| King of Kings |
King of Persia
Pharaoh of Egypt
King of Countries
|King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire|
|Reign||358 – 338 BC|
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||343 – 338 BC|
|Died||August/September 338 BC|
|Issue|| Arses |
Ochus (Greek: Ὦχος, Ôchos; Babylonian: Ú-ma-kuš), better known by his dynastic name of Artaxerxes III (Old Persian : 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂Artaxšaçā) was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 358 to 338 BC. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II (r. 404 – 358 BC) and his mother was Stateira.
Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes was a satrap and commander of his father's army. Artaxerxes came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered and his father, Artaxerxes II died. Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as king. He started two major campaigns against Egypt. The first campaign failed, and was followed up by rebellions throughout the western part of his empire. In 343 BC, Artaxerxes defeated Nectanebo II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, driving him from Egypt, stopping a revolt in Phoenicia on the way.
In Artaxerxes' later years, Philip II of Macedon's power was increasing in Greece, where he tried to convince the Greeks to revolt against the Achaemenid Empire. His activities were opposed by Artaxerxes, and with his support, the city of Perinthus resisted a Macedonian siege.
There is evidence for a renewed building policy at Persepolis in his later life, where Artaxerxes erected a new palace and built his own tomb, and began long-term projects such as the Unfinished Gate.
Artaxerxes is the Latin form of the Greek Artaxerxes (Αρταξέρξης), itself from the Old Persian Artaxšaçā ("whose reign is through truth"). His personal name was Ochus (Greek: Ôchos, Babylonian: Ú-ma-kuš).
Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes had been a satrap and commander of his father's army. BC his father, Artaxerxes II, died, it was said to be because of a broken heart caused by his children's behaviour, and, since his other sons, Darius, Ariaspes and Tiribazus had already been eliminated by plots, Artaxerxes III succeeded him as king. His first order was the execution of over 80 of his nearest relations to secure his place as king.In 359 BC, just before ascending the throne, he attacked Egypt as a reaction to Egypt's failed attacks on coastal regions of Phoenicia. In 358
In 355 BC, Artaxerxes forced Athens to conclude a peace which required the city's forces to leave Anatolia and to acknowledge the independence of its rebellious allies.Artaxerxes started a campaign against the rebellious Cadusii, but he managed to appease both of the Cadusian kings. One individual who successfully emerged from this campaign was Darius Codomannus, who later occupied the Persian throne as Darius III.
Artaxerxes then ordered the disbanding of all the satrapal armies of Asia Minor, as he felt that they could no longer guarantee peace in the west and was concerned that these armies equipped the western satraps with the means to revolt. BC.The order was however ignored by Artabazus II, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, who asked for the help of Athens in a rebellion against the king. Athens sent assistance. Artabazos was at first supported by Chares, an Athenian general, and his mercenaries, whom he rewarded very generously. The gold coinage of Artabazos is thought to have been issued specifically to reward the troops of Chares. The Satrap of Mysia, Orontes I also supported Artabazus. Later, Artabazos was also supported by the Thebans, who sent him 5,000 men under Pammenes. With the assistance of these and other allies, Artabazos defeated the King in two great battles in 354
However, in 353 BC, they were defeated by Artaxerxes’ army and were disbanded. Orontes was pardoned by the king, while Artabazus fled with his family to the safety of the court of Philip II of Macedon, where he remained from 352 to 342.
In around 351 BC, Artaxerxes embarked on a campaign to recover Egypt, which had revolted under his father, Artaxerxes II. At the same time a rebellion had broken out in Asia Minor, which, being supported by Thebes, threatened to become serious.Levying a vast army, Artaxerxes marched into Egypt, and engaged Nectanebo II. After a year of fighting the Egyptian Pharaoh, Nectanebo inflicted a crushing defeat on the Persians with the support of mercenaries led by the Greek generals: the Athenian Diophantus and the Spartan Lamius. Artaxerxes was compelled to retreat and postpone his plans to reconquer Egypt.
Soon after this Egyptian defeat, Phoenicia, Anatolia and Cyprus declared their independence from Persian rule. In 343 BC, Artaxerxes committed responsibility for the suppression of the Cyprian rebels to Idrieus, prince of Caria, who employed 8000 Greek mercenaries and forty triremes, commanded by Phocion the Athenian, and Evagoras, son of the elder Evagoras, the Cypriot monarch. Idrieus succeeded in reducing Cyprus.
Artaxerxes initiated a counter-offensive against Sidon by commanding the satrap of Syria Belesys and Mazaeus, the satrap of Cilicia, to invade the city and to keep the Phoenicians in check.Both satraps suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Tennes, the Sidonese king, who was aided by 40,000 Greek mercenaries sent to him by Nectanebo II and commanded by Mentor of Rhodes. As a result, the Persian forces were driven out of Phoenicia.
After this, Artaxerxes personally led an army of 330,000 men against Sidon. Artaxerxes' army comprised 300,000 foot soldiers, 30,000 cavalry, 300 triremes, and 500 transports or provision ships. After gathering this army, he sought assistance from the Greeks. Though refused aid by Athens and Sparta, he succeeded in obtaining a thousand Theban heavy-armed hoplites under Lacrates, three thousand Argives under Nicostratus, and six thousand Æolians, Ionians, and Dorians from the Greek cities of Anatolia. This Greek support was numerically small, amounting to no more than 10,000 men, but it formed, together with the Greek mercenaries from Egypt who went over to him afterwards, the force on which he placed his chief reliance, and to which the ultimate success of his expedition was mainly due.
The approach of Artaxerxes sufficiently weakened the resolution of Tennes that he endeavoured to purchase his own pardon by delivering up 100 principal citizens of Sidon into the hands of the Persian king, and then admitting Artaxerxes within the defences of the town. Artaxerxes had the 100 citizens transfixed with javelins, and when 500 more came out as supplicants to seek his mercy, Artaxerxes consigned them to the same fate. Sidon was then burnt to the ground, either by Artaxerxes or by the Sidonian citizens. Forty thousand people died in the conflagration.Artaxerxes sold the ruins at a high price to speculators, who calculated on reimbursing themselves by the treasures which they hoped to dig out from among the ashes. Tennes was later put to death by Artaxerxes. Artaxerxes later sent Jews who supported the revolt to Hyrcania, on the south coast of the Caspian Sea.
The reduction of Sidon was followed closely by the invasion of Egypt. In 343 BC, Artaxerxes, in addition to his 330,000 Persians, had now a force of 14,000 Greeks furnished by the Greek cities of Asia Minor: 4,000 under Mentor, consisting of the troops which he had brought to the aid of Tennes from Egypt; 3,000 sent by Argos; and 1000 from Thebes. He divided these troops into three bodies, and placed at the head of each a Persian and a Greek. The Greek commanders were Lacrates of Thebes, Mentor of Rhodes and Nicostratus of Argos while the Persians were led by Rhossaces, Aristazanes, and Bagoas, the chief of the eunuchs. Nectanebo II resisted with an army of 100,000 of whom 20,000 were Greek mercenaries. Nectanebo II occupied the Nile and its various branches with his large navy. The character of the country, intersected by numerous canals, and full of strongly fortified towns, was in his favour and Nectanebo II might have been expected to offer a prolonged, if not even a successful, resistance. But he lacked good generals, and over-confident in his own powers of command, he was able to be out-manoeuvred by the Greek mercenary generals and his forces eventually defeated by the combined Persian armies.
After his defeat, Nectanebo hastily fled to Memphis, leaving the fortified towns to be defended by their garrisons. These garrisons consisted of partly Greek and partly Egyptian troops; between whom jealousies and suspicions were easily sown by the Persian leaders. As a result, the Persians were able to rapidly reduce numerous towns across Lower Egypt and were advancing upon Memphis when Nectanebo decided to quit the country and flee southwards to Ethiopia.The Persian army completely routed the Egyptians and occupied the Lower Delta of the Nile. Following Nectanebo fleeing to Ethiopia, all of Egypt submitted to Artaxerxes. The Jews in Egypt were sent either to Babylon or to the south coast of the Caspian Sea, the same location that the Jews of Phoenicia had earlier been sent.
After this victory over the Egyptians, Artaxerxes had the city walls destroyed, started a reign of terror, and set about looting all the temples. Persia gained a significant amount of wealth from this looting. Artaxerxes also raised high taxes and attempted to weaken Egypt enough that it could never revolt against Persia. For the 10 years that Persia controlled Egypt, believers in the native religion were persecuted and sacred books were stolen. Before he returned to Persia, he appointed Pherendares as satrap of Egypt. With the wealth gained from his reconquering Egypt, Artaxerxes was able to amply reward his mercenaries. He then returned to his capital having successfully completed his invasion of Egypt.
After his success in Egypt, Artaxerxes returned to Persia and spent the next few years effectively quelling insurrections in various parts of the Empire so that a few years after his conquest of Egypt, the Persian Empire was firmly under his control. Egypt remained a part of the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt.
After the conquest of Egypt, there were no more revolts or rebellions against Artaxerxes. Mentor of Rhodes and Bagoas, the two generals who had most distinguished themselves in the Egyptian campaign, were advanced to posts of the highest importance. Mentor, who was governor of the entire Asiatic seaboard, was successful in reducing to subjection many of the chiefs who during the recent troubles had rebelled against Persian rule. In the course of a few years Mentor and his forces were able to bring the whole Asian Mediterranean coast into complete submission and dependence.
Bagoas went back to the Persian capital with Artaxerxes, where he took a leading role in the internal administration of the Empire and maintained tranquility throughout the rest of the Empire. During the last six years of the reign of Artaxerxes III, the Persian Empire was governed by a vigorous and successful government.
The Persian forces in Ionia and Lycia regained control of the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea and took over much of Athens’ former island empire. In response, Isocrates of Athens started giving speeches calling for a ‘crusade against the barbarians’ but there was not enough strength left in any of the Greek city-states to answer his call.
Although there weren't any rebellions in the Persian Empire itself, the growing power and territory of Philip II of Macedon in Macedon (against which Demosthenes was in vain warning the Athenians) attracted the attention of Artaxerxes. In response, he ordered that Persian influence was to be used to check and constrain the rising power and influence of the Macedonian kingdom. In 340 BC, a Persian force was dispatched to assist the Thracian prince, Cersobleptes, to maintain his independence. Sufficient effective aid was given to the city of Perinthus that the numerous and well-appointed army with which Philip had commenced his siege of the city was compelled to give up the attempt. By the last year of Artaxerxes' rule, Philip II already had plans in place for an invasion of the Persian Empire, which would crown his career, but the Greeks would not unite with him.
In 338 BC Artaxerxes III was according to a Greek source, Diodorus of Sicily, poisoned by Bagoas with the assistance of a physician. A cuneiform tablet in the British Museum (BM 71537) however suggests Artaxerxes III died from natural causes.
Historically, kings of the Achaemenid Empire were followers of Zoroaster or heavily influenced by Zoroastrian ideology. The reign of Artaxerxes II saw a revival of the cult of Anahita and Mithra, when in his building inscriptions he invoked Ahura Mazda, Anahita and Mithra and even set up statues of his gods.Mithra and Anahita had until then been neglected by true Zoroastrians—they defied Zoroaster’s command that God was to be represented only by the flames of a sacred fire. Artaxerxes III is thought to have rejected Anahita and worshipped only Ahuramazda and Mithra. An ambiguity in the cuneiform script of an inscription of Artaxerxes III at Persepolis suggests that he regarded the father and the son as one person, suggesting that the attributes of Ahuramazda were being transferred to Mithra. Strangely, Artaxerxes had ordered that statues of the goddess Anâhita be erected at Babylon, Damascus and Sardis, as well as at Susa, Ecbatana and Persepolis.
Artaxerxes' name appears on silver coins (modeled on Athenian ones) issued while he was in Egypt. The reverse bears an inscription in an Egyptian script, saying "Artaxerxes Pharaoh. Life, Prosperity, Wealth".
It is thought by some that the Book of Judith could have been originally based on Artaxerxes' campaign in Phoenicia, as Holofernes was the name of the brother of the Cappadocian satrap Ariarathes, the vassal of Artaxerxes. Bagoas, the general that finds Holofernes dead, was one of the generals of Artaxerxes during his campaign against Phoenicia and Egypt.
There is evidence for a renewed building policy at Persepolis, but some of the buildings were unfinished at the time of his death. Two of his buildings at Persepolis were the Hall of Thirty-Two Columns, the purpose of which is unknown, and the palace of Artaxerxes III. The unfinished Army Road and Unfinished Gate, which connected the Gate of All Nations and the One-hundred Column Hall, gave archaeologists an insight into the construction of Persepolis. BC, after Artaxerxes returned to Babylon from Egypt, he apparently proceeded to build a great Apadana whose description is present in the works of Diodorus Siculus.In 341
The Nebuchadnezzar II palace in Babylon was expanded during the reign of Artaxerxes III.Artaxerxes' tomb was cut into the mountain behind the Persepolis platform, next to his father's tomb.
Artaxerxes III was the son of Artaxerxes II and Statira. Artaxerxes II had more than 115 sons by many wives, most of them however were illegitimate. Some of Ochus' more significant siblings were Rodogune, Apama, Sisygambis, Ocha, Darius and Ariaspes, most of whom were murdered soon after his ascension.
His children were:
By an unknown wife:
He also married:
Darius II, also called Darius II Nothus or Darius II Ochus, was king of kings of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 or 405 BC.
Darius III, originally named Artashata and called Codomannus by the Greeks, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, from 336 BC to 330 BC. Artashata adopted Darius as a dynastic name.
This article concerns the period 349 BC – 340 BC.
This article concerns the period 369 BC – 360 BC
This article concerns the period 359 BC – 350 BC.
This article concerns the period 339 BC – 330 BC.
Year 343 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Corvus and Arvina. The denomination 343 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Artaxerxes II Mnemon was the King of Kings of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.
Bagoas was a prominent Persian official who served as the vizier of the Achaemenid Empire until his death.
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.
Nectanebo II, ruled in 360—342 BC was the third and last pharaoh of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt as well as the last native ruler of ancient Egypt.
Memnon of Rhodes was a prominent Rhodian Greek commander in the service of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Related to the Persian aristocracy by the marriage of his sister to the satrap Artabazus II, together with his brother Mentor he served the Persian king for most of his life, and played an important role during the invasion of Alexander the Great and the decades before that.
Mentor of Rhodes was a Greek mercenary and later Satrap of the Asiatic coast. He fought both for and against Artaxerxes III of Persia. He is also known as the first husband of Barsine, who later became mistress to Alexander the Great.
Artabazos II was a Persian general and satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. He was the son of the Persian satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia Pharnabazus II, and younger kinsman of Ariobarzanes of Phrygia who revolted against Artaxerxes II around 356 BC. His first wife was an unnamed Greek woman from Rhodes, sister of the two mercenaries Mentor of Rhodes and Memnon of Rhodes. Towards the end of his life, he became satrap of Bactria for Alexander the Great.
The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the First Egyptian Satrapy was effectively a province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 525 BC and 404 BC. It was founded by Cambyses II, the King of Persia, after his conquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the rebellion and crowning of Amyrtaeus as Pharaoh. A second period of Achaemenid rule in Egypt occurred under the Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt.
The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.
The Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Second Egyptian Satrapy, was effectively a short-lived province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 343 BC to 332 BC. It was founded by Artaxerxes III, the King of Persia, after his reconquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great.
The Battle of Pelusium in 343 was fought between the Persians, with their Greek mercenaries, and the Egyptians with their Greek mercenaries. It took place at the stronghold of Pelusium, on the coast at the far eastern side of the Nile Delta. Overall, Artaxerxes III commanded the Persians, and Nectanebo II commanded the Egyptians. The Greek troops with Egyptians inside the fortress were commanded by Philophron. The first attack was by Theban troops under Lacrates.
Tennes was a king of Sidon under the Achaemenid Empire. His predecessor was Abdashtart I, the son of Baalshillem II, who ruled the Phoenician city-state of Sidon from 365 to 352 BC, having been associated in power by his father since the 380s. It remains uncertain whether his known heir and successor, Tennes, was his son or some other close relative.
Belesys was a satrap of Syria for the Achaemenid Empire in the 4th century BCE.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Artaxerxes III .|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Iranian History/The Era of the Three Dariuses|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Artaxerxes IIIBorn: c. 425 BC Died: 338 BC
| Great King (Shah) of Persia |
Artaxerxes IV Arses
| Pharaoh of Egypt |