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CASPIANS

CASPIANS History

CASPIANS or CASPIANS tribes

name of an ancient people dwelling along the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea, whether north or south of the river Kura is not clear.

CASPIANS (Gk. Káspioi), name of an ancient people dwelling along the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea, whether north or south of the river Kura is not clear. The name is not attested in Old Iranian (it may have been *Kāspiya- or the like); it survives perhaps in the name of Qazvīn ( < *Kaspēn “the Caspian”?), which lies at the junction of several roads leading into the region through the most easily negotiable pass across the Alborz mountains. The Caspian Sea (hē Kaspiā thálassa); the Caspian mountain(s) (tà Káspia órē, i.e. the Caucasus; Eratosthenes apud Strabo, 11.2.15); and the so-called Caspian Gates (hai Káspiai/Kaspiádes pýlai; q.v.) were all named after this people.

The Caspians have generally been regarded as a pre-Indo-European, that is, a pre-Iranian, people and have even been identified by some scholars with the Kassites (e.g., Herzfeld, loc. cit.). Onomastic evidence bearing on this point has now been discovered in Aramaic papyri from Egypt, in which several Caspians (Aram. kspy) are mentioned as belonging to the garrison there; their names, for example, *Bagazušta (see Grelot, pp. 101ff.), are, at least in part, unequivocally Iranian. The Caspians must therefore be considered either an Iranian people or strongly under Iranian cultural influence.

Herodotus, Strabo, and other classical authors repeatedly mention the Caspians but do not seem to know much about them; they are grouped with other inhabitants of the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, like the Amardi, Anariacae, Cadusii, Albani, and Vitii (Eratosthenes apud Strabo, 11.8.8), and their land (Kaspianḗ) is said to be part of Albania (Theophanes Mytilenaeus apud Strabo, 11.4.5). Whether or not they belonged to the Median empire is not clear. According to Herodotus (3.92.2), they, together with the Pausicae, Pantimathi, and Daritae, were included in the eleventh nomós of the Achaemenid empire under Darius I. This region later was attached to Media Atropatene and Albania in turn.

Herodotus (3.93.2) mentions another people with the same name, who, together with the Sacae (Sákai) inhabited the fifteenth nomós; these Káspioi, who were among the participants in Xerxes’ army (Herodotus, 7.67.1; 86.1[.2]), are sometimes considered to have been located in the Pamirs or in what is now Kashmir and were perhaps the forerunners of the present-day Nuristanis (for another possible location, see Cook, p. 196). There are, however, serious doubts about the correctness of Herodotus’ text; among the emendations proposed are *Kápisoi and Kaspeîroi.

Bibliography:

J. M. Cook, The Persian Empire, London, 1983.

P. Grelot, “Notes d’onomastique sur les textes araméens d’Egypte,” Semitica 21, 1971, esp. pp. 101-17.

A. Herrmann, “Kaspioi,” in Pauly-Wissowa, X/2, cols. 2272-75.

E. Herzfeld, The Persian Empire, Wiesbaden, 1968, pp. 195-99.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

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CASPIANS the caspian sea map of caspian sea caspian sea lake caspian sea river caspian sea monster caspian sea oil caspian sea iran caspian sea countries caspian sea iran Caspian Sea fish Photo of the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea map Caspian Sea Caspian Sea depth Caspian Sea sturgeon of the Caspian Sea Khezer_Shahr Caspian Sea Caspian oil seport of Amirabad seport of Port Anzali Mazandaran Gilan, Golestan Babolsar Tourist North Country Dodangeh Chahardangeh the Khazars the people of the Khazars Caspian people Sea of Qazvin Khazarabad Caspian sea coast Caspian Sea legal norms Caspian environment pollution of the Caspian Sea Caspian oil gas of the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea issues the legal system of the Caspian Sea Iran's share in Caspian legal aspects of the Caspian Sea environment of the Caspian Sea the importance and status of the Caspian Sea Caspian to the Persian Gulf connection National Institute of Oceanography features of the Caspian Sea Caspian Shipping Company Caspian Sea level Iran Russia Kazakhstan Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan fishing in the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea weather transport in the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea News marine transportation in the Caspian Sea region the Iranian islands in the Caspian Sea the scaffolding factory and shipyard Caspian ecological Institute of Caspian Sea Caspian Sea Shells in nitrate and phosphate important rivers of Caspian Sea Caspian sea basin mammal of Caspian Sea Caspian oil Company Caspian Sea water transfer babol Amol northern tourist areas the forests of the north spectacular Photos of Mazandaran Mazandaran forests gilan forests images of Mazandaran forests Falls river forest Institute for Caspian Sea Caspian Sea level fluctuations Black gold caviar stellate sturgeon Hotels tourism Tourist iran tourism Russia tourism Azerbaijan tourism Caspian sea people political event event lawyer export import goods export goods import