian speaking peoples. Iran’s close political and cultural relations with the steppes stretching from Karakum and the northern marches of Hyrkania to the SUR had important repercussions for the history of Western and Central Asia, giving rise to the powerful Arsacid state. The Arsacids were descended from the nomadic Dahae, but they also had close connections with the Massagetae, another people inhabiting the Trans-Caspian and Aral region. Historical records on these peoples are sparse, which makes the archaeological material invaluable. A recently published volume by L. Yablonsky and M. Treister entitled Einflüsse der achämenidi-schen Kultur im südlichen Uralvorland (5.- 3. Jh. v.Chr.) (Vienna, 2013) contains an enormous amount of new material which will provide food for vigorous academic discussion on the nomads of the South Ural area and their mutual contacts with the Achemenid Empire, Central Asia, and post-Achemenid states of Western and Central Asia. The research conducted in the SUR over the past thirty years has yielded an astonishing number of artefacts defined as imports from Iran and Central Asia, or as imitations of luxury goods.

 

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