In the west Persis borders on the mountains and plains of Elam or Susiana.
ELAM, the name given in the Bible to the province of Persia called Susiana by the classical geographers, from Susa or Shushan its capital.
Passing over the Messabatae, who inhabited a valley which may perhaps be the modern MahSabadan, as well as the level district of Yamutbal or Yatbur which separated Elam from Babylonia, and the smaller districts of Characene, Cabandene, Corbiana and Gabiene mentioned by classical authors, we come to the fourth principal tribe of Susiana, the Cissii (Aesch.
In the Sumerian texts of Babylonia it was called Numma, "the Highlands," of which Elamtu or Elamu, "Elam," was the Semitic translation.
The principal mountains of Elam were on the north, called Charbanus and Cambalidus by Pliny (vi.
De Morgan's excavations at Susa have thrown a flood of light on the early history of Elam and its relations to Babylon.
The earliest settlement there goes back to neolithic times, but it was already a fortified city when Elam was conquered by Sargon of Akkad (3800 B.C.) and Susa became the seat of a Babylonian viceroy.
From this time onward for many centuries it continued under Semitic suzerainty, its high-priests, also called "Chief Envoys of Elam, Sippara and Susa," bearing sometimes Semitic, sometimes native "Anzanite" names.
Before the rise of the First Dynasty of Babylon, however, Elam had recovered its independence, and in 2280 B.C. the Elamite king Kutur-Nakhkhunte made a raid in Babylonia and carried away from Erech the image of the goddess Nana.
In 750 B.C. Umbadara was king of Elam; Khumbanigas was his successor in 742 B.C. In 720 B.C. the latter prince met the Assyrians under Sargon at Dur-ili in Yamutbal, and though Sargon claims a victory the result was that Babylonia recovered its independence under Merodach-baladan and the Assyrian forces were driven north.
From this time forward it was against Assyria instead of Babylonia that Elam found itself compelled to exert its strength, and Elamite policy was directed towards fomenting revolt in Babylonia and assisting the Babylonians in their struggle with Assyria.
A few years later (704 B.C.) the combined forces of Elam and Babylonia were overthrown at Kis, and in the following year the Kassites were reduced to subjection.
Inda-bigas was himself overthrown and slain by a new pretender, Khumba-Khaldas III., who was opposed, however, by three other rivals, two of whom maintained themselves in the mountains until the Assyrian conquest of the country, when Tammaritu was first restored and then imprisoned, Elam being utterly devastated.
All this must have happened about 640 B.C. After the fall of the Assyrian empire Elam was occupied by the Persian Teispes, the forefather of Cyrus, who, accordingly, like his immediate successors, is called in the inscriptions "king of Anzan."
Anshan is a district of Elam or Susiana, the exact position of which is still subject to much discussion.
The name' is not Babylonian, and what evidence as to his origin there is points to his having come from Elam, to the east of Babylonia.
He may have belonged to the people known as the Kassites who at the beginning of the 18th century B.C. entered Babylonia from Elam, and obtained control of the Euphrates valley.
Since the Euphrates valley has no mountains, En-lil would appear to be a god whose worship was carried into Babylonia by a wave of migration from a mountainous country - in all probability from Elam to the east.
Eastward rose the mountains of Elam, southward were the sea-marshes and the Kalda or Chaldaeans and other Aramaic tribes, while on the west the civilization of Babylonia encroached beyond the banks of the Euphrates, upon the territory of the Semitic nomads (or Suti).
He overran a part of Elam and took the city of Az on the Persian Gulf.
Another Semitic ruler of Kis of the same period was Alusarsid (or Urumus) who " subdued Elam and Barahse."
Elam and the northern part of Mesopotamia were also subjugated, and rebellions were put down both in Kazalla and in Babylonia itself.
Gudea claims to have conqueredAnshan in Elam, and was succeeded byhis son Ur-Ningirsu.
They were overthrown and Babylonia was conquered by Kassites or Kossaeans from the mountains of Elam, with whom Samsu-iluna had already come into conflict in his 9th year.
Next followed the contest with Elam, in spite of the efforts of Assurbani-pal to ward it off.
Assyria, however, was aided by civil war in Elam itself; the country was wasted with fire and sword,, and its capital Susa or Shushan levelled with the ground.
It had been drained of both wealth and fighting population; the devastated provinces of Elam and Babylonia could yield nothing with which to supply the needs of the imperial exchequer, and it was difficult to find sufficient troops even to garrison the conquered populations.
It was in the sixth year of Nabonidus (549 B.C.) - or perhaps in 553 - that Cyrus, " king of Anshan" in Elam, revolted against his suzerain Astyages, king of " the Manda " or Scythians, at Ecbatana.
One remarkable chapter associates Abraham with kings of Elam and the east (Gen.
Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, bears what is doubtless a genuine Elamite name.
At this period, also, under its patesis, Ur-bau and Gudea, Lagash had extensive commercial communications with distant realms. According to his own records, Gudea brought cedars from the Amanus and Lebanon mountains in Syria, diorite or dolorite from eastern Arabia, copper and gold from central and southern Arabia and from Sinai, while his armies, presumably under his over-lord, Ur-Gur, were engaged in battles in Elam on the east.
Following the real or fancied light of these names, Prof. Jensen holds that the Esther-legend is based on a mythological account of the victory of the Babylonian deities over those of Elam, which in plain prose means the deliverance of ancient Babylonia from its Elamite oppressors, and that such an account was closely connected with the Babylonian New Year's festival, called Zagmuk, just as the Esther-legend is connected with the festival of Purim.
Khuzistan (meaning "the land of the Khuz") was a part of the Biblical Elam, the classical Susiana, and appears in the great inscription of Darius as Uvaja.
A war with Teumman of Elam had resulted in the overthrow of the Elamite army; the head of Teumman was sent to Nineveh, and another king, Umman-igas, appointed by the Assyrians.
But thanks in some measure to the intestine troubles in Elam, the Babylonian army and its allies were defeated and driven into Babylon, Sippara, Borsippa and Cutha.
Elam was alone left to be dealt with, and the last resources of the empire were therefore expended in preventing it from ever being again a thorn in the Assyrian side.
The Persian Empire of the Achaemenids.The balance, however, was disturbed in 553 B.C., when the Persian Cyrus, king of Anshan in Elam (Susiana), revolted against Conques~ his suzerain Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, and o, Cynis three years later defeated him at Pasargadae ~i and Shortly afterwards Astyages was taken prisoner, Cambyses, Ecbatana reduced, and the Median Empire replaced by thi Persian.
In the royal inscriptions, a translation into Susan (Elam- OffiCial itic) and Babylonian was always appended to theat~ Persian text.
Among thes~e tribes were the Carduchians in Zagros the Cossaeans and Uxians in the interior of Elam, the Cadusians and other non-Aryan tribes in northern Media, the Pisidians, Isaurians and Lycaonians in the Taurus, and the Mysians in Olympus.
In order to raise money he plundered a wealthy temple of Bel in Elam, but was killed by the inhabitants, 187 BC. (Diod.
East of the Tigris lay the kingdom of Elymais (Elam), to which belonged Susa and its modern representative Ahwaz, farther down on the Eulaeus.
In former times the second language has often been called Scythian, Turanian or Median; but we now know from numerous inscriptions of Susa that it is the language of Elam which was spoken in Susa, the capital of the Persian empire.