The Scythian dynasty of Adiabene

Above is the relief at Batas, depicting King Izates II (ruled ca. 36-62 A.D) of the Scythian dynasty of Adiabene, in what is nowadays Southern Kurdistan. Its capital was Arbela (Arbil) and included Garmakan (Garmian/Kirkuk), Duhok, Mosul, Shyarzur (Sharazur) etc.

King Izates II who is wearing a pointed tiara with a headband or diadem, ordered the carving after the unexpected retreat of the Parthian king, Vologases I, who had marched against him but had been forced to abandon the campaign when nomadic Dahi and Sacae (Scythian-related peoples) invaded the northeast of the Parthian empire.

The Parthians and Armenians called the kingdom "Nor-Shirakan", after the powerful ruling dynasty of Shirak, who were a well-known Scythian people. During Sassanid period, the kingdom was ruled by the "Suren" clan, who were related to both Scythians and Parthians. Both Shiraks and Surens have left substantial toponyms after themselves in Kurdistan.

Other inhabitants of Adiabene were Alans, Orontes (Rawands), Azones (Hazwans) and Silices (Selekei/Silki or Sidkan), these tribes are still there, in Kurdistan.

In the middle Persian language, the old Persian term "Saka", which meant ''nomad'' and was a generic term for Iranic-speaking non-Zoroastrian nomads (i.e. Scythians), had been replaced by "Kurd" (nomad)، which paved its way even into Arabic. After Muslim Arabs conquered the area in the 7th century, the Adiabane Kurds, (Arabic: ''Akrad al-Hadiab''), gradually expanded their dominion northwards to the areas around lake Urmia, taking Ushnu as their summer capital. They ruled the area for a while but later split to a few branches, spreading across Azerbaijan (at times Turks still had not invaded Azerbaijan), and Caucasus. Saladin the renowned Muslim ruler was descendant of one of the Adiabene tribal branches.

Saladin the Kurd, a descendant of the Adiabene Scythians.

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