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Further information: Seven Parthian clans. Parthian horse archer , now on display at the Palazzo Madama, Turin. Parthian cataphract fighting a lion. The combination of horse archers and cataphracts formed an effective backbone for the Parthian military. Further information: Parthian art.
Main article: List of Parthian kings. Further information: List of rulers of Parthian sub-kingdoms. A Brief History of Iraq. Infobase Publishing.
One characteristic of the Parthians that the kings themselves maintained was their nomadic urge. The kings built or occupied numerous cities as their capitals, the most important being Ctesiphon on the Tigris River , which they built from the ancient town of Opis. Encyclopedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 17 November Retrieved 8 February This was the local language of the area east of the Caspian Sea and official language of the Parthian state see ARSACIDS and is known from inscriptions on stone and metal, including coins and seals, and from large archives of potsherd labels on wine jars from the Parthian capital of Nisa, as well as from the Manichean texts.
Mathias eds. The Persians. The Parthians and the peoples of the Parthian empire were polytheistic. Each ethnic group, each city, and each land or kingdom was able to adhere to its own gods, their respective cults and religious rituals.
In Babylon the city-god Marduk continued to be the main deity alongside the goddesses Ishtar and Nanai , while Hatra 's main god, the sun-god Shamash , was revered alongside a multiplicity of other gods. Journal of World-systems Research. Archived from the original on 17 September Retrieved 16 September Social Science History. Aaron Ralby Atlas of Military History. Ashgate Pub Co, 30 sep. Archived from the original on Retrieved J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. Lerner ed. Asmussen, J. Martin's Press, p. Bickerman, Elias J. Bivar, A. Bringmann, Klaus . A History of the Roman Republic.
Translated by W. Cambridge: Polity Press. Burstein, Stanley M. Duchesne-Guillemin, J. Emmerick, R. Frye, R. Green, Tamara M. Howard, Michael C. Lightfoot, C. Mommsen, Theodor [original publication by Ares Publishers, Inc. Morton, William S. Neusner, J. Roller, Duane W. Shahbazi, Shahpur A. Waters, Kenneth H. The Danube and the East", in Temporini, Hildegard ed. Young, Gary K. Daryaee, Touraj The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Links to related articles. Parthian Empire. Parni Dahae Parni conquest of Parthia. Parthian language Parthian art Parthian dress.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parthia. Early Dynastic Kingdoms. Third Dynasty of Ur Sumerian Renaissance. Mari and other Amorite city-states. Old Assyrian Empire Northern Akkadians. Old Hittite Kingdom. Old Babylonian Empire Southern Akkadians. Mitanni Hurrians. New Hittite Kingdom. Middle Assyrian Empire. Another possible example of a Hellenic filter at Akchakhan-kala should be mentioned. Despite the distinctive elongated triangular form of the eyes on the Akchakhan-kala portraits see Fig.
Terracotta figurine. While Khorezmian and Parthian coin portraits of rulers are an important source of imagery, there are also clear differences between the Akchakhan-kala portrait eyes and the myriad of different ways used to represent eyes on these coin portraits. The depiction of the eyes of a painted figure from Kuh-i-Khwaja on a sketch made by Herzfeld appears to be comparable to the Akchakhan-kala portrait eyes in terms of the open end of the eye and the line on the temple, but the photo of the actual fragment challenges the drawing of this detail.
A reasonable parallel for the Akchakhan-kala eyes are found on carved fragments from Shami mentioned above dated to the 2nd — 1st century BCE, which show the distinctive triangular form, and the placement of the pupil at the front of the eye, but lack the extended line on the temple, and the schematic eye-lash The same is true for another example of a painted profile face in Khorezm — from Koy-Krylgan-kala : the form of the eye is comparable, but it lacks the eye-lash and temple line It is possible that while the triangular form of the eye on the Akchakhan-kala portraits represents a more general Hellenic inflence, the unique details of the eyes — and in particular the eye lashes — may be indicative of a locale, that is, specific to Akchakhan-kala,.
Portrait fragment showing eye detail. Photo of partially treated fragment. More detailed comparative analysis of the physiognomy may reveal specific hands. Other elite and non-elite classes of evidence of Hellenic influence in Khorezm raise further questions about the penetration of this influence across different levels of society. For example, Graeco-Bactrian coins form the basis of the earliest Khorezmian coins Several terracotta figurine types from Khorezm also find parallels in the Hellenic world.
For example a figurine fragment from Djanbas-kala Fig. The right hand rests of the right leg and the wrist preserves either a long sleeve with a cuff, or a bracelet. The navel on the naked, paunch belly of the figure is emphasized with a circular impression. Parallels from the Hellenistic world abound for a figure seated in a very similar manner Another figurine, from Akchakhan-kala , dated probably to the 1st century BCE, shows a figure seated cross-legged and wearing trousers with fabric folds clearly shown on the thighs, and a band or sash around the waist.
The left arm is bent at the elbow and apparently holds an object perhaps a mace? The seated cross-legged pose is popular in Khorezm and across Central Asia, but is unknown in a Hellenic context. Nevertheless, a class of Attis figures recalls several aspects of the Akchakhankala figure, including the folds of fabric across the thighs, and the pronounced paunch This evidence from terracotta art is important because it demonstrates that Hellenic influences were incorporated also at non-elite levels of society.
On the basis of the dating of much of the evidence discussed here, it now seems. Source : Tolstov a, pl. There are numerous complicating factors in the discussion of Hellenic influence in Khorezm. Especially pertinent in the context of this paper is the definition and significance of specific Hellenic features in Khorezmian visual art — i.
How would a Greek in Khorezm have viewed these elements? These questions are important because they facilitate perspectives on the extent to which Hellenic culture was taken on in Khorezm. Was Hellenic influence in Khorezm only a superficial, surface phenonemon, manifesting itself as an artistic filter, or were aspects of Hellenic or Greek culture also incorporated in Khorezmian culture?
The arena s where these re-workings took place is impossible to define more closely. Illustrated by D. Khorezm and Parthia : new light on complex connections. This paper has considered elements in the visual art of Akchakhan-kala, which point to a link with the Parthian Empire during the final centuries BCE, providing Khorezmian perspectives on what should be an ongoing discussion of linkages between these two regions.
A key issue in exploring the relationship between Khorezm and Parthia is to separate evidence that underlines the shared heritage of the inhabitants of Central Asia and Iran more widely from that which demonstrates closer interaction at a specific period in time. An important starting point in the establishment of boundaries to discuss degrees of interaction is the definition of iconographic parallels.
Three examples have been given here : the overlapping profile faces, the torque, and the carved fragment. The apparent artistic convention used to depict the spiral torque with zoomorphic terminals on the Akchakhan-kala portraits provides perhaps the strongest support for the idea that the Khorezm-Parthia relationship should be considered beyond the shared heritage of the Near East and Iran in Central Asia.
Of specific interest is the idea that a convention employed in the Parthian Empire was used to portray steppe realia, which clearly communicate status and identity on a group of portraits representing people of unknown identity. Why was this convention used to represent steppe realia? Why were more elements of the visual art from the Parthian Empire not incorporated at Akchakhan-kala? For example, why not copy completely the established portrait style on Parthian coins, which typically shows the bust in partial profile, but also occasionally frontally? Why was Khorezm — or at least Akchakhan-kala — receptive to visual art from Parthia?
The penetration of Hellenic influence into Khorezm is equally difficult to understand ; it seems pervasive — it is found in both elite and non-elite art, and ceramics — yet the question of its route into Khorezm is difficult to trace. In Khorezmian art there appears to be a selective plucking of elements known from the visual art of the Parthian Empire.
It cannot be incidental that Parthian conventions were used to portray steppe elements conveying identity and status. However, the unknown identity of those portrayed in the Akchakahn-kala gallery makes it very difficult to understand the significance of this usage. Furthermore, the evidence of visual art in Khorezm suggests that there was an active element in the design of various aspects of the KY10 complex display programme : the Khorezmians were not blatantly copying or even emulating Near Eastern and Iranian visual art, but were innovating, based on various traditions — local, Parthian, Hellenic, Iranian, and possibly steppe.
This independence underlines the strength of local culture in the Amu Darya oasis. Southern Khorezm may provide important keys for further. Or the less well known portraits from Mansur-depe — see Novikov and Lapshin. The idea of an active tradition of visual art in Khorezm raises further issues regarding the location and exchange of knowledge in heterogeneous contexts. Where did these exchanges take place, under which conditions, and between whom exactly?
There are several options regarding the nature of the exchange between artisans ; local specialists trained elsewhere to learn the Parthian conventions ; Parthian-trained specialists came to Akchakhan-kala to work on the paintings. Equally possible is that both regions were drawing from a less visible corpus of images which comprised a broader Central Asian and east Iranian tradition in visual art stemming from the early Iron Age.
It is possible that much of this substratum was lost or transformed under the blanket of Hellenism, especially at the elite, monumental level. The absence of Alexander the Great in Khorezm may render this region important in the search for evidence of the indigenous Central Asian visual art tradition. The Akchakhan-kala evidence provides a myriad of new perspectives on indigenous visual art in Khorezm and is clearly a fertile area for the study of ancient interactions across the Near Eastern and Iranian worlds.
Fiona Kidd. Bopearachchi and M. Boussac eds. Abdullaev, E. Rtveladze and G. Shishkina eds. Akishev, Kurgan Issyk, Moscow. Translated by Basil Anthony Collins, Reading. Amirov, Tipologo-khronologicheskaya klassifikatsiya keramiki drevnego Khorezma na materialakh Tashkirmanskogo oazisa IV v. Nauchnyi otchet po grantu. Itina, Moscow, p. Artamonov, Sokrovishcha Sakov, Moscow, Iskusstvo. Zournatzi eds. Cross-cultural encounters,. Athens, National Hellenic Research Foundation, p.
Bader and K. Invernizzi ed. Khozhaniyazov ed. Betts, V. Yagodin, S. Helms et al. Bongard-Levin and Koshelenko Bongard-Levin and G. Boroffk a, H. Boroffk a, S orrel et al. Boroffk a, P. Sorrel et al. Archaeologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 37, p. Brilliant, Portraiture, Cambridge MA. Brite E. AD , Unpublished diss. Antoniadou and A. Pace eds. Mediterranean Crossroads, Athens, Pierides Foundation, p. Cerasetti and M. Colledge, Parthian Art, London.
Downey, The Stone and Plaster Sculpture. The Excavations at Dura-Europos. Briant and R. Boucharlat eds. Shirinov and S. Pidaev eds. Francfort and X. Gettens, R. Feller and W. Ghirshman, Iran. Parthians and Sasanians, Paris. Bulletin of the British School at Athens 4, p. C to the mid-4th century A.
Christian and C. Benjamin eds. Worlds of the Silk Roads : ancient and modern, Turnhout, p. Helms and V. Helms, V. Yagodin, A. Betts, G. Khozhaniyazov and F. Khozhaniyazov and M. Dittmann, B. H rouda, U. L oew, P. M atthiae, R. M ayer-Opificius and S. Iran und der Westen. Archaeologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 27, p. H errmann eds. Jacobson E. Jacobson, The Art of the Scythians, Leiden.
Kawami, L. Becker and R. Khozhaniyazov G. Kidd and Betts F. Kidd and A. Kidd, N egus-Cleary et al. Kidd, M. Negus-Cleary and E. Hartley, G. Smith eds. Negus-Cleary, V. Betts and E. Sherwin-White eds. Deshayes ed. Kyrieleis, Throne und Klinen, Berlin. Litvinskij, I. Litvinsky, I. Acta Antiqua Academiae Scienriarum Hungaricae 16, p. Livshits and M. Period Feodalizma, Moscow, p.
Abdullaev ed. Manylov and G. Masson and G. A study in cultural receptivity, Cambridge. Popova, C. Hartley and A. Parry ed. Vaynberg ed. Novikov and A. Eichmann and H. Parzinger eds. Der Wander vorder-und zentralasiatischer Kulturen im Umbruch vom 2. Berezkin ed. Piotrovsky, Scythian Art, Oxford and Leningrad. Masson ed. Tolstov and T. Zhdanko eds. Pugachenkova, E. Kushanskiy Gorod na Yuge Uzbekistana, Tashkent. Ethograficheskoe Obozrenie 6, p. Rapoport and E. Nerazik, Toprak-kala. Dvoretz, Moscow.
Rapoport, N erazik et al. Rapoport, E. Nerazik and L. Reeder, Scythian Gold. Gunter ed. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution, p. Root M. Sancisi-Weerdenburg, A. Kurht and M. Rowland B. Rudenko, Frozen Tombs of Siberia. The Pazyryk burials of Iron Age horsemen,. Schiltz, Les Scythes et les Nomades des Steppes. Schimdt, Persepolis I. Sherwin-White and A. Kuhrt, From Samarkand to Sardis. Smith, Hellenistic Royal Portraits, Oxford.
Stodulski, Farrell et al. Stodulski, E. Farrell and R. Stride, B. Rondelli, and S. Thureau-Dangin and M. Dunand, Til Barsip Album, Paris.
The Age of the Parthians (The Idea of Iran Book 2) and millions of other books are Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Sarah Stewart writes award-winning children's books with Age of the Parthians, The (Idea of Iran Book 2) Kindle Edition.
Tolstov, Drevniy Khorezm, Moscow. Tolstov and B. Vaynberg, Koy-Krylgan-Kala. Vaynberg, Monety Drevnego Khorezma, Moscow. Itina ed, Kochevniki na Granitzakh Khorezma, Moscow, p. Kukushkina ed. Vaynberg, Kalaly-Gyr 2. Vishnevskaya and Y. Von den H off , S chultz Von den H off and P. Schultz and R. Image, style, context, Cambridge, p. Tolstov and M. Watson, Records of the Grand Historian of China. Volume II, New York. Parpola and R. Whiting eds. Suter and C. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 3 , p. Betts, F.
Kidd, E. Baker-Brite, S. Amirov, V. Yagodin and. Khelms and G. Vinogradov ed. Topoi 17 p. However, the official name of the site, and the name under which it is listed in the national monuments records of Uzbekistan, is Akchakhan-kala. Yagodin and A. The project has received substantial support from the Australian Research Council as well as National Geographic and the generosity of many volunteers. For discussion of Khorezm as a frontier or contact zone see most recently Francfort. I would like to thank Charlotte Baratin and Frantz Grenet for their invitation to participate in this workshop.
For reports see Betts, Y agodin et al. Yagodin ; Helms, Yagodin et al. For detailed discussion of the issues in Khorezmian chronology see Helms ;. Helms , p. There is little conclusive evidence to indicate that the canal and upper enclosure which was constructed prior to the lower enclosure were constructed simultaneously.
Amirov , p. Some of these patterns are discussed in Kidd and Betts , p. See Khozhaniyazov The function of the border fortresses is discussed in more detail below. These texts will be the subject of a separate publication, but are mentioned briefly in. Yagodin, Betts et al. If the first century BCE dating of the Akchakhan-kala paintings is correct, the presence of the word MLK on these fragments is significant, as it may be the earliest evidence of this word in Khorezm.
See Livshits , p. For detailed discussion of the geographic extent of ancient Khorezm see H elms and Helms For an overview of these populations see Vaynberg , Vaynberg Francfort , p. See also Olbrycht , p. See most recently Kidd. Frank , p. Skaff , p. Christian Stride Stride , p. Winter See also Brysbaert These units are outlined in detail in Winter , p.
Although see Rapoport and Nerazik for discussion of the Toprak-kala sculpture and mural art. For a discussion of the problem of chronology in ancient Khorezm see H elms , p. See Kidd, Negus-Cleary et al. For discussion of Parthian art see Invernizzi For further useful discussion about the status of Parthian art see Downey , p. See also Novikov, Lapshin See Colledge , p. Smith , p. See also Invernizzi and in this volume p.
For discussion of these influences see most recently Invernizzi In Parthian military architecture also, both Iranian and Greek elements are assumed to be present — see Jakubiak Boyce , p. Francfort, pers. Kuhrt , p. Sherwin-White and Kuhrt , p. Gnoli , p. See note Strabo XI. For discussion see. Betts ; Olbrycht See generally Frank for historiographical perspectives on Central Asia. Frank ; Christian For discussion see Olbrycht Manylov, Khodzhaniyazov , p. See also Livshits , p. This is disputed by some scholars — see Lerner.
See Lerner , for a review and discussion. For further discussion on the nomadic origins of the Parthians see Kuhrt , p. References to Khorezm in the Han period Chinese textual sources are even more debatable. For discussion see most recently Helms , p. Rapoport, Nerazik et al. For discussion of this issue see Betts , p. See the discussion in Stride See also Betts , p. Ptashnikova Kuzmina , p. Khodzhaniyazov ; Betts For brief discussion see Betts , p. The role of local ecology and sociopolitical relations in Khorezm is being addressed by Elizabeth Baker Brite in her thesis, Brite in prep See also.
For discussion of archaeological evidence see Pruger ; Manylov It is surprising that more turquoise has not been found in archaeological contexts in Khorezm. Francfort and Tremblay , p. Pruger , p. Rapin , p.
According to F. Grenet pers. Cited in Olbrycht , p. Nikitin , p. Cerasetti and Tosi , p. Note that these fortresses have been identified on Landsat images, and are dated only on the basis of their architectural form. River trade should also not be ruled out. According to the Shiji, ch.
Although much later, a unique pottery fragment from Besh Tyobe Khorezm preserving the image of a sailing ship also hints at this idea Tolstov a, p. See Boroffk a, Sorrel et al. Control of water around the Uzboy may have been another important aspect of the link between Khorezm and Parthia. For example, Yosupov has suggested that Igdykala functioned to control water and trade through the Uzboy region. See Yosupov. See also Vaynberg Vishnevskaya and Rapoport , p.
Much later evidence also shows that caravans regularly traversed the supposedly impenetrable sands of the Kara-kum. See Masson a ; Yosupov See above, note Bader and Usupov , p. Bolelov , p. Note that these dates are relative only. Study of the Akchakhan-kala ceramic sequence is currently being undertaken to produce an absolute dating sequence based on the C14 dates obtained from the site. See above note 66 regarding the southern border of Khorezm. Livshitz and Mambetullaev , p.
Olbrycht , p. Livshits , p. Masson b, p. Manassero , p. For discussion, see Tolstov a, p. Masson and Pugachenkova , p. See also R apoport and Nerazik , p. Faccenna , figs. Faccenna , p. Ghanimati Thureau-Dangin and Dunand , pl. XLIV, 3 and 4 ; pl. XLIX ; pl. LI ; pl. LII ;. Schmidt , pl. For example, Smith , pl. This theme of continuity can be traced in various other elements found at Akchakhankala. See Kidd and Betts forthcoming. Problems with ethnic identification of artisans based on style are discussed in Roaf.
See generally Brilliant. For discussion of the gallery see most recently. Artamonov , , fig. See for example Reeder , cat. Akishev , pl. Artamonov , cat. But see Vaynberg , Privetnoe Scythian ; ill. Ternovka Scythian ; ill. Tolstov and Vaynberg , tbl. For descriptions of figurines see p. The question of the significance of the number of spirals is discussed briefly in Kidd. Torques with the spirals soldered together often have more spirals. See Colledge , pl. In fact these are closer to the torques on the above mentioned deer bone from Kalaly-gyr 2.
See Sellwood , type The piece is severely blackened and was first identified as burnt ivory. However, recent visual observation indicates the possibility that the piece may be a dark hardwood, such as ebony. I am grateful to D. Hopkins for his preliminary comments on the material of this piece. It is not unusual to find similar shapes decorating the bodies of animals in both steppe and Achaemenid art.
See for example Schiltz , p. For discussion and references see Jamzadeh , p. See Jamzadeh ; Tilia , p. Although it is now impossible to tell if the Akchakhan-kala fragment was once painted, this possibility should not be ruled out. Pugachenkova , figs. Achaemenid throne leg designs find earlier parallels in the Near East and Urartu.
See Kyrieleis , p. See especially Root The implications for early Khorezmian history of a Parthian throne in the centre of the KY10 complex are quite different to those of a Khorezmian throne, which reflects Achaemenid and Parthian influence. See brief discussion in Kidd In addition, there are several unpublished fragments from Akchakhan-kala including another bone pin fragment, a bead and another high quality, although very poorly preserved piece. See for example Rudenko Invernizzi , p. Colledge , p. Litvinskij , p.
Francfort See most recently Francfort See Amiet for discussion of Achaemenid period ivory. Invernizzi , See Jacobson , p. See detailed discussion in Betts, Yagodin et al. See Kuhrt Rapoport , p. Lyonnet , p. I am grateful to Frantz Grenet for this reference. See discussion on p. Masson and Pugachenkova , pl. See also Masson and Pugachenkova , pl. Grenet has proposed a link with the Iranian Mihragan. Albenda See most recently Abdullaev Carter , fig.
Rowland ; Ingholt , fig. See Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae v. III, 2, pl. The means of transmission may well have included sketchbooks. See Marshak. Compareti , figs. See Rapoport for a discussion of this theme in a Khorezmian context. Tolstov and Vaynberg , fig. See also Rapoport , p. A similar idea is explored by Lo Muzio in his discussion of the Dioscuri at Dilberdzhin. See Lo Muzio , p. See however, Von D en Hoff and Sch ultz ; for specific discussion of royal Hellenistic portraiture see Smith , p. Triangular shaped eyes are depicted on the relief fragment from Koy-Krylgan-kala showing a fantastic creature Tolstov.
See Kawami , p. See for example Ghirshman , fig. Tolstov a, pl. For discussion and images see Hadzisteliou-Price For discussion see Yagodin, Khelms et al. See for example Tolstov and Vaynberg , fig. Liste des illustrations Fig. Digitised tracing of untreated fragment [link] Fig. Portrait showing the spiral torque with zoomorphic terminals.
Photo of partially treated fragment [link] Fig. Hopkins [link] Fig. Source : Pugachenkova , fig. Digitised tracing of treated fragment [link] Fig. Hopkins [link]. Recent finds from the monumental site of Akchakhan-kala Kazaklyyatkan 2 prompt a re-appraisal of these relations and provide an opportunity to explore some new perspectives on the complex topic of Near Eastern and Central Asian historical relations.
Akchakhan-kala Since excavations by the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition at Akchakhankala have yielded increasing evidence of the significance of this monumental site in understanding late first millennium BCE Khorezm 6. There is also an increasing number of ornamental Akchakhan-kala. Defining boundaries : Khorezm and Parthia Located in the delta of the Amu Darya where it flows into the Aral Sea, the ancient land of Khorezm is surrounded by the Kyzyl-kum and the Kara-kum.
During the Achaemenid period itself, Khorezm and Parthia, together with Sogdiana and Aria comprise the 16th tribute paying province of the Achaemenid Empire Herodotus Hist. Khorezm and Parthia : new evidence from Akchakhan-kala The section below presents a comparative analysis of three pieces of visual art from Akchakhan-kala that support either a link between Central Asia and the Iranian world, or a closer level of interaction between Khorezm and Parthia during the final centuries BCE and the beginning of the CE.
The facial skin The spiral torque with zoomorphic terminals Representations of torques on figures in the portrait gallery of the KY10 complex provide stronger iconographic and chronological evidence of a specific link between Khorezm and Parthia A close parallel for the Akchakhan-kala terminal comes from the Anapa kurgan ; it shows a zoomorphic head, interpreted by Artamanov as a deer, with several Moreover, where the