Saturday, April 11, 2015

Anahita & Artaxerxes II (Persia: 404-359 BC)

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"The earliest dateable and unambiguous reference to the iconic cult of Anahita is from the Babylonian scholar-priest Berosus, who – although writing over 70 years[η] after the reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon[θ] – records that the emperor had been the first to make cult statues of Aphrodite Anaitis and place them in the temples of many of the empire's major cities, including Babylon, Susa, Ecbatana, Persepolis, Damascus and Sardis.[c1] Also according to Berosus, the Persians knew of no images of gods until Artaxerxes II erected those images.[c1][λ] This is substantiated by Herodotus, whose mid-5th-century-BCE general remarks on the usages of the Perses, Herodotus notes that "it is not their custom to make and set up statues and images and altars, and those that make such they deem foolish, as I suppose, because they never believed the gods, as do the Greeks, to be the likeness of men.".....Boyce, Mary (1975), "On the Zoroastrian Temple Cult of Fire", Journal of the American Oriental Society

The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia by Esther Jacobson....In her book “The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia: A Study in the Ecology of Belief,” Esther Jacobson writes that it has been suggested goddess Anahita “must have been purely Iranian in origin, since her name is not attested to in Indo-Iranian texts...",,,,.The Official Site of Sheda Vasseghi Page Liked · January 8 · Edited ·

"Artaxerxes II Mnemon ....... King of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II of Persia and Parysatis..... Artaxerxes II is said to have more than 115 sons from 350 wives......Much of Artaxerxes's wealth was spent on building projects. He restored the palace of Darius I at Susa, and also the fortifications; including a strong redoubt at the southeast corner of the enclosure and gave Ecbatana a new apadana and sculptures. He seems not to have built much at Persepolis.....In 386 BCE, Artaxerxes II betrayed his allies and came to an arrangement with Sparta, and in the Treaty of Antalcidas he forced his erstwhile allies to come to terms. This treaty restored control of the Greek cities of Ionia and Aeolis on the Anatolian coast to the Persians, while giving Sparta dominance on the Greek mainland. In 385 BCE he campaigned against the Cadusians.....Although successful against the Greeks, Artaxerxes had more trouble with the Egyptians,".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artaxerxes_II_of_Persia

"The Old Iranian name of Paktra, which the classical writers named it Bactria and their language was known as Bactrian, and after invasion of Iran by Arabs in 7th century CE it has come to be called Balkh; A northern province of Turkistan in modern Afghanistan, which boarders to the north, the river Oxus and the former USSR.....Not much has been known about this empire, only some coins and a little bit of writing and occasional archaeological artifacts. Much of the work on excavations of Bactrian artifacts has been done by French Archaeologists. Historians find remote references in other people's records about the kingdom....It was from Bactria that came prophet Zarathushtra (Zartosht/Zardosht). Another source of spiritual home that made Bactria sacred was a great temple of the ancient Iranian goddess, Anahit (in Pahlavi or Middle-Persian) and Anahita (Ânâhitâ) in the Avesta hymns....The temple was so rich that often it attracted the needy Syrian kings who sat out to plunder it. In her name and honor, in Armenia, girls prostituted themselves. Anaitis was a Scythian goddess, but she is identified also as Assyrian Mylitta, the Arabian Alytta and the Greek Venus Urania. Artaxerxes Mnemon, one of the emperors of Achaemenid dynasty was among her devotees. She is also associated with the Persian Mithra. Her association with Zoroaster adds to her popularity".....History of Balkh (Bactria)....By: Ramin Javid-Moshref....http://www.iranchamber.com/geography/articles/balkh.php

"Artaxerxes II's devotion to Anahita is most apparent in his inscriptions, where her name appears directly after that of Ahura Mazda and before that of Mithra. Artaxerxes' inscription at Susa reads: "By the will of Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra I built this palace. May Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra protect me from all evil" (A²Hc 15–10). This is a remarkable break with tradition; no Achaemenid king before him had invoked any but Ahura Mazda alone by name although the Behistun inscription of Darius invokes Ahuramazda and "The other gods who are"......The temple(s) of Anahita at Ecbatana (Hamadan) in Medea must have once been the most glorious sanctuaries in the known world.[π][c2] Although the palace had been stripped by Alexander and the following Seleucid kings,[c3] when Antiochus III raided Ecbatana in 209 BCE, the temple "had the columns round it still gilded and a number of silver tiles were piled up in it, while a few gold bricks and a considerable quantity of silver ones remained." ".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anahita

"Artaxerxes II, (flourished late 5th and early 4th centuries bc), Achaemenid king of Persia (reigned 404–359/358)......He was the son and successor of Darius II and was surnamed (in Greek) Mnemon, meaning “the mindful.” When Artaxerxes took the Persian throne, the power of Athens had been broken in the Peloponnesian War (431–404), and the Greek towns across the Aegean Sea in Ionia were again subjects of the Achaemenid Empire. In 404, however, Artaxerxes lost Egypt, and in the following year his brother Cyrus the Younger began preparations for his rebellion. Although Cyrus was defeated and killed at Cunaxa (401), the rebellion had dangerous repercussions, for it not only demonstrated the superiority of the Greek hoplites used by Cyrus but also led the Greeks to believe that Persia was vulnerable.".......http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/36748/Artaxerxes-II

"Under Artaxerxes an important change occurred in the Persian religion. The Persians apparently did not worship images of the gods until Artaxerxes set up statues of the goddess Anāhitā in various large cities. Inscriptions by all former kings named only Ahura Mazdā, but those of Artaxerxes also invoked Anāhitā and Mithra, two deities of the old popular Iranian religion that had been neglected."........http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/36748/Artaxerxes-II

"Further evidence for this king’s building activities, with which the inscriptions are chiefly concerned, is found in the several inscriptions at Hamadān, ancient Ecbatana....It is notable that Artaxerxes in his inscription invokes Mithra and Anāhitā as well as Ahura Mazdā. This agrees with Berossus’ remark.....that under Artaxerxes II, idols (especially those of Anaitis) were introduced for worship throughout the empire.".....http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/artaxerxes-ii-achaemenid-king

"Artaxerxes.....(died 359 B.C.E.)......By Plutarch.....Written 75 A.C.E.......Translated by John Dryden.......The first Artaxerxes, among all the kings of Persia the most remarkable for a gentle and noble spirit, was surnamed the Long-handed, his right hand being longer than his left, and was the son of Xerxes. The second, whose story I am now writing, who had the surname of the Mindful, was the grandson of the former, by his daughter Parysatis, who brought Darius four sons, the eldest Artaxerxes, the next Cyrus, and two younger than these, Ostanes and Oxathres. Cyrus took his name of the ancient Cyrus, as he, they say, had his from the sun, which, in the Persian language, is called Cyrus.......http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/artaxerx.html

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"The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550–330 BC), also called the First Persian Empire or Medo-Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia in Iran, founded in the 6th century BC by Cyrus the Great. The dynasty draws its name from a hypothetical king Achaemenes, who would have ruled the Persis region between 705 BCE and 675 BCE. The empire expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world, which at around 500 BCE stretched from parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria) and Thrace-Macedonia in the west, to the Indus valley in the east......The historical mark of the Achaemenid Empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social, technological and religious influences as well. Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by, or allied to the Persian kings. The impact of Cyrus the Great's Edict of Restoration is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts and the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China. Even Alexander the Great adopted some of its customs, venerating the Persian kings including Cyrus the Great, and receiving proskynesis as they did, despite Macedonian disapproval"..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_Empire

"What is the etymology of the Persian word for "sun"?.......the origins of the Persian (specifically Farsi) word خورشید (khorshid)?...... it doesn't seem to be an Indo-European (or Turkic or Semitic, for that matter) word. I know that Persian also uses a cognate to the Hindi word आफ़ताब (aaftaab, which I assume originally came from Persian), and that Офтоб (aftab) is more common in Tajik, but even in other Indo-Iranian languages such as Kurdish (which has a cognate to aftab), and the Indo-Aryan languages of South Asia, خورشید isn't reflected......Where did this word come from?......Best Answer: khorshid ("the Sun" from Avestan hvarə-xšaēta "radiant Sun")......Further research turns up that "hvarə" is cognate with Vedic Sanskrit "súvar" where the connection to Proto-Indo-European *sāwel- is self-evident. ".....https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110218210127AAIP8uc

"Cyrus, as a word in English, is the Latinized form of the Greek Κῦρος, Kȳros, from Old Persian 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁 Kūruš. According to the inscriptions the name is reflected in Elamite Kuraš, Babylonian Ku(r)-raš/-ra-áš and Imperial Aramaic kwrš. The modern Persian form of the name is Kourosh.....The etymology of Cyrus has been and continues to be a topic of discussion amongst historians, linguists, and scholars of Iranology. The Old Persian name "kuruš" has been interpreted in various forms from "the sun", "like sun", "young", "hero" to "humiliator of the enemy in verbal contest" and the Elamite "kuraš" has been translated as one "who bestows care".".....Schmitt, Rüdiger (1996a), "Cyrus i. The Name", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Encyclopaedia Iranica 6, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 515–16

"The Aryans and the Iranians of Bactria, had a lot in common. They spoke the same language, worshiped the forces of nature, such as: Varuna, the shining Vault of Heaven; Mithra, the friendly light of the sun; Vayu; the wind that pushes aside the storms and clears the heaven; Yama, the primeval man, reigning over the blessed souls in paradise. The powers of nature, to them, were the signs of something far more deeply interfused. In their ceremonies they also drunk the sacred Juice, Soma. These two races slowly drifted apart as time went on, for not known reasons. Although the history of early Bactria is vague, the historians gather that as early as the second millennium BC, a powerful confederacy, centered in Bactria existed in South Central Asia. The confederacy was created to survive the influences of powerful neighbors such as the Persians, the Medes and the non-Aryans (An-Iranian)."......http://www.iranchamber.com/geography/articles/balkh.php

"Russian-French archaeologist Roman Ghirshman notes in his 1962 book entitled “Persian Art” that during the Iranian Parthian Empire under the Arsacids (247 BCE – 224 CE) from among the Iranian trinity -- Ahura Mazda, Mithra, and Anahita -- "the cult of Anahita took the lead. All the Iranian temples mentioned in the historical texts were dedicated to her."....Roman Ghirshman (1895 – 1979) was a Russian-born French archeologist who specialized in ancient Iran. He was mainly interested in the archeological ruins of Iran, specifically Teppe Gian, Teppe Sialk, Bagram in Afghanistan, Bishapur in Fars, and Susa."

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

April 2015

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico

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