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SUSIA´NA ( Σουσιανή, Ptol. 6.3.1; Plb. 5.46; Strab. 15.729, &c.; Σουσίς, Strab. 15.731; Σουσιάς, Strab. ii. p.134), an extensive province in the southern part of Asia, consisting in great measure of plain country, but traversed by some ranges of mountains. Its boundaries are variously given by different writers according as it was imagined to include more or less of the adjacent district of Persis. Generally, its limits may be stated to have been, to the N., Media with the mountains Charbanus and Cambalidus, part of the chain of the Parachoathras; to the E. the outlying spurs of the Parachoathras and the river Oroatis; to the S. the Persian gulf from the mouth of the Oroatis to that of the Tigris; and to the W. the plains of Mesopotamia and Babylonia. (Cf. Ptol. l.c. with Strab. l.c., who, however, treats Susiana as part of Persis). As a province it appears to have been very fertile, especially in grain, but exposed along the coasts to intense heat. (Strab. xv. p.731.) The vine, the Macedonians are said to have introduced. (Strab. l.c.) Its principal mountains are those on the N., called by Pliny Charbanus and Cambalidus (6.27. s. 31), while a portion of the Montes Uxii probably belonged to this province, as in them is a pass called Πύλαι Συσίδες. (Polyaen. 4.3. 27.)

Susiana was intersected by numerous rivers which flowed either to the Tigris or Persian gulf, from the high mountain watershed whereby it was surrounded. Of these the principal were the Eulaeus (Karún), the Choaspes (Kerkhah), the Coprates (river of Díz), the Hedyphon or Hedypnus (Jerráhi), and the Oroatis (Táb). The inhabitants of the district appear to have borne indifferently the names of Susii or Susiani, and, as inhabitants of the plain country, to have been devoted to agricultural employments; in the mountains, however, were tribes of robbers, who, from time to time, were strong enough to levy black mail even on their kings when traversing their passes. (Strab. xv. p.728.) Another name, whereby the people were known, at least in early times, was Cissii (Aesch. Pers. 16), and the land itself Cissia (Strab. xv. p.728; Hdt. 5.49). This name is clearly connected with that of one of the chief tribes of the people, the Cossaei, who are repeatedly mentioned in ancient authors. (Strab. xi. p.522; Arr. Ind. 40; Plb. 5.54, &c.) There were many different tribes settled in different parts of Susiana; but it is hardly possible now to determine to what different races they may have belonged. Among these, the most prominent were the Uxii, a robber tribe on the mountain borders of Media; the Messabatae, who occupied a valley district, probably now that known as Máh-Sabadan; the Cossaei, in the direction along the Median mountains; and the Elymaei, inhabitants of Elymais, the remnant, in all probability, of the earliest dwellers in this province--ELAM being the name whereby this whole district is known in the sacred records. (Isaiah, 21.2; Jerem. 49.25.) Besides these, several smaller districts are noticed in different authors, as Cabandene, Corbiana, Gabiene, and Characene. Though Ptolemy has preserved the names of several small [p. 2.1051]towns, there seems to have been no city of importance in Susiana, excepting Susa itself.


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 16
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.49
    • Polybius, Histories, 5.46
    • Polybius, Histories, 5.54
    • Arrian, Indica, 40
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