Last updated
Satrap of Egypt
Western part of the Achaemenid Empire.jpg
Aryandes was the first satrap of the Achaemenid Province of Egypt.
Predecessornew office
Successor Pherendates
Dynasty 27th Dynasty
Pharaoh Cambyses II to Darius I

Aryandes (or Aryavanda [1] :266) was the first Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt between the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, during the early 27th Dynasty of Egypt.



When king Cambyses II defeated pharaoh Psamtik III at the battle of Pelusium (525 BCE), Egypt became a satrapy of the Achaemenid empire, and Aryandes was appointed satrap shortly after. In 522 BCE, Aryandes was overthrown due to a revolt against the Achaemenid rule led by a native Egyptian pharaoh, Petubastis III. The rebellion was personally quelled by the new king Darius I during his expedition to Egypt in 518 BCE, and Aryandes reinstated. The satrap then attempted to subjugate Libya with poor results. [1] :262

Around 496 BCE, Aryandes fell out of favour with Darius I and was deposed and replaced by Pherendates. [1] :266 The reason for this decision is unknown, with Herodotus and later Polyaenus claiming that the satrap started minting his own silver coinage, calling it aryandic in opposition of the golden, already existing daric, thus irritating the great king. This story is now considered unlikely, also because no aryandic has ever been found to date. [2] It appears more likely that Darius had real concerns of a declaration of independence by Aryandes for his satrapy. [1] :264

Aryandes had been made governor of Egypt by Cambyses, later he was executed by Darius for making himself equal to the king. When he learned that Darius intended to leave a memorial surpassing anything other kings had left, Aryandes did likewise and was punished for it. The coins struck by Darius were of extremely pure gold and Aryandes, who was ruling Egypt, made silver coins, and no silver money was as pure as that of Aryandes. When Darius heard of this, he had Aryandes executed for rebellion, but not for striking coins.

Herodotus, Histories IV, 166

Related Research Articles

Cambyses II King of Kings

Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 530 to 522 BC. He was the son and successor of Cyrus the Great and his mother was Cassandane.

Darius the Great 4th king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (550–486 BC)

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.

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.

The Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the third dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Late Period. The 28th Dynasty lasted from 404 BC to 398 BC and it includes only one Pharaoh, Amyrtaeus (Amenirdis), also known as Psamtik V or Psammetichus V. Amyrtaeus was probably the grandson of the Amyrtaeus of Sais, who is known to have carried on a rebellion in 465–463 BC with the Libyan chief, Inarus, against the satrap Achaemenes of Achaemenid Egypt.

Hydarnes Satrap of Parthia, Hyrcania, Media, Matiene and Sophene

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.

Achaemenes (satrap) Satrap

Achaemenes was an Achaemenid general and satrap of ancient Egypt during the early 5th century BC, at the time of the 27th Dynasty of Egypt.

Late Period of ancient Egypt time period of Ancient Egypt

The Late Period of ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period in the 26th Saite Dynasty founded by Psamtik I, but includes the time of Achaemenid Persian rule over Egypt after the conquest by Cambyses II in 525 BC as well. The Late Period existed from 664 BC until 332 BC, following a period of foreign rule by the Nubian 25th dynasty and beginning with a short period of Neo-Assyrian suzerainty, with Psamtik I initially ruling as their vassal. The period ended with the conquests of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great and establishment of the Ptolemaic dynasty by his general Ptolemy I Soter, one of the Hellenistic diadochi from Macedon in northern Greece. With the Macedonian Greek conquest in the latter half of the 4th century BC, the age of Hellenistic Egypt began.

Media (region) ancient region

Media is a region of north-western Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Medes. During the Achaemenid period, it comprised present-day Azarbaijan, Iranian Kurdistan and western Tabaristan. As a satrapy under Achaemenid rule, it would eventually encompass a wider region, stretching to southern Dagestan in the north. However, after the wars of Alexander the Great, the northern parts were separated due to the Partition of Babylon and became known as Atropatene, while the remaining region became known as Lesser Media.

Achaemenid coinage aspect of history

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.

Lydia (satrapy) satrapy of the Achaemenid empire

The Satrapy of Lydia, known as Sparda in Old Persian, was an administrative province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Empire, located in the ancient kingdom of Lydia, with Sardis as its capital.

Libya (satrapy)

Libya was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire according to King Darius I of Persia Naqshe Rustam and King Xerxes I of Persia' Daiva inscription. It is also mentioned as being part of the 6th district by Herodotus, which also included Cyrene, a Greek colony in Libya. When King Cambyses II of Persia conquered Egypt, the king of Cyrene, Arcesilaus III, sided with Persia. When he was killed trying to maintain power, Queen Pheretima invited the Persians to take Cyrene. The satrap of Egypt, Aryandes, accepted, sending an army under two Persians to support Pheretime. The expedition lasted nearly a year and resulted in the subjugation of the Libyans; the Persians penetrated as far west as the Euseperides (Benghazi). A puppet king, Battus IV, was installed, and Libya was made into a Persian satrapy. It is possible that Cyrene gained independence with the rebellion of Egypt in 404 BCE, but ultimately, Achaemenid control of the region was lost after Alexander's conquests.

Petubastis III Egyptian pharaoh

Seheruibre Padibastet better known with his hellenised name Petubastis III was a native Ancient Egyptian ruler, c. 522 – 520 BC, who revolted against Persian rule.

Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt dynasty and satrap in 5th and 6th centuries BC

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.

Arsames (satrap of Egypt)

Arsames was an Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt during the 5th century BC, at the time of the 27th Dynasty of Egypt.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

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.

Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley Military conquest

The Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley refers to the Achaemenid military conquest and occupation of the territories of the North-western regions of the Indian subcontinent, from the 6th to 4th centuries BC. The conquest of the areas as far as the Indus river is often dated to the time of Cyrus the Great, in the period between 550-539 BCE. The first secure epigraphic evidence, given by the Behistun Inscription, gives a date before or about 518 BCE. Achaemenid penetration into the area of the Indian subcontinent occurred in stages, starting from northern parts of the River Indus and moving southward. These areas of the Indus valley became formal Achaemenid satrapies as mentioned in several Achaemenid inscriptions. The Achaemenid occupation of the Indus Valley ended with the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great circa 323 BCE. The Achaemenid occupation, although less successful than that of the later Greeks, Sakas or Kushans, had the effect of acquainting India to the outer world.

Udjahorresnet Egyptian official

Udjaḥorresnet was an ancient Egyptian high official who lived between the end of the 26th Dynasty and the beginning of the 27th Dynasty. He is mainly known for his efforts in promoting the Egyptian customs to the early Achaemenid kings of the 27th Dynasty.

Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt

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.


Pherendates was an Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt during the 5th century BCE, at the time of the Achaemenid 27th Dynasty of Egypt.


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.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Ray, John D. (2006). "Egypt, 525–404 B.C.". In Boardman, John; Hammond, N.D.L.; Lewis, D.M.; Ostwald, M. (eds.). The Cambridge Ancient History (2nd ed.), vol. IV – Persia, Greece and the Western Mediterranean c. 525 to 479 B.C. Cambridge University Press. pp. 254–286. ISBN   0 521 22804 2.
  2. ARYANDES at the Encyclopædia Iranica

Further reading

New title Satrap of Egypt
c.525 – 522 BCE
518 – c.496 BCE
Succeeded by