Home Region:  Iran (Southwest Asia)

Elymais II

EQ 2020  ir_elymais_2 / IrElym2

"The Elymean or Middle Parthian Period (ca. 25 B.C.-ca. A.D. 125) (figure 76) coincides with the rise of an autonomous Elymean state, incorporating Susa and most of the Susiana Plain. It is also apparently the period when Susa reached its zenith as an economic power. Coins dated to this period and minted at Seleucia and other major cities are frequently found at Susa, and Susa’s own coinage is well represented at most large nearby cities (Le Rider 1965). During the 1973 survey, we found many coins of this era, even on tiny sites on the plain’s periphery." [1]
"Rural Susiana settlement patterns at this time indicate a considerable increase in population densities, vastly greater investents in irrigation systems, and the emergence of a ring of substantial settlements around Susa itself. Large investments were made to irrigate and cultivate marginally productive areas of the plain, and in a few locations the limits of traditional agricultural productivity were probably approached." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1987, 254) Wenke, Robert J. in Hole, Frank ed. 1987. The Archaeology of Western Iran. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Original Name:
Elymais II  
Capital:
Susa  
Alternative Name:
Elymeans  
Elymean State  
Middle Parthian Period  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
100 CE  
Duration:
[25 CE ➜ 215 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Preceding Entity:
Parthian Empire I  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Language:
Greek  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[10,000 to 40,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Administrative Level:
4  
Professions
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Law
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
inferred present  
Canal:
inferred present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
inferred present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
inferred present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
inferred present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
inferred present  
Fiction:
inferred present  
Calendar:
inferred present  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
inferred present  
  Iron:
inferred present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
inferred present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
inferred present  
  Spear:
unknown  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
inferred present  
  Elephant:
inferred absent  
  Donkey:
inferred present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
inferred present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
inferred present  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
inferred present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
inferred present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Elymais II (ir_elymais_2) was in:
 (25 CE 215 CE)   Susiana
Home NGA: Susiana

General Variables
Identity and Location

"Alexander had apparently hellenized Susa to the extent that the language of administration was Greek, the form of city-state government was Greek, and even the ethnic composition of the area was partially Greek." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592



Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
100 CE

From an analysis of hundreds of coins found at Susa which had come from mints at Seleucia-on-the-Tigris, Spasinu Charax and elsewhere, he suggests that "Susa grew wealthy between about A.D. 40 and A.D. 125 through its role as agent and supplier to these land and sea trade routes. But after A.D. 107/8, there was a sharp decline in the number of coins from other cities in circulation in Susa, at least insofar as they are represented in the finds at Susa, and Le Rider interprets this as a reflection of the decline in Susa’s commercial importance." [1]
"Trajan’s advance sparked revolts in numerous cities in Mesopotamia, and it may be that shock waves from these events reached Susa also, because, as noted, there seems to have been a rapid decline in commercial activity and a cessation of the mint at Susa at about this time. Yet when Trajan died in Mesopotamia in A.D. 117 and his successors declined to pursue Roman interests there, Susa and the rest of Elymais seem - at least on the basis of numismatic evidence - to have been unable or unwilling to resume their independent roles." [2]
"decline of Susa as a commercial capital after about A.D. 100" [3]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 310) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[3]: (Wenke 1981, 313) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Duration:
[25 CE ➜ 215 CE]

Elymean settlement pattern 25-125 CE. [1]
"Elymais coined its own money, conducted its own public works programs, and in other was was apparently independent until about A.D. 215, when, documentary evidence suggests, the Parthian imperial government was once again in control at Susa." [1]
"Trajan’s advance sparked revolts in numerous cities in Mesopotamia, and it may be that shock waves from these events reached Susa also, because, as noted, there seems to have been a rapid decline in commercial activity and a cessation of the mint at Susa at about this time. Yet when Trajan died in Mesopotamia in A.D. 117 and his successors declined to pursue Roman interests there, Susa and the rest of Elymais seem - at least on the basis of numismatic evidence - to have been unable or unwilling to resume their independent roles." [2]
another reference to early third century. "Generally, opinion seems to be that small bronze coinages in these early historic empires served to facilitate the exchange of small amounts of goods and services. If this was the nature of Elymean trade, we might wonder that bronze coins appear to have been used extensively only in the period from about A.D. 75 to A.D. 210; why are Sasanian and Islamic occupations not marked with a similar frequency of coins at these rural settlements?" [3] in addition to better economic fortunes "coins may also represent a greater degree of local autonomy and economic exchange in the period of their circulation." [3]
21 CE Susa was under Parthian control because the Parthian monarch "validated a contested election at Susa." [1]
"the Parthian state was highly unstable, and Artabanus’ death at about A.D. 40, in combination with financial and military reverses over the preceding decades, apparently weakened the Parthian state to the extent that it no longer issued an imperial coinage and successful revolts were staged at Seleucia-on-the-Tigris and other cities. At about this same time, it appears that Susa and its environs were incorporated into the ’satrapy’ of Elymais (Fig. 6)." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 310) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[3]: (Wenke 1981, 314) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Political and Cultural Relations
Preceding Entity:
Parthian Empire I

Terminal Parthian Period 125-250 CE. [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1987, 254) Wenke, Robert J. in Hole, Frank ed. 1987. The Archaeology of Western Iran. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

"Elymais’ emergence as an independent state" [1] 73 CE received a Parthian governor. [2]
"The Greek city-states in Parthia were a survival from the Seleucid period. Under the Parthians they formally retained their autonomy" [3]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 310) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[3]: (Koshelenko and Pilipko 1999, 146) Koshelenko, G A. Pilipko, V N. in Dani, Ahmad Hasan. 1999. History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations: 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.


Language

Language:
Greek

"Alexander had apparently hellenized Susa to the extent that the language of administration was Greek, the form of city-state government was Greek, and even the ethnic composition of the area was partially Greek." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[10,000 to 40,000] people

Inhabitants.
Susa 150 hectares (10,000 at 50 persons per ha, 30,000 at 200 persons per ha)
"much of the main mound at Susa and some of the immediately surrounding areas were densely occupied [during the late Parthian period], constituting, perhaps, 1.5 km2 or more of settled area. Using ’standard’ but wholly unsubstantiated formulae for estimating population size from site size, we might speculate that from 20,000 to 40,000 people lived at Susa during the city’s florescence under the Elymeans and the Parthians." [1]
"Figure 3. Distribution of settlements in the Elymean Period c. A.D. 25 - c. A.D. 125" [2] shows urban expansion compared to the preceding Seleuco-Parthian period 325 BCE - 25 CE. In the second period there are two more sites of the same magnitude as Susa. The next chart for the Terminal Parthian (125-225 CE) [3] shows an even greater up-step in urbanism.

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 310) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 307) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[3]: (Wenke 1981, 308) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
1. City - capital Susa
2. Large town (similar magnitude to Susa)3. Town4. Village
"One of the most radical settlement pattern changes instituted during the Elymean period was in the layout and construction of many rural villages and towns. For millennia the people of the Susiana, as did their counterparts elsewhere in Southwest Asia, reoccupied particular locations with such consistency that the well-known ’tell’ sites were formed. Yet the Elymeans, and the Sasanians after them, constructed on virgin land scores of communities whose archaeological remains suggest that they were sprawling, unwalled villages of very different composition from that of the densely packed, circumvallated communities of previous periods." [1]
Parthian and Sasanian period in Susiana noted for 1. development of large, planned cities. 2 . unwalled, sprawling villages "significantly, these architectural changes are the products of the Elymean and Parthian periods, although they continue and increase in frequency in the Sasanian and Early Islamic periods, and they appeared in many areas of Greater Mesopotamia" 3. heavily monetized economy 4. "massive capital investments in dams, roads, and canals" 5. great intensification agriculture. [2]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 313) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 314-315) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Administrative Level:
4

levels.
City State government
Documents from Susa and Dura Europus show "the governments of these places preserved the pattern of the Hellenistic city state." [1]
"Alexander had apparently hellenized Susa to the extent that the language of administration was Greek, the form of city-state government was Greek, and even the ethnic composition of the area was partially Greek." [2]
1. Leader/Ruler (perhaps appointed by the council?)

1. Council
"power was concentrated into the hands of a council made up of representatives of a few of the richest families." [3]
2. Finance chief inferred"massive capital investments in dams, roads, and canals" and a "heavily monetized economy" [4]
3. Head of the Elymean mint inferred"heavily monetized economy" [4]
4. Worker at the mint
3. Departments for tax and revenue etc. inferred4. Scribes
2. Chief of Public works inferred"development of large, planned cities", "massive capital investments in dams, roads, and canals" [4]

[1]: (Debevoise 1938, xli) Debevoise, Neilson C. 1938. A Political History of Parthia. University of Chicago Press Chicago. https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/political_history_parthia.pdf

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[3]: (Koshelenko and Pilipko 1999, 146) Koshelenko, G A. Pilipko, V N. in Dani, Ahmad Hasan. 1999. History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations: 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.

[4]: (Wenke 1981, 314-315) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Professions
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Documents from Susa and Dura Europus show "the governments of these places preserved the pattern of the Hellenistic city state." [1] Mints for bronze coinage.

[1]: (Debevoise 1938, xli) Debevoise, Neilson C. 1938. A Political History of Parthia. University of Chicago Press Chicago. https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/political_history_parthia.pdf


Law
Judge:
present

"The advent of the Parthians did not mark a break in the cultural history of the Greek cities, which retained their constitutions and magistrates, their schools, language, and law, long after the decline of Seleucid power." [1]

[1]: (Neusner 2008, 10) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Formal Legal Code:
present

"The advent of the Parthians did not mark a break in the cultural history of the Greek cities, which retained their constitutions and magistrates, their schools, language, and law, long after the decline of Seleucid power." [1]

[1]: (Neusner 2008, 10) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

"development of large, planned cities" [1] big change to the layout of rural villages may indicate optimisation for markets - now unwalled, and sprawling and constructed on virgin land rather on sites of historical communities of previous periods. [2]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 314-315) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 313) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Irrigation System:
present

"Regarding investments in irrigation systems, land reclamation, and intensification of agricultural production, the 1973 data suggest that the Elymean period was a particularly expansive era. Complex irrigation systems were constructed in the area of Susa" [1] "The Elymeans even invested heavily in diverting the perennial streams on the eastern edge of the plain and channelling their waters through long dendritic canals, some of whose banks still rise two meters above the plain surface." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 313) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Food Storage Site:
present

inferred from continuity with earlier and later periods


Transport Infrastructure

"Elymais coined its own money, conducted its own public works programs" [1] "Elymais’ emergence as an independent state was paralelled by the rise of Characene (also called Mesene), and Arab state at the head of the Persian Gulf and centered at the city of Spasinu Charaz. Both Elymais and Characene controlled important trade routes connecting the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia with sea and land routes from India and China." [1] "massive capital investments in dams, roads, and canals" [2]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 314-315) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


"Elymais coined its own money, conducted its own public works programs" [1] "Elymais’ emergence as an independent state was paralelled by the rise of Characene (also called Mesene), and Arab state at the head of the Persian Gulf and centered at the city of Spasinu Charaz. Both Elymais and Characene controlled important trade routes connecting the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia with sea and land routes from India and China." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Canal:
present

"massive capital investments in dams, roads, and canals" [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 314-315) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Bridge:
present

"Elymais coined its own money, conducted its own public works programs" [1] "Elymais’ emergence as an independent state was paralelled by the rise of Characene (also called Mesene), and Arab state at the head of the Persian Gulf and centered at the city of Spasinu Charaz. Both Elymais and Characene controlled important trade routes connecting the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia with sea and land routes from India and China." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

Documents from Susa and Dura Europus show "the governments of these places preserved the pattern of the Hellenistic city state." [1]

[1]: (Debevoise 1938, xli) Debevoise, Neilson C. 1938. A Political History of Parthia. University of Chicago Press Chicago. https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/political_history_parthia.pdf


Script:
present

"Alexander had apparently hellenized Susa to the extent that the language of administration was Greek, the form of city-state government was Greek, and even the ethnic composition of the area was partially Greek." [1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Greek alphabet.


Nonwritten Record:
present

inferred continuity with earlier periods


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"philosophy flourished in Hellenistic Babylonia, and Greek metaphysicians, astronomers, naturalists, historians, geographers, and physicians worked there." [1] - Hellenistic Susa likely had the same ’high culture’ to a lesser degree

[1]: (Neusner 2008, 8-9) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Sacred Text:
present

e.g. Biblical literature


Religious Literature:
present

e.g. Biblical literature


Practical Literature:
present

Constitution. "The advent of the Parthians did not mark a break in the cultural history of the Greek cities, which retained their constitutions and magistrates, their schools, language, and law, long after the decline of Seleucid power." [1]

[1]: (Neusner 2008, 10) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Philosophy:
present

"Iranians were familiar with Greek philosophy from the Achaemenid period." [1] "philosophy flourished in Hellenistic Babylonia, and Greek metaphysicians, astronomers, naturalists, historians, geographers, and physicians worked there." [2] - Hellenistic Susa likely had the same ’high culture’ to a lesser degree "Iranians were familiar with Greek philosophy from the Achaemenid period. This acquaintance was deepened in Sasanian times, leading to the influence of Greek philosophy on Zoroastrian religious works." [1]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 90) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Neusner 2008, 8-9) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

inferred continuity with earlier periods


History:
present

"philosophy flourished in Hellenistic Babylonia, and Greek metaphysicians, astronomers, naturalists, historians, geographers, and physicians worked there." [1] - Hellenistic Susa likely had the same ’high culture’ to a lesser degree

[1]: (Neusner 2008, 8-9) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Fiction:
present

"philosophy flourished in Hellenistic Babylonia, and Greek metaphysicians, astronomers, naturalists, historians, geographers, and physicians worked there." [1] - Hellenistic Susa likely had the same ’high culture’ to a lesser degree

[1]: (Neusner 2008, 8-9) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.


Calendar:
present

inferred continuity with earlier periods


Information / Money

Indigenous Coin:
present

"Elymais coined its own money, conducted its own public works programs, and in other was was apparently independent until about A.D. 215, when, documentary evidence suggests, the Parthian imperial government was once again in control at Susa." [1] "bronze Elymean coins at least for a time played a significant role in rural economies, since these coins are found on many small rural hamlets, not just at Susa and larger sites, and are found in several denominations and in issues that spanned at least several decades." [2]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 306) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592

[2]: (Wenke 1981, 314) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Foreign Coin:
present

[1]

[1]: (Wenke 1981, 314) Wenke, Robert J. 1981. Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 101. No. 3. Jul-Sep. American Oriental Society. pp. 303-315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/602592


Article:
present

inferred continuity with earlier periods


Information / Postal System

Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Military use of Metals
Steel:
present

"It is believed that Indian steel was exported in the early centuries A.D. and was known even in the time of Alexander. By the sixth century there is more definite evidence of the manufacture of Damascene swords and the steel used for this purpose came from India." [1] Artaxerxes II of Persia (Achaemenids, ruled around 400 BCE) had a Greek physician called Ctesias of Cnidus who was impressed by his sword of Indian steel. [2] [3] Was the Artaxerxes sword a ’trophy weapon’ or representative of swords used by elite Persian forces? Could the same thing be said up until the time of the first manufacture of Damascene swords? Use of Damascene steel certainly by 540 CE: "This unique type of steel was a major technological innovation and Iran played an important role in its production over the centuries. Circumstantial evidence suggests that a trade in a special steel, conceivably the ingots from which damascene steel was made, was underway in the Parthian and Sasanian period. Sometime after 115 A.D. the Parthians were importing iron (steel) from some point to the east" [4] "High-carbon steel was being produced in the eastern Iranian region from the tenth century CE." [5]

[1]: (Abraham 1988, 171) Meera Abraham. 1988. Two medieval merchant guilds of south India. Manohar Publications.

[2]: (Singh 1997) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[3]: (Ramsey 2016) Ramsey, Syed. 2016. Tools of War: History of Weapons in Ancient Times. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd.

[4]: (Piggott 2011) Pigott, V C. 1984 (2011). “Ahan.” Encyclopedia iranica. I/6. pp. 624-633. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahan-iron Site accessed: 25 September 2017.

[5]: (Goody 2012, 171) Goody, Jack. 2012. Metals, Culture and Capitalism: An Essay on the Origins of the Modern World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Confirmed for the Parthians.


Copper:
present

Confirmed for the Parthians.


Bronze:
present

Confirmed for the Parthians.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
unknown

Not for the Parthians: "the Parthians were not skilled nor equipped for sieges". [1] Suspected unknown for the earlier Seleucids: "The only evidence for any knowledge of the use of siege engines East of the Roman frontier comes from Vani in Georgia where ballista shot of various calibres were found." [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2007, 139) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2007. Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Raschke 1976, 819) Raschke, Manfred G. in Haase, Wolfgang ed. 1976. Politische Geschichte (Provinzen und Randvölker: Mesopotamien, Armenien, Iran, Südarabien, Rom und der Ferne Osten). Walter de Gruyter.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

First use of the counter-weight trebuchet 1165 CE was at the Byzantine siege of Zevgminon. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Sling:
present

Many ancient armies used slingers. Vulnerable to counter-attacks, slinger units were usually small and used at the start of the battle. Because of the training required to produce and effective slinger they were often hired mercenaries. [1] The Seleucids used slinger. [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 31) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[2]: Kosmin, P. J. 2013. Alexander the Great and the Seleucids in Iran. In, Potts, D. T (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.671-689. p.680


Self Bow:
present

"Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders." [1] Used by the Greeks and Romans who didn’t place much emphasis on the bow as a weapon preferring instead infantry combat. [2]

[1]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 29) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Javelin:
present

The Seleucid Greeks used the xyston’ (javelin) which was an ancient Macedonian weapon. [1]

[1]: Bar-Kochva, B. 1976. The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.74




Crossbow:
unknown

"the hand-held crossbow was invented by the Chinese, in the fifth century BC, and probably came into the Roman world in the first century AD, where it was used for hunting." [1] "The use of the hand-crossbow in Europe thus divides into two quite distinct periods, the first between about -100 and +450; the second beginning in the +10th century." [2]

[1]: (Nicholson 2004, 99) Helen Nicholson. 2004. Medieval Warfare: Theory and Practice of War in Europe, 300-1500. PalgraveMacmillan. Basingstoke.

[2]: (Needham and Wang 1954, 174) Needham J and Wang L. 1954. Science and Civilisation in China. Cambridge University Press.


Composite Bow:
present

"Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders." [1] Used by the Greeks and Romans who didn’t place much emphasis on the bow as a weapon preferring instead infantry combat. [2]

[1]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 29) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


New World weapon.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

Present for Parthian heavy cavalry. Did Elymaens have their own cavalry? The Seleucid Greeks maintained some cavalry troops. [1]

[1]: Aperghis, G. G. 2004. The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p194


Sword:
present

"All armies after the seventeenth century B.C.E. carried the sword, but in none was it a major weapon of close combat; rather, it was used when the soldier’s primary weapons, the spear and axe, were lost or broken." [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 26-27) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Spear-using phalanx first used in Sumer 2500 BCE. The phalanx was in use until the 1st century BCE. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 25) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.



Dagger:
present

Present for Parthian heavy cavalry. Did Elymaens have their own cavalry? The Seleucid Greeks maintained some cavalry troops. [1]

[1]: Aperghis, G. G. 2004. The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p194


Battle Axe:
present

Present for Parthian heavy cavalry. Did Elymaens have their own cavalry? The Seleucid Greeks maintained some cavalry troops. [1]

[1]: Aperghis, G. G. 2004. The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p194


Animals used in warfare
Horse:
present

Present for Parthian heavy cavalry. Did Elymaens have their own cavalry? The Seleucid Greeks maintained some cavalry troops. [1]

[1]: Aperghis, G. G. 2004. The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p194


Elephant:
absent

The Parthian did not use war elephants and the Elymaens would not have been able to source them. The Seleucids had some Indian elephants but they were received as a gift.


Donkey:
present

Donkeys were present in Persia during the Achaemenid period (used as pack animal by Darius the Great) so presumably were still there and could be used as a pack animal. [1]

[1]: (Mayor 2014, 289) Adrienne Mayor. Animals in Warfare. Gordon Lindsay Campbell. ed. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



Camel:
present

"Bactrian camels began to be used for cavalry between 500 and 100 BC." [1] If not for cavalry they could have been used for transport.

[1]: (Mayor 2014, 290) Adrienne Mayor. Animals in Warfare. Gordon Lindsay Campbell. ed. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Plutarch on the Parthians at Carrhae: "tough breastplates of raw hide or steel". [1]

[1]: (Ellis 2004, 38) Ellis, John. 2004. Cavalry: History of Mounted Warfare. Pen and Sword.


Shield:
present

The Seleucid Greeks used the shield. [1]

[1]: Bar-Kochva, B. 1976. The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p54.


Scaled Armor:
present

Parthian heavy cavalry armour included "rawhide, horn, iron, and bronze cut into scales." [1]

[1]: (Penrose 2008, 223) Penrose, Jane. 2008. Rome and Her Enemies: An Empire Created and Destroyed by War. Osprey Publishing.


Plate Armor:
present

By 600 BCE early Greeks and Romans had introduced the bronze cast bell muscle cuirass. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Limb Protection:
present

Certainly present for the Parthians and the Elymaens may also have had a small amount of cavalry.


Leather Cloth:
present

Plutarch on the Parthians at Carrhae: "tough breastplates of raw hide or steel". [1]

[1]: (Ellis 2004, 38) Ellis, John. 2004. Cavalry: History of Mounted Warfare. Pen and Sword.


Laminar Armor:
present

Possible. Already introduced by the Assyrians. For the Parthians: "The standard turn-out would have included ... a corselet of lamellar, mail or scale for the torso." [1]

[1]: (Penrose 2008, 223) Penrose, Jane. 2008. Rome and Her Enemies: An Empire Created and Destroyed by War. Osprey Publishing.


Helmet:
present

Earliest known helmet dates to 2500 BCE in Sumer. After this time use of helmets became widespread. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 22) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Chainmail:
present

Chain mail was possibly worn by some soldiers in this region by the time of the Seleucid Greek army, based on a description by I Macc. who wrote that the Seleucid phalanx at Beith-Zacharia were ’equipped with coats of mail’. [1]

[1]: Bar-Kochva, B. 1976. The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.p55


Breastplate:
present

By 600 BCE early Greeks and Romans had introduced the bronze cast bell muscle cuirass. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.