Artabazos I of Phrygia

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Achaemenid nobleman wearing the Persia cap. Achaemenid nobleman.jpg
Achaemenid nobleman wearing the Persia cap.

Artabazos (Ancient Greek : Ἀρτάβαζος ; fl. 480 BC - 455 BC) was a Persian general in the army of Xerxes I, and later satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia (now northwest Turkey) under the Achaemenid dynasty, founder of the Pharnacid dynasty of satraps. He was the son of Pharnaces, who was the younger brother of Hystaspes, father of Darius I. Artabazos was therefore a first cousin of the great Achaemenid ruler Darius I.

The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as closely related languages.

Xerxes I Ancient Persian king

Xerxes I, called Xerxes the Great, was the fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Like his predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Satrap Ruler of a province in ancient Persia

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy; and the word also came to suggest tyranny, or ostentatious splendour.

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General in the Second Persian invasion of Greece

Xerxes I tomb Parthian soldier circa 470 BCE.jpg
Parthian soldier
Xerxes I tomb Choresmian soldier circa 470 BCE.jpg
Chorasmian soldier

Artabazus was one of the generals of Xerxes in the 480 BC Second Persian invasion of Greece, in command of the Parthians and the Chorasmians in the Achaemenid army. [1] He was particularly in charge of the reserve forces guarding the route back to Asia, and responsible for suppressing a revolt in Potidaea. [2]

Second Persian invasion of Greece Invasion during the Greco-Persian Wars

The second Persian invasion of Greece occurred during the Greco-Persian Wars, as King Xerxes I of Persia sought to conquer all of Greece. The invasion was a direct, if delayed, response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece at the Battle of Marathon, which ended Darius I's attempts to subjugate Greece. After Darius's death, his son Xerxes spent several years planning for the second invasion, mustering an enormous army and navy. The Athenians and Spartans led the Greek resistance. About a tenth of the Greek city-states joined the 'Allied' effort; most remained neutral or submitted to Xerxes.

Parthia region of north-eastern Iran

Parthia is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran. It was conquered and subjugated by the empire of the Medes during the 7th century BC, was incorporated into the subsequent Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, and formed part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire following the 4th-century-BC conquests of Alexander the Great. The region later served as the political and cultural base of the Eastern-Iranian Parni people and Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire. The Sasanian Empire, the last state of pre-Islamic Persia, also held the region and maintained the Seven Parthian clans as part of their feudal aristocracy.

Potidaea human settlement

Potidaea was a colony founded by the Corinthians around 600 BC in the narrowest point of the peninsula of Pallene, the westernmost of three peninsulas at the southern end of Chalcidice in northern Greece.

The invasion ended the following year with the Commander in Chief Mardonius, ignoring advice from Artabazus and others, meeting the Greeks in pitched battle at the Battle of Plataea and being defeated (479 BC). The Greeks followed up their victory by sailing to Ionia, where they destroyed the garrisoning forces under Tigranes at Mycale in the same year.

Mardonius (general) Persian general

Mardonius was a leading Persian military commander during the Persian Wars with Greece in the early 5th century BC who died at the Battle of Plataea.

Battle of Plataea final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece

The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I.

Ionia region in Turkey

Ionia was an ancient region on the central part of the western coast of Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements. Never a unified state, it was named after the Ionian tribe who, in the Archaic Period, settled mainly the shores and islands of the Aegean Sea. Ionian states were identified by tradition and by their use of Eastern Greek.

Artabazus, however, had refrained from engaging his troops at the Battle of Plataea, and thus managed to lead the remnant portion of a greatly reduced Achaemenid army out of Greece and back to Ionia. [3] According to Herodotus and Plutarch this force consisted of 40,000 men. Herodotus claims that in Thessaly he did not reveal the defeat as he would have been attacked, but claimed he needed to go to Thrace on a special mission. He was able to return to Persian territory despite losing men in attacks in Thrace.

Herodotus Ancient Greek historian

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. He is widely considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and then critically arranging them into a historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is often referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero.

Plutarch Ancient Greek historian and philosopher

Plutarch, later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers.

Thrace kingdom of Thracians

Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey.

Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia

Coinage of Hellespontine Phrygia at the time of Artabazos I, Kyzikos, Mysia. Circa 500-450 BC. This type of electrum coins was treated as gold coinage, and competed alongside Achaemenid Darics. MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 500-450 BC.jpg
Coinage of Hellespontine Phrygia at the time of Artabazos I, Kyzikos, Mysia. Circa 500-450 BC. This type of electrum coins was treated as gold coinage, and competed alongside Achaemenid Darics.

As a reward, Artabazus was made satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. He was already preceded in this role by several Achaemenid satraps: the first Achaemenid ruler of Hellespontine Phrygia had been Mitrobates (ca. 525–522 BCE), who was appointed by Cyrus the Great and continued under Cambises. He was killed and his territory absorbed by the satrap of neighbouring Lydia, Oroetes. Following the reorganization of Darius I, Mitrobates was succeeded by Oebares II (c.493), son of Megabazus.

Mitrobates

Mitrobates was an Achaemenid satrap of Daskyleion under the reigns of Cyrus the Great, by whom he was nominated, and Cambyses. After Cambyses died, and during the struggles for succession that followed, he is said to have been assassinated, together with his son Cranaspes, by the neighbouring satrap of Lydia, Oroetes, who had expansionist views on Anatolian territory. After that, Oroetes added the territory of Hellespontine Phrygia to his own territory of Lydia.

After Cambyses had died and the Magians won the kingship, Oroetes stayed in Sardis, where he in no way helped the Persians to regain the power taken from them by the Medes, but contrariwise; for in this confusion he slew two notable Persians, Mitrobates, the governor from Dascyleium, who had taunted him concerning Polycrates, and Mitrobates' son Cranaspes; and besides many other violent deeds, when a messenger from Darius came with a message which displeased him, he set an ambush by the way and killed that messenger on his journey homewards, and made away with the man's body and horse. So when Darius became king he was minded to punish Oroetes for all his wrongdoing, and chiefly for the killing of Mitrobates and his son.

Cyrus the Great King and founder of the Achaemenid Empire

Cyrus II of Persia, commonly known as Cyrus the Great, and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Western Asia and much of Central Asia. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World. The Nabonidus Chronicle notes the change in his title from simply "King of Anshan", a city, to "King of Persia". Assyriologist François Vallat wrote that "When Astyages marched against Cyrus, Cyrus is called ‘King of Anshan’, but when Cyrus crosses the Tigris on his way to Lydia, he is ‘King of Persia’. The coup therefore took place between these two events."

Lydia Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor

Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. Its capital was Sardis.

Artabazus was named satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia in 479 BC. He was the first official satrap of the Pharnacid dynasty, named after his illustrious father Pharnaces. This office was passed down to his descendants, down to the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Pharnacid dynasty Persian dynasty

The Pharnacid dynasty was a Persian dynasty that ruled the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia under the Achaemenid Dynasty from the 5th until the 4th century BCE. It was founded by Artabazus, son of satrap Pharnaces I, son of Arsames. They were directly related to the Achaemenid dynasty itself. The last member of the dynasty was Pharnabazus III.

Alexander the Great King of Macedon

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and he created one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the age of thirty, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.

Egypt and Cyprus campaigns

Artabazos, together with Megabyzus, then satrap of Syria, had command of the Persian armies sent to put down the revolt of Inarus in Egypt. They arrived in 456 BC, and within two years had put down the revolt, capturing Inarus and various Athenians supporting him. [5] They then turned their attention to Cyprus, which was under attack by the Athenians, led by Cimon. Shortly afterwards hostilities between Persia and Athens ceased, called the peace of Callias.

Succession

He was succeeded by his son, Pharnabazus I (fl. 455 BC - 430 BC), of whom little is known, and then by his grandson Pharnaces II of Phrygia (fl. 430 BC - 413 BC), who is known to have been satrap at the outset of the Peloponnesian War. Pharnaces was in turn succeeded by his son, Pharnabazus II (fl. 413 BC - 373 BC), who is well known for his rivalry with Tissaphernes and wars against the Spartans.

See also

Notes

  1. "The Parthians and Chorasmians had for their commander Artabazus son of Pharnaces, the Sogdians Azanes son of Artaeus, the Gandarians and Dadicae Artyphius son of Artabanus." in Herodotus VII 64-66
  2. Herodotus 8,126-129
  3. Herodotus 9,89
  4. CNG: MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 500-450 BC. EL Stater (20mm, 16.23 g).
  5. Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, I.104, 109.

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