Cultures > Aram

Aram

Background

The territory that was previously Aram was conquered in 332 BCE by Alexander III the Great who ended up defeating the Achaemenid Empire under Darius III and claiming all of its satrapies. When Alexander died a sudden and mysterious death the territory would later be claimed by Seleucus I Nicator who established the Seleucid Empire following the Wars of the Diadochi.

Seleucid Empire

It was during this time that the name Syria for the region came about. When the Greek Language was made the official language the entire region was named Syria which was a Hurrian and Luwiana corruption of Assyria and came to encompass all of the borders of the former Assyrian empire.

The Seleucids and the Greeks mistakenly called the entire region of Mesopotamia Syria/Assyria. This was not really the truth as the region of "Syria" was actually always inhabited by Aramean colonies that were subject to Assyria but not ethnically Assyrian. There is where our terms for the region come from that persist into the present day.

Parthian Empire

See Parthian Empire

The territory of Syria/Assyria was later conquered by the Parthian Empire who defeated the Seleucid Empire and seized its eastern territories while the Roman Empire defeated it from the west. The name Syria would stick during this period and still be used to describe the region that was west of the Euphrates while Assyria went back to being used to describe the area of the northern Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, also called Athura or Assuristan. This distinction led both the Assyrians and the Arameans to be lumped together as "Syrians" in Greco-Roman culture.

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Sources

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Secondary Sources

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