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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR NEW MONTHLY DONATIONS! Thank you and God bless.

Susa

The capital of the Kingdom of Elam

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Susa (Heb. SVSN; Gr. Sousan, Sousa), the capital of the Kingdom of Elam, and from the time of Cyrus, or more probably of Darius I, the winter residence of the kings of Persia. It was situated on the River Ulai or Eulaeus (Dan., viii, 2, 16; Pliny, “Hist. Nat.”, VI, 27), which was probably a branch of the Choaspes, now the Kerkha, formerly connected with the Pasitigris, now the Karun. After an existence of more than fifteen centuries the city was destroyed by Assurbanipal about 647 B.C., but it rose from its ruins, and under Persian rule enjoyed great prosperity. It began to decay under the Seleucids, and after the destruction of the Sassanid monarchy by the Arabs it was gradually abandoned. The “castle” (II Esd.1 i, 1; Dan., viii, 2), or acropolis, was distinct and separated from the city, though in the Book of Esther the Vulgate neglects the distinction (in i, 2, 5; ii, 3, 5, 8.; iii, 15; viii, 14; ix, 6, 11, 12, the “castle”, and not the city, is meant). Here Darius I built a vast palace, in which under his successor occurred the events narrated in the Book of Esther. The ruins of the acropolis, covering about 300 acres, have been explored by Williams and Loftus, and more thoroughly by Dieulafoy and de Morgan. The excavations have yielded some important finds, among others the code of Hammurabi.

F. BECHTEL


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