Orontes I

Last updated
Orontes I
Orontes I.jpg
Orontes I's portrait on the observe of a coin, showing him with the satrapal headdress
Satrap of Sophene and Matiene
Reign401 – 344 BC
Coronation 401 BC
Predecessor Artasyrus
Successor Darius III Codomannus
Died344 BC
Ionia
SpouseRhodogoune
Issue Orontes II
Full name
Orontes (Aurand/Yervand)
House Armavir
Dynasty Orontid Dynasty
Father Artasyrus
MotherAsatera

Orontes I or Yervand I (Old Persian: *Arvanta-, Classical Armenian: Երուանդ Ա) was an Bactrian nobleman, [1] who ruled as satrap of the Achaemenid satrapy of Armenia from 401 to 344 BC. He is regarded as the ancestor of the Orontid dynasty.

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.

Classical Armenian oldest attested form of the Armenian language

Classical Armenian is the oldest attested form of the Armenian language. It was first written down at the beginning of the 5th century, and all Armenian literature from then through the 18th century is in Classical Armenian. Many ancient manuscripts originally written in Ancient Greek, Persian, Hebrew, Syriac and Latin survive only in Armenian translation.

Bactria Historical region in Central Asia

Bactria, or Bactriana, was a historical Iranian region in Central Asia. Bactria proper was north of the Hindu Kush mountain range and south of the Amu Darya river, covering the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. More broadly Bactria was the area north of the Hindu Kush, west of the Pamirs and south of the Tian Shan with the Amu Darya flowing west through the center.

Contents

Biography

Satrap of Armenia

Orontes was a son of the Bactrian [2] [3] Artasyrus. Orontes has therefore sometimes been referred to as "Orontes the Bactrian", [2] [4] According to the Greek sources (Xenophon, Strabo), Orontes was made Satrap of Sophene and Matiene (Mitanni). [5] He was called "Praefectus Armeniae" by Trogus. [6]

Artasyrus or Ardashir was recorded as being the Satrap of Armenia during the reign of king Artaxerxes II. Referred to as the "King's Eye", Artasyrus was of Bactrian origin. His more "well known" son, Orontes, who was therefore sometimes referred to as "Orontes the Bactrian", served as the Satrap of Sophene and Matiene (Mitanni) during the reign of Artaxerxes II. There appears to be confusion in the historical records as to whether Artasyrus and Artaxerxes II were the same person. The daughter of Artaxerxes II, Rhodogune, was the wife of the satrap Orontes I. There are few English language sources to fully explain who he was, when he was born or died.

Xenophon Classical Greek philosopher, historian, and soldier

Xenophon of Athens was an ancient Greek philosopher, historian, soldier, mercenary, and student of Socrates. As a soldier, Xenophon became commander of the Ten Thousand at about 30, with noted military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge saying of him, “the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior.” He established the precedent for many logistical operations and was among the first to use flanking maneuvers, feints and attacks in depth. He was among the greatest commanders of antiquity. As a historian, Xenophon is known for recording the history of his time, the late-5th and early-4th centuries BC, in such works as the Hellenica, which covered the final seven years and the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, thus representing a thematic continuation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War.

Strabo Greek geographer, philosopher and historian

Strabo was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

Battle of Cunaxa (401 BC)

Orontes was given these Satrapies of Armenis in 401 BC for supporting the Persian king Artaxerxes II in the Battle of Cunaxa against Cyrus the Younger. After the Battle of Cunaxa, Orontes harassed the Ten Thousand as they attempted to return home and made their way through Armenia. [7] It is likely he ruled from Armavir as the previous Satrap of Armenia, Hydarnes, had ruled from there. He married Rhodogoune, the daughter of king Artaxerxes II by one of his concubines. [8]

Battle of Cunaxa battle

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.

Cyrus the Younger Achaemenid king

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.

Ten Thousand group of mercenary units, mainly Greek, drawn up by Cyrus the Younger to attempt to wrest the throne of the Persian Empire from his brother, Artaxerxes II

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.

Cyprus campaign (381 BC)

Agean Sea map geographical.jpg
Red pog.svg
Mysia
Approximate location of Mysia in Asia Minor.

He next appears in 381 BC as the army commander during the campaign to recapture Cyprus from its rebel leader, King Evagoras, whilst the navy was under the command of Tiribazus. They managed to lay siege to the city of Salamis; however, Orontes intrigued against Tiribazus before king Artaxerxes II, but this led to Orontes falling from favor. It may be because of this that he was stripped of his satrapy and sent to the west of the Empire to become satrap of Mysia.[ citation needed ].

Evagoras or Euagoras was the king of Salamis in Cyprus, known especially from the work of Isocrates, who presents him as a model ruler.

Tiribazus Armenian politician (0500-0400)

Tiribazus, Tiribazos or Teribazus was a Persian general and Persian satrap of Western Armenia and later satrap of Lydia in western Anatolia.

Satrap of Mysia

Orontes coin with running Achaemenid king. Legend ORONTA (Orontes). Minted in Caria. Orontes coin with running Achaemenid king.jpg
Orontes coin with running Achaemenid king. Legend OΡONTA (Orontes). Minted in Caria.

In 362 BC a great rebellion occurred in Anatolia, led by Datames, Satrap of Cappadocia (Revolt of the Satraps). Some sources say that it was Orontes who was chosen by the rebels as their leader. However, Orontes stayed loyal to king Artaxerxes II and aided in the collapse of the rebellion. Apparently, he wanted to rule Anatolia and Armenia alone. He captured the city of Pergamon and sent bribes to Athens, where a decree seeking an alliance records his name. He was able to fund these activities as he is recorded as having a personal fortune of 3,000 talents of silver.

Anatolia Asian part of Turkey

Anatolia also known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula or the Anatolian plateau, is a large peninsula in West Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the Balkan peninsula of Europe.

Datames achaemenid satrap

Datames was an Iranian military leader, who served as the governor (satrap) of the Achaemenid satrapy of Cappadocia from 380 BC to 362 BC. A Carian by birth, he was the son of Camissares by a Paphlagonian mother. His father being satrap of Cilicia under Artaxerxes II, and high in the favour of that monarch, Datames became one of the king's bodyguards; and having in this capacity distinguished himself in the war against the Cadusii, was appointed to succeed his father in the government of his province. Here he distinguished himself both by his military abilities and his zeal in the service of the king; and reduced to subjection two officials who had revolted from Artaxerxes, Thyus, governor of Paphlagonia, and Aspis of Cataonia.

Cappadocia Place in Katpatuka

Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray, and Niğde Provinces in Turkey.

From around 362-361, Orontes is said to be "Satrap of Mysia", and there is various proof of his activity in the region and around Pergamon. [9] [10]

Mysia Historical region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor

Mysia was a region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor. It was located on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara. It was bounded by Bithynia on the east, Phrygia on the southeast, Lydia on the south, Aeolis on the southwest, Troad on the west and by the Propontis on the north. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Mysians, Phrygians, Aeolian Greeks and other groups.

Pergamon ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey

Pergamon, Pergamos or Pergamum, was a rich and powerful ancient Greek city in Aeolis. It is located 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the modern coastline of the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus and northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey.

In 355 BC he rebelled against the new king of the Achaemenid Empire, Artaxerxes III. He still had possession of parts of western Anatolia. He fought a battle against the satrap of Daskyleion and minted his own coins in Ionia, such as the one displayed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. He handed back Pergamon to the king.

The kings of the Kingdom of Commagene claimed descent from Orontes I and also claimed Darius I of Persia as an ancestor, thanks to Orontes' marriage to Rhodogoune, daughter of Artaxerxes II who was a direct descendant of king Darius I. [11] [12]

Xenophon's Anabasis mentions that the region near the river Centrites was defended by the Satrap of Armenia for Artaxerxes II and named Orontes son of Artasyrus who had Armenian contingents. Xenophon mentioned that he had a son called Tigranes. His successor was Darius III and after Codomannus these Satrapies were ruled by Orontes II. Whether he was the same person as Tigranes but had adopted the name Orontes or that they were brothers is not known.

Coinage

All the known coinage of Orontes is confined to the region of Mysia, and was only found in cities from Lampsacus to Colophon, particularly Adramyteion and Kisthene in the area of Aeolis on the coast. [13]

Related Research Articles

Artaxerxes II of Persia King of Kings

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.

Bessus King of Kings

Bessus, also known as Artaxerxes V, was a prominent Persian Satrap of Bactria in Persia, and later self-proclaimed King of Kings of Persia. According to classical sources, he killed his predecessor and relative, Darius III, after the Persian army had been defeated by Alexander the Great.

Artaxerxes III King of Kings

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.

Ariobarzanes a Persian noble, succeeded his kinsman or father, Mithridates or alternatively succeeded another Ariobarzanes I of Cius, as ruler of the Greek city of Cius in Mysia, governing for 26 years between 363 BC and 337 BC for the Persian king. It is believed that it was he and his family which in mid-360s BC revolted from the rule of the Persian king Artaxerxes II, but ended up in defeat by 362 BC. He was succeeded as governor of Cius by Mithridates, possibly his son or possibly a kinsman such as a younger brother.

Ariobarzanes of Phrygia Persian satrap

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.

Cadusii Ethnic group attested in classical antiquity

The Cadusii were an ancient Iranian people living in north-western Iran.

Mithrenes was a Persian commander of the force that garrisoned the citadel of Sardis. According to Cyril Toumanoff, he was also a member of the Orontid dynasty, of Iranian origin. Waldemar Heckel, on the other hand, considers Mithrenes to be a Persian noble of unknown family background. After the battle of the Granicus Mithrenes surrendered voluntarily to Alexander the Great, and was treated by him with great distinction. Mithrenes was present in the Macedonian camp after the Battle of Issus, and Alexander ordered him to visit the captured family of Darius III and assure them that Darius was alive, before changing his mind and assigning the duty to Leonnatus instead. He fought for Alexander at Gaugamela, and ironically he was fighting against an army that included his father Orontes II. Afterwards, Alexander appointed him Satrap of Armenia.

Hecatomnus Satrap of Caria

Hecatomnus of Mylasa or Hekatomnos was an early 4th-century BC ruler of Caria. He was the satrap (governor) of Caria for the Persian Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II. However, the basis for Hecatomnus' political power was twofold: he was both a high appointed Persian official and a powerful local dynast, who founded the hereditary dynasty of the Hecatomnids. The Hecatomnids followed the earlier autochthonous dynasty of the Lygdamids in Caria.

Artabazos II 4th-century BC Persian satrap

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 Orontid dynasty, also known by their native name Eruandid or Yervanduni, was a hereditary Armenian dynasty and the rulers of the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Urartu (Ararat). The Orontids established their supremacy over Armenia around the time of the Scythian and Median invasion in the 6th century BC.

Satrapy of Armenia period of Yervanduni kingdom

The Satrapy of Armenia (Armenian: Սատրապական Հայաստան Satrapakan Hayastan; Old Persian: Armina or Arminiya, a region controlled by the Orontid Dynasty was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC, which later became an independent kingdom. Its capitals were Tushpa and later Erebuni.

Mazaeus Achaemenid satrap

Mazaeus, Mazday or Mazaios (Greek:Μαζαῖος) was a Persian noble and satrap of Cilicia and later satrap of Babylon for the Achaemenid Empire, a satrapy which he retained under Alexander the Great.

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.

Ariaeus was a Persian general who fought alongside Cyrus the Younger at the Battle of Cunaxa and later was involved in the assassination of Tissaphernes.

Orontes II was a Persian noble living in the 4th century BC. He is probably to be identified as the satrap of Armenia under Darius III, and may in fact have succeeded Darius in this position when Darius ascended the throne of Persia in 336 BC.

Great Satraps Revolt rebellion in the Achaemenid Empire of several satraps against the authority of the Great King Artaxerxes II Mnemon

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.

Rheomithres was a Persian noble. He was father of Phrasaortes among other children, whom Alexander the Great appointed satrap of Persis in 330 BC. He joined in the Great Satraps' Revolt of the western Persian provinces from Artaxerxes II, in 362 BC, and was employed by his confederates to go to Tachos, pharaoh of Egypt, for aid. He came back with 500 talents and 50 warships and he is supposed to have left his wife and his children to Tachos as a guarantee for his assistance. Nevertheless, Rheomithres betrayed the rebels and he invited a number of them in a meeting. On their arrival, he arrested them, and despatched them in chains to Artaxerxes to receive the bounties, thus making his own peace at court. Rheomithres took part in the battle of the Granicus, in 334 BC, where he was in command of a body of 2,000 cavalry on the right wing, between 1,000 Medes and 2,000 Bactrians. He survived the battle and the next year he joined Darius at the battle of Issus where he lost his life.

References

  1. Schmitt 2002.
  2. 1 2 Gershevitch 1985, p. 354.
  3. Chahin 2001, p. 185.
  4. Chahin, M. (2001). The Kingdom of Armenia: A History. Psychology Press. p. 185. ISBN   978-0700714520. (...) son of Artasyras, the "King's Eye", sometimes called "Orontes the Bactrian". because of his princely, Bactrian parentage.
  5. Petrie, Flinders. Mitannian (Armenian) origin
  6. Stylianou, P. J.; Stylianou, Research Associate P. J. (1998). A Historical Commentary on Diodorus Siculus. Clarendon Press. p. 530. ISBN   9780198152392.
  7. Xen. Anab. 2.4-5 passim
  8. Plutarch. Life of Artaxerxes.
  9. Briant, Pierre (2002). From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Eisenbrauns. p. 662. ISBN   9781575061207.
  10. Stylianou, P. J.; Stylianou, Research Associate P. J. (1998). A Historical Commentary on Diodorus Siculus. Clarendon Press. p. 532. ISBN   9780198152392.
  11. Cook, J.M. (1993). The Persian Empire ([Repr.] ed.). New York: Barns & Noble Books. pp. 170, 173, 193, 212, 213, 216, 217, 221–223, 257, 263. ISBN   1-56619-115-7.
  12. The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times - 2 Vols., Richard G. Hovannisian, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1997
  13. Stylianou, P. J.; Stylianou, Research Associate P. J. (1998). A Historical Commentary on Diodorus Siculus. Clarendon Press. p. 532. ISBN   9780198152392.

Sources