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Page 91.







W. S. W. VAUX, M.A, F.R.S.













Cyrus Croesus War in North-east Asia Fall of Babylon
Tomb of Cyrus Cambyses Pseudo-Bardes Darius Cam-
paign in Scythia Home at Susa Inscription and Coin of
Pythagoras Burning of Sardis Second invasion of Europe
Marathon Page 15


Xerxes Canal of Athos Thermopylae Salamis Artaxerxes I

Darius II Artaxerxes II Cyrus the Younger Ochus
Darius III Alexander Graneikus Issus Visit to Jerusa-
lem Arbela Page 5 1

Daniel Darius the Mede Page 77


Tomb of Cyrus Inscriptions of Darius Behistan Van, &c.
Inscriptions of Xerxes Artaxerxes, &c. Persepolis Istakhr

Susa Tomb of Darius Page 87


Arsacidae Arsakes I Tiridates I : Artabanus I Mithradates I

Phraates II Scythian Invasion Mithradates II Progress
of the Romans Orodes Crassus Pompey Antony
Tiridates, son of Vologases Trajanus Avidius Cassius
Se verus Artabanus Battle of Nisibis Page 121


Sassanidae Ardashir I Shahpiir I Valerian Odaenathus
Varahran II Tiridates of Armenia Galerius Narses
Shahpiir II Zu'laktaf Julian III Finiz I Nushirwan
Mauricius Khosni II Heraclius Muhammed Yezdigird II.I

Muhammedan Conquest Sassanian Monuments at Nakhsh-i-
Rustam, Nakhsh-i-Regib, Shahpiir, Takiit-i-Bostan Mr. Thomas's
interpretation of those at Hajiabad Page 150


[Occasionally, these dates are only approximate: it has not been thought'
necessary to insert the names of rulers who ruled for less than a year.]



Xerxes 486

Artaxerxes III (Ochus) 359
Arses 338-37
Darius III (Codoman-
nus) ... 336
(Battle of Arbela) 331

of Arsakes; hence
es VI.]

Pacorus II 78?
Mithradates IV 07

. . ..S58(?)

Artaxerxes I (Longi-



Darius II(Nothus) 425-24
Artaxerxes II (Mne-

[Each of these princ

Arsakes about 250
Tiridates I 247


es bore also the dynastic title
dates I is the same as Arsak

Mithradates III .. 60
Orodes I 56-35

... 196

Orode t s a iI S } datesdoubtfuI
Vonones I . . date doubtful
Artabanus III 16
Gotarzes )
Vardanes f dates doubtful
Vonones II '
Vologases I 51


Shahpur III . . 385
Varahran IV (Kerman-
Shah) 390
Yezdigird I 404
Varahran V (Gaur) . 420
Yezdigird II 448
Hormazd III 453


Vologases III 49

Mithradates I . .


Vologases IV 91
Vologases V ?

Artabanus II
Mithradates II ..

... 128-7

Artabanus IV 215?
(Battle of Hormazd and
death of Artabanus
IV) 226

Phraates III ....

Ardashir I (Babek
Shahpur I
Hormazd I
Varahran I


an) 226
. . 240

KobaM 488

Jamasp 498
Khosru I (Nushirwan) 531
Hormazd IV . 579
Khosru II (Parviz) 591
Kobad II (Sheruyieh) 628
Yezdigird III .... 632
(Overthrown by the
Musulmans) . ... 641

Varahran II ....
Varahran III ....


Shahpur II (Zu'Iuktuf) ya
Ardashir II . ... 081

Palash 484




THE history of Persia, as generally understood, may
be considered as a supplement to that of Assyria and
Babylonia, the events that have made her most famous
in antiquity having been achieved after the empire of
the first had passed away, and the second had been
subjugated by the Persians.

The small province of Persis (in the Bible Paras, in
the native inscriptions Parsd), whence the name of
Persia is derived, was bounded on the north by Media,
on the south by the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean,
on the east by Caramania (Kerman), and on the west
by Susiana. It was, indeed, nearly the same dis-
trict as the modern Farsistan, the name of which is
obviously derived from it ; and in length and breadth
not more than 450 and 250 miles respectively.

With regard to the population which occupied this
district at the earliest historical period, it is certain
from the Cuneiform inscriptions, that they were not
the original dwellers in the district, but themselves


immigrants, though it is not so certain whence. It
would lead us too far a-field to discuss here the wide
question of the settlement of the nations after the
Biblical Flood, confirmed so remarkably as this is by
Mr. George Smith's recent discoveries. Moreover, it
is not possible to fill up, except conjecturally, many
wide spaces, both of tima and territory. Admitting,
however, the existence of a Deluge, such as that
recorded in Holy Writ, a long period must have
elapzed before the different families of mankind had
arranged themselves in the groups and in the districts
we find them occupying at the dawn of history.

There are reasonable grounds for thinking the
highlands of Central Asia the historical cradle of the
Japhetic race ; whether, with some writers, we conceive
this mountainous region to be the Alpine plateau of
Little Bokhara, or, with others, the great chain south
and south-west of the Caspian Sea: the first theory
suits best for a descent into India; the second for a
migration into Europe \

The former view, taken broadly, is confirmed by the
early Persian traditions preserved in the two first chap-
ters of the Vendidad, (though this compilation as w r e
now have it, is very modern), an outline, in the judgment
of Heeren, so evidently historical, as to requ're nothing
but sufficient geographical knowledge for the identifi-
cation of the places therein mentioned. Whether any
of these traditional legends are really due to Zoroaster

1 I venture to think it unwise to attempt, with Clinton and other
learned chronologists, to space out the time occupied for each settle-
ment or movement of the nations after the Flood, or to attempt to
ascertain the number of the population of pre-historic Asia. For
such speculations, we have, assuredly, no reliable data.


(Zaratrusthra), [indeed whether a Zoroaster ever lived],
is of little importance: but this much, however, is
certain that they enshrine fragments of the most
ancient belief of the Persians. Thus, they describe
as the original seat of the Persian race, a delicious
country named Eriene - Veedjo, the first creation
of Ormuzd, the Spirit of Good, with a climate of
seven months of summer and five of winter. But
Ahriman, the Spirit of Evil, smote this land with the
plague of ever-increasing cold, till at last it had only
two months of summer to ten of winter. Hence,
the people quitted their ancient homes, Ahriman
having, for fifteen successive times, thwarted the good
works of Ormuzd, and having, by one device or
another, rendered each new abode uninhabitable.
The names of these abodes are given and some of
thevn may be even now identified ; and there can be
little doubt, that they indicate a migration from the
north-east towards the south and south-west, that is,
from the Hindu-Rush westward to Media and Persia.
The original situation of Eriene, a name of the same
origin as the modern Iran (and possibly of Erin or
Ireland), would, on this supposition, be to the north
of the western chains of the Himalaya, a country en-
joying a short summer, and great extremes of heat and

Such, briefly, is the legendary story of Persia,
which it is best to leave as it is. As, however, I
shall have again to refer to what has been called
the creed of Zoroaster, that is, the theory of the se-
parate existence of princip'es of good and evil, I must
give the substance of what is most usually acknow-


ledged about him and the religious system named
after him. Those who care for fuller details can
consult the Zend-avesta 1 as first published by Anquetil
Du Perron, and the various commentaries or modifica-
tions of it, suggested by the studies of MM. Wester-
gaard, Spiegel, Haug, Burnouf, Oppert, and others.

I do not myself doubt that Zoroaster, whether or
not a king (as some have held), was truly a teacher
and reformer, and, further, that his religious views
represent the reaction of the mind against the mere
worship of nature, tending as this does, directly, to
polytheism and to the doctrine of " Emanations." It
is, I think, equally evident that such views embody
the highest struggle of the human intellect (unaided
by Revelation) towards spiritualism, and that they
are, so far, an attempt to create a religious system by
the simple energies of human reason. Hence their
general direction is towards a pure monotheism ; and,
had no evil existed in the world, the theory embody-
ing them would have remained unassailed and logi-
cally successful. On this rock, however, all the spiritual
theories of early times necessarily split. Zoroaster or
his disciples halted where all must halt who have not
the light from on high, the one sure support of Jew
and Christian alike. They could not believe that
God, the good, the just, the pure, and the perfect,
would have placed evil in a world he must have

1 Zend-Avesta, more correctly Avesta-u-Zend, i. e. text and com-
mentary. The fragments we now have are not cider, if so old, as
A.D. 226, when Ardashir I. founded the Sassanian Empire in Persia.
Of the twenty-one books said to have been then collected, one only,
the Vendidad (Vida^-vadata), "the law against demons," has been
preserved nearly entire. (Dr. H.iug, Essays, &c.. Bombay,


created good, like himself: hence, as evil is none the
less ever present, they were forced to imagine a second
creator, Ahriman, the author of evil, and to give him,
during the present existence, equal power with that
wielded by the Spirit of Good. They held, however
(and this is a most important part of Zoroastrianism),
that a day would come when the powers of evil
would be finally annihilated, and the truth be reinstated,
never again to fail. I ought to add that the modern'
Parsees, whether of Jezd in Persia or of Bombay, do
not represent the purity of the original Zoroastrian
faith, their views being essentially pantheistic, in that
they substitute emanation for creation and confound
the distinctions of good and evil, by making both
spring from one creative principle.

Of the two other great races who take their
names respectively from Ham and Shem, it is
enough to state here that modern philology attributes
to Ham the Cushite tribes of Arabia and Ethiopia,
the Egyptians, Philistines, Canaanites \ as well as the
so-called Hamitic populations to the south of Egypt.

In like manner, the Shemitic population seems from
the earliest period to which they can be traced back,
to have occupied nearly the same abodes as in later
times, viz. : the range of country from Armenia (Ar-
phaxad) over Assyria and Babylonia, to the southern
end of Arabia. That there may have been in the

1 I venture myself to doubt whether the Philistines and Cana-
anites were the same race ; certainly from what we know of
them they differ greatly in character. I incline to think the
Philistines the same as, or connected with, the Phoenicians and,
if so, Shemites : on the other hand, the Canaanites may be
Hamites ; but anyhow, of a different origin.


southern part of the same country a still earlier race,
the Accadians, I do not doubt.

Certain broad characteristics have been accepted
as distinguishing in a remarkable manner each of
these races. Thus the so-called Karaites appear,
universally, as the pioneers of material civilization,
with a great power over some elements of know-
ledge, but with an equally entire absence of all elevat-
ing ideas. Their former presence is recognised in
the foundations of states by brute force, and by the
execution of gigantic works in stone, like Stonehenge,
Carnac, &c., if, indeed, these monuments are, as has
been usually maintained, attributable to so remote a
period. Along, however, with this material grandeur,
we find the grossest forms of nature-worship; while
so remarkably have the Hamite population fallen into
the background or disappeared, in comparison with
the other races, that we are forcibly reminded of the
prophetic words, " Cursed be Canaan (or Ham), a ser-
vant of servants shall he be unto his brethren"; and
again, " Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan
shall be his servant 1 ."

In striking contrast to the Hamites, the Japhetic
peoples appear everywhere as the promoters of moral
as well as of intellectual civilization. As a rule, prac-
tisers of agriculture rather than hunters, with fixed
abodes in preference to tents, their several dialects
(now easily traceable by comparative philology) amply
confirm the early existence among them of institu-
tions fitted to raise human beings above the " beasts
that perish."

1 Gen. ix. 25, 26.


Hence we find them, in the most remote ages,
planting corn and feeding on meat instead of on
acorns and berries, contracting marriages by fixed
and settled forms, resisting polygamy, and protecting
their wives with the veneration Tacitus so much
admired in the German tribes of his day. To them,
also, is due the institution of the Family and of a
Religion, at first, as shewn by the Vedic hymns, a
pure Theism the worship of one God, though with
an early and natural tendency to "emanations" and
their ultimate result. Polytheism. One of the hymns
of the Rig-veda (according to Professor Max Miiller)
explains with singular clearness the progress of this
change, in the words, " The wise men give many
names to the Being who is One." Sacrifices to
please or propitiate the powers thus separately deified,
were the natural but later developments of the Poly-
theistic idea.

The characteristics of the third or great Shemite 1
race, stand out in equally bold relief against the
dark background of material Hamitism, though, like
the other early races, they too, at times, exhibited
abundant and luxuriant forms of idolatry. In thtse,
generally, we find a moral and spiritual eminence
superior to the best which the Japhetic races have
worked out, while to one of them, the Jews, we owe
the guardianship of that BOOK, in which alone we
find religious subjects dealt with in a language of
adequate sublimity ; the one volume, indeed, to which

1 It has been long the fashion to talk of the Semitic nations,
languages, &c., but Shemite, Shemitic, is the correct form.
Shem means "name," much like the Greek 07)1x0.


we can refer with unhesitating faith as containing,
though with tantalizing brevity, all that is certain
of the origin of the human race. It is satisfactory
to know that, though, naturally, the tenth chapter of
the book of Genesis, the Toldoth-beni-Noah, or
roll-call of the sons of Noah, in other words, of the na-
tions, has been discussed in innumerable volumes,
has been in fact the battle-ground of believers as well
as of infidels, the main outline there traced is con-
firmed in all essential particulars by recent Assyrian
discoveries. It is quite worth the while of any
scholar to look back at the interpretation given to
it by the learned Bochart, two centuries and a half
ago: he will, I think, be surprised to see how
much of what that great Frenchman proposed so
long ago, is still admitted by the more complete
investigations of the comparatively new science of


Cyrus Croesus War in North-east Asia Fall of Babylon
Tomb of Cyrus Cambyses Pseudo-Bardes Darius Cam-
paign in Scythia Home at Susa Inscription and Coin of Pytha-
goras Burning of Sardis Second Invasion of Europe
Mardonius and Datis Marathon.

HAVING said so much by way of introduction, 1 now
proceed to give some account of what we know of
Persia historically (from the sixth century B.C. to the
seventh century A.D.), and of the monuments still
therein attesting its former grandeur. Now, first, it
may be noted that there is no mention of Persia in
the tenth chapter of Genesis, or in the Zend-avesta,
nor does this name occur on any Assyrian monu-
ment before the ninth century B. c. On the other
hand, the list in this chapter places the Madai or
Medes among the sons of Japhet, which, as Aryans,
is their right position. The natural inference is, that
those Aryan tribes who were subsequently called
Persians, had not yet descended so far to the south,
but were still clinging to the steeps of the Taurus. A
little later, the inscriptions of Shalmaneser shew that
they had reached Armenia, but, as only petty chiefs are


recorded, it is probable that their government had
not yet crystallized into a settled monarchy. Later
however, under Sennacherib, the Perso-Aryans had
reached the Zagros, and, thence, their further descent by
the denies of the Bakhtyari mountains into Persis was
comparatively easy and rapid, though their migrations
perhaps ( il not ceas'e till near the close of the great
empire of Assyria. The Aryan Medes had, on the
other hand, held for many years a prominent place
among the Western Asiatic populations, and it is
likely that the Persian tribes acknowledged the
superiority of the Median monarch, much as at the
present day the Khedive of Egypt acknowledges the
supreme rule of the Sultan of Turkey, in other words,
that the ruler of Persis was the chief feudatory of the
Median empire. It must not however be forgotten,
that Darius the son of Hystaspes claims for his own
house, the possession of a kingdom with eight imme-
diate predecessors, he himself being the ninth, a claim
he could hardly have put forth publicly had there been
at the time any doubt about it. The Median empire
appears to have been established about B.C. 647,
just when the adjoining nations were marshalling their
forces to put an end to Nineveh, which had so long
ruled them with a rod of iron ; while, from this state-
ment of Darius, it is further probable that there
were tributary kings in Persis up to about the same

Darius himself asserts that the first king of Persia was
called Achaemenes, a statement confirmed by the well-
known fact that the Achaemenidae were acknowledged
as the leading family among the Persians. Indeed, as


Professor Rawlinson has well remarked, in the East,
an ethnic name is very often derived from that of one
person, as in the case of Midianite, Moabite, from
Midian and Moab. But though there can be little
doubt that Persian history may be deemed historical
from the time of Cambyses, the father of Cyrus, there
is nothing really worth recording till we come to
Cyrus himself, under whom Persia takes the place in
Western Asia, erst held by the Shemitic empires of
Assyria and Babylon.

How Cyrus attained to this pre-eminence has been
much discussed ; but we do not really want more than
the notice in the Bible, which is remarkably clear and
graphic : " Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and,
behold, there stood before the river a ram which had
two horns : and the two horns were high ; but one was
higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and
southward ; so that no beasts might stand before him,
neither was there any that could deliver out of
his hand ; but he did according to his will, and became
great. 1 " And again, " The ram which thou sawest
having two horns are the kings of Media and
Persia 2 ."

It has been argued by Heeren (indeed this was the
common view put forward by writers fifty years ago),
that the rise of Cyrus was similar to that of many
other personages in Eastern history, in fact, nothing
but the successful uprising of a rude mountain
tribe of nomad habits.

The history of the rise of Cyrus has been revealed

1 Dan. viii. 3, 4. 2 Ib. 20.



to us by the Cuneiform inscriptions. Two documents
of special importance have been brought from Baby-
lonia which were compiled officially shortly after his
conquest of Babylonia. One of them is an annalistic
account of the reign ef Nabonidos, the last king of
Babylonia, and of the conquest of his kingdom by
Cyrus. It is generally known to Assyriologists as the
" Annalistic Tablet." The other document is an edict
issued by Cyrus not long after his occupation of Baby-
lonia, justifying his conquest of the country, and de-
claring that he had been called to the work by Bel
Merodach, the god of Babylon, himself. As the in-
scriptions render a commentary needless we give them
here in full. The Annalistic Tablet is as follows, the
lacunae in it being marked by dotted lines " ... in
the month Tebet (December) in the country of Hamath

he remained in the month Ab (July) the

mountain of Amanus, a mountain [of the West, he
ascended]. Reeds as many as exist [and cedars] to
the midst of Babylon [he brought. The mountain]
he left and survived. In the month Kisleu (November)
king (Nabonidos) [collected] his army [and marched
to] the sea; and Nebo-makhrib-akhi . . . [from] the
sea of the country of Syria to Istuvegu (A sty-
ages) gathered [his forces] together and marched
against Cyrus king of Ansan, and . . . The army of
Istuvegu revolted against him and seized [him] with
the hands; to Cyrus they delivered [him]. Cyrus
[marched] against the country of Ekbatana, the royal
city. Silver, gold, goods and chattels, [the spoil] of
the country of Ekbatana, they carried away, and
he brought them to the land of Ansan. The goods


and chattels were deposited in [Ansan]. The seventh
year (B.C. 549) king (Nabonidos) was in Teva (the
western quarter of Babylon); the king's son, the
nobles, and his soldiers were in the country of Akkad
(Northern Babylonia). [The king in the month Nisan]
did not go to Babylon. Nebo did not go to Babylon ;
Bel came not forth ; the [new year's] festival [took
place] : they offered sacrifices in the temples of E-
Saggil and E-Zida to the gods of Babylon and Bor-
sippa as [peace-offerings]. The priest inspected the
painted work (?) of the temple. The eighth year
(nothing took place). The ninth year (B.C. 547)
Nabonidos the king was in Teva. The king's son,
the nobles, and the soldiers were in the country of
Akkad. The king in the month Nisan did not go to
Babylon. Nebo did not go to Babylon ; Bel came
not forth ; the new year's festival took place. They
offered sacrifices in E-Saggil and E-Zida to the gods
of Babylon and Borsippa as peace-offerings. The
fifth day of Nisan the mother of the king, who was in
the fortress of the camp on the Euphrates above
Sippara, died. The king's son and his soldiers mourned
for three days. There was lamentation. In the month
Sivan (May) there was lamentation in the country of
Akkad over the mother of tha king. In the month
Nisan, Cyrus king of Persia collected his army and
crossed the Tigris below the city of Arbela, and in
the month lyyar (April) [he marched] against the
country of the Sute (nomad Arabs). Its king he slew ;
his goods he took. He ascended the country. [He
departed again] after his ascent, and a king existed
there again. The tenth year (B.C. 546) the king was


in Teva; the king's son, the nobles, and his soldiers
were in the country of Akkad ; the king in the month
[Nisan did not go to Babylon]. Nebo did not go to
Babylon ; Bel came not forth. The new year's festival
took place. They offered sacrifices in E-[Saggil and
E-Zida] to the gods of Babylon and Borsippa as peace-
offerings. On the twenty-first day of the month
Sivan ... of the country of Elam, in the land of
Akkad ... a governor in the city of Erech ....
The eleventh year (B.C. 545) the king was in Teva ;
the king's son, the nobles, and his soldiers were in
the country of Akkad. [In the month Nisan the
king did not go to Babylon. In the month] Elul
(August) the king did not come forth to Bel. The
new year's festival took place. They offered sacrifices
[in E-Saggil and E-Zida as peace-offerings to the gods]

of Babylon [and Borsippa In the seventeenth

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