Mannaeans

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History of Greater Iran

The Mannaeans /məˈnənz/ (country name usually Mannea; Akkadian: Mannai, possibly Biblical Minni, מנּי) were an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran south of lake Urmia, around the 10th to 7th centuries BC. At that time they were neighbors of the empires of Assyria and Urartu, as well as other small buffer states between the two, such as Musasir and Zikirta.

Akkadian language extinct Semitic language

Akkadian is an extinct East Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia from the 30th century BC until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the eighth century BC.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.

Lake Urmia salt lake

Lake Urmia is an endorheic salt lake in Iran. The lake is located between the provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan in Iran, and west of the southern portion of the Caspian Sea. At its greatest extent, it was the largest lake in the Middle East and the sixth-largest saltwater lake on Earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km2 (2,000 sq mi), a length of 140 km (87 mi), a width of 55 km (34 mi), and a maximum depth of 16 m (52 ft). The lake has shrunk to 10% of its former size due to damming of the rivers that flow into it, and the pumping of groundwater from the surrounding area.

Contents

In the Bible (Jeremiah 51:27) the Mannaeans are called Minni. In the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906), Minni is identified with Armenia, [1] [2] but it could refer to one of the provinces in ancient Armenia; Minni, Ararat and Ashkenaz. [3] [4] According to examinations of the place and personal names found in Assyrian and Urartian texts, the Mannaeans, or at least their rulers, spoke Hurrian, a non-Semitic and non-Indo-European language related to Urartian, with no modern language connections. [5]

Bible Collection of religious texts in Judaism and Christianity

The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

Armenia Republic in South Caucasus in West Asia

Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.

Ararat Province Province in Armenia

Ararat, is a province (marz) of Armenia. Its capital and largest city is the town of Artashat.

Location

Their kingdom was situated east and south of the Lake Urmia, roughly centered around the Urmia plain in this part of what is today named Iranian Azerbaijan. [6] Excavations that began in 1956 succeeded in uncovering the fortified city of Hasanlu, once thought to be a potential Mannaean site. More recently, the site of Qalaichi (possibly ancient Izirtu/Zirta) has been linked to the Mannaeans based on a stela with this toponym found at the site.

Qalaichi

Qalaichi, Ghalay-chi, قلایچی in Persian is an important archaeological site for the Iron Age of north-western Iran. It is a mountain 11m high, situated about 9 air km north-west of Bukan City in West Azerbaijan Province 18 km away from the border of Kurdistan province. The site is located near a village from whence it got its name. Hills and mountains surround it; the highest one in the east is the so-called Kal-Tage. Qalaichi is a settlement town in as we know from cuneiform texts which lay in the polity Mannea. The main period of occupation lies from the 9th to 7th centuries BCE. Key archaeological finds include a stele inscribed with an Aramaic text In addition, the ancient settlement yielded a large number of glazed objects. Some of them are monochrome and the others show complex compositions. The glazed objects from the regular excavations curated in Urmia Museum and Tehran National Museum.

After suffering several defeats at the hands of both Scythians and Assyrians, the remnants of the Mannaean populace were absorbed by the Matieni and the area became known as Matiene. [7] [8] It was then annexed by the Medes in about 609 BC.

Scythia multinational region of Central Eurasia in the classical era

Scythia was a region of Central Eurasia in classical antiquity, occupied by the Eastern Iranian Scythians, encompassing Central Asia and parts of Eastern Europe east of the Vistula River, with the eastern edges of the region vaguely defined by the Greeks. The Ancient Greeks gave the name Scythia to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea.

Matiene

Matiene was the name of a kingdom in northwestern Iran on the lands of the earlier kingdom of the Mannae. Ancient historians including Strabo, Ptolemy, Herodotus, Polybius, and Pliny, mention names such as Mantiane, Martiane, Matiane, Matiene, to designate a region located to the northwest of Media."

Medes ancient Iranian civilization

The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran. Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, late 9th to early 7th centuries BC, the region of Media was bounded by the Zagros Mountains to its west, to its south by the Garrin Mountain in Lorestan Province, to its northwest by the Qaflankuh Mountains in Zanjan Province, and to its east by the Dasht-e Kavir desert. Its neighbors were the kingdoms of Gizilbunda and Mannea in the northwest, and Ellipi and Elam in the south.

Ethnicity

According to the Encyclopædia Iranica: [9]

According to the Archaeological Institute of America, 1964: [10]

In the Bible (Jeremiah 51:27), the Mannaeans are called Minni. The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906), identified Minni with Armenia, [1] [2] but it could refer to one of the provinces in ancient Armenia; Minni, Ararat and Ashkenaz. [3] According to examinations of the place and personal names found in Assyrian and Urartian texts, the Mannaeans, or at least their rulers, spoke Hurrian, a non-Semitic and non-Indo-European language related to Urartian, with no modern language connections. [5]

Ashkenaz descendant of Noah in the Hebrew Bible. Also, a geographic region associated with Germany

Ashkenaz in the Hebrew Bible is one of the descendants of Noah. Ashkenaz is the first son of Gomer, and a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations. In rabbinic literature, the kingdom of Ashkenaz was first associated with the Scythian region, then later with the Slavic territories, and, from the 11th century onwards, with Germany and northern Europe.

The Urartian or Vannic language was spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu, located in the region of Lake Van, with its capital near the site of the modern town of Van, in the Armenian Highland, modern-day Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. It was probably dominant around Lake Van and in the areas along the upper Zab valley.

Hurrian is an extinct Hurro-Urartian language spoken by the Hurrians (Khurrites), a people who entered northern Mesopotamia around 2300 BC and had mostly vanished by 1000 BC. Hurrian was the language of the Mitanni kingdom in northern Mesopotamia and was likely spoken at least initially in Hurrian settlements in modern-day Syria. It is generally believed that the speakers of this language originally came from the Armenian Highlands and spread over southeast Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC.

History

The Mannaean kingdom began to flourish around 850 BC. The Mannaeans were mainly a settled people, practicing irrigation and breeding cattle and horses. The capital was another fortified city, Izirtu (Zirta).

By the 820s BC they had expanded to become the first large state to occupy this region since the Gutians, later followed by the unrelated Iranian peoples, the Medes and the Persians. By this time they had a prominent aristocracy as a ruling class, which somewhat limited the power of the king.

Beginning around 800 BC, the region became contested ground between Urartu, who built several forts on the territory of Mannae, and Assyria. During the open conflict between the two, c. 750–730 BC, Mannae seized the opportunity to enlarge its holdings. The Mannaean kingdom reached the pinnacle of its power during the reign of Iranzu (c. 725–720 BC).

In 716 BC, king Sargon II of Assyria moved against Mannae, where the ruler Aza, son of Iranzu, had been deposed by Ullusunu with the help of the Urartians. Sargon took Izirtu, and stationed troops in Parsua (Parsua was distinct from Parsumash located further southeast in what is today known as Fars province in Iran. The Assyrians thereafter used the area to breed, train and trade horses.

According to one Assyrian inscription, the Cimmerians (Gimirru) originally went forth from their homeland of Gamir or Uishdish on the shores of the Black Sea in "the midst of Mannai" around this time. The Cimmerians first appear in the annals in the year 714 BC, when they apparently helped the Assyrians to defeat Urartu. Urartu chose to submit to the Assyrians, and together the two defeated the Cimmerians and thus kept them out of the Fertile Crescent. At any rate, the Cimmerians had again rebelled against Sargon by 705, and he was killed whilst driving them out. By 679 they had instead migrated to the east and west of Mannae.

The Mannaeans are recorded as rebelling against Esarhaddon of Assyria in 676 BC, when they attempted to interrupt the horse trade between Assyria and its colony of Parsuash.

The king Ahsheri, who ruled until the 650s BC, continued to enlarge the territory of Mannae, although paying tribute to Assyria. However, Mannae suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Assyrians around 660 BC, and subsequently an internal revolt broke out, continuing until Ahsheri's death. Also in the 7th century BC, Mannae was defeated by the advancing Scythians, who had already raided Urartu and been repelled by the Assyrians. This defeat contributed to the further break-up of the Mannaean kingdom.

King Ahsheri's successor, Ualli, as an ally of Assyria, took the side of the Assyrians against the Iranian Medes (Madai), who were at this point still based to the east along the southwest shore of the Caspian Sea and revolting against Assyrian domination. The Medes and Persians were subjugated by Assyria. However, the Neo-Assyrian Empire, which had dominated the region for three hundred years, began to unravel, consumed by civil war after the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 BC. The upheavals in Assyria allowed the Medes to free themselves from Assyrian vassalage and make themselves the major power in ancient Iran at the expense of the Persians, Mannaeans and the remnants of the indigenous Elamites whose kingdom had been destroyed by the Assyrians. At the battle of Qablin in ca. 616 BC the Assyrian and Mannaean forces were defeated by Nabopolassar's troops. This defeat laid open the frontiers of the Land of the Manneans which fell under the control of Media between 615 BC and 611 BC. [11]

See also

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Rabat, Iran City LakeUrmiaEastAzerbaijanTURKEYIRAQKurdistanAZERBAIJANMakuChaldoranKhoySalmasUrmiaOshnaviyehNaghadehMiandoabPiranshahrMahabadBukanShahindejTakabSardasht in West Azerbaijan, Iran

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References

  1. 1 2 Jewish Encyclopedia, Leopold Zunz, Moritz Steinschneider, Solomon Schechter, Wilhelm Bacher, J.L. Rapoport, David Zvi Hoffman, Heinrich Graetz, etc; Funk and Wagnalls, 1906;http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1787-armenia
  2. 1 2 The Biblical Geography off Central Asia: With a General Introduction to the Study of Sacred Geography, including the Antediluvian Period, Volume 2, Ernst Friedrich Carl Rosenmüller, 2011, Nabu Press, ISBN   978-1245629010
  3. 1 2 Missionary Researches in Armenia: Including a Journey Through Asia Minor, and Into Georgia and Persia, with a Visit to the Nestorian and Chaldean Christians of Oormiah and Sarmas, Smith, Eli; Conder, Josiah and Dwight, Harrison Gray Otis, ISBN   9781147547535
  4. Cyclopaedia of Biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical literature Volume 1, John McClintock, James Strong; (orig. 1923, 2010), Nabu Press, ISBN   978-1177267625
  5. 1 2 Iranian Identity in Ancient Times Richard N. Frye Iranian Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1/2 (Winter - Spring, 1993), pp. 143-146
  6. Encyclopædia Britannica. "Mahābād" . Retrieved Oct 3, 2011. There are a number of unexcavated tells, or mounds, on the plain of Mahābād in this part of the Azerbaijan region. The region was the centre of the Mannaeans, who flourished in the early 1st millennium BC.
  7. The Cambridge history of Iran, Volume 2 by William Bayne Fisher, Ilya Gershevitch, Ehsan Yar-Shater, Peter Avery, pages 256-257
  8. Archaeology at the north-east Anatolian frontier, I.: an historical geography and a field survey of the Bayburt Province by A. G. Sagona, Claudia Sagona, pages 41-48,
  9. "Encyclopedia Iranica, "Mannea", by R. Zadok"
  10. Archaeology. p. 3.
  11. The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 2  : page 122