For the scallop genus, see Chlamys. The beetle genus described as Chlamys is now Neochlamisus, χλαμύδος was an ancient Greek type of rather short cloak. By the time of the Byzantine Empire it was, in a longer form, part of the state costume of the emperor and high officials. The ephaptis was a garment, typically worn by infantrymen. The chlamys was made from a rectangle of woolen material about the size of a blanket. It was normally pinned with a fibula at the right shoulder, originally it was wrapped around the waist like a loincloth, but by the end of the 5th century BC it was worn over the elbows. It could be worn over another item of clothing but was often the sole item of clothing for soldiers and messengers. As such, the chlamys is the garment of Hermes. The chlamys was typical Greek military attire from the 5th to the 3rd century BC, as worn by soldiers, it could be wrapped around the arm and used as a light shield in combat. The chlamys continued into the Byzantine period, when it was much larger and usually worn sideways, at least by emperors.
It was held on with a brooch at the wearers right shoulder and nearly reached the ground at front. With the even grander loros costume, the costume was the ceremonial wear of Byzantine emperors. The emperor alone could wear a purple chlamys with gold tablia, officials wore white with purple tablia. In the miniature shown below the 11th-century emperor wears his open to the side, presumably to access to his sword. By the Middle Byzantine period all parts of the chlamys were highly decorative, with bright patterned Byzantine silk and tablia and borders heavily embroidered and encrusted with gems. In the 12th century it seems to have begun to fall from favour, although it continued to be shown on coins until the 14th century, some high officials seem to have continued to wear a version of it long after the emperors had abandoned it. Among women only the empress is recorded as wearing a chlamys, in art it is much rarer to see an empress in it than in a loros, but in the well-known ivory Romanos ivory Eudokia Makrembolitissa wears one while her husband Constantine X Doukas wears the loros.
Clothing in ancient Greece Byzantine dress References Sources Parani, Maria G. Reconstructing the Reality of Images, Byzantine Material Culture, hellenistic Sculpture, The Styles of ca
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. It has a population of approximately 32 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in the north and its territory covers 652,000 km2, making it the 41st largest country in the world. The land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khiljis, Hotaks, the political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a state in the Great Game between British India and the Russian Empire. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, King Amanullah unsuccessfully attempted to modernize the country and it remained peaceful during Zahir Shahs forty years of monarchy. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a series of wars that devastated much of Afghanistan.
The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, the root name Afghan was used historically in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, and the suffix -stan means place of in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more specifically in a historical sense, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. An important site of historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites. The country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and it has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, and the Islamic Empire.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic, urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, and the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, in more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well, after 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan, among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.
These tribes migrated further into South Asia, Western Asia, the region at the time was referred to as Ariana
European influence in Afghanistan
After the decline of the Durrani dynasty in 1823, Dost Mohammad Khan established the Barakzai dynasty after becoming the next Emir of Afghanistan. It was not until 1826 that the energetic Dost Mohammad Khan was able to exert sufficient control over his brothers to take over the throne in Kabul, where he proclaimed himself the Shah. Dost Mohammad achieved prominence among his brothers through clever use of the support of his mothers Qizilbash tribesmen and his own youthful apprenticeship under his brother, among the many problems he faced was repelling Sikh encroachment on the Pashtun areas east of the Khyber Pass. After working assiduously to establish control and stability in his domains around Kabul, in 1834 Dost Mohammad defeated an invasion by the former ruler, Shuja Shah Durrani, but his absence from Kabul gave the Sikhs the opportunity to expand westward. Ranjit Singhs forces occupied Peshawar, moving from there into territory ruled directly by Kabul, in 1836 Dost Mohammads forces, under the command of his son Akbar Khan, defeated the Sikhs at the Battle of Jamrud, a post fifteen kilometres west of Peshawar.
This was a victory and they failed to fully dislodge the Sikhs from Jamrud. With this letter, Dost Mohammad formally set the stage for British intervention in Afghanistan, at the heart of the Great Game lay the willingness of Britain and Russia to subdue, subvert, or subjugate the small independent states that lay between Russia and British India. The British became the power in the Indian subcontinent after the Treaty of Paris. It was the threat of the expanding Russian Empire beginning to push for an advantage in the Afghanistan region that placed pressure on British India, in what became known as the Great Game. The Great Game set in motion the confrontation of the British and Russian empires and it involved Britains repeated attempts to impose a puppet government in Kabul. At the same time, the Russians feared permanent British occupation in Central Asia as the British encroached northward, taking the Punjab, Sindh, in addition to this rivalry between Britain and Russia, there were two specific reasons for British concern over Russias intentions.
First was the Russian influence at the Iranian court, which prompted the Russians to support Iran in its attempt to take Herat, historically the western gateway to Afghanistan, in 1837 Iran advanced on Herat with the support and advice of Russian officers. The second immediate reason was the presence in Kabul in 1837 of a Russian agent, Yan Vitkevich, in return, the British government intimated that it would ask Ranjit Singh to reconcile with the Afghans. When Auckland refused to put the agreement in writing, Dost Mohammad turned his back on the British, in practice, the plan replaced Dost Mohammad with a British figurehead whose autonomy would be as limited as that of other Indian princes. It soon became apparent to the British that Sikh participation, advancing toward Kabul through the Khyber Pass while Shuja, aucklands plan in the spring of 1838 was for the Sikhs to place Shuja on the Afghan throne, with British support. By the end of the summer however, the plan had changed, to justify his plan, the Governor-General of India Lord Auckland issued the Simla Manifesto in October 1838, setting forth the necessary reasons for British intervention in Afghanistan.
The manifesto stated that in order to ensure the welfare of India, the British pretense that their troops were merely supporting Shah Shujahs small army in retaking what was once his throne fooled no one. The British denied that they were invading Afghanistan, instead claiming they were merely supporting its legitimate Shuja government against foreign interference, in November 1841 insurrection and massacre flared up in Kabul
The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. Emperor Kanishka was a patron of Buddhism, however, as Kushans expanded southward. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, the Kushans possibly used the Greek language initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram, the Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, Aksumite Empire and Han China. The Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, in the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan and Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north.
Historian H. G. Rawlinson states that the Kushana Period is a prelude to the age of Guptas. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i. e, as the historian John E. Hill has put it, For well over a century. There have been arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Da Yuezhi and the Tochari. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush, some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Bactria and Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, and in the palace of Khalchayan, various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, and significantly men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire.
On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses, the earliest documented ruler, and the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a tyrant on his coins, and exhibits skull deformation and he may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises, Ban Gus Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. He invaded Anxi, and took the Gaofu region and he defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin
A belt is a flexible band or strap, typically made of leather or heavy cloth, and worn around the waist. A belt supports trousers or other articles of clothing and it is an item of accessory. Belts have been documented as male clothing since the Bronze Age, both genders have used them off and on, depending on the current fashion. In the western world, belts have been common for men, with the exception of the early Middle Ages, late 17th century Mantua. Art Nouveau belt buckles are now collectors items, in the latter half of the 19th century and until the First World War, the belt was a decorative as well as utilitarian part of military uniform, particularly among officers. These tightly cinched belts served to draw in the waist and give the wearer a trim physique, emphasizing wide shoulders, in modern times, men started wearing belts in the 1920s, as trouser waists fell to a lower line. Before the 1920s, belts served mostly a decorative purpose, and were associated with the military, prior to that trousers did not even have belt loops.
As sportswear, trousers with belt loops were already present in the 19th century, today it is common for men to wear a belt with their trousers. In some countries, especially the United States, a belt can be associated with corporal punishment. Moreover, belts are convenient disciplinary tools, as they are immediately available for use. The belt can symbolize fatherly authority and paternal responsibility for childrens behavior. Since the mid-1990s, the practice of sagging has been practised at times among young men and this practice is sometimes incorrectly believed to have originated with prison gangs and the prohibition of belts in prison. One specialized type of belt is the utility belt or Police duty belt, Police officers and repair personnel are typical roles which use this kind of belt. Duty belts are generally wider than dress belts, and are stiffer to provide for the carry of heavy items such as pistols. It is common practice for such a belt to be a symbol of authority or to indicate that the wearer is on duty.
Such belts are worn even if no equipment is carried on them, a notable fictional example is Batmans utility belt. The obi is traditionally part of a Japanese kimono, a common sight in fantasy and role playing characters is the excessive use of belts in all different sizes on the characters person. Usually they are used for securing clothing or armor, but others just have several belts around the arms, neck, hips, sometimes they are used in place of eye patches or to decorate weapons
Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, messages/communication, boundaries, luck and thieves. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology, in his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand, similar to his Greek equivalent he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade.
Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success, particularly in Gaul and he was also, like Hermes, the Romans psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans, archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests that Mercury was among the most popular of Roman gods. The god of commerce was depicted on two bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. This is probably because in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana, 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples. The Romans made use of small statues of Mercury. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury, Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury.
Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, and is possibly the deity as Banda Isibraiegus. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, who was equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France. The name Moccus implies that this deity was connected to boar-hunting, Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped primarily in the area of the empire in Gaul
Seleucus received Babylonia and, from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexanders near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant and what is now Kuwait and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. The Seleucid Empire was a center of Hellenistic culture that maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece, Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece was abruptly halted after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Their attempts to defeat their old enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were frustrated by Roman demands, contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire and as a kingdom. Similarly, Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia and he refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler. Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III, died young in 323 BC.
Alexanders generals jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire, Ptolemy, a former general and the satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system, this led to the demise of Perdiccas. Ptolemys revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC, who had been Commander-in-Chief of the Companion cavalry and appointed first or court chiliarch received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly. Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants. Following his and Lysimachus victory over Antigonus Monophthalmus at the decisive Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus took control over eastern Anatolia, in the latter area, he founded a new capital at Antioch on the Orontes, a city he named after his father.
An alternative capital was established at Seleucia on the Tigris, north of Babylon, Seleucuss empire reached its greatest extent following his defeat of his erstwhile ally, Lysimachus, at Corupedion in 281 BC, after which Seleucus expanded his control to encompass western Anatolia. He hoped further to take control of Lysimachuss lands in Europe – primarily Thrace and even Macedonia itself, even before Seleucus death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains of the Seleucids. Seleucus invaded the Punjab region of India in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya and it is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9,000 war elephants. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan and it is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucuss daughter, or a Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants, an asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC.
In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, Megasthenes wrote detailed descriptions of India and Chandraguptas reign, which have been partly preserved to us through Diodorus Siculus
The Scythian languages belonged to the Eastern branch of the Iranian languages. Ancient Greek historians spoke of Scythians who lived north of the Black Sea, Persians used the term Saka, for approximately the same people who lived further east. Although the ancients did not clearly distinguish the two terms, modern scholars usually use Saka to refer to Iranian-speaking tribes who inhabited the central steppe, the Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who had moved into the Tarim Basin. Assyrian sources speak of Iskuzai or Askuzai south of the Caucasus who were probably Scythians, the relationships between the peoples living in these widely separated regions remains unclear. Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. In the 8th century BC they possibly raided Zhou China, soon after they expanded westwards and dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe.
Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia, and Crimea, the Scythians established and controlled a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China, perhaps contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilizations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians and these objects survive mainly in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and frequently raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, around 650–630 BC, Scythians briefly dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power all the way to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC, and were subsequently gradually conquered by the Sarmatians. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians, Scythians kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons, and fought with bows and arrows on horseback.
They developed a culture characterized by opulent tombs, fine metalwork. Sulimirski views the Histories of Herodotus as the most important literary source relating to ancient Scyths, Herodotus provides a depiction that can be related to the results of archaeological research, but apparently knew little of the eastern part of Scythia. He did say that the ancient Persians called all the Scyths Σάκαι and their principal tribe, the Royal Scyths, ruled the vast lands occupied by the nation as a whole, calling themselves Σκώλοτοι. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda, which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, in which the d has been regularly replaced by an l. Saka, on the hand, Szemerényi relates to an Iranian verbal root, sak-, go, roam. The name does appear somewhat further east than the Achaemenid Empire, whether they adopted the Achaemenid name, or Saka came to be an endonym, it is not clear
It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint, Greek science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. The religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele, the Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa. This resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to new realms. Equally, these new kingdoms were influenced by the cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East and this mixture gave rise to a common Attic-based Greek dialect, known as Koine Greek, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic world.
Scholars and historians are divided as to what event signals the end of the Hellenistic era, Hellenistic is distinguished from Hellenic in that the first encompasses the entire sphere of direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece itself. The word originated from the German term hellenistisch, from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνιστής, from Ἑλλάς, Hellenistic is a modern word and a 19th-century concept, the idea of a Hellenistic period did not exist in Ancient Greece. Although words related in form or meaning, e. g, the major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the world were more affected by Greek influences than others. The Greek population and the population did not always mix, the Greeks moved and brought their own culture. While a few fragments exist, there is no surviving historical work which dates to the hundred years following Alexanders death. The works of the major Hellenistic historians Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, the earliest and most credible surviving source for the Hellenistic period is Polybius of Megalopolis, a statesman of the Achaean League until 168 BC when he was forced to go to Rome as a hostage.
His Histories eventually grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC, another important source, Plutarchs Parallel Lives though more preoccupied with issues of personal character and morality, outlines the history of important Hellenistic figures. Appian of Alexandria wrote a history of the Roman empire that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms, other sources include Justins epitome of Pompeius Trogus Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrians Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople. Lesser supplementary sources include Curtius Rufus, Pliny, in the field of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is the main source. Ancient Greece had traditionally been a collection of fiercely independent city-states. After the Peloponnesian War, Greece had fallen under a Spartan hegemony, in which Sparta was pre-eminent but not all-powerful
The Parthian Empire, known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq. Mithridates I of Parthia greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids, at its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han Empire of China, became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians largely adopted the art, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, the court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris.
The earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west, however, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, and eventually the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were generally achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius. Also, various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the several Roman-Parthian Wars which ensued during the few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, native Parthian sources, written in Parthian and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and even earlier Achaemenid sources. These include mainly Greek and Roman histories, but Chinese histories, Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources.
The Parni most likely spoke an eastern Iranian language, in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia, the latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid, and the Seleucid empires. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain, Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras, the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I backdated his regnal years to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was simply the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. It is unclear who immediately succeeded Arsaces I, Bivar and Katouzian affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC. Yet Curtis and Brosius state that Arsaces II was the successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC.
Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is the first precisely established regnal date of Parthian history, due to these and other discrepancies, Bivar outlines two distinct royal chronologies accepted by historians