the tomb of Cyaxares


Qyzqapan is a tomb located in the Kurdish mountains in Sulaymaniyah. The Russian historian Igor Diakonov believes that it is probably a royal tomb and that if it is royal it is the tomb of Cyaxares.
Cyaxares or Hvakhshathra (625–۵۸۵ BC), the son of King Phraortes, was the third and most capable king of Media. According to Herodotus, Cyaxares, grandson of Deioces, had a far greater military reputation than his father or grandfather. He was the first to divide his troops into separate sections of spearmen, archers, and horsemen.

By uniting the Iranian tribes of Ancient Iran and conquering territory, Cyaxares allowed the Median Empire to become a regional power. During his rule, the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell and the Scythians were repelled from Median lands.
He was born in the Median capital of Ecbatana, his father Phraortes was killed in a battle against the Assyrians, led by Ashurbanipal, the king of Neo-Assyria. After his fall, the Scythians took over. In his early age Cyaxares was seeking revenge. He killed the Scythian leaders and proclaimed himself as King of Medes. After throwing off the Scythians, he prepared for war against Assyria. Cyaxares reorganized and modernized the Median Army, then joined with King Nabopolassar of Babylonia. This alliance was formalized through the marriage of Cyaxares’ daughter, Amytis, to Nabopolassar’s son, Nebuchadnezzar II. Nebuchadnezzar II later constructed the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as a present for his Median wife, to help with her homesickness for the mountainous country of her birth. These allies overthrew the Assyrian Empire and destroyed Nineveh in 612 BC.


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Categories:   Iranian Ancient Studies