Achaemenid Settlements > Nahavand

Nahavand

Background

Nahavand, also known as Nahāvand or Nahawand, was an ancient city located in western Iran, historically associated with the Achaemenid Empire. Nahavand was situated in the Zagros Mountains region of western Iran, in what is now the Hamadan Province. It occupied a strategic position along major trade routes connecting central Iran with Mesopotamia to the west and the Iranian Plateau to the east.

Nahavand has a long history dating back to ancient times, with evidence of human habitation dating to the prehistoric period.During the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BCE), Nahavand gained prominence as an administrative and military center within the vast Persian Empire. The city served as a key point along the Royal Road, the ancient highway that facilitated communication and trade across the empire. As part of the Achaemenid Empire, Nahavand likely played a role in governance, administration, and defense of the western provinces. It may have housed a local Persian administrative center or military garrison, overseeing the surrounding region and ensuring loyalty to the Persian king.

Archaeological Significance:

Archaeological excavations in Nahavand and its surrounding areas have revealed artifacts and structures dating to the Achaemenid period.These include pottery, coins, inscriptions, and architectural remains, providing insights into the city's urban layout, economic activities, and cultural interactions.

Military History:

Nahavand is historically significant for being the site of the Battle of Nahavand in 642 CE, during the early Islamic conquests of Persia.In this decisive battle, the Arab Muslim forces, led by General Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, defeated the Persian Sassanian army, leading to the Muslim conquest of Iran and the collapse of the Sassanian Empire.

Legacy:

Nahavand's historical significance extends beyond the Achaemenid period, encompassing its role in subsequent Persian, Islamic, and medieval periods. Today, Nahavand is a modern city in Iran, known for its historical heritage, archaeological sites, and cultural significance.In summary, Achaemenid Nahavand was a strategically important city within the Persian Empire, playing a role in administration, trade, and military affairs during the Achaemenid period. Its legacy as a center of power and civilization endured through subsequent centuries, shaping the history and culture of the region.

Nahavand was a city was founded by Darius I the Great, in Media along with the two other Achaemenid cities of Apamea and Xerxes. (Strabo xi. p. 524 ; Xerxes "Laodikeia") Pliny (vi. 29) describes it as being in the extreme limits of Media, and (re-)founded by Xerxes I. It has been spelled differently in different books and sources: Nahavand, Nahavend, Nahawand, Nahaavand, Nehavand, Nihavand or Nehavend, formerly called Mah-Nahavand, and in antiquity Laodicea (Greek: Λαοδίκεια; Arabic Ladhiqiyya), also transliterated Laodiceia and Laodikeia, Laodicea in Media, Laodicea in Persis, Antiochia in Persis, Antiochia of Chosroes (Greek: Αντιόχεια του Χοσρόη), Antiochia in Media (Greek: Αντιόχεια της Μηδίας), Nemavand and Niphaunda.

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