Ecbatana (Old Persian: Haŋgmatana, Greek: Ἀγβάτανα Agbatana in Aeschylus and Herodotus, elsewhere Ἐκβάτανα Ekbatana, Agámtanu by Nabonidos, and Agamatanu at Behistun; modern Hamadan, Iran) (literally: the place of gathering; Hebrew: אַחְמְתָא, Modern Aẖmeta Tiberian ʼAḥməṯā; Latin: Ecbatana) is supposed to be the capital of Astyages (Istuvegü), which was taken by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the sixth year of Nabonidus (549 BC).
Under the Persian kings, Ecbatana, situated at the foot of Mount Alvand, became a summer residence. Later, it became the capital of the Parthian kings, at which time it became their main mint, producing drachm, tetradrachm, and assorted bronze denominations. It is also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Ezra 6.2) under the name Achmetha (also spelled Ahmetha, e.g. JTS Bible).
In 330 BC, Ecbatana was the site of the murder of the Macedonian Greek general Parmenion by order of Alexander the Great.
The Greeks supposed it to be the capital of Media, and ascribed its foundation to Deioces (the Daiukku of the cuneiform inscriptions), who is said to have surrounded his palace in it with seven concentric walls of different colours. In the 5th century BC, Herodotus wrote of Ecbatana: