Last updated
IONIA, Phokaia. Circa 478-387 BC anonymous coinage Satrapal portrait.jpg
Anonymous portrait of a Satrap of Asia Minor, around the time of Pissuthnes. From a coin of Ionia, Phokaia, circa 478-387 BC.
Allegiance Standard of Cyrus the Great (White).svg Achaemenid Empire
Rank Satrap of Lydia and Ionia
Pissuthnes was satrap of Lydia, including Ionia. Satrapy of Lydia.jpg
Pissuthnes was satrap of Lydia, including Ionia.

Pissuthnes, also known as Pissouthnes, (Old Persian Pišišyaothna, Greek Πισσούθνης) was an Achaemenid satrap of Lydia, including Ionia, circa 440–415 BCE. His capital was Sardis. [1] [2] He was the son of a man named Hystaspes, probably himself the son of Darius I, which shows his Persian origin and his membership of the Achaemenid dynasty. [3] He held the satrapy for about twenty years, and became extremely rich as a consequence. [4]

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.

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.

Lydia Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor

Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. Its capital was Sardis.

He is known for helping the Samians in the Samian Revolt against Athens, and for supporting various oligarchical movements against Athens along the coast of Asia Minor. [5]

Classical Athens city-state in ancient Greece

The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was the major urban center of the notable polis (city-state) of the same name, located in Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC. The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles.

Pissuthnes was probably a grandson of Darius I. Achaemenid lineage.jpg
Pissuthnes was probably a grandson of Darius I.

He revolted against king Darius II Nothus in 420-415 BCE. [6] He is notable for having recruited Greek mercenaries, under the generalship of Lycon, for his campaigns. [7] Tissaphernes was sent by the King to suppress the revolt of Pissuthnes, managed to bribe Lycon, and brought Pissuthnes to Susa where he was executed. [8] Tissaphernes thus became his successors as Satrap of Lydia. [9]

Tissaphernes Persian satrap

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.

Susa ancient city in Iran

Susa was an ancient city of the Proto-Elamite, Elamite, First Persian Empire, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires of Iran, and one of the most important cities of the Ancient Near East. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about 250 km (160 mi) east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers. The site now "consists of three gigantic mounds, occupying an area of about one square kilometer, known as the Apadana mound, the Acropolis mound, and the Ville Royale mound."

He had a natural son named Amorges, who continued the rebellion. [10]

Amorges, son of the Persian rebel satrap Pissouthnes (Πισσούθνης) of Lydia, was the leader of a Carian rebellion against king Darius II Nothus in 413 BC. He was captured by Tissaphernes and executed in 412 BC. During his Carian rebellion, he occupied and was sheltered in the port of Iasus. Athens was sympathetic to him during the Peloponnesian War against Sparta.

Related Research Articles

Artaxerxes II of Persia King of Persia from 404 to 358 BC

Artaxerxes II Mnemon was the Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.

Artabazos I of Phrygia Iranian politician (0600-0500)

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 Persian Satrap

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.

Artaphernes Persian Satrap

Artaphernes, flourished circa 513–492 BC, was a brother of the Achaemenid king of Persia, Darius I, satrap of Lydia from the capital of Sardis, and a Persian general. In his position he had numerous contacts with the Greeks, and played an important role in suppressing the Ionian Revolt.

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.

Media (region) region of Iran

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

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.

Teispids were an Iron Age dynasty originally ruling southern Zagros, in ancient Anshan. The dynasty’s realm was later expanded under Cyrus II who conquered a vast area in southwestern Asia, later happened to be known as Achaemenid Empire under Darius I. The titulary of Teispids is recorded in Cyrus Cylinder, in which Cyrus II identifies himself and his ancestors with the title King of Anshan, as an Elamite tradition. Teispes being the eponymous ancestor and founder, the dynasty furthermore included Cyrus I, Cambyses I, Cyrus II, Cambyses II and Bardiya.

Pharnacid dynasty Persian dynasty

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.

Orontes I Armenian noble

Orontes I or Yervand I was an Armenian king of the Orontid Dynasty who reigned between 401 BC – 344 BC. The Persian version of the name is Auruand which meant "Great Warrior" in the Avestan language. It is likely this was a special title given by the Persian king, though this seems to have become a hereditary title in that family.

Tomb of Darius the Great Place

The tomb of Darius the Great is one of the four tombs of Achaemenid kings at the historical site of Naqsh-e Rustam located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, Iran. They are all at a considerable height above the ground.

Hellespontine Phrygia

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.

Xenagoras of Halicarnassus, son of Praxilaus, was a Carian mentioned by Herodotus as a commander and colleague of Masistes, son of Darius I. Xenagoras intervened when a conflict between Masistes and fellow commander Artayntes became violent, and prevented Artayntes from slaying Masistes. In doing this, Xenagoras obtained the gratitude and favor of both Masistes and Xerxes the Great, king of the Achaemenid Empire and brother of Masistes. Because of this, Xenagoras was made the king of Cilicia by Xerxes. Later scholars have observed that Cilicia was not then a satrap of the Achaemenid Empire, and had been governed by its own native kings -- the dynasty of Syennesis -- so Xenagoras's position here was likely subordinate to one of these

DNa inscription

The DNa inscription of Achaemenid Emperor Darius I is a famous inscription from c.490 BCE which appears in the top left corner of the facade of the tomb of Darius I in Naqsh-e Rustam.


Artumpara, also Arttum̃para, Artembares was an Achaemenid Satrap of Lycia circa 400-370 BCE. He was involved in the Great Satraps' Revolt on the side of central Achaemenid authority in 366-360 BCE, helping to put down the rebel Datames. He is well known for his coinage.

Pericles, Dynast of Lycia

Perikles, was the last known dynast of Lycia. He ruled c. 380–360 BCE over eastern Lycia from Limyra, at a time when Western Lycia was directly under Persian domination.

Pharnaces (son of Arsames) politician

Pharnaces was a son of Arsames. He was a younger brother of Hystaspes, and therefore an uncle of Achaemenid Emperor Darius I, son of Hystaspes. He was the founder of the Pharnacid dynasty that ruled over Hellespontine Phrygia.


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. Briant, Pierre (2002). From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Eisenbrauns. p. 581. ISBN   9781575061207.
  2. Delphi Complete Works of Thucydides (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. 2013. p. 1402. ISBN   9781909496767.
  3. Rawlinson, George (2018). The Persian Empire. Endymion Press. p. 197. ISBN   9781531295752.
  4. Rawlinson, George (1885). The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World: Or, The History, Geography and Antiquities of Chaldæa, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia, Parthia, and Sassanian Or New Persian Empire. J. W. Lovell Company. p. 507.
  5. The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. 1970. p. 143. ISBN   9780521233477.
  6. Briant, Pierre (2002). From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Eisenbrauns. p. 675. ISBN   9781575061207.
  7. Briant, Pierre (2002). From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Eisenbrauns. p. 578. ISBN   9781575061207.
  8. Rawlinson, George (2018). The Persian Empire. Endymion Press. p. 197. ISBN   9781531295752.
  9. The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. 1970. p. 464. ISBN   9780521233477.
  10. Delphi Complete Works of Thucydides (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. 2013. p. 2127. ISBN   9781909496767.