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Thread: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

  1. #1
    Ritter-Floh's Avatar Artifex
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    Default [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    ​Media Atropatene





    Overview:
    In the Achaemenid period Atropatene was part of the satrapy of Media. When the Achaemenid empire collapsed, Atropates, the Persian satrap of Media, made himself independent in the northwest of this region in 321 B.C.


    Atropates managed to keep on good terms with Alexander. At the famous mass wedding at Susa in 324, his daughter was married to Perdiccas. After Alexander’s death he was left in command of his territory. He founded a dynasty which was to last long. The exact extent of the state of Media Minor or Media Atropatene is not known; in the opinion of Schwarz it probably reached the Caspian, but how much of the coast it embraced is debatable.


    A successor of Atropates known to us from Greek sources is Artabazanes, who was contemporary with the Seleucid ruler Antiochus III. On the basis of a statement of Polybius that Atropatene stretched to the Caucasus mountains, E. Herzfeld described Artabazanes as ruler of “Armenia and Atropatene.” Antiochus III, after his successful campaign against Molon, satrap of Media, who had rebelled, decided to march against Artabazanes with the intention to warn all concerned against supporting rebels with troops or arms. Whether Artabazanes had in fact sent troops to help Molon is doubtful. Artabazanes, who was growing old, did not put up much resistance and appears to have acquiesced in submission to Seleucid suzerainty, in return for which he was probably confirmed in his rulership of Atropatene.


    The exact date of Atropatene’s incorporation in the Parthian empire is not known. Most probably it occurred in the reign of Mithridates I when this Parthian great king, taking advantage of the Seleucid empire’s weakness after the defeat of Antiochus III by the Romans at Magnesia in 190 B.C., moved to extend his sway eastward and northward. Presumably Media Atropatene became a vassal state under Parthian suzerainty at the same time as the rest of Media. This must have been after 148 B.C. because the Seleucid rock-inscription at Bīsotūn (Behistun) shows that there was then still a Seleucid governor of the “Upper Satrapies,” which certainly included Media. It seems, however, that the small state of Atropatene kept a good measure of autonomy. Descendants of Atropates are said to have “married into the Arsacid royal house”.


    The next mention of Media Atropatene comes in reports that after the death of Mithridates II in 88-87 B.C., the Armenians succeeded in recovering lands which they had earlier lost to the Parthians. According to Strabo and Plutarch, the Armenians occupied Atropatene at this time.


    Atropatene’s history in the following years is confused. Dio Cassius states that a certain Mithridates, king of Media and son-in-law of the Armenian king Tigranes the Great, supported the latter when he went to war with the Romans and invaded Cappadocia in 67 B.C. Quite possibly this Mithridates was the future Parthian monarch Mithridates III, who together with his brother Orodes murdered their father Phraates III in 58-57. He has been described, on the strength of Dio Cassius’s statement, as “king of Media Atropatene” in several works by modern scholars, though in fact he is called by Dio Cassius simply “king of Media”.


    In some sources, the Romans under Pompey are reported to have attacked a certain Darius, king of Media, in 65 B.C. Here again this person has been described as “ruler of Media Atropatene” by some modern writers, whereas in the sources only Media is given. Acceptance of the supposition that he ruled Media Atropatene is also made difficult by the evidence of other sources which speak of Artavasdes king of Atropatene, born in 59 B.C. or a little earlier, son of Ariobarzanes, king of Atropatene. This suggests that the father had come to the throne some time before 59 B.C. If so, the time-scale would appear to preclude a reign of this Darius in Media Atropatene. The Greco-Roman writers have left much more detailed and precise accounts of the expedition led by Mark Antony against the Parthians in 36 B.C. Having obtained the support of the Armenian king Artavasdes, Antony made Armenia his base for an invasion of Media Atropatene, whose identically named (and just mentioned) king Artavasdes was an ally of the Parthians. As is well known, the Roman campaign was bungled and ended ignominiously. After a Parthian attack which destroyed his rearguard and siege-train, Antony had to abandon his siege of Atropatene’s capital city Phraata (in some sources Praaspa or Phraaspa) and flee back to Armenia. It has not yet been possible to determine where Phraata lay; the often mooted identification with Taḵt-e Solaymān southeast of Lake Urmia where the German Archeological Institute conducted excavations in 1959 and subsequently, remains unproven.


    Soon after the defeat of the Romans, so Plutarch and Dio Cassius state, enmity arose between Artavasdes of Media Atropatene and Phraates, the Parthian great king, over the division of the spoils and the fears of Artavasdes concerning his autonomy, with the result that the Median king offered Antony an alliance. The offer was accepted in 33 B.C.. It was very welcome to Antony who, in the belief that Artavasdes of Armenia had left him down in his campaign, now planned a pincer movement against Armenia while also cherishing hopes of Atropatenian support in his continuing war with the Parthians and impending contest with Octavian. Troop detachments were exchanged and at the same time some Armenian territory, consisting mainly of the Sambyke district which had earlier belonged to Atropatene, was ceded to the Median ruler. To strengthen the bonds, a son of Antony was betrothed to Iotape, a daughter of Artavasdes. The alliance at first proved advantageous to Artavasdes of Atropatene, who with the help of the Roman reinforcements repulsed an offensive launched jointly by Artaxes, a son of Artavasdes of Armenia, and the Parthians.


    These dealings indicate that not only Artavasdes, but also previous rulers of Media Atropatene, were more or less independent of the Parthian great kings. No doubt the geography of this relatively inaccessible mountain region facilitated the maintenance of its autonomy.


    Artavasdes, however, could no longer hold out against the Parthians when Antony withdrew the Roman detachment from Media because he needed the men for his war with Octavian. In 30 B.C. Artavasdes was taken prisoner, but later he contrived to escape, probably as a result of the outbreak of civil war between Phraates IV and Tiridates, a rival claimant to the Parthian throne. He took refuge with Octavian, now Augustus, who gave him a friendly reception. He is reported to have died at Rome shortly before 20 B.C..


    Soon afterward, probably in 20 B.C., Augustus is said to have nominated Ariobarzanes II, the son of Artavasdes, to be king of Media Atropatene. At some later date, Ariobarzanes was appointed king of Armenia also. The actual induction of Ariobarzanes took place much later, namely in A.D. 9 following the accession of Vonones to the Parthian throne with Roman support.


    Ariobarzanes II was succeeded, on the thrones of both Media Atropatene and Armenia, by his son Artavasdes. Not long afterward, according to M. L. Chaumont in A.D. 19 or 20, this king was murdered. The event marks the virtual end of the rule of the dynasty founded by Atropates over Media Atropatene. It may have been consequent on the negotiation of the peace treaty of A.D. 18-19 between Germanicus, the Roman commander, and Artabanus II, the Parthian monarch since A.D. 10-11 (on whose background see below). Peace with Rome evidently gave Artabanus a free hand to deal with internal issues. Media Atropatene was one of a number of vassal kingdoms where the indigenous dynasts were eliminated and replaced with Arsacid younger sons. The later princes of the Atropatenian dynasty probably lived in exile in Italy. Two inscriptions bearing the name Artavasdes which were found in Rome are probably epitaphs of the son and grandson of an Atropatenian king Ariobarzanes, whether Ariobarzanes I or II being uncertain.


    It is necessary to comment here on the assertion, which has been frequently made and is based on a passage in Josephus’s Antiquitates Judaicae, that Artabanos had been king of Media Atropatene before he became the great king of the Parthians. Kahrstedt has found ample and convincing evidence that this is not so and that Artabanus probably stemmed from eastern Iran.


    For the following period few events involving Atropatene are reported in the sources. Josephus mentions that the first official act of the Parthian monarch Vologases I (A.D. ca. 51-ca. 76 or 80) was to appoint his brother Pacorus king of Media Atropatene. When the Alans invaded Atropatene A.D. ca. 72, Pacorus had to flee into the trackless mountains. Another Alan invasion took place between A.D. 134 and 136.


    Information about Atropatene is then lacking until the last years of Parthian rule, when the conflict with Ardašīr, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, had already begun. Artabanus IV, the last Parthian great king, was simultaneously engaged in a contest for the throne with his brother Vologases VI. His supporters were strongest in Media (where his coins appear to have been minted, probably at Ecbatana, the present-day Hamadān) and in Atropatene, Ḵūzestān, and Adiabene. Widengren has found evidence, however, that the common people of Media Atropatene were allies of Ardašīr. In any case Atropatene submitted with little resistance to Ardašīr once he had defeated and killed Artabanus in 226. The well-known Sasanian rock relief at Salmās, not far from lake Urmia in which Ardašīr and others are depicted, is in Widengren’s opinion quite possibly a monument to this success.


    The next information given in the sources is that Šāpūr I, in the first year of his reign, i.e., 241-42, conducted two campaigns, first against the Khwarazmians then against the “Medes in the mountains,” which evidently means in Atropatene. Thereafter Atropatene appears to have been pacified, because no more campaigns against its inhabitants are reported in the sources.

    This faction overhaul will be released with 1.2


    Units
    This faction overhaul adds 21 new units to Atropatene. Here are some pictures of the unique units:

    Spear Infantry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Eastern Spearmen) These poorly trained levy infantry are armed with a spear and a leather-covered wicker shield. Spearmen such as these are trained to form ordered ranks and to march in step. Grouping together bolsters morale and the shieldwall helps to neutralise arrows.


    (Shield Bearers) The Sparabara, meaning "shield bearers" in Persian, are usually the first to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. These soldiers are armoured in quilted linen and carry large rectangular wicker shields as a form of light manoeuvrable defence.


    (Elite Shield Bearers) The Sparabara are recruited from Persian citizens, trained from childhood to be soldiers. When not called out to fight on campaigns in distant lands, they practice hunting on the vast plains of Persia.


    (Satrap Guard Spearmen) These spearmen wear scale armour underneath their robes, and do not carry shields or helmets to encourage their comrades with their contempt for the enemy's attacks. Their lack of shields also gives them greater manoeuvrability to fire their bows. Having practiced on the hunt and in many wars, they are some of the deadliest archers in the world.


    (Persian Apple-Bearers) These troops are not the picked elite of the Persian army, but they constitute the backbone of the army as its standing core of professional soldiers. They are not hoplites, nor do they fight in a phalanx, but neither are they unskilled levies. They carry a long spear with counterweights made of silver and gold “apples,” (so are called melophoroi, “apple-bearers”), a dipylon shield, and wear the typical Persian scale armour, but have no helmets.


    (Persian Hoplites) The Kardaka are armed with the Iranian longsword and a long thrusting spear. These guards also carry the large round Aspis shield. Their armour is usually composed of iron scales.


    Melee Infantry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    (Hyrkanian Hillmen) Hyrkanian Hillmen are bands of warriors from the various clans in Hyrkania, or northern Persia. These men are highly adept at guerrilla warfare and can serve a general, be he Hellene or Iranian, as fierce light infantry. They wear simple tunics and are armed with spears, axes, and shields.


    (Persian Axemen) The Tabargan are steadfast warriors, aggressive and impetuous in temperament, valued by Iranians and Hellenes alike for their ferocity and courage. They are armed with the Sagaris axe, which they wield with skill, and a bundle of javelins. While ill-disciplined, they are prepared to use guerilla tactics.


    (Persian Elite Infantry) This unit is comprised of some of the greatest warriors in the ancient world. Poy-Darsam are armed with a wooden palta shield, and characteristic axes and maces. They wear brilliant corselets of heavy scales to protect against the fiercest attacks, and they can hold their own in even a protracted melee. Their great pride and honour prevent them from wearing any head protection however, as that would be considered a cowardly and shameful act.

    Pike Infantry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    (Persian Levy Pikemen) These troops are mostly levies of Iudaioi, Syrioi, and Persioi descent that are co-opted into the army. They fight as pikemen, with no armour but round Illyrian style shields and Phrygian caps. This makes them a viable pike unit, though they are less disciplined and more prone to flee than more reliable Hellenes and Makedonians.

    Missile Infantry

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    (Persian Archers) These men are skirmishers only and not inclined to close with enemy troops. They are armed with a powerful composite bow and a long dagger suitable only for defence.


    (Persian Slingers) In battle, slingers are used as light skirmishers, troops with no armour or melee weapons but who rush forward against the enemy to pepper them with stones, only to flee when threatened.


    (Persian Skirmishers) Most armies use poorly equipped levies as skirmishers, very often as javelinmen, as these troops require relatively little training and financial investment, relying mostly on widespread natural skills and scant gear, while still providing some useful service.


    (Persian Archer Spearmen) Armed with spear and bow, these troops are not well-regarded by the Greeks, having formed the bulk of the old Persian army defeated by Alexander the Great. They can hold the line against weaker infantry and cavalry. but they cannot be relied upon to put up an extended fight if the situation is not in their favor.


    (Heavy Persian Archers) These archers are the result of numerous Achaemenid Persian reforms, more or less inspired by Greek military traditions. Their armour is made of quilted cloth, leather, or quilted leather, often studded with bronze or iron rivets, offering some rudimentary protection without compromising mobility too much.

    Cavalry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    (Light Persian Cavalry) These Asiatikoi horsemen are a light but versatile unit, able to skirmish and perform screening duties. The Epigonoi are thoroughly Hellenised Persians, a fusion of Hellenic and Iranian traditions brought about by Alexander's conquests.


    (Persian Medium Cavalry) These medium cavalrymen are a versatile task-force able to perform a wide range of roles in battle. They are armed with a thrusting spear, but they are not well-suited to take on heavier cavalry or elite infantry formations, and their loyalty is measured only in weight of gold.


    (Median Medium Cavalry) These excellent medium cavalry are capable of skirmishing, charging, and fighting fairly well in melee. They are raised from the old Persian estates which were not seized by the Macedonian invaders.


    (Persian Lancers) These horsemen ride to war in scale armour, wielding long spears and axes in the old Persian style. They form a reliable medium cavalry unit for which a good commander will find many uses.


    (Persian Kinsmen Cavalry) Armed with javelins and a machaira, and commonly deployed in column formation, these cavalrymen are equipped for melee combat, like the later cataphracts, but they are also skilled with their javelins. Financed by the royal treasuries, they form a contingent of honour guards, known as the Kinsmen.


    (Persian Kinsmen Lancers) In the Achaemenid Empire, the Khűveshâvagân were the most expensively attired cavalry in the world, and were indeed the sign of the equestrian power of the Persian Empire. After the conquests of Alexander, they have undergone several changes. With the royal treasuries withdrawn and the adoption of additional Macedonian conventions, the Khűveshâvagân are no longer "Kinsmen" per se. Armed with a xyston and a machaira and heavily armored like the later cataphracts, this unit can mount a terrible charge, wreaking havoc upon the enemy.


    Sources and credits:
    Various unit names and descriptions from the Europa Barbarorum/EBII team.
    AZERBAIJAN iii. Pre-Islamic History

    Unit researching and descriptions:
    Augustusng
    KAM 2150

    Spear model by:
    Dontfearme22

  2. #2

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Looks absolutely fantastic, Ritter! +Rep when I can
    ---------------------------------Check out my mod --------------------------------

  3. #3
    Vardan the Great's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Azerbaijan pre-islamic history? What is that.

    Sent from my SM-N930F using Tapatalk
    "An unexpected death is a death, an intended death - immortality"
    (c) Vardan Sparapet, before the Battle of Avarayr

  4. #4

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Wow, I love the apple spears finally !!! I was missing them a lot. Also media is like "bows, bows everywhere"!!! they will be hard to defeat I'm sure

    Congratulations on the preview guys

  5. #5

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Wow this is so dope. Can't wait to get masses of those elite sparabara and start teaching the Hellenes to fear the bow again.

    Beautiful work guys

  6. #6

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Very nice units!

  7. #7

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    The shields used by the melophoroi are very easy on the eye. Well done to who made them. Ritter, being a fan of your animation changes, I hope, sometime, there may be a preview for this ;-)

    Thank you for this, always learning new things from DEI.

  8. #8

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Looks really nice.

    But do you even Persia?

  9. #9
    Caius Bingerus's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    thank you all who contributed to this preview and made atropatene playable and so good-looking...DeI feels more and more complete after every new preview
    ...the duty of a soldier ends only with his death...


  10. #10
    Kjertesvein's Avatar Remember to smile
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Looks very good.

    "Their great pride and honour prevent them from wearing any head protection however, as that would be considered a cowardly and shameful act."
    This sounds very odd and reckless. What is the basis for this, Kam?

    ~Wille
    Thorolf was thus armed. Then Thorolf became so furious that he cast his shield on his back, and, grasping his halberd with both hands, bounded forward dealing cut and thrust on either side. Men sprang away from him both ways, but he slew many. Thus he cleared the way forward to earl Hring's standard, and then nothing could stop him. He slew the man who bore the earl's standard, and cut down the standard-pole. After that he lunged with his halberd at the earl's breast, driving it right through mail and body, so that it came out at the shoulders; and he lifted him up on the halberd over his head, and planted the butt-end in the ground. There on the weapon the earl breathed out his life in sight of all, both friends and foes. [...] 53, Egil's Saga
    I must tell you here of some amusing tricks the Comte d'Eu played on us. I had made a sort of house for myself in which my knights and I used to eat, sitting so as to get the light from the door, which, as it happened, faced the Comte d'Eu's quarters. The count, who was a very ingenious fellow, had rigged up a miniature ballistic machine with which he could throw stones into my tent. He would watch us as we were having our meal, adjust his machine to suit the length of our table, and then let fly at us, breaking our pots and glasses.
    - The pranks played on the knight Jean de Joinville, 1249, 7th crusade.













    http://imgur.com/a/DMm19
    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    This is the only forum I visit with any sort of frequency and I'm glad it has provided a home for RTR since its own forum went down in 2007. Hopefully my donation along with others from TWC users will help get the site back to its speedy heyday, which will certainly aid us in our endeavor to produce a full conversion mod Rome2.

  11. #11

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    I was against that line and one about not wearing shields as a sign of courage so I am not sure why they are still here ;P I am not sure who wrote descriptions, I only helped with army composition and equipment used

  12. #12
    Kjertesvein's Avatar Remember to smile
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Sir, you're free to go.

    Augustusng, have a seat here. Start from the beginning.

    ~Wille
    Thorolf was thus armed. Then Thorolf became so furious that he cast his shield on his back, and, grasping his halberd with both hands, bounded forward dealing cut and thrust on either side. Men sprang away from him both ways, but he slew many. Thus he cleared the way forward to earl Hring's standard, and then nothing could stop him. He slew the man who bore the earl's standard, and cut down the standard-pole. After that he lunged with his halberd at the earl's breast, driving it right through mail and body, so that it came out at the shoulders; and he lifted him up on the halberd over his head, and planted the butt-end in the ground. There on the weapon the earl breathed out his life in sight of all, both friends and foes. [...] 53, Egil's Saga
    I must tell you here of some amusing tricks the Comte d'Eu played on us. I had made a sort of house for myself in which my knights and I used to eat, sitting so as to get the light from the door, which, as it happened, faced the Comte d'Eu's quarters. The count, who was a very ingenious fellow, had rigged up a miniature ballistic machine with which he could throw stones into my tent. He would watch us as we were having our meal, adjust his machine to suit the length of our table, and then let fly at us, breaking our pots and glasses.
    - The pranks played on the knight Jean de Joinville, 1249, 7th crusade.













    http://imgur.com/a/DMm19
    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    This is the only forum I visit with any sort of frequency and I'm glad it has provided a home for RTR since its own forum went down in 2007. Hopefully my donation along with others from TWC users will help get the site back to its speedy heyday, which will certainly aid us in our endeavor to produce a full conversion mod Rome2.

  13. #13

    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Ritter wrote the descriptions, I just edited them for grammar, not the content! Also I'm not sure if the descriptions in these previews are my edited ones. Ritter tends to post these before I can do my editing.
    Last edited by Augustusng; September 12, 2016 at 06:13 AM.

  14. #14
    Rusty2016's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    So no shields & no helmets for unit cards, Ritter you have some 'splaining to do.

  15. #15
    Ritter-Floh's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    Quote Originally Posted by Augustusng View Post
    Ritter wrote the descriptions, I just edited them for grammar, not the content! Also I'm not sure if the descriptions in these previews are my edited ones. Ritter tends to post these before I can do my editing.
    i create units faster than Saruman

    @Kjertesvein: because it sounds cool - these descriptions are from the EBII team, and they also think it sounds cool....

    @Rusty: no problem, 2 new playables waiting for you soon

  16. #16
    Irishmafia2020's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [Preview] Atropatkan (Atropatene)

    I'm really excited for this faction... I hope that they can survive long enough to play them in a campaign. Nice job guys!

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