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Azerbaijan as part of the Median Empire

The motherland of medians (1st millennium BC) was located in the Southeast of Manna that is in the centre of Iran. The Media, which was in neighborhood with Manna, land of Gizilbunda that was mentioned for the first time in the Assyrian king Salmanasar III’s chronicle. There were mentioned the names of 6 main midian tribes (mags, buses, budies, peretakens, arizants and stukhats) in the sources.

The state of Media was established during the fought against Assyria. Median lands were captured and plundered by the Assyrian kings (Sham-shiadad V, Adadnirari III, Tiglatpalasar III, Sargon II and others) for several times in 9th and 8th centuries BC. Assyrian invaders turned midian lands to slums.

According to Assyrian sources, Dayukku, who ruled Midia during the invasion of Sargon II, was abandoned to the Khamat, city of Assyria together with his family.

The tribal union of Midia was shaped especially in the East and Southeastern part of Southern Azerbaijan, in Khurvin, Marlik, Sialk, etc. According to Herodot, first attempt to create total and independent Midia belonged to Deyok. Deyok (712-675 BC), for some historians Dayaukku (they consider that Dayaukku is the title that means “governor of the area”) joined Midian tribes at the end of the 8th century BC and established unit state and declared the city of Ekbatan the capital of a new created state.

But several specialists supposed that, there was not any independent state during the reign of Deyok. Because in governance of Sinnakherib, prominent Assyrian king (705-680 BC) there could be existed only small unions.

The settlement of skifians in the Central Asia strengthened anti- Assyrian movements in the region. In this process there began struggle and movement of midian, mannaeans and skifians against Assyria during 70s of the 8th century BC. The leader of these movements was Kashtariti (Fraort), the head of Kar-Kassec castle, which situated in Bitkhari, Midia. But skifians, which suddenly became the allies of Assyria, attacked Midia.

There is an estimation that, Manna – kimmerian skifian alliance aided to Kashtariti in this struggle against Assyria and at finally in 672 BC he liberated Midian lands from the reign of Assyria and established centralized state.

In the middle of the 7th century BC Fraort organized great invasion to Assyria. But this attack failed because of skifians. So that Kashtarity died at the battle and Midia became the subordination of skifians for 28 years (653-628 BC). Only in the last period of the 7th century during the governance of Kiaksar (625-585 BC) or Khuvashtra, Umakishtar midians liberated from skifian oppression.

Making small areas under his subordination and adopting the title of “king of kings”, Kiaksar for the first time in the history of Midia shaped regular army, divided them into rational parts and especially at that period, it means, in 616 BC started the war against Assyria, in alliance with New-Babylon king Nabupalassar. In the same war Manna became an ally of Assyria, Kiaksar entered to Arrapkh, invaded and destroyed the city of Assur and in its slums met with his ally Nabupalassar.

Allied troops of Midia and Babylon captured several cities, such as Arbela, Kalat and in 615-612 BC and at finally in 612 BC conquered the Assyrian capital Ninevia. It is also essential to mention that, this city was called as “the great city”, “the city for three days walk”, “the city of lions”. So, in 605 BC the last defence castle of Egyptian- Assyrian powers was occupied and in 604 BC the Assyrian empire was destroyed and its territory was divided between allies.

The governor of magnificant statehood in Midia of Central Asia was Kiaksar-after this event rationally subordinated Urartu, Manna and Skifian Kingdoms. Although these states were allies of Midia, as independent subjects their independence were over in the eve of Lydian war (in 590 BC). So that, the name of Manna was noticed in the historical sources in 593 BC for the last time. Consequently, the state of Manna was collapsed.

According to the conditions of peace, treaty that signed at the result of Midia-Lidia wars (590-585 BC) the frontier between two states was declared the river of Qalis (modern Kizil-Irmak) in Central Asia. In the same year (585 BC) Kiaksar died. The borders of the empire, created by Kiaksar, extended from Kizil Irmak in the west to the river of Qilmend in Central Asia in the East, from Caucasian mountains in the North to Indian ocean in the south. Manna, which was obeyed to this state, gradually, was called “Minor” or “ Northern Midia” as well.

After the treaty of 585 BC Midia became the most powerful state of Central Asia. But Astiag (585-550 BC), who married the daughter of Lidian king, Aliatta couldn’t preserve the significance of the state for a long time. Conflicts, happened because of the area of Kharran shapaned and aggravated Midian –Babylon relationships and Astiag’s attempts shaped strain circumstances in the country. So in the middle of 6 th century BC there formed anti –Astiag powers in the area.

In 553 BC, the governor of Persia (which was captured by Midia), the son of Kambiz with Akhamanid (Khakhamanish) origin Kurush (Kir II) arose revolt against Astiaq and at the result of 3 years war Ecbatana was conquered by him. So, in 550 BC the empire of Midia collapsed and its regions were included to the state of Akhamanid.

The name of this state (the Akhamanid) state was related to the name of its creator. He led this origin from the Parsa (Persia) which was situated in the south-west of Iran in the beginning of the 7th century BC. The governor of Persia, Kambiz I (584-558 BC) was under the subordination of Midian king Astiag. So, Kir I, who occupied Ekbatan, declared himself the Midian king, and killed all Midian successors to the throne.

In 547 BC Kir II destroyed the army of Lidian king Krez and captured Minor Asia, including territories from Greek cities to the Aegean seashore. Then he occupied all lands in the Middle Asia and India too.

Nevertheless, massaget tribes did not obey Kir II. The queen of massagets Tomris was not scared and fought against Persian invaders in order to preserve the independence of her motherland. Consequently, Tomris destroyed the Persian army and Kir II was killed at the battle.

The son of Kir II-Kambiz II (530-52 BC) began campaign to Egypt in 526 BC and conquered this country after a year. In 522 BC, when Kambiz II was in Egypt state revolution in Iran took place and brother of Kambiz II- Bardia came to the throne. When Kambiz returned from Egypt to Iran, he suddenly died in Syria. But Daria I, who was from the other part of Akhamenids declared that, Bardia was not the brother of Kambiz, but originally mag. And at the result of that, Bardia-Gaumata was overthrowed from the throne. Then Daria I came  49 to the reign, became very famous because he decreased all taxes for settlers. In order to legitimate this right to power, Daria I (522-486 BC) married to Atessa, the daughter of Kambiz. Dependent on Persia areas Midia, Elam and Babylon, which revolted against the state. In 522-521 BC he settled above mentioned revolts and restored previous frontiers of Akhamani Empire.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"