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Ecbatana

An ancient city of great interest to those who study the history of the rebuilding of the Temple. Its several names were Agbatana, Hagmatana, and Achmeta. Tradition attributes the founding of the city to Solomon, Herodotus to Deioces, 728 B.C., the Book of Judith to Arphaxad. It was the ancient capital of Media. Vast quantities of rubbish now indicate where the palace and citadel stood. The Temple of the Sun crowned a conical hill enclosed by seven concentric walls. According to Celsus, there was thus exhibited a scale composed of seven steps or stages, with an eighth at the upper extremity. The first stage was composed of lead, and indicated Saturn; the second, of tin, denoted Venus; the third, of copper, denoted Jupiter; the fourth, of iron, denoted Mars; the fifth, of divers metals, denoted Mercury; the sixth, of silver, denoted the Moon: the seventh, of gold, denoted the Sun; then the highest, Heaven. As they rose in gradation toward the pinnacle, all the gorgeous battlements represented at once--in Sabean fashion--the seven planetary spheres. The principal buildings were the Citadel, a stronghold of enormous dimensions, where also the archives were kept, in which Darius found the edict of Cyrus the Great concerning the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

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