ABSTRACTS

ARTICLES


Edward Lipiński (Brussels, Belgium)

LETTRES DE PHARAONS AUX DERNIERS ROIS D’UGARIT

Keywords: Ugarit, nomenclature of Ramesses III, Merneptah, ‘Ammurapi, Suppiluliuma II, famine periods, vassalage

Abstract

Letters from Pharaohs to the Last Kings of Ugarit

Among the Akkadian tablets found at Ugarit in 1994 and published in 2016, there are two letters sent from Egypt to the king of Ugarit. One of these letters, sent by Ramesses III to ‘Ammurapi, the last king of Ugarit, offers a chronological reference, probably after 1175 B.C. Some drafts of Ugaritic letters addressed to the pharaoh show that the ruler of Ugarit presented himself as a tributary, what shows that this submissive attitude goes back to some periods of the reigns of Ramesses II and of Merneptah, although Ugarit appears in other documents as a vassal state of the Hittite Empire. Periods of famine in the Levant may explain this ambivalent situation to some extent, but a relation of Ugarit with the Hittites and with Egypt in the later 13th  and the early 12th  century B.C. should be conceived in a subtle way.



Michał Podrazik (Rzeszów University, Poland)

THE SKĒPTOUCHOI OF CYRUS THE YOUNGER

Keywords: skēptouchoi, scepter-bearers, Cyrus the Younger, Persians, Xenophon, Artapates

Abstract

The Achaemenid dignitaries known under the Greek term of skēptouchoi (σκηπτοῦχοι, sing. σκηπτοῦχος/skēptouchos), that is ‘scepter-bearers’, are mainly known from the court of the Achaemenid Great King, both from the written and iconographic accounts. Mentions of the skēptouchoi of Cyrus the Younger in Xenophon’s Anabasis indicate that the dignitaries were also present at Cyrus’ court in Anatolia. The aim of this article is to compare the source material about Achaemenid skēptouchoi to Xenophon’s data, and to attempt to determine on this basis the role and position of these dignitaries at the court of Cyrus the Younger, with emphasis on the dignitary called Artapates, ‘the most faithful of Cyrus’ skēptouchoi’.



Waldemar Heckel (University of Calgary, Canada)

WAS SIBYRTIOS EVER SATRAP OF KARMANIA?

Keywords: Sibyrtios, Alexander the Great, Curtius, Arrian

Abstract

The present paper deals with Sibyrtios, one of Alexander’s satraps in Iran. The prevailing view among modern scholars is that in Karmania Alexander replaced the executed satrap Astaspes with Sibyrtios, but that, upon learning that Apollophanes and Thoas, the successive satraps of Gedrosia, had both died, Sibyrtios was transferred from Karmania to the combined satrapy of Arachosia-Gedrosia. Tlepolemos replaced Sibyrtios in Karmania. In effect, scholars follow Arrian, though some have recognized that the names of Apollophanes and Astaspes must have been confused by that author. This study shows that there had been no interim satrap (i.e. Sibyrtios) in Karmania. When Alexander learned of the death of Thoas, he reunited the satrapies of Arachosia and Gedrosia, thus enlarging Sibyrtios’ administrative territory. The man himself had probably never set foot in Karmania.



Marc Mendoza Sanahuja (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

STASANOR OF SOLOI AND THE GOVERNMENT OF BACTRIA DURING THE WARS OF THE DIADOCHI

Keywords: Stasanor of Soloi, Bactria-Sogdiana, Early Diadochi Period, Satrapal government, Hellenistic Central Asia

Abstract

Stasanor of Soloi was a seasoned Greek Companion of Alexander III and the first satrap of Bactria-Sogdiana who achieved a certain political stability in his office. Even though his career is only known through some scanty passages in the sources, this paper tries to fill in the gaps and to reconstruct the government of this man over one of the key satrapies in the East. His policies towards the population of his territory - both local inhabitants and new settlers - and his relationship with other potentates bestowed him a solid post in one of the most tumultous periods of the Hellenistic history.



Daniel T. Potts (New York University, USA)

APPOINTMENT IN APOLLONIA

Keywords: Apollonia, Dura, Oreicon, Molon, Antiochus III, Jabal Hamrin

Abstract

In Book 5 of the Histories Polybius, our only extant source, describes the rebellion of Molon, the Seleucid satrap of Media, in 222 BC. After forcing one of Molon’s generals to raise the siege of a place called Dura, Antiochus III and his army, hoping to intercept Molon en route from Seleucia-on-the-Tigris to Media, marched ‘continuously for eight days’, after which ‘they crossed the mountain called Oreicon and arrived at Apollonia’, near which the final battle and defeat of Molon occurred (Polybius, Hist. 5.52). The present article traces itinerary of this campaign and the principal places involved: Dura, the Oreicon mountain and Apollonia.



Adalberto Magnelli (University of Florence, Italy)
Giuseppe Petrantoni (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

A NOTE ON 7Q19, A GREEK FRAGMENT OF JUBILEES FROM QUMRAN?

Keywords: Qumran, Jubilees, Greek, papyrus, Bible

Abstract

A Greek text written on a broken papyrus impression from Qumran (Cave 7) initially was identified with a possible Pauline epistle.  But, the words κτίσεως, referring to a sort of “creation, foundation”, and ταῖς γραφαῖς, probably relating to the Holy Scriptures, give us a possible evidence that the whole inscription could refer to a Parabiblical or Pseudoepigraphical text.  In fact, a comparison between the Greek fragment 7Q19 from Qumran and the reconstructed Hebrew version of Jubilees 1:29 could show that probably 7Q19 is the first known Greek fragment of a lost Pseudoepigraphical Book of Jubilees.



Nikolaus L. Overtoom (University of New Mexico, USA)

THE PARTHIANS’ UNIQUE MODE OF WARFARE: A TRADITION OF PARTHIAN MILITARISM AND THE BATTLE OF CARRHAE

Keywords: Arsacids, Parthia, Rome, Seleucid Empire, Carrhae, Ancient Warfare

Abstract

The climactic Battle of Carrhae in 53 BCE was the first major engagement between the Romans and Parthians. In the battle, the mobile Parthian army outmaneuvered and overwhelmed Crassus’ much larger force. There is a longstanding, recently restated scholarly tradition that this battle and the Parthians’ approach to it was anomalous; however, this article rejects the notion that the Parthians’ fought atypically at Carrhae. Instead, it investigates the Parthians’ unique tactical and strategic approach to warfare and its long tradition of success since the reign of Arsaces I in the mid-third century BCE. It also illustrates  the Parthians’ implementation of their unique mode of warfare through a close consideration of the decisive events at Carrhae.



Seth Richardson (University of Chicago, USA)

A NOTE ON THE NAME “SINNACES” AND ARMENIAN CLAIMS ON AN ASSYRIAN ROYAL BACKGROUND

Keywords: Sinnaces, Sennacherib, Assyrian royal names

Abstract

Three separate men bearing the princely name “Sinnaces” are mentioned by Josephus, Plutarch, and Tacitus in various tales of Partho-Armenian dynastic intrigues.  The origin of the name is obscure, but this note proposes that it derives from the name of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (r. 705–681 BC), one of a number of Late Antique and medieval Armenian references to a supposed Assyrian background to its royal line.



Jordi Pérez González (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

EX ORIENTE LUXUS. MARCO TEÓRICO SOBRE LA EXISTENCIA DE UNA RED LIBRE DE ESCALA Y EL USO DE SUPERCONECTORES DURANTE EL ALTO IMPERIO ROMANO

Keywords: Luxury trade, Roman networks, hubs, scale-free network, East

Abstract

Ex Oriente Luxus. A Theoretical Framework for the Existence of a Scale-free Network and the Use of Superconnectors during the High Roman Empire

The conquest of the Eastern Mediterranean and the annexation of Egypt under the direct control of Rome gave way to a period of commercial prosperity unprecedented in the history of Rome, where products from all parts of the world could be bought in the taverns of the city. In order to better understand which were producing areas of luxury goods and as it worked its distribution to Rome we have developed a general map of the various routes used by land and sea that formed the intercontinental commercial network during Classical Antiquity. This map will help us better understand what were the major luxury markets under Roman control, what was the role they played in the international network, as they interacted with each other and what were the most important regions within this commercial network.



Ehsan Shavarebi (Universität Wien, Austria)

SAKASTĀN IN DER FRÜHEN SASANIDENZEIT: MÜNZPRÄGUNG UND GESCHICHTE

Keywords: Sasanian numismatics; Sakastān/Sīstān; Ardashīr I; Abarsām

Abstract

Sakastān in the Early Sasanian Period: Coinage and History

In his eastern campaign, Ardashīr I (r. 224–241 AD), the founder of the Sasanian Empire, defeated the Indo-Parthian kingdom and conquered the land of Sakastān. The metallurgical analyses corroborate the possibility that the copper issues of Ardashīr’s coin-type VIII, showing a beardless bust before Ardashīr’s figure on the obverse, were minted in Sakastān after the conquest of the Indo-Parthians by the Sasanians. There are, however, historiographical literature and iconographic evidence leading to an identification of the hitherto unknown beardless bust as Ardashīr’s grand vizier Abarsām – and not a local ruler. This article aims to examine the political and monetary history of Sakastān during the late Parthian and early Sasanian periods to assess the provenance of these coins as well as the possible connection of Abarsām to Sakastān.



Robert Sebastian Wójcikowski (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

HELMETS, CROWNS OR HATS? THE HEADGEARS ON THE EARLY SASANIAN ROCK RELIEFS

Keywords: ancient Iran, Sasanian rock reliefs, headgear, helmets

Abstract

Sasanian rock reliefs, that glorify the power of the house of Sasan, presenting the kings and their retinues, are an excellent source for studying arms and attire from the Sasanian period. Iranian elites used their attire to display their high social position. One of the most important elements of their attire, which indicated the position in the court hierarchy, was the headgear. Iranian caps were usually made of fabric or of leather. It is worth considering the fact, though, that some types of Roman and Iranian helmets are shaped in a way clearly corresponding to the shapes of headgear known from the Sasanian iconography. As  a result, an assumption may be made that in some cases what we are dealing with in Sasanian reliefs are not depictions of caps but of metal helmets.



Martin Schottky (Germany)

VORARBEITEN ZU EINER KÖNIGSLISTE KAUKASISCH-IBERIENS. 6. HERRSCHER IM UMKREIS PETRUS DES IBERERS

Keywords: Caucasian history, Georgia (Caucasus), Iberia (Caucasus), Peter the Iberian, Roman Eastern Frontier, Sasanians

Abstract

Prolegomena to a King List of Caucasian Iberia. 6. Rulers around Peter the Iberian

After Aspacures and his son Piran, who is called Ultra („beyond“) by our Latin source Ammianus Marcellinus, Bakur ruled over Iberia. He is not identical with one Bacurius, who served in the Roman army between 368 and 394. This Bacurius, the son of Aspacures’ cousin and rival Sauromaces, never became king. His great-cousin Bakur, who is styled „the great Bakurios“ by John Rufus, biographer of Peter the Iberian, had several children. One daughter he married to Bosmarios / Busmir, who became by her father of Marowan / Murwanos, later called Peter the Iberian, „miaphysitic“ (= monophysitic) bishop of Mayuma near Gaza. Meanwhile, Bakur’s male descendants succeeded on the Iberian throne. One of them was Arsilios, painted as an ascetic ruler by John Rufus, whereas the Georgian Chronicle lets Arch’il be the grandfather of Vaxtang Gorgasali. Another of Peter’s relatives was Pharasmanios (= Pharasmanes, P’arsman), who is wrongly set in the time of the emperor Arcadius by John Rufus. He was perhaps a younger son of Bakur and could have ruled after Arsilios. But his reign may have been a pure regency for Arsilios’ heir.



Frank Schleicher (Jena, Germany)

DIE GOGARENE IM AUSGEHENDEN FÜNFTEN JAHRHUNDERT. POLITISCHE HANDLUNGSSPIELRÄUME UND RELIGIÖSER PRAGMATISMUS

Keywords: Bolnisi, Georgian inscriptions, Gogarene, coins

Abstract

Gogarene at the End of the 5th Century A.D. Scope for Political Maneuvers and Religious Pragmatism

The Transcaucasian kingdoms of the fifth century are shaped by weak central powers, the increasing self-confidence of the local dynasties and the claim to power of the big neighbours that became increasingly more intense, especially the Sasanians. The regional rulers were able to act more and more politically independent. In Persarmenia, the kingdom had already been removed under their pressure in 428, but even where it continued to exist, it never exerted actual power over all aristocratic families. An impressive example is the Gogarene. This princedom was ruled by a powerful autonomous dynasty, even though it belonged nominally to the kingdom of Iberia. This contribution shows which scopes of action Varsk᾽en, one of these dynasts, was able to use to consolidate and enlarge his power. The conversion to the Persian official religion earned Varsk ᾽en a bad reputation which makes it extremely hard to judge his political and religious motives. The examination shows that these were far from unusual or extreme but corresponded to the possibilities of the time. To gain the largest possible independence from the Iberian king, Varsk᾽en stuck to the Persians. Through the ascent within the ‘Persian’ hierarchy, he also strengthened his own power in the region. Nevertheless, he never went as far as oppressing his own Christian subjects. Religious beliefs appear to be to him a matter of the family, not a matter of the state.



Alireza Askari Chaverdi (Shiraz University, Iran)

FLUTED CONICAL PEDESTALS FOR ALTARS FROM THE PERSIAN GULF COAST: BARDESTAN

Keywords: Bardestan, altars, Persian Gulf, conical pedestals

Abstract

The archaeological site of Bagh-e Morteza Ali (Garden of Morteza Ali) lies in the Bardestan port of southern Bushehr Province. The chance discovery we present here was made during the construction of a road near Morteza Ali Garden in the Bardestan port. Two stone elements belonging to a flaring conical pedestal with typical elegant floral flutings were retrieved from the site. An element of a second fire altar was also discovered at Luhak in Bardestan.



Touraj Daryaee (University of California, Irvine, USA)

MIDDLE PERSIAN GRAFFITI ON SĀSĀNIAN AND ARAB-SĀSĀNIAN COINS AT THE AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY

Keywords: Graffiti, Sasanian, Arab-Sasanian, coins, ANS

This essay is a study of fifteen graffiti on Sasanian and Arab-Sasanian coins from the American Numismatic Society in New York. The markings are mainly concerned with the quality of the coin, as well numbers and other markings. The graffiti are mainly from the time of Xusrō II to the early Islamic period when there were political upheavals.



REVIEW ARTICLES


Michał Podrazik (Rzeszów University, Poland)

REBELLIONS AGAINST THE GREAT KING IN THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE: SOME REMARKS

Keywords: the Achaemenid Empire, rebellion, Cyrus the Younger, Artaxerxes II

Abstract

On October 30-31 of 2014, at Yale University, took place the scientific conference entitled In the Crucible of Empire. Resistance, Revolt and Revolution in the Greco-Roman World. As the outcome of the conference a book edited by J.J. Collins and J.G. Manning, entitled Revolt and Resistance in the Ancient Classical World and the Near East. In the Crucible of Empire, was published (Leiden/Boston 2016, published in the series Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, vol. 85). The book constitutes an important contribution to the study of various disturbances in the Ancient World. One part of the book concerns the Achaemenid Persian Empire. And to this part of the book the present article refers to, with particular focus on, and discussion with the text by J.W.I. Lee entitled ‘Cyrus the Younger and Artaxerxes II, 401 BC: An Achaemenid Civil War Reconsidered’. The other texts discussed in the article are: ‘Xerxes and the Oathbreakers: Empire and Rebellion on the Northwestern Front’ by M. Waters, and ‘Resistance, Revolt and Revolution in Achaemenid Persia: Response’ 
by E.R.M. Dusinberre.
The war between the two brothers, Cyrus the Younger and Artaxerxes II, discussed by J.W.I. Lee in his text was a highly significant event in the history of the Achaemenid Empire. The text offers a very valuable and necessary outlook on this war, presented from the perspective of individual ‘lesser players’ (such as, for example, Abrokomas, or Syennesis and his wife Epyaxa), their personal interests and calculations in face of the armed conflict between the two brothers.
In the Achaemenid Empire rebellions against the Great King and Persian rule took place many times. The examples presented in the article, discussed by J.W.I. Lee, M. Waters, and E.R.M. Dusinberre, show how different was their nature, effect and importance. They also show how different the interpretation of such an events might be, depending on the adopted perspective and analyzed sources.



Valentina I. Mordvintseva (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia)

SARMATIAN TREASURES RECONSIDERED. SOME REMARKS ON THE NEW BOOK BY LEO KLEIN

Keywords: Sarmatians, elite burials, Roman imports, cultural-historical processes

Abstract

This article deals with some issues concerning the ostentatious burials of the Lower Don region dating to the 1st  century AD. Their exegesis in ethnic sense as markers of the migration of new Iranian-speaking tribes from Inner Asia to the West is still predominant in the Russian-speaking academic literature. This view is represented, for instance, in the newly published book by Leo Klein (2016). However, there are better evidenced approaches to the interpretation of rich nomadic burials in the steppes. Primarely, they could be considered as an evidence of cultural-political developments the North Pontic region.



Marek Jan Olbrycht (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA; Rzeszów University, Poland)

SLIPPER COFFINS AND FUNERARY PRACTICES IN PARTHIA

Keywords: Parthia, slipper sarcophagi, Babylonian burials, Arsakid period, Zoroastrianism

Abstract

Funerary practices are well attested in some countries that belonged to the Arsakid Parthian Empire. One of them was Babylonia. The book by a German archaeologist, Christina Heike Richter, entitled Parthische Pantoffelsarkophage (“Parthian Slipper-Sarcophagi”) is devoted to one of the types of sarcophagi produced in the Parthian era, namely the Pantoffelsarkophag, and compares its origin and use against a broad background. Typical slipper coffins appeared at Seleukeia on the Tigris and Uruk in the first half of the 1st century A.D. These burials were connected with a greater involvement of the Parthians in Babylonia under Artabanos II (A.D. 8/9-39/40). It seems that slipper coffins were introduced in Babylonia together with eastern Parthians arriving there as soldiers, 
governors with their retinues, and other officials under Artabanos II and his successors. Vologases I (A.D. 50-79) and Pakoros II (A.D. 79-110) continued an intense policy in Babylonia related to the inflow of the Parthians to cities such as Nippur, Babylon, Meshkan-shapir, and Uruk.


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