Harran was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is near the modern village of Altınbaşak, Turkey,44 kilometers southeast of Şanlıurfa. The location is in a district of Şanlıurfa Province that is named Harran. It was known as Ḫarrānu in the Assyrian period, Ḫaran in the Hebrew Bible, Carrhae under the Roman and Byzantine empires, Hellenopolis in the Early Christian period, the earliest records of Harran come from Ebla tablets. From these, it is known that a king or mayor of Harran had married an Eblaite princess, who became queen of Harran. It appears that Harran remained a part of the regional Eblaite kingdom for some time thereafter, royal letters from the city of Mari on the middle of the Euphrates, have confirmed that the area around the Balikh river remained occupied in c. the 19th century BCE. A confederation of tribes was especially active around the region near Harran at that time. By the 19th century BCE, Harran was established as a merchant outpost due to its ideal location, the community, well established before then, was situated along a trade route between the Mediterranean and the plains of the middle Tigris.
It lay directly on the road from Antioch eastward to Nisibis, the Tigris could be followed down to the delta to Babylon. Not only did Harran have easy access to both the Assyrian and Babylonian roads, but to north road to the Euphrates that provided access to Malatiyah. According to Roman authors such as Pliny the Elder, even through the classical period, in its prime Harran was a major Assyrian city which controlled the point where the road from Damascus joins the highway between Nineveh and Carchemish. This location gave Harran strategic value from an early date, because Harran had an abundance of goods that passed through its region, it became a target for raids. In the 18th century, Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad I launched an expedition to secure the Harranian trade route, after the Suppiluliuma I–Shattiwaza treaty between the Hittite Empire and Mitanni, Harran was burned by a Hittite army under Piyashshili in the course of the conquest of Mitanni. In the 13th century BCE, Assyrian king Adad-Nirari I reported that he conquered the fortress of Kharani and it is frequently mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions as early as the time of Tiglath-Pileser I, about 1100 BCE, under the name Harranu.
Tiglath-Pileser had a fortress there, and mentioned that he was pleased with the abundance of elephants in the region, 10th-century BCE inscriptions reveal that Harran had some privileges of fiscal exemption and freedom from certain forms of military obligations. It had even been termed as the city of Harran. However, in 763 BCE, it was sacked by a Harranian rebellion against Assyrian control that resulted in the loss of those privileges, not until Sargon II restored order, in the late 8th century BCE, were those privileges restored. Harran was besieged and conquered by Nabopolassar and Cyaxares in 610 BCE and it was briefly retaken by Ashur-uballit II and his Egyptian allies in 609 BCE, before it finally fell to the Medes and Babylonians in 605 BCE. Harran became part of the Median Empire after the fall of Assyria and it became part of the Persian province of Athura, the Persian word for Assyria
Amrit or Amrith, known as Marathos or Marathus, was an ancient Phoenician city located near Tartus in Syria. Founded in the third millennium BC and abandoned during the second century BC, the city lies on the Mediterranean coast around 6 kilometres south of modern-day Tartus. Two rivers cross the city, Nahr Amrit, near the temple, and Nahr al-Kuble near the secondary temple. The city was founded by the Arvadites, and served as their continental base. It grew to be one of the wealthiest towns in the dominion of Arwad, the city surrendered, along with Arwad, to Alexander the Great in 333 BC. During Seleucid times the town, known as Marathus, was probably larger, in 219 BC Amrit gained independence from Arwad, and was sacked by forces from the latter city in 148 BC. Excavations of the site began in 1860 by Ernest Renan. Excavations were again carried out in 1954 by French archaeologist Maurice Dunand, ceramic ware finds at Amrit indicated the site had been inhabited as early as the third millennium BC.
Middle and Late Bronze Age silo tombs were excavated, with contents ranging from weapons to original human remains. Excavations at the south of the town yielded several tomb structures. The funeral art found in tombs with pyramidal-or cube-shaped towers, is considered some of the most notable grave-monuments of the Phoenician world. Excavations uncovered the ancient harbor, and a U-shaped stadium that dates back to the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. One of the most important excavations at Amrit was the Phoenician temple, commonly referred to the maabed, dedicated to the god Melqart of Tyre and Eshmun. The colonnaded temple, excavated between 1955 and 1957, consists of a large cut out of rock measuring 47 ×49 metres and over 3 metres deep. In the center of the court a well-preserved cube-shaped cella stands, the open-air courtyard was filled with the waters of a local, traditionally sacred spring, a unique feature of this site. The temple—which was dated to the late 4th century BC, a following the Persian expansion into Syria—shows major Achaemenid influence in its layout.
According to Dutch archaeologist, Peter Akkermans, the temple is the monumental structure from the Phoenician homeland. A second temple, described by visitors to the site in 1743 and 1860, about 200 metres northeast of the main temples of ancient Marathos and 180 metres north of the Amrit Tell are the remains of a rock-carved Phoenician stadium
Ancient Greek coinage
The history of Ancient Greek coinage can be divided into four periods, the Archaic, the Classical, the Hellenistic and the Roman. The Archaic period extends from the introduction of coinage to the Greek world during the 7th century BC until the Persian Wars in about 480 BC, the Greek cities continued to produce their own coins for several more centuries under Roman rule. The coins produced during this period are called Roman provincial coins or Greek Imperial Coins, the word drachm means a handful, literally a grasp. Drachmae were divided into six obols, and six spits made a handful and this suggests that before coinage came to be used in Greece, spits in prehistoric times were used as measures in daily transactions. Because of this aspect, Spartan legislation famously forbade issuance of Spartan coin, and enforced the continued use of iron spits so as to discourage avarice. In addition to its meaning, the word obol was retained as a Greek word for coins of small value. The obol was further subdivided into tetartemorioi which represented 1/4 of an obol and this coin is mentioned by Aristotle as the smallest silver coin.
Various multiples of this denomination were struck, including the trihemitetartemorion valued at 3/8 of an obol and these coins were made of electrum, an alloy of gold and silver that was highly prized and abundant in that area. By the middle of the 6th century BC, technology had advanced, making the production of pure gold, King Croesus introduced a bi-metallic standard that allowed for coins of pure gold and pure silver to be struck and traded in the marketplace. The Greek world was divided more than two thousand self-governing city-states, and more than half of them issued their own coins. As such coins circulated widely, other cities began to mint coins to this Aeginetan weight standard of. Athenian coins, were struck on the Attic standard, over time, Athens plentiful supply of silver from the mines at Laurion and its increasing dominance in trade made this the pre-eminent standard. These coins, known as owls because of their central design feature, were minted to an extremely tight standard of purity.
This contributed to their success as the premier trade coin of their era, tetradrachms on this weight standard continued to be a widely used coin through the classical period. By the time of Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors, the Classical period saw Greek coinage reach a high level of technical and aesthetic quality. Larger cities now produced a range of silver and gold coins, most bearing a portrait of their patron god or goddess or a legendary hero on one side. Some coins employed a visual pun, some coins from Rhodes featured a rose, the use of inscriptions on coins began, usually the name of the issuing city. The wealthy cities of Sicily produced some especially fine coins, the large silver decadrachm coin from Syracuse is regarded by many collectors as the finest coin produced in the ancient world, perhaps ever
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient Greco-Roman city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the city of Antakya, Turkey. Antioch was founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, the citys geographical and economic location benefited its occupants, particularly such features as the spice trade, the Silk Road, and the Persian Royal Road. It eventually rivaled Alexandria as the city of the Near East. It was the center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Most of the development of Antioch was done during the Roman Empire. Antioch was called the cradle of Christianity as a result of its longevity, the Christian New Testament asserts that the name Christian first emerged in Antioch. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis, a single route proceeds south in the Orontes valley. The settlement of Meroe pre-dated Antioch, a shrine of the Semitic goddess Anat, called by Herodotus the Persian Artemis, was located here. This site was included in the suburbs of Antioch.
There was a village on the spur of Mount Silpius named Io and this name was always adduced as evidence by Antiochenes anxious to affiliate themselves to the Attic Ionians—an eagerness which is illustrated by the Athenian types used on the citys coins. Io may have been an early colony of trading Greeks. John Malalas mentions a village, Bottia, in the plain by the river. Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great is said to have camped on the site of Antioch and this account is found only in the writings of Libanius, a 4th-century orator from Antioch, and may be legend intended to enhance Antiochs status. But the story is not unlikely in itself, after Alexanders death in 323 BC, his generals divided up the territory he had conquered. Seleucus I Nicator won the territory of Syria, and he proceeded to found four sister cities in northwestern Syria, one of which was Antioch and he is reputed to have built sixteen Antiochs. Seleucus founded Antioch on a site chosen through ritual means, an eagle, the bird of Zeus, had been given a piece of sacrificial meat and the city was founded on the site to which the eagle carried the offering.
Seleucus did this on the 22nd day of the month of Artemisios in the year of his reign
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade. They are most often issued by a government, Coins are usually metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials. Coins made of metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in transactions, circulating alongside banknotes. Usually the highest value coin in circulation is less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the value of circulation coins has occasionally been lower than the value of the metal they contain. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, while the Eagle, Maple Leaf, and Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. The first coins were developed independently in Iron Age Anatolia and Archaic Greece, Coins spread rapidly in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, throughout Greece and Persia, and further to the Balkans.
Standardized Roman currency was used throughout the Roman Empire, important Roman gold and silver coins were continued into the Middle Ages. Fiat money first arose in medieval China, with the paper money. Early paper money was introduced in Europe in the Middle Ages, the penny was minted as a silver coin until the 17th century. The first circulating United States coins were cents, produced in 1793, Coins were an evolution of currency systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, and tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made and these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. According to Aristotle and Pollux, the first issuer of coins was Hermodike of Kyme The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, and in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests.
The first Lydian coins were made of electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of silver, most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, whose symbol was the stag, a small percentage of early Lydian/Greek coins have a legend
Seleucus received Babylonia and, from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexanders near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant and what is now Kuwait and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. The Seleucid Empire was a center of Hellenistic culture that maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece, Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece was abruptly halted after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Their attempts to defeat their old enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were frustrated by Roman demands, contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire and as a kingdom. Similarly, Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia and he refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler. Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III, died young in 323 BC.
Alexanders generals jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire, Ptolemy, a former general and the satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system, this led to the demise of Perdiccas. Ptolemys revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC, who had been Commander-in-Chief of the Companion cavalry and appointed first or court chiliarch received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly. Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants. Following his and Lysimachus victory over Antigonus Monophthalmus at the decisive Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus took control over eastern Anatolia, in the latter area, he founded a new capital at Antioch on the Orontes, a city he named after his father.
An alternative capital was established at Seleucia on the Tigris, north of Babylon, Seleucuss empire reached its greatest extent following his defeat of his erstwhile ally, Lysimachus, at Corupedion in 281 BC, after which Seleucus expanded his control to encompass western Anatolia. He hoped further to take control of Lysimachuss lands in Europe – primarily Thrace and even Macedonia itself, even before Seleucus death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains of the Seleucids. Seleucus invaded the Punjab region of India in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya and it is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9,000 war elephants. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan and it is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucuss daughter, or a Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants, an asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC.
In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, Megasthenes wrote detailed descriptions of India and Chandraguptas reign, which have been partly preserved to us through Diodorus Siculus
The enterprising, sea-based Phoenician civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC. Their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of Ancient Greece, perhaps the most notable of which were Tyre, Arvad and Carthage. Each city-state was an independent unit, and it is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality. In terms of archaeology, language and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other Semitic Canaanites. The Phoenicians were the first state-level society to make use of alphabets. By their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to Anatolia, North Africa, and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, the name Phoenicians, like Latin Poenī, comes from Greek Φοίνικες. The word φοῖνιξ phoînix meant variably Phoenician person, Tyrian purple, the word may be derived from φοινός phoinós blood red, itself possibly related to φόνος phónos murder.
Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the ethnonym, the oldest attested form of the word in Greek may be the Mycenaean po-ni-ki-jo, po-ni-ki, possibly borrowed from Ancient Egyptian fnḫw Asiatics, although this derivation is disputed. The folk-etymological association of Φοινίκη with φοῖνιξ mirrors that in Akkadian which tied kinaḫni, the land was natively known as knʿn and its people as the knʿny. In the Amarna tablets of the 14th century BC, people from the region called themselves Kenaani or Kinaani, the ethnonym survived in North Africa until the 4th century AD. Herodotus account refers to the myths of Io and Europa, according to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began the quarrel. The Greek historian Strabo believed that the Phoenicians originated from Bahrain, Herodotus believed that the homeland of the Phoenicians was Bahrain. The people of Tyre in South Lebanon in particular have long maintained Persian Gulf origins, there is little evidence of occupation at all in Bahrain during the time when such migration had supposedly taken place.
Canaanite culture apparently developed in situ from the earlier Ghassulian chalcolithic culture, Byblos is attested as an archaeological site from the Early Bronze Age. The Late Bronze Age state of Ugarit is considered quintessentially Canaanite archaeologically, fernand Braudel remarked in The Perspective of the World that Phoenicia was an early example of a world-economy surrounded by empires. The high point of Phoenician culture and sea power is usually placed c, archaeological evidence consistent with this understanding has been difficult to identify. A unique concentration in Phoenicia of silver hoards dated between 1200 and 800 BC, contains hacksilver with lead isotope ratios matching ores in Sardinia and Spain. This metallic evidence agrees with the memory of a western Mediterranean Tarshish that supplied Solomon with silver via Phoenicia
Coele-Syria, Coele Syria, rendered as Coelosyria and Celesyria, otherwise Hollow Syria, was a region of Syria in classical antiquity. It probably derived from the Aramaic for all of the region of Syria, the area now forms part of the modern nations of Lebanon and Israel. It is widely accepted that the term Coele is a transcription of Aramaic kul, meaning all, the first and only official use of the term was during the period of Seleucid rule of the region, between c.200 BCE and 64 BCE. This usage was adopted by Strabo and the Books of the Maccabees, Greek writers such as Agatharchides and Polemon of Athens used the term Palestine to refer to the region during this period, which was a term originally given circa 450 BCE by Herodotus. Later during the Roman Period c.350 CE, Eunapius wrote that the capital of Coele-Syria was the Seleucid city of Antioch, north of the Eleutherus. According to Polybius, a officer of the Ptolemaic Empire named Ptolemy Thrasea, having fought in the 217 BCE Battle of Raphia.
Antiochus gave him the title Strategos and Archiereus of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, some scholars speculate that this title may have been used previously by the Ptolemies, but no direct evidence exists to support this. The region was disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty during the Syrian Wars, alexander the Greats general Ptolemy first occupied Coele-Syria in 318 BC. However, when Ptolemy joined the coalition against Antigonus I Monophthalmus in 313 BC, in 312 BC Seleucus I Nicator, defeated Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza which again allowed Ptolemy to occupy Coele-Syria. In 302 BC, Ptolemy joined a new coalition against Antigonus and reoccupied Coele-Syria and he was only to return when Antigonus had been defeated at Ipsus in 301 BC. Coele-Syria was assigned to Seleucus, by the victors of Ipsus, the Seleucids were not to be so understanding, resulting in the century of Syrian Wars between the Ptolemies and Seleucids. The Battle of Panium in 200 BC, during the Fifth Syrian War, was the decisive battle between the two sides in ending Ptolemaic control over the region.
The 171–168 BC conflicts over Coele-Syria, between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Ptolemy VI Philometor, are discussed in Livy’s The History of Rome from its Foundation, Seleucid control over the area of Judea began diminishing with the eruption of the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BC. With Seleucid troops being involved in warfare on the Parthian front, despite attempts of Seleucid rulers to regain territories, the conquests of Pompey in 64 BC were a decisive blow to them, and Syria became part of the Roman Republic. Under the Macedonian kings, Upper Syria was divided into four parts which were named after their capitals, in the Roman Pompeian era, the province was divided into nine districts. Yet, it was often comprehended as the country as far as Egypt. Circa 323 BCE Laomedon of Mytilene takes control of Coele-Syria, circa 323 BCE The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax lists several cities on the Palestinian coast that are incorporated into Coele-Syria. In the Wars of the Diadochi, Coele-Syria came under the control of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, in 301 BCE, Ptolemy I Soter exploited events surrounding the Battle of Ipsus to take control of the region
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and at first ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, the reign of Philip II saw the rise of Macedonia, during which the kingdom rose to control the entire Greek world. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, Philip II defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the decisive Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Sparta was kept isolated and was occupied a century by Antigonus III Doson. Alexander led a roughly decade-long campaign of conquest against the Achaemenid Empire, in the ensuing wars of Alexander the Great, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered a territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his Macedonian empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy and science were spread throughout much of the ancient world.
Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, who had been imported as tutor to Alexander, important cities such as Pella and Amphipolis were involved in power struggles for control of the territory. New cities were founded, such as Thessalonica by the usurper Cassander, Macedonias decline began with the Macedonian Wars and the rise of Rome as the leading Mediterranean power. At the end of the Second Macedonian War in 168 BC, a short-lived revival of the monarchy during the Third Macedonian War in 150–148 BC ended with the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia. The name Macedonia comes from the ethnonym Μακεδόνες, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός, meaning tall and it shares the same root as the noun μάκρος, meaning length in both ancient and modern Greek. The name is believed to have meant either highlanders, the tall ones. Robert S. P. Beekes supports that both terms are of Pre-Greek substrate origin and cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European morphology.
Contradictory legends state that either Perdiccas I of Macedon or Caranus of Macedon were the founders of the Argead dynasty, the kingdom of Macedonia was situated along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers in Lower Macedonia, north of Mount Olympus. Historian Malcolm Errington posits the theory one of the earliest Argead kings must have established Aigai as their capital in the mid-7th century BC. Prior to the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region corresponding to the western. Achaemenid Persian hegemony over Macedonia was briefly interrupted by the Ionian Revolt, although Macedonia enjoyed a large degree of autonomy and was never made a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, it was expected to provide troops for the Achaemenid army. Following the Greek victory at Salamis in 480 BC, Alexander I was employed as an Achaemenid diplomat to strike a treaty and alliance with Athens. Soon afterwards the Achaemenid forces were forced to withdraw from mainland Europe, although initially a Persian vassal, Alexander I of Macedon fostered friendly diplomatic relations with his former Greek enemies, the Athenian and Spartan-led coalition of Greek city-states.
Two separate wars were fought against Athens between 433 and 431 BC, spurred by an Athenian alliance with a brother and cousin of Perdiccas II who had rebelled against him
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
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
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great /ænˈtaɪəkəs/ was a Hellenistic Greek king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire. He ruled over the region of Syria and large parts of the rest of western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BC and his traditional designation, the Great, reflects an epithet he assumed. He assumed the title Basileus Megas, the title of the Persian kings. A militarily active ruler, Antiochus restored much of the territory of the Seleucid Empire, before suffering a setback, towards the end of his reign. He died three years on campaign in the east, Antiochus III was a member of the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty. He was the son of king Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II and was born around 242 BC near Susa in Persia and he may have borne a non-dynastic name, according to a Babylonian chronicle. He succeeded, under the name Antiochus, his brother Seleucus III Ceraunus, upon the murder in Anatolia. Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state, not only had Asia Minor become detached, but the easternmost provinces had broken away, Bactria under the Greek Diodotus of Bactria, and Parthia under the nomad chieftain Arsaces.
Soon after Antiochuss accession and Persis revolted under their governors, the young king, under the influence of the minister Hermeias, headed an attack on Ptolemaic Syria instead of going in person to face the rebels. The attack against the Ptolemaic empire proved a fiasco, and the generals sent against Molon, only in Asia Minor, where the kings cousin, represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits. In 221 BC Antiochus at last went east, and the rebellion of Molon, the submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus rid himself of Hermeias by assassination and returned to Syria, Achaeus himself had revolted and assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, his power was not well grounded to allow an attack on Syria, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present. The campaigns of 219 BC and 218 BC carried the Seleucid armies almost to the confines of Ptolemaic Kingdom and this defeat nullified all Antiochuss successes and compelled him to withdraw north of the Lebanon.
Despite the military defeat, Antiochus was able to control of Seleucia pieria. In 216 BC Antiochus army marched into western Anatolia to suppress the rebellion led by Antiochus own cousin Achaeus. Capturing Achaeus, Antiochus had him executed, the citadel managed to hold out until 213 BC under Achaeus widow Laodice who surrendered later. Having thus recovered the central part of Asia Minor Antiochus turned to recovering the outlying provinces of the north and he obliged Xerxes of Armenia to acknowledge his supremacy in 212 BC