Vernietiging van Susa

Vernietiging van Susa


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Wie was Mordegai in die Bybel?

Mordegai word die eerste keer in Ester 2: 5 en ndash7 voorgestel: “Nou was daar in die vesting van Susa 'n Jood uit die stam van Benjamin, genaamd Mordegai, die seun van Jaïr, die seun van Simeï, die seun van Kis, wat in ballingskap weggevoer is uit Jerusalem deur Nebukadnesar, die koning van Babel, onder die wat saam met Jojagin, die koning van Juda, gevange geneem is. Mordegai het 'n neef gehad met die naam Hadassa, wat hy grootgemaak het omdat sy nie vader of moeder gehad het nie. Hierdie jong vrou, ook bekend as Esther, het 'n pragtige figuur en was pragtig. Mordegai het haar as sy eie dogter geneem toe haar pa en ma gesterf het. ”

Hierdie verse let op die volgende feite oor Mordegai: 1) hy was 'n Jood uit die stam van Benjamin, 2) hy woon in Susa, die hoofstad van Persië, 3) sy oupagrootjie, Kis, is deur Nebukadnesar gevange geneem, en 4) hy was die vader van Ester. Toe Ester gekies is as een van die maagde wat moontlik die volgende koningin van koning Xerxes (of Ahasveros) sou wees, het Mordegai haar aangeraai om nie haar Joodse agtergrond bekend te maak nie (Ester 2:10). Ester is as koningin gekroon (vers 17).

In Ester 2: 21 & ndash23 hoor Mordegai, wat by die paleispoort gewerk het, van 'n sluipmoordaanval teen die koning. Mordegai rapporteer die komplot aan Ester, en die koningin gee die intelligensie deur aan Xerxes. Die voornemende sluipmoordenaars word gestaak, en Mordegai se naam is in die koning se kronieke opgeteken as die een wat opgetree het om die koning se lewe te behou.

Mordegai is gehaat deur Haman, 'n Agagiet wat 'n prominente amp in die koninkryk beklee het. Haman se haat was as gevolg van Mordegai se weiering om voor hom te buig (Ester 3: 5). As Jood sou Mordegai net voor die Here God van Israel buig. Haman was egter nie tevrede daarmee om Mordegai eenvoudig weg te doen nie: “Nadat hy geleer het wie die mense van Mordegai was, het hy die idee verag om slegs Mordegai dood te maak. In plaas daarvan het Haman gesoek na 'n manier om al die mense van Mordegai, die Jode, deur die hele koninkryk van Xerxes te vernietig "(vers 6). Haman het met die koning gepraat en die koning se toestemming verkry om die Joodse volk op 'n bepaalde datum in die toekoms uit te wis. Toe Mordegai van die bevel hoor, het hy sy klere geskeur, 'n sak aangetrek en in as gesit (Ester 4: 1).

Mordegai het elke dag na Ester gekyk. Toe sy ontdek dat hy rou, het sy die oorsaak ondersoek. Mordegai het Ester ingelig van Haman se planne teen die Jode en gesê dat sy voor die koning moet gaan en vir die Jode se lewe moet pleit (Ester 4: 8). Hierop het Ester afgeskrik en mdashshe het nie die vryheid om die koning se teenwoordigheid te betree sonder om 'n dagvaarding te nooi om die koning ongenooid te nader nie, is met die dood strafbaar (verse 9 & ndash10). Mordegai het logies geantwoord: as sy dit gedoen het nie gaan voor die koning, sy was in elk geval dood, want sy was self in gevaar deur die bevel van die koning (vers 13). Mordegai eindig sy boodskap aan die koningin met hierdie beroemde stelling: "Wie weet, behalwe dat u vir 'n tyd soos hierdie in u koninklike posisie gekom het?" (vers 14).

Ester het ingestem dat sy die Persiese wet wat die toegang tot die koning verbied het, moet oortree deur te sê: "As ek vergaan, sterf ek" (Ester 4:16). Sy het drie dae gevas en toe ongenooid na die koning toe gegaan. Xerxes het haar egter vriendelik ontvang, en Ester het van die geleentheid gebruik gemaak om die koning en Haman na 'n banket te nooi (Ester 5: 1 & ndash4). By die ete het die koning vir Ester gevra of sy 'n versoek het, en Ester het gevra dat hulle die volgende aand by 'n ander banket sou wees.

Haman, wat onkundig was oor die etnisiteit van die koningin, was bly om nie net een banket nie, maar twee te vereer. Op pad huis toe was hy “gelukkig en gemoedelik. Maar toe hy Mordegai by die poort van die koning sien en sien dat hy nie opstaan ​​of vrees in sy teenwoordigheid toon nie, was hy woedend teenoor Mordegai ”(vers 9). Toe hy by die huis kom, gee hy 'n bevel om 'n galg van 75 voet hoog te bou om Mordegai op te hang (Ester 5:14).

Die aand ná Ester se eerste maaltyd kon koning Xerxes nie slaap nie. As slaaphulp het hy sy kronieke vir hom laat voorlees. Dit was net so dat die verslag van Mordegai wat die moord vermy het, gelees is. Die koning het toe ontdek dat niks gedoen is om Mordegai terug te betaal vir sy goeie daad nie. Op daardie oomblik het Haman die paleis binnegegaan om die toestemming van die koning te kry om Mordegai op te hang en mdashhe het egter nooit die kans gekry om te vra nie, want die koning het Haman beveel om Mordegai onmiddellik deur die strate van Susa te neem om hom te huldig (Esther 6: 10 & ndash11 ). Haman was dus verneder voor sy vyand, en Mordegai het die nodige eer ontvang.

Na sy vernederende ervaring om Mordegai te vereer, keer Haman terug na die paleis vir Ester se tweede banket. Tydens die ete het die koning weer vir Ester gevra of sy 'n versoek het. Hierdie keer het sy die koning gesmeek om haar en haar mense uit die verderf te red (Ester 6: 3 & ndash4), en sy wys Haman aan as die een wat haar wil doodmaak (vers 6).

Haman is summier doodgemaak op die einste galg wat hy vir Mordegai opgerig het, en die Jode het toestemming gekry om hulself te verdedig. Die Jode het Haman se bose komplot suksesvol oorwin, en Mordegai is beloon met 'n promosie. Die laaste vers van Ester sê: “Die Jood Mordegai was die tweede plek onder koning Xerxes, die vooraanstaande onder die Jode, en het baie agting van sy vele mede -Jode gehad, omdat hy ten goede van sy volk gewerk het en vir die welsyn gepraat het. van al die Jode ”(Ester 10: 3).

Die verhaal van Mordegai illustreer die waarheid van Psalm 75: 7, "Dit is God wat oordeel: / Hy laat die een neerwerp, hy verhef die ander," en Psalm 147: 6, "Die HERE ondersteun die nederiges, maar werp die goddelose na die grond. ” Mordegai se getrouheid en onkreukbaarheid het hom by die koning van Persië gepas, en sy besorgdheid oor sy Joodse volksgenote het die seën van God meegebring.


Vernietiging van Susa - Geskiedenis

Die vernietiging van Susa deur die Assiriese koning Ashurbanipal, 647 v.C.

Susa, die groot heilige stad, woonplek van hulle gode, setel van hulle verborgenhede, het ek oorwin. Ek het die paleise binnegegaan, hul skatkamers oopgemaak waar silwer en goud, goedere en rykdom versamel is. die skatte van Sumer, Akkad en Babilon wat die ou konings van Elam geplunder en weggevoer het. Ek het die ziggurat van Susa vernietig. Ek het sy blink koperhorings stukkend geslaan. Ek het die tempels van Elam verminder tot hul goed en die godinne wat ek in die wind verstrooi het. Ek het die grafte van hul ou en onlangse konings verwoes, ek het dit blootgestel aan die son en ek het hul bonmes na die land Ashur weggevoer. Ek het die provinsies Elam verwoes en op hulle lande sout gesaai

The Swastika: (note bowl above)

Gelyksydige kruis met arms reghoekig gebuig, almal in dieselfde roterende rigting, gewoonlik kloksgewys. Die hakekors as 'n simbool van voorspoed en geluk word wyd versprei oor die antieke en moderne wêreld. Die woord is afgelei van die Sanskrit svastika, wat beteken dat dit bydra tot die welstand. & Rdquo Dit was 'n gunsteling simbool op antieke Mesopotamiese muntstukke. In Skandinawië was die linkerhakekors die teken vir die god Thor se hamer. Die hakekors verskyn ook in vroeë Christelike en Bisantynse kuns (waar dit bekend staan ​​as die gammadion -kruis, of crux gammata, omdat dit opgebou kon word uit vier Griekse gammas [G] wat aan 'n gemeenskaplike basis geheg is), en dit het in Suid- en Sentraal voorgekom Amerika (onder die Maya's) en in Noord -Amerika (hoofsaaklik onder die Navajo).

In Indië is die hakekors steeds die gunstigste simbool van Hindoes, Jainas en Boeddhiste. Onder die Jainas is dit die embleem van hul sewende Tirthankara (heilige) en word daar ook gesê dat die aanbidder deur sy vier arms aan die vier moontlike hergeboorte- en mdashin -diere- of plantwereld, in die hel, op aarde of in die geesteswêreld herinner .

Die Hindoes (en ook Jainas) gebruik die hakekors om die openingsblaaie van hul rekeningboeke, drempels, deure en aanbiedinge te merk. Daar word 'n duidelike onderskeid getref tussen die regterkantse hakekors, wat met die kloksgewys rigting beweeg, en die linkerhakekors (meer korrek genoem die sauvastika), wat in die rigting van die kloksgewys beweeg. Die regterkantse hakekruis word as 'n sonsimbool beskou en volg in die draai van sy arms die koers wat die son daagliks neem, wat in die noordelike halfrond blyk te wees van oos, dan suid, na wes. Die linkerhakekors staan ​​meer gereeld vir die nag, die skrikwekkende godin Kali en magiese praktyke.

In die Boeddhistiese tradisie simboliseer die hakekors die voete, of die voetspore, van die Boeddha. Dit word dikwels aan die begin en einde van die inskripsies geplaas, en moderne Tibetaanse Boeddhiste gebruik dit as 'n klereversiering. Met die verspreiding van Boeddhisme het die hakekors oorgegaan in die ikonografie van China en Japan, waar dit gebruik is om veelheid, oorvloed, voorspoed en 'n lang lewe aan te dui.

In Nazi -Duitsland het die hakekors (Duits: Hakenkreuz), met sy skuins arms met die kloksgewys gedraai, die nasionale simbool geword. In 1910 het 'n digter en nasionalistiese ideoloog Guido von List die hakekors voorgestel as 'n simbool vir alle antisemitiese organisasies, en toe die Nasionaal-Sosialistiese Party in 1919 gestig is, neem dit dit aan. Op 15 September 1935 het die swart hakekors op 'n wit sirkel met 'n rooi agtergrond die nasionale vlag van Duitsland geword. Hierdie gebruik van die hakekors het geëindig in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog met die Duitse oorgawe in Mei 1945, hoewel die hakekors nog steeds bevoordeel word deur neo-Nazi-groepe.


Gebou van Darius se paleiskompleks

In die inskripsie van Darius (Dsf) wat in Susa se groot saal gevind is, merk hy op: "Die materiaal, versiering en ambagsmanne vir hierdie paleis wat ek by Susa gebou het, kom van ver af.

"Vir sy fondamente is die aarde gegrawe totdat ek die rots bereik het. Toe die opgrawing voltooi was, is die fondament ongeveer 40 el tot 20 el in diepte ingepak. Op daardie fondament is die paleis gebou met songedroogde baksteen. Hierdie take was uitgevoer deur Babiloniërs.

"Die sederhout is deur die Assiriërs vanaf 'n berg in Libanon na Babilon gebring. Uit Babilon het die Carians en Ionians dit na Susa gebring. Die yaka-hout is van Kandahar (Gandara) en Kerman (Carmania) gebring.

"Die goud is uit Sardis gebring en uit Bakhtrish (Bactria) is hier bewerk. Die edelgesteentes lapis lazuli en karneool wat hier gemaak is, is van Suguda (Sogdiana) gebring. Die edelgesteente turkoois wat uit Uvarazmish (Chorasmia) gebring is, is vervaardig hier. Die silwer en ebbehout is uit Egipte gebring. Die versiering waarmee die muur versier is, is uit Ionia gebring. Die ivoor wat hier gemaak is, is uit Ethiopië, Sind en Harauvatish (Arachosia) gebring.

"Die klipkolomme wat hier gemaak is, is uit 'n dorp met die naam Abiradu in Elam gebring. Die klipkappers wat die klip gemaak het, was Ioniërs en Sardiërs.

"Die goudsmede wat die goud gemaak het, was Meders en Egiptenare. Die mans wat die hout gemaak het, was Sardiërs en Egiptenare. Die mans wat die gebakte baksteen vervaardig het, was Babiloniërs. Die mans wat die mure versier het, was Meders en Egiptenare.

"Die werk Susa was van uitnemendheid. Mag Ahuramazda my beskerm, my vader Vistasp en my land."

Die paleiskompleks beset die noordelike terras van Susa en bevat die Apadana- of gehoorsaal en koninklike woning. Die paleiskompleks beslaan vyf hektaar en is gebou op 'n kunsmatig groot oppervlakte van 12 hektaar. Toegang tot die paleiskompleks was op 'n sypaadjie uit die suide deur die koninklike stad. Die sypaadjie loop deur 'n kolossale, bedekte 24 m vierkante gang met twee sale en twee portusse elk met twee kolomme (vgl. Perrot, Ladiray en Vallat genoem in Encyclopaedia Iranica). Deur 'n regte hoek te draai, steek die pad oor 'n baksteenpad en eindig by die poort van Darius.


Vernietiging van Susa - Geskiedenis

Die koninklike paleis in Susa. Foto: Todd Bolen / bibleplaces.com.

Die meeste van wat u vandag by Susa kan sien, het in 521 v.C. toe Darius besluit het om sy ryk daar te sentreer. Bo -op die Elamitiese ruïnes het hy 'n massiewe terras gebou, wat meer as 'n miljoen kubieke meter aarde ingevoer het en werkers uit die verste dele van sy koninkryk in diens geneem het. Op hierdie 50 voet hoë platform het Darius 'n enorme paleis gebou, bestaande uit 'n privaat woning van 9 hektaar en 'n openbare gehoorsaal van 3 hektaar.

Die gehoorsaal is waar ons die Bybelse figuur Nehemia ontmoet. Bekend in die Persiese argitektuur as 'n apadana, hierdie hypostyle -saal met sy porties bevat 72 kolomme, elk 65 voet hoog en weeg meer as 25 ton. Gesentreer tussen die twee sentrale rye, dui 'n lae klipplatform die plek van die koning se troon aan. Volgens Nehemia 2: 1–8 het Artaxerxes I hier gesit toe sy Joodse skinkers toestemming gevra het om terug te keer en Jerusalem te herbou. Die kontras tussen die spoggerige glorie van Susa se paleis en die puin van Jerusalem moes Nehemia baie bedroef het.

Van Babilon tot Bagdad: Antieke Irak en die moderne weste ondersoek die verhouding tussen antieke Irak en die oorsprong van die moderne Westerse samelewing. Hierdie gratis e -boek gee 'n uiteensetting van sommige van die maniere waarop antieke Nabye-Oosterse beskawings hulself op die Westerse kultuur beïndruk het, en beskryf die huidige stryd om die kulturele erfenis van Irak te bewaar.

Van die apadanaDit is 'n kort entjie se stap na die residensiële gedeelte van die paleis, maar toegang in Bybelse tye is streng beheer. U begin by die buitenste binnehof, vandag meestal 'n toegegroeide put wat die Franse graafmachines agtergelaat het, maar wat in die tyd van Ester 'n indrukwekkende 205-by-175-voet-plein was met uitbeeldings van soldate en leeus. As ons deur hierdie binnehof gaan, herinner ons ons aan Haman wat in die middel van die nag op die koning gewag het, net om beveel te word om Mordegai te eer (Ester 6: 4). Die rede vir hierdie eer was as gevolg van 'n gebeurtenis wat in die koningspoort plaasgevind het, slegs 'n minuut se stap na die ooste, waar Mordegai die plan om Ahasveros te vermoor gehoor het (Xerxes Ester 2: 21–23).

Van die buitenste binnehof gaan 'n mens deur 'n dubbele waghuis om die middelste binnehof te bereik. Nog 'n dubbele waghuis verseker toegang tot die binnehof. Hier sou Ester die koning kom versoek het, maar volgens Ester 4:11 het sy eers vir Mordegai en al die Jode gesmeek om te vas en te bid, want "elke man of vrou wat die koning in die binneste voorhof nader", waag sy of haar baie lewe.

Onmiddellik suid van hierdie binnehof is die koning se woonplekke, insluitend sy troonkamer. Argeoloë het die omgewing geopenbaar wat so duidelik beskryf word in Ester 5: 1: “Op die derde dag trek Ester haar koninklike klere aan en gaan staan ​​in die binneste voorhof van die koning se paleis, voor die koning se kwartiere, terwyl die koning op sy koninklike troon in die troonkamer oorkant die ingang van die paleis. ”

As u verder wil verken, is die terrein van Susa groot. Ons het tot dusver slegs een van die argeologiese vertellings besoek, maar as u oos uit die koningspoort gaan, gaan u oor na wat die Franse argeoloë genoem het Ville Royale. Hier sny Roman Ghirshman se massiewe stratigrafiese loopgraaf deur die oorblyfsels van 15 oorleggende stede. In die suide is die 'akropolis' wat byna 100 jaar lank deur die Franse opgegrawe is (1884–1979). Die kasteel wat aan die noordelike punt gebou is, word algemeen beskou as die mees formidabele argeologiese basiskamp ter wêreld.

U wil die museum nie mis nie, nie net vanweë die welkome lugversorging nie, maar ook om na 'n paar van die skatte van die webwerf te kyk. Ook hier kan u die badkamer vind en die toegangsgeld van die terrein ($ 4) betaal.

Om die tradisionele graf van Daniel te besoek, kan u 'n paar blokke deur die stad Shush loop of ry om die prominente koniese toring te bereik wat sy begraafplaas aandui. Die tradisie dateer uit die sewende eeu nC, en die Joodse dokter Benjamin van Tudela beskryf dit tydens sy besoek in 1170. Moslems bid nou hier, en toegang is gratis. Of Daniel hier begrawe is of nie, sy boek beskryf die visioen wat hy gehad het toe hy in Susa by die Ulai -kanaal was (Daniël 8: 2). Die rivierbedding van die Ulai is oos van die Ville Royale, en dit is die maklikste om dit te bereik deur op die hoofweg suid van die akropolis te ry totdat u die groenigheid aan die oostelike rand van die tel sien.

Daar is nog 'n voordeel om hierdie deel van Wes-Iran te besoek: dit plaas u op die pad na 'n ander plek wat te gereeld oorgeslaan word-Mt. Behistun, met sy beroemde drietalige inskripsie wat die sleutel was tot die ontsyfering van die spykerskrif wat deur die Assiriese en Babiloniese ryke gebruik is.

Dit alles maak Susa miskien die beste verrassing op enige argeologiese toer deur Iran.

Todd Bolen is professor in Bybelkunde aan die Master's University. Hy is tans medeskrywer van 'n boek oor die geskiedenis van eertydse Israel, en hy skep fotosamelbundels van die Bybelse wêreld op BiblePlaces.com.

Site-Seeing: “Surprising Susa” deur Todd Bolen is oorspronklik gepubliseer in Bybelse argeologie -oorsig, Maart/April 2019.


Vernietiging van Susa - Geskiedenis

Susa (Bybels Shushan, modern Shush, Sjabloon: Coor dm) was 'n ou stad van die Elamitiese, Persiese en Partiese ryke van Iran, ongeveer 150 kilometer oos van die Tigrisrivier in die Khuzestan -provinsie in Iran. Behalwe dat dit 'n argeologiese terrein is, is Shush ook 'n lewendige dorp vanweë die toewyding van die Sjiïete en die Persiese Joodse gemeenskap vir die profeet Daniël.

Susa is een van die oudste bekende nedersettings in die streek, waarskynlik gestig omstreeks 4000 vC, hoewel die eerste spore van 'n bewoonde dorpie dateer uit 7000 vC. Bewyse van 'n geverfde pottebakkery dateer uit 5000 vC. In historiese tye was dit die hoofstad van die Elamitiese Ryk. Die naam is afkomstig van hul taal, dit is op verskillende maniere geskryf (Šu šan, Šu šun ens.) en is blykbaar uitgespreek Sus ən. Šu šan is deur gewelddadige veldtogte deur sowel die Babiloniese Ryk as die Assiriese Ryk binnegeval. Na die Babiloniese verowering, is die naam verkeerd verstaan ​​om met die Semitiese woord verbind te word Šu šan, "lelie."

Susa word genoem in die Ketuvim van die Hebreeuse Bybel, hoofsaaklik in Ester, maar ook een keer elk in Nehemia en Daniël). Die profete Daniel en Nehemia het in Susa gewoon tydens die Babiloniese ballingskap van Juda van die 6de eeu vC. Ester het daar koningin geword en die Jode van volksmoord gered. 'N Graf wat vermoedelik die van Daniel is, is in die omgewing, bekend as Shush-Daniel. Die graf word gekenmerk deur 'n ongewone wit klip wat nie gereeld of simmetries is nie.

'N Tablet wat in 1854 deur Henry Austin Layard in Nineve opgegrawe is, onthul Ashurbanipal as 'n wreker wat vergelding soek vir die vernederings wat die Elamiete deur die eeue deur die Mesopotamië toegedien het:

"Susa, die groot heilige stad, woonplek van hulle gode, setel van hulle verborgenhede, het ek oorwin. Ek het die paleise binnegegaan, hulle skatkamers oopgemaak waar silwer en goud, goedere en rykdom bymekaargemaak is. Ek het die ziggurat van Susa vernietig. Ek het sy blink koperhorings stukkend geslaan. Ek het die tempels van Elam verminder tot hul gode en godinne wat ek teen die winde verstrooi het. Ek het die grafte van hulle ou en onlangse konings verwoes, ek het dit blootgestel aan die son, en ek het hulle bene na die land Ashur weggevoer. Ek het die provinsies Elam verwoes en op hul lande het ek sout gesaai."[1]

Die stad is egter gou teruggeneem deur die Achaemenidiese Perse onder Kores die Grote in 538 vC. Onder Kores se seun Cambyses II verhuis die hoofstad van die ryk van Pasargadae na Susa.

Die stad verloor 'n deel van sy belangrikheid toe Alexander van Masedonië dit in 323 vC verower en die eerste Persiese Ryk verwoes, maar nadat Alexander se uitgestrekte ryk met sy dood ineengestort het, het Susa een van die twee hoofstede (saam met Ctesiphon) van Parthia geword. Susa het 'n gereelde toevlugsoord geword vir Partiërs en later die Persiese Sassanidiese konings, aangesien die Romeine Ctesiphon tussen 116 en 297 nC afgedank het. Gewoonlik het die Partiese heersers in Susa oorwinter en die somer in Ctesiphon deurgebring.

Die Romeinse keiser Trajanus het Susa in 116 nC ingeneem, maar moes binnekort terugtrek weens opstande in sy agterste gebiede. Hierdie opmars was die grootste oostelike deurdringing deur die Romeine.

Susa is minstens twee keer in sy geskiedenis vernietig. In 647 vC het die Assiriese koning Assurbanipal die stad gelykgemaak tydens 'n oorlog waarin die mense van Susa blykbaar aan die ander kant deelgeneem het. Die tweede vernietiging van Susa het in 638 nC plaasgevind toe die Moslemleërs Persië die eerste keer verower het. Uiteindelik, in 1218 nC, is die stad heeltemal verwoes deur indringende Mongole. Die antieke stad is geleidelik in die jare daarna verlaat.


Elam en die Elamiete: die bewys dat geen gelowige dit kan ignoreer nie

Een van die interessantste raaisels in die Bybel omring die seuns van Noag en die oorsprong van elke nasie op die planeet. Volgens die meeste algemene Christelike navorsers het die seuns van Noag soos volg in die nasies verdeel:

  • Ham:Swart Afrikaners + Swart Arabiere
  • Sem: “Olive ” Hebreërs + “Olive ” Arabiere
  • Jafet:Europeërs + Asiërs

Ontdekkings van Bybelse terreine begin egter 'n heel ander prentjie skets as die wat deur die kerk en die media aan die algemene publiek voorgehou word. Volgens die Bybel was Elam een ​​van die seuns van Sem:

Die kinders van Sem Elam , en Assur, en Arphaxad, en Lud, en Aram. ” – Genesis 10:22

In hierdie vers word ons die eerste keer aan Elam, die vader van die Elamiete, voorgestel. As ons in die geskiedenis van die Elamiete begin delf, loop ons 'n waarheid raak wat vir sommige 'n moeilike pil kan wees om te sluk.

Die oorlog van die konings

Na die kort vermelding van sy geboorte, is die volgende keer dat ons die afstammelinge van Elam sien, in Genesis 14. Chedorlaomer is koning van Elam en gebaseer op die konteks, die “king van konings ”. Nie in die sin van Christus se titel nie, maar hy was heerser oor agt ander konings voor die vernietiging van die stede op die vlakte:

  1. Amraphel: Koning van Shinar
  2. Arioch: Koning van Ellasar
  3. Gety: Koning van die heidene
  4. Bera: Koning van Sodom
  5. Birsha: Koning van Gomorra
  6. Shinab: Koning van Admah
  7. Shemeber: Koning van Seboiim
  8. Naamloos: Koning van Bela / Zoar

Ons het nie vertel hoe Cheorlaomer tot sy prominente posisie gestyg het bo alle ander omliggende nasies nie, maar ons word vertel dat die nasies in opstand gekom het.

“Twaalf jaar lank dien hulle Chedorlaomer, en in die dertiende jaar het hulle in opstand gekom.” – Genesis 14: 4

Vier van die agt onderdanige konings het in opstand gekom teen Chedorlaomer nadat hy twaalf jaar onder sy leiding was. Na die rebellie van die vyf konings neem Chedorlamer en die vier konings wat saam met hom was, weerwraak, maar hulle val nie eers die vyf konings aan nie. Hulle val eintlik verskeie stamme na die vloed aan nefilim reuse, ook na verwys as rapha .

En in die veertiende jaar het Chedorlaomer gekom, en die konings wat was saam met hom, en die Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, en die Zuzims in Ham, en die Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim … ” – Genesis 14: 5

Dit is die doodmaak van hierdie basters wat lei tot 'n totaaloorlog wat lei tot die ontvoering van Lot, Abraham se reddingsmissie en die bekendstelling van Melgisedek, koning van Salem. Die bondgenootskap van konings wat teen hom in opstand gekom het, is ook dieselfde vyf stede wat ons 'n paar hoofstukke later sal sien wanneer die Here opdaag om Sodom en Gomorra te vernietig.

“ En daar het die koning van Sodom en die koning van Gomorra en die koning van Admah en die koning van Seboiim en die koning van Bela uitgegaan is Zoar) en hulle het saam met hulle geveg in die dal van Siddim Saam met Chedorlaomer, die koning van Elam, en met Tidal, die koning van die nasies, en Amraphel, die koning van Shinar, en Arioch, die koning van Ellasar, vier konings met vyf. ” – Genesis 14: 8-9

Die Skrif vertel ons nie hoekom Chedorlaomer die oorlog begin het deur die hibriede reuse aan te val of waarom die konings van Sodom en Gomorra hulle te hulp gesnel het nie, maar ons kan gerus aanvaar dat daar 'n alliansie was tussen laasgenoemde. Dit blyk 'n strategiese stap van die vier konings te wees om die reuse onkant te vang met 'n verrassingsaanval. Uiteindelik lewer die veldtog van Chedorlaomer en sy bondgenote vrugte af en kom hulle as oorwinnaars uit die stryd, maar tydens hul plundering ontvoer hulle Abraham se neef Lot en sy gesin.

Die Elamitiese koninkryk Shushan / Susa

Die hoofstroom Christendom leer dat die afstammelinge van Sem die Midde -Ooste gestig het en nog altyd soos die bruin vel van die Midde -Oosters gelyk het. Wat ons egter gaan sien, is dat die weergawe van die geskiedenis wat ons gevoer het, nie ooreenstem met die weergawe van die geskiedenis wat in Susa ontdek is nie.

Soos ons op die kaart kan sien, was die Elamitiese koninkryk Susa net buite die Arabiese skiereiland, naby Iran (Persië), geleë. Dit is in Susa dat die paleis van Shushan geleë is, en ons sal hierdie paleis verskeie kere in die skrif onder die heerskappy van verskeie konings sien.

Die paleis in Shushan / Susa

Shushan, ook bekend as Susa, was 'n belangrike stad in die Elamitiese ryk. Die stad is so belangrik dat dit op drie verskillende plekke in die geskiedenis in drie boeke van die Bybel genoem word.

“Die woorde van Nehemia, die seun van Hagalja. En dit het gebeur in die maand Chisleu, in die twintigste jaar, soos ek in die paleis in Shushan was” – Nehemia 1: 1

“ Dit in daardie dae, toe die koning Ahasveros op die troon van sy koninkryk sit, wat was in die paleis Shushan.” – Ester 1: 2

En ek het in 'n visioen gesien, en toe ek dit sien, gebeur dit ek was by Shushan in die paleis, wat is in die provinsie Elam en ek het in 'n gesig gesien, en ek was by die rivier van Ulai. ” – Daniel 8: 2

Susa het in die antieke tyd 'n baie belangrike rol gespeel, maar sy rol in die moderne tyd kan nog groter wees. Ons weet dat Susa gestig is deur die oudste seun van Sem, Elam. En in Susa vind ons konkrete bewyse dat die afstammelinge van Sem swart was, wat beteken dat Sem ook swart was.

Was die Elamiete swart mense?

Diegene wat beweer dat “ -velkleur nie saak maak nie ”, is dikwels diegene wat gemaklik is met die leuen van 'n meerderheid wit wold in die antieke verlede, en ons weet dat dit nie waar is nie. Die kontroversie rondom etnisiteit in die Bybel is te wyte aan die Renaissance -tydperk en die veldtog om alle Bybelse dinge in Europese oorsprong te maak, ongeag die bewyse. In die Zondervan Bybelwoordeboek vind ons die volgende stelling wat blykbaar dui op Sem of Jafet as die oorsprong van negers.

“Ham - Die jongste seun van Noag, gebore waarskynlik ongeveer 96 jaar voor die vloed en een van agt persone wat deur die vloed geleef het. Hy het die stamvader van die donker rasse geword nie die negers nie, maar die Egiptenare, Ethiopiërs, Libiërs en Kanaäniete. ” – Zondervan Bible Compact Dictionary

Die meeste ernstige Bybelstudente is dit eens dat Jafet die oorsprong van die Europeërs was, maar as dit by Sem kom, word die oortuigings in die middel verdeel omdat die afstammelinge van Sem dikwels met Ham se afstammelinge gemeng is. Die volgende beelde is in Susa ontdek en toon duidelik 'n nasie swart mense afkomstig van Sem, wat blykbaar die bewering ondersteun dat negers nie van Ham of Jafet afkomstig was nie, maar van Sem.

Met die eerste oogopslag kan ons sien dat daar nog swart verf op hul gesig en hande is. Dit het mettertyd vervaag, maar dit is duidelik watter kleur hulle oorspronklik geverf het. Ons sien ook dat hulle soos Afros onder hul kop dra. Alhoewel hierdie getuienis interessant is, is dit nie eers die beste bewys dat Shem neger -afstammelinge het nie.

Die Elamitiese Boogskutters

Die Bybel verwys verskeie kere na die feit dat die Elamitiese leër bekend was vir hul boogskutters. Die volgende beelde bewys dat die Bybelse aansprake waar is:

En Elam het die koker gebaar met strydwaens van mans en ruiters, en Kir het die skild ontbloot. ” – Jesaja 22: 6

So sê die HERE van die leërskare: Kyk, Ek sal die boog van Elam breek, die hoof van hulle mag. ” – Jeremia 49:35

Die vers in Jeremia dui aan dat die boog die primêre wapen was wat die Elamiete hul militêre voordeel gegee het. 'N Boog gekombineer met 'n wa was die ekwivalent van 'n moderne tenk in die ou tyd. Hier is die konkrete bewys dat die Elamiete inderdaad swart was omdat hulle hulself as swart mense geverf het.

Elamite Boogskutters Elamite Boogskutter

Elamite boogskutter met negerfunksies
Die Elamitiese Sfinx

Selfs die sfinks is met 'n swart gesig uitgebeeld, want dit was destyds die heersende velkleur in die verlede. Dit is baie gerieflik vir die Europese Christendom om almal en alles in die Bybel wit te verf om die waarheid te bedek en dan op te tree asof ras geen rol daarin speel nie. Diegene van ons wat ware gelowiges is, moet oor die waarheid gaan, en die waarheid omvat onderrig in die WARE oorsprong en etnisiteit van Bybelse mense, terwyl dit ook die idee van 'n oorwegend wit oorsprong van die mensdom verwerp.

Gevleuelde sfinx uit die paleis van Darius die Grote in Susa.

Elam In Bybelprofesie

Wat Elam betref, was hulle lot omdat hulle God kwaad gemaak het, soortgelyk aan die lot van die Hebreërs omdat hulle dieselfde gedoen het. Die profeet Jeremia profeteer die volgende oor die Elamitiese ryk:

“ En oor Elam sal ek die vier winde uit die vier hoeke van die hemel bring, en sal hulle na al die winde verstrooi en daar sal geen nasie wees waar die verstotenes van Elam nie sal kom nie. ” – Jeremia 49:36

Die herversameling van Elam

Jeremia verwys een keer na die einde van die ballingskap van Elam, maar in die boek Jesaja word melding gemaak dat daar Hebreërs uit die land Elam sou wees.

“ En in die dag sal dit gebeur, daardie die Here sal die tweede keer sy hand terugsteek om die oorblyfsel van sy volk wat oorbly, te herstel, uit Assirië en uit Egipte en uit Patros en uit Kus, en van Elam, en van Shinar, en van Hamat, en van die eilande van die see. ” – Jesaja 11:11

Maar dit sal gebeur in die laaste dae, daardie Ek sal die ballingskap van Elam weer bring, sê die HERE. ” – Jeremia 49:39

Die frase “ laaste dae ” word regdeur die Skrif gebruik om na die gebeure aan die einde van die eeu te verwys. Volgens Jeremia was dit die tyd dat God belowe om Elam weer uit hulle verstrooiing en ballingskap te herwin. Jesaja noem dat God se mense uit Elam bymekaargemaak sal word. God se mense is die Israeliete en die Elamiete het tradisioneel verskeie gode aanbid, maar hoofsaaklik Ahura-Mazda. Wat ons veilig kan aanneem, is dat daar Hebreërs in Iran is wat aan die einde van die eeu saam met die oorblyfsel bymekaargemaak sal word.


Saterdag, 9 November 2019

Sommige Noord-Amerikaanse geskiedenis van 1000-500 vC

Olmec -kopbeeld van Tres Zapotes
Dit is 'n berig oor die geskiedenis van Noord-Amerika van 1000-500 vC. Ek is glad nie 'n kenner van hierdie tydperk nie, en daar is nog baie wat nog onbekend is en wat deur argeoloë ontdek word, maar die breë trekke van wat ek hier sal beskryf, is hopelik meestal korrek. Die datums wat hier aangebied word, sal 'n baie breë skatting wees, en dit kan baie sleg wees. This is a time before writing in this part of the world so the main sources will be entirely archaeological but I may make some references to the beliefs of later cultures.

For the purposes of this blog, North America will comprise of Alaska, Canada, the continental USA, Mexico, all the Central American countries as far as Panama, the Caribbean Islands and, for good measure and because there was nowhere else to really put it, Greenland.

At the start of the period under discussion, the Olmec culture on the Caribbean coast of Mexico was flourishing. The main settlement here was the city now known as San Lorenzo, but there were also other settlements at La Venta and Tres Zapotes. These were the largest settlements in Mesoamerica, although even the great city of San Lorenzo probably had no more than 20,000 people in it at the highest of estimates. San Lorenzo had a large ceremonial site, complete with pyramid and central plaza.

The pyramid of San Lorenzo was matched by the site at Poverty Point, in what is now the state of Louisiana in the United States. This was a large site with massive prehistoric earthworks and a great mound which was the largest structure in North America for millennia afterwards. The culture that built these earthworks is known unimaginatively as the Poverty Point culture, named after the type site of the civilisation. The dwellers of the Mississippi floodplain were clearly quite organised, but they did not systematically use either agriculture or ceramic pots. They did bake clay, but did not create pottery as we know it.

Olmec stone head from La Venta
Around the century of the 1000’s BC the Woodland Period began in what is now the southern part of the continental US. This was a period where the inhabitants built mounds and engaged in trade, in a fashion quite similar to the Watson Brake and Poverty Point cultures, but covering a much larger area and extending much further northwards. The first of these cultures of note would be the Adena culture in what is now the Ohio region, but these would only flourish some time later.

In the century of the 900’s BC the impressive monuments of the Olmec city of San Lorenzo would be destroyed. The city of San Lorenzo falls into deep decline around this time. The city of La Venta would now become the most prominent Olmec city, with Tres Zapotes also becoming important. The destruction of the monument may have been the result of a natural catastrophe that led to the abandonment of the city. It may well have been an internal rebellion or an attack from the inhabitants of La Venta. We will probably never know exactly why San Lorenzo was damaged so badly, but these seem the most likely explanations. The population declined sharply and within a century barely anyone inhabited the city.

Ruins from the early Mayan
city of Nakbe
The city of La Venta now began to reach its zenith and expanded, building temples and a great pyramid and carving more of the great stone heads for which the Olmec culture is so famed. It is from La Venta that the first representation of the feathered serpent is found in Mesoamerica.

It is around this time that the Cascajal Block, an early example of what may be proto-writing, was created in the Olmec regions. The stone was found by locals and not in a proper archaeological context, so dating is conjectural. It is also not clear if this was a full writing system, if it is writing at all, or if the artefact itself is even genuine. But it certainly raises the possibility that the Olmec civilisation had made the giant leap forward to becoming a literate civilisation.

Around the century of the 700's BC large structures begin to be built at the settlement of Nakbe, in present day Guatemala on the Yucatan peninsula. This is probably the earliest settlement of the Maya culture to reach the level of a city. The monumental architecture that would characterise later Mayan cities was there in Nakbe, including pyramids, palaces, elaborate tombs and causeways.

Also around this time, the Poverty Point culture in the Mississippi Valley seems to have come to an end. The proto-city of Poverty Point itself, with its great mounds and ridges, seems to have been abandoned and the people gathered there no more.

Far to the north in the lands of Greenland, the Dorset culture appears to have emerged from the previous culture, known as the Independence culture. The Dorset culture appears to have become almost too adapted to the frozen north. They had forgotten how to make drills or bows, but they were skilled at hunting animals in and on the ice. The Dorset later had settlements in Canada on the northern lands of what would now be called the province of Nunavut.

Walrus ivory carving of a polar bear
Around the 600’s BC the Tchefuncte culture existed on the Louisiana coasts. They foraged for shellfish and are known primarily through the shell middens that they left behind. After the decline of the Poverty Point culture, the early Woodland Period along the Mississippi and Ohio basins does not show much sign of urbanisation.

Around the century of the 500's BC Tres Zapotes became the most important of the Olmec cities. Once again, colossal heads, probably wearing the headdresses of ballplayers, were carved from stone.

Around this time, the Zapotec civilisation began in the Oaxaca Valley in the southwestern regions of Mexico. The main settlement was Monte Alban, although there was another important early settlement at San Jose Mogote, which may have been in conflict with the city at Monte Alban. Here again, monumental architecture, the Mesoamerican ballgame and the agriculture based around the Three Sisters of Mesoamerican agriculture were prominent.

And thus the period draws to a close. In Mesoamerica, the Olmec civilisation is still thriving at the cities of Tres Zapotes and La Venta, while newer the newer civilisations of the Mayans and Zapotecs have arisen to the south and the west of the Olmec. Further to the north, in what is now the continental United States, the Poverty Point culture has disappeared, leaving behind less-organised cultures in its place. While to the far north the Dorset culture has begun in Greenland. I will continue the tale in later blogs.

Pyramid from the Olmec city of La Venta
Related Blogs:
Some North American history from 4000-2000BC
Some North American history from 2000-1000BC
Mesoamerica: The Olmecs


Revolt of the Ionians

An alliance of Ionian cities sought to defend Miletus by sea but were decisively defeated by Persian forces at the Battle of Lade in 494 bce.

Angus McComiskey/Alamy Stock Photo

Marc G. DeSantis
Winter 2020

The Greek cities of Asia Minor tried mightily to free themselves from Persian subjugation. But their rebellion ultimately backfired.

O n a spring night in 498 bce, spiky tongues of orange and yellow flames darted high into the Anatolian sky. By morning, the ancient city of Sardis would be a smoking pile of ash and corpses. Even the Temple of Cybele, the revered mother goddess of Asia Minor, had been destroyed. The raging inferno was the work of the Ionians—the Greeks on the western shores of Asia Minor and its nearby islands. They had revolted against Darius I, the Great King of Persia, and had come to Sardis to strike a blow for their freedom. Instead, they set in motion a horrific disaster.

For more than four decades, Persian kings had lorded over the troublesome Ionians. Insular and argumentative, the Ionians zealously sought to preserve the 12 cities of their “cultural league.” Chief among these was Miletus, at the mouth of the Maeander River on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor. The Milesians were renowned for their love of philosophy, science, and the arts, unlike their more warlike neighbors. Milesian traders, who were among the first Greeks to use writing and coinage, established dozens of colonies on the Black Sea and as far away as Egypt and Italy.

Of the major cities on the Ionian mainland, only Miletus had avoided being annexed by Croesus, the king of Lydia. But then Persian king Cyrus I defeated Croesus in the Battle of Thymbra in 547 bce and captured Sardis, the Lydian capital, after a 14-day siege. During the campaign, Cyrus appealed to the Ionians for aid, but they remained loyal to Croesus. After Croesus’s defeat, the Ionians offered to transfer their allegiance to Cyrus on the condition that they could maintain the same relative autonomy they had enjoyed under Croesus. But Cyrus understandably declined, conquering the Ionian cities and installing subsidiary rulers, called tyrants, to control them. The new arrangement rankled the proud Ionians, though they remained reasonably docile for the next half century.


This painting by Lithuanian artist Franciszek Smuglewicz portrays a gift-bearing messenger from Scythia meeting Darius I of Persia after the king’s unsuccessful campaign against the Scythians. (Lithuanian Art Museum, Vilnius)

In 513 bce, Darius, who had overthrown Cyrus’s successor nine years earlier, launched an ill-fated punitive campaign against the nomadic Scythians—Persia’s first incursion onto European soil. His target was land they controlled adjacent to the Black Sea. The Scythians, renowned for their horsemanship and skill with the bow and arrow, stymied the Persians by refusing to stand and fight. Instead, they adopted a scorched-earth strategy that denied the Persians much-needed supplies and remounts.

Frustrated by his inability to force the Scythians to stand and fight, Darius had halted his pursuit and begun retracing his path home to Persia. Waiting nervously at the Danube River, not far from the Black Sea, were some of the Ionian tyrants and their men. Earlier, Darius had charged them with protecting the pontoon bridge that he had thrown up over the river so that he and his army could cross back safely. The Ionians had dutifully waited for him, week after week, with mounting anxiety. He was now long overdue.

While the Ionians waited, the Scythians rode up to the river and urged them to destroy the bridge. The Persians would then be trapped on the northern side of the Danube, where the Scythians promised to crush them. Some of the Ionian tyrants liked the idea, even though it was pure treason. The Persians, after all, had long smothered Ionia. Miltiades, an Athenian tyrant of the Hellespont, the narrow strait to the northwest, urged his comrades to betray Darius. One prominent Ionian, however, refused to listen to such talk. Histiaeus, the tyrant of Miletus, reminded the others that they owed their positions of power to Darius, not the Scythians, and that at any rate they would have to live with the Persians—and the consequences of their decision—when they returned home. The tyrants quickly reconsidered their flirtation with treachery.

Histiaeus and his men then began to tear down the northern end of the bridge—but only to trick the Scythians into thinking that he meant to do what they had requested. He then convinced the Scythians to search for the Persians. Meanwhile, Histiaeus and the other Ionians waited for Darius and his army—what was left of it—to show up. When the Persians finally arrived at the Danube one night in 512 bce, the Ionians sent boats to ferry them over.

This terra-cotta amphora depicts a hoplite soldier (left) attacking a Persian archer in the Greco-Persian Wars. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Darius rewarded Histiaeus for his loyalty by permitting him to build and fortify a new city, Myrcinus, on the Strymon River in Thrace, thereby arousing the jealousy and suspicion of other Ionian tyrants. Megabazus, one of Darius’s top generals, who went straight to the king with his fears. “Just think of what you have done,” he told Darius. “You gave a dangerously clever Greek permission to found a city for himself in Thrace, where timber is abundant for construction of ships and oars, where there are also silver mines and multitudes of Greeks and non-Greeks. As soon as these people find a leader, they will follow his orders day and night.” Histiaeus, Megabazus argued, now had everything he needed to become a potentially threatening warlord on a remote frontier of the Persian Empire.

As a precaution, Darius cannily invited Histiaeus to become one of his senior advisers in the imperial capital of Susa, in Iran. Histiaeus initially considered the summons a great honor, little suspecting that it was designed merely to keep him far away from Ionia.

While Histiaeus was still the official tyrant of Miletus, his cousin and son-in-law, Aristagoras, became its de facto ruler. In 500 bce a contingent of exiled noblemen from the island of Naxos came to Aristagoras, seeking aid to restore them to their homeland, from which they had been driven by their own people. The Naxian exiles claimed xenia, or guest-friendship, with Histiaeus. Xenia was a pact, ordinarily between noblemen of different city-states, that entailed mutual obligations of hospitality and assistance. Among the Greeks this bond was taken very seriously.

Seeing an opportunity to boost his power and perhaps even gain control of the island himself, Aristagoras pledged to attack Naxos. Lacking sufficient forces of his own, he went to Sardis to seek aid from Artaphernes, the Persian satrap (governor) there. The Naxian exiles had empowered Aristagoras to offer Artaphernes money in exchange for his military support. In addition to this financial enticement, Aristagoras suggested to Artaphernes that he might acquire some of the other Greek islands that dotted the Aegean. Aristagoras asked for 100 triremes, the triple-tiered oared warships that represented the zenith of contemporary naval design, and Artaphernes, tantalized by the prospect of
conquest, pledged twice that number. After Darius also approved Artaphernes’s plan, a huge army was assembled under the command of Megabates, a cousin of Artaphernes, and boarded the triremes for transport to Naxos.

Aristagoras and Megabates, however, began quarreling before the expedition had even set out. Neither man was willing to accede to the other’s command, and Aristagoras further inflamed the situation by intervening when Megabates tried to discipline one of the Ionian commanders for failing to post watch on his vessel. In the spring of 499 bce Aristagoras’s fleet, approaching the island, found it locked up tight against an assault. The Persians launched their siege anyway. After four months, having run through all their provisions, they finally gave up and sailed away.

Aristagoras was now in a very bad position. He had failed to conquer Naxos as he had promised, and his finances had been gutted in the attempt. To deflect blame, Aristagoras spread the false story that Megabates had warned the Naxians about the invasion. (More probably, a trading ship had brought news of the approaching invasion to the island after resupplying the standing Persian fleet at Chios, some 70 miles away.) Aristagoras feared that Darius, on hearing the rumors circulated by Megabates, would strip him of power at Miletus. With his once bright future dimming by the day, Aristagoras began to cast about for a way to save himself.

Around the same time, Aristagoras’s long-absent father-in-law reentered the picture. Histiaeus, chafing in his gilded cage in Susa, wanted to get back to Miletus. The best way to accomplish this, he thought, was to secretly spark a revolt in the city that would cause Darius to turn to him to put it down. But how to instigate such a revolt? Because any message might be intercepted by Darius’s agents before it reached Miletus, Histiaeus had to be creative. He had the head of his most reliable slave shaved and the secret order to revolt tattooed on the slave’s scalp. Histiaeus then waited for the slave’s hair to grow back and cover the message. The slave then set off for Miletus, with orders to tell Aristagoras to shave the messenger’s head when he arrived.

Aristagoras received the secret message as planned, but he was already plotting his own scheme for rebellion. He convinced some leading Milesians to support the revolt against Persia and, in the meantime, pretended to come out in favor of democracy. He called for the other cities of the Ionian League to depose their own tyrants and install governing boards of generals, who would in turn report to him. It did not seem to occur to anyone that the new arrangement would merely place Aristagoras at the head of a new, enlarged tyranny. Nevertheless, inspired in part by the Persians’ intolerable practices of enslavement, forced deportation, and even the concubinage of Ionian women, the league’s members followed Aristagoras into open revolt.


In 490 bce, after the Ionian cities of Asia Minor went to war against their Persian overlords, King Darius I of Persia used Athens’s role in the uprising as a pretext for his invasion of Greece. (Ohio State University Libraries)

Aristagoras sailed to mainland Greece to drum up support for the revolt, but he had no success in persuading the typically warlike Spartans to aid the Ionian cause. To impress Cleomenes, the king of Sparta, Aristagoras brought with him an engraved bronze map of the world, using the impressive new visual aid to show Cleomenes the locations of the various rich Persian client states. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Aristagoras told the Spartan king that “the people who live in those lands possess more in the way of assets than the entire population of the rest
of the world.” All this, said Aristagoras, could belong to Cleomenes if only he would “cease fighting for small patches of valueless land with narrow borders” and turn his attention to Persia. While Cleomenes liked the idea in the abstract, he quickly soured on the plan when Aristagoras admitted that it would take three months to march from the Ionian coast of Asia Minor to Susa—some 1,600 miles. According to Herodotus, even the king’s 8-year-old daughter saw the folly of such a plan, warning her father that “your guest-friend is going to corrupt you if you don’t get away from him,” so Aristagoras left Sparta empty handed.

Aristagoras next went to Athens. The Athenians had recently overthrown their own tyrant, Hippias, and reconstituted themselves as a democracy they were primed for action against Persia. Hippias had tried and failed to reclaim power with the help of Sparta, Athens’s traditional rival, fleeing to Sardis, where he attempted to convince Artaphernes to support another attack on Athens. The Persian satrap declined to actively take part, but he instructed the Athenians to reinstall Hippias as tyrant. They refused, which amounted to an act of war against Persia.

Aristagoras, addressing a crowd of 20,000 Athenian citizens, played on tribal loyalty, reminding his listeners that Miletus had been settled—at least in part—by Athenian immigrants. He also stressed the purported inferiority of the Persian infantry. Finally, Aristagoras emphasized that he had instituted democracy in Miletus and helped other Ionian cities throw off their tyrants. Athenian-style democracy was on the rise everywhere, he implied, conveniently leaving out his own power grab. He received a good response. Apparently it was “easier to deceive a crowd than a single man,” Herodotus noted dryly.

The Athenians agreed to lend military support to the uprising, chiefly in the form of 20 triremes. “These ships,” Herodotus wrote, “turned out to be the beginning of evils for both Greeks and barbarians.” The Athenian squadron arrived at Miletus in early spring 498 bce, and with it came five additional triremes from Eretria, a city on the island of Euboea. Aristagoras proceeded to send the Ionians, Athenians, and Eretrians to Sardis while he remained safely behind Miletus’s stout walls.

The expedition started out well. The rebels sailed north to Ephesus, left their ships behind at the port of Coressus, and marched inland, following the Cayster River to Mount Tmolus. Sardis was sited on the spur of the mountain overlooking the Hermus Valley and the western terminus of the Persian royal road. The Ionians seized the lower city without a fight. Artaphernes, caught entirely by surprise, retreated to the high ground at the acropolis with a substantial body of soldiers.


In 480 bce, on the heels of their defeat at Thermopylae, the Greeks brought the war to an end with an improbable naval victory in the Battle of Salamis. (Silverfish Press/National Geographic Image Collection/ Bridgeman Images)

A fire, probably set intentionally, although Herodotus implied it was accidental, rapidly spread through the reed- and straw-thatched houses. The townsfolk, surrounded by the blaze, fled to the banks of the Pactolus River, source of the gold dust that had given rise to the legendary wealth of the former Lydian king, Croesus. The massive fire kept the Ionians from plundering Sardis. In a do-or-die show of courage, the city’s inhabitants organized themselves into
a semblance of a fighting force. The serendipitous arrival of Persian reinforcements caused the Ionians to hurriedly withdraw from Sardis to Mount Tmolus, where they watched the flames rise high into the night sky. By morning nothing was left of the city but smoldering ruins. Particularly galling to the townsfolk was the destruction of the famous temple of Cybele, principal goddess of the Persians.

The Ionians began heading back to their ships without any loot. As news of the attack on Sardis spread rapidly across Asia Minor, the Persians mounted a swift counterattack, with cavalry pursuing the slowly retreating Ionians. When a report of the burning of Sardis reached Darius, the king called for his bow. Then, notching an arrow and shooting it skyward as an offering to the supreme sky god Ahura Mazda, the king uttered a solemn vow: “Let it be granted to me to punish the Athenians.” To etch the vow in his consciousness, he instructed a servant to attend him each night at dinner and repeat the phrase: “Master, remember the Athenians.”

Three of Darius’s sons-in-law led the pursuit. After a furious chase the Persians caught up to the Ionians just outside Ephesus, a city on the Aegean Sea some 60 miles from Sardis. The Ionian hoplites—infantrymen with bronze helmets, reinforced linen cuirasses, round shields, and iron-tipped spears—formed a battle line, shoulder to shoulder, shields locked, but they were no match for the Persian juggernaut. The Persians, in quilted corselets and bronze helmets with towering horsehair crests, were masterful horsemen. They hurled their javelins at the stationary Ionian phalanx or charged it with their spears, while mounted archers showered the Ionians with arrows. Overwhelmed by the vengeful Persians, many hoplites perished on the battlefield.

Their army shattered, the Ionians straggled back to their home cities, any prospect of freedom from the Persian yoke bleaker than before. The Athenians, in turn, abandoned their erstwhile allies and returned to the Greek mainland, resolved to take no further part in the revolt, despite Aristagoras’s repeated pleas.

A Persian admiral is killed in the fighting at Thermopylae. (Ivy Close Images/Alamy Stock Photos)

Although the burning of Sardis was a catastrophe for all involved, the Ionians continued their revolt against their Persian overlords, and in 497 bce the Greeks of Cyprus and the non-Greeks of Caria, in southwestern Asia Minor, joined them. They, too, wanted Persian rule to end. That same year several Greek cities of the Hellespont, including Byzantium, also entered the fray. With a sudden rebellion spreading in the west, Darius turned to the one person he thought could end it: Histiaeus. Receiving the king’s permission to return to Miletus, Histiaeus quickly left Persia for good.

A Persian counteroffensive was already underway. A fleet composed mainly of ships from Phoenicia crossed from Cilicia in southern Asia Minor to rebel-held Cyprus. The troops, led by Artybius, a Persian commander, disembarked and advanced on the coastal city of Salamis, crushing a hastily assembled force drawn from several Cypriot cities.

Aided by the desertion of two contingents of Ionian charioteers, the Persians gained the upper hand, killing Onesilus, the king of Salamis, in the process. The loss negated the naval victory that the Ionians, who had contributed their warships to the defense of Cyprus, had scored the same day against the Phoenician fleet. Judging the battle for Cyprus a lost cause, the Ionians sailed home, leaving the Persians to begin the bloody process of breaking the other rebellious Cypriot cities.

It was a grinding, brutal campaign. Soli, a walled city on the northern coast of Cyprus, held out against a siege for more than four months, falling only after the Persians had undermined its walls. At Palaepaphos, on the west coast, the Persians overcame the city’s walls—while under constant attack—by constructing a large siege ramp from soil, tree trunks, stones, and even nearby statues and altars. Though the Palaepaphians tried to collapse the ramp with four countermines, the city fell, and the defenders’ slingshots were no match for the Persians’ bows and arrows. Within a year the Persians had reclaimed all of Cyprus.

In 496 bce, in southwestern Asian Minor, the Persians routed a rebel army along the Marsyas River in breakaway Caria. The Carians made a good showing but were defeated by an enormous number of Persians. Although the Carians lost 10,000 men to the Persians’ 2,000, they received reinforcements from Miletus and fought another battle in Caria, at Labraunda. Again they were defeated. Still the plucky Carians would not give up, and in a third engagement, at Pedasus, they ambushed a Persian force and inflicted heavy losses on the king’s troops.

Despite the setback at Pedasus, the Persians were relentless, and as they continued to rack up victories, the Ionian revolt crumbled. Artaphernes invaded Ionia, capturing Clazomenae and the city of Cyme in neighboring Aeolis. To the north, the Persians subdued rebel cities in the Hellespont. Aristagoras, seeing the Persians winning on all fronts, tried to save himself. He considered escaping to Sardinia but chose instead to go to Myrcinus, in Thrace, where Histiaeus had resumed building the town. Once there, Aristagoras and his reduced force continued making trouble, attempting to establish a colony of their own on the Strymon River. Aristagoras managed to secure a foothold in Thrace, but later died in battle while besieging a neighboring town.

Histiaeus, too, came to grief after his release from Susa. Artaphernes, whom he had met with in Sardis after his return from Susa, blamed him—correctly—for having incited the Ionian revolt. “You stitched up the shoe,” he told Histiaeus, “and Aristagoras put it on.” In 494 bce the people of Miletus refused to take him back as their ruler, and his attempt to capture the city by force failed.

Elsewhere, Persian diplomats worked hard to detach rebel cities from the alliance. They sent former Ionian tyrants to win back their peoples, but all of them were rebuffed. Meanwhile, Persia fitted out a massive fleet of 600 triremes. When ready, it set sail for Miletus, accompanied on the land route by a giant army.

The Ionians prepared their own fleet of 353 triremes to meet the Persian force at the island of Lade, where they sometimes practiced naval maneuvers under Dionysius, a Phocaean admiral. Dionysius, who commanded one of the finest fleets in the Greek world, aimed to improve the battle tactics of the other Ionian naval contingents. His daily practice sessions involved training with armed troops on board as the Greek war galleys sailed in formation.

Dionysius showed the rowers how to perform the diekplous (breakthrough) maneuver, in which they would row into line, penetrate the enemy line, and then wheel around to ram the vulnerable sides and sterns of the opponent’s vessels. This advanced maneuver offered the Ionians their only real hope of defeating the Persian fleet, which was composed mainly of ships from Phoenicia. But the Phoenicians, the best sailors of the day, were already well versed in the maneuver, and Dionysus was in a race against time to instruct his own sailors in the tactic.

The precision and discipline needed to carry out the diekplous proved too much for some of the Ionian crews. As their resentment of the well-intentioned Dionysius boiled over, they went on strike, causing the whole effort to implode. The Samians, who were a major part of the Ionian Greek naval coalition at Lade, were so frustrated and worried by this collapse that they sought out their former tyrant, Aiakes, and struck a separate deal with him. When the naval battle at Lade began, the Samians simply turned and rowed away. This in turn sparked a disintegration of the Ionian battle line, and the Persians went after the remaining Ionians with a vengeance.

As the ships closed, they exchanged missiles: first arrows, then slingstones, then javelins. The Phoenician triremes, executing the diekplous and homing in on their targets with the guidance of their skilled helmsmen, rammed the Ionian ships, crushing their timbers and flooding them. Triremes, built with a positive buoyancy, usually did not sink outright. Instead, they settled low in the water, swamped, and became stuck. Meanwhile, warriors in enemy triremes came up alongside and prepared to board and seize the foundering vessels, waging hand-to-hand fights with swords, spears, and shields.

The 100 triremes of the naval contingent from Chios, the largest in the allied fleet, fought particularly well. Even after the Samians betrayed them, the Chians stayed put and managed to pierce the Persian battle line several times. Each Chian trireme had 40 hoplites aboard as marines, and they took on Persian galleys until almost all their own ships were lost. A handful of Chian triremes escaped.

Another survivor was Dionysius of Phocaea. During the fighting he had seized three Persian triremes, but he fled when the battle turned irretrievably against the Ionians. Knowing that it was just a matter of time before the Persians overran Phocaea, he made his way to Sicily. There he became a pirate, capturing Etruscan and Carthaginian ships in western Mediterranean waters but never harming Greek vessels.

The aftermath of the Battle of Lade was grim. Corpses floated facedown in the bloody water, along with the unfortunates who had tumbled overboard, beside broken timbers and cracked oars. Though the Ionians had put up a stiff fight, the Persian fleet triumphed and Greek naval power in Ionia was obliterated.

The way to Miletus was now wide open. The Persians, with their extensive siegecraft skills, easily overcame its high walls, just as they had done at Soli and Palaepaphos. The Persians not only constructed earthen siege ramps leading up to the walls but also tunneled under them, bringing battering rams forward to finish the job. Like the Palaepaphians, the Milesians defended themselves ferociously, but the result was the same. The Persians overran the defenses and seized the city, looting and torching the nearby temple at Didyma in delayed revenge for the destruction of the temple of Cybele at Sardis. They killed the majority of the Milesian men and enslaved the women and children. Next the Persians returned to Caria, where they had taken a rare beating at Pedasus, finally overrunning the province.

Histiaeus, playing the part of a freebooting pirate at Byzantium, captured merchantmen as they tried to transit the straits from the Black Sea to the Aegean. Leading troops drawn from Lesbos, he landed on Chios and then crossed the sea to attack Thasos. When news came that a Persian fleet was moving up from Miletus against the rest of Ionia, Histiaeus went to Asia Minor to find food. There, the Persian general Harpagus defeated him in battle and took him prisoner.

Recalling his previous service to the Persian crown, Histiaeus confidently believed that Darius would forgive his most recent transgressions. Artaphernes and Harpagus, fearing just such a possibility, had Histiaeus impaled on a spike and beheaded. Their fears that the Greek would win royal forgiveness were well founded. When they sent Histiaeus’s head to Susa (probably to prove that he had been executed), Darius was furious. He still appreciated Histiaeus and the other Ionian tyrants for helping him get his army back across the Danube after his miscarried Scythian invasion. Darius ordered his old comrade’s head buried with honors.

Having quelled the Ionian Revolt, the Persians continued mopping-up operations into 493 bce, with Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos falling, along with the Chersonese in Thrace. The rebellion may have been over, but Darius had not forgotten his vow of vengeance. His colossal army would soon visit his wrath on all who had taken part in the destruction of Sardis, and that, above all, meant Athens. In 492 bce Darius appointed his son-in-law, Mardonius, as the supreme commander of a punitive invasion of Greece. Mardonius was politically astute, and he shrewdly placated the Ionians by removing the recently restored—and still very unpopular—tyrants from control of their cities. The democracies he set up instead were nonetheless securely under his control. It was an ironic end to a revolt that had begun with dreams of just such democracies.

It would take a long time for the gargantuan Persian army and fleet to reach Greece, but they were on their way. The Athenians had made a mortal enemy of Darius, the most powerful man in the Western world, and the failed Ionian revolt would lead to the Greco-Persian Wars. In 490 bce came the Battle of Marathon, where the Athenian hoplites finally defeated the Persians in open combat. Darius died of illness in 486 bce at age 64. In 480 bce his successor, Xerxes, avenged Marathon at the Battle of Thermopylae after overcoming the heralded last stand by 300 Spartans. The improbable Greek naval victory that same year at Salamis concluded the war in the Greeks’ favor.

The consequences of the Persian invasions would be felt long afterward. Athens would forge an empire of its own when it took the lead in chasing the Persians from the Aegean basin in the early sixth century bce . In the fourth century bce , Alexander the Great would use the devastation inflicted by the Persians as justification for his own war of vengeance against them. His conquest of the eastern Mediterranean altered forever the political landscape of the region and saw the establishment of brilliant Hellenistic kingdoms that dominated Persia’s former territories in Asia Minor, Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere for centuries to come.

The Greek acculturation of these areas in turn smoothed the way for a rising Rome to subsequently exert control over them. In modern times, the Greek battles for freedom from Persian control still loom large in Western memory. All these developments trace their origins to that fateful and fiery day at Sardis in 498 bce. MHQ

Marc DeSantis is the author of Rome Seizes the Trident: The Defeat of Carthaginian Seapower and the Forging of the Roman Empire (Pen and Sword Military, 2016).


Kommentaar

I am delighted that some one else has raised this issue. We must remember that our history books were written with political intent and the life and achievements of Alexander must be seen in context of other regional events.

I think that the invasion of Persia was in revenge of the Persian attacks of Greek states and to teach them a lesson. This is demonstrated by the destruction of Persepolis which incidentally had a gold foundation stone underscoring the principals of social justice.

I entirely agree with the author of this page and we must also note that the entire region centered on Bactria began to decline from this time despite its "Greekanisation".

A long time ago a teacher taught me not to express my opinions as self evident objectivity. Using "without a doubt" as a supporting comment on purely subjective conclusions on the 2,300 year old data you describe is an example of what I mean. In point of fact, Alexander's behavior can easily be interpreted as an intent to create unification I started to read this article expecting to find data that actually does support your point of view and came away being more or less convinced of the opposite.
Using words like "race", without seeming to realize that there really is no such thing, expecting Persian men to have married Macedonian women (where would those women have come from?), not considering how different Alexander's behavior was in comparison to the objectives of
other military campaigns of his time is not evidence of logically supported conclusions. Very poorly thought out and disappointing article.

I have come to the conclusion that the word "unifier" is usually an euphemism for "conqueror". It sounds much more palatable. Unfortunately, it is very common to frame the tyrants as the good guys. I suppose to some people he was a unifier and to others he was a subjugator. So both would be true depending on where you were standing. There are always going to be people who dissent the new regime and others who embrace it. Those who do not want change usually get killed off and framed as someone who must hate "unity", while the masses scream for their head. Then the mob mentality kicks in, which is what will make it into the history books and become the consensus, History is always told through the eyes of the oppressors. It is a classic propaganda technique that is very effective.

Interesting article! However, your argument could be strengthened if you quote directly from the ancient sources. In addition, it is slightly risky to view this issue through the lens of our own ethical and moral norms. When we do so, it is all to easy to forget that Alexander operated within the context of the ancient world, which had its own set of norms. I think what amazes most historians, rather than claiming that he was a messiah-like figure who could do no wrong, is that within his own context, he stretched and transformed the boundary between Europe and Asia in a way that was unprecedented, and certainly not desirable to the Greeks at this time. So even if he doesn't meet our modern ideal of what a unifying figure looks like, his actions certainly gave the ancient world something to think about. In any case, thank you for writing this article, it gives good food for thought.


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