Adiabene refers to an old pre-Islamic Kurdish[1] Kingdom which was southeastern neighbor of Corduene. The Kingdom, first occupied the area between Upper and Lower Zab (= Great and Little Zab), later also the regions, which were mainly bordering on the north. Its capital and most significant city was Arbil.


According to multiple genetic studies and genealogists, Adiabene was a Jewish-Kurdish kingdom.[2][3][4] Some non-academic sources claim that the kingdom was of Semitic origin however this theories are not upheld but denounced by the genealogists.


In the first century AD, Adiabene was governed by several kings of a local dynasty, who depended on the Parthians, and who acknowledged Judaism. In so doing, they were often involved in inner-party throne contests and Parthian-Roman conflicts. Especially during the reign of King Izate II (c. 36-59 / 60) influence of the Parthian empire was considerable. It was also the Izate who, with his mother Helena, made the conversion to Judaism for political reasons (proselytizing). The royal house supported the Palestinian Jews financially and even sent troops during the Roman War. Monobazos and Helena are often mentioned in the Mishnah, and are praised for their piety.

When the Romans had conquered Mesopotamia under Trajan, Adiabene became a Roman province under the name Assyria. However, the Mesopotamian colonies were abandoned under Trajan’s successor Hadrian. It was Septimius Severus who took Adiabene again in 195 and took the nickname Adiabenus. Under Caracalla the Romans 216 marched once more into Adiabene.

Later, the rulers of Adiabene and the ruler of Kirkuk, according to the chronicle of Arbela, allied themselves with the Sassanid Ardashir I. against the Parthian ruler of Artabanos IV.

Rulers of Adiabene

1.Artaxares (after 30 BC)
2.Izcates (? -30 AD)
3.Monobazos I. Bazaios (around 30-around 36)
4.Helene, co-regent
5.Izates II (about 36-59 / 60)
6.Vologaeses I. (around 50)
7.Monobazos II (59/60-mid-seventies)
8.Mebarsapes (around 114)
9.To the Roman Empire 116/7
10.Rakbakt (? -191) (A Parthian satrap of Alanian descent)
11.Narses (Adiabene) (about 191-200)
12.Shahrat (Shabrad) (around 213-224)
13.To the Sassanids 226-649
14.Ardashir II (344-376)


4.J-L817 – Summary

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