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Thread: Origin of the Ancient Assyrians (split) //mod2511 days old

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    I was considering the issue of ancient origins and thought it might be worth considering that within any regional area, such as the Middle East, it is important to remember what the genetic distances actually signify. Most of this variation is neutral variation, without functional significance. Secondly, although we can generate numbers that represent genetic distance, the distances are relatively small. In particular, it is worth noting that the variation of all the populations outside of Africa reflects an effective population size of approximately 6-7 thousand individuals.

    Thus, although for historical and genealogical purposes we can make connections to ancient and recent cousins, we cannot conclude that the distinctions between our own and neighboring ethnic groups necessarily represent any real or substantive differences, based on any existing DNA evidence.

    Essentially, this reconnects to my post in another thread, in which I pointed out how many genetic results are oversold. Genetic results can show that populations are very likely connected to ancient populations of their region, but they do not demonstrate substantive phenotypic differences that result in behavioral or cognitive distinctions within regional groups.

    In fairness, I also apply this criticism to the so-called "Cohen" papers, the claims that Jews are not admixed, and additional claims such as the notorious claim that 10% of the Med. is Phoenician.

    The papers do show geographic origins, and by extension, likely connections to ancient peoples, but they do not show "distinctness" from neighboring groups.

    The genetic distance numbers between populations are close and are frequenctly misinterpreted.

    Correction:

    The effective population size outside of Africa is lower than I stated:
    For CEU, JPT, and HCB, the estimate of effective population size, adjusted for SNP ascertainment bias, was ∼3100, whereas the estimate for the YRI was ∼7500, consistent with the out-of-Africa theory of ancestral human population expansion and concurrent bottlenecks.
    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/4/520.short
    Last edited by warwick; 2011-09-08 at 20:51.

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  4. #102
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    From the "Chronicles" of Michael the Great, patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church(died 1199).

    Ces royaumes primitifs furent anéantis par le
    royaume des Perses, qui commença avec Cyrus et finit avec ce Darius qui fut
    tué par Alexandre ; et, pendant l'espace' de 231 ans que dura l'empire des Perses,
    tout le peuple des régions de l'Asie fut réduit sous la domination des Perses.
    Après Alexandre, il faut y joindre l'époque des descendants de Seleucus et
    d'Antiochus, qu'on appelle rois des Syriens. Leur durée se prolongea 220 ans,
    jusqu'au commencement de l'empire des Romains avec Gaïus et Augustus,
    époque à laquelle parut le Sauveur de l'Univers, le Christ, Fils de Dieu. II y
    avait donc 550 ans', que notre peuple n'avaitplus de rois. Or, quand la doctrine
    vivifiante de l'Evangile parut, ce peuple y adhéra* et la professa avec empres-
    sement; et alors ils négligèrent et méprisèrent totalement les autres livres,
    dans lesquels étaient consignés les souvenirs de leurs anciens rois, et, dans un
    zèle ardent pour la religion, ils mirent au feu tous les livres dans lesquels était
    compilé le souvenir de ces rois; parce qu'au nom des rois et à la série de leurs
    règnes étaient aussi entremêlées les histoires diaboliques de leur paganisme;
    et, pour ce motif, ils détournèrent leur visage, comme d'une odeur fétide, de tous
    ces livres, et ils les mirent au feu pour que le souvenir n'en fût pas conservé à
    leurs enfants et aux générations à venir. C'est ce que rappelle le livre des Actes
    des saints Apôtres quand il dit' : « Ceux qui croyaient apportaient les livres de
    leurs pères et les brûlaient aux pieds des Apôtres, livres dont le prix était
    estimé à de grandes sommes d'argent ». En beaucoup d'endroits et pendant
    plusieurs générations, après l'apparition salutaire de l'Evangile, les saints Pères
    firent cela avec un zèle constant. Partout où se trouvait un papier contenant le
    souvenir d'histoires païennes, ou des récits concernant leurs' dieux, il était
    jeté au feu. C'est ainsi que le souvenir des rois païens 4isparut de notre écri-
    ture, parce que nos pères s'attachèrent complètement au Christ-Dieu et abju-
    rèrent toutes les erreurs du paganisme. Et, pour ce motif, ils proclament,
    après le Christ, le premier roi qui crut et fut baptisé au nom du Christ, Cons-
    tantin le Victorieux, et, après lui, successivement, tous les rois fidèles et ortho-
    doxes. Quant à ceux qui, par la suite, s'écartèrent de l'orthodoxie, ils les consi-
    dérèrent comme des étrangers. D'ailleurs nous ne devons pas nous glorifier
    dans la royauté temporelle, mais dans le Christ, dont le royaume n'est pas de
    ce monde*.
    Google Translation:
    These kingdoms were destroyed by the primitive
    kingdom of the Persians, which began with Cyrus and Darius, which ends with what waskilled by Alexander, and while space 'that lasted 231 years of the Persian empire,all the people of the regions of Asia was reduced under the dominion of the Persians.After Alexander, it must be added the time of the descendants of Seleucus andAntiochus, called the Syrian kings. Duration lasted 220 years,
    until the beginning of the Roman Empire with Augustus and Gaius,
    time when the Savior appeared in the Universe, Christ, Son of God. II y
    was therefore 550 years old, that our people n'avaitplus kings. But when the doctrinequickening of the Gospel appeared, the people embraced it * and occupation with EMPRESment, and then they totally neglected and despised the other books,which were recorded in the memories of their ancient kings, and in a
    ardent zeal for religion, they began to fire all the books in which was
    compiled the memory of these kings, because the name of kings and the series of theirkingdoms were also intertwined stories of their devilish paganism;
    and for that reason, they turned away their faces, like a foul odor, all
    these books, and they began to fire so that the memory was not stored at
    their children and future generations. This is noted in the book of Acts
    of the Holy Apostles when he says': "Those who believed brought the books
    their fathers and burned the feet of the Apostles, books whose price was
    estimated to be large sums of money. " In many places and for
    several generations after the appearance of the Gospel beneficial, the Fathers
    did this with a zeal constant. Wherever there was a paper containing the
    memory of pagan stories, or stories about their 'gods, it was
    thrown into the fire. Thus the memory of the pagan kings 4isparut our scriptures
    ture, because our fathers devoted themselves completely to God and Christ-abju
    rèrent all the errors of paganism.
    And for that reason, they proclaim,
    after Christ, the first king who believed and was baptized in the name of Christ, Cons-Tantin the Victorious, and after him, successively, all the kings faithful and ortho-paradoxes. As for those who subsequently moved away from orthodoxy, they con-dérèrent as foreigners. Moreover we must not glorify us
    in the temporal kingdom, but in Christ, whose kingdom is not of
    the world *.

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    A few items. Some posted previously in other threads. Some items not previously posted.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277

    Hatra - UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Iraq
    Governorate of Ninawa
    N35 35 17.016 E42 43 5.988

    Although there are few texts referring to the obscure beginnings of Hatra, it seems that a smallish Assyrian settlement grew up in the 3rd century BC becoming a fortress and a trading centre.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Satraps and Cyrus The Great (http://pguyou.free.fr/satraps/page6.html)

    Assyria or mat Ashur (the land of god Ashur) was long-destroyed by the time Achaemenid rule shaped history. Today its capital Ashur may vanish beneath water, threatened by earth’s most destructive element; mankind. An area west from River Tigris formed a satrapy together with Babylonia named Athura meaning “Assyria”, while another portion fell within Media’s satrapy ‘’Mada’’. Assyrian influences tenaciously remained. Its god Ashur adopted by Babylonia became Marduk... Assyrians were active under Achaemenid power with governors administrating Athura and other personages whose Assyrian names are recognizable appear in the Book of Nehemiah (circa 450 B.C.) citing a Sanballat as satrap of Samaria in 400 B.C. Xenophon mentions a certain Belesys, satrap of Syria. This name is identified by certain scholars with the above Gubâru, a Persian name and Belesys a Babylonian name. Most scholars agree the above Gobyras/ Gubâru was the first Achaemenid satrap of Athura and the latter satraps eventually his descendants yet others maintain there were two Gobyras.

    Urartu fell subject to the Medes possibly around 605 and was subsequently annexed by Cyrus. He once captured Armenia’s king, apparently releasing him for reasons of friendship towards the king’s son Tigran, a companion, according to Xenophon. Keeping its mysteries, the land simply folded into the 13th satrapy. Armenian contingents partook in Cyrus’ Lydian and Babylonian campaigns. Some privileged governance remained with native Lords and Orontids as satraps, the latter claiming Assyrian descent.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On The Role of Aramaic in the Assyrian Empire
    Hayim Tadmor
    When the territories west of the Euphrates were conquered...Aramaic became the second language of the empire, alongside Akkadian. *Assyrian reliefs beginning from the time of Tiglath-pileser III provide numerous portrayals of a scribe writing on a tablet or a board, side by side with another scribe writing on papyrus or a parchment scroll. Th[e] pictorial rendition undoubtedly corresponds to the phrases "Assyrian scribe" (tupsharru Ashuraya) and "Aramaic scribe" (tupsharru Aramaya) that occur together in the various documents, referring to officials in the imperial service.
    Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today
    Parpola
    By about 700 BC, the Aramaic alphabet effectively replaced cuneiform as the [Assyrian] Empire's everyday writing system.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Post Empire

    The Melammu Project:

    Aramaic = Assyrian language

    5th century BCE
    Achaemenid Empire
    Greek philosophers and scholars

    Thucydides reports that the Persian Artaphernes, who was carrying a message from the Great King to Sparta, was taken prisoner, brought to Athens, and the letters he was carrying were translated from the Assyrian language.

    Thucydides 4.50.2:
    He was conducted to Athens, where the Athenians got his dispatches translated from the Assyrian character (Assuriôn grammatôn) and read them.
    --------------------------------------------------
    http://www.jewfaq.org/alephbet.htm
    [T]he Hebrew alphabet that [Jews] use today is referred to as Assyrian Script (in Hebrew, K'tav Ashuri).
    --------------------------------------------------
    Assyrians after Assyria
    by Dr. Simo Parpola, University of Helsinki

    When the Greek historian Xenophon 200 years after Nineveh's fall passed through the Assyrian heartland and visited the sites of two great Assyrian cities, he found nothing but ruin...
    Karen Radner, 'Nineveh, Assyria's capital in the 7th century BC', Knowledge and Power, Higher Education Academy, 2011 [http://knp.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/essentials/nineveh/]

    From the reign of Sennacherib (r. 704-681 BC) onwards, Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire. It was then considered to be the world's largest city: according to the Old Testament book of Jonah, it was home to 120,000 people and took three days to cross.

    Water For Nineveh
    Like every irrigation system, these waterworks needed constant maintenance and repair. So when Nineveh fell to the Babylonian and Median armies in 612 BC the complex quickly ceased to function properly as no-one was financing or organising the regular upkeep that was necessary. This collapse contributed to the rapid abandonment of the city because without artificial irrigation it could not provide a home for its many inhabitants. Nineveh soon became a ghost town.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Median “Empire”, the End of Urartu and Cyrus’ the Great Campaign in 547 B.C. (Nabonidus Chronicle II 16)
    by Prof. Mag. Dr. Robert Rollinger
    Institut für Alte Geschichte und *
    Altorientalistik
    Innrain 52
    Universität Innsbruck

    Footnote 26, page 7:
    MacGinnis 2000, 335f. See also Jursa 2003 with further evidence. That also after 614 B.C. important elements of Assyrian culture remained alive in Aššur has recently been shown conclusively by Oelsner 2002, 32f who pointed to the fact that the gods Aššur and his wife Seru (Šeru’a) are still mentioned in Aramaic inscriptions of the second and third centuries A.D. originating from Parthian Aššur. For the survival of the Assyrian culture in Tell Sheikh Hamad/Dur-Katlimmu after 612 B.C. see now Kühne 2002.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Magic bowls are a type of amulet consisting of an incantation written on an earthenware bowl. (…) The incantations are most commonly written in black ink within the bowl, spiraling from the bottom upwards. (…) the most common form of using magic bowls was to bury them upside down under the floor of the house. (Unikat. Cf. Dan Levene: A Corpus of Magic Bowls. Incantation Texts in Jewish Aramaic from Late Antiquity. London: Kegan Paul, 2003. pp. 2-3).

    Such bowls have a rather narrow chronological range. Based on the script of the text, comparisons with other pottery, and the context of those found in situ, they appear to have been in fairly popular use from the fifth to the eighth centuries C.E. (Michael G. Morony: “Magic and Society in Late Sasanian Iraq”. In: Scott Noegel & al.: “Prayer, Magic, and the Stars in the Ancient and Late Antique World”. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003. p. 83).

    Out of a sample of 411 bowl texts (both published and unpublished), nearly two thirds are Aramaic (62 percent), while most of the rest are divided between Mandaic (23 percent) and Syriac (13 percent)...(Ibid., pp. 93-94).

    [T]he texts written on these bowls are viewed as constituting a genre because of what they have in common: a set of shared assumptions about the causes of evil and how to avert it. The content of these inscriptions reveals traditions going back to Neo-Assyrian and Babylonian protective rituals and therapeutic magic. (Ibid., pp. 84-86).
    http://www.meyerbuch.com/bildsuch.asp?ID=2961
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    George Percy Badger. The Nestorians and their rituals (1842-1844)

    [T]he following extract from the Khudra plainly teaches that the Nestorians refer the origin of their priesthood to a much higher antiquity, and that they regard the Christian priesthood to be a continuation, through Christ, of that same ordination which was first given to man by God Himself in the beginning of the world.

    "Blessed is He Who hath given to the priesthood a degree ascending up to heaven. O glorious priesthood, open to me the store of your riches, that from your wealth I may fill the treasury of my thoughts. Thou wast highly exalted, but didst stoop low, and wast given to those of dust, O Thou mirror which hast been handed down to all generations! To the former people [the Jews] the horn of oil ; but to us the priesthood of Christ."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cambridge Prof. Geoffrey Khan. *The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Barwar.

    As already shown by Krotkoff (1985: 124–126), a number of lexical items in the NENA [Northeastern Neo-Aramaic] dialects, especially those relating to agriculture, can be traced back beyond Classical Aramaic to Akkadian or even Sumerian.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My questions emerge out of a research project (my dissertation based at Princeton) which centers on a Syriac martyr's legend of the 7th century AD -- Mar Qardagh of Arbela, Sasanian marzban of northern Iraq under Shapur II in the 360's AD. The text has several interesting connections with traditions/memories of Assyria, beginning with Qardagh's genealogy traced from the royal house of "Athor" (Assyria) via Sennacherib on his mother's side and Nimrod on his father's side.

    According to his hagiographer, Qardagh's cult began at a place called Melqi (MLQI) in the vicinity of Arbela, where there was a fire temple and church complex that was later converted into a church and market complex and eventually became a monastery. But the site appears to have declined (or changed names??) during the medieval period, and modern scholarship has been unable to locate it. The story of the saint's life and his travels in the highlands north and east of Arbela make a location immediately to the NE of Arbela an attractive hypothesis.

    Is the cult site of Mar Qardagh at "Melqi" described in the Nestorian literary sources identical with "Milqia", site of an Ishtar temple, noted in the Assyrian sources? If so, we have a very interesting case of long-term continuity in the religious topography of north Mesopotamia.
    Joel Walker , 4 Nov 1997/Melammu Project
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Now the saint of God, when he saw that they were busy with such deliberations, began to show them the truth of the Christian faith, and many of them on the other. *And under the count of an election they found a new village leader, whose name was Razmarduk. *Now through zeal clothed with God was the thorn bush of the Megušdom weeded out of every village, and the faith in Jesus Christ conquered it and was planted against it. *And he distanced them from those gods of lies, “they have ears, but do not hear; they have mouths, but do not speak; and have eyes, but do not see”.
    The Chronicle of Arbela, Ch.5, Bishop Noh of Arbela (163-179 A.D.) Translated by Peter Kawerau
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The present article focuses on the pottery excavated in the Red House in Tell Sheikh Hamad (North-Eastern Syria). The Full assemblage has been analysed and published by Kreppner (2006). The excavation took place between 1993 and 2000. The Red House covers an area of approximately 5400 square meters (ca. 6458 square yards) and is composed of three wings with 90 rooms (Fig. 2).

    CONCLUSIONS
    The Red House demonstrates that a high standard residence existed even after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The four cuneiform texts written in Assyrian script dating to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II prove that Assyrians inhabited the Red House during the time of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (Radner: 2002: 17). The fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire neither interrupted ceramic production, nor caused a change in wares and forms.

    The analysis of the development of forms within the stratigraphical sequence (Fundbereiche 7.1, 4, 3.18, 3.19, 3.20) confirmed that the most frequent types of the Red House pottery are exactly those which were found both in the younger and the older stratigraphical units. Thus, a continuity of pottery production is proven from the mid seventh throughout the sixth as far as the beginning of the fifth centuries B.C.

    As to the Red House, pottery of Neo-Babylonian style was not introduced. Contrary to various assumptions, also after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire during the so called „Post”-Assyrian period – the clay used for pottery was continuously prepared with straw temper and the forms known from the seventh century were also used during the sixth century B.C.

    The current state of research does not allow a definite periodisation because comparable data covering the ninth, eighth, seventh or the fifth centuries B.C are still lacking. Probably it will be revealed that during this period the development of forms was much slower than this has been assumed so far. To sum up, an Iron Age pottery assemblage of a completely excavated and well dated household of higher standard from Northern Mesopotamia has now been analysed for the first time.
    THE CONTINUITY OF CERAMIC PRODUCTION AFTER THE FALL OF THE NEO-ASSYRIAN EMPIRE. NEW DATA FROM THE RED HOUSE OF TELL SHEIKH HAMAD.
    FLORIAN JANOSCHA KREPPNER. 2008.

    Offprint from Proceedings of the 4th International Congress of the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humanist View Post
    From the "Chronicles" of Michael the Great, patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church(died 1199).
    Here is the same passage, as I posted above. Except, this is an Assyrian's translation to English, from the original Assyrian-Aramaic, as opposed to a translation from the original Assyrian-Aramaic to French, and then to English by Google Translate.

    Translation by user "Zokhe," from an Assyrian forum:

    In that time dawned the savior of all, the Messiah, Son of God. Therefore that people of ours for a span of 50 years were bereft of kings. On that account, the life giving teaching of the Evangelyon (New Testament) arose. And to it this people gladly adhered and were made disciples of. And they completely rejected and despised the remaining books that had the memories of their first kings. And in their heated zeal of the fear of God, they burned all the books that were stored in them the memories of the kings. This because they were interwoven with the names of their kings and their chronologies and in the demonic stories of their heathenism. And because of this, as alike from a stink[foul odor], they turned their faces from all of these books. And they burned them in the fire so that their memories would not be retained to their children and to the generations to come. And of this retells the book of Praksis (Acts) of the holy saints in that it says, those, the faithful were bringing books of their forefathers and were burning them in front of the legs of the Apostles. Those whose worth which were considered many tens of thousands of "kespho - money"


    ---------- Post added 2011-11-19 at 06:21 ----------

    [A]ssyrian traditions, and Assyrian religion persisted alongside Christianity in all its major cities until late Antiquity.
    TABLE III. [Some] Assyrian theophoric personal names from Parthian Assur, Hatra and Ţūr-Abdīn. Beyer 1998
    Simo Parpola, Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today

    Name Year/CE
    Addu-nūr
    `Abd-Allāya
    Garam-Allāt 235
    `Awīd-Allāt
    Tēm-Allāt
    Ahī-Assur 221
    Assur-ah-iddin
    Assur-amar
    Assur-dayyān 200
    Assur-hananī
    Assur-hēl
    Assur-šama` 184
    Assur-`a 221
    Assur-natan 184
    Assur-tariş 200
    `Aqīb-Assur 220
    ‘Ēnī-`al-Assur
    Re'ūt-Assur 112
    Assur-Bēl-dayyān 222
    Bēl-abī 192
    Bēl-barak
    Bēl-`aqab 97
    Malā-Bēl 221
    Sattar-Bēl 195
    Šōzib-Bēl
    `Abed-Iššār
    Natun-Iššār
    `Awīd-Iššār 141
    Ba-Nabû-ehdet 112
    Bar-Nabû
    Nabû-banā
    Nabû-dayyān 188
    Nabû-yāb
    Nabû-gabbār
    Nabû-kātōb 235
    Nabû-`aqab
    `Abed-Nabû 195
    Bar-Nanāya 195
    Bar-Nērgol 108
    Nērgol-dammar 195
    `Abed-Nērgol
    `Abed-Šalmā(n) 235
    `Aqab-Šameš 217
    Han-Šameš
    Ilāh-Šameš
    Meqīm-Šameš
    Natūn-Šameš 195
    Rapā-Šameš
    Šamšāy
    Šameš-`aqab 205
    Šameš-barak 237
    Šameš-yāb 162
    Šameš-zabad 128
    Ba-Serū 217

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    [Konstantin] Tseretely further writes; "In correspondences between the Georgian King Irakli II and Mar Shimoun in the years 1769 and 1770 Mar Shimoun refers to himself as the "Assyrian Catholicos" and the King identifies Mar Shimoun's people as "Assyrians."

    According to another source the Georgian King Irakli II in 1770's established contacts with the Yezidies and used the Assyrian Archbishop Ishaya as mediator. Irakli II sent a letter to the Yezidi leader Choban-Agha in which he proposed a non-Muslim coalition of the Yezidies, Armenians and Assyrians against the Ottoman Sultan.

    In a letter dated May 26, 1784 adressed to the Russian General Paul S. Potemkin, the Russian Colonel Stephan D. Burnashev writes "There are 100 villages inhabited by Assyrians in the domain of the Khan of Urmiye, in addition , some 20,000 families reside within the borders of Turkey."

    [H]oratio Southgate in 1843 visited the Syrian Orthodox communities of Turkey and reported they identified themselves as Assyrians in the form of "Suryoyo, Othoroyee". He writes:

    "I observed that the Armenians did not know them under the name which I used, SYRIANI; but called them ASSOURI, which struck me the more at the moment from its resemblance to our English name ASSYRIANS, from whom they claim their origin, being sons, as they say, of Assour, (Asshur,) who 'out of the land of Shinar went forth, and build Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resin between Nineveh and Calah; the same is a great city..
    (Horatio Southgate, "Narrative of a Visit to the "Syrian" Jacobites Church", 1844 P 80).
    Assyrians from the fall of Nineveh to the Present. William Warda.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the Armenian "Assorie", Assyrian in the English, is kept to this day to designate all Assyrians, irrespective of their religious appellations [Chaldeans, Syriacs/Aramaeans, "Nestorians"].
    Arthur S. Chavoor (Nineveh 4th Quarter 1982)
    Publish Date: 10/1/1982
    Last edited by Humanist; 2011-11-20 at 10:59.

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    Continuing.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Theophanes Continuatus: http://www.archive.org/stream/theoph...e/n17/mode/2up

    Leo V the Armenian. *Emperor of Byzantium from 813 to 820. *According to the Theophanes Continuatus*, he was of mixed heritage. *Part Armenian, part Assyrian.




    *Wiki:
    Theophanes Continuatus (Greek: συνεχισταί Θεοφάνους) or Scriptores post Theophanem (Οἱ μετὰ Θεοφάνην, "those after Theophanes") is the Latin name commonly applied to a collection of historical writings preserved in the 11th-century Vat. gr. 167 manuscript.[1] Its name derives from its role as the continuation, covering the years 813–961, of the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, which reaches from 285 to 813. The manuscript consists of four distinct works, in style and form very unlike the annalistic approach of Theophanes.[2]
    The first work, of four books consists of a series of biographies on the emperors reigning from 813 to 867 (from Leo the Armenian to Michael III). As they were commissioned by Emperor Constantine VII (r. 913–959), they reflect the point of view of the reigning Macedonian dynasty. The unknown author probably used the same sources as Genesios.[2] The second work is known as the Vita Basilii (Latin for "Life of Basil"), a biography of Basil I the Macedonian (r. 867–886) written by his grandson Constantine VII probably around 950. The work is essentially a panegyric, praising Basil and his reign while vilifying his predecessor, Michael III.[3] The third work is a history of the years 886–948, in form and content very close to the history of Symeon Logothetes, and the final section continues it until 961. It was probably written by Theodore Daphnopates, shortly before 963.[4]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In his account of the revolt of Thomas the Slavonian (820-823) against the Emperor Michael II (820-829), the Byzantine historian Genesius* lists a variety of peoples from whom the armies of the rebel had been drawn: Saracens, Indians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Medes, Abasgians, Zichs, Vandals, Getae, Alans, Chaldoi, Armenians, adherents of the heretical sects of the Paulicians and the Athinganoi.
    The Armenians in the Byzantine Empire

    *Wikipedia: Joseph Genesius
    Genesius (Greek: Γενἐσιος, Genesios) is the conventional name given to the anonymous Greek author of the tenth century chronicle, On the reign of the emperors. His first name is sometimes given as Joseph, combining him with a "Joseph Genesius" quoted in the preamble to John Skylitzes.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "The Ramessides, Medes, and Persians"
    Emmet Sweeney
    2007

    Pliny the Elder (c. AD 70), while utilizing the work of Strabo, already prefers the name Assyria for the Empire. His contemporary Flavius Josephus likewise consistently refers to the Empire as Assyria, and uses Syria in referring to the Seleucid Empire and the Roman province of Syria. This terminology anticipates the situation after the reign of Trajan, who after his campaign against the Parthians (AD 116) created a province called Assyria in the east, probably annexing the semi-independent state of Adiabene which the Assyrians had succeeded in establishing in their ancient homeland.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A bit from the "Reports of the Immigration Commission (1911) - United States. Immigration Commission (1907-1910)"

    Assyrian.

    Some of them on coming to the United States as immigrants insist that they are not Syrians, but Assyrians. It is believed that they are more properly to be considered as East Syrians...

    [A]lthough so good an authority as Deniker holds that they belong to an entirely distinct race, which he calls the "Assyroid." In any case, they belong to the Syrian stock (Semites) linguistically.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nebo and Bel are the pagan gods most frequently mentioned in the Doctrina Addai, and they were indeed "the main gods of Edessa," against whose cult the Christian writers of the fourth and fifth centuries inveighed the most insistently. The text also mentions other deities worshipped in Edessa and in neighboring, Syriac-speaking locales. In his general instruction to the people of the city, Addai said:

    I see that this city is filled with paganism which is contrary to God. Who is this [man-] made idol Nebo which you worship, and Bel which you honor? Behold there are those among you who worship Bath Nical, like the inhabitants of Haran your neighbors, and Taratha, like the inhabitants of Mabug, and the Eagle, like the Arabs, and the sun and the moon, like the rest of the inhabitants of Haran who are like you.
    To appreciate what Nabu meant to Assyrians, the entire bit below should be read.

    Nabu

    The intimate association of Nabu with Marduk in the city of Babylon leads as a natural consequence to a similar association in Assyria, when once the Marduk cult had for political reasons become established in the north. The kings invoke the favor of Bel (meaning Marduk) and Nabu, especially when dealing with the affairs of Babylonia, as they invoke Ashur and Ishtar. Just as we have certain kings devoted to Nin-ib and Shamash by the side of Ashur, so there are others whose special favorite is Nabu. In the days of Ramman-nirari III. (812-783 B.C.) the Nabu cult reached its highest point of popularity in Assyria. From the manner in which the king speaks of the god, one might draw the conclusion that he attempted to concentrate the whole Assyrian cult upon that god alone. He erects a temple to the god at Calah, and overwhelms the deity with a great array of titles. The dedicatory inscription which the king places on a statue of Nebo closes with the significant words, 'O Posterity! trust in Nabu. Trust in no other god.' Still we must not press such phrases too hard. Ramman-nirari III. had no intention of suppressing Ashur worship, for he mentions the god elsewhere, and assigns to him the same rank as the other kings do, but so much we are justified in concluding, that next to Ashur and Ishtar he feels most strongly attached to Nabu. That the Babylonian Nabu is meant, is clear from such designations as 'the offspring of E-sagila, the favorite of Bel,' 'he who dwells at E-zida,' which appear among the epithets bestowed upon the god; and the temple in Calah, which one of the last kings of Assyria, Ashuretililani, is engaged in improving, bears the same name E-zida, as Nabu's great temple at Borsippa. We have already set forth the reasons for the popularity of the Nabu cult in Assyria. Suffice it to recall that the peculiar character of the god as the patron of wisdom placed him beyond the reach of any jealousy on the part of the other members of the pantheon. So Ramman-nirari III. extols Nabu as the protector of the arts, the all-wise who guides the stylus of the scribe, and the possessor of wisdom in general. He is not merely the originator of writing, but the source of all wisdom, and for this reason he is spoken of as the son of Ea. Attributes of mere brutal force are rarely assigned to Nabu, but as befits a god of wisdom, mercy, nobility, and majesty constitute his chief attractions. By virtue of his wisdom, Sargon calls him 'the clear seer who guides all the gods,' and when the last king of Assyria—Saracus, as the Greek writers called him—invokes Nabu as the 'leader of forces,' he appears to have in mind the heavenly troops rather than earthly armies. Such patrons of learning as Sargon and Ashurbanabal were naturally fond of parading their devotion to Nabu. The former significantly calls him the 'writer of everything,' and as for Ashurbanabal, almost every tablet in the great literary collection that he made at Nineveh closes with a solemn invocation to Nabu and his consort Tashmitum, to whom he offers thanks for having opened his ears to receive wisdom, and who persuaded him to make the vast literary treasures of the past accessible to his subjects.
    Morris Jastrow, Jr., Ph. D.

    The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Boston: Ginn & Company. 1898.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Hippolitus: (170 – 235 AD)

    Hippolytus of Rome was the most important third-century theologian in the developing orthodox church in Rome, where he was probably born. He is described as a disciple of Irenaeus. He came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival bishop of Rome.
    Hippolitus: Refutation of All Heresies
    BOOK VII.

    CHAP. XIX.--THE HERESY OF PREPON; FOLLOWS EMPEDOCLES; MARCION REJECTS THE GENERATION OF THE SAVIOUR.

    The principal heresy of Marcion, and (the one of his) which is most free from admixture (with other heresies), is that which has its system formed out of the theory concerning the good and bad (God). Now this, it has been manifested by us, belongs to Empedocles. But since at present, in our times, a certain follower of Marcion, (namely) Prepon, an Assyrian, has endeavoured to introduce something more novel, and has given an account of his heresy in a work inscribed to Bardesanes, an Armenian, neither of this will I be silent. In alleging that what is just constitutes a third principle, and that it is placed intermediate between what is good and bad, Prepon of course is not able to avoid (the imputation of inculcating) the opinion of Empedocles.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On both Assyrians and Chaldeans. The clip, at the bottom of the post, is a Mandaean priest saying a few words about their faith. Whether it is related to what is written below is open to debate. Mandaeans, before becoming what is now a largely Arabic-speaking community, spoke a Babylonian-Aramaic dialect as a vernacular. Their particular dialect of Aramaic, Mandaic, has many loanwords from Akkadian. A great deal of those loans are specific to the religion of our forefathers. See the paragraph, farthest below, for a list of some Akkadian loanwords in Mandaic.*

    Hippolitus: (170 – 235 AD)

    Hippolitus: Refutation of All Heresies
    BOOK V.

    CHAP. II.--NAASSENI ASCRIBE THEIR SYSTEM, THROUGH MARIAMNE, TO JAMES THE LORD'S BROTHER; REALLY TRACEABLE TO THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES; THEIR PSYCHOLOGY AS GIVEN IN THE "GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS;" ASSYRIAN THEORY OF THE SOUL; THE SYSTEMS OF THE NAASSENI AND THE ASSYRIANS COMPARED; SUPPORT DRAWN BY THE NAASSENI FROM THE PHRYGIAN AND EGYPTIAN MYSTERIES; THE MYSTERIES OF ISIS; THESE MYSTERIES ALLEGORIZED BY THE NAASSENI.

    "Now earth," say the Greeks, "gave forth a man, (earth) first bearing a goodly gift, wishing to become mother not of plants devoid of sense, nor beasts without reason, but of a gentle and highly favoured creature." "It, however, is difficult," (the Naassene) says, "to ascertain whether Alalcomeneus, first of men, rose upon the Boeotians over Lake Cephisus; or whether it were the Idaean Curetes, a divine race; or the Phrygian Corybantes, whom first the sun beheld springing up after the manner of the growth of trees; or whether Arcadia brought forth Pelasgus, of greater antiquity than the moon; or Eleusis (produced) Diaulus, an inhabitant of Raria; or Lemnus begot Cabirus, fair child of secret orgies; or Pallerie (brought forth) the Phlegraean Alcyoneus, oldest of the giants. But the Libyans affirm that Iarbas, first born, on emerging from arid plains, commenced eating the sweet acorn of Jupiter. But the Nile of the Egyptians," he says, "up to this day fertilizing mud, (and therefore) generating animals, renders up living bodies, which acquire flesh from moist vapour." The Assyrians, however, say that fish-eating Oannes was (the first man, and) produced among themselves. The Chaldeans, however, say that this Adam is the man whom alone earth brought forth. And that he lay inanimate, unmoved, (and) still as a statue; being an image of him who is above, who is celebrated as the man Adam, having been begotten by many powers, concerning whom individually is an enlarged discussion.

    In order, therefore, that finally the Great Man from above may be overpowered, "from whom," as they say, "the whole family named on earth and in the heavens has been formed, to him was given also a soul, that through the soul he might suffer; and that the enslaved image may be punished of the Great and most Glorious and Perfect Man, for even so they call him. Again, then, they ask what is the soul, and whence, and what kind in its nature, that, coming to the man and moving him, it should enslave and punish the image of the Perfect Man. They do not, however, (on this point) institute an inquiry from the Scriptures, but ask this (question) also from the mystic (rites). And they affirm that the soul is very difficult to discover, and hard to understand; for it does not remain in the same figure or the same form invariably, or in one passive condition, that either one could express it by a sign, or comprehend it substantially.

    But they have these varied changes (of the soul) set down in the gospel inscribed "according to the Egyptians." They are, then, in doubt, as all the rest of men among the Gentiles, whether (the soul) is at all from something pre-existent, or whether from the self-produced (one), or from a widespread Chaos. And first they fly for refuge to the mysteries of the Assyrians, perceiving the threefold division of the man; for the Assyrians first advanced the opinion that the soul has three parts, and yet (is essentially) one. For of soul, say they, is every nature desirous, and each in a different manner. For soul is cause of all things made; all things that are nourished, (the Naassene) says, and that grow, require soul. For it is not possible, he says, to obtain any nourishment or growth where soul is not present. For even stones, he affirms, are animated, for they possess what is capable of increase; but increase would not at any time take place without nourishment, for it is by accession that things which are being increased grow, but accession is the nourishment of things that are nurtured. Every nature, then, as of thins celestial and (the Naasene) says, of things celestial, and earthly, and infernal, desires a soul. And an entity of this description the Assyrians call Adonis or Endymion; and when it is styled Adonis, Venus, he says, loves and desires the soul when styled by such a name.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le-kjGp1xxQ

    *
    In the area of loanwords, Mandaic inherited from Akkadian an abundance of termini technici concerning religion, but also many words in other areas. Despite the limitation in its attested lexicon, due to the loss of texts, Mandaic shows more Akkadian borrowings than any other Aramaic dialect. The Mandaean gnostic sect recruited from a Babylonian population, and a stock of Akkadian words had belonged to the idiom of that geographical area for some centuries. Particular borrowings in Mandaic are: priest classes, cult, divination, and magic terms: brʾyʾ < bartū “diviner,” zʾbʾ 2 “esoteric priests,” gynyʾ “sacrifice,” ʿkwrʾ < ekurru “temple,” prykʾ < parakku “altar, shrine,” pyšrʾ < pišru “dissolving of a magic bond,” ʾšp < ašāpu “to bewitch,” šʾptʾ < šiptu “incantation”; terms concerning the gnostic doctrine and cult: gynyʾ < ginû “sanctuaries,” zywʾ < zīmu “brilliance,” nʾndbyʾ < nindabû “offering,” nʾṣwrʾyʾ “watcher of secrets,” nʾṣyrwtʾ “secrecy” < niṣirtu; architectional terms: ʾngrʾ < agāru “wall,”roof,” kšwrʾ < gušūru “beam, post”; body parts: gysʾ 2 “side”; ktʾ < qātu “hand, handle,” šʾyryʾnʾ < “vein, artery”; directions of the wind, name of winds, astronomical terms: šʾrʾ <šārū “direction of the wind,” stʾnʾ < ištānu north(wind), ywniʾ 2 <ūmu 3 “storm,” tʾlyʾ < attala “eclipse.”

    Dr. Christa Müller-Kessler

    Originally Published: July 20, 2009
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Melammu Project

    Achaemenid Empire

    Demotic Chronicle 30-31 (= P.Cairo 50153.2):
    [Darius] wrote the words … of the laws of Egypt and they wrote a copy in a papyrus roll in script of Assyria [sh ˀIšr = Aramaic] and of epistles [sh šˀ.t = Demotic].
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *Assyriologist, Dr. Simo Parpola (1:50 of the clip, here):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbjfCTtcCms

    [T]he Assyrian identity has better been preserved in the eastern part of the old [Neo] Assyrian Empire. Which was the so called Assyrian heartland. In the neighborhood of today's Mosul. There we have the so called Plain of Nineveh.
    The late Assyriologist, H.W.F. Saggs, "The Might that Was Assyria" p. 290.

    The destruction of the Assyrian empire did not wipe out its population. They were predominantly peasant farmers, and since Assyria contains some of the best wheat land in the Near East, descendants of the Assyrian peasants would, as opportunity permitted, build new villages over the old cities and carry on with agricultural life, remembering traditions of the former cities. After seven or eight centuries and various vicissitudes, these people became Christians.
    Simo Parpola, "Assyrians after Assyria"

    Assyria was a vast and densely populated country, and outside the few urban centers life went on as usual.
    And, certainly posted several times before, but it is again relevant:

    Geoffrey Khan, on the Assyrian-Aramaic dialect of Barwar (2008):

    As already shown by Krotkoff (1985: 124–126), a number of lexical items in the NENA [Northeastern Neo-Aramaic] dialects, especially those relating to agriculture, can be traced back beyond Classical Aramaic to Akkadian or even Sumerian.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Approximate McDonald green spots for the nine Assyrians, w/ median intersecting point noted in yellow. Along with Nineveh Plain area map:



    My rough Dodecad K12b spot ("C"):



    Wikipedia:
    Adiabene (Syriac: Hadyab ܚܕܝܐܒ) was a metropolitan province of the Church of the East between the 5th and 14th centuries, with more than fifteen known suffragan dioceses at different periods in its history. Although the name Hadyab normally connoted the region around Erbil and Mosul, the boundaries of the East Syrian metropolitan province went well beyond the Erbil and Mosul districts. Its known suffragan dioceses included Beth Bgash (the Hakkari region of eastern Turkey) and Adarbaigan (the Ganzak district, to the southeast of Lake Urmi), well to the east of Adiabene proper.
    Last edited by Humanist; 2012-03-03 at 02:01.

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    Hey, I found a huge, old book on the net lately, it's part of a series.
    Volume one focuses on Assyria, but I can't seem to find its full text on the net. This part (Vol. II) also mentions Assyria often though:
    http://www.archive.org/details/sevengreatmonarc1900rawl

    This is Vol. III, for those interested:
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16167

    I'll try to find Vol. I too.
    Edit: Found the 'Chaldaea' part of Vol. I:
    http://www.hotfreebooks.com/book/The...linson--4.html
    +Assyria:
    http://www.hotfreebooks.com/book/The...Rawlinson.html

    The rest of the parts are on that site too, just change the url so that the volume matches the empire.
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    To follow up on my post above, here are a few pertinent maps. Although these maps pertain to conditions in the region in modern times, what is today N Iraq sits at the northern reaches of the Fertile Crescent (see image, farthest below).













    ---------- Post added 2012-03-02 at 22:51 ----------

    If we include the Syrian Arab Muslims (orange), and Iraqi Mandaeans (blue), an equally fascinating phenomenon appears to reveal itself. The distribution/pattern appear (roughly speaking) sensitive to the yellow, or "Nomadic herding; no cultivation possible without heavy irrigation" parts.



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    This study, on select 8th and 7th century BCE Neo-Assyrian settlements in northern Mesopotamia, may also be of relevance:

    Landscape and Settlement In the Neo-Assyrian Empire

    by Jason Ur
    Harvard University

    [M]any of these settlements may well be the kapru of Neo-Assyrian texts (Fales and Postgate 1995: 31), which were probably small hamlets or villages. Such settlements are well attested in the so-called Assyrian Domesday book, which appears to have functioned as a register (housed in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh) of tax-exempt land during the seventh century B.C.
    NJP = North Jazira Plain (Iraq)




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    Mapping patterns of long-term settlement in Northern Mesopotamia at a large scale
    Bjoern H. Menzea, and Jason A. Ura

    Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138; and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

    Published online before print March 19, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1115472109

    Abstract

    The landscapes of the Near East show both the first settlements and the longest trajectories of settlement systems. Mounding is a characteristic property of these settlement sites, resulting from millennia of continuing settlement activity at distinguished places. So far, however, this defining feature of ancient settlements has not received much attention, or even been the subject of systematic evaluation. We propose a remote sensing approach for comprehensively mapping the pattern of human settlement at large scale and establish the largest archaeological record for a landscape in Mesopotamia, mapping about 14,000 settlement sites—spanning eight millennia—at 15-m resolution in a 23,000-km2 area in northeastern Syria. To map both low- and high-mounded places—the latter of which are often referred to as “tells”—we develop a strategy for detecting anthrosols in time series of multispectral satellite images and measure the volume of settlement sites in a digital elevation model. Using this volume as a proxy to continued occupation, we find a dependency of the long-term attractiveness of a site on local water availability, but also a strong relation to the relevance within a basin-wide exchange network that we can infer from our record and third millennium B.C. intersite routes visible on the ground until recent times. We believe it is possible to establish a nearly comprehensive map of human settlements in the fluvial plains of northern Mesopotamia and beyond, and site volume may be a key quantity to uncover long-term trends in human settlement activity from such a record.

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