Media is a region of north-western Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Medes. During the Achaemenid period, it comprised present-day Azarbaijan, Iranian Kurdistan and western Tabaristan; as a satrapy under Achaemenid rule, it would encompass a wider region, stretching to southern Dagestan in the north. However, after the wars of Alexander the Great, the northern parts were separated due to the Partition of Babylon and became known as Atropatene, while the remaining region became known as Lesser Media. In 678 BC, Deioces made the first Iranian empire, his grandson Cyaxares managed to unite all Iranian tribes of Ancient Iran and made his empire a major power. When Cyaxares died he was succeeded by his son, the last king of the Median empire. In 553 BC, Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, rebelled against his grandfather, the Median King, Astyages son of Cyaxares. After Cyrus's victory against Astyages, the Medes were subjected to the Persians. In the new empire they retained a prominent position.
At the beginning the Greek historians referred to the Achaemenid Empire as a Median empire. After the assassination of the usurper Smerdis, a Mede Fravartish, claiming to be a scion of Cyaxares, tried to restore the Mede kingdom, but was defeated by the Persian generals and executed in Ecbatana. Another rebellion, in 409 BC, against Darius II was of short duration, but the Iranian tribes to the north the Cadusii, were always troublesome. Under Persian rule, the country was divided into two satrapies: the south, with Ecbatana and Rhagae, Media proper, or Greater Media, as it is called, formed in Darius I the Great's organization the eleventh satrapy, together with the Paricanians and Orthocorybantians. Caucasian Albania was incorporated by the Achaemenid Persians and were under the command of the satrapy of Media in the period; when the Persian empire decayed and the Cadusii and other mountainous tribes made themselves independent, eastern Armenia became a special satrapy, while Assyria seems to have been united with Media.
Following Alexander's invasion of the satrapy of Media in the summer of 330 BC, he appointed as satrap a former general of Darius III the Great named Atropates in 328 BC, according to Arrian. In the partition of his empire, southern Media was given to the Macedonian Peithon. While southern Media, with Ecbatana, passed to the rule of Antigonus, afterwards to Seleucus I, Atropates maintained himself in his own satrapy and succeeded in founding an independent kingdom, thus the partition of the country, that Persia had introduced, became lasting. The capital of Atropatene was Gazaca in the central plain, the castle Phraaspa, discovered on the Araz river by archaeologists in April 2005. Atropatene is that country of western Asia, least of all other countries influenced by Hellenism. Southern Media remained a province of the Seleucid Empire for a century and a half, Hellenism was introduced everywhere. Media was surrounded everywhere by Greek towns, in pursuance of Alexander's plan to protect it from neighboring barbarians, according to Polybius.
Only Ecbatana retained its old character. But Rhagae became the Greek town Europus. Most of them were founded by Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I. In 221 BC, the satrap Molon tried to make himself independent, together with his brother Alexander, satrap of Persis, but they were defeated and killed by Antiochus the Great. In the same way, the Mede satrap Timarchus conquered Babylonia, but with Demetrius I, the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire began, brought about chiefly by the intrigues of the Romans, shortly afterwards, in about 150, the Parthian king Mithradates I conquered Media. From this time Media remained subject to the Arsacids or Parthians, who changed the name of Rhagae, or Europus, into Arsacia, divided the country into five small provinces. From the Parthians, it passed in 226 to the Sassanids, together with Atropatene; the Medes spoke Median, a Northwestern Iranian language
Bistam or Vistahm, was a Parthian dynast of the Ispahbudhan house, maternal uncle of the Sasanian shah of Iran, Khosrow II. Vistahm helped Khosrow regain his throne after the rebellion of Bahram Chobin, but led a revolt himself, which encompassed the entire Iranian East before being suppressed. Vistahm and his brother Vinduyih were grandsons of Bawi, they belonged to the Ispahbudhan, one of the seven Parthian clans that formed the elite aristocracy of the Sasanian Empire. The Ispahbudhan in particular enjoyed such a high status that they were acknowledged as "kin and partners of the Sasanians"; the family held the important position of spahbed of the West, i.e. the Sasanian Empire's southwestern regions. A sister of Vistahm had married the Sasanian shah Hormizd IV, was the mother of Hormizd's heir, Khosrow II; the family suffered, along with the other aristocratic clans, during the persecutions launched by Hormizd IV in his years: Shapur was murdered, Vistahm succeeded his father as spahbed of the West.
Hormizd's persecutions led to the revolt of the general Bahram Chobin in 590. Bahram, whose revolt attracted widespread support, marched on the capital, Ctesiphon. There Hormizd tried to sideline the two Ispahbudhan, but was dissuaded, according to Sebeos, by his son, Khosrow II. Vinduyih was imprisoned, but Vistahm fled the court. Unable to oppose Bahram's march on Ctesiphon, however and the two brothers fled to Azerbaijan. Vistahm remained behind to rally troops, while Vinduyih escorted Khosrow to seek aid from the East Romans. On their way, they were overtaken by Bahram's troops, but Vinduyih, pretending to his nephew, allowed himself to be captured to ensure Khosrow's escape. In early 591 Khosrow returned with military aid from the East Romans, was joined by 12,000 Armenian cavalry and 8,000 troops from Azerbaijan raised by Vistahm. In the Battle of Blarathon, Bahram's army suffered a crushing defeat, Khosrow II reclaimed Ctesiphon and his throne. After his victory, Khosrow rewarded his uncles with high positions: Vinduyih became treasurer and first minister and Vistahm received the post of spahbed of the East, encompassing Tabaristan and Khorasan, which according to Sebeos was the traditional homeland of the Ispahbudhan.
Soon, Khosrow changed his intentions: trying to disassociate himself from his father's murder, the shah decided to execute his uncles. The Sasanian monarchs' traditional mistrust of over-powerful magnates and Khosrow's personal resentment of Vinduyih's patronising manner contributed to this decision. Vinduyih was soon put to death, according to a Syriac source captured while trying to flee to his brother in the East. At the news of his brother's murder, Vistahm rose in open revolt. According to Dinawari, Vistahm sent a letter to Khosrow announcing his claim to the throne through his Parthian heritage: "You are not worthier to rule than I am. Indeed, I am more deserving on account of my descent from Darius, son of Darius, who fought Alexander. You Sasanians deceitfully gained superiority over us and usurped our right, treated us with injustice. Your ancestor Sasan was no more than a shepherd." Vistahm's revolt, like Bahrams's shortly before, found spread quickly. Local magnates as well as the remnants of Bahram Chobin's armies flocked to him after he married Bahram's sister Gordiya.
Vistahm repelled several loyalist efforts to subdue him, he soon held sway in the entire eastern and northern quadrants of the Iranian realm, a domain stretching from the Oxus river to the region of Ardabil in the west. He campaigned in the east, where he subdued two Hephthalite princes of Transoxiana and Pariowk; the date of Vistahm's uprising is uncertain. From his coinage, it is known; the accepted dates are ca. 590–596, but some scholars like J. D. Howard–Johnston and P. Pourshariati push its outbreak in 594/5, to coincide with the Armenian Vahewuni rebellion; as Vistahm began to threaten Media, Khosrow sent several armies against his uncle, but failed to achieve a decisive result: Vistahm and his followers retreated to the mountainous region of Gilan, while several Armenian contingents of the royal army rebelled and defected to Vistahm. Khosrow called upon the services of the Armenian Smbat Bagratuni, who engaged Vistahm near Qumis. During the battle, Vistahm was murdered by Pariowk at Khosrow's urging.
Vistahm's troops managed to repel the royal army at Qumis, it required another expedition by Smbat in the next year to end the rebellion. Despite Vistahm's rebellion and death, the power of the Ispahbudhan family was too great to be broken. Indeed, one of Vinduyih's sons was instrumental in the trial of Khosrow II after his deposition in 628, two of the sons of Vistahm and Tiruyih, along with their cousin Narsi, were commanders in the Iranian army that confronted the Muslim Arabs in 634; the town of Bastam in Iran may derive its name from Vistahm, as well as the monumental site of Taq-e Bostan. Howard-Johnston, James. "ḴOSROW II". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 9 November 2013. Martindale, John Robert; the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume III: A. D. 527–641. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-20160-5. Pourshariati, Parvaneh. Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire
The Parthian Empire known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran; the empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians adopted the art, religious beliefs, royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions.
The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire. The court did appoint a small number of satraps outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris, although several other sites served as capitals; the earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Scythians in the east. However, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients; the Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, in 40–39 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant except Tyre from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius.
Various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the ensuing Roman–Parthian Wars of the next few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, but were never able to hold on to them. Frequent civil wars between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous to the Empire's stability than foreign invasion, Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I, ruler of Istakhr in Persis, revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus V, in 224 AD. Ardashir established the Sassanid Empire, which ruled Iran and much of the Near East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived on through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania. Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and earlier Achaemenid sources. Aside from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostraca, rock inscriptions, drachma coins, the chance survival of some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources.
These include Greek and Roman histories, but Chinese histories, prompted by the Han Chinese desire to form alliances against the Xiongnu. Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources. Before Arsaces I of Parthia founded the Arsacid Dynasty, he was chieftain of the Parni, an ancient Central-Asian tribe of Iranian peoples and one of several nomadic tribes within the confederation of the Dahae; the Parni most spoke an eastern Iranian language, in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia. The latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid, the Seleucid empires. After conquering the region, the Parni adopted Parthian as the official court language, speaking it alongside Middle Persian, Greek, Babylonian and other languages in the multilingual territories they would conquer. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain.
A. D. H. Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras, the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I "backdated his regnal years" to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased. However, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. Homa Katouzian and Gene Ralph Garthwaite claim it was the year Arsaces conquered Parthia and expelled the Seleucid authorities, yet Curtis and Maria Brosius state that Andragoras was not overthrown by the Arsacids until 238 BC, it is unclear who succeeded Arsaces I. Bivar and Katouzian affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC, yet Curtis and Brosius state that Arsaces II was the immediate successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC, Brosius in 217 BC. Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is "the first established regnal date of Parthian history."
Due to these and other discrepancies
Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī was an influential Persian scholar and exegete of the Qur'an from Amol, who composed all his works in Arabic. Today, he is best known for his expertise in Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and world history, but he has been described as "an impressively prolific polymath, he wrote on such subjects as poetry, grammar, ethics and medicine."His most influential and best known works are his Qur'anic commentary known as Tafsir al-Tabari and his historical chronicle Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk referred to Tarikh al-Tabari. Although it became extinct, al-Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death, it was designated by the name Jariri. Tabari was born in Amol, Tabaristan in the winter of 838–9, he memorized the Qur'an at seven, was a qualified prayer leader at eight and began to study the prophetic traditions at nine. He left home to study in 236AH, he retained close ties to his home town. He returned at least twice, the second time in 290AH when his outspokenness caused some uneasiness and led to his quick departure.
He first went to Rayy. A major teacher in Rayy was Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Razi, who had earlier taught in Baghdad but was now in his seventies. While in Ray, he studied Muslim jurisprudence according to the Hanafi school. Among other material, ibn Humayd taught Jarir Tabari the historical works of ibn Ishaq al-Sirah, his life of Muhammad. Tabari was thus introduced in youth to early Islamic history. Tabari quotes ibn Humayd but little is known about Tabari's other teachers in Rayy. Tabari travelled to study in Baghdad under ibn Hanbal, however, had died. Tabari made a pilgrimage prior to his first arrival in Baghdad, he left Baghdad in 242 A. H. to travel through the southern cities of Basra and Wasit. There, he met a number of venerable scholars. In addition to his previous study of Hanafi law, Tabari studied the Shafi'i, Maliki and Zahiri rites. Tabari's study of the latter school was with the founder, Dawud al-Zahiri, Tabari hand-copied and transmitted many of his teacher's works. Tabari was well-versed in four of the five remaining Sunni legal schools before founding his own independent, yet extinct, school.
His debates with his former teachers and classmates were known, served as a demonstration of said independence. Notably missing from this list is the Hanbali school, the fourth largest legal school within Sunni Islam in the present era. Tabari's view of Ibn Hanbal, the school's founder, became decidedly negative in life. Tabari did not give Ibn Hanbal's dissenting opinion any weight at all when considering the various views of jurists, stating that Ibn Hanbal had not been a jurist at all but a recorder of Hadith. On his return to Baghdad, he took a tutoring position from the vizier, Ubaydallah ibn Yahya ibn Khaqan; this would have been before A. H. 244 since the vizier was out of office and in exile from 244 to 248. There is an anecdote told that Tabari had agreed to tutor for ten dinars a month, but his teaching was so effective and the boy's writing so impressive that the teacher was offered a tray of dinars and dirhams; the ever-ethical Tabari declined the offer saying he had undertaken to do his work at the specified amount and could not honourably take more.
That is one of a number of stories about him declining gifts or giving gifts of equal or greater amount in return. In his late twenties, he travelled to Syria and Egypt. In Beirut, he made the significant connection of al-Abbas b. al-Walid b. Mazyad al-'Udhri al-Bayruti. Al-Abbas instructed Tabari in the Syrian school's variant readings of the Qur'an and transmitted through his father al-Walid the legal views of al-Awza'i, Beirut's prominent jurist from a century earlier. Tabari arrived in Egypt in 253AH, some time after 256/870, he returned to Baghdad making a pilgrimage on the way. If so, he did not stay long in the Hijaz. Tabari had a private income from his father while he was still living and the inheritance, he took money for teaching. Among Tabari's students was Ibn al-Mughallis, a student of Tabari's own teacher Muhammad bin Dawud al-Zahiri, he never took a judicial position. Tabari was some fifty years old, he was well past seventy in the year. During the intervening years, he was famous, if somewhat controversial, personality.
Among the figures of his age, he had access to sources of information equal to anyone, except those who were directly connected with decision making within the government. Most, if not all, the materials for the histories of al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi, the early years of al-Muqtadir were collected by him about the time the reported events took place, his accounts are as authentic. Tabari's final years were marked by conflict with the Hanbalite followers of Al-Hasan ibn'Ali al-Barbahari, a student of the students of Ibn Hanbal. Tabari was known for his view that Hanbalism was not a legitimate school of thought, as Ibn Hanbal was a compiler of traditions and not a proper jurist; the Hanbalites of Baghdad would stone Tabari's house, escalating the persecuti
A ditch is a small to moderate depression created to channel water. A ditch can be used for drainage, to drain water from low-lying areas, alongside roadways or fields, or to channel water from a more distant source for plant irrigation. Ditches are seen around farmland in areas that have required drainage, such as The Fens in eastern England and much of the Netherlands. Roadside ditches may provide a hazard to motorists and cyclists, whose vehicles may crash into them and get damaged, flipped over or stuck in poor weather conditions, in rural areas. Ditch is known as for sneaking off like waking up and escaping from bed during bedtime at night, escaping from school or jail and playing Ding Dong Ditch. In Anglo-Saxon, the word dïc existed and was pronounced "deek" in northern England and "deetch" in the south; the origins of the word lie in digging a trench and forming the upcast soil into a bank alongside it. This practice has meant that the name dïc was given to either the excavation or the bank, evolved to both the words "dike"/"dyke" and "ditch".
Thus Offa's Dyke is a combined structure and Car Dyke is a trench, though it once had raised banks as well. In the midlands and north of England, a dike is what a ditch is in the south, a property boundary marker or small drainage channel. Where it carries a stream, it may be called a running dike as in Rippingale Running Dike, which leads water from the catchwater drain, Car Dyke, to the South Forty Foot Drain in Lincolnshire; the Weir Dike is a soak dike near Twenty and alongside the River Glen. Drainage ditches play major roles in agriculture throughout the world. Improper drainage systems accelerate water contamination, excessively desiccate soils during seasonal drought, become a financial burden to maintain. Industrial earth-moving equipment facilitates maintenance of straight drainage trenches, but entrenchment results in increasing environmental and profound economic costs over time. Sustainable channel design can result in ditches that are self-maintaining due to natural geomorphological equilibrium.
Slowed net siltation and erosion result in net reduction in sediment transport. Encouraging development of a natural stream sinuosity and a multi-terraced channel cross section appear to be key to maintain both peak ditch drainage capacity, minimum net pollution and nutrient transport. Flooding can be a major cause of recurring crop loss—particularly in heavy soils—and can disrupt urban economies as well. Subsurface drainage to ditches offers a way to remove excess water from agricultural fields, or vital urban spaces, without the erosion rates and pollution transport that results from direct surface runoff. However, excess drainage results in recurring drought induced crop yield losses and more severe urban heat or desiccation issues. Controlled subsurface drainage from sensitive areas to vegetated drainage ditches makes possible a better balance between water drainage and water retention needs; the initial investment allows a community to draw down local water tables when and where necessary without exacerbating drought problems at other times.
In Colorado, the term ditch is applied to open aqueducts that traverse hillsides as part of transbasin diversion projects. Examples include the Grand Ditch over La Poudre Pass, the Berthoud Pass Ditch, the Boreas Pass Ditch. Barbagallo, Tricia. "Black Beach: The Mucklands of Canastota, New York". Archived from the original on June 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-04
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
King of Kings
King of Kings was a ruling title employed by monarchs based in the Middle East. Though most associated with Iran the Achaemenid and Sasanian Empires, the title was introduced during the Middle Assyrian Empire by king Tukulti-Ninurta I and was subsequently used in a number of different kingdoms and empires, including the aforementioned Persia, various Hellenic kingdoms, Armenia and Ethiopia; the title is seen as equivalent to that of Emperor, both titles outranking that of king in prestige, stemming from the medieval Byzantine Emperors who saw the Shahanshahs of the Sasanian Empire as their equals. The last reigning monarchs to use the title of Shahanshah, those of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran equated the title with "Emperor"; the rulers of the Ethiopian Empire used the title of Nəgusä Nägäst, translated into "Emperor". The female variant of the title, as used by the Ethiopian Zewditu, was Queen of Kings. In the Sasanian Empire, the female variant used was Queen of Queens; the title King of Kings was first introduced by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I as šar šarrāni.
The title carried a literal meaning in that a šar was traditionally the ruler of a city-state. With the formation of the Middle Assyrian Empire, the Assyrian rulers installed themselves as kings over an present system of kingship in these city-states, becoming literal "kings of kings". Following Tukulti-Ninurta's reign, the title was used by monarchs of Assyria and Babylon. Assyrian rulers to use šar šarrāni include Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal."King of Kings", as šar šarrāni, was among the many titles of the last Neo-Babylonian king, Nabonidus. He used more boastful titles such as "king of the gods" and "king of the gods of the heavens and the underworld". Boastful titles claiming ownership of various things were common throughout ancient Mesopotamian history. For instance, Ashurbanipal's great-grandfather Sargon II used the full titulature of Great King, Mighty King, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad; the title of King of Kings appears in inscriptions of kings of Urartu.
Although no evidence exists, it is possible that the title was used by the rulers of the Median Empire, since its rulers borrowed much of their royal symbolism and protocol from Urartu and elsewhere in Mesopotamia. The Achaemenid Persian variant of the title, Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm, is Median in form which suggests that the Achaemenids may have taken it from the Medes rather than from the Mesopotamians. An Assyrian-language inscription on a fortification near the fortress of Tušpa mentions King Sarduri I of Urartu as a builder of a wall and a holder of the title King of Kings. I am Sarduri, son of Lutipri, the king of kings and the king who received the tribute of all the kings. Sarduri, son of Lutipri, says: I brought these stone blocks from the city of Alniunu. I built this wall; the Achaemenid Empire, established in 550 BC after the fall of the Median Empire expanded over the course of the sixth century BC. Asia Minor and the Lydian kingdom was conquered in 546 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 BC, Egypt in 525 BC and the Indus region in 513 BC.
The Achaemenids employed satrapal administration, which became a guarantee of success due to its flexibility and the tolerance of the Achaemenid kings for the more-or-less autonomous vassals. The system had its problems. Egypt was a prominent example rebelling against Achaemenid authority and attempting to crown their own Pharaohs. Though it was defeated, the Great Satraps' Revolt of 366–360 BC showed the growing structural problems within the Empire; the Achaemenid Kings used a variety of different titles, prominently Great King and King of Countries, but the most prominent title was that of King of Kings, recorded for every Achaemenid king. The full titulature of the king Darius I was "great king, king of kings, king in Fārs, king of the countries, Hystaspes’ son, Arsames’ grandson, an Achaemenid". An inscription in the Armenian city of Van by Xerxes I reads; the standard royal title of the Arsacid kings while in Babylon was Aršaka šarru, King of Kings was adopted first by Mithridates I, though he used it infrequently.
The title first began being used by Mithridates I's nephew, Mithridates II, who after adopting it in 111 BC used it extensively including it in his coinage until 91 BC. It is possible that Mithridates II's, his successors', use of the title was not a revival of the old Achaemenid imperial title (since it was not used until a decade after Mithridates II's own conque