From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [1]

Media was an ancient kingdom to the north of Persia. It appears in the Bible story mainly as a partner of Persia, who had conquered it in the reign of the Persian king Cyrus. The combined army of Media and Persia conquered Babylon in 539 BC, after which Persia became the supreme power in the region. Medes shared as equals with Persians in the military and civil administration of the Persian Empire, and sometimes the names Medes and Persians were used interchangeably ( Ezra 6:1-3;  Esther 1:3;  Esther 1:14;  Esther 1:19;  Isaiah 13:17;  Isaiah 21:2;  Jeremiah 51:11;  Jeremiah 51:28;  Daniel 5:30-31;  Daniel 6:8;  Daniel 6:28;  Daniel 8:20;  Daniel 9:1;  Daniel 11:1). (For further details see Persia .)

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Me'dia. (Middle Land). Me'dia lay northwest of Persia proper, south and southwest of the Caspian Sea, east of Armenia and Assyria, west and northwest of the great salt desert of Iran. Its greatest length was from north to south, and in this direction, it extended from the 32d to the 40th parallel, a distance of 550 miles. In width, it reached front about long. 45 degrees to 53 degrees; but its average breadth was not more than from 250 to 300 miles. The division of Media commonly recognized by the Greeks and Romans was that into Media Magna and Media Atropatene.

1. Media Atropatene corresponded nearly to the modern Azerbijan , being the tract situated between the Caspian and the mountains which run north from Zagros.

2. Media Magna lay south and east of Atropatene. It contained great part of Kurdistan and Luristan , with all Ardelan and Arak Ajemi . It is indicative of the division that there were two Ecbatanas, respectively the capitals of the two districts.

The Medes were a nation of very high antiquity; we find a notice of them in the primitive Babylonian history of Berosus, who says that the Medes conquered Babylon at a very remote period, (circa, B.C. 2458), and that eight Median monarchs reigned there consecutively, over a space of 224 years. The deepest obscurity hangs, however, over the whole history of the Medes from the time of their bearing sway in Babylonia, B.C. 2458-2234, to their first appearance in the cuneiform inscriptions among the enemies of Assyria, about B.C. 880.

Near the middle of the seventh century B.C., the Median kingdom was consolidated, and became formidable to its neighbors; but previous to this time, it was not under the dominion of a single powerful monarch, but was ruled by a vast number of petty chieftains. Cyaxares, the third Median monarch, took Nineveh and conquered Assyria, B.C. 625.

The limits of the Median empire cannot be definitely fixed. From north to south it was certainly confined between the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates on the one side, the Black and Caspian Seas on the other. From east to west it had, however, a wide expansion, since it reached from the Halys at least as far as the Caspian Gates, and possible farther. It was separated from Babylonia either by the Tigris or more probably by a line running about halfway between that river and the Euphrates. Its greatest length may be reckoned at 1500 miles from northwest to southeast, and its average breadth at 400 or 450 miles. Its area would thus be about 600,000 square miles, or somewhat greater than that of modern Persia.

Of all the ancient Oriental monarchies, the Median was the shortest in duration. It was overthrown by the Persians under Cyrus, B.C. 558, who captured its king, Astyages. The treatment of the Medes, by the victorious Persians, was not that of an ordinary conquered nation. Medes were appointed to stations of high honor and importance under Cyrus and his successors. The two nations seem blended into one, and we often find reference to this kingdom as that of the "Medes and Persians."  Daniel 5:28;  Daniel 6:8;  Daniel 6:12;  Daniel 6:15.

The references to the Medes, in the canonical Scriptures, are not very numerous, but they are striking. We first hear of certain "cities of the Medes," in which the captive Israelites were placed by "the king of Assyria", on the destruction of Samaria, B.C. 721.  2 Kings 17:6;  2 Kings 18:12.

Soon afterward, Isaiah prophesies the part which the Medes shall take in the destruction of Babylon,  Isaiah 13:17;  Isaiah 21:2, which is again still more distinctly declared by Jeremiah,  Jeremiah 51:11;  Jeremiah 51:28, who sufficiently indicates, the independence of Media in his day.  Jeremiah 25:25.

Daniel relates the fact of the Medo-Persia conquest,  Daniel 5:25;  Daniel 5:31, giving an account of the reign of Darius, the Mede, who appears to have been made viceroy by Cyrus.  Daniel 6:1-58. In Ezra, we have a mention of Achmetha, (Ecbatana ), "the Palace in the province of the Medes," where the decree of Cyrus was found,  Ezra 6:2-5, - a notice which accords, with the known facts that the Median capital was the seat of government under Cyrus, but a royal residence only, and not the seat of government, under Darius Hystaspis. Finally, in Esther, the high rank of Media, under the Persian kings, yet at the same time, its subordinate position, is marked by the frequent composition, of the two names in phrases of honor, the precedence being in every case assigned to the Persians.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

Called by the Hebrews  Genesis 10:2; extended itself on the west and south of the Caspian Sea, from Armenia and Assyria on the north and west, to Farsistan or Persia proper on the south; and included the districts now called Shirvan, Adserbijan, Ghilan, Masanderan, and Irak Adjemi. It covered a territory larger than that of Spain, lying between 32 degrees and 40 degrees of north latitude, and was one of the most fertile and earliest cultivated among the kingdoms of Asia. It had two grand divisions, of which the northwestern was called Atropatene, or Lesser Media, and the southern Greater Media. The former corresponds to the modern Abserbijan, now, as formerly, a province of the Persian empire, on the west of the Caspian, surrounded by high mountains of the Tauritic range, except towards the east, where the river Kur, or Byrus, discharges its waters into the Caspian. The Greater Media corresponds principally to the modern Irak Adjemi, or Persian Irak. Ecbatana was the ancient capital.

Media is one of the most ancient independent kingdoms of which history makes mention. After several centuries of subjugation under Assyria, the Medes rebelled under Arbaces in the time of Sardanapalus, and again in the time of Sennacherib, about 700 B. C.. They became powerful, cultivated, and wealthy,  Isaiah 13:17,18   21:2-3 , and continued an independent kingdom until under Cyrus, Media became united with Persia. In this way arose the Medro-Persian kingdom; and the "laws of the Medes and Persians" are always mentioned by the sacred writers together,  Esther 1:19 , etc.;  Daniel 6:8,12 , etc. So also the "Chronicles" of the Medes and Persians are mentioned together,  Esther 10:2 . Indeed, from this time inward, the manners, customs, religion, and civilization of the Medes and Persians seem ever to have become more and more amalgamated. And in general it would seem, as we may gather from the ancient Zend writings, that the Medes, Persians, and Bactraians were originally the same people, having in common one language, the Zend, and one religion, the worship of Ormuzd, the highest being, under the symbol of fire. They also worshipped the stars, particularly the planets; and still more, the sun and moon. The priests of this religion, the Magi, were a Median race, to whom were intrusted the cultivation of the sciences, and the performance of the sacred rites. Among these, and as is supposed before the time of Cyrus, appeared Zerdusht, or Zoroaster, as a reformer, or rather as the restorer of the ancient but degenerated religion of light, whose disciples have maintained themselves even to the present day in Persia and India, under the name of Guebres.

Media is first mentioned in the Bible as the part of Assyria to which the ten tribes were transported: at first, those beyond the Jordan, by Tiglath-pileser,  1 Chronicles 5:26; and afterwards, about 721 B. C., the remainder of Israel, by Shalmaneser,  2 Kings 17:6 . The subsequent history of Media is involved in that of Persia. Both countries were subdued by Alexander of Macedon, 330 B. C.; and in the next century became tributary to the Parthians on their east, in connection with whom they are mentioned in  Acts 2:9 . See Persia .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

 Genesis 10:2 2 Kings 17:6 18:11 Esther 1:3 10:2 Isaiah 21:2 Daniel 8:20 Daniel 11:1

We first hear of this people in the Assyrian cuneiform records, under the name of Amada, about B.C. 840. They appear to have been a branch of the Aryans, who came from the east bank of the Indus, and were probably the predominant race for a while in the Mesopotamian valley. They consisted for three or four centuries of a number of tribes, each ruled by its own chief, who at length were brought under the Assyrian yoke ( 2 Kings 17:6 ). From this subjection they achieved deliverance, and formed themselves into an empire under Cyaxares (B.C. 633). This monarch entered into an alliance with the king of Babylon, and invaded Assyria, capturing and destroying the city of Nineveh (B.C. 625), thus putting an end to the Assyrian monarchy ( Nahum 1:8;  2:5,6;  3:13,14 ).

Media now rose to a place of great power, vastly extending its boundaries. But it did not long exist as an independent kingdom. It rose with Cyaxares, its first king, and it passed away with him; for during the reign of his son and successor Astyages, the Persians waged war against the Medes and conquered them, the two nations being united under one monarch, Cyrus the Persian (B.C. 558).

The "cities of the Medes" are first mentioned in connection with the deportation of the Israelites on the destruction of Samaria ( 2 Kings 17:6;  18:11 ). Soon afterwards ( Isaiah 13:17;  21:2 ) speaks of the part taken by the Medes in the destruction of Babylon (Compare  Jeremiah 51:11,28 ). Daniel gives an account of the reign of Darius the Mede, who was made viceroy by Cyrus ( Daniel 6:1-28 ). The decree of Cyrus, Ezra informs us (6:2-5), was found in "the palace that is in the province of the Medes," Achmetha or Ecbatana of the Greeks, which is the only Median city mentioned in Scripture.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [5]

It has been commonly thought that Media was peopled by the descendants of Madai, son of Japheth,  Genesis 10:2 . The Greeks maintain that this country took its name from Medus, the son of Medea. If, however, Madai and his immediate descendants did not people this country, some of his posterity might have carried his name thither, since we find it so often given to Media, from the times of the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, and from the transportation of the ten tribes, and the destruction of Samaria under Salmaneser, A.M. 3283. Media Proper was bounded by Armenia and Assyria Proper on the west, by Persia on the east, by the Caspian provinces on the north, and by Susiana on the south. It was an elevated and mountainous country, and formed a kind of pass between the cultivated parts of eastern and western Asia. Hence, from its geographical position, and from the temperature, verdure, and fertility of its climate, Media was one of the most important and interesting regions of Asia. Into this country the ten tribes who composed the kingdom of Israel were transplanted, in the Assyrian captivity, by Tiglath-pileser and Salmaneser. The former prince carried away the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, on the east side of Jordan, to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river of Gozan. His successor carried away the remaining seven tribes and a half, to the same places, which are said to be "cities of the Medes, by the river of Gozan,"  1 Chronicles 5:26;  2 Kings 17:6 . The geographical position of Media was wisely chosen for the distribution of the great body of the captives; for, it was so remote, and so impeded and intersected with great mountains and numerous and deep rivers, that it would be extremely difficult for them to escape from this natural prison, and return to their own country. They would also be opposed in their passage through Kir, or Assyria Proper, not only by the native Assyrians, but also by their enemies, the Syrians, transplanted thither before them. The superior civilization of the Israelites, and their skill in agriculture and in the arts, would tend to civilize and improve those wild and barbarous regions.

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( n.) One of the sonant mutes /, /, / (b, d, g), in Greek, or of their equivalents in other languages, so named as intermediate between the tenues, /, /, / (p, t, k), and the aspiratae (aspirates) /, /, / (ph or f, th, ch). Also called middle mute, or medial, and sometimes soft mute.

(2): ( n.) pl. of Medium.

(3): ( pl.) of Medium

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

mē´di - a ( מדי , mādhay  ; Achaem. Persian Mada; Μηδία , Mēdı́a ): Lay to the West and Southwest of the Caspian, and extended thence to the Zagrus Mountains on the West On the North in later times it was bounded by the rivers Araxes and Cyrus, which separated it from Armenia. Its eastern boundaries were formed by Hyrcania and the Great Salt Desert (now called the Kavı̂r ), and it was bounded on the South by Susiana. In earlier times its limits were somewhat indefinite. It included Atropatene, (Armenian Atrpatakan , the name, "Fire-guarding," showing devotion to the worship of Fire) to the North, and Media Magna to the South, the former being the present Ā'ẓarbāı̄jān . Near the Caspian the country is low, damp and unhealthy, but inland most of it is high and mountainous, Mt. Demavand in the Alburz range reaching 18,600 ft. Atropatene was famed for the fertility of its valleys and table-lands, except toward the North. Media Magna is high; it has fruitful tracts along the course of the streams, but suffers much from want of water, though this was doubtless more abundant in antiquity. It contained the Nisaean Plain, famous for its breed of horses. The chief cities of ancient Media were Ecbatana, Gazaea, and Ragae. The Orontes range near Ecbatana is the present Alvand . Lake Spauta is now known as Urmi (Urumiah).

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Media'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [9]

A country on the SW. of the Caspian Sea, originally a province of the Assyrian empire, from which it revolted; was after 150 years of independence annexed to Persia by Cyrus, of which it had formed the NW. portion.