Persian Empire > Orthocorybantians



The Orthocorybantians (Old Persian tigra-xauda "people with pointy hoods") were a tribe of the Scythians. They were settling in the tenth satrapy of Achaemenid Persia (Herodotus 3.92). A delegation of Orthocorybantians paying tribute is depicted on the Apadana relief. The Orthocorybantians were an ancient people who inhabited the region of Orthocorybantia (also known as Orthocorybantene) during the time of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Orthocorybantia was a region located in the northwestern part of ancient Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). It was situated between the Aegean Sea to the west and the Pontus region to the east. Orthocorybantia's location near the coast of the Aegean Sea and its proximity to the trade routes connecting Europe and Asia made it strategically important. It was also situated near other regions that were part of the Achaemenid Empire, such as Lydia and Phrygia.

Role within the Persian Empire:

Satrapy: Orthocorybantia was likely incorporated into the Achaemenid Persian Empire as a satrapy (province) governed by a satrap (provincial governor) appointed by the Persian king. The satrap was responsible for administering the region and collecting tribute.

Military Service: The Orthocorybantians may have been expected to provide military support to the Persian Empire, either by supplying troops or by paying tribute. They may have served in the Persian army during military campaigns or as garrison troops in strategic locations.

Economic Activities:

Agriculture and Trade: Orthocorybantia's economy would have been based on agriculture, with the cultivation of crops such as grains, olives, and grapes. The region's coastal location also facilitated trade with other regions of the empire and beyond.

Mining: Anatolia was known for its mineral resources, including metals such as gold, silver, and copper. The Orthocorybantians may have been involved in mining activities, contributing to the empire's economic prosperity.

Cultural and Religious Practices:

Religion: The religious beliefs of the Orthocorybantians are not extensively documented, but they likely practiced indigenous Anatolian religious traditions, possibly influenced by neighboring cultures. With the spread of the Persian Empire's influence, they may have been exposed to Zoroastrianism, the official religion of the empire.

Cultural Exchange: Orthocorybantia's location at the crossroads of different civilizations and cultures facilitated cultural exchange and interaction. The Orthocorybantians may have adopted aspects of Persian culture, language, and customs, while also preserving their own distinct cultural identity.


Historical Significance: While specific details about the Orthocorybantians under the Persian Empire are limited, their inclusion within the empire reflects the empire's multicultural and multiethnic character. They contributed to the diversity and richness of the Persian Empire.

Archaeological Interest: The archaeological remains of Orthocorybantia and other regions of Anatolia continue to be of interest to scholars and archaeologists studying the history, culture, and interactions of ancient peoples in the region.

In summary, the Orthocorybantians were an ancient people who inhabited the region of Orthocorybantia in northwestern Anatolia and came under the rule of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Their role within the empire contributed to its cultural diversity and regional influence in Anatolia.


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