Portrait of Tissaphernes (445 BC–395 BC), from his coinage. Most of his coins are inscribed ΤΙΣΣΑ ("TISSA") in Greek under his portrait, permitting identification.
|Battles/wars||Battle of Cunaxa|
Tissaphernes (Ancient Greek : Τισσαφέρνης; Old Persian Čiθrafarnah > Mod. Persian Čehrfar) (445 BC – 395 BC) 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.
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.
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 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.
Chithrafarna (čiθra + farnah) "Shining Fortune": čiθra is from the Proto-Indo-European adjective (s)koitrós 'bright';farnah is equivalent to Avestan xvarənah 'fortune', 'glory', which appears as 'luminous'. čiθra means nature, specifically the animate nature. Hence, the phrase čihr-farn means 'of glorious or splendid nature', or (if it is translated literally) 'of radiant appearance'.
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the linguistic reconstruction of the ancient common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, the most widely spoken language family in the world.
Avestan, also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan and Younger Avestan. The languages are known only from their use as the language of Zoroastrian scripture, from which they derive their name. Both are early Iranian languages, a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages within the Indo-European family. Its immediate ancestor was the Proto-Iranian language, a sister language to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, with both having developed from the earlier Proto-Indo-Iranian. As such, Old Avestan is quite close in grammar and lexicon with Vedic Sanskrit, the oldest preserved Indo-Aryan language.
Khvarenah or khwarenah is an Avestan word for a Zoroastrian concept literally denoting "glory" or "splendour" but understood as a divine mystical force or power projected upon and aiding the appointed. The neuter noun thus also connotes "(divine) royal glory," reflecting the perceived divine empowerment of kings. The term also carries a secondary meaning of "(good) fortune"; those who possess it are able to complete their mission or function.
Tissaphernes was born in 445 BC. He belonged to an important Persian family: he was the grandson of Hydarnes, an eminent Persian general, who was the commander of the Immortals during the time of king Xerxes' invasion of Greece.
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.
Xerxes I, called Xerxes the Great, was the fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Like his father and predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.
In 414 BC, Tissaphernes was assigned by Darius II to suppress the rebellion of Pissuthnes, the Persian satrap of Asia Minor, and to take over his office. Tissaphernes bribed Pissuthnes' Greek mercenaries to desert him and promised that his life would be spared if he surrendered, a promise which Darius did not keep. When Darius II ordered Tissaphernes to proceed to suppress the continued rebellion of Pissuthnes' son Amorges, and also ordered him to collect the outstanding tribute from the Greek cities of Asia Minor, many of which were under Athenian protection, Tissaphernes entered into an alliance with Sparta against Athens, which in 412 BC led to the Persian conquest of the greater part of Ionia.
Darius II Ochus, also Darius II Nothus, was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 or 405 BC.
Pissuthnes, also known as Pissouthnes, was an Achaemenid satrap of Lydia, including Ionia, circa 440–415 BCE. His capital was Sardis. 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. He held the satrapy for about twenty years, and became extremely rich as a consequence.
Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.
But Tissaphernes was unwilling to take action and tried to achieve his aim by astute and often perfidious negotiations. Alcibiades persuaded him that Persia's best policy was to keep the balance between Athens and Sparta, and rivalry with his neighbour Pharnabazus of Hellespontic Phrygia still further lessened his willingness to act against the Greeks. When, therefore, in 408 BC the king decided to actively support Sparta, Tissaphernes was removed as a general and his responsibilities were limited to the satrapy of Caria, with Lydia and the conduct of the war being entrusted to Cyrus the Younger.
Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, from the deme of Scambonidae, was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.
In classical antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now Asian Turkey, centered on the Sangarios River. After its conquest, it became a region of the great empires of the time.
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.
On the death of Darius II in 404 BC, Artaxerxes II was crowned king of Persia. Tissaphernes, who found out about Cyrus the Younger's plan to assassinate his brother, informed the king about the conspiracy, who then had Cyrus imprisoned. But by the intercession of his mother Parysatis, Cyrus was pardoned and sent back to his satrapy. According to Plutarch, "his resentment for [his arrest] made him more eagerly desirous of the kingdom than before."
The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.
Parysatis was the 5th-century BC illegitimate daughter of Artaxerxes I, Emperor of Persia and Andia of Babylon.
With the desire for revenge, Cyrus gathered a large army and pretended to prepare an expedition against the Pisidians, a tribe based in the Taurus mountains.
In the spring of 401 BC, Cyrus united all his forces into an army, which now included Xenophon's "Ten Thousand", and advanced from Sardis without announcing the object of his expedition. By dexterous management and promises of large rewards, he overcame the misgivings of the Greek troops over the length and danger of the war. A Spartan fleet of 35 triremes sent to Cilicia opened the passes of the Amanus into Syria and a Spartan detachment of 700 men under Cheirisophus was conveyed to Cyrus. However, Tissaphernes managed to warn Artaxerxes II and quickly gathered together an army. Cyrus advanced into Babylonia before he met with any opposition. In October 401 BC, the Battle of Cunaxa ensued. Cyrus had 10,400 Greek hoplites (heavy-armed citizen-soldiers), 2,500 peltasts (light infantry) and an Asiatic army of approximately 10,000 under the command of Ariaeus.
Cyrus saw that the outcome depended on the fate of the king. He therefore wanted Clearchus of Sparta, the commander of the Greeks, to take the centre against Artaxerxes. Clearchus, out of arrogance, disobeyed. As a result, the left wing of the Persians under Tissaphernes was free to engage the rest of Cyrus' forces. Cyrus in the centre threw himself upon Artaxerxes, but was slain. Tissaphernes claimed to have killed the rebel himself.
The Greek soldiers of Cyrus, once they heard about the news of his death, realised that they were in the middle of a massive empire with no provisions, no-one to finance them, and no reliable allies amongst the Persian nobles. They offered to make their Persian ally, Ariaeus, king, but he refused on the grounds that he was not of royal blood and so would not find enough support among the Persians to succeed. They then offered their services to Tissaphernes, but he refused. However, the Greeks refused to surrender to him.
Tissaphernes was left with a problem: he faced a large army of heavy troops that he could not defeat by frontal assault. He supplied them with food and, after a long wait, led them northwards for home, meanwhile detaching the Persian general Ariaeus and his light troops from the Greeks. The senior Greek officers foolishly accepted an invitation from Tissaphernes to attend a feast. There they were made prisoners, taken before the king, and decapitated. As a reward for his loyalty, Artaxerxes gave Tissaphernes one of his own daughters in marriage and restored him as governor of Lydia and as the commander in chief of the Persian army in Asia Minor.
After returning to Asia Minor, Tissaphernes attacked the Greek cities to punish them for their allegiance to Cyrus. This led to a war with Sparta beginning in 399 BC. In 396 BC, the Spartan king and commander Agesilaus II led a campaign to free the Greek cities of Asia Minor. Tissaphernes at this point proposed an armistice and solemnly ratified a truce, which he instantly broke when Persian reinforcements arrived. Agesilaus thanked Tissaphernes for having put the gods on the side of the Greeks by committing perjury, and let it be known that he now planned to lead his troops against Caria. When Tissaphernes gathered his troops to meet this supposed Carian invasion, Agesilaus instead successfully attacked the Persian province of Hellespontine Phrygia. In 395 BC, Agesilaus let it be known that his next target would be the rich land around the Lydian city of Sardis. Tissaphernes, believing that if Agesilaus really intended to attack Sardis he would not have said so, assumed that this time Agesilaus would finally attack Caria, so Tissaphernes concentrated his troops in that area, but Agesilaus successfully attacked Sardis just as he said he would.
At last the fall of Tissaphernes came about when the Persian king yielded to the representations of Pharnabazus II, strongly supported by the chiliarch (vizier) Tithraustes and by the queen-mother Parysatis, who hated Tissaphernes as the principal cause of the death of her favourite son Cyrus. Tithraustes was sent to assassinate Tissaphernes, who was lured to Ariaeus' residence in Colossae and slain in 395 BC.
Encyclopædia Iranica comments that:
|“||Tissaphernes has been described, on the one hand, as impetuous and forthright, on the other, as a liar and treacherous deceiver (to Xenophon, he seemed “the supreme example of faithlessness and oath-breaking in the Anabasis”). Nevertheless, as one scholar has noted, “it is only fair to him to say . . . that in an epoch when disloyalty was becoming the normal he remained the most loyal subject of the two Kings whom he served”. That Tissaphernes appeared to the Greeks as one of their most dangerous enemies and no doubt the model of an unscrupulous diplomat is not surprising; this bias has so deeply marked Greek traditions that it now seems nearly impossible to form a balanced judgment about him, especially as no Persian sources are available and the pertinent sections of the Lycian Xanthos stele are not yet understood.||”|
Following the death of Tissaphernes, Caria re-established a line of semi-independent local dynasts, still under the umbrella of the Achaemenid Empire, the dynasty of the Hecatomnids.
Agesilaus II, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta and a member of the Eurypontid dynasty ruling from 398 to about 360 BC, during most of which time he was, in Plutarch's words, "as good as though commander and king of all Greece," and was for the whole of it greatly identified with his country's deeds and fortunes. Small in stature and lame from birth, Agesilaus became ruler somewhat unexpectedly in his mid-forties. His reign saw successful military incursions into various states in Asia Minor, as well as successes in the Corinthian War; however, several diplomatic decisions resulted in Sparta becoming increasingly isolated prior to his death at the age of 84 in Cyrenaica.
Year 404 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Volusus, Cossus, Fidenas, Ambustus, Maluginensis and Rutilus. The denomination 404 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
This article concerns the period 409 BC – 400 BC.
Year 408 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Iullus, Ahala and Cossus. The denomination 408 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
This article concerns the period 399 BC – 390 BC.
Year 401 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Potitus, Cossus, Camillus, Ambustus, Mamercinus and Iullus. The denomination 401 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 396 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Saccus, Capitolinus, Esquilinus, Augurinus, Capitolinus and Priscus. The denomination 396 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 395 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Cossus, Medullinus, Scipio, Fidenas, Ambustus and Lactucinus. The denomination 395 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Clearchus or Clearch, the son of Rhamphias, was a Spartan general and mercenary, noted for his service under Cyrus the Younger.
Mausolus was a ruler of Caria, nominally a satrap of the Achaemenid Empire. He enjoyed the status of king or dynast by virtue of the powerful position created by his father Hecatomnus who had succeeded the assassinated Persian Satrap Tissaphernes in the Carian satrapy and founded the hereditary dynasty of the Hecatomnids.
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.
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.
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. His grand-daughter Barsine married Alexander the Great.
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.
Tithraustes was the Persian satrap of Sardis for several years in the early 4th century BC. Due to scanty historical records, little is known of the man or his activities. He was sent out from Susa to replace Tissaphernes in 395 BC, and, after arresting his predecessor, executed him.
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.
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.
The Falcon of Sparta is an historical fiction novel by British author Conn Iggulden. It is loosely based on the Anabasis written in 370 BC by Xenophon.