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Coin of Spithridates, Achaemenid Satrap of Sparda (Lydia and Ionia), circa 334 BC IONIA, Achaemenid Period. Spithridates. Satrap of Sparda (Lydia and Ionia), circa 334 BC.jpg
Coin of Spithridates, Achaemenid Satrap of Sparda (Lydia and Ionia), circa 334 BC

Spithridates (Greek : Σπιθριδάτης; fl. 365–334 BC) was a Persian satrap of Lydia and Ionia under the high king Darius III Codomannus. He was one of the Persian commanders at the Battle of the Granicus, in 334 BC. In this engagement, while he was aiming a blow from behind at Alexander the Great, his arm was cut off by Cleitus the Black and he subsequently died. [1]

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as closely related languages.

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.

Spithridates attacking Alexander from behind at the Battle of Granicus. Charles le Brun (detail). Spithridates attacking Alexander from behind at the Battle of Granicus.jpg
Spithridates attacking Alexander from behind at the Battle of Granicus. Charles le Brun (detail).
Spithridates was Achaemenid satrap of Lydia and Ionia. Satrapy of Lydia.jpg
Spithridates was Achaemenid satrap of Lydia and Ionia.

Diodorus calls him Spithrodates, and appears to confound him with Mithridates, the son-in-law of Darius, whom Alexander slew in the battle with his own hand; while what Arrian records of Spithridates, Diodorus accounts it for his brother Rhoesaces. [2] [3]

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.

Mithridates or Mithradates was a Persian noble. His wife was the daughter of Darius III with the sister of Pharnaces, which makes him son-in-law of Darius. He was slain by Alexander the Great with his own hand, at the Battle of the Granicus in 334 BC, when he plunged his lance through Mithridates' face.

Arrian Roman historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the 2nd-century

Arrian of Nicomedia was a Greek historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the Roman period.

Spithridates was replaced by the Hellenistic satrap Asander in his territories.

Asander 4th-century BC Macedonian general

Asander or Asandros was the son of Philotas and brother of Agathon. He was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, and satrap of Lydia from 334 BC as well as satrap of Caria after Alexander's death.

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Cleitus the Black officer of the Macedonian army led by Alexander the Great

Cleitus (Clitus) the Black was an officer of the Macedonian army led by Alexander the Great. He saved Alexander's life at the Battle of the Granicus in 334 BC and was killed by him in a drunken quarrel six years later. Cleitus was the son of Dropidas and brother of Alexander's nurse, Lanike.

Oxyathres was a brother of the Persian king Darius III Codomannus. He was distinguished for his bravery, and in the battle of Issus, 333 BC, took a prominent part in the combat in defence of the king, when attacked by the Macedonian cavalry under Alexander himself, as shown in the celebrated Alexander Mosaic found in Pompeii. He afterwards accompanied Darius on his flight into Bactria, and fell into the hands of Alexander during the pursuit, but was treated with the utmost distinction by the conqueror, who even assigned him an honourable post about his own person; and subsequently devolved upon him the task of punishing Bessus for the murder of Darius. He was the father of Amastris queen of Heraclea.

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.

Satibarzanes Persian satrap

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Sibyrtius was a Greek officer from Crete in the service of Alexander the Great, who was the satrap of Arachosia and Gedrosia shortly after the death of Alexander until about 303 BC.

Peucestas Ancient Macedonian admiral

Peucestas was a native of the town of Mieza, in Macedonia, and a distinguished officer in the service of Alexander the Great. His name is first mentioned as one of those appointed to command a trireme on the Hydaspes. Previous to this we do not find him holding any command of importance; but it is evident that he must have distinguished himself for his personal valour and prowess, as he was the person selected by Alexander to carry before him in battle the sacred shield, which he had taken down from the temple of Athena at Troy. In this capacity he was in close attendance upon the king's person in the assault on the capital city of the Malavas ; and all authors agreed in attributing the chief share in saving the life of Alexander upon that occasion to Peucestas, while they differed as to almost all the other circumstances and persons concerned.

Phrataphernes was a Persian who held the government of Parthia and Hyrcania, under the king Darius III Codomannus, and joined that monarch with the contingents from the provinces subject to his rule, shortly before the battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. He afterwards accompanied the king on his flight into Hyrcania.


Orontobates was a Persian, who married the daughter of Pixodarus, the usurping satrap of Caria, and was sent by the king of Persia to succeed him. On the approach of Alexander the Great of Macedon Orontobates and Memnon of Rhodes entrenched themselves in Halicarnassus. But at last, despairing of defending it, they set fire to the town, and under cover of the conflagration crossed over to Cos, whither they had previously removed their treasures. In addition to the island of Cos, Orontobates, retained control of the citadel at Salmacis, and the towns Myndus, Caunus, Thera and Callipolis together with Triopium.

Neoptolemus (general) Ancient Macedonian general

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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. Barsines became the wife of her uncle Mentor, and after his death married her second uncle, Memnon.

Rhoesaces was the brother of Spithridates, a satrap of Ionia and Lydia, with whom he might have held the possession of satrap. Rhoesaces served in the earlier campaigns of Artaxerxes III in Phoenicia and in Egypt where he was singled out for his 'valour and loyalty' to serve alongside allied Theban troops. He took part in the battle of the Granicus in 334 BC where he was killed. According to Diodorus of Sicily, after his brother Spithridates was killed by Alexander the Great the fight between him and Rhoesaces happened like this:

Abistamenes 4th-century BC satrap of Cappadocia

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Arsames (satrap of Cilicia) Persian Satrap

Arsames was an Achaemenid Persian satrap of Cilicia in 334/3 BC. He succeeded Mazaeus in this position. He took part in the Battle of Granicus where he fought with his cavalry on the left wing, along with Arsites and Memnon of Rhodes. He was able to survive that battle and flee to the capital of Cilicia Tarsus. There he was planning a scorched-earth policy according to that of Memnon which caused the native Cilician soldiers to abandon their posts. He also decided to burn Tarsus to the ground so as not to fall in the hands of Alexander but was prevented from doing so by the speedy arrival of Parmenion with the light armored units who took the city. After that, Arsames fled to Darius who was at this time in Syria. He was slain at the battle of Issus in 333 BC.


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Niphates was one of the Persian generals in the battle of the Granicus in 334 BC in Asia Minor. He was stationed on the Persian right during the battle formation, along with Rheomithres and Petenes, and faced the Thessalians, which according to Arrian did heavy damage to the Persians. The scarcity of the details regarding his participation is attributed to the focus of the available sources on Alexander, who fought the Lydians, Rhoesaces and Spithridates in the center. An earlier timeline, put him in a council with other Persian generals and the Persian cavalry near the city of Zeleia. Niphates was killed during the battle at Granicus.

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.

Petenes was one of the Persian generals in the battle of the Granicus in 334 BC in Asia Minor. He was killed during the cavalry engagement.


  1. Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri , 1.12.8, 15.8, 16.3
  2. Diodorus, Bibliotheca historica , XVII. 19, 20
  3. Plutarch, Parallel Lives , "Alexander", 16 ; Moralia , "On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander", I. 2


William Smith (lexicographer) English lexicographer

Sir William Smith was an English lexicographer. He also made advances in the teaching of Greek and Latin in schools.

<i>Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology</i> encyclopedia/biographical dictionary

The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary. Edited by William Smith, the dictionary spans three volumes and 3,700 pages. It is a classic work of 19th-century lexicography. The work is a companion to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Spithridates". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology .

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