CHALDEE PARAPHRASE. Sec TARGUM. CHALDIANS, Xai aiot , C hal daiui, Cha Idol, Lat. (' ha Ida ). A people inhabiting Armenia before the arrival of the Hail:. The early Assyrian kings called this country Nairi. It was then inhabited by petty nomadic tribes of uncertain ethnic relation. About B.C. 900 the I 'ha Id inns seem to have entered the country from the northeast, and Mantled a powerful kingdom. The name by which they designated themselves, and the land which they conquered, was that of their chief god, Chaldis. It is impossible, as yet, to deter mine to what family of nation, they belonged. But a connection may be suspected with such people as the Mushki, Kashki, Tabal, Kummueh, and Chatti. The Assyrians, from the time of Ashurnazirpal (S85-860), called them Urartu, which may have been the of the first tribe or district with which they became acquainted. It is possible that Amine, against whom Shal manezer 11. (S59-S23) fought in n.c. 857 and 845, was the first Chaldian king who succeeded in uniting under his sceptre the territory around Lake Van. In 833 Shalmanezer II. warred with a Sarduris, who is possibly to be identified with the Sarduris, son of Lutipris, of whom three in scriptions in Assyrian have been found. These agree most closely with the Assyrian inscriptions of the time in form and character. Ispuinis, who is called Ushpina by Shamshi Adad IV. (825 812), associated with himself his son, Mennas. It is possible that Ispuinis was the conqueror and erganizer of the territory of Biaina, and that he made Tuspas the capital. Mennas is known to us chiefly through his building enterprises. The canals he constructed reveal the great architec tural skill of the builders and their remarkable knowledge of hydraulics. They also show the great extent of territory and large resources of the King. In 802, 792, and 785 Adad Nirani (812.783) made campaigns against Mennas. About eighty inscriptions in the Chaldian lan guage of this King have been found. Argistis (785.760), a great conqueror, further extended the boundaries of Chaldia. lie left a long in scription on the ruck of Van. and many others. In vain Shalmanezer HI. (783-773) repeatedly invaded hi, territory. lie was defeated, and the power of the Chaldian king grew apace. Sar duris II. (760-7:30) appears to have a right to call himself 'king of kings,' as he was the actual liege lord over the whole territory known as Suri (hence Syria I, extending over Melitene, Comma gene, Arpad, Cilicia, and some adjoining dis tricts. Owing to the weakness of Assyria during the generation from Shalmanezer III. to Tig lathpileser 111., Chaldia became quite the most important power in Western Asia. In the strug gle for empire betwe. n Chaldia and Assyria, Tig lathpileser III. (715-728) was able in 735, by an expedition into the very heart of Chaldia, to establish the Assyrian power in Asia by greatly weakening the rival State, yet was obliged to re tire without being able to capture the impreg nable capital. The final struggle between Rusas 1. (730-712) and Sargon (722-705) ended in the loss of Chaldian supremacy. The Assyrian re port, are indeed wrong in stating that Ilusas committed suicide. Ile was even able to extend his power somewhat after the alleged defeat, north and cast. But in the west and the south Assyria had effectually checked the growth of Chaldia. And toward the end of Sargon's reign the Kinunerians fell upon Chaldia from the north. This invasion Argistis Ill., mentioned by
Sargon in 709, or his successor, Rusas II., seems to have still been in a position to repulse. Rut their territory unquestionably suffered much. Internally these reigns are marked by great ads lance in architecture, sculpture, and other arts. Rusas II. built an important residence city at Toprakkaleh, near Van, called Rusachina, the ruin, of \Villa have been excavated. Erimena, is known only as the father of 13usas 111., who ap pears to have been the father of Sarduris mentioned in an inscription of Assurlmnipal (668-626) as having finally submitted toAssyrian suzerainty. If this is more than a vain boast, it may mean that the Scythian, (Aslikuza). having established themselves in the territory of the Manuai, and become allies of the Assyrians about 630, forced their western neighbors to seek safety from repeated raids in acknowledging Assyrian authority. It is possible that with the fall of the Scythian power through the Medes, the Chal dians also were incorporated in the Median Em pire immediately before or soon after the de struction of Nineveh, in 607. The invasion of the Haik, the modern Armenians, in the Sixth Century B.C. drove the Chaldians into exile. While the Assyrian form of the name survived in the biblical Ararat (Oen. Yin. 4; Jeremiah li. 27; II. Kings xix. 37; Isaiah xxxvii. 3S) and in the Alarodioi, who, according to Herodotus, rerved in the army of Xerxes, the name of Chal dian has been preserved in the Chaldaioi of Soph ecles, Xenophon, Strabo, and Plutarch, in the Chaldoi and the theme Chaldia of Byzantine times, and in numerous place-names. Possibly there is even a remnant of the old Chaldians in Chalt, near Baiburt.
The Chaldians worshiped as their highest god Chaldis, by the side of him Ardinis, a sun-god, and Teisbas, a storm-god, as well as a host of minor deities conceived as the sons of Chaldis. Their civilization was no doubt borrowed from Assyria, but in some respects advanced beyond the point reached by the Assyrians themselves. They were probably the discoverers of the meth ods of iron-working, for which the region became famous among the Greeks. Unlike the Assyrians, they erected their buildings of massive walls of stone. The country was intersected with fine roads and canals, showing great technical knowl edge. Their sculptures are more lifelike than the Assyrian. They excelled in mosaics, filigree work. and ceramics.
The Chaldian language was written in cune iform characters, borrowed from the Assyrian, but simplified by giving only one value to each sign. avoiding, signs representing closed syllables, and using as a rule separate signs for the vowels. thus made to approach to a purely alphabetical system. The family to which it belongs has not been determined. It has some affinity with the Georgian, and may belong to the same group as Mitanian, Hittite, and some early Asian lan guages. Nearly two hundred native inscriptions have been discovered in all parts of modern Ar menia, presenting some dialectical differences. They were first studied by Schultz and worked out the general idea with the aid of Assyrian ideographs. Guyard first noticed the identity of the at the end of the inscription with those found on Assyrian docu merits. Sayre established the main outlines Of the grammar. D. 11. cleared up many difficulties. Belck and Lehmann discovered most of the is and Sandolgian has brought them together in a corpus.