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Document Details :
Title: The Median 'Empire', the End of Urartu and Cyrus the Great's Campaign in 547 BC
Subtitle: (Nabonidus Chronicle II 16)
Author(s): ROLLINGER, Robert
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 7 Date: 2008
The focus of this paper is, first, the reading of the toponym in Nabonidus Chronicle II 16 of which only the first character is preserved, and, second, an historical reassessment according to which the territory loosely controlled by a Median ‘confederation’ cannot be called an ‘empire’. Contrary to the generally held view the first character cannot be read as ‘LU’ which would require us to restore the text as lu-[ud-di], i.e. Lydia. Collation shows beyond doubt the character represents ‘Ú’ and the only plausible restoration is ú-[ra-ṭu], i.e. Urartu. Urartu was therefore not destroyed by the Medes at the end of the 7th century BC but continued to exist as an independent political entity until the mid-6th century BC. Thus Nabonidus Chronicle II 16 shows that it was the conquest by Cyrus the Great which brought about the end of Urartu.