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Arbinas portrait.jpg
Portrait of Arbinas wearing the satrapal headdress, from his coinage.
Native name
Allegiance Standard of Cyrus the Great (White).svg Achaemenid Empire
Location of Lycia. Anatolia/Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period. The classical regions, including Lycia, and their main settlements Map of Lycia.jpg
Location of Lycia. Anatolia/Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period. The classical regions, including Lycia, and their main settlements
Arbinas, in Achaemenid dress on the Nereid Monument. Arbinas in Achaemenid dress.jpg
Arbinas, in Achaemenid dress on the Nereid Monument.

Arbinas, also Erbinas, Erbbina, was a Lycian Dynast who ruled circa 430/20-400 BCE. He is most famous for his tomb, the Nereid Monument, now on display in the British Museum. [1] Coinage seems to indicate that he ruled in the western part of Lycia, around Telmessos, while his tomb was established in Xanthos. [2] He was a subject of the Achaemenid Empire. [3]

Lycia geopolitical region in Anatolia

Lycia was a geopolitical region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey, and Burdur Province inland. Known to history since the records of ancient Egypt and the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, it was populated by speakers of the Luwian language group. Written records began to be inscribed in stone in the Lycian language after Lycia's involuntary incorporation into the Achaemenid Empire in the Iron Age. At that time (546 BC) the Luwian speakers were decimated, and Lycia received an influx of Persian speakers. Ancient sources seem to indicate that an older name of the region was Alope.

Nereid Monument

The Nereid Monument is a sculptured tomb from Xanthos in Lycia, close to present-day Fethiye in Mugla Province, Turkey. It took the form of a Greek temple on top of a base decorated with sculpted friezes, and is thought to have been built in the early fourth century BC as a tomb for Arbinas, the Xanthian dynast who ruled western Lycia under the Achaemenid Empire.

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area of London, in the United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8 million works, and is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire, and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It is the first national public museum in the world.



He was the son of the previous Lycian king Kheriga. [4] On his inscriptions, Erbinas is described as a tyrannos, and "the man who rules over the Lycians". [4]


Kheriga was a Dynast of Lycia, who ruled circa 450-410 BCE. Kheriga is mentioned on the succession list of the Xanthian Obelisk, and is probably the owner of the sarcophagus that was standing on top of it.

It seems the Lycia kingdom started to disintegrate during the rule of Arbinas, as numerous smaller rulers started to mint coinage throughout Lycia during his reign and after. [3]


His monumental tomb, the Nereid Monument, now in the British Museum, was the main inspiration for the famous Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. [5] Using the design of a Greek Temple for the building of a tomb was unheard of in mainland Greece.

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus One of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and his sister-wife Artemisia II of Caria. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. Its elevated tomb structure is derived from the tombs of neighbouring Lycia, a territory Mausolus had invaded and annexed circa 460 BC, such as the Nereid Monument.


Related Research Articles

A coin is a small, flat, (usually) round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade. They are most often issued by a government.

Xanthos ancient city in Lycia

Xanthos was the name of a city in ancient Lycia, the site of present-day Kınık, Antalya Province, Turkey, and of the river on which the city is situated. The ruins of Xanthus are on the south slopes of a hill, the ancient acropolis, located on the northern outskirts of the modern city, on the left bank of the Xanthus, which flows beneath the hill. A single road, Xantos yolu, encircles the hill and runs through the ruins.

Theophilos (king)

Theophilos was a minor Indo-Greek king who ruled for a short time in the Paropamisadae. He was possibly a relative of Zoilos I and is only known from coins. It is possible that some of Theophilos' coins in fact belong to another ruler, in Greek Bactria, during approximately the same period.


Autophradates was a Persian Satrap of Lydia, who also distinguished himself as a general in the reign of Artaxerxes III and Darius III.

Achaemenid coinage

Coins of the Achaemenid Empire were issued from 520 BCE-450 BCE to 330 BCE. The Persian daric was the first gold coin which, along with a similar silver coin, the siglos, represented the bimetallic monetary standard of the Achaemenid Persian Empire which has continued till today. It seems that before then, a continuation of Lydian coinage under Persian rule was highly likely. Achaemenid coinage includes the official imperial issues, as well as coins issued by the Achaemenid governors (Satraps), such as those stationed in ancient Asia Minor.

Bashlyk traditional Circassian, Turkic and Cossack headgear, a hood-like cap with lappets for wrapping around the neck

A bashlyk, also spelled Bashlik, is a traditional Circassian, Iranian, Turkic and Cossack cone-shaped headdress hood, usually of leather, felt or wool, an ancient round topped felt bonnet with lappets for wrapping around the neck. Local versions determine the trim, which may consist of decorative cords, embroidery. metallized strings, fur balls or tassels. Among dozens of versions are winter bashlyks worn atop regular headdress, cotton bashlyks, homeknitted bashlyks, silk bashlyks, scarf bashlyks, down bashlyks, dress bashlyks, jumpsuit-type bashlyks, etc. Bashlyks are used as traditional folk garment, and as uniform headdress.

Harpy Tomb

The Harpy Tomb is a marble chamber from a pillar tomb that stands in the abandoned city of Xanthos, capital of ancient Lycia, a region of southwestern Anatolia in what is now Turkey. Built in the Persian Achaemenid Empire, and dating to approximately 480–470 BC, the chamber topped a tall pillar and was decorated with marble panels carved in bas-relief. The tomb was built for an Iranian prince or governor of Xanthus, perhaps Kybernis.

Milas District in Aegean, Turkey

Milas is an ancient city and the seat of the district of the same name in Muğla Province in southwestern Turkey. The city commands a region with an active economy and very rich in history and ancient remains, the territory of Milas containing a remarkable twenty-seven archaeological sites of note. The city was the first capital of ancient Caria and of the Anatolian beylik of Menteşe in mediaeval times. The nearby Mausoleum of Hecatomnus is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Xanthian Obelisk

The Xanthian Obelisk, also known as the Xanthos or Xanthus Stele, the Xanthos or Xanthus Bilingual, the Inscribed Pillar of Xanthos or Xanthus, the Harpagus Stele, the Pillar of Kherei and the Columna Xanthiaca, is a stele bearing an inscription currently believed to be trilingual, found on the acropolis of the ancient Lycian city of Xanthos, or Xanthus, near the modern town of Kınık in southern Turkey. It was created when Lycia was part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, and dates in all likelihood to ca. 400 BC. The pillar is seemingly a funerary marker of a dynastic satrap of Achaemenid Lycia. The dynast in question is mentioned of the stele, but his name had been mostly defaced in the several places where he is mentioned: he could be Kherei (Xerei) or more probably his predecessor Kheriga.

Apollonia (Lycia)

Apollonia was an ancient city in Lycia. Its ruins are located near Kiliçli (Sıçak), a small village in the Kaş district of Antalya Province, Turkey.


Mithrapata was dynast of Lycia in the early 4th century BC, at a time when this part of Anatolia was subject to the Persian, or Achaemenid, Empire.

Tombs at Xanthos

Xanthos, also called Xanthus, was a chief city state of the Lycians, an indigenous people of southwestern Anatolia. Many of the tombs at Xanthos are pillar tombs, formed of a stone burial chamber on top of a large stone pillar. The body would be placed in the top of the stone structure, elevating it above the landscape. The tombs are for men who ruled in a Lycian dynasty from the mid-6th century to the mid-4th century BCE and help to show the continuity of their power in the region. Not only do the tombs serve as a form of monumentalization to preserve the memory of the rulers, but they also reveal the adoption of Greek style of decoration.


Artumpara, also Arttum̃para, Artembares was an Achaemenid Satrap of Lycia circa 400-370 BCE. He was involved in the Great Satraps' Revolt on the side of central Achaemenid authority in 366-360 BCE, helping to put down the rebel Datames. He is well known for his coinage.


Kybernis or Kubernis, also abbreviated KUB on his coins in Lycian, called Cyberniscus son of Sicas by Herodotus, was a dynast of Lycia, at the beginning of the time it was under the domination of the Achaemenid Empire. He is best known through his tomb, the Harpy Tomb, the decorative remains of which are now in the British Museum.

Pericles, Dynast of Lycia

Perikles, was the last known dynast of Lycia. He ruled c. 380–360 BCE over eastern Lycia from Limyra, at a time when Western Lycia was directly under Persian domination.


Kherei was dynast of Lycia, ruler of the area of Xanthos, at a time when this part of Anatolia was subject to the Persian, or Achaemenid, Empire.


Kuprilli was a dynast of Lycia, at a time when this part of Anatolia was subject to the Persian, or Achaemenid, Empire. Kuprilli ruled at the time of the Athenian alliance, the Delian League.


  1. Keen, Antony G. (1998). Dynastic Lycia: A Political of History of the Lycians and Their Relations with Foreign Powers : C. 545-362 B.C. BRILL. p. 145. ISBN   9004109560.
  2. Keen, Antony G. (1998). Dynastic Lycia: A Political of History of the Lycians and Their Relations with Foreign Powers : C. 545-362 B.C. BRILL. p. 146. ISBN   9004109560.
  3. 1 2 Fried, Lisbeth S. (2004). The Priest and the Great King: Temple-palace Relations in the Persian Empire. Eisenbrauns. p. 150. ISBN   9781575060903.
  4. 1 2 Keen, Antony G. (1998). Dynastic Lycia: A Political of History of the Lycians and Their Relations with Foreign Powers : C. 545-362 B.C. BRILL. p. 47. ISBN   9004109560.
  5. André-Salvini, Béatrice (2005). Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia. University of California Press. p. 46. ISBN   9780520247314.