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Ecbatana (ĕkbătˈənə, ĕkbətäˈnə) [key], capital of ancient Media, later the summer residence of Achaemenid and Parthian kings, beautifully situated at the foot of Mt. Elvend and NE of Behistun. In 549 B.C. it was captured by Cyrus the Great. It possessed a royal treasury and was plundered in turn by Alexander, Seleucus, and Antiochus III. The site has never been thoroughly excavated, since it is covered by the modern city, Hamadan, Iran, where the traditional tomb of Esther is still honored by the Jewish community. Ecbatana was the Achmetha of Ezra 6.2 and the Apocrypha. It is also called Hangmatana.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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