me'-di-a (madhay; Achaem. Persian Mada; Media):
Lay to the West and Southwest of the Caspian, and extended thence to the Zagrus Mountains on the West On the North in later times it was bounded by the rivers Araxes and Cyrus, which separated it from Armenia. Its eastern boundaries were formed by Hyrcania and the Great Salt Desert (now called the Kavir), and it was bounded on the South by Susiana. In earlier times its limits were somewhat indefinite. It included Atropatene, (Armenian Atrpatakan, the name, "Fire-guarding," showing devotion to the worship of Fire) to the North, and Media Magna to the South, the former being the present A'zarbaijan. Near the Caspian the country is low, damp and unhealthy, but inland most of it is high and mountainous, Mt. Demavand in the Alburz range reaching 18,600 ft. Atropatene was famed for the fertility of its valleys and table-lands, except toward the North. Media Magna is high; it has fruitful tracts along the course of the streams, but suffers much from want of water, though this was doubtless more abundant in antiquity. It contained the Nisaean Plain, famous for its breed of horses. The chief cities of ancient Media were Ecbatana, Gazaea, and Ragae. The Orontes range near Ecbatana is the present Alvand. Lake Spauta is now known as Urmi (Urumiah).
W. St. Clair Tisdall
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