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Les royaumes de Chypre à l’épreuve de l’histoire

 | 
Anna Cannavò
, 
Ludovic Thély

Partie III – Les royaumes à l’épreuve de l’histoire : les transformations de l’époque classique

Cyprus in the Achaemenid Rosters of Subject Peoples and Lands

Antigoni Zournatzi

Résumé

Les références à Chypre comme une possession achéménide restent difficiles à évaluer. Cet article utilise les listes des peuples et des terres contenues dans des inscriptions monumentales connues achéménides pour soutenir que, si Chypre, en tant que telle, n’est pas mentionnée dans ces listes, elle est néanmoins évoquée comme la possession maritime (occidentale) par excellence des rois perses. L’auteur s’appuie pour cela sur l’études des paramètres géographiques et historiques qui déterminent l’ordre des entrées dans les différentes listes, de mentions dans les textes grecs classiques et de certaines convergences révélatrices entre l’idéologie impérialiste et le vocabulaire de conquête des Achéménides et de leurs prédécesseurs mésopotamiens.

Texte intégral

Cyprus in the Achaemenid Rosters: Earlier Commentaries

  • 1 See for example Vogelsang 1992, p. 96-119; Lecoq 1997, p. 130-153.
  • 2 See Schmidt 1953, pl. 27-49, and 1970, fig. 39-52; Walser 1966 and 1980; Roaf 1974.

1Beginning early in the reign of Darius I, the Achaemenid record supplies comprehensive accounts of the constituent parts of the Persian empire in the form of enumerations of the Persian kings’ subjects in royal inscriptions1 and matching pictorial renderings of these subjects in the royal monumental reliefs.2

  • 3 Xenophon, Cyropaedia, VII 4, 1-2 and VIII 6, 21; cf. Herodotus, III 19, 3 and III 91, 1.
  • 4 Cf. Henkelman, Stolper 2009, p. 302-303, for the parallel absence of any secure attestations of “Cy (...)

2Cyprus, reportedly tributary to Persia since the reign of the founder of the Persian empire, Cyrus the Great,3 is not mentioned, as such, in these contexts.4 That the Persian kings, however, would have entirely omitted references to their most important and prestigious island holding in these monumental accounts has seemed highly unlikely to a number of earlier scholars, in view especially of the testimony of the earliest extant subject roster, Darius’ Bisitun list.

  • 5 Appendix: a.
  • 6 Homer, Iliad XIII 685.
  • 7 Brinkman 1989; cf., e.g., Rollinger, Henkelman 2009. Against a necessary or exclusive connection wi (...)

3In the opening paragraphs of the inscription of Darius’ famous rock-cut victory monument at Bisitun, in north-western Iran, the territory that “came unto” Darius by the favor of his Iranian patron deity, Ahuramazda, is stated to have comprised 23 holdings or dahyāva (Old Persian dahyu-/pl. dahyāva, variously understood as “province”, “country” or “land”).5 Beginning with Persia, the list of these dahyāva proceeds, first, in geographically contiguous order toward the west, from Elam, through Babylonia, Assyria and Arabia, all the way to Egypt. Next in the enumeration of western subjects comes a relative phrase designating one or more holdings “of the sea”. The sequence of western subjects concludes with Sparda (the native name of Sardis, here denoting Lydia) and Yauna (widely held to be etymologically connected with Akk. Yaman [“Ionia”], Yamnaya/Yaunaya, or Yamanaya [“Ionian”] and Gk. Ἰάονες6 and to have been used in the Achaemenid lists for Greeks in general).7

  • 8 Cf. the similar order of Mediterranean holdings in a further early, related list of Darius from Sus (...)
  • 9 More recently, Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 53-57; Cook 1983, p. 244, n. 7; Lecoq 1997, p. 141; Sancisi-W (...)

4In contrast to the other entries of the roster (which unambiguously point to particular peoples or countries), the characterization “those who (are) of the sea” – though it clearly stands as a distinct subject entity among the list’s stated total of 23 entries – does not offer, in and by itself, any indications concerning the ethnic or political identity of the subjects in question, let alone their precise geographical location. This label’s exclusive reference, however, to the sea would seem particularly suitable for islanders and, in this case, its place on the list between Egypt and Lydia – a place which logically implies a south-eastern Mediterranean location –8 would primarily evoke an association with Cyprus. Proposed so far with varying degrees of confidence,9 the connection of “(those) who (are) of the sea” with Cyprus remains to date difficult to validate.

  • 10 Appendix: b-d.
  • 11 Cf. Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 57.
  • 12 E.g. Kent 1943, p. 305, n. 15; Calmeyer 1983, p. 163, fig. 4; Brinkman 1989, p. 62, n. 46; Tuplin 1 (...)

5An association with Cyprus was, to begin with, put to doubt by the testimony of three later rosters,10 in which this same relative phrase occurs in sequences of entries progressing from Anatolia, due west, to European territory, seemingly leaving out the south-eastern Mediterranean insular domain.11 In these sequences, furthermore, “(those) who (are) of the sea”, always listed after the Yaunā, are expressly conjoined (by means of the conjunction utā/“and”) with further relative clauses referring to holdings “of dry land/of the mainland(?)” and holdings “beyond the sea”, which equally lack ethnic identifiers. As it is often understood at present, this construction ought to largely signal an Achaemenid intention to differentiate among subgroups of the Yaunā (or Greeks) located, respectively, in coastal Asia Minor, the Aegean islands and Europe: in this interpretation, then, “(those) who (are) of the sea” would represent Yaunā islanders of the Aegean.12

  • 13 E.g. Toynbee 1954, p. 580-689, Annex; Olmstead 1948, p. 239-244.

6The perception of “(those) who (are) of the sea” as islanders was seemingly also possible to challenge. In an account, which must rely on a Persian source, Herodotus (III 89-96) relates that, upon his accession to the throne, Darius subdivided the territory of his empire into twenty jurisdictions or “satrapies” by generally joining together in one “satrapy” nations that were neighbors. This Greek historian then proceeds to detail the composition of twenty subject groupings (which are, by this time, referred to as “nomoi”), citing in each instance the tributes due from each group. The relationship between, on the one hand, the terms “satrapy” and “nomos” and, on the other hand, the word dahyu-, which are used, respectively, in Herodotus and the royal rosters to designate the constituent parts of the Persian empire, remains uncertain. Ranging between twenty-three and over thirty, the total numbers of dahyāva that are listed in each of the surviving rosters (as well as some of the names of these subject entities) are equally in discrepancy with the twenty Herodotean subdivisions of the Persian imperial territory. Herodotus’ report has led nonetheless from early on to a hypothesis that the entries of the rosters ought to correspond to Persian administrative provinces, just like Herodotus’ “satrapies” or “nomoi”.13

  • 14 For the lesser appeal of, e.g., Wallinga’s interpretation (Wallinga 1991) of the same designation a (...)
  • 15 Doenges 1981, p. 82-83, Letter 16.5: ὄντι σατράπῃ βασιλέως ἐπὶ τοῖς πρὸς θαλάσσῃ ἔθνεσιν.
  • 16 Schmitt 1972 with references to earlier suggestions in the same sense on page 524; followed more re (...)

7In the Herodotean account there is no reference to any island “satrapy” or “nomos”, with which “(those) who (are) of the sea”, as islanders, could be identified. This inherently vague designation, however, was perhaps a priori liable to being interpreted as applying to coasts as well as islands. Subject to such a broader meaning, it was proposed to represent a coastal administrative district or satrapy. And, in this regard, a particularly strong case seemed possible to make for its connection with the province of Hellespontine Phrygia, which was governed from Dascylium, on the southern shore of the Propontis.14 As argued, a Greek description of Dascylium’s early-fifth-century governor, Artabazus, as “being a satrap of the king over the peoples in the proximity of the sea” in one of the Letters of Themistocles15 ought to reflect a Persian tradition of calling the province of Dascylium “(those) by the sea”.16

  • 17 See, e.g., Lecoq 1997, p. 133 and p. 141; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001a, p. 331, and 2001b, p. 11 (allo (...)

8Interpretations of “(those) who (are) of the sea” as being located in the Aegean or in Hellespontine Phrygia did not entirely efface the feeling that this Achaemenid designation could serve in the rosters as a reference to the Cypriot domain. Even those scholars, however, who currently incline to such an interpretation, do so only in connection with the earlier rosters, wherein “(those) who (are) of the sea” are mentioned between Egyptian and Anatolian holdings. Simultaneously, it is allowed that in later lists – where this designation occurs after the Yaunā – it more likely represents island Greeks.17

  • 18 E.g., Stylianou 1989, p. 414-415; Debord 1999, p. 70; Casabonne 2004, p. 8.
  • 19 Discussed, among other possibilities, by, e.g., Tuplin 1996, p. 42-43.
  • 20 Tuplin 1996, p. 40.

9At the same time, the alternative interpretation of “(those) who (are) of the sea” as the name of Dascylium’s province – which altogether precludes references to Cyprus – has been seen by others to allow speculations that references to this island might be subsumed in the Achaemenid documents under a different entry – such as the Yaunā18 or Athura.19 Or, given this uncertainty, one could suppose that references to Cyprus might be entirely omitted in the royal lists – thus, perhaps implying the relative unimportance of the island, as a possession, from a Persian royal viewpoint, or even as a corollary to a sometimes presumed “certain attitude of detachment”20 of Persian kings from Cypriot affairs.

  • 21 Xenophon, Hellenica V 1, 31: “King Artaxerxes considers it just that the cities in Asia should belo (...)

10The contents of the treaty that Artaxerxes II sent down to the Greeks in 387/6 BC21 leave little room for supposing that Cyprus was not considered by the Persian kings an important, formal part of their imperial territory. Worded as dictates of Artaxerxes, the terms of the same treaty may also be said to define a Persian concept of a broad island domain that encompassed both the Aegean (here represented by Clazomenae) and Cyprus.

11New considerations arguably allow to support the view that the same broad, ethnically mixed insular domain was conveyed in the royal rosters by the expression “(those) who (are) of the sea” and, consequently, that this Achaemenid label would have at all times alluded to Cyprus.

The Elusive Persian “Satrapy by the Sea”

  • 22 Burn 1962, p. 111.
  • 23 Cameron 1973, p. 47 and p. 56; cf. Lecoq 1990.

12In the early 1960s, following a series of unsuccessful attempts by Greek and Achaemenid historians to reconcile the details of the administrative divisions of the Persian empire, as reported by Herodotus, with the testimony of the Achaemenid subject rosters, Andrew R. Burn22 proposed that “the Persian monumental lists are not lists of the administrative satrapies … but simply of the chief peoples and lands over which the Great King ruled”. About a decade later, a similar conclusion was reached on the basis of a close linguistic analysis of the subject entries in the original, Elamite version of the earliest roster preserved in Darius’ Bisitun text. Though also referred to by the Persian term dahyu, these entries were shown by George G. Cameron to bear in their majority (eighteen out of twenty-three entries) the characteristic Elamite personal plural marker, as well as to be expressed, again with rare exceptions, with the royal Achaemenid Elamite determinative indicating people – a determinative which, as Cameron pointed out, is also normally used in this text before the borrowed Persian term dahyu. In Cameron’s opinion all these features ought to signify “that when the Elamite text seems to be referring to the so-called “lands”, human beings are specifically implied” – therefore, that the rosters are enumerating various people whom the Great Kings (or their scribal bureaucrats) “thought worthy of specific mention”.23

  • 24 E.g. Weiskopf 1994; Debord 1999, p. 70; Bakır 2003; Abe 2012, p. 2.

13Not everyone was convinced that the Achaemenid rosters were not meant to offer a map of the administrative geography of the Persian empire. The hypothesis that “(those) who (are) of the sea” must represent the province of Dascylium has also lingered on.24 Concrete evidence, however, that this entry corresponded to a Persian satrapy, which is entirely lacking from a Persian side, is equally difficult to procure from the testimony of Greek texts.

14It is claimed that “(those) who (are) of the sea” ought to be equated with the province of Dascylium because the early-fifth-century satrap of this province, Artabazus, is referred to as “the King’s satrap of the peoples in the proximity of the sea” in Letter 16 of Themistocles. Taken as an authentic detail of an official Persian title, the expression πρὸς θαλάσσῃ (“in the proximity of the sea”), extremely common though it may be in Greek, could convey Persian terminology. One may still doubt, however, that the expansive reference to “peoples by the sea” would have alluded merely to Artabazus’ jurisdiction over the inhabitants of his home Dascylium province.

  • 25 Herodotus, V 30, 5: Ὁ δὲ Ἀρταφρένης … τῶν ... ἐπιθαλασσίων τῶν ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ ἄρχει πάντων, ἔχων στρατι (...)

15Artabazus’ title as the “king’s satrap over the peoples by the sea” does not sound very different from the entitlement of the earlier satrap of Sardis, Artaphrenes, in a context of c. 500 BC, as an “archon of all the peoples of the Asiatic littoral” and as having at his disposal “a large army and numerous ships”.25 The similarity between these two titles suggests that Artabazus, like his Sardian counterpart, Artaphrenes, may have been invested with a larger command along the seacoast. The circumstances surrounding Artabazus’ installation as chief Persian officer at Dascylium would tend to support this suggestion.

  • 26 Thucydides, I 94.
  • 27 Thucydides, I 128, 7 - 129, 1.

16In his account of the alleged medism of Pausanias, Thucydides relates how this Spartan regent – victor of Plataea in 479 and leader, in the following year, of two successful Greek expeditions against the Persians, in Cyprus and Byzantium –26 sent secretly, following his capture of the latter city, a letter to Xerxes.27 In this letter he was proposing, among other things, to marry the King’s daughter and to bring both Sparta and the rest of Hellas under the King’s control. He was further requesting that Xerxes send down to the coast a reliable representative to communicate with him. Xerxes, we are told, pleased with the letter, sent down to the coast Artabazus, the son of Pharnaces, with orders to take over the satrapy of Dascylium from its governor Megabates. He also gave Artabazus a written reply to forward at all speed to Pausanias, and instructed Artabazus to support Pausanias faithfully and to the best of his ability, if the Spartan regent made any suggestions about the King’s affairs.

  • 28 Herodotus, VIII 126, 1 and IX 41, 1; Briant 1996, p. 350 and p. 577.
  • 29 For the upgrading of Dascylium at the time, cf. Kaptan 2001, p. 61-62.

17Artabazus, a man of illustrious descent and important among the Persians, was an honored veteran of Xerxes’ expedition against the mainland Greeks in 480-479 and a leading specialist in Greek affairs.28 His emergency appointment as governor of Dascylium, and his inaugural mission, bestowed directly by his king, to deal single-handedly with the negotiations with Pausanias signal an upgrading of this administrative center,29 which was until then of secondary importance in the scheme of Persian affairs in Asia Minor. Dated in 478-477, this administrative upgrading is arguably bound to reflect, above all, trouble in the area of Asia Minor’s leading satrapal capital of Sardis due to Ionian and mainland Greek activities.

  • 30 Herodotus, IX 104: οὕτω δὴ τὸ δεύτερον Ἰωνίη ἀπὸ Περσέων ἀπέστη.

18Rebellious in the 490s and brought back under Persian sway by force, the Ionians had not ceased to stir up trouble for Persia in Asia Minor. As Herodotus states, immediately after the Persian defeat at Mycale, they “rose for the second time in revolt”.30 Persian prospects for containing this second Ionian revolt would have still seemed remote at the time of Artabazus’ appointment, subject to Persia’s continuing naval powerlessness in the Aegean – a continuing loss of power to which Pausanias’ successes in Cyprus and Byzantium, immediately prior to his alleged overtures to Xerxes, had significantly contributed.

  • 31 Herodotus, V 100-102.

19Since Cyrus’ conquest of Asia Minor in the 540s, the Persians could safely command the Anatolian littoral and its human and naval resources from Sardis, until the first Ionian revolt cut Sardis off from the sea, and the Ionians, with Athenian assistance, set this major satrapal capital on fire.31 In the early 470s, when Persian control of Ionia was on the verge of collapse, and Sardis’ safety was, for a second time, in jeopardy, Dascylium on the Propontis – strategically situated to monitor developments in both the Aegean and Europe – would have been a sensible choice as an alternative Persian headquarters.

  • 32 And not (as Doenges 1981, p. 329-330, seems to imply) merely over the Hellespontine district in whi (...)

20The developments just summarized allow to view Artabazus’ title as the “king’s satrap over the peoples by the sea” in a new light. Rather than alluding to a Persian perception of Dascylium as a satrapy “by the sea”, equivalent to the entry “(those) who (are) of the sea” of the Achaemenid subject rosters, this title, if authentic, is ever more likely to testify for this satrap’s accession to a wider command over Persia’s western coastal districts.32 The latter command, normally a prerogative of the governors of Sardis, would have been transferred to Dascylium in the early 470s subject to the vicissitudes of Persian power in Ionia and the Aegean.

21Parting with assumptions that the Achaemenid designation “(those) who (are) of the sea” was the name of Dascylium’s province, the viable remaining alternative – namely, that these subjects were islanders – offers ample scope for speculation about an Achaemenid concept of a broad insular domain that included Cyprus.

Two Contrasting Achaemenid Vistas on the Western Sea

22Interpreted as islanders, “(those) who (are) of the sea” were associated with Cyprus based on the testimony of Darius’ earlier rosters, wherein this relative phrase occurs – as an autonomous entry – between Egypt and the Persians’ Anatolian holdings of Lydia and Ionia. This suggestion would tend to be derogated, as we saw, by a different placement of “(those) who (are) of the sea” in later rosters. Moved to a position between Anatolian and European holdings – a position that more readily evokes an Aegean location – this periphrastic designation would also serve, as it is currently thought, in all these later instances as a qualifier of the preceding ethnic, Yaunā, and allude to Yaunā islanders of the Aegean. On the whole, however, there is no incontrovertible evidence to suggest that the significance of this Achaemenid expression varied depending on its different position in different lists.

  • 33 Appendix: b.
  • 34 E.g., Appendix: e and f.
  • 35 Kent 1953, p. 178, s.v.uška- / “dry””; for the uncertain meaning of the designation tyaiy uškahyā(...)

23This is better illustrated with reference to the more extensively developed of the three formulations, in which “(those) who (are) of the sea” supposedly represent island Greeks: the formulation of Darius’ Persepolitan roster.33 Here, “(those) who (are) of the sea” are listed second in a chain of three typologically similar designations connected by utā, all following the ethnic Yaunā. The impression that they represent a Yaunā group hinges ultimately on a reading of the first one of the three periphrastic designations, tyaiy uškahyā (“[those] who (are) of the dry land/continent/mainland”), as forming one entry with the immediately preceding ethnic, with which it is in grammatical agreement. Such a reading is seemingly warranted by examples of name formulae, combining an ethnic and a qualifier, that are attested in the cases of different types of Scythians and, in one instance, of a Yaunā group in labels of personifications of subjects in the Achaemenid reliefs.34 Unlike the latter examples, however, in which the combination of ethnic and qualifier is safely attested by the occurrence of both of these elements in a single label, the connection of the ethnic Yaunā with the following tyaiy uškahyā in the Persepolitan text cannot be taken for granted. In the Persepolitan sequence, there are no dividers among the entries, and certainty that Yaunā and tyaiy uškahyā formed a single name is undermined by a parallel lack of indications as to the total number of entries included in this roster. Furthermore, since uškahyā is an hapax,35 its suitability as a qualifier of Yaunā subjects is impossible to verify. All things considered, Yaunā and tyaiy uškahyā could represent two separate entries.

  • 36 See, e.g., Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 57; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001a, p. 331.

24Uncertainty about the significance of “(those) who (are) of the sea” as a qualifier of Yaunā subjects increases when we turn to the third periphrastic designation of the Persepolitan sequence, which references an unspecified number of holdings (dahyāva) “beyond the sea”. Being strung together with the preceding Yaunā tyaiy uškahyā by means of the conjunction “and”, and lacking a separate ethnic identifier, this entry ought to represent, theoretically, yet another subgroup of Yaunā subjects. The plural dahyāva, however, cannot be easily explained as applying to any single ethnic group. Despite its express conjunction, therefore, with the, supposedly Yaunā, preceding entries, the phrase “dahyāva which (are) beyond the sea” is almost unanimously taken today as a collective designation of Darius’ Scythian, Thracian, and Greek possessions in Europe.36 On such evidence, the general function of the conjunction utā as marking a chain of ethnically related entries may also be described as largely unproven.

25In short, rather than alluding to different types of Ionians (or Greeks), all three conjoined periphrastic designations following the ethnic Yaunā in Darius’ Persepolitan roster could be meant to stand as autonomous entries. This would be entirely possible considering the well attested instance of “(those) who (are) of the sea” as a distinct, ethnically non-specific designation of subjects in Darius’ early lists.

26If “(those) who (are) of the sea” constituted an autonomous entry in all the rosters, this may be taken to imply that they always retained the same intrinsic meaning in these documents. In such a case, their ostensibly contrasting associations with the southeastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, respectively, in different contexts could allude instead to a larger, ethnically mixed insular domain that encompassed both of these regions. Such a domain, of course, would span the entire stretch of the western Asiatic littoral – and include Cyprus. The constant meaning of “(those) who (are) of the sea” as a collective name for Persia’s Mediterranean island subjects, which is proposed here, is arguably not incongruous with the imperialist spirit that guided the composition of the Achaemenid lists.

  • 37 Cf. Vogelsang 1992, p. 101.
  • 38 Herodotus, IV 83-143; dated conjecturally in the later 510s: Gardiner-Garden 1987, p. 326-330.

27The two groups of texts, in which this entry appears to be associated, respectively, with the southeastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, represent different stages of Persian expansion in the west. Dating from the reign of Darius, but setting the utmost western boundaries of the Persian realm along the line of Asia Minor and Egypt, the earlier rosters – in which “(those) who (are) of the sea” are mentioned between Egypt and Lydia (and evoke a southeastern Mediterranean environment) – represent an imperial border as largely defined following the successful Egyptian expedition of Darius’ predecessor, Cambyses, in 525 BC.37 References, on the other hand, to holdings “beyond the sea” (i.e., in Europe) in all the rosters, in which “(those) who (are) of the sea” are listed after the Yaunā (and are held to evoke associations with the Aegean), point to the composition of these rosters after Darius’ Scythian expedition,38 when further territories were first annexed on the European continent.

  • 39 Herodotus, III 19.

28Registering the western extent of the empire after Cambyses’ Egyptian expedition and after Darius’ campaign in Europe, the two groups of rosters could reflect two different geographical perspectives on the Mediterranean sea – two different vistas that were shaped by the different expansionist agendas and military itineraries of Cambyses and Darius in the west. Cambyses’ chief preoccupation with Egypt, the course of his Egyptian campaign via the Levant, and his reliance on the occasion upon southeastern Mediterranean (Phoenician and Cypriot) naval auxiliaries39 might be especially conducive to a view of the Mediterranean island horizon from a specifically southeastern Mediterranean geographical perspective. Charting Persia’s western holdings a few years later, with his gaze fixed on his personal military achievements in southeastern Europe, Darius would have been drawn, on the other hand, perhaps inevitably, to place the same insular domain between Anatolian and European holdings – as encountered on his march through Asia Minor, and across the Straits, to Europe.

Near Eastern Imperialist Perspectives on Cyprus

29References to Cyprus, and to Persia’s overseas holdings in general, by means of generic topographical designations – as subjects “of” and “beyond the sea” – would seem to be out of tune with the rosters’ otherwise canonical references to named subject entities. On the one hand, however, and, not least, in keeping with the requirements of the laconic idiom of the rosters, such generic designations might be intended to provide epigrammatic descriptions of the geographically, ethnically, and politically fragmented territories beyond the shores of Asia over which the Persian kings ruled. The particular topographical scope of these designations’ generic tenor could also be making, simultaneously, a statement about the ideological significance of these distant western holdings in the imperialist worldview of the Achaemenid kings.

30In the perpetual antagonism among Near Eastern conquerors, claims of conquest of distant maritime domains in the west held a special place. Sargon II of Assyria, the first Mesopotamian monarch to expand his dominion beyond the Asiatic shores, proclaimed with pride in a number of texts (including that engraved on a stele that was reportedly found on the island of Cyprus) that he received the submission of seven kings of Iā’ (literally, “the Island”, here used as a name for Cyprus), whose “locations are distant”, simultaneously stressing the location of Cyprus “in the midst of the sea of the setting sun (that is, the Mediterranean)”:

  • 40 Composite text, cited by Muhly 2009, p. 24, after Na’aman 2005, p. 118-119.

31“… And seven kings of the land of Iā’ [“the island” = Cyprus], a district of the land of Yadnana, who are situated a journey of seven days away in the middle of the sea of the setting sun and their locations are distant, so that since far-off days and until now, none among the kings, my ancestors, of Assyria and Babylonia, had heard the name of their land – from far-off in the middle of the sea they heard the deeds which I had performed in the lands of Chaldea and Hatti, their hearts palpitated and fright fell upon them. They brought to me in Babylonia gold, silver, furniture (made) of ebony and boxwood, the manufacture of their land, and kissed my feet …”.40

  • 41 As argued by Albenda 1983; but see also Linder 1986.
  • 42 After Brinkman 1989, p. 55.

32The Mediterranean landscape targeted by Sargon’s westward expansion acquired a particular place in the iconography of his palace reliefs at Khorsabad,41 as well as in narratives of his campaigns – in the latter cases, in the form, among others, of references to his victorious confrontations with the Yamaneans (the Assyrian equivalent of Old Persian Yaunā), whom he “caught … in the midst of the sea like fish” or “… in the midst of the sea of the setting sun like fish”.42

  • 43 Herodotus, I 141.
  • 44 Herodotus, III 34, 4: οἱ δὲ ἀµείβοντο ὡς εἴη ἀµείνων τοῦ πατρός· τά τε γὰρ ἐκείνου πάντα ἔχειν αὐτὸ (...)
  • 45 Cf. Zournatzi 2003.

33There is no first-hand testimony about the importance that the first two Persian monarchs, Cyrus and Cambyses, ascribed to their western maritime possessions. However, an allegorical story told by Herodotus43 could allude to a comparison of Cyrus’ conquests with earlier Assyrian achievements. In the anecdote, the Ionians and Aeolians of Asia Minor, whom Cyrus eventually conquered, are likened to fish which Cyrus himself “drew out of the sea” – just like the Yamaneans/Ionians captured by his Assyrian predecessor, Sargon. Rendered though it may be in Herodotus’ Greek idiom, the opinion of certain Persians that Cambyses “proved himself superior to his father, Cyrus, because he maintained all of Cyrus’ possessions and also added to them Egypt and the sea”44 could also mirror the prestige that conquests beyond the shores of Asia conferred upon monarchs based in the interior of the Asiatic continent.45

  • 46 Ibid.
  • 47 Herodotus, IV 87.

34Darius I could claim the distinction of the first Near Eastern monarch, who extended his dominion on European territory. He also apparently missed no opportunity46 to advertise this extraordinary feat of conquest – whether by adding, as we saw, references to his new European subjects in his subject lists and monumental reliefs, or by means of inscribed stelae – such as the ones he erected, according to Herodotus,47 on the European side of the Straits in order to commemorate his crossing of the Bosporus.

35Thought so far to offer telltale signs of a geographically diversified Persian perspective on an extended Yaunā subject entity, the seemingly vague, conjoined references to holdings “of” and “beyond” the sea, which were introduced by Darius in his rosters in sequel to the Yaunā after his Scythian campaign, could, in fact, articulate an analogous grandiose claim. In comparison to Cyrus, who conquered the Yaunā, and Cambyses, who, in addition to conquering Egypt, had gained control of the sea, these vague references could convey an image of Darius as a monarch, who held sway not only over the Yaunā and “(those) who (are) of the sea” but also, as stressed by the conjunction “and”, over “(those) who (are) beyond the sea”.

36In such grandiose statements of imperial expansion beyond the shores of Asia, there would be no room for separate mentions of Cyprus by name. Nonetheless, in the imperialist vocabulary of the Achaemenid monarchs, as in that of earlier Assyrian kings, the expression “(those) who (are) of the sea” would have preeminently alluded to the Cypriot domain.

Appendix: “Those of the Sea” In the Achaemenid Rosters of Subjects

Old Persian passages a-f, after Kent 1953: DB = D(arius)B(isitun); DSe = D(arius) S(usa) “e”; DPe = D(arius)P(ersepolis) “e”; XPh = X(erxes) P(ersepolis) “h”; A?P = A(rtaxerxes II[?])P(ersepolis)
The incomplete Old Persian (and Elamite) version of text c (DSe) is reconstructed from the Akkadian one. For an alternative reconstruction of lines 27-30 (equally without certainty, among others, as to entry divisions), see Steve 1974, p. 13: [… Sparda : Yaunā : tyaiy : drayahyā : Sakā : tyaiy : paradraya : Skudra :] Yaunā : [tyaiy paradraya…]

a. DB, col. I, lines 14-17:
Pārsa : Ūvja : [B]ābiruš : Aθurā: Arabāya : Mudrāya : tyaiy drayahyā : Sparda : Yauna : [Māda] : Armina : Katpatuka : Parθava : Zraka : Haraiva : Uvārazmīy : Bāxtriš : [Sug]uda : Gadāra : Saka : Θataguš : H[ar]auvatiš : Maka : fraharavam : dahyāva : XXIII
Persia, Elam, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, (those) who (are) of the sea, Sardis/Lydia, Ionia, [Media], Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, Scythia, Sattagydia, Arachosia, Maka: in all 23 dahyāva

b. DPe, lines 12-15:
… Sparda : Yaunā : tyaiy uškahyā : utā : tyaiy : drayahyā : utā : dahyāva : tyā : para : draya : …
… Lydia, Ionians, (those) who (are) of the mainland(?) and (those) who (are) of the sea and dahyāva which (are) beyond the sea …

c. DSe, lines 27-29:
[… Sparda : Yaunā : tyaiy : drayahyā : utā : tyaiy : paradraya : …]
[… Lydia, Ionians, (those) who (are) of the sea and (those) who (are) beyond the sea …]

d. XPh, lines 23-25:
… Sparda : Mudrāya : Yaunā : tya : drayahiyā : dārayatiy : utā : tyaiy : paradraya : dārayatiy : …
… Lydia, Egypt, Ionians, (those) who dwell in the sea and (those) who dwell beyond the sea …

e. A?P, label no. 24:
i - ya - ma : sa - ka - a : pa - ra - da - ra - i - ya :
This (is a) Scythian beyond the sea

f. A?P, label no. 26:
i - ya - ma : ya - u - na : ta - ka - ba - ra - a :
This (is a) petasos(?)-wearing Ionian

Notes

1 See for example Vogelsang 1992, p. 96-119; Lecoq 1997, p. 130-153.

2 See Schmidt 1953, pl. 27-49, and 1970, fig. 39-52; Walser 1966 and 1980; Roaf 1974.

3 Xenophon, Cyropaedia, VII 4, 1-2 and VIII 6, 21; cf. Herodotus, III 19, 3 and III 91, 1.

4 Cf. Henkelman, Stolper 2009, p. 302-303, for the parallel absence of any secure attestations of “Cyprus”/“Cypriot” in Achaemenid administrative texts.

5 Appendix: a.

6 Homer, Iliad XIII 685.

7 Brinkman 1989; cf., e.g., Rollinger, Henkelman 2009. Against a necessary or exclusive connection with greeks, see in particular Klinkott 2001 (with a Thracian-Phrygian slant) and Casabonne 2004 (Anatolian coastal peoples and Cypriots).

8 Cf. the similar order of Mediterranean holdings in a further early, related list of Darius from Susa (DSaa): Vallat 1986.

9 More recently, Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 53-57; Cook 1983, p. 244, n. 7; Lecoq 1997, p. 141; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001b, p. 11.

10 Appendix: b-d.

11 Cf. Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 57.

12 E.g. Kent 1943, p. 305, n. 15; Calmeyer 1983, p. 163, fig. 4; Brinkman 1989, p. 62, n. 46; Tuplin 1996, p. 42, n. 88; cf. Tuplin 2010, p. 296; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001a, p. 329-331, and 2001b, followed by Kuhrt 2002, p. 21; for earlier views allowing that these could include the “Ionians” of Cyprus and even the southern coast of Asia Minor, see conveniently references cited in Schmitt 1972, p. 523-524, and Casabonne 2004.

13 E.g. Toynbee 1954, p. 580-689, Annex; Olmstead 1948, p. 239-244.

14 For the lesser appeal of, e.g., Wallinga’s interpretation (Wallinga 1991) of the same designation as denoting an administrative unit encompassing Cilicia, Cyprus and Phoenicia, see, e.g., Tuplin 1996, p. 42, n. 88.

15 Doenges 1981, p. 82-83, Letter 16.5: ὄντι σατράπῃ βασιλέως ἐπὶ τοῖς πρὸς θαλάσσῃ ἔθνεσιν.

16 Schmitt 1972 with references to earlier suggestions in the same sense on page 524; followed more recently, among others, by Weiskopf 1994; Debord 1999, p. 70; Bakır 2003; Abe 2012, p. 2 and p. 13, n. 4.

17 See, e.g., Lecoq 1997, p. 133 and p. 141; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001a, p. 331, and 2001b, p. 11 (allowing that these “Aegean” Yaunā could represent a conglomerate of different ethnic groups, including Carians); cf. Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 53-57.

18 E.g., Stylianou 1989, p. 414-415; Debord 1999, p. 70; Casabonne 2004, p. 8.

19 Discussed, among other possibilities, by, e.g., Tuplin 1996, p. 42-43.

20 Tuplin 1996, p. 40.

21 Xenophon, Hellenica V 1, 31: “King Artaxerxes considers it just that the cities in Asia should belong to him, and [that to him should belong, likewise], among the islands, Clazomenae and Cyprus …”.

22 Burn 1962, p. 111.

23 Cameron 1973, p. 47 and p. 56; cf. Lecoq 1990.

24 E.g. Weiskopf 1994; Debord 1999, p. 70; Bakır 2003; Abe 2012, p. 2.

25 Herodotus, V 30, 5: Ὁ δὲ Ἀρταφρένης … τῶν ... ἐπιθαλασσίων τῶν ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ ἄρχει πάντων, ἔχων στρατιήν τε πολλὴν καὶ πολλὰς νέας.

26 Thucydides, I 94.

27 Thucydides, I 128, 7 - 129, 1.

28 Herodotus, VIII 126, 1 and IX 41, 1; Briant 1996, p. 350 and p. 577.

29 For the upgrading of Dascylium at the time, cf. Kaptan 2001, p. 61-62.

30 Herodotus, IX 104: οὕτω δὴ τὸ δεύτερον Ἰωνίη ἀπὸ Περσέων ἀπέστη.

31 Herodotus, V 100-102.

32 And not (as Doenges 1981, p. 329-330, seems to imply) merely over the Hellespontine district in which Pausanias was active at the time of Artabazus’ appointment.

33 Appendix: b.

34 E.g., Appendix: e and f.

35 Kent 1953, p. 178, s.v.uška- / “dry””; for the uncertain meaning of the designation tyaiy uškahyā, see Schmitt 1972, p. 523, n. 8.

36 See, e.g., Herrenschmidt 1976, p. 57; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001a, p. 331.

37 Cf. Vogelsang 1992, p. 101.

38 Herodotus, IV 83-143; dated conjecturally in the later 510s: Gardiner-Garden 1987, p. 326-330.

39 Herodotus, III 19.

40 Composite text, cited by Muhly 2009, p. 24, after Na’aman 2005, p. 118-119.

41 As argued by Albenda 1983; but see also Linder 1986.

42 After Brinkman 1989, p. 55.

43 Herodotus, I 141.

44 Herodotus, III 34, 4: οἱ δὲ ἀµείβοντο ὡς εἴη ἀµείνων τοῦ πατρός· τά τε γὰρ ἐκείνου πάντα ἔχειν αὐτὸν καὶ προσεκτῆσθαι Αἴγυπτόν τε καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν.

45 Cf. Zournatzi 2003.

46 Ibid.

47 Herodotus, IV 87.

Auteur

The author wishes to express her warmest thanks to the organizers for the invitation to participate in this conference celebrating four decades of successful engagement of the French Archaeological Mission at Amathous – an engagement, whose results have significantly increased our understanding of the ancient Cypriot historical and cultural landscape. Thanks are equally due to Ms. Kalliope Kritikakou of the National Hellenic Research Foundation for helpful discussions during the preparation of this paper.

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