Sunday, September 13, 2020

Cyaxares son of Phraortes: The third king of Media

Cyaxares (r.625–585 BC), son of Phraortes, founder of Median power, was one of the kings who brought about the fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.) and broke the hegemony of the Assyrians. The Persian ruler of about the same time, Cambyses I, was vassal to Cyaxares.

The Medes – like the Persians and the Parthians – were a West-Iranian, semi-nomadic people. During the late second millennium BC the Medes migrated from the steppes of Central Asia to the Iranian Plateau, along with their Persian and Parthian cousins, and settled in the Zagros Mountains. The spread of Western Grey Ware may be attributed to this migration wave.

Cyaxares was the third king of Media, but only ruled after the Scythians had been driven out. He regained control of the empire and conquered Assyria.

Cyaxares reorganized the military into special units, majoring upon particular armaments; spearmen, bowmen and cavalry. This reorganization made them rather a match for the Assyrian armies.

Babylonian chronicles mention raids by Median troops on Assyrian soil in 615 BC. First these Median troops are driven back, but in 614 BC they return, led by Cyaxares. Cyaxares takes Ashur and forms an alliance with the Babylonian king Nabopolassar, who had also revolted against Assyria. Together they take the Assyrian capital Nineveh in 612 BC and Harran in 610 BC.
Cyaxares son of Phraortes: The third king of Media

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