Ada of Caria

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Ada
Head of a colossal statue BM 1857.12-20.259.jpg
Portrait of a young woman from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, sometimes identified as Ada. British Museum.
Reign344–340 BC; 334-326 BC
Satrap of Caria
Predecessor Idrieus
Successor Pixodarus
Queen of Caria
Predecessor Orontobates
Successor Alexander III (the Great) of Macedon
Consort Idrieus
House Hecatomnids
Father Hecatomnus

Ada of Caria (Ancient Greek : Ἄδα) (fl. 377 – 326 BC) [1] was a member of the House of Hecatomnus (the Hecatomnids) and ruler of Caria during the mid-4th century BC, first as Persian Satrap and later as Queen under the auspices of Alexander III (the Great) of Macedon. [2]

Floruit, abbreviated fl., Latin for "he/she flourished", denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone flourished.

Hecatomnids

The Hecatomnid dynasty or Hecatomnids were the rulers of Caria and surrounding areas from about 395–334 BCE, after Caria had left the Athenian alliance called the Delian League and returned under the control of the Achaemenid Empire. Before that, during the first period of Achaemenid rule, Caria was governed by the Lygdamid dynasty.

Caria historical region

Caria was a region of western Anatolia extending along the coast from mid-Ionia (Mycale) south to Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian population in forming Greek-dominated states there. The inhabitants of Caria, known as Carians, had arrived there before the Ionian and Dorian Greeks. They were described by Herodotus as being of Minoan Greek descent, while the Carians themselves maintained that they were Anatolian mainlanders intensely engaged in seafaring and were akin to the Mysians and the Lydians. The Carians did speak an Anatolian language, known as Carian, which does not necessarily reflect their geographic origin, as Anatolian once may have been widespread. Also closely associated with the Carians were the Leleges, which could be an earlier name for Carians or for a people who had preceded them in the region and continued to exist as part of their society in a reputedly second-class status.

Contents

History

Ada was the daughter of Hecatomnus, satrap of Caria, and sister of Mausolus, Artemisia, Idrieus, and Pixodarus. She was married to her brother Idrieus, who succeeded Artemisia in 351 BC and died in 344 BC. On the death of her husband Ada became satrap of Caria, but was expelled by her brother Pixodarus in 340 BC, who upon his death in 335 BC was succeeded by his own son-in-law, the Persian Orontobates. Ada fled to the fortress of Alinda, where she maintained her rule in exile. [3]

Hecatomnus Achaemenid satrap

Hecatomnus of Mylasa or Hekatomnos was an early 4th-century BC ruler of Caria. He was the satrap (governor) of Caria for the Persian Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II. However, the basis for Hecatomnus' political power was twofold: he was both a high appointed Persian official and a powerful local dynast, who founded the hereditary dynasty of the Hecatomnids. The Hecatomnids followed the earlier autochthonous dynasty of the Lygdamids in Caria.

Satrap Ruler of a province in ancient Persia

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy; and the word also came to suggest tyranny, or ostentatious splendour.

Mausolus Satrap of Caria

Mausolus was a ruler of Caria, nominally a satrap of the Achaemenid Empire. He enjoyed the status of king or dynast by virtue of the powerful position created by his father Hecatomnus who had succeeded the assassinated Persian Satrap Tissaphernes in the Carian satrapy and founded the hereditary dynasty of the Hecatomnids.

When Alexander the Great entered Caria in 334 BC, Ada adopted Alexander as her son and surrendered Alinda to him. Alexander accepted her offer and, in return, gave Ada formal command of the Siege of Halicarnassus. [4] After the fall of Halicarnassus, Alexander returned Alinda to Ada and made her queen of all of Caria. [5] Ada's popularity with the populace in turn ensured the Carians' loyalty to Alexander. [2]

Alexander the Great King of Macedon

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.

Siege of Halicarnassus siege between Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Persian Empire in 334 BC

The Siege of Halicarnassus was fought between Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Persian Empire in 334 BC. Alexander, who had no navy, was constantly being threatened by the Persian navy. It continuously attempted to provoke an engagement with Alexander, who would not oblige them. Eventually, the Persian fleet sailed to Halicarnassus, in order to establish a new defense. Ada of Caria, the former queen of Halicarnassus, had been driven from her throne by her younger brother Pixodarus of Caria. When Pixodarus died, Persian King Darius had appointed Orontobates satrap of Caria, which included Halicarnassus in its jurisdiction. On the arrival of Alexander in 334 BC, Ada, who was in possession of the fortress of Alinda, surrendered the fortress to him.

Halicarnassus Ancient Greek city, present day Bodrum in Turkey

Halicarnassus was an ancient Greek city at what is now Bodrum in Turkey. It was located in southwest Caria on a picturesque, advantageous site on the Ceramic Gulf. The city was famous for the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, also known simply as the Tomb of Mausolus, whose name provided the origin of the word "mausoleum". The mausoleum, built from 353 to 350 BC, ranked as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Ada meanwhile held only Alinda, the strongest fortress in Caria; and when Alexander entered Caria she went to meet him, surrendering Alinda and adopting Alexander as her son. Alexander gave Alinda to her charge, and did not reject the title of son, and when he had taken Halicarnassus and became master of the rest of Caria, he gave her command of the whole country.

Arrian, Anabasis , 1.23.8 [2]

She was under the protection of Asander, Hellenistic satrap of Lydia.

Asander 4th-century BC Macedonian general

Asander or Asandros was the son of Philotas and brother of Agathon. He was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, and satrap of Lydia from 334 BC as well as satrap of Caria after Alexander's death.

Lydia Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor

Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. Its capital was Sardis.

Alinda ancient human settlement

Alinda was an inland city and bishopric in ancient Caria, in Asia Minor (Anatolia). Modern scholars identify Alinda with the Hellenistic foundation of Alexandria ad Latmum noted by Stephanus of Byzantium.

Ada sarcophagus

According to Turkish archaeologists, the tomb of Ada has been discovered, although this claim remains unresolved. Her remains are on display in the archaeological museum of Bodrum. [6]

Notes

  1. 377 BC is the date of her father's death: Gardner, Percy (1918). A History of Ancient Coinage, 700-300 B.C. Clarendon Press: Oxford University. p. 303.
  2. 1 2 3 Fabre-Serris, Jacqueline; Keith, Alison (2015). Women and War in Antiquity. JHU Press. p. 236. ISBN   9781421417622.
  3. McNicoll, Milner; McNicoll, Anthony; Milner, N. P. (1997). Hellenistic Fortifications from the Aegean to the Euphrates. Clarendon Press. p. 26. ISBN   9780198132288.
  4. "Geography". Perseus.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  5. Wikisource:The Anabasis of Alexander/Book I/Chapter XXIII#64
  6. "Carian Princess Hall". Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Retrieved 1 May 2015.

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