Portal:Ancient Near East

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Faravahar
Zoroastrianism is an ancient Persian religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). The Zoroastrian Magi were an important priestly class in the Medean and Achaemenid empires, the creed becoming the dominant religion in the Achaemenid Empire. Zoroastrianism is uniquely important in the history of religion because of its possible formative links to both Western and Eastern religious traditions. As "the oldest of the revealed credal religions", Zoroastrianism "probably had more influence on mankind directly or indirectly than any other faith" (Mary Boyce, 1979).

The Avesta is the collection of the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism; the most ancient are written in an old or Gathic Avestan language, and the majority of the texts are probably from the Achaemenid era (648–330 BC).

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Nabopolassar (Akkadian: Nabû-apal-usur, reigned 625 – 605 BC) was the founder of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Along with the Medes, he rose in revolt against the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and together they captured its capital at Nineveh. Nabopolassar then went on to destroy the remaining remnants of the Assyrian empire, carving out a new empire in the process.

He also waged war against Egypt and started rebuilding Babylon. His son, crown prince Nebuchadrezzar II, defeated Egypt shortly before Nabopolassar died, and would then go on to make Babylon one of the wonders of the world.

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Ishtar Gate
Credit: Richtor Norton
Ishtar Gate
Nebuchadrezzar II's gate to Babylon, ca. 575 BC (Pergamonmuseum)

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Did you know...

Silver cup from Marvdasht with Linear Elamite inscription on it, c. 3rd millennium BC (National Museum of Iran)
...that the ancient Elamite language is proposed to be distantly related to the modern Dravidian languages? It is attested from c. 2500 BC, and a still undeciphered "proto-Elamite" goes back to c. 3000 BC.

...that the earliest attested Semitic language is Akkadian, c. 2500 BC?

...that the earliest attested Indo-European language is Hittite, from c. the 18th century BC?

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