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The History of Antiquity
Vol. V.

written by "Abbott, Evelyn"
...er Polyhistor; according to this writer the seven Medes reign till the year 2224 B.C. Whether Berosus called the first Median king who reigned in Babylon[Pg 274] Zoroaster, or Polyhistor has ascribed that position to him as the most famous name in Iran, or the only name known in antiquity, must be left undecided, no less than the actual fact of the Median supremacy. The Medo-Persian epos told us that Ninus of Asshur, after subjugating Babylonia and Armenia, attacked the Medes. Pharnus, their king, met him with a mighty army, but was nevertheless beaten. He was crucified with his wife and seven children by Ninus; one of his retinue was made viceroy of Media; and for many years the Medes were subject to the successors of Ninus on the throne of Assyria (II. 3 ff). Herodotus' account is as follows: "When the Assyrians had reigned over upper Asia for 520 years, the Medes were the first to revolt, and as they fought bravely for their freedom against the Assyrians, they succeeded in escaping slavery and liberating themselves. Afterwards the rest of the nations did what the Medes had done. And as all the nations of the mainland lived according to laws of their own, they again fell under a tyranny in the following manner:—Among the Medes was a man of ability, called Deioces, the son of Phraortes. He desired the tyranny, and did as follows: The Medes dwelt in villages, and Deioces, who was previously a man of importance, set himself more and more zealously to the task of doing justice, since lawlessness reigned throughout the whole of Media. When the Medes of his village discovered these qualities in him, they chose him for their judge. And as his heart was already set on the empire, he acted justly and rightly, and thus got no small credit among his fellow-citizens, so that the men from other villages, when they found that Deioces alone judged rightly, gladly resorted to him, since hitherto they had had to endure unjust sentences...

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