1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ecbatana

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ECBATANA (Agbatana in Aeschylus, Haňgmatāna in Old Persian, written Agamtanu by Nabonidos, and Agamatanu at Behistun, mod. Hamadān), the capital of Astyages (Istuvegu), which was taken by Cyrus in the sixth year of Nabonidos (549 B.C.). The Greeks supposed it to be the capital of Media, confusing the Manda, of whom Astyages was king, with the Madā or Medes of Media Atropatene, and ascribed its foundation to Deioces (the Daiukku of the cuneiform inscriptions), who is said to have surrounded his palace in it with seven concentric walls of different colours. Under the Persian kings, Ecbatana, situated at the foot of Mount Elvend, became a summer residence; and was afterwards the capital of the Parthian kings. Sir H. Rawlinson attempted to prove that there was a second and older Ecbatana in Media Atropatene, on the site of the modern Takht-i-Suleiman, midway between Hamadan and Tabriz (J.R.G.S. x. 1841), but the cuneiform texts imply that there was only one city of the name, and Takht-i-Suleiman is the Gazaca of classical geography. The Ecbatana at which Cambyses is said by Herodotus (iii. 64) to have died is probably a blunder for Hamath.

See Perrot and Chipiez, History of Art in Persia (Eng. trans., 1892); M. Dieulafoy, L’Art antique de la Perse, pt. i. (1884); J. de Morgan, Mission scientifique en Perse, ii. (1894). See Hamadan and Persia: Ancient History, § v. 2.

(A. H. S.)