Syennesis (5th century)

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Coinage of Syennesis III. Circa 425-400 BC. Satrap on horseback galloping right / 'TRZ' in Aramaic right, hoplite kneeling left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, holding spear in right hand, large round shield decorated with gorgoneion in right. CILICIA, Tarsos. Synnesis III. Circa 425-400 BC.jpg
Coinage of Syennesis III. Circa 425-400 BC. Satrap on horseback galloping right / 'TRZ' in Aramaic right, hoplite kneeling left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, holding spear in right hand, large round shield decorated with gorgoneion in right.
Location of Cilicia within the classical regions of Asia Minor/Anatolia Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period - general map - regions and main settlements.jpg
Location of Cilicia within the classical regions of Asia Minor/Anatolia

Syennesis, also Syennesis III (Ancient Greek : Συέννεσις, Aramaic:TRZ) was a ruler of ancient Cilicia in the 5th century BCE.

Cilicia ancient region of Anatolia

In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor and existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during the late Byzantine Empire. Extending inland from the southeastern coast of modern Turkey, Cilicia is due north and northeast of the island of Cyprus and corresponds to the modern region of Çukurova in Turkey.

Contents

Rule

Synnesis was a contemporary of Artaxerxes II of Persia, and when Cyrus the Younger, marching against Artaxerxes in 401 BCE, arrived at the borders of Cilicia, he found the passes guarded by Syennesis, who, however, withdrew his troops on receiving intelligence that the force advanced by Cyrus under Meno had already entered Cilicia, and that the combined fleet of the Lacedaemonians and the prince, under Samius and Tamos, was sailing round from Ionia.

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

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.

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.

Meno, son of Alexidemus, was an ancient Thessalian political figure. Probably from Pharsalus, he is famous both for the eponymous dialogue written by Plato and his role as one of the generals leading different contingents of Greek mercenaries in Xenophon's Anabasis.

When Cyrus reached Tarsus, the Cilician capital, he found that Meno's soldiers had sacked the city, and commanded Synnesis to appear before him. Syennesis had fled for refuge to a stronghold among the mountains, but he was induced by his wife, Epyaxa, to obey the summons of Cyrus. Here he received gifts of honor from the Cyrus, whom he supplied in his turn with a large sum of money and a considerable body of troops under the command of one of his sons.

Tarsus, Mersin Place in Mersin, Turkey

Tarsus is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from the Mediterranean. It is part of the Adana-Mersin metropolitan area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Turkey with a population of 3 million people. Tarsus forms an administrative district in the eastern part of the Mersin Province and lies in the core of Çukurova region.

At the same time, however, Syennesis took care to send his other son to Artaxerxes, to represent his meeting with Cyrus as having been something he'd been forced to do, while his heart all the time was with the king, Artaxerxes. From Xenophon's telling it appears that Syennesis at this time, though really a vassal of Persia, affected the tone of an independent sovereign. [1] [2] [3]

Xenophon Ancient Greek historian and philosopher

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.

Coinage

Notes

  1. Xenophon, Hellenica iii. 1. § I
  2. Xenophon, Anabasis i. 2. §§ 12, 21-27, 4. § 4, vii. 8. § 25
  3. Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica xiv. 20

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Elder, Edward (1870). "Syennesis". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology . 3. p. 949.

The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

Edward Elder (1812–1858) was an English teacher, the headmaster of Charterhouse School from 1853.

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.

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