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Satrap of Egypt
Sabakes portrait.jpg
Portrait of satrap Sabaces from his coinage. Circa 340-333 BC. Achaemenid Egypt.
Predecessor Pherendates II
Successor Mazaces
Dynasty 31st Dynasty
Pharaoh Darius III
Coin of Sabaces, in imitation of Athenian coinage. Obverse: Head of Athena. Reverse: Athenian owl. To right: Sabaces symbol and Aramaic inscription SWYK. Circa 340-333 BC. Achaemenid Egypt. EGYPT, Persian Administration. Sabakes. Circa 340-333 BC.jpg
Coin of Sabaces, in imitation of Athenian coinage. Obverse: Head of Athena. Reverse: Athenian owl. To right: Sabaces symbol and Aramaic inscription SWYK. Circa 340-333 BC. Achaemenid Egypt.
Coin of Sabaces. Persian Egypt. Circa 335-333 BC EGYPT, Persian Administration. Sabakes. Circa 335-333 BC.jpg
Coin of Sabaces. Persian Egypt. Circa 335-333 BC

Sabaces (name variants: Sabakes, Sauaces; Sataces; Diodorus Siculus calls him Tasiaces; [2] Aramaic: SWYK, died in 333 BC) was an Achaemenid satrap of the Achaemenid Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt during the reign of king Darius III of Persia.

Diodorus Siculus Greek historiographer

Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BC. It is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Greece and Europe. The second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning 'library', acknowledges that he was drawing on the work of many other authors.

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.


Resistance to Alexander the Great

Some time before the Battle of Issus Sabaces left Egypt with his army to join Darius III in Syria and support him in his fight against Alexander the Great. When the Battle of Issus took place (November 333 BC) Alexander and his horsemen fought their way through the enemy troops until they came in close vicinity to Darius III, whose life was therefore threatened. Darius III was protected by the most noble Persians, among them also Sabaces, who was killed: [3]

Battle of Issus Battle between Alexander the Great and the Achaemenids

The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, on November 5, 333 BC between the Hellenic League led by Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Empire, led by Darius III, in the second great battle of Alexander's conquest of Asia. The invading Macedonian troops defeated Persia. After the Hellenic League soundly defeated the Persian satraps of Asia Minor at the Battle of the Granicus, Darius took personal command of his army. He gathered reinforcements and led his men in a surprise march behind the Hellenic advance to cut their line of supply. This forced Alexander to countermarch, setting the stage for the battle near the mouth of the Pinarus River and the town of Issus.

Darius III Last king of the Achaemenid Empire

Darius III, originally named Artashata and called Codomannus by the Greeks, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, from 336 BC to 330 BC. Artashata adopted Darius as a dynastic name.

Syria Country in Western Asia

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria.

Of the Persians were killed Arsames, Rheomithres, and Atizyes who had commanded the cavalry at the Granicus. Sabaces, viceroy of Egypt, and Bubaces, one of the Persian dignitaries, were also killed, besides about 100,000 of the private soldiers, among them being more than 10,000 cavalry.

The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian, translated by E. J. Chinnock, Book II, Chapter XI [4]

The Persian king fled because he feared for his life; therefore the Macedonians won the battle.


Mazaces was probably the successor of Sabaces in Egypt, but because Sabaces had taken with him nearly all occupying forces, Mazaces was not able to organize military resistance against the Macedonians. Therefore, Alexander the Great was able to take Egypt without fighting (332 BC).


Mazaces, also Mazakes, was the last Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt during the late reign of Darius III of the 31st Dynasty of Egypt.


  1. CNG: EGYPT, Persian Administration. Sabakes. Circa 340-333 BC. AR Tetradrachm (24mm, 16.88 g, 9h). Imitating Athens.
  2. Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 17.34.5
  3. Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri 2.11.8; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 17.34.5; Quintus Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni 3.11.10 and 4.1.28
  4. The Anabasis of Alexander.

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Preceded by
Pherendates II
Satrap of Egypt
before 333 – 333 BCE
Succeeded by