Hydarnes II

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Hydarnes II (Ancient Greek : Ὑδάρνης, Old Persian: Vidarna), son of Hydarnes, was a Persian commander of the Achaemenid Empire in the 5th century BC. His father was one of the seven conspirators against Gaumata.

Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages. 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.

Hydarnes Ancient Persian military commander

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.

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.

During the reign of Xerxes I, Hydarnes was one of the commanders for the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC. He was appointed as the leader of the 10,000-man contingent of "Immortals", while his brother Sisamnes commanded the levy of the Aryans. [1]

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 father and 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.

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.

On the first day of the Battle of Thermopylae, Hydarnes led the Immortals against the phalanx of Spartans under Leonidas I, but an attempt to break through failed. [2] On the second day, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by telling the Persians about a hidden goat path around Thermopylae. This enabled Hydarnes and his Immortals to pass behind the Spartans, Thespians and Thebans and, as a result, defeat them. [3]

Battle of Thermopylae Persians defeated Greek states in 480 BC

The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae. The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. By 480 BC Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy, and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian politician and general Themistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, and simultaneously block the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.

Sparta city-state in ancient Greece

Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.

Leonidas I king of Sparta

Leonidas I was a warrior king of the Greek city-state of Sparta, and the 17th of the Agiad line; a dynasty which claimed descent from the mythological demigod Heracles. He was the husband of Gorgo, the daughter of Cleomenes I of Sparta. Leonidas had a notable participation in the Second Persian War, where he led the allied Greek forces to a last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae while attempting to defend the pass from the invading Persian army.

After the Persians were defeated at the Battle of Salamis, Xerxes I decided to return to Asia leaving a large army under Mardonius which wintered in Thessaly. Hydarnes wanted to stay at the side of the king and go back with him to Asia. So Xerxes tasked Hydarnes with the responsibility of getting the Persian army back over the Hellespont to Asia. [4] [5] After this, nothing further is reported about Hydarnes.

Battle of Salamis battle

The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece.

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.

Thessaly Place in Thessaly and Central Greece, Greece

Thessaly is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey.

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References

Notes

  1. Herodotus: Histories VII, 66 and 83
  2. Herodotus: Histories. VII, 211
  3. Herodotus: Histories. VII, 215 and 218.
  4. Herodotus: Histories. VIII, 113.
  5. Herodotus: Histories. VIII, 118