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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Media


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Called by the Hebrews Genesis 10:2 ; extended itself on the west and south of the Caspian Sea, from Armenia and Assyria on the north and west, to Farsistan or Persia proper on the south; and included the districts now called Shirvan, Adserbijan, Ghilan, Masanderan, and Irak Adjemi. It covered a territory larger than that of Spain, lying between 32 degrees and 40 degrees of north latitude, and was one of the most fertile and earliest cultivated among the kingdoms of Asia. It had two grand divisions, of which the northwestern was called Atropatene, or Lesser Media, and the southern Greater Media. The former corresponds to the modern Abserbijan, now, as formerly, a province of the Persian empire, on the west of the Caspian, surrounded by high mountains of the Tauritic range, except towards the east, where the river Kur, or Byrus, discharges its waters into the Caspian. The Greater Media corresponds principally to the modern Irak Adjemi, or Persian Irak. Ecbatana was the ancient capital.

Media is one of the most ancient independent kingdoms of which history makes mention. After several centuries of subjugation under Assyria, the Medes rebelled under Arbaces in the time of Sardanapalus, and again in the time of Sennacherib, about 700 B. C.. They became powerful, cultivated, and wealthy, Isaiah 13:17,18 21:2-3 , and continued an independent kingdom until under Cyrus, Media became united with Persia. In this way arose the Medro-Persian kingdom; and the "laws of the Medes and Persians" are always mentioned by the sacred writers together, Esther 1:19 , etc.; Daniel 6:8,12 , etc. So also the "Chronicles" of the Medes and Persians are mentioned together, Esther 10:2 . Indeed, from this time inward, the manners, customs, religion, and civilization of the Medes and Persians seem ever to have become more and more amalgamated. And in general it would seem, as we may gather from the ancient Zend writings, that the Medes, Persians, and Bactraians were originally the same people, having in common one language, the Zend, and one religion, the worship of Ormuzd, the highest being, under the symbol of fire. They also worshipped the stars, particularly the planets; and still more, the sun and moon. The priests of this religion, the Magi, were a Median race, to whom were intrusted the cultivation of the sciences, and the performance of the sacred rites. Among these, and as is supposed before the time of Cyrus, appeared Zerdusht, or Zoroaster, as a reformer, or rather as the restorer of the ancient but degenerated religion of light, whose disciples have maintained themselves even to the present day in Persia and India, under the name of Guebres.

Media is first mentioned in the Bible as the part of Assyria to which the ten tribes were transported: at first, those beyond the Jordan, by Tiglath-pileser, 1 Chronicles 5:26 ; and afterwards, about 721 B. C., the remainder of Israel, by Shalmaneser, 2 Kings 17:6 . The subsequent history of Media is involved in that of Persia. Both countries were subdued by Alexander of Macedon, 330 B. C.; and in the next century became tributary to the Parthians on their east, in connection with whom they are mentioned in Acts 2:9 . See PERSIA .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Media'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/m/media.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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