Media (Old Persian Mâda): old, tribal kingdom in the west of modern Iran; capital Ecbatana (modern Hamadan). Its sphere of influence may have consisted of the later satrapies Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, and Bactria. According to the Greek researcher Herodotus, there were several Median tribes, a.o. the Magians.

In 559, the Persian leader Cyrus revolted against his Median suzerain Astyages and subjected the Medians. In 522, the Magian Gaumâta rebelled against Cyrus' son Cambyses; he seems to have had support from Media. After initial successes, during which Cambyses died, Gaumâta was killed in the Median citadel Sikayauvatish and succeeded by a distant relative of Cyrus and Cambyses, Darius. When Darius had left Media in December, a new rebel leader stood up, Phraortes, who gained support in Sagartia, Parthia and Hyrcania. But he was defeated near modern Yazd by the Persian general Hydarnes on January 12, 521. It was not a decisive Persian victory, however, and Phraortes managed to stand his ground during the winter, until Darius took charge of the war personally: on May 8, he defeated the Medians near Kundurush, which may have been the ancient name of modern Kangâvar. The Persian victory was complete, and while Darius sacked Ecbatana, Phraortes fled to Ragae (modern Teheran), where he was intercepted; the rebel king was crucified in his former capital.

A Sagartian named Tritantaechmes, who claimed to descend from the Median king Cyaxares continued the rebellion, but was defeated by Darius' Median general Takhmaspâda. The rebel was crucified in Arbela.