Eber-Nari


Eber-Nari

Eber-Nari (Akkadian, also Ebir-Nari) or Abar-Nahara (Aramaic) was the name of a region of Western Asia and a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, which roughly corresponded with the Levant. It means "Beyond the River" or "Across the River" in both Akkadian and Aramaic (that is, the Western bank of the Euphrates from a Mesopotamian and Persian viewpoint). It is also referred to as Transeuphratia (French "Transeuphratène") by modern scholars.

The toponym appears in an inscription of the 6th century BC Assyrian king Esarhaddon [Tuell 1991, p. 51.] . In 535 BC the Persian king Cyrus the Great organized most of the newly conquered territories of the former Neo-Babylonian Empire as a single satrapy, "Babylonia and Eber-Nari" [Dandamaev 1994.] . The satrap resided in Babylon and there were subgovernors in Eber-Nari, one of which was Tettenai, mentioned in both the Bible and Babylonian cuneiform documents [Olmstead 1944.] . This organization remainded untouched until at least 486 BC (Xerxes I's reign), but before c. 450 BC the "mega-satrapy" was spplited into two, Babylonia and Eber-Nari [Stolper 1989; Dandamaev 1994.] .

Herodotus' description of the Achaemenid tax district number V fits with Eber-Nari. It comprised Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine and Cyprus (which was also included in the satrapy [Dandamaev 1994] ). Herodotus did not included in the tax list the Arabian tribes, identified with the Kedarites [Dumbrell 1971; Tuell 1991.] , that did not pay taxes but contributed with a tax-like gift of frankincense.

Notes

References

*Dandamaev, M (1994): " [http://www.iranica.com/articles/v7/v7f6/v7f662.html Eber-Nari] ", in E. Yarshater (ed.) "Encyclopaedia Iranica" vol. 7.
*Drumbrell, WJ (1971): "The Tell el-Maskuta Bowls and the 'Kingdom' of Qedar in the Persian Period", "BASOR" 203, pp. 33-44.
*Olmstead, AT (1944): "Tettenai, Governor of Across the River", "JNES" 3 n. 1, p. 46.
*Stolper, MW (1989): "The Governor of Babylon and Across-the-River in 486 B.C.", "JNES" 48 n. 4, pp. 283-305.
*Tuell (1991): "The Southern and Eastern Borders of Abar-Nahara", "BASOR" n. 234, pp. 51-57.


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