Memnon of Rhodes (Greek: Μέμνων ὁ Ῥόδιος; c. 380 – 333 BC) 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.
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.
The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.
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.
Carl Otis Schuster notes that though often inaccurately described as "simply a mercenary", Memnon was arguably the toughest defender of the Persian Empire Alexander had to face, and was nearly successful in putting a halt to him.
Not much is known about Memnon's early life. r. 404–358), with Memnon and Mentor as his generals. When the revolt failed, Memnon and Artabazos II fled to Pella, the capital of Macedonia, whereas Memnon's brother Mentor fled to Egypt. Eventually Mentor returned to Persian service in about 343 BC.Born in c. 380 BC in Rhodes, Memnon would serve the Persian Empire for most of his life. He started his career in 358 by serving together with his brother Mentor under the Persian satrap (governor) Artabazos II of Phrygia. During his service to the Persian satrap, Artabazos allowed Memnon to marry his daughter Barsine. In about 358 BC, Artabazos staged a rebellion against the then ruling Persian Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II (
Barsine was daughter of a Persian father, Artabazus, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia and a Greek Rhodian mother, who was the sister of mercenaries Mentor of Rhodes and Memnon of Rhodes. Barsine became the wife of her uncle Mentor, and after his death married her second uncle, Memnon.
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.
Pella is an ancient city located in Central Macedonia, Greece, best known as the historical capital of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great. On the site of the ancient city is the Archaeological Museum of Pella.
During his exile in Macedon, Memnon got acquainted with Philip II and the young prince Alexander (later Alexander the Great), who was seven years old at the time. According to Plutarch, Memnon and Alexander had lengthy discussions, with Alexander reportedly having keen interest in Persia's military strength and tactics, amongst others.Though Schuster notes that the details of the conversations between Memnon and Alexander are difficult to verify, he does add that Memnon managed to get a proper impression of Philip II as a ruler, military leader and diplomat during his time in Pella. Moreover, it convinced him of Philip II's intentions to invade Persia, and he got a proper realization of the deep-seated Greek dissatisfaction vis-a-vis the Macedonian hegemony over Greece, including the political issues that came along with it for the Macedonians.
Philip II of Macedon was the king (basileus) of the kingdom of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was a member of the Argead dynasty of Macedonian kings, the third son of King Amyntas III of Macedon, and father of Alexander the Great and Philip III. The rise of Macedon, its conquest and political consolidation of most of Classical Greece during the reign of Philip II was achieved in part by his reformation of the Ancient Macedonian army, establishing the Macedonian phalanx that proved critical in securing victories on the battlefield. After defeating the Greek city-states of Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Philip II led the effort to establish a federation of Greek states known as the League of Corinth, with him as the elected hegemon and commander-in-chief of Greece for a planned invasion of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. However, his assassination by a royal bodyguard, Pausanias of Orestis, led to the immediate succession of his son Alexander, who would go on to invade the Achaemenid Empire in his father's stead.
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 by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
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.
Through the "influence" of his brother, after a stay of about three to four years in Macedon, Memnon re-entered the Persian service, "with a clear understanding of Macedonia's military capabilities".
When Mentor died in c. 340 BC, Memnon married his widow Barsine. In 339 BC, Memnon helped defending Byzantium against an assault by Philip II.In 336 BC Philip II sent Parmenion, with Amyntas, Andromenes and Attalus, and an army of 10,000 men into Anatolia to make preparations for an invasion to free the Greeks living on the western coast and islands from Achaemenid rule. At first, all went well. The Greek cities on the western coast of Anatolia revolted until the news arrived that Philip had been murdered and had been succeeded by his young son Alexander. The Macedonians were demoralized by Philip's death and were subsequently defeated near Magnesia by the Achaemenids under the command of Memnon of Rhodes.
Byzantium was an ancient Greek colony in early antiquity that later became Constantinople, and then Istanbul. The Greek term Byzantium continued to be used as a name of Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire, even though it only referred to the empire's capital. Byzantium was colonized by the Greeks from Megara in 657 BC, and remained primarily Greek-speaking until its fall in 1453 AD.
Parmenion was an ancient Macedonian general in the service of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great. A nobleman, Parmenion rose to become Philip's chief military lieutenant and Alexander's Strategos. He was assassinated after his son Philotas was convicted on a charge of treason.
Amyntas was a Macedonian officer in Alexander the Great's army, son of Andromenes from Tymphaia. After the battle of the Granicus, 334 BC, when the garrison of Sardis was quietly surrendered to Alexander, Amyntas was the officer sent forward to receive it from the commander, Mithrenes. Two years after, 332, we again hear of him as being sent into Macedonia to collect levies, while Alexander after the siege of Gaza advanced to Egypt; and he returned with them in the ensuing year, when the king was in possession of Susa.
When Philip's son Alexander invaded the Persian Achaemenid Empire in 334 BC, Memnon, aware of the political issues the Macedonians dealt with, urged king Darius III (r. 336–330 BC) to orchestrate a rebellion in Greece. Initially hesitant, Darius made Memnon the commander of the western satrapies (provinces) after the defeat at the Battle of Granicus. During the defense of Halicarnassus, Memnon was the leading commander, and nearly defeated Alexander's attack. He then started using the empire's naval superiority against Alexander and started negotiations with Sparta in order to take the war to mainland Greece. He began a campaign to capture the Aegean islands using the Persian fleet and led a direct assault on Macedonia, while Alexander was resting at Phaselis. Memnon managed to capture the island of Chios and most of Lesbos. Demosthenes, after hearing of Memnon's successes, began to prepare Athens for a revolt against Alexander, along with other Greek cities, while Sparta began to prepare for war. By a stroke of fortune for Alexander, Memnon died during the siege of Mytilene, after transferring command to his nephew, Pharnabazus. Memnon's widow Barsine later became a mistress to Alexander and bore him a son, Heracles. After Alexander's death, Heracles contended for the throne with Nearchus' initial support (who himself had married Barsine's daughter by Mentor). Their bid met insufficient support, and Barsine and Heracles were murdered in 309 BC by Polyperchon.
Many scholars maintain that had Memnon's campaign been successful, Alexander would have had difficulty in continuing his campaign in Asia, and might have soon been defeated. Memnon's naval campaigns and the uprising he orchestrated in Sparta posed the greatest danger to Alexander since he had become king.Schuster notes that if Memnon hadn't died at Mytilene, "Alexander might have been forced to abandon Asia Minor and return home to defend his throne". Thus, when Alexander realized he had nearly been defeated, he decided to invade Achaemenid Phoenicia first before moving into the empires interior. It was not until after the major Persian defeat at the Battle of Issus that Memnon's strategy was revitalised and finally put into action, but by then the advantage had been lost, and Alexander showed himself willing to forfeit Greece if necessary in favor of his greater goals.
Year 334 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caudinus and Calvinus. The denomination 334 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 339 BC – 330 BC.
Nearchus or Nearchos was one of the officers, a navarch, in the army of Alexander the Great. He is known for his celebrated voyage from the Indus river to the Persian Gulf following the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great, in 326–324 BC.
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.
Antipater was a Greek Macedonian general and statesman under kings Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, and father of King Cassander. In 320 BC, he became regent of all of Alexander the Great's Empire.
Artaxerxes III Ochus of Persia was the eleventh emperor of the Achaemenid Empire, as well as the first Pharaoh of the 31st dynasty of Egypt. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and was succeeded by his son, Arses of Persia. His reign coincided with the reign of Philip II in Macedon and Nectanebo II in Egypt.
The wars of Alexander the Great were fought by King Alexander III of Macedon, first against the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Darius III, and then against local chieftains and warlords as far east as Punjab, India. Due to the sheer scale of these wars, and the fact that Alexander was generally undefeated in battle, he has been regarded as one of the most successful military commanders of all time. By the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks. Although being successful as a military commander, he failed to provide any stable alternative to the Achaemenid Empire—his untimely death threw the vast territories he conquered into civil war.
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.
Autophradates was a Persian Satrap of Lydia, who also distinguished himself as a general in the reign of Artaxerxes III and Darius III.
Ariarathes I was the last Persian Achaemenid governor (satrap) of the province (satrapy) of Northern Cappadocia, serving from the 340s BC to 331 BC. He led defensive efforts against the Macedonian invasion, commanded by Alexander the Great, and later fought at the Battle of Gaugamela under Darius III, the last King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire. After the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, Ariarathes I continued his resistance against the Macedonians and established the Kingdom of Cappadocia, becoming the first ruler of the Iranian Ariarathid dynasty.
Artabazos II was a Persian general and satrap. 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.
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 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.
The Sands of Ammon is the second part of Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Alexander trilogy, following on from Child of a Dream. Continuing the epic story of Alexander the Great, The Sands of Ammon narrates of the Macedonian king's quest to conquer Asia. He and his men storm and conquer Persian towns and harbours; even the legendary town of Halicarnassus is defeated. Alexander's army marches on to the snow-covered Anatolia, where it records yet another few victories. Despite defeating the king Darius III, the city of Tyre and the Towers of Gaza prove to be formidable enemies, although they ultimately have to surrender to Alexander. The Macedonian army then heads south towards the mysterious and epic land of Egypt; and it's here, in the sands of the endless Libyan Desert, that the Oracle of Ammon lies. And what the divine Oracle will reveal to Alexander will change his life forever.
Arsites was satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia in the 4th century BC. His satrapy also included the region of Paphlagonia.
Hellespontine Phrygia or Lesser Phrygia was a Persian satrapy (province) in northwestern Anatolia, directly southeast of the Hellespont. Its capital was Dascylium, and for most of its existence it was ruled by the hereditary Persian Pharnacid dynasty. Together with Greater Phrygia, it made up the administrative provinces of the wider Phrygia region.
Amminapes was a Parthian who was appointed satrap of the Parthians and Hyrcanii by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.
Belesys was a satrap of Syria for the Achaemenid Empire in the 4th century BCE.