MEDE. The ancient territory of Medea is now included in modern Persia. The rise of the Median nation is wrapped in profound obscurity. They first appear about mi.c. 850. The word 3ladai occurs in Genesis x. 2, along with Corner, Javan, Magog, Meshech, and 'rubel. Berosus mentions the Medes as having conquered Babylon prior to B.C. 2000, and held it for 224 years. History first notices the Medes in the latter half of the 9th century B.C. Shalmaneser u. led an expedition into Medea. Cyaxares, B.C. 632, led an invading host of Medea against Nineveh, but WAS met and defeated by Assur-Bani-pal at Adiabene, and the father of Cyaxares was among the slain. Cyaxares again led an army, and this time was victorious, but was prevented following up his victory by a Scythian inroad on his own dominions.
The Mede were a dominant race dwelling in part of modern Persia, and were classed as Arii. The Media had many colonies. Herodotus mentions the Sigynnm, a colony settled beyond the Danube. Medians are also said by Sallust to have accompanied the expedition of Hercules when he crossed over from Spahr into Africa. The Sauromatai were Median colonists beyond the Tanais or Don, and the Matienoi, Matienes, Kharimatai, and possibly the Mares, were Caucasian colonists from Medea, presdrving in their names the national appellation of !dada or Madia.
The Mede occupied the western part of the table-land of Iran and the bordering mountains of Kurdistan, from the frontier of Persia to the mountains of Armenia and the range of Elburz, which skirts the southern shores of the Caspian. The monarchy, as conquered by Cyrus and recovered by Darius, extended over the eastern part of the table-land as far as the Suliman mountains, which divide it from the Indus valley, and also the strip of coast between Mount Elburz and the Caspian and the other northern slopes which descend to the valley of the Oxus. These
may be called the natural limits of the Medo Persian empire, and they correspond to the extent of modern Persia, except that the eastern part of the table-laud har eeu lost to Persia by the incursions of the 7urkomans, mind the Afghans, and the Baluch. But beyond Iran, the great Achmmid kings extended their power westward over the former doinidons of Assyria, Babylon, and Syria, over Egypt and the region of Cyrene, and to the N.W. over Asia Minor and its adjacent islands, and beyond the Hellespont over Thrace. This wide empire was the Persia known to the Greeks from the reign of Darius to the conquest sit Alexander, by whom the monarchy was over in B.C. 330. This was the empire ruled over by Ahasuerus or Xerxes, noticed in Esther i. 1, an hundred and seven and twenty provinces. In Africa the furthest werrn boundary was at the bottom of the Great yrtis. Modern Persia has only eleven of thoso provinces. The nations of Iran proper, or the Aryan stock of languages, comprise those of Medeii and Persia. It includes the tend of the oul-'form inscriptions and the Zendavesta ; the younger Pehlavi of the Sassaniaus and the Pazend, the mother of the pre sent or modern Persian tongue. The Pushtu or language of the Afghans• belongs to the same branch. The Iranian languages of British India are represented by the Sanskrit and her daughters.
ii. 385; Elliot, p. 525 ; Bunsen; Cal. Rev.