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Historical Overview Section

Although Herodotus credits “Deioces son of Phraortes” (probably c. 715) with the creation of the Median kingdom and the founding of its capital city at Ecbatana (modern Hamadan), it was probably not before 625 BC that Cyaxares, grandson of Deioces, succeeded in uniting into a kingdom the many Iranian-speaking Median tribes.

Herodotus, i. 101, lists the names of six Median tribes: "Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, and ruled over them alone. Now these are the tribes of which they consist: the Busae, the Paretaceni, the Struchates, the Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi." He further notes that "the Medes had exactly the same equipment as the Persians; and indeed the dress common to both is not so much Persian as Median." (7.62) According to Herodotus, "the Medes were called anciently by all people Aryans; but when Media, the Colchian, came to them from Athens, they changed their name. Such is the account which they themselves give." --- the Medes, History of Herodotus (7.7). Medea is the daughter of the Colchian King Aeëtes in the Greek myth, Jason and the Argonauts.

According to Herodotus, the conquests of Cyaxares the Medes were preceded by a Cimmerian or Early Skythian invasion and domination lasting twenty-eight years (under Madius the Scythian, 653-625 BC). The Medes tribes seem to have come into immediate conflict with a settled state to the West known as Mannae, allied with Assyria. Assyrian inscriptions state that the early Medes rulers, who had attempted rebellions against the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the time of Esarhaddon and Ashur-bani-pal, were allied with chieftains of the Ashguza Cimmerian or Later Skythian))s and other tribes — who had come from the northern shore of the Black Sea and invaded Asia Minor. The state of Mannae was finally conquered and assimilated by the Medes in the year 616 BC.

In 612 BC, Cyaxares conquered the Urartians, and in alliance with Nabopolassar (who created the Neo-Babylonian Empire), succeeded in destroying theNeo-Assyrian Empire's capital Nineveh in 612 BC, and by 606 BC, the remaining vestiges of Assyrian control. From this point, the Medes king ruled over much of northern Mesopotamia, eastern Anatolia and Cappadocia. His power was a threat to his neighbors, and the exiled Jews expected the destruction of Babylonia by the Medes (Isaiah 13, 14m 21; Jerem. 1, 51.).

When Cyaxares attacked the Lydians in the Battle of Halys, the kings of Cilicia and Babylon intervened and negotiated a peace in 585 BC, whereby the Halys River was established as the Medes' frontier with the Lydian kingdom. Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon married a daughter of Cyaxares. Cyaxares' son, Astyages (584 BCE - 550 BCE), went to war with the Babylonian king Nabonidus. An equilibrium of the great powers was maintained until the rise of the early Achaemenid Persians under Cyrus the Great.

Modern research by a professor of Assyriology, Robert Rollinger, has questioned the extent of the Median empire and its sphere of influence, proposing for example that it did not control the Assyrian heartland, and that overall it was perhaps more average than median.

Using the army in FoG

The Median is very similar to its successor, but no Immortals. Lives up to its name

UK Tournament Results with this army

User-contributed links about this army:


Put information on allied contingents here - including recommendations on which to use, and why.

Painting and Collecting the Army

  • Paint schemes, insignia, shield designs? Put it here.

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

Those supplying Late Persian figures are likley to include some suitable figures in their ranges.

Image Image Image Image Image

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
Name of Army / Date

  • Using asterisks inthe edit mode creates a bulleted list in the actual site
  • This is a lot easier to do than easier than setting up tables
  • For FoG I suggest listing your army in order or march
  • with troop desctiptions on each line, for example
  • 4 HF Armoured Average Drilled Impact Foot Swordsmen
  • 8 LG Undrilled Unarmoured Poor Bowen
  • Dont forget to include your Generals !!!

Include any notes you want here, including comments on how to use - or play against - the army.

Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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UK Bookstore

Created by philqw78. Last Modification: Tuesday 12 of November, 2019 19:00:13 GMT by admin. (Version 16)
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