|Apical ancestor of the Achaemenid dynasty|
Position of Achaemenes in the Achaemenid lineage.
Achaemenes (Old Persian : Hakhāmaneš) was the apical ancestor of the Achaemenid dynasty of rulers of Persia.
Other than his role as an apical ancestor, nothing is known of his life or actions. It is quite possible that Achaemenes was only the mythical ancestor of the Persian royal house, but if Achaemenes was a historical person, he would have lived around the end of the 8th century and the beginning of the 7th century BC.
The name used in European languages (Greek : Ἀχαιμένης (Achaiménēs), Latin : Achaemenes) ultimately derives from Old Persian Haxāmaniš (𐏃𐎧𐎠𐎶𐎴𐎡𐏁), as found together with Elamite 𒄩𒀝𒋡𒉽𒉡𒆜 (Ha-ak-ka-man-nu-iš or Hâkamannuiš) and Akkadian 𒀀𒄩𒈠𒉌𒅖𒀪 (A-ḫa-ma-ni-iš-ʾ) in the non-contemporaneous trilingual Behistun Inscription of Darius I. The Old Persian proper name is traditionally derived from haxā- (Sanskrit Sakhā) "friend" and manah "thinking power", yielding "having a friend's mind." A more recent interpretation reads haxā- as "follower", giving "characterized by a follower's spirit." The name is spelled هخامنش (Haxâmaneš) in Modern Persian.
In the Behistun inscription (c. 490 BC), Darius I portrays Achaemenes as the father of Teispes, ancestor of Cyrus II (Cyrus the Great) and Darius I.The mid-5th century BC Histories (7.11) of Herodotus has essentially the same story, but fuses two parallel lines of descent from "Teispes son of Achaemenes". Beyond such brief mentions of the name, nothing is known of the figure behind it, neither from indigenous sources nor from historiographic ones. It may be that Achaemenes was just a mythical ancestor, not a historical one. Many scholars believe he was a ruler of Parsumash, a vassal state of the Median Empire, and that from there he led armies against the Assyrian king Sennacherib in 681 BC.
It may be that the Behistun inscription's claim of descent from Achaemenes was an invention of Darius I, in order to justify the latter's seizure of the throne. Cyrus II does not mention Achaemenes at all in the detailed genealogy given in the Cyrus cylinder. —"of [the clan of] Achaemenes"—does appear in an inscription at Pasargadae attributed to Cyrus II, this inscription may have been written on the order of Darius I after Cyrus' death. As such, Achaemenes could be a retrograde creation of Darius the Great, made in order to legitimize a dynastic relationship to Cyrus the Great. Darius certainly had much to gain in having an ancestor shared by Cyrus and himself (however, Teispes was already one), and may have felt the need for a stronger connection than that provided by his subsequent marriage to Cyrus' daughter Atossa.While the patronym haxāmanišiya
The Greek writers of antiquity preserve several legends surrounding the figure:The late 4th-century BC Alcibiades (120e) of (Pseudo-)Plato portrays Achaemenes as the hero-founder of the Persái in the same way that the Greeks are descended from Heracles, and that both Achaemenes and Hercules were sons of Perseus, son of Zeus. This is generally assumed to be an identification of Achaemenes with Perses (i.e. the son of Perseus and Andromeda) who in Greek mythology was imagined to be the ancestor of the "Persians". Another version of the tale makes Achaemenes the son of Aegeus, yet another founder-hero of legend. The 3rd-century Aelianus (De nat. anim. 12.21) has Achaemenes being bred by an eagle.
The Behistun Inscription is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, established by Darius the Great. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script as the inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. The inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script.
Darius I, commonly known as Darius the Great, was the fourth Persian King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire. He ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, parts of the Balkans, most of the Black Sea coastal regions, parts of the North Caucasus, Central Asia, as far as the Indus Valley in the far east and portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, and coastal Sudan.
Arses, also known by his regnal name of Artaxerxes IV, was the twelfth Achaemenid king of Persia from 338 BC to 336 BC. He is known as Arses in Greek sources and that seems to have been his real name, but the Xanthus trilingue and potsherds from Samaria report that he took the royal name of Artaxerxes IV, following his father and grandfather.
Cyrus I or Cyrus I of Anshan or Cyrus I of Persia, was King of Anshan in Persia from c. 600 to 580 BC or, according to others, from c. 652 to 600 BC. Cyrus I of Anshan is the grandfather of Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus II. His name in Modern Persian is کوروش, Kurosh, while in Greek he was called Κῦρος, Kȳros.
Hydarnes, son of Bagābigna, was a Persian nobleman of the Achaemenid Empire in the late 6th and early 5th centuries BC. He was one of the seven conspirators against the usurper, Gaumâta, who killed him and then proclaimed Darius I as the Persian king. His name appears in the Behistun inscription among the six conspirators who supported the rise of Darius the Great. Hydarnes then served Darius I as a commander and remained influential during his reign.
Ariaramnes was a great uncle of Cyrus the Great and the great-grandfather of Darius I, and perhaps the king of Persia, the ancient core kingdom of Persia.
Teïspes ruled Anshan in 675–640 BC. He was the son of Achaemenes of Persis and an ancestor of Cyrus the Great. There is evidence that Cyrus I and Ariaramnes were both his sons. Cyrus I is the grandfather of Cyrus the Great, whereas Ariaramnes is the great-grandfather of Darius the Great.
Arsames was the son of Ariaramnes and perhaps briefly the king of Persia during the Achaemenid dynasty, but gave up the throne and declared loyalty to Cyrus II of Persia. After this, Arsames most likely retired to his family estate in the Persian heartland of Parsa, and lived out the rest of his long years there peacefully, though he may nominally have exercised the duties of a "lesser king" under the authority of the "Great King". In an inscription allegedly found in Hamadan he is called "king of Persia", but some scholars believe it is a fraud, either modern or ancient. Another attestation of his reign is the Behistun Inscription, where his grandson Darius I lists him among his royal forebears and counts him among the eight kings who preceded him.
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AchaemenesBorn: 8th century BC Died: 7th century BC