From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

Media. From Μadai , Japheth's son ( Genesis 10:2). They called themselves Mada in the arrow headed inscriptions, Semitic Μadai Greek Μedoi . S.W. and S. of the Caspian, N.W. and N. of Persia, W. of Parthia and the salt desert of Iram, E. of Armenia and Assyria. Its length was 550 miles; its width was 300. Coming to Europe in small parties mingled with the Scythians they were the Sarmatians (Sauro-Matae) of the steppe country between the Euxine and Caspian. Berosus (in Eusebius Chron. i. 4) states that about 2450 B.C. eight Median kings reigned over Babylon for 224 years. Aryans (the name applied to Medes by their neighbors in Herodotus' time, vii. 62) existed very early with Cushites and Shemites in the Mesopotamian population. These Aryans probably became masters for a time, then were driven to the mountains from whence they spread E., N., and W. The early Vedic settlers in western Hindostan were Aryans. The Maeotae of the sea of Azov and the Medi of Thrace (see Herodotus, v. 9) attest their progress.

Rawlinson (Herodotus, i. 327; Es. iii. 3) thinks that the Medes of Berosus' statement were really Scyths; but Berosus' statements are generally confirmed by recent deciphering of the Babylonian monuments. A very early Aryan migration probably preceded the one in progress about 880 B.C. Then the Medes appear in the cuneiform inscriptions as Assyria's enemies, inhabiting part of Media. They then consisted of petty chieftains and tribes without central government. Assyria ravaged their lands and exacted tribute. The range of Zagros inhabited by hardy mountaineers intervened between them and Assyria. So, in spite of Sargon's attempt by military colonies to occupy Media permanently, the Medes maintained their nationality and outlived Assyria. Sennacherib and his successor Esarhaddon both profess to conquer Media, which shows it was still unconquered when they came to the throne. In Ahaz' reign, beginning 741 B.C., Kir a Median city was held by Tiglath Pileser ( 2 Kings 16:9).

In Sargon's reign the ten tribes were removed to the cities of the Medes ( 2 Kings 17:6). In the deciphered inscriptions he says he founded in Media cities which he planted with colonists from other parts of his dominions. As Assyria declined Media rose. Cyaxares subdued the Scythians (Those Of Zagros Range And The Kindred Tribes Invited By The Former From The N.) who disputed with the Aryans the possession of the mountain region. Finally he captured Nineveh 625 B.C. Nabopolassar with the Babylonians helped him in its overthrow (Abydenus), and was therefore made independent king of Babylon. (See Nineveh ; ASSYRIA.) The Median empire then was separated from Babylonia either by the Tigris or by a line half way between the Tigris and Euphrates; Syria, Phoenicia, and Judaea falling to Babylon. Cyaxares' predecessors named by Herodotus, Deioces the first king (A Title Assumed By All Median Kings, From Dahak "Biter" Or "Snake") , and Phraortes, are hardly historical persons.

Cyaxares after taking Nineveh tried to extend his empire even beyond Assyria's boundary, the Halys, to the Aegean Sea. But after a six years' war in which he had Babylon's help he failed to conquer Lydia, and the three great monarchies concluded a peace (Ratified By Engagements And Intermarriages) which lasted throughout Cyaxares' and his son Astyages' reigns. Media probably left the native monarchs over the subject nations and required only tribute. Certainly Cambyses and his son Cyrus so held their throne under Media until Cyrus revolted. The latter introduced the system of satraps. Media only lasted as an empire the two reigns of Cyaxares and Astyages, 75 years, down to 558 B.C. (Still That There Were Earlier Kings Appears From  Jeremiah 25:25 , "All The Kings Of The Medes".) Enervated by adopting Assyrian manners the Medes were defeated by the hardy Persian mountaineers under Cyrus, and their king Astyages taken. Both races being of the same Aryan or Iranic source, the same religion and language, naturally all but coalesced.

Together they conquered Babylon, as foreseen by Isaiah ( Isaiah 13:17): "behold I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver, and as for gold they shall not delight in it" (Similarly Xenophon, Cyrop. 5:1, Section 10, Makes Cyrus Attribute To The Medes Disregard Of Riches, "And Babylon Shall Be ... As When God Overthrew Sodom") ; so  Isaiah 21:2, "go up O Elam (Persia), besiege O Media." Both Medes and Persians were famous in using "bows" and as horsemen. Cyrus made Darius the Mede viceroy of Babylon until he assumed the government (Daniel 5; 6; Ezra 1). (See Cyrus ; Darius; Babylon ) The Median capital was a royal residence for part of the year, and Media claimed precedence among the provinces. Achmetha (Ecbatana) "the palace in the province of the Medes" ( Ezra 6:2-5) is where Cyrus' decree is found, an undesigned coincidence of Scripture with the fact that the Median capital was the seat of government under Cyrus, but a royal residence only under Darius Hystaspes.

Discontent however led Media to seek to regain its old ascendancy and to elevate a Phraortes to the throne who claimed descent from Cyaxares. Darius Hystaspes crushed the rebellion with difficulty, and crucified and mutilated Phraortes. Again in vain the Medes rebelled under Darius Nothus. Afterward they made no further attempt. Herodotus divides the Medes into six tribes, of which the Arizanti (Of Aryan Descent) seem the first, then the Paretaceni, Struchates, Busae; lastly the Budii (The Putiya Of The Persian Inscriptions) and Magi (The Priest Caste, A Scythic Tribe Incorporated By The Medes With Themselves, Foreigners Admitted Into The Nation) . The two divisions latterly made were Media Magna (Now Kurdistan, Luristan, Ardelan, And Irak Ajemi) and Media Atropatia (now Azerbijan, the tract between the Caspian and the mountains running N. front Zagros, N. and W. of Media Magna) or Atropatene. The phrases "the Medes and Persians" and "Media and Persia," even after the Persians got the supremacy ( Esther 10:2), show the original supremacy of Media, which still in legal and religious formalities was retained.

In  Daniel 8:3, of the two horns on the ram the higher came up last, namely, Persia. Herodotus (1:131) makes their original religion the worship of the elements, tire, etc. Rawlinson however makes dualism (the worship of both a good and an evil principle eternally existing: Ormuzd the good object of trust, Ahriman the object of fear) to have been their original faith as described in the Zendavesta, and that the worship of the elements was subsequently taken from the Scythians (The Fire Worshippers Of Armenia And Mount Zagros, Among Whom Magism Existed From Of Old) and was Magian. Their language belongs to the great Indo Germanic family, which Japheth's sons starting from Armenia spread N., E., and W. In Persia the purer Aryan creed, dualism (Ormuzd However Being Supreme) , prevailed; in Media Magism, the worship of water, air, earth, and above all fire, to which altars (but no temples) on mountain tops were dedicated, on which the fire was never allowed to go out.

The usurpation of the Pseudo Smerdis or the Magian Artaxerxes (Ezra 4) was probably a religious revolution, Median Magianism striving against the Persian creed. (See Darius Hystaspes; Artaxerxes ) The magi performed the sacred rites, and divined the future; from them "magic" takes its name. (See Magi .) Fear of polluting the elements gave rise to the superstition of neither burying nor burning their dead, but exposing them to beasts and birds of prey (Herododus, i. 140), as do still the Parsees. The Persians copied their dress, the flowing robe seen on the Persepolitan sculptures. Their arms were bows, arrows, shields, short spears, poniards. They delighted in rich colors of dress, as scarlet, and chains and collars of gold.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Medes and Media ( Mç'Di-Ah ), Name. The same as Madai, "middle land," one of Japheth's sons.  Genesis 10:2. The Hebrew word thus translated "Madai" is also rendered "Medes,"  2 Kings 17:6, etc., and "Media,"  Esther 1:3, etc., and also "Mede."  Daniel 11:1. In the period of which Herodotus writes the people of Media were called Aryans. Its greatest length from north to south was 550 miles, its average breadth 250 to 300 miles, and its area 150,000 square miles. Media was divided originally into six provinces, which in Greek and Roman times were reduced to two. The early history of the Medes is very obscure. Their origin is given in  Genesis 10:2, and they were connected with the captivity of Israel.  2 Kings 17:6;  2 Kings 18:11. Isaiah, in his prophecy against Babylon, reveals the agency and character of the Medes.  Isaiah 13:17-18;  Isaiah 21:2. But Media was not incorporated with Assyria, although Sargon, and afterward Sennacherib, subdued its people and exacted tribute. In b.c. 633 an independent kingdom was set up by Cyaxares, who in b.c. 625 took a leading part in the destruction of Nineveh. Media then became a great and powerful monarchy, comprising, besides Media proper, Persia, Assyria, Armenia, and other adjoining countries. The empire was 1500 miles long, 450 miles wide, and had an area of 600,000 square miles. Under Cyrus the two kingdoms of Babylonia and Media were united, b.c. 538. There are references in Scripture to this kingdom under the title of the "Medes and Persians."  Daniel 5:28;  Daniel 6:8;  Daniel 6:12;  Daniel 6:15; comp.  Esther 1:19. The only city in Media alluded to in Scriptures is Achmetha, or Ecbatana.  Ezra 6:2. This region was absorbed in the Macedonian empire of Alexander the Great Later an independent Median kingdom held sway until the Christian era, after which it became a part of the Parthian empire. Medes are mentioned in connection with Parthians, etc., in the New Testament,  Acts 2:9.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [3]

We meet with the account of the Medes and Persians in the prophecy of Isaiah, and in the prophecy of Daniel. And as the Lord had appointed these nations for the destruction of Babylon when her time was come, so she was the Lord's scourge for Israel. The history of the Medes and Persians, forms a subject of importance in. Scripture. If the reader wishes to possess the Scriptural account of those kingdoms, he must consult what, Isaiah and Daniel have declared concerning them. Isaiah begins the relation at  Isaiah 13:1-22 with the burden of Babylon, and the subject continues, in respect to Israel's deliverance from Babylon, through that add the following chapter  Isaiah 14:1-32. The prophet resumes the subject of Babylon's destruction at  Isaiah 21:1-17; but the chief prophecy concerning the final ruin of Babylon, is in  Isaiah 45:1-25 and following chapters, where Cyrus the Persian, as the destroyer of Babylon, is called by his name, although this was near two hundred years before the events there predicted were intended to be fulfilled. Daniel takes up the subject at the period where the prophecy of Isaiah came to be accomplished, and in  Daniel 5:1-31 relates to the church the downfall of Babylon, and the death of the impious gang Belshazzar. It may be proper to add under this article, that Darius the Mede, who conquered the kingdom with Cyrus the Persian, governed the Chaldean empire, and at his death Cyrus, who was his nephew, united the kingdom of the Medes and Persians into one. From this time Bablyon sunk to rise no more, and the Persian empire succeeded: so that from the close of Daniel's prophecy, if we prosecute the history of the church as an history, we must begin with the book of Ezra, the date of whose first chapter ( Ezra 1:1-11) nearly corresponds with the close of Daniel's prophecy.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [4]

Medes are mentioned in  Acts 2:9 in connexion with the special events of the Day of Pentecost. These sojourners in Jerusalem would be descendants of Jewish settlers among the Medes, with perhaps a few Median proselytes. In Biblical times, the Medes are closely associated with the Persians, along with whom they occupied the western portion of Iran, extending north and south from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, and from the Zagros Mountains on the west to the nearer edge of the great desert separating Media and Persia from Bactriana and Sogdiana on the east. Along this western portion of Iran, Media Minor lay to the north, Media proper in the middle, and Persia to the south.

The Medes were Aryans using a cuneiform script of their own, and worshipping (after the earlier half of the 7th cent. b.c.) according to the faith of Zarathustra. Their art shows little originality or development, and their manners, simple and uncorrupted at first, quickly degenerated under foreign influence. The so-called Median Empire lasted from 647 to 550 B.C., after which date Cyrus founded the Medo-Persian dominion, in which the Persian branch, hitherto subject, became the ruling power.

A. W. Cooke.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Medes. See Media .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [6]

Medes, the inhabitants in ancient times of one of the most fruitful and populous countries of Asia, called Media, the precise boundaries of which it is not easy, if indeed it is now possible, to ascertain. Winer defines it as the country which lies westward and southward from the Caspian Sea, between 35° and 40° of N. lat. Nature has divided Media into three great divisions. On the north is a flat, moist, and insalubrious district, stretching along the Caspian Sea, which is made a separate portion by a chain of hills connected with Anti-Taurus. In this plain and on these mountains there live uncultivated and independent tribes. The country is now known under the names of Masanderan and Gilan. South of this mountain range lies the country which the ancients denominated Atropatene, being separated on the west from Armenia by Mount Caspius, which springs from Ararat; and on the south and south-east by the Orontes range of hills, which runs through Media. South and south-east of the Orontes is a third district, formerly termed Great Media, which Mount Zagros separates from Assyria on the west, and from Persia on the south: on the east it is bordered by deserts, and connected on the north-east with Parthia and Hyrcania by means of Mount Caspius, being now called Iraq-Ajemi. This for the most part is a high hilly country, yet not without rich and fruitful valleys, and even plains. The sky is clear and bright, and the climate healthy. Media Atropatene, which corresponds pretty nearly with the modern Azerbijan, contains fruitful and well-peopled valleys and plains. The northern mountainous region is cold and unfruitful. In Great Media lay the metropolis of the country, Ecbatana, as well as the province of Rhagiana and the city Rhagae, with the plain of Nisaeum, celebrated in the time of the Persian Empire for its horses and horse-races. This plain was near the city Nisaea, around which were fine pasture lands producing excellent clover. The horses were entirely white, and of extraordinary height and beauty, as well as speed. They constituted a part of the luxury of the great, and a tribute in kind was paid from them to the monarch, who, like all Eastern sovereigns, used to delight in equestrian display. Some idea of the opulence of the country may be had when it is known that, independently of imposts rendered in money, Media paid a yearly tribute of not less than 3000 horses, 4000 mules, and nearly 100,000 sheep. The races, once celebrated through the world, appear to exist no more; but Ker Porter saw the Shah ride on festival occasions a splendid horse of pure white. Cattle abounded, as did the richest fruits, as pines, citrons, oranges, all of peculiar excellence, growing as in their native land. Here also was found the Silphium (probably assafoetida), which formed a considerable article in the commerce of the ancients, and was accounted worth its weight in gold. The Median dress was proverbially splendid; the dress, that is, of the highest class, which seems to have gained a sort of classical authority, and to have been at a later period worn at the Persian court, probably in part from its antiquity. This dress the Persian monarchs used to present to those whom they wished to honor, and no others were permitted to wear it. It consisted of a long white loose robe, or gown, flowing down to the feet, and enclosing the entire body. The nature and the celebrity of this dress combine with the natural richness of the country to assure us that the ancient Medians had made no mean progress in the arts; indeed, the colors of the Persian textures are known to have been accounted second only to those of India. If these regal dresses were of silk, then was there an early commerce between Media and India; if not, weaving, as well as dyeing, must have been practiced and carried to a high degree of perfection in the former country .

The religion of the Medes consisted in the worship of the heavenly bodies, more particularly the sun and moon, and the planets Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, and Mars. The priestly caste were denominated magi; they were a separate tribe, and had the charge not only of religion, but of all the higher culture.

The language of the ancient Medes was not connected with the Shemitic, but the Indian; and divided itself into two chief branches, the Zend, spoken in North Media, and the Pehlvi, spoken in Lower Media and Parthia; which last was the dominant tongue among the Parthians.

The Medes originally consisted of six tribes, of which the Magi were one. Being overcome by Ninus, they formed a part of the great Assyrian empire, which, however, lost in course of time the primitive simplicity of manners to which its dominion was owing, and fell into luxury and consequent weakness; when Arbaces, who governed the country as a satrap for Sardanapalus, taking advantage of the effeminacy of that monarch, threw off his yoke, destroyed his capital, Nineveh, and became himself sovereign of the Medes, in the ninth century before the Christian era. According to Diodorns, this empire extended through nine monarchs. enduring 310 years, until Astyages, son of Cyaxares, was dethroned by Cyrus in the year of the world 3495, when Media became a part of the Persian Empire, sinking from the same inevitable causes as those which enabled it to gain over the Assyrian power the dominion of Asia. The account given by Herodotus varies from that now set forth. We do not propose to subject the diversities to a critical investigation, believing that little, if any, good could result, at least within our narrow space. Dates, names, and dynasties may be more or less uncertain, but the facts we have given are unimpeached. The magnitude of the Median Empire is another important fact equally well ascertained. Being in their time the most valorous, as well as the most powerful nation of Asia, the Medes extended their power towards the east and the west beyond any strictly definable limits, though, like dominion generally in Oriental countries, it was of a vague, variable, and unstable kind. That they regarded the Tigris as their western boundary appears from the fact that they erected on its banks strongholds, such as Mespila and Larissa; but that they carried their victorious arms still farther westward, appears from both Herodotus (i. 134) and Isaiah . The eastern limits of the empire seem to have been different at different periods. Heeren inclines to the opinion that it may have reached as far as the Oxus, and even the Indus. Many, however, were the nations and tribes which were under the sway of its sovereigns. The government was a succession of satrapies, over all of which the Medes were paramount; but the different nations exerted a secondary dominion over each other, diminishing with the increase of distance from the center of royal power, to which ultimately the tribute paid by each dependent to his superior eventually and securely came. Not only were the Medes a powerful, but also a wealthy and cultivated people; indeed, before they sank, in consequence of their degeneracy, into the Persian Empire, they were during their time the foremost people of Asia, owing their celebrity not only to their valor, but also to the position of their country, which was the great commercial highway of Asia. The sovereigns exerted absolute and unlimited dominion, exacted a rigid court-ceremonial, and displayed a great love of pomp. Under the Persian monarchs Media formed a province, or satrapy, by itself, whose limits did not correspond with independent Media, but cannot be accurately defined. To Media belonged another country, namely, Aria, which, Heeren says, took its name from the river Arius (now Heri), but which appears to contain the elements of the name in the Zend language, which was common to the two, if not to other Eastern nations, who were denominated Indians by Alexander the Great, as dwellers in or near the Indus, which he also misnamed, but who were known in their own tongue as Arians. Subsequently, however, from whatever cause, the Arians were separated from the Medes, forming a distinct satrapy in the Persian Empire. Thus the name of a clan, or gens, became the name of a nation, and then of an individual tribe. It may be added that Schlosser holds it as a fundamental fact, that the Medes and Persians formed in reality one kingdom, only that now one, now another, of the two elements gained predominance: whence he thinks himself enabled to explain the discrepancies which the ancients present as to the names and succession of monarchs.

The Medes are not mentioned in sacred Scripture till the days of Hoshea, king of Israel, about 740 B.C., when Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, brought that monarch under his yoke, and in the ninth year of his reign took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor, by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Here the Medes appear as a part of the Assyrian Empire; but at a later period Scripture exhibits them as an independent and sovereign people . In the last passage their kings are expressly named: 'The Lord hath raised up the kings of the Medes; for his device is against Babylon to destroy it.' 'Prepare against her (Babylon) the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof.' It has been conjectured that soon after the time of Arbaces they again fell under the dominion of the Assyrians; but availing themselves of the opportunity afforded by the distant expeditions which Sennacherib undertook, they gained their freedom, and founded a new line of kings under Dejoces. Indeed, so sudden and rapid are the changes of government, even to the present day, in Oriental monarchies, that we need not be surprised at any difficulties which may occur in arranging the dynasties or the succession of kings, scarcely in any ancient history, certainly least of all in the fragmentary notices preserved regarding the kings of Media and other neighboring empires. According, however, to other historical testimony, we find the Medes and Persians united as one people in holy writ (;;;;; ), in the days of Cyrus, who destroyed the separate sovereignty of the former. To the united kingdom Babylon was added as a province. After the lapse of about 200 years, Media, in junction with the entire Persian monarchy, fell under the yoke of Alexander the Great (B.C. 330); but after the death of Alexander it became, under Seleucus Nicator, the Macedonian governor of Media and Babylonia, a portion of the new Syrian kingdom , and, after many variations of warlike fortune, passed over to the Parthian monarchy (; Strabo, 16, p. 745).

The ancient Medes were a warlike people, and much feared for their skill in archery. They appear armed with the bow in the army of the Persians, who borrowed the use of that weapon from them. Those who remained in the more mountainous districts did not lose their valor; but the inhabitants of the cities and towns which covered the plains, in becoming commercial lost their former hardy habits, together with their bravery, and, giving way to luxury, became in process of time an easy prey to new aspirants to martial fame and civil dominion.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

mēdz ( מדי , mādhı̄  ; Assyrian Amadā , Madā  ; Achaem. Persian Māda  ; Μῆδοι , Mḗdoi Genesis 10:2;  2 Kings 17:6;  2 Kings 18:11;  1 Chronicles 1:5;  Ezra 6:2;  Esther 1:3 ,  Esther 1:14 ,  Esther 1:18 ,  Esther 1:19;  Esther 10:2;  Isaiah 13:17;  Isaiah 21:2;  Jeremiah 25:25;  Jeremiah 51:11 ,  Jeremiah 51:28;  Daniel 5:28;  Daniel 6:1 ,  Daniel 6:9 ,  Daniel 6:13 ,  Daniel 6:16;  Daniel 8:20;  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1 )): Mentioned as Japhethites in  Genesis 10:2 , i.e. Aryans, and accordingly they first called themselves Ἄριοι , Árioi (Herod. vii. 62), in Avestic Airya = Skt. Árya , "noble." They were closely allied in descent, language and religion with the Persians, and in secular history preceded their appearance by some centuries. Like most Aryan nations they were at first divided into small village communities each governed by its own chiefs (called in Assyrian ḥazanāti by Assur - bani - pal  : compare Herod. i. 96). Shalmaneser Ii mentions them (Nimrod Obelisk, i. 121) about 840 BC. They then inhabited the modern Ā'ẓarbāı̄jān (Media Atropatene). Rammānu - nirārı̄ Iii of Assyria (Rawlinson, Western Asiatic Inscriptions , I, 35) declares that he (810-781 BC) had conquered "the land of the Medes and the land of Parsua" (Persis), as well as other countries. This probably meant only a plundering expedition, as far as Media was concerned. So also Assur-nirari Ii ( Western Asiastic Inscriptions , II, 52) in 749-748 Bc overran Namri in Southwest Media. Tiglath-pileser Iv (in Babylonian called Pulu, the "Pul" of  2 Kings 15:19 ) and Sargon also overran parts of Media. Sargon in 716 Bc conquered Kisheshin, Kharkhar and other parts of the country. Some of the Israelites were by him transplanted to "the cities of the Medes" ( 2 Kings 17:6;  2 Kings 18:11; the Septuagint reading Ὀρή , Orḗ , cannot be rendered "mountains" of the Medes here) after the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. It was perhaps owing to the need of being able to resist Assyria that about 720 Bc the Medes (in part at least) united into a kingdom under Deiokes, according to Herodotus (i. 98). Sargon mentions him by the name Dayaukku, and says that he himself captured this prince (715 BC) and conquered his territory two years later. After his release, probably, Deiokes fortified Ecbatana (formerly Ellippi) and made it his capital. It has been held by some that Herodotus confounds the Medes here with the Manda (or Umman-Manda, "hosts of the Manda") of the inscriptions; but these were probably Aryan tribes, possibly of Scythian origin, and the names Mada and Manda may be, after all, identical. Esar-haddon in his 2nd year (679-678 BC) and Assurbani-pal warred with certain Median tribes, whose power was now growing formidable. They (or the Manda) had conquered Persis and formed a great confederacy. Under Kyaxares (Uvakh-shatara - D eiokes' grandson, according to Herodotus), they besieged Nineveh, but Assur-bani-pal, with the assistance of the Ashguza (? the Ashkenaz of  Genesis 10:3 ), another Aryan tribe, repelled them. The end of the Assyrian empire came, however, in 606 BC, when the Manda under their king Iriba-tukte, Mamiti-arsu "lord of the city of the Medes," Kastarit of the Armenian district of Kar-kassi, the Kimmerians (Gimirra = Gomer) under Teushpa (Teispes, Chaishpish), the Minni (Manna; compare  Jeremiah 51:27 ), and the Babylonians under Nabu-pal-ucsur, stormed and destroyed Nineveh, as Nabu-nahid informs us. The last king of Assyria, Sin-sar-iskun (Sarakos), perished with his people.

Herodotus says that Deiokes was succeeded by Phraortes (Fravartish) his son, Phraortes by his son Kyaxares; and the latter in turn left his kingdom to his son Astyages whose daughter Mandane married Cambyses, father of the great Cyrus. Yet there was no Median empire (such as he describes) then, or at least it did not embrace all the Aryan tribes of Western Asia, as we see from the inscriptions that in 606 BC, and even later, many of them were under kings and princes of their own (compare   Jeremiah 25:25;  Jeremiah 51:11 ). Herodotus tells us they were divided into six tribes, of whom the Magi were one (Herod. i. 101). Kyaxares warred for 5 years (590-585 BC) with the Lydians, the struggle being ended in May, 585, by the total eclipse of the sun foretold by Thales (Herodotus i. 74).

The alliance between the Medes and the Babylonians ended with Nebuchadnezzar's reign. His successor Nabu-nahid (555 BC) says that in that year the Medes under Astyages (Ishtuwegu) entered Mesopotamia and besieged Haran. Soon after, however, that dynasty was overthrown; for Cyrus the Persian, whom Nabu-nahid the first time he mentions him styles Astyages' "youthful slave" ( ardušu ṣaḥru ), but who was even then king of Anshan (Anzan), attacked and in 549 Bc captured Astyages, plundered Ecbatana, and became king of the Medes. Though of Persian descent, Cyrus did not, apparently, begin to reign in Persia till 546 BC. Henceforth there was no Median empire distinguished from the Persian (nor is any such mentioned in Daniel, in spite of modern fancies). As the Medes were further advanced in civilization and preceded the Persians in sovereignty, the Greek historians generally called the whole nation "the Medes" long after Cyrus' time. Only much later are the Persians spoken of as the predominant partners. Hence, it is a sign of early date that Daniel ( Daniel 8:20 ) speaks of "Media and Persia," whereas later the Book of Esther reverses the order ("Persia and Media,"  Esther 1:3 ,  Esther 1:14 ,  Esther 1:18 ,  Esther 1:19;  Esther 10:2 ), as in the inscriptions of Darius at Behistun. Under Darius I, Phraortes (Fravartish) rebelled, claiming the throne of Media as a descendant of Kyaxares. His cause was so powerfully supported among the Medes that the rebellion was not suppressed till after a fierce struggle. He was finally taken prisoner at Raga ( Rai , near Tehran), brutally mutilated, and finally impaled st Ecbatana. After that Median history merges into that of Persia. The history of the Jews in Media is referred to in Daniel and Esther. 1 Maccabees tells something of Media under the Syrian (6:56) and Parthian dominion (14:1-3; compare Josephus, Ant. , XX, iii). Medes are last mentioned in  Acts 2:9 . They are remarkable as the first leaders of the Aryan race in its struggle with the Semites for freedom and supremacy.