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DEIOCES or DIA—OKU was the founder and the first shah as well as priest of the Median government. His name has been mentioned in different forms in various sources; including Herodotus
Herodotus
, who has written his name as DēIOKēS. Deioces' name is derived from the Iranian word Dahyu-ka-, meaning "the lands" (above, on and beneath the earth).

The exact date of the era of Deioces' rule is not clear and probably covered most of the first half of the seventh century BC. According to Herodotus, Deioces
Deioces
governed for 53 years.

Based on Herodotus's writings, Deioces
Deioces
was the first Median king to have gained independence from the Assyrians . He contemplated the project and plan of forming a single Median government; and in an anarchistic era in the Medes, he tried to enforce justice in his own village and earn a credibility and fame as a neutral judge . Thus, the territory of his activity was expanded and the peoples of other villages also resorted to him until he eventually announced that this place has been troublesome for him and he is not willing to continue working. Following this resignation, theft and chaos increased and the Medians gathered and chose him as the king this time.

Deioces' first action after coronation was to appoint guards for himself and also constructing a capital . The city Deioces
Deioces
chose for it was called Hagmatāna in Old Persian
Old Persian
and Ecbatana
Ecbatana
in Greek language , believed to be Hamadan
Hamadan
today. Ecbatana
Ecbatana
means "the gathering place" or "a city for everyone" and indicates the gathering of the Median clans, which were disunited previously. In the late eighth century BC, he had a fortified castle constructed on a hill in the city to run all military , government and treasury affairs within.

In 715 BC, Sargon II
Sargon II
, the Assyrian king, learned that Deioces
Deioces
had allied with Rusa I
Rusa I
, the Urartian king. He started watching Deioces and during his war with the Mannaeans
Mannaeans
, he entered the Medes
Medes
again so as to end its "anarchy", as he claimed. He finally captured Deioces and exiled him along with his family to Hama
Hama
(in Syria
Syria
today).

Some Iranologists consider Deioces
Deioces
the same as Hushang
Hushang
in Shahnameh due to the features Herodotus
Herodotus
states for the former and believe the title Paradat or Pishdadian equal to "the first legislator ". The religious tradition considers Hushang
Hushang
the first person to found kingship in Iran
Iran
. After Deioces, his son, Phraortes , succeeded him and ruled for 22 years.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Reign

* 3 Foundation of the Median kingdom

* 3.1 Ecbatana
Ecbatana

* 4 Deioces
Deioces
in narrative Iranian history * 5 Succession * 6 References * 7 External links

ETYMOLOGY

Deioces' name has been mentioned in various forms in different sources. Herodotus
Herodotus
, a Greek historian, has stated his name as DēIOKēS Δηιόκης. In Assyrian texts, he has been mentioned as Da-a-a-uk-ku; and in Elamite ones, as Da-a-(hi-)(ú-)uk-ka and Da-a-ya-u(k)-ka.

Deioces' name is derived from the Iranian word -Dahyu-ka, and is the junior noun of the word -dahyu, meaning "the land". The old Iranian name Deioces
Deioces
was not uncommon even in the next era. In the Achaemenid period, the Old Persian
Old Persian
form of Deioces
Deioces
has been mentioned in several Elamite inscriptions of the mud plates of Persepolis
Persepolis
. Those mentions apparently referred to different persons in separate government regions; and one of them was an individual assigned to the food rationing of the horses.

Friedrich von Spiegel believes that Dahayuku means "resident and headman of the village" and in fact the older form of the word "dehgan=farmer". Also following Spiegel's theory, Ferdinand Justi believes that Deioces' name is his title and a shortened form of dahyaupati in Old Persian
Old Persian
and danhupaiti in Avestan
Avestan
having acquired the suffix ka.

REIGN

The era of Deioces' reign is subject to controversy. Herodotus
Herodotus
says that Deioces
Deioces
ruled for 53 years and thus some assumptions have been made about the era of his reign; but it seems that Herodotus's report is based on a verbal narrative . Based on Herodotus's report, the researchers have concluded that Deioces
Deioces
was the founder of the Median empire and also the first Median king having gained independence from the Assyrians . But it should be noted that Herodotus's report is a mixture of Greek and Oriental legends and is not historically reliable. Also, it is assumed that the Median king whom Herodotus's reports are about is the same Deioces, Phraortes ' father; thus, it is not possible to clarify the exact date of the period of his rule; but it can be said that it probably covered most of the first half of the 7th century BC Igor Diakonoff says: "The state of the era of Deioces' reign in Herodotus's writings is so different from the picture of that time (745-675 BC) described by the Assyrian sources that some historians have rejected Herodotus's statement."

Encyclopædia Iranica mentions the foundation of the Medes
Medes
in 708 BC centered in Ecbatana
Ecbatana
and by Deioces.

In Assyrian sources, 674 BC, there are mentions of the actions of a person called Kashthrita, whom some researchers believe to be the same Phraortes. Therefor, the year 674 BC can be considered the end of Deioces' rule; and by reckoning his fifty-three-year old reign, the beginning of the era of Deioces' rule should be around 728 BC. Below is a list of the era of Deioces' reign based on the historians' views:

HISTORIAN Herodotus
Herodotus
George Cameron Edvin Grantovsky Igor Diakonoff

ERA 700-647 BC 728-675 BC 672-640 BC 700-678 BC

Therefore, we should search for confirmations of Cuneiform sources; and actually previously in 1869, George Smith realized that in the Neo-Assyrian texts in the period of the reign of Sargon II
Sargon II
(721 to 705 BC), a person called Deioces
Deioces
is mentioned several times. In the calendar of the eighth year of this king's reign (i.e. 715 BC) and in the so-called Khersabad demonstrative inscription , Deioces
Deioces
is named as the governor of one of the provinces of Mannae , having somewhat independently ruled a region bordering the kingdoms of Assyria
Assyria
and Mannae. The exact position of his domain is not clear, but has probably been situated in the Zarrin Rud
Zarrin Rud
Valley. Deioces, whose son was captured by the Urartians , supported the king of Urartu, Rusa I
Rusa I
, against the ruler of Mannae, Ullusunu, but eventually failed for Sargon intervened in the affair and finally captured Deioces
Deioces
and exiled him along with his family to Hama
Hama
(in Syria
Syria
today). Deioces
Deioces
was probably involved in a rebellion against the Mannaean king, Iranzu , the preceding year for one of the governors listed in the Assyrian calendar the same year is not named; and he was probably the very Deioces; though the validity of the matter can not be authenticated with certainty.

FOUNDATION OF THE MEDIAN KINGDOM

A photo of the ancient hill of Ecbatana
Ecbatana
, Hamadan
Hamadan

In the ancient times, the Medes
Medes
was bounded by the Aras river and the Alborz
Alborz
mountains to the north, Dasht-e Kavir
Dasht-e Kavir
to the east and the Zagros mountains to the west and south. What is learned from the Assyrian texts is that from the ninth to seventh century BC, the Medians had not been able to thrive enough to cause the convergance and alliance and organization of the scattered Median tribes and clans around a superior and single leader and lord who could be called the king of all the Median lands. During their several invasions on the Median settled territories, the Assyrian kings always encountered a large number of "local shahs " and not a single king ruling all of the Median lands. After the death of Sargon II
Sargon II
in 705 BC, the Assyrians diverted their attention to another spot far from Iran
Iran
. The opportunity, along with the everlasting fear of the Assyrian invasion, caused the formation of a union of Median princes and monarchs. The leaders of the movement were Deioces' followers.

Based on Herodotus
Herodotus
's writings, Deioces, son of Phraortes, was the one who contemplated the idea and plan of forming a single Median government; the Medians lived in separate autonomous villages or small cities. In an anarchistic era in the Medes, Deioces
Deioces
tried to enforce justice in his own village and gained a credit and reputation as a neutral judge; thus the territory of his activities expanded; and the peoples of other villages resorted to him until he eventually announced that the requests of the people are too much and the post is troublesome and difficult for him and he is not ready to continue the work. Following the resignation, theft and chaos increased; and the Medians gathered and chose him him as the king in order to settle the disagreements. Assyrian sources mention an independent Median kingdom in 673 BC. for the first time.

Probably imitating the Assyrians, Deioces
Deioces
held a ceremony for the first time; Herodotus
Herodotus
states that Deioces
Deioces
stayed in his palace; and his connection was by sending to and receiving messages from the outside; and no one was able to contact the king directly; and the petitions and messages were performed only by the messengers; the limitation was in order to make a sense of fear and respect among the people. Besides, it was forbidden to laugh or expectorate in the king's presence. Of his other actions was creating a group called "The King's Eyes and Ears", which consisted of people assigned to spy for the king himself; this organization and group existed until the Achaemenid era.

Diakonoff believes that Deioces
Deioces
could not have been the king of the whole Medes, and was not even the ruler of a large region, and was just one of the small and numerous Median lords; but the illustrious history of the successors shined on his face and gave him fame in history. In the beginning, Deioces
Deioces
made a wise move and placed his weak and small and new government under the support of Mannae , which was so powerful then, but later struggled to become completely independent, and thus made an alliance with Urartu
Urartu
. The Assyrian sources also call Deioces
Deioces
"a ruler from Mannae" in the events of 715 BC.

ECBATANA

Main article: Ecbatana
Ecbatana
The modern view inside the Ecbatana Palace

After coronation , Deioces' first action was to appoint guards for himself and also construct a capital . The city which Deioces
Deioces
chose for it was called Hagmatāna in Old Persian
Old Persian
and Ecbatana
Ecbatana
in Greek language , considered to be Hamadan
Hamadan
today. Ecbatana
Ecbatana
means "the gathering place" or "a city for everyone" and indicates the gathering of Median clans, which had been disunited before. In the late eighth century BC, he had a fortified castle constructed on a hill in the city to run all the military , government and treasury affairs within. Herodotus
Herodotus
describes that the royal complex was made of seven concentric walls, with each internal one higher than the external one. Each of the seven walls were decorated with a specific color: the first (external) wall was white, second wall black, third one high red, fourth blue, fifth low red, sixth wall copper , and the seventh and innermost wall gold . Such a coloring was the symbol of the seven planets in Babylon
Babylon
, but was an imitation of Babylon
Babylon
in Ecbatana. The king's palace was situated within the last wall along with its treasures. However, this narrative of Herodotus's is not corroborated by what is written in Assyrian sources, which imply the existence of various masters in the Medes
Medes
until years after Deioces, and the foundation of an independent royal body and constructing several large royal complexes was not something that the Assyrians could easily remain silent against; thus these words from Herodotus seem exaggerative, or depict an adapted and modified picture of the periods after Deioces' reign. Nevertheles, Polybius
Polybius
, a famous Greek historian , has mentioned this palace in his book and description of Hamadan, stating the long age of this palace.

According to some historians and archaeologists , the hill that is currently situated in the city and known as the Ecbatana
Ecbatana
Hill, was the true place of the ancient city of Ecbatana.

Some historians, including Henry Rawlinson , believe that the Ecbatana
Ecbatana
mentioned in Herodotus's writings is not the current Hamadan; and the olden Median capital should be searched in Takht-e Soleymān and in the vicinity of Lake Urmia
Lake Urmia
to the south east. But some researchers, like Jacques de Morgan
Jacques de Morgan
, believe that Herodotus's Ecbatana
Ecbatana
is the same Hamadan
Hamadan
today; and the places of the seven castles of Fort Ecbatana
Ecbatana
could be identified by the projections on the land and hills.

DEIOCES IN NARRATIVE IRANIAN HISTORY

Some Iranologists believe Deioces
Deioces
to be the Hushang
Hushang
in Shahnameh
Shahnameh
due to the features Herodotus
Herodotus
states for him and consider the title "Paradat" or "Pishdadian " equal to "the first legislator ". The religious tradition considers Hushang
Hushang
the first person to establish kingship in Iran
Iran
.

Among Herodotus's reports about Deioces
Deioces
and those of Avesta
Avesta
and Middle Persian
Middle Persian
, Arabic
Arabic
and New Persian texts about Hushang, there are some common features about the identities of Hushang
Hushang
and Deioces; the most important of them can be summarized in three points:

* According to Herodotus, Deioces
Deioces
was the headman of the village during the time; and the name or title Deioces
Deioces
meaning farmer must have been given to him because of this; and Hushang, according to Arabic
Arabic
and Persian texts, made innovations in agriculture; and thus he probably acquired the title farmer. * Deioces
Deioces
and Hushang
Hushang
were the first legislator and the first king; and thus, Hushang
Hushang
was given the title Paradat or Pishdad or Bishdad and Fishdad (Arabic), which was probably an imitation of the name and title of the Assyrian king Sargon of Akkad
Sargon of Akkad
, meaning "the lawful king". * Deioces
Deioces
and Hushang
Hushang
developed housing and urban lifestyle and thus Hushang
Hushang
acquired the name or title Heoshingeh or Hushang
Hushang
or Ushhanj (Arabic).

SUCCESSION

After Deioces, his son, Phraortes , succeeded him and ruled for 22 years; though some researchers believe that he ruled for fifty-three years (678-625 BC). During his reign, he conquered Persia and went to war with other peoples of the Iranian Plateau
Iranian Plateau
. He invaded Assyria
Assyria
; during these attacks, the Medians were defeated and Phraortes was killed in the war.

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C D Schmitt. . "DEIOCES". In Encyclopædia Iranica. * ^ A B C D Schmitt. "DEIOCES". In Encyclopædia Iranica. * ^ Khaleghi. " Hushang
Hushang
and Deioces". Iranshenasi . * ^ A B C D E Diakonoff. The Median History. * ^ " Deioces
Deioces
founding the Median empire". * ^ Zarrinkoob. History of the Iranians. * ^ Dandamayev and Medvedskaya. "MEDIA". In Encyclopædia Iranica. * ^ A B Cameron. Persia in the Dawn of History. * ^ Bryan. History of the Achaemenid Empire. * ^ A B Frye. The Heritage of Persia. * ^ A B "Encyclopædia Britannica Online". * ^ A B C Huart. Iran
Iran
and the Iranian Civilization. * ^ Khaleghi Motlag. Iranshenasi. * ^ Hinz. Darius and the Persians. * ^ A B C Pirnia. History of Ancient Iran. * ^ Brown. "ECBATANA". In Encyclopædia Iranica. * ^ A B Zarrinkub. History of the Iranian People. * ^ Mohajerinezhad. The Median History. * ^ Amouzgar. The Real and Narrative History of Iran. * ^ Khaleghi Motlag. Hushang
Hushang
and Deioces. * ^ Medvedskaya. "PHRAORTES". In Encyclopædia Iranica.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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