|Artaxerxes II Mnemon|
| King of Kings |
King of Persia
King of Countries
Relief of Artaxerxes II on his tomb at Persepolis, Iran.
|King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire|
|Reign||404 to 358 BC (46 years)|
435 or 445 BC
|Died||358 BC (aged 77 or 87)|
Artaxerxes II Mnemon // (Old Persian : 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂, meaning "whose reign is through truth") was the King of Kings (Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm) of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.
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.
Darius II Ochus, also Darius II Nothus, was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 or 405 BC.
Parysatis was the 5th-century BC illegitimate daughter of Artaxerxes I, Emperor of Persia and Andia of Babylon.
Greek authors gave him the epithet "Mnemon" (Ancient Greek : Μνήμων, in Old Persian: abiataka), meaning "remembering; having a good memory".
Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages. Like other Old Iranian languages, this language was known to its native speakers as Iranian language. Old Persian appears primarily in the inscriptions, clay tablets and seals of the Achaemenid era. Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, with the most important attestation by far being the contents of the Behistun Inscription. Recent research (2007) into the vast Persepolis Fortification Archive at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago have unearthed Old Persian tablets, which suggest Old Persian was a written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.
Darius II died in 404 BC, just before the final victory of the Egyptian general, Amyrtaeus, over the Persians in Egypt.
Amyrtaeus of Sais is the only Pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt and is thought to be related to the royal family of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. He ended the first Persian occupation of Egypt and reigned from 404 BC to 399 BC. Amyrtaeus' successful insurrection inaugurated Egypt's last significant phase of independence under native sovereigns, which lasted for about 60 years until the Battle of Pelusium in 343 BC.
His successor was his eldest son Arsames, who was crowned as Artaxerxes II in Pasargadae.
Pasargadae was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great, who ordered its construction. Today it is an archaeological site and one of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, about 90 km to the northeast of the modern city of Shiraz. A limestone tomb there is believed to be that of Cyrus the Great.
Before Artaxerxes II could take the throne, he encountered an issue that would threaten his legitimacy as ruler of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus the Younger, who at the time was the appointed governor of Asia Minor, had also made claims to the throne. These claims of dethroning Artaxerxes II came to his attention from Tissaphernes, who was a satrap of Caria at the time. Tissapherenes noted that Cyrus the Younger's claims to be on a military expedition to attack the Pisidians had many flaws that led him to believe that Cyrus was planning to revolt. These claims became realized when Cyrus began to seek political support for his campaign. Cyrus found support with Sparta, who sent soldiers to aid the campaign against Artaxerxes II. Notably, Cyrus found support with a Persian kingdom of Cilicia, who contributed to the effort through funds. During this time, due to Tissaphernes' reports, Artaxerxes II began to build up a force to contend with his younger brother's revolt.
Cyrus the Younger, son of Darius II of Persia and Parysatis, was a Persian prince and general, Satrap of Lydia and Ionia from 408 to 401 BC. His birth date is unknown, but he died in 401 BC after a failed battle to oust his elder brother, Artaxerxes II, from the Persian throne.
Tissaphernes was a Persian soldier and statesman, Satrap of Lydia. He was a grandson of Hydarnes, one of the six conspirators who had supported the rise of Darius the Great.
Caria was a region of western Anatolia extending along the coast from mid-Ionia (Mycale) south to Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian population in forming Greek-dominated states there. The inhabitants of Caria, known as Carians, had arrived there before the Ionian and Dorian Greeks. They were described by Herodotus as being of Minoan Greek descent, while the Carians themselves maintained that they were Anatolian mainlanders intensely engaged in seafaring and were akin to the Mysians and the Lydians. The Carians did speak an Anatolian language, known as Carian, which does not necessarily reflect their geographic origin, as Anatolian once may have been widespread. Also closely associated with the Carians were the Leleges, which could be an earlier name for Carians or for a people who had preceded them in the region and continued to exist as part of their society in a reputedly second-class status.
By the time of Darius II's death, Cyrus had already been successful in defeating the Syrians and Cilicians and was commanding a large army made up of his initial supporters plus those who had joined him in Phrygia and beyond. Upon hearing of his father's death, Cyrus the Younger declared his claim to the throne, based on the argument that he was born to Darius and Parysatis after Darius had ascended to the throne, while Artaxerxes was born prior to Darius II gaining the throne.
Artaxerxes II initially wanted to resolve the conflict peacefully, but the negotiations fell through.Cyrus also ran into issues with the locals, who were loyal to Artaxerxes. Artaxerxes defended his position against his brother Cyrus the Younger, who with the aid of a large army of Greek mercenaries called the "Ten Thousand", attempted to usurp the throne. Though Cyrus' mixed army fought to a tactical victory at the Battle of Cunaxa in Babylon (401 BC), Cyrus himself was killed in the exchange by Mithridates, rendering his victory irrelevant. Greek historian Xenophon, himself one of the leaders of the Greek troops, would later recount this battle in the Anabasis , focusing on the struggle of the now-stranded Greek mercenaries to return home.)
The Ten Thousand were a force of mercenary units, mainly Greeks, employed by Cyrus the Younger to attempt to wrest the throne of the Persian Empire from his brother, Artaxerxes II. Their march to the Battle of Cunaxa and back to Greece was recorded by Xenophon in his work Anabasis.
The Battle of Cunaxa was fought in 401 BC between Cyrus the Younger and his elder brother Arsaces, who had inherited the Persian throne as Artaxerxes II in 404 BC. The great battle of the revolt of Cyrus took place 70 km north of Babylon, at Cunaxa, on the left bank of the Euphrates. The main source is Xenophon, a Greek soldier who participated in the fighting.
Mithridates was a young Persian soldier in the army of king Artaxerxes II who according to Plutarch's Life of Artaxerxes II, accidentally killed the rebel claimant to the throne Cyrus the Younger in the Battle of Cunaxa.
Artaxerxes became involved in a war with Persia's erstwhile allies, the Spartans, during the Corinthian War (395-387 BC). The Spartans under their king Agesilaus II had started by invading Asia Minor in 396-395 BC. To redirect the Spartans' attention to Greek affairs, Artaxerxes subsidized their enemies through his envoy Timocrates of Rhodes; in particular, the Athenians, Thebans, and Corinthians received massives subsidies. Tens of thousands of darics, the main currency in Achaemenid coinage, were used to bribe the Greek states to start a war against Sparta.These subsidies helped to engage the Spartans in what would become known as the Corinthian War. According to Plutarch, Agesilaus said upon leaving Asia Minor, "I have been driven out by 10,000 Persian archers", a reference to "Archers" ( Toxotai ) the Greek nickname for the darics from their obverse design, because that much money had been paid to politicians in Athens and Thebes to start a war against Sparta.
The Achaemenids, allied with Athens, managed to utterly destroy the Spartan fleet at the Battle of Cnidus (394 BC). After that, the Achaemenid satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, Pharnabazus II, together with former Athenian admiral Conon, raided the coasts of Peloponnesia, putting increased pressure on the Spartans. This encouraged the resurgence of Athens, which started to bring back under her control the Greek cities of Asia Minor, thus worrying Artaxerxes II that his Athenian allies were becoming too powerful.
In 386 BC, Artaxerxes II betrayed his allies and came to an arrangement with Sparta, and in the Treaty of Antalcidas, he forced his erstwhile allies to come to terms. This treaty restored control of the Greek cities of Ionia and Aeolis on the Anatolian coast to the Persians, while giving Sparta dominance on the Greek mainland. In 385 BC, he campaigned against the Cadusians.
Although successful against the Greeks, Artaxerxes had more trouble with the Egyptians, who had successfully revolted against him at the beginning of his reign. An attempt to reconquer Egypt in 373 BC under the command of Pharnabazus, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, was completely unsuccessful, but in his waning years, the Persians did manage to defeat a joint Egyptian–Spartan effort to conquer Phoenicia.
In 377 BC, Pharnabazus was reassigned by Artaxerxes II to help command a military expedition into rebellious Egypt, having proven his ability against the Spartans.
After four years of preparations in the Levant, Pharnabazus gathered an expeditionary force of 200,000 Persian troops, 300 triremes, 200 galleys, and 12,000 Greeks under Iphicrates.The Achaemenid Empire had also been applying pressure on Athens to recall the Greek general Chabrias, who was in the service of the Egyptians, but in vain. The Egyptian ruler Nectanebo I was thus supported by Athenian General Chabrias and his mercenaries.
The Achaemenid force landed in Egypt with the Athenian general Iphicrates near Mendes in 373 BC.The expedition force was too slow, giving time to the Egyptians to strengthen defenses. Pharnabazus and Iphicrates appeared before Pelusium, but retired without attacking it, Nectanebo I, king of Egypt, having added to its former defences by laying the neighboring lands under water, and blocking up the navigable channels of the Nile by embankments. (Diodorus Siculus xv. 42; Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates c. 5.) Fortifications on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile ordered by Nectanebo forced the enemy fleet to seek another way to sail up the Nile. Eventually the fleet managed to find its way up the less-defended Mendesian branch. At this point, the mutual distrust that had arisen between Iphicrates and Pharnabazus prevented the enemy from reaching Memphis. Then, the annual Nile flood and the Egyptian defenders' resolve to defend their territory turned what had initially appeared as certain defeat for Nectanebo I and his troops into a complete victory.
After several weeks, the Persians and their Greek mercenaries under Iphicrates had to re-embark. The expedition against Egypt had failed.It was the end of the career of Pharnabazus, who was now over 70 years old. Pharnabazes was replaced by Datames to lead a second expedition to Egypt, but he failed and then started the "Satraps' Revolt" against the Great King.
The Achaemenid defeat in Egypt led to unrest among the Achaemenid nobility. From 372 BC, many western satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire started to rebel against Artaxerxes II, in the Great Satraps' Revolt, starting with the powerful satrap Datames. Following the failure of Pharnabazus II in Egypt, Datames had been entrusted by the Persian king with the chief command of a force designed for the recovery of Egypt, but the machinations of his enemies at the Persian court, and the risks to which he was in consequence exposed, induced him to change his plan, and throw off his allegiance to the king. He withdrew with the troops under his command into Cappadocia, and made common cause with the other satraps who were revolting from Persia.
The Pharaoh Nectanebo provided financial support to the rebelling satraps and re-established ties with both Sparta and Athens.Artaxerxes II finally quashed the revolt of the satraps by 362 BC.
Artaxerxes again attempted to mediate in conflicts between the Greek city-states at the time of the Theban hegemony, especially the Theban–Spartan War. He sent Philiscus of Abydos, a hyparch ('vice-regents') and military commander of the Achaemenid satrap Ariobarzanes, to Delphi in order to help the Greek negotiate peace.The objective of Philicus of Abydos was such to help broker a Common Peace between the Greek belligerants reunited at Delphi. The negotiation collapsed when Thebes refused to return Messenia to the Spartans.
Before returning to Abydos, Philicus used Achaemenid funds to finance an army for the Spartans, suggesting that he was acting in support of the Spartans from the beginning.With the Achaemenid financing of a new army, Sparta was able to continue the war. Among the mercenaries whom he had recruited, Philiscus gave 2,000 to the Spartans. He also probably provided funds to the Athenians and promised them, on behalf of the King, to help them recover the Chersonese militarily. Both Philiscus and Ariobarzanes were made citizens of Athens, a remarkable honor suggesting important services rendered to the city-state.
During autumn of 367 BCE, first the Spartans, soon followed by the Athenians, the Arcadians, the Argives, the Eleans, the Thebans, and other Greek city-states, sent envoys to Susa in attempts to obtain the support of Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II in the Greek conflict.The Achaemenid king proposed a new peace treaty, this time highly tilted in favour of Thebes, which required Messenia to remain independent and that the Athenian fleet to be dismantled. This Peace proposal was rejected by most Greek parties except Thebes.
Sparta and Athens, dissatisfied with the Persian king's support of Thebes, decided to provide careful military support to the opponents of the Achaemenid king. Athens and Sparta provided support for the revolted satraps, in particular Ariobarzanes. Sparta sent a force to Ariobarzanes under an aging Agesilaus II, while Athens sent a force under Timotheus, which was however diverted when it became obvious that Ariobarzanes had entered frontal conflict with the Achaemenid king.An Athenian mercenary force under Chabrias was also sent to the Egyptian Pharao Tachos, who was also fighting against the Achaemenid king.
Much of Artaxerxes' wealth was spent on building projects. He restored the Palace of Darius I at Susa,and also the fortifications; including a strong redoubt at the south-east corner of the enclosure and gave Ecbatana a new apadana and sculptures.
The tomb of Artaxerxes II is located at Persepolis, and was built on the model of his predecessors at Naqsh-e Rustam. On the upper register of the tomb appear reliefs of the Emperor, supported by the soldiers of all ethnicities of the Empire. On the lintel over each figure appears a trilingual inscription describing each ethnicity.These are known collectively as "Inscription A2Pa".
The Persian Empire under Artaxerxes II was viewed[ by whom? ] as a political power that had many unfortunate complications, such as the many wars with Greece. One aspect of his legacy which would have great influence upon his successors was his conflict with Cyrus the Younger. This conflict was remembered due to the power vacuum that followed, allowing the Satrap Revolt and the rebellion of Egypt. Artaxerxes II was also remembered for his works to restore monuments of his predecessors. His largest restoration was that of the Palace of Darius in Susa. He would also be remembered for his tomb in Persepolis.
The image of Artaxerxes from contemporary foreign sources depicts him in a similar light to his image among those in the Achaemenid Empire. The Greek portrayal highlights his long rule with many conflicts and shortcomings of Artaxerxes II in his ability to control his empire. Greek sources also focus on his problems in his court with his harem and eunuchs. Greek sources portray Artaxerxes II as sad in his reign.
The Jewish high priest Johanan is mentioned in the Elephantine papyridated to 407 BC, i.e., during Darius II's reign, and is also mentioned in Ezra 10:6 after the reign of Darius (Ezra 6:1) and during the rule of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:1), thereby supporting the chronological sequence.
Amongst others, it has been suggested that Artaxerxes II was the Ahasuerus mentioned in the Book of Esther. Plutarch in his Lives (AD 75) records alternative names Oarses and Arsicas for Artaxerxes II Mnemon given by Deinon (c. 360–340 BC) and Ctesias (Artexerxes II's physician ) respectively. These derive from the Persian name Khshayarsha as do "Ahasuerus" ("(Arta)Xerxes") and the hypocoristicon "Arshu" for Artaxerxes II found on a contemporary inscription (LBAT 162 ). These sources thus arguably identify Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes II in light of the names used in the Hebrew and Greek sources and accords with the contextual information from Pseudo-Hecataeus and Berossus as well as agreeing with Al-Tabari and Masudi's placement of events. The 13th century Syriac historian Bar-Hebraeus in his Chronography, also identifies Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes II citing the sixth century AD historian John of Ephesus.
Artaxerxes II is reported to have had a number of wives. His main wife was Stateira, until she was poisoned by Artaxerxes' mother Parysatis in about 400 BC. Another chief wife was a Greek woman of Phocaea named Aspasia (not the same as the concubine of Pericles). Artaxerxes II is said to have more than 115 sons from 350 wives.
Agesilaus II, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta and a member of the Eurypontid dynasty ruling from 398 to about 360 BC, during most of which time he was, in Plutarch's words, "as good as though commander and king of all Greece," and was for the whole of it greatly identified with his country's deeds and fortunes. Small in stature and lame from birth, Agesilaus became ruler somewhat unexpectedly in his mid-forties. His reign saw successful military incursions into various states in Asia Minor, as well as successes in the Corinthian War; however, several diplomatic decisions resulted in Sparta becoming increasingly isolated prior to his death at the age of 84 in Cyrenaica.
Year 404 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Volusus, Cossus, Fidenas, Ambustus, Maluginensis and Rutilus. The denomination 404 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.
This article concerns the period 409 BC – 400 BC.
This decade witnessed the continuing decline of the Achaemenid Empire, fierce warfare amongst the Greek city-states during the Peloponnesian War, the ongoing Warring States period in Zhou dynasty China, and the closing years of the Olmec civilization in modern-day Mexico.
This article concerns the period 399 BC – 390 BC.
This article concerns the period 379 BC – 370 BC.
This article concerns the period 369 BC – 360 BC
Lysander was a Spartan admiral who commanded the Spartan fleet in the Hellespont which defeated the Athenians at Aegospotami in 405 BC. The following year, he was able to force the Athenians to capitulate, bringing the Peloponnesian War to an end. He then played a key role in Sparta's domination of Greece for the next decade until his death at the Battle of Haliartus.
Antalcidas, son of Leon, was an ancient Greek soldier, politician, and diplomat from Sparta.
Artabazos was a Persian general in the army of Xerxes I, and later satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia 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.
Pharnabazus II was a Persian soldier and statesman, and Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. He was the son of Pharnaces II of Phrygia and grandson of Pharnabazus I, and great-grandson of Artabazus I. He and his male ancestors, forming the Pharnacid dynasty, had governed the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia from its headquarters at Dascylium since 478 BC. He married Apama, daughter of Artaxerxes II of Persia, and their son Artabazus was likewise a satrap of Phrygia. His grand-daughter Barsine married Alexander the Great.
Ochus, better known by his dynastic name of Artaxerxes III was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 358 to 338 BC. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and his mother was Stateira.
The Corinthian War was an ancient Greek conflict lasting from 395 BC until 387 BC, pitting Sparta against a coalition of four allied states, Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos, backed by the Achaemenid Empire. The immediate cause of the war was a local conflict in northwest Greece in which both Thebes and Sparta intervened. The deeper cause was hostility towards Sparta, provoked by that city's "expansionism in Asia Minor, central and northern Greece and even the west". The Corinthian War followed the Peloponnesian War, in which Sparta had achieved hegemony over Athens and its allies.
Ariobarzanes, Ariobarzan or spelled as Ario Barzan or Aryo Barzan, perhaps signifying "exalting the Aryans", sometimes known as Ariobarzanes I of Cius, was a Persian Satrap of Phrygia and military commander, leader of an independence revolt, and the first known of the line of rulers of the Greek town of Cius from which were eventually to stem the kings of Pontus in the 3rd century BCE. Ariobarzanes was apparently a cadet member of the Achaemenid dynasty, possibly son of Pharnabazus II, and part of the Pharnacid dynasty which had settled to hold Dascylium of Hellespont in the 470s BCE. Cius is located near Dascylium, and Cius seemingly was a share of family holdings for the branch of Ariobarzanes.
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.
Pharnabazus III was a Persian satrap who fought against Alexander the Great. His father was Artabazus II, and his mother a Greek from Rhodes.
The Great Satraps' Revolt, or the Revolt of the Satraps, was a rebellion in the Achaemenid Empire of several satraps against the authority of the Great King Artaxerxes II Mnemon. The Satraps who revolted were Datames, Ariobarzanes and Orontes of Armenia. Mausolus the Dynast of Caria participated in the Revolt of the Satraps, both on his nominal sovereign Artaxerxes Mnemon's side and (briefly) against him.
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.
Philiscus or Philiskos was a 4th century Greek tyrant of the city of Abydos, on the Asian side of the Hellespont, and a hyparch ("vice-regent") and military commander of the Achaemenid satrap Ariobarzanes. He was sent by Ariobarzanes in 368 BCE as an Achaemenid emissary to Delphi, where the Greek cities at war between themselves had assembled for peace negotiations. Philiskos had probably been sent at the request of either Athens or Sparta, to help solve the conflicts between the Greek city-states.
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Artaxerxes II of PersiaBorn: c. 436 BC Died: 358 BC
| Great King (Shah) of Persia |
404 BC – 358 BC