Amytis of Media

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Amuhia or Amytis of Media (c. 630–565 BC) was the daughter or granddaughter of the Median king Cyaxares, and the wife of Nebuchadnezzar II.


Amytis was either born to Cyaxares and his wife, or to Cyaxares's son, Astyages, and daughter-in-law, Aryenis.[1] In either case it is believed she was conceived out of wedlock.[citation needed]

Amytis married Nebuchadnezzar to formalize the alliance between the Babylonian and Median dynasties.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon[edit]

Amytis' homesickness for the forested mountains of the Median Empire led to the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as Nebuchadnezzar attempted to please her by planting the trees and plants of her homeland.[2] Recent evidence suggests that the garden was more likely built by an Assyrian King Sennacherib in Nineveh.[3]


The Median and Persian female name Amytis, attested only in the Greek form A´mytis, which perhaps may reflect (with vowel metathesis) an Old Persian *Umati- (equivalent to Avestan humaiti), "having good thought".[4]


  1. ^ "Cyaxares". Livius. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  2. ^ Foster, Karen Polinger (1998). "Gardens of Eden: Flora and Fauna in the Ancient Near East" (PDF). Transformations of Middle Eastern Natural Environments: Legacies and Lessons. New Haven: Yale University. pp. 320–329. Retrieved 2007-08-11.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Keys, David (2013-05-06). "The biggest wonder about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? They weren't in Babylon". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  4. ^ "AMYTIS". Encyclopædia Iranica Online. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-06-05.