Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and it is the worlds only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of any country, emerging as one of the worlds first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the century and remains a predominantly Muslim country. With over 92 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, and the fifteenth-most populous in the world.
The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, the large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypts territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypts residents live in areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria. Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypts economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern name of Egypt. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם, the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian
In the Iron Age, it was controlled by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires. The Sumerians and Akkadians dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of history to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In AD226, eastern part of it fell to the Sassanid Persians, division of Mesopotamia between Roman and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines. A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene and Hatra, Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. The regional toponym Mesopotamia comes from the ancient Greek root words μέσος middle and ποταμός river and it is used throughout the Greek Septuagint to translate the Hebrew equivalent Naharaim.
In the Anabasis, Mesopotamia was used to designate the land east of the Euphrates in north Syria, the Aramaic term biritum/birit narim corresponded to a similar geographical concept. The neighbouring steppes to the west of the Euphrates and the part of the Zagros Mountains are often included under the wider term Mesopotamia. A further distinction is made between Northern or Upper Mesopotamia and Southern or Lower Mesopotamia. Upper Mesopotamia, known as the Jazira, is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to Baghdad, Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf and includes Kuwait and parts of western Iran. In modern academic usage, the term Mesopotamia often has a chronological connotation and it is usually used to designate the area until the Muslim conquests, with names like Syria and Iraq being used to describe the region after that date. It has been argued that these euphemisms are Eurocentric terms attributed to the region in the midst of various 19th-century Western encroachments, Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the Armenian Highlands.
Both rivers are fed by tributaries, and the entire river system drains a vast mountainous region. Overland routes in Mesopotamia usually follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are frequently steep and difficult. The climate of the region is semi-arid with a vast desert expanse in the north which gives way to a 15,000 square kilometres region of marshes, mud flats, in the extreme south, the Euphrates and the Tigris unite and empty into the Persian Gulf. In the marshlands to the south of the area, a complex water-borne fishing culture has existed since prehistoric times, periodic breakdowns in the cultural system have occurred for a number of reasons. Alternatively, military vulnerability to invasion from marginal hill tribes or nomadic pastoralists has led to periods of trade collapse and these trends have continued to the present day in Iraq
Ardashir I or Ardeshir I, known as Ardashir the Unifier, was the founder of the Sasanian Empire. After defeating the last Parthian shahnshah Artabanus V on the Hormozdgān plain in 224, he overthrew the Parthian dynasty, Ardashir called himself shahanshah and began conquering the land that he called Iran. There are various reports about Ardashirs lineage and ancestry. According to Al-Tabaris report, Ardashir was son of Papak, son of Sasan, according to Al-Tabaris report, Ardashir was born in the outskirts of Istakhr, Pars. Al-Tabari adds that Ardashir was sent to the lord of Fort Darabgard when he was seven years old, after the lords death, Ardashir succeeded him and became the commander of Fort Darabgard. Al-Tabari continues that afterward, Papak overthrew the local Persian shah named Gochihr and appointed his son, according to Al-Tabaris report and his father, suddenly died and Ardashir became the ruler of Pars. It is probable that the role that is stated about Ardashir in leading the rebellion against the central government is the product of the historical studies.
Papak had probably united most of Pars under his rule by then, Ardashir had an outstanding role in developing the royal ideology. He tried to show himself as a worshiper of Mazda related to god, on the other hand, some historians believe that the first Sasanian shahanshahs were familiar with the Achaemenids and their succeeding shahanshahs deliberately turned to the Kayanians. They knowingly ignored the Achaemenids in order to attribute their past to the Kayanians, in order to remark his victories, Ardashir carved petroglyphs in Firuzabad, Naqsh-e Rajab and Naqsh-e Rustam. It can be deduced from the picture that Ardashir assumed or wished for others to assume that his rule over the land that was called Iran in the inscriptions was designated by the lord. The word Iran was previously used in Avesta and as the name of the land of the Aryans. In Ardashirs period, the title Iran was chosen for the region under the Sasanian rule, what is clear is that the concept of Iran previously had a religious application and ended up creating its political face and the concept of a geographical collection of lands.
Ardashir, which was pronounced /ærtæxʃæɵræ/, has one of old. It is read and pronounced as Artaxérxēs, Αρταξέρξης in Greek, /ærtæxʃtær/, /ærtæxʃir/ in Middle Persian, Artašēs, Արտաշէս in Armenian, Ardashir means the one whose reign is based on honesty and justice. The first part of Artakhshir is adapted from the concept of justice known as Ṛta or Asha. Three of Achaemenid kings of kings and four of the local Shahs of Pars - known as Frataraka - were named Ardashir, examples of text remnants related to Ardashir I include his short inscription in Nagsh-e Rajab and Shapur Is inscription at the Kaba-ye Zartosht. Reports are texts that are written in languages and periods
It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint, Greek science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. The religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele, the Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa. This resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to new realms. Equally, these new kingdoms were influenced by the cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East and this mixture gave rise to a common Attic-based Greek dialect, known as Koine Greek, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic world.
Scholars and historians are divided as to what event signals the end of the Hellenistic era, Hellenistic is distinguished from Hellenic in that the first encompasses the entire sphere of direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece itself. The word originated from the German term hellenistisch, from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνιστής, from Ἑλλάς, Hellenistic is a modern word and a 19th-century concept, the idea of a Hellenistic period did not exist in Ancient Greece. Although words related in form or meaning, e. g, the major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the world were more affected by Greek influences than others. The Greek population and the population did not always mix, the Greeks moved and brought their own culture. While a few fragments exist, there is no surviving historical work which dates to the hundred years following Alexanders death. The works of the major Hellenistic historians Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, the earliest and most credible surviving source for the Hellenistic period is Polybius of Megalopolis, a statesman of the Achaean League until 168 BC when he was forced to go to Rome as a hostage.
His Histories eventually grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC, another important source, Plutarchs Parallel Lives though more preoccupied with issues of personal character and morality, outlines the history of important Hellenistic figures. Appian of Alexandria wrote a history of the Roman empire that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms, other sources include Justins epitome of Pompeius Trogus Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrians Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople. Lesser supplementary sources include Curtius Rufus, Pliny, in the field of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is the main source. Ancient Greece had traditionally been a collection of fiercely independent city-states. After the Peloponnesian War, Greece had fallen under a Spartan hegemony, in which Sparta was pre-eminent but not all-powerful
The Diadochi were the rival generals and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BC. The Wars of the Diadochi mark the beginning of the Hellenistic period, an army on campaign changes its leadership at any level frequently for replacement of casualties and distribution of talent to the current operations. The institution of the Hetairoi gave the Macedonian army a flexible capability in this regard, there were no fixed ranks of Hetairoi, except as the term meant a special unit of cavalry. The Hetairoi were simply a pool of de facto general officers, without any or with changing de jure rank. They were typically from the nobility, many related to Alexander, a parallel flexible structure in the Persian army facilitated combined units. Staff meetings to adjust command structure were nearly a daily event in Alexanders army and they created an ongoing expectation among the Hetairoi of receiving an important and powerful command, if only for a short term.
At the moment of Alexanders death, all possibilities were suddenly suspended, the Hetairoi vanished with Alexander, to be replaced instantaneously by the Diadochi, men who knew where they had stood, but not where they would stand now. As there had no definite ranks or positions of Hetairoi. They expected appointments, but without Alexander they would have to make their own, for purposes of this presentation, the Diadochi are grouped by their rank and social standing at the time of Alexanders death. These were their initial positions as Diadochi and they are not necessarily significant or determinative of what happened next. In Hellenistic times the title Diadoch was actually the lowest in a system of official rank titles and it was first used in the 19th century to denote the immediate successors of Alexander. Craterus was an infantry and naval commander under Alexander during his conquest of Persia, after the revolt of his army at Opis on the Tigris River in 324, Alexander ordered Craterus to command the veterans as they returned home to Macedonia.
When Craeterus arrived at Cilicia in 323 BC, news reached him of Alexanders death, though his distance from Babylon prevented him from participating in the distribution of power, Craterus hastened to Macedonia to assume the protection of Alexanders family. The news of Alexanders death caused the Greeks to rebel in the Lamian War and Antipater defeated the rebellion in 322 BC. Despite his absence, the gathered at Babylon confirmed Craterus as Guardian of the Royal Family. However, with the family in Babylon, the Regent Perdiccas assumed this responsibility until the royal household could return to Macedonia. Antipater was an adviser to King Philip II, Alexanders father, when Alexander left Macedon to conquer Persia in 334 BC, Antipater was named Regent of Macedon and General of Greece in Alexanders absence. In 323 BC, Craterus was ordered by Alexander to march his veterans back to Macedon, Alexanders death that year, prevented the order from being carried out
Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor
Babylon was a major city of ancient Mesopotamia in the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The city was built upon the Euphrates and divided in parts along its left and right banks. Babylon was originally a small Semitic Akkadian city dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c.2300 BC, the town attained independence as part of a small city-state with the rise of the First Amorite Babylonian Dynasty in 1894 BC. Babylon grew and South Mesopotamia came to be known as Babylonia, the empire quickly dissolved after Hammurabis death and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian and Elamite domination. After being destroyed and rebuilt by the Assyrians, Babylon became the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 609 to 539 BC, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the city came under the rule of the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid empires. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from c.1770 to 1670 BC and it was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000.
Estimates for the extent of its area range from 890 to 900 hectares. The remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, about 85 kilometres south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings, the English Babylon comes from Greek Babylṓn, a transliteration of the Akkadian Babili. The Babylonian name in the early 2nd millennium BC had been Babilli or Babilla, by the 1st millennium BC, it had changed to Babili under the influence of the folk etymology which traced it to bāb-ili. The Gate of God or Gate of El being from the Aramaic Hebrew Bab for Gate and El for God and this being similar to the Hebrew word for confusion Balal. In the Bible, the name appears as Babel, interpreted in the Hebrew Scriptures Book of Genesis to mean confusion, the modern English verb, to babble, or to speak meaningless words, is popularly thought to derive from this name, but there is no direct connection. The remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris.
The site at Babylon consists of a number of mounds covering an area of about 2 by 1 kilometer, oriented north to south, along the Euphrates to the west. Originally, the river roughly bisected the city, but the course of the river has since shifted so that most of the remains of the western part of the city are now inundated. Some portions of the city wall to the west of the river remain, remains of the city include, Kasr—also called Palace or Castle, it is the location of the Neo-Babylonian ziggurat Etemenanki and lies in the center of the site. Amran Ibn Ali—the highest of the mounds at 25 meters, to the south and it is the site of Esagila, a temple of Marduk which contained shrines to Ea and Nabu. Homera—a reddish colored mound on the west side, most of the Hellenistic remains are here
Mithridates I of Parthia
Mithridates or Mithradates I, was king of the Parthian Empire from 165 BC to 132 BC, succeeding his brother Phraates I. His father was King Phriapatius of Parthia, who died ca.176 BC), Mithridates I made Parthia into a major political power by expanding the empire to the east and west. During his reign the Parthians took Herat, Babylonia and Persia, because of his many conquests and religious tolerance, he has been compared to other Iranian kings such Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Mithridates first expanded Parthias control eastward by defeating King Eucratides of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and this gave Parthia control over Bactrias territory west of the Arius river, the regions of Margiana and Aria. The satrapy Turiva and that of Aspionus were taken away from Eucratides by the Parthians and these victories gave Parthia control of the overland trade routes between east and west. After defeating the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom in the east, Mithridates focused on the Seleucid realm and he invaded Media and occupied Ecbatana in 148 or 147 BC, the region had been destabilized by a recent Seleucid suppression of a rebellion there led by Timarchus.
This victory was followed by the Parthian conquest of Babylonia in Mesopotamia, while Mithridates retired to Hyrcania, his forces subdued the kingdoms of Elymais and Characene and occupied Susa. By this time, Parthian authority extended as far east as the Indus River, Ecbatana became the main summertime residence for the Arsacid royalty. It became the site of the coronation ceremony and the representational city of the Arsacids. The Seleucids were unable to retaliate immediately as general Diodotus Tryphon led a rebellion at the capital, however, by 140 BC Demetrius II Nicator was able to launch a counter-invasion against the Parthians in Mesopotamia. Despite early successes, the Seleucids were defeated and Demetrius himself was captured by Parthian forces, there Mithridates treated his captive with great hospitality, he even married his daughter Rhodogune of Parthia to Demetrius. When the two friends were captured, the Parthian king did not punish Kallimander but rewarded him for his fidelity to Demetrius.
The second time Demetrius was captured trying to escape, Mithridates humiliated him by giving him a golden set of dice. It was however for reasons that the Parthians treated Demetrius II kindly. He was held captive for ten years while Mithridates was consolidating his conquests, originally, it was thought that Mithridates was killed in battle near Seleucia, fighting the resurgent Seleucid forces under Antiochus VII Sidetes, brother of Demetrius II Nicator. However, recent evidence suggests that Mithridates became increasingly ill after 138 BC, Mithridates Is son, succeeded him on his death as King, and would avenge his father by invading Media and killing Antiochus VII Sidetes. The coins minted during his show the first appearance on Parthian coinage of a Greek-style portrait showing the royal diadem. Mithradates I resumed the striking of coins, which had been suspended ever since Arsaces II of Parthia had been forced to submit to the Seleucid Antiochus III in 206 BC
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king 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 twenty and he was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of historys most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16, after Philips assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his fathers Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia, in 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of battles, most notably the battles of Issus. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety, at that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
He sought to reach the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea and invaded India in 326 BC and he eventually turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexanders surviving generals, Alexanders legacy includes the cultural diffusion which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt, Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and he is often ranked among the most influential people in human history.
He was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, and his wife, Olympias. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his wife for some time. Several legends surround Alexanders birth and childhood, sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wifes womb with a seal engraved with a lions image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of dreams, that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice. That same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and it was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down. This led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, and possibly at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception
Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Mandeans, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, in the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.
However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC.
The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of Elam
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He is known for building Hadrians Wall, which marked the limit of Britannia. He rebuilt the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus, philhellene in most of his tastes, he is considered by some to have been a humanist, and he is regarded as the third of the Five Good Emperors. Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus into a Hispano-Roman family, although Italica near Santiponce is often considered his birthplace, his actual place of birth remains uncertain. It is generally accepted that he came from a family with roots in Hispania. His predecessor, was a cousin of Hadrians father. Trajan did not designate an heir officially, but according to his wife Pompeia Plotina, Trajans wife and his friend Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian, and he may well have owed his succession to them. During his reign, Hadrian travelled to every province of the Empire. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and he used his relationship with his Greek lover Antinous to underline his philhellenism, and this led to the establishment of one of the most popular cults of ancient times.
Hadrian spent a deal of time with the military, he usually wore military attire and even dined. He ordered rigorous military training and drilling and made use of reports of attacks to keep the army on alert. On his accession to the throne, Hadrian withdrew from Trajans conquests in Mesopotamia and Armenia, late in his reign he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina. In 138 Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius on the condition that he adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as his own heirs and they would eventually succeed Antoninus as co-emperors. Hadrian died the year at Baiae. In Hadrians time, there was already an established convention that one could not write a contemporary Roman imperial history for fear of competing with the emperors themselves. Information on the history of Hadrians reign comes mostly from later. A general account of his reign is Book 69 of the early 3rd century Roman History by Cassius Dio and his original Greek text of this book is lost, what survives is a brief, much later, Byzantine-era abridgment by the 11th century monk Xiphilinius.
He selected from Dios account of Hadrians reign based on his religious interests