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Places in Asia Minor

  • Asia Minor: Topic Page
    The Hittites established the first major civilization in Asia Minor about 1800 B.C. Beginning in the 8th cent. B.C. Greek colonies were established on the coast lands, and the Greeks thus came into contact with Lydia, Phrygia, and Troy. MORE
  • Assyria: Topic Page
    Ancient empire of W Asia. It developed around the city of Ashur, or Assur, on the upper Tigris River and south of the later capital, Nineveh. MORE
  • Cappadocia: Topic Page
    Ancient region of Asia Minor in present E central Turkey. MORE
  • Cyprus: Topic Page
    The strategic position of Cyprus has long made it a coveted territory, and from the 15th century BC it was colonized by a succession of peoples from the mainland. In the 8th century it was within the Assyrian empire, then the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Persian. MORE
  • Ephesus: Topic Page
    Ancient Greek city of Asia Minor, in what is today W Turkey. One of the greatest of the Ionian cities, it became the leading seaport of the region. MORE
  • Jerusalem: Topic Page
    Occupied as far back as the 4th millenium B.C. After Solomon built the Temple on Mt. Moriah in the 10th cent. B.C., Jerusalem became the spiritual and political capital of the Hebrews. MORE
  • Pergamum: Topic Page
    Ancient Greek city in Mysia in western Asia Minor, which became the capital of an independent kingdom in 283 BC under the Attalid dynasty. As the ally of Rome it achieved great political importance in the 2nd century BC, and became a centre of art and culture. MORE
  • Persia: Topic Page
    Old alternate name for the Asian country Iran. The article Iran contains a description of the geography and economy of the modern country and a short account of its history since the Arab invasion of the 7th cent. MORE
  • Rhodes: Topic Page
    The island was settled by Dorians from Argos before 1000 BC. By the 7th century BC, it was dominated by its three city-states of Camirus, Lindos, and Ialysus, all commercial centers. MORE
  • Troy: Topic Page
    Ancient city in Asia Minor (modern Hissarlik in Turkey). It has a long and complex history dating from about 3000 BC to AD 1200. MORE

Places in the Middle East

  • Babylonia: Topic Page
    Ancient empire of Mesopotamia. The name is sometimes given to the whole civilization of S Mesopotamia, including the states established by the city rulers of Lagash, Akkad (or Agade), Uruk, and Ur in the 3d millennium B.C. MORE
  • Euphrates River: Topic Page
    Mesopotamia, birthplace of many great civilizations, depended on the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris for survival. MORE
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide
    In antiquity, gardens at Babylon, the capital of Mesopotamia, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. MORE
  • Jerusalem: Topic Page
    Occupied as far back as the 4th millenium B.C. After Solomon built the Temple on Mt. Moriah in the 10th cent. B.C., Jerusalem became the spiritual and political capital of the Hebrews. MORE
  • Mesopotamia: Topic Page
    ncient region of Asia, the territory about the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, included in modern Iraq. The region extends from the Persian Gulf north to the mountains of Armenia and from the Zagros and Kurdish mountains on the east to the Syrian Desert. MORE
  • Petra: Topic Page
    Ancient rock city in present-day Jordan. The site includes some 800 structures, the best known of which is the Khazneh el-Farun, a mausoleum, monument, or temple with a two-story facade and Hellenistic split pediment. MORE
  • Phoenicia: Topic Page
    Ancient territory occupied by Phoenicians. The name Phoenicia also appears as Phenice and Phenicia. These people were Canaanites, and in the 9th cent. B.C. the Greeks gave the new appellation Phoenicians to those Canaanites who lived on the seacoast and traded with the Greeks.MORE
  • Red Sea: Topic Page
    Ancient Sinus Arabicus or Erythraean Sea, narrow sea, c.170,000 sq mi (440,300 sq km), c.1,450 mi (2,330 km) long and up to 225 mi (362 km) wide, between Africa (Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea) and the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia and Yemen). MORE
  • Sumer: Topic Page
    By 3000 B.C. a flourishing urban civilization existed. Sumerian civilization was predominantly agricultural and had a well-organized communal life. MORE
  • Tigris River: Topic Page
    In antiquity, some of the great cities of Mesopotamia, including Nineveh, Ctesiphon, and Seleucia, stood on the banks of the Tigris, and the river served as an important transportation route. MORE
  • Tyre: Topic Page
    Ancient city of Phoenicia, S of Sidon. It is the present-day Sur in Lebanon, a small town on a peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean from the mainland of Syria S of Beirut. MORE
  • Ugarit: Topic Page
    Ancient city, capital of the Ugarit kingdom, W Syria, on the Mediterranean coast N of modern Latakia. It developed as a great center of commerce, having important connections with Mesopotamia. MORE
  • Ur: Topic Page
    Ancient city of Sumer, S Mesopotamia. The city is also known as Ur of the Chaldees. It was an important center of Sumerian culture (see Sumer) and is identified in the Bible as the home of Abraham. MORE

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  • Akkadian: Topic Page
    Extinct language belonging to the East Semitic subdivision of the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages. MORE
  • Aramaic: Topic Page
    Language belonging to the West Semitic subdivision of the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages. MORE
  • Cuneiform: Topic Page
    System of writing developed before the last centuries of the 4th millennium B.C. in the lower Tigris and Euphrates valley, probably by the Sumerians. MORE
  • Gilgamesh
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    In Babylonian legend, king of Uruk. He is the hero of the Gilgamesh epic, a work of some 3,000 lines, written on 12 tablets c.2000 B.C. and discovered among the ruins at Nineveh. MORE
  • Mithra: Topic Page
    Ancient god of Persia and India (where he was called Mitra). Until the 6th cent. B.C., Mithra was apparently a minor figure in the Zoroastrian system. Under the Achaemenids, Mithra became increasingly important, until he appeared in the 5th cent. B.C. as the principal Persian deity, the god of light and wisdom, closely associated with the sun. MORE
  • Ziggurat
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Form of temple common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The ziggurat was a pyramidal structure, built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, with a shrine at the summit. MORE
  • Zoroastrianism
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Religion founded by Zoroaster. In its origins Zoroastrianism appears to have been the religious expression of the peaceful, sedentary communities of N Iran. MORE


  • Persian wars: Topic Page
    Series of conflicts between Greece and Persia in 499-479 BC. The Greek victory marked the end of Persian domination of the ancient world and the beginning of Greek supremacy. MORE
  • Trojan War: Topic Page
    The mythical Trojan War probably reflected a real war (c.1200 B.C.) between the invading Greeks and the people of Troas, possibly over control of trade through the Dardanelles. MORE


  • Cyrus the Great: Topic Page
    D. 529 B.C., king of Persia, founder of the greatness of the Achaemenids and of the Persian Empire. MORE
  • Darius I (BCE 521 - 486): Topic Page
    D. 486 B.C., king of ancient Persia (521–486 B.C.). MORE
  • Galatians
    From Cassell's Peoples, Nations and Cultures
    A Celtic people who migrated into central Anatolia (modern Turkey and northern Syria) during the 270s BC, and who settled in an area that subsequently became known as Galatia. MORE
  • Hammurabi
    From Britannica Concise Encyclopedia
    Babylonian king (r 1792–1750 BC) best known for the large stele on which he had some 282 laws inscribed, the so-called Code of Hammurabi. MORE
  • Hittites: Topic Page
    Ancient people of Asia Minor and Syria, who flourished from 1600 to 1200 B.C. The artistic work of the Hittites, as in reliefs, round sculptures, and seals, shows a high state of culture and considerable Babylonian and Assyrian influence. MORE
  • Mithradates VI (BCE 131 - 63): Topic Page
    c.131 B.C.–63 B.C., king of Pontus, sometimes called Mithradates the Great. He waged three wars against Rome. MORE
  • Nebuchadnezzar (BCE 605 - 562)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    King of Babylonia (c.605–562 B.C.), Nebuchadnezzar was a splendid builder, and Babylon with its hanging gardens was then the greatest city of the ancient world. MORE

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