Pharnabazus II

Pharnabazus II (ruled 413-374 BC)[2] 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.[3]

According to research by Theodor Nöldeke, he was descended from Otanes, one of the associates of Darius in the murder of Smerdis.

Pharnabazus II
Pharnabazus II
Pharnabazus II, ruled as Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia circa 422–387 BC.
AllegianceAchaemenid Empire
Years of service413-374 BC
RankSatrap of Hellespontine Phrygia
Battles/warsPeloponnesian War
ChildrenArtabazos II
Hellespontine Phrygia
Pharnabazus was Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia.
Pharnabazos fish sign coin
Coinage of Pharnabazos, circa 398-396/5 BC, Kyzikos, Mysia. Obv: Legend ΦΑΡ-Ν-[A]-BA ("FAR-N-[A]-BA", for Pharnabazos), head of Pharnabazos, wearing the satrapal cap tied below his chin, with diadem. Rev: Ship’s prow left, with a griffin and prophylactic eye; two dolphins downward; below, a tuna.[1]

Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia

War with Sparta against Athens (c.413-404 BC)

Athens was the dominant power in the Aegean in the 5th century BC, following the repulse of the Achaemenids in the Second Persian invasion of Greece (480-479 BC). Athens, powered by the alliance formed under the Delian League, has even been called the Athenian Empire at that time, and formed the largest threat to the Achaemenid possessions in Asia Minor.

Pharnabazus II is first recorded as satrap of this province in 413 BC, when he received orders from Darius II of Persia to send in the outstanding tribute of the Greek cities on the Ionian coast, tribute he had a hard time to obtain due to Athenian interference. Thucydides described this situation, faced by both satraps Pharnabazes and Tissaphernes:[4]

The king (Darius II) had lately called upon him for the tribute from his government, for which he was in arrears, being unable to raise it from the Hellenic towns by reason of the Athenians; and he therefore calculated that by weakening the Athenians he should get the tribute better paid, and should also draw the Lacedaemonians into alliance with the king.

La mort d'Alcibiade Philippe Chéry 1791
The assassination of the exiled Athenian general Alcibiades may have been organized by Pharnabazes, at the request of Sparta.

He, like Tissaphernes of Caria, entered into negotiations with Sparta and began a war with Athens. The conduct of the war was much hindered by the rivalry between the two satraps, of whom Pharnabazus was by far the more energetic and upright. Pharnabazus initially fought with the Spartans against the Athenians during the Peloponnesian war (431–404 BC), even, in one instance, coming to the rescue of the retreating Spartan forces, and riding his horse into the sea to fend off the Athenians while encouraging his regiment.[5]

In 404 BC, Pharnabazus may also have been responsible for the assassination of the Athenian general Alcibiades, who had taken refuge in the Achaemenid Empire. The assassination was probably at the instigation of the Spartans, and specifically Lysander.[6][7] As Alcibiades was about to set out for the Persian court, his residence was surrounded and set on fire. Seeing no chance of escape he rushed out on his assassins, dagger in hand, and was killed by a shower of arrows.[8]

Conflict with the Ten Thousand (399 BC)

Altıkulaç Sarcophagus Combat scene (detail)
An Athenian mercenary peltast (left) supporting an Achaemenid knight of Hellespontine Phrygia (center) attacking a Greek psilos (right), Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BCE.[9][10]

After their victory in the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), the Spartans became the dominant power in the Aegean, creating a new threat for the Achaemenid Empire. The Spartans then antagonized the Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II by militarily supporting the rival bid of his brother Cyrus the Younger, their ally during the Peloponnesian war, leading to the campaign of the Ten Thousand deep into Achaemenid territory in 401-399 BC. Cyrus the Younger failed, but the relationship between Sparta and the Achaemenid Empire remained adversarial.

Pharnabazus was involved in helping the Bithynians against the plundering raids of the Greek Ten Thousand who were returning from their failed campaign in the center of the Achaemenid Empire. He was also trying to stop them from entering Hellespontine Phrygia. His cavalry is said to have killed about 500 Greek mercenaries on that occasion, and mounted several raids on the Greek mercenaries.[11] Pharnabazus then arranged with Spartan Admiral Anaxibius for the rest of the Greek mercenaries to be shipped out of the Asian continent to Byzantium.[12]

War with Athens against Sparta (395–387 BC)

Conflict with Spartan King Agesilaos in Asia Minor

CUH Agesilaus and Pharnabazus
Meeting between Spartan King Agesilaus (left) and Pharnabazus (right) in 395 BC, after which Agisilaus left Hellespontine Phrygia proper.[13][14]

Hellespontine Phrygia was attacked and ravaged by the Spartan king Agesilaos in 396-395 BCE, who particularly laid waste to the area around Daskyleion, the capital of Hellenistic Phrygia.[10] Pharnabazus had several military encounters against the invading Spartans on this occasion. Pharnabazus finally met in person with Agesilaos, and Agesilaos agreed to remove himself from Hellespontine Phrygia proper and retreated to the plain of Thebe in the Troad.[10][14]

In 394, while encamped on the plain of Thebe, Agesilaus was still planning a campaign in the interior of Asia Minor, or even an attack on Artaxerxes II himself, when he was recalled to Greece to fight in the Corinthian War between Sparta and the combined forces of Athens, Thebes, Corinth, Argos and several minor states.

The outbreak of the conflict in Greece had been encouraged by Persian payments to Sparta's Greek rivals, and had for effect to remove the Spartan threat in Asia Minor. Pharnabazus sent Timocrates of Rhodes as an envoy to Greece, and tens of thousands of Darics, the main currency in Achaemenid coinage, were used to bribe the Greek states to start a war against Sparta.[15] According to Plutarch, Agesilaus said upon leaving Asia Minor "I have been driven out by 10,000 Persian archers", a reference to "Archers" (Toxotai) the Greek nickname for the Darics from their obverse design, because that much money had been paid to politicians in Athens and Thebes in order to start a war against Sparta.[16][15][17]

Participation to the Corinthian War on the side of Athens (395-393 BC)

Pharnabazes went on to aid the Athenians against the Spartans in the Corinthian War (394–387 BC). During this period, Pharnabazus is notable for his command of the Achaemenid fleet at the Battle of Cnidus (394 BC) in which the Persians, allied with the former Athenian admiral and then commissioned into Persian service, Conon, annihilated the Spartan fleet, ending Sparta's brief status as the dominant Greek naval power.[18] [19]

Pharnabazus followed up his victory at Cnidus by capturing several Spartan-allied cities in Ionia, instigating pro-Athenian and pro-Democracy mouvements.[19] Abydus and Sestus were the only cities to refuse to expel the Lacedaemonians despite threats from Pharnabazus to make war on them. He attempted to force these into submission by ravaging the surrounding territory, but this proved fruitless, leading him to leave Conon in charge of winning over the cities in the Hellespont.[19]

Achaemenid naval campaign against Sparta in the Corinthian War (394-393 BC)[19]

From 393 BC, Pharnabazus II and Conon sailed with his fleet to the Aegean island of Melos and established a base there.[19] This was the first time in 90 years, since the Greco-Persian Wars, that the Achaemenid fleet was going so far west.[19] The military occupation by these pro-Athenian forces led to several democratic revolutions and new alliances with Athens in the islands.[19]

The fleet proceeded further west to take revenge on the Spartans by invading Lacedaemonian territory, where the Achaemenids laid waste to Pherae and raided along the Messenian coast.[19] Their aim was probably to instigate a revolt of the Messanian helots against Sparta.[19] Eventually they left due to scarce resources and few harbors for the Achaemenid fleet in the area, as well as the looming possibility of Lacedaemonian relief forces being dispatched.[19]

They then raided the coast of Laconia and seized the island of Cythera, where they left a garrison and an Athenian governor to cripple Sparta's offensive military capabilities.[19] Cythera in effect became Achaemenid territory.[19] Seizing Cythera also had the effect of cutting the strategic route between Peloponnesia and Egypt and thus avoiding Spartan-Egyptian collusion, and directly threatening Taenarum, the harbour of Sparta.[19] This strategy to threaten Sparta had already been recommended, in vain, by the exiled Spartan Demaratus to Xerxes I in 480 BC.[19]

Pharnabazus II, leaving part of his fleet in Cythera, then went to Corinth, where he gave Sparta's rivals funds to further threaten the Lacedaemonians. He also funded the rebuilding of a Corinthian fleet to resist the Spartans.[19]

Xenophon gave a detailed contemporary account of the naval campaign of Pharnabazus in his Hellenica:

Pharnabazus, and Conon with him, sailed through the islands to Melos, and making that their base, went on to Lacedaemon. And first Pharnabazus put in at Pherae and laid waste this region; then he made descents at one point and another of the coast and did whatever harm he could. But being fearful because the country was destitute of harbours, because the Lacedaemonians might send relief forces, and because provisions were scarce in the land, he quickly turned about, and sailing away, came to anchor at Phoenicus in the island of Cythera. And when those who held possession of the city of the Cytherians abandoned their walls through fear of being captured by storm, he allowed them to depart to Laconia under a truce, and having repaired the wall of the Cytherians, left in Cythera a garrison of his own and Nicophemus, an Athenian, as governor. After doing these things and sailing to the Isthmus of Corinth and there exhorting the allies to carry on the war zealously and show themselves men faithful to the King, he left them all the money that he had and sailed off homeward. (...) The Corinthians, on the other hand, manned ships with the money which Pharnabazus left, appointed Agathinus as admiral, and established their mastery of the sea in the gulf around Achaea and Lechaeum.

— Xenophon Hellenica 4.8.7 to 4.8.10[20]
Rebuilding the walls of Athens 393 BCE
Pharnabazus funded the rebuilding the walls of Athens, and provided his seamen as manpower, in 393 BC.[21]

After being convinced by Conon that allowing him to rebuild the Long Walls around Piraeus, the main port of Athens, would be a major blow to the Lacedaemonians, Pharnabazus eagerly gave Conon a fleet of 80 triremes and additional funds to accomplish this task[19]. Pharnabazus dispatched Conon with substantial funds and a large part of the fleet to Attica, where he joined in the rebuilding of the long walls from Athens to Piraeus, a project that had been initiated by Thrasybulus in 394 BC.[19]

According to Xenophon in Hellenica:

Conon said that if he (Pharnabazus) would allow him to have the fleet, he would maintain it by contributions from the islands and would meanwhile put in at Athens and aid the Athenians in rebuilding their long walls and the wall around Piraeus, adding that he knew nothing could be a heavier blow to the Lacedaemonians than this. (...) Pharnabazus, upon hearing this, eagerly dispatched him to Athens and gave him additional money for the rebuilding of the walls. Upon his arrival Conon erected a large part of the wall, giving his own crews for the work, paying the wages of carpenters and masons, and meeting whatever other expense was necessary. There were some parts of the wall, however, which the Athenians themselves, as well as volunteers from Boeotia and from other states, aided in building.

— Xenophon Hellenica 4.8.7 4.8.8[22]

With the assistance of the rowers of the fleet, and the workers paid for by the Persian money, the construction was soon completed.[23] Athens quickly took advantage of its possession of walls and a fleet to seize the islands of Scyros, Imbros, and Lemnos, on which it established cleruchies (citizen colonies).[24]

As a reward for his success, Pharnabazus was allowed to marry the king's daughter, Apame.[25] He was recalled to the Achaemenid Empire in 393 BC, and replaced by satrap Tiribazus.[19]

Final settlement with Sparta (386 BCE)

In 386 BC, Artaxerxes II betrayed his Athenian allies and came to an arrangement with Sparta, to the expense of the Greek cities of Asia Minor, which Sparta agreed to concede to the Achaemenids in exchange for Spartan domination in Greece. In the Treaty of Antalcidas he forced his erstwhile allies to come to terms. This treaty restored control of the Greek cities of Ionia and Aeolis on the Anatolian coast to the Persians, while giving Sparta dominance on the Greek mainland.

Campaign against Egypt (373 BC)

Achaemenid campaign against Egypt 373 BCE
Achaemenid campaign of Pharnabazus II against Egypt in 373 BC.

In 377 BC, Pharnabazus was then reassigned by Artaxerxes II to help command a military expedition into rebellious Egypt, having proven his ability against the Spartans.[26]

After 4 years of preparations in the Levant, Pharnabazes gathered an expeditionary force had 200,000 Persian troops, 300 triremes, 200 galleys, and 12,000 Greeks under Iphicrates.[27] The Achaemenid Empire had also been applying pressure on Athens to recall the Greek general Chabrias, who was in the service of the Egyptians, but in vain.[28] The Egyptian ruler Nectanebo I was thus supported by Athenian General Chabrias and his mercenaries.[29]


The force landed in Egypt with the Athenian general Iphicrates near Mendes in 373 BC.[30] The expedition force was too slow, giving time to the Egyptians to strengthen defenses. Pharnabazus and Iphicrates appeared before Pelusium, but retired without attacking it, Nectanebo I, king of Egypt, having added to its former defences by laying the neighboring lands under water, and blocking up the navigable channels of the Nile by embankments. (Diodorus Siculus xv. 42; Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates c. 5.) Fortifications on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile ordered by Nectanebo forced the enemy fleet to seek another way to sail up the Nile. Eventually the fleet managed to find its way up the less-defended Mendesian branch.[28] At this point, the mutual distrust that had arisen between Iphicrates and Pharnabazus prevented the enemy from reaching Memphis. Then the annual Nile flood and the Egyptian defenders' resolve to defend their territory turned what had initially appeared as certain defeat for Nectanebo I and his troops into a complete victory.[31]

After several weeks the Persians, and their Greek mercenaries under Iphicrates, had to reembark. The expedition against Egypt had failed.[30] It was the end of the career of Pharnabazus, who was now over 70 years old.[32] Pharnabazes was replaced by Datames to lead a second expedition to Egypt, but he failed and then started the "Satraps' Revolt" against the Great King.[32]

Coin depicting Pharnabazus II, Persian satrap and military commander
Coinage of Pharnabazus II, Tarsos, Cilicia.[33][34]

From 368 BCE many western satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire started to rebel against Artaxerxes II, in the Great Satraps' Revolt, so Nectanebo provided financial support to the rebelling satraps and re-established ties with both Sparta and Athens.[35]


A large number of coins have been found from that period, presumably in order to pay for the troops, particularly for the Greek troops under Iphicrates. The large coinage was minted in Tarsos, Cilicia.[33] The coins use images of the god of war Ates wearing an Attic helmet, or a seated Baal.[33]

Pharnabazus in Greek literature

Claire Bloom Richard Burton Alexander the Great
Claire Bloom as Barsine, grand-daughter of Pharnabazus, and Richard Burton as Alexander the Great, in Alexander the Great (1956 film).

Pharnabazus was one of the best known Satraps among the Greeks, and had many exchanges with them. He is one of the main characters in the Hellenica of Xenophon, also appears in his Anabasis, and is also very present in the History of the Peloponnesian War of Thucydide.

The family of Pharnabazus was closely related to the Greek world. His son Artabazos II married a Greek noblewoman from Rhodes, and lived in exile with his family at the Macedonian court of Philip II for more than ten years. His grand-daughter Barsine was half Rhodian Greek, and married Alexander the Great.[36]

Family tree of the later Pharnacids complete
Family tree after Pharnabazus II.


  1. ^ CNG
  2. ^ Mitchiner, Michael (1978). The ancient & classical world, 600 B.C.-A.D. 650. Hawkins Publications ; distributed by B. A. Seaby. p. 48. ISBN 9780904173161.
  3. ^ Plutarch: Life of Eumenes - translation.
  4. ^ a b Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book 8, chapter 5, section 5&6.
  5. ^ Xenophon Hellenica, 1.1.6
  6. ^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 16.40 Though many of his details cannot be independently corroborated, Plutarch's version is this: Lysander sent an envoy to Pharnabazus who then dispatched his brother to Phrygia where Alcibiades was living with his mistress, Timandra.
  7. ^ H.T. Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities and W. Smith, New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, 39.
  8. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 39.
  9. ^ Campbell, Brian; Tritle, Lawrence A. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World. Oxford University Press. p. 150. ISBN 9780199719556.
  10. ^ a b c Rose, Charles Brian (2014). The Archaeology of Greek and Roman Troy. Cambridge University Press. p. 137–140. ISBN 9780521762076.
  11. ^ Brownson, Carlson L. (Carleton Lewis) (1883). Xenophon;. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. p. 479.
  12. ^ Brownson, Carlson L. (Carleton Lewis) (1886). Xenophon;. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. p. 513.
  13. ^ History of the Greeks, p.186
  14. ^ a b Cassell's illustrated universal history. Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 1882. p. 435.
  15. ^ a b Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2015). Coins and Currency: An Historical Encyclopedia. McFarland. p. 125. ISBN 9781476611204.
  16. ^ "Persian coins were stamped with the figure of an archer, and Agesilaus said, as he was breaking camp, that the King was driving him out of Asia with ten thousand "archers"; for so much money had been sent to Athens and Thebes and distributed among the popular leaders there, and as a consequence those people made war upon the Spartans" Plutarch 15-1-6 in Delphi Complete Works of Plutarch (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. 2013. pp. 1031, Plutarch 15–1–6. ISBN 9781909496620.
  17. ^ Schwartzwald, Jack L. (2014). The Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome: A Brief History. McFarland. p. 73. ISBN 9781476613079.
  18. ^ Xenophon Hellenica, 4.3
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Ruzicka, Stephen (2012). Trouble in the West: Egypt and the Persian Empire, 525-332 BC. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 57–60. ISBN 9780199766628.
  20. ^ Xenophon. Perseus Under Philologic: Xen. 4.8.7.
  21. ^ Smith, William (1877). A History of Greece from the Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest. William Ware & Company. p. 419.
  22. ^ Xenophon. Perseus Under Philologic: Xen. 4.8.7.
  23. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica 4.8.7–10
  24. ^ Fine, The Ancient Greeks, 551
  25. ^ Xenophon Hellenica, 4.8
  26. ^ Ruzicka, Stephen (2012). Trouble in the West: Egypt and the Persian Empire, 525-332 BC. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 55–62. ISBN 978-0-19-976662-8.
  27. ^ Gershevitch, I.; Fisher, William Bayne; Boyle, John Andrew; Yarshater, Ehsan; Frye, Richard Nelson (1985). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 372. ISBN 9780521200912.
  28. ^ a b Grimal (1992), pp. 375–376
  29. ^ Ruzicka, Stephen (2012). Trouble in the West: Egypt and the Persian Empire, 525-332 BC. Oxford University Press. p. 99–105. ISBN 9780199908776.
  30. ^ a b Gershevitch, I.; Fisher, William Bayne; Boyle, John Andrew; Yarshater, Ehsan; Frye, Richard Nelson (1985). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 373. ISBN 9780521200912.
  31. ^ Lloyd (1994), p. 348
  32. ^ a b Gershevitch, I.; Fisher, William Bayne; Boyle, John Andrew; Yarshater, Ehsan; Frye, Richard Nelson (1985). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 374. ISBN 9780521200912.
  33. ^ a b c Moysey, Robert (1986). "THE SILVER STATER ISSUES OF PHARNABAZOS AND DATAMES FROM THE MINT OF TARSUS IN CILICIA on JSTOR". Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society). Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society) Vol. 31: American Numismatics Society. 31: 7–61 (60 pages). JSTOR 43573706.
  34. ^ CNG: CILICIA, Tarsos. Pharnabazos. Persian military commander, circa 380-374/3 BC. AR Stater (23mm, 10.62 g, 2h). Struck circa 378/7-374/3 BC.
  35. ^ Grimal (1992), p. 377
  36. ^ Plutarch: Life of Eumenes - translation.


  • Grimal, Nicolas (1992). A History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Blackwell Books. ISBN 978-0-631-19396-8.
  • Lloyd, Alan B. (1994). "Egypt, 404–332 B.C.". The Fourth Century B.C. The Cambridge Ancient History. VI. ISBN 0-521-23348-8.
Achaemenid family tree

The Achaemenid Empire was the first Persian empire, founded in 550 BC by Cyrus the Great. This article contains the Achaemenid family tree.

Achilleion (Ionia)

Achilleion (Ancient Greek: Ἀχιλλεῖον) was a town of ancient Ionia. Xenophon records that, in 398 BCE, soldiers of Achilleion were part of the army that, under the command of the Spartan Dercylidas, faced troops of Achaemenid Empire led by the satraps Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus II, who had crossed the river Maeander. At the meeting between both armies, the troops of Dercylidas, the Peloponnesians were ready to fight, but part of those of the cities of Priene and of Achilleion, and those of the islands and Ionian cities fled and those who remained would not resist. However, Tissaphernes sent some delegates to parley with Dercylidas and they reached an agreement by which they took guarantees and hostages and the armies withdrew, the Greeks to Leucophrys and the Persians to Tralles. The next day in the place they had agreed to, they negotiated peace. The Persians would allow the Greek cities to be autonomous and the Greek army and the Laconian harmosts would return across the Aegean Sea. In another passage, Xenophon situates Achilleion between the cities of the valley of the Maeander river, like Priene and Leucophrys, where the Spartan Thimbron established his bases to fight against Struthas. The geographer Stephanus of Byzantium also cites a fort named Achilleion but located next to Smyrna and, therefore, is not identifiable with this Achilleion.Its site is unlocated.

Apollophanes of Cyzicus

Apollophanes (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλοφάνης) of Cyzicus was connected by friendship with the Persian satrap Pharnabazus II, and afterwards formed a similar connexion with Agesilaus II. Soon after this, Pharnabazus requested him to persuade Agesilaus to meet him, which was done accordingly. This happened in 396 BCE, shortly before the withdrawal of Agesilaus from the satrapy of Pharnabazus.

Ariobarzanes of Phrygia

For the satrap of Persis and opponent of Alexander the Great, see Ariobarzanes (satrap of Persis).

Ariobarzanes (in Greek Ἀριoβαρζάνης), (Old Persian: Ariyabrdhna, Ariyaubrdhna) Ariobarzan or spelled as Ario Barzan or Aryo Barzan, perhaps signifying "exalting the Aryans" (death: crucified in c. 362 BCE), sometimes known as Ariobarzanes I of Cius, was a Persian Satrap of Phrygia and military commander, leader of an independence revolt, and the first known of the line of rulers of the Greek town of Cius from which were eventually to stem the kings of Pontus in the 3rd century BCE.

Ariobarzanes was apparently a cadet member of the Achaemenid dynasty, possibly son of Pharnabazus II, and part of the Pharnacid dynasty which had settled to hold Dascylium of Hellespont in the 470s BCE. Cius is located near Dascylium, and Cius seemingly was a share of family holdings for the branch of Ariobarzanes.

Ariobarzanes' one predecessor was a (kinsman) named Mithradates (possibly Mithradates, Satrap of Cappadocia). The archaeologist Walther Judeich claims that Ariobarzanes was that Mithradates' son, but Brian C. McGing refutes that specific filiation. Seemingly, no classical source itself calls them son and father, the filiation being a later reconstruction on basis of successorship.

Artabazos II

Artabazos II (in Greek Αρτάβαζος) (fl. 389 – 328 BC) was a Persian general and satrap. He was the son of the Persian satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, Pharnabazus II, and younger kinsman (most probably brother) of Ariobarzanes of Phrygia who revolted against Artaxerxes II around 356 BC. His first wife was an unnamed Greek woman from Rhodes, sister of the two mercenaries Mentor of Rhodes and Memnon of Rhodes.

Artabazos I of Phrygia

Artabazos (Ancient Greek: Ἀρτάβαζος; fl. 480 BC - 455 BC) was a Persian general in the army of Xerxes I, and later satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia (now northwest Turkey) 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.

Artaxerxes II of Persia

Artaxerxes II Mnemon (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂, meaning "whose reign is through truth") was the King of Kings (Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm) of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.

Greek authors gave him the epithet "Mnemon" (Ancient Greek: Μνήμων, in Old Persian: abiataka), meaning "remembering; having a good memory".

Hellespontine Phrygia

Hellespontine Phrygia (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλησποντιακὴ Φρυγία, romanized: Hellēspontiakē Phrygia) or Lesser Phrygia (Ancient Greek: μικρᾶ Φρυγία, romanized: mikra 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.


Leucophrys or Leukophrys (Ancient Greek: Λευκόφρυς) was a town of the ancient Ionia, and earlier of Caria in the plain of the Maeander river. It was on the borders of a lake, whose water was hot and in constant commotion. The town possessed a very revered sanctuary of Artemis; hence surnamed Artemis Leucophryene or Leucophryne. The poet Nicander spoke of Leucophrys as a place distinguished for its fine roses. Xenophon records that, in 398 BCE, Leucophrys was the site to which the Greek troops, under the command of the Spartan Dercylidas withdrew after the meeting between them and the troops of Achaemenid Empire led by the satraps Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus II. The next day in the place they had agreed to, they negotiated peace. The Persians would allow the Greek cities to be autonomous and the Greek army and the Laconian harmosts would return across the Aegean Sea.Its site was later occupied by Magnesia ad Maeandrum.

Long Walls

Although long walls were built at several locations in ancient Greece, notably Corinth and Megara, the term Long Walls (Ancient Greek: Μακρὰ Τείχη) generally refers to the walls that connected Athens to its ports at Piraeus and Phalerum. Built in several phases, they provided a secure connection to the sea even during times of siege. The walls were about 6 km in length, initially constructed in the mid 5th century BC, destroyed by the Spartans in 403 BC after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War, and rebuilt again with Persian support during the Corinthian War in 395-391 BC. The Long Walls were a key element of Athenian military strategy, since they provided the city with a constant link to the sea and thwarted sieges conducted by land alone.

Mania (satrap)

Not to be confused with Mavia (queen)

Mania or Manya was a Persian satrap. She was the wife of Zenis, satrap of ancient Dardanus under Pharnabazus II, and became satrap herself in about 399 BCE after her husband's death. She attended the battles of her mercenaries in a carriage or chariot, and was never defeated. Polyaenus describes her as an excellent general. She had one daughter whose husband Medias murdered her.

Pharae (Messenia)

Pharae (Ancient Greek: Φαραί, Strab., Paus.; Φηρή, Hom. Il. 5.543; Φηραί, Il. 9.151; Φεραί, Xen. Hell. 4.8.7) was an ancient town of Messenia, situated upon a hill rising from the left bank of the river Nedon, and at a distance of a mile (1.5 km) from the Messenian Gulf. Strabo describes it as situated 5 stadia from the sea, and Pausanias 6. William Smith states that it is probable that the earth deposited at the mouth of the river Nedon has, in the course of centuries, encroached upon the sea. Pausanias distinguishes this city from the Achaean city of Pharae (Φαραὶ), 150 stadia from Patrae and 70 stadia from the coast. Pherae occupied the site of Kalamata, the modern capital of Messenia; and in antiquity also it seems to have been the chief town in the southern Messenian plain.

It was said to have been founded by Pharis, the son of Hermes and the Danaid Phylodameia.In Homer, Pherae was the home of Diocles, whose sons Crethon and Orsilochus were killed by Aeneas. As part of his entreaty to Achilles Agamemnon promised to include "holy Pherae" as one of seven "strongholds" in the dowry of the daughter Achilles chooses to marry if he returned to the fight on behalf of the Achaeans. Strabo argues that Pherae must have belonged to the Atreides; otherwise Agamemnon would not have offered it. The home of Diocles is also where Telemachus and Peisistratus spent a night at his house on their way from Pylos to visit king Menelaus in Lacedaemon and their return.Xenophon records that Pherae (Φεραί) was one of the Lacedaemonian cities razed by Persian satrap Pharnabazus II and Athenian General Conon during the Corinthian War (in 394 BCE).After the capture of Messene by the Achaeans in 182 BCE, Pharae, Abia, and Thuria separated themselves from Messene, and became each a distinct member of the league. Pausanias says that because Messenia sided with Antony during the Roman civil war, Augustus punitively had Pherae and all of Messenia incorporated into Laconia, but it was restored to Messenia by Tiberius. Pausanias visited it and noted temples of Tyche, and of Nicomachus and Gorgasus, grandsons of Asclepius. Outside the city there was a grove of Apollo Carneius, and in it a fountain of water. Strabo correctly describes Pharae as having an anchorage, but only for summer. The city established a colony of the same name in Crete.There are no ancient remains at Kalamata, which is not surprising, as the place has always been well occupied and inhabited. The height above the town is crowned by a ruined castle of the middle ages. It was the residence of several of the Latin chieftains of the Morea. William of Villehardouin was born here. In 1685 it was conquered and enlarged by the Venetians. It was the headquarters of the insurrection of 1770, and again of the revolution of 1821, which spread from thence over the whole peninsula.


Pharnabazus or Pharnabazos (Greek: Φαρνάβαζος) is the Hellenized form of an ancient Persian name. It may refer to:

Pharnabazus I of Iberia (326–234 BCE), king of Iberia

Pharnabazus II of Iberia (63–32 BCE), king of Iberia

Pharnabazus I (fl. 455–430 BCE), satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia

Pharnabazus II (fl. 422–387 BCE), grandson of the above, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia

Pharnabazus III (c. 370 – after 320 BC), grandson of the above, a general who resisted the invasion of Alexander the Great.

Pharnabazus I

Pharnabazus (died before 430 BCE), was a member of the Pharnacid dynasty that governed the province of Hellespontine Phrygia as satraps for the Achaemenid Empire.

He is a very obscure figure, almost always mentioned alongside his father Artabazus. He may have succeeded his father as satrap between 455 and 430 BCE, but it is also possible that Artabazus was directly succeeded by his grandson (Pharnabazus' son), Pharnaces II.

Pharnabazus III

Pharnabazus III (in Greek Φαρνάβαζος; c. 370 BC - after 320 BC) was a Persian satrap who fought against Alexander the Great. His father was Artabazus II, and his mother a Greek from Rhodes.

Pharnaces II of Phrygia

Pharnaces II (fl. 430 BCE - 422 BCE) ruled the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia under the Achaemenid Dynasty of Persia. Hellespontine Phrygia (Greek: Ἑλλησποντιακὴ Φρυγία) comprised the lands of Troad, Mysia and Bithynia and had its seat at Daskyleion, south of Cyzicus, Mysia (near modern-day Erdek, Balıkesir Province, Turkey).

His grandfather, Artabazos I of Phrygia, was the founder of the Pharnacid dynasty. Pharnaces II followed as satrap either upon the death of his father, Pharnabazus I, or directly upon the death of his grandfather. He was succeeded by his son Pharnabazus II.

Pharnacid 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 (younger brother of Hystaspes, who was born shortly before 565 BCE), son of Arsames (died ca. 520 BCE). They were directly related to the Achaemenid dynasty itself. The last member of the dynasty was Pharnabazus III.

Before the Pharnacids, Mitrobates (ca. 525–522 BCE) had ruled Hellespontine Phrygia for Cyrus the Great and Cambises, before being killed and his territory absorbed by the satrap of Lydia Oroetes. Following the reorganization of Darius I, Mitrobates was succeeded by Oebares II (c.493), son of Megabazus, before Artabazus became satrap circa 479 BCE and started the Pharnacid dynasty, which would rule Hellespontine Phrygia until the conquests of Alexander the Great (338 BCE).The residence of the Pharnacid Dynasty was at Dascylium (near modern-day Ergili, Turkey).

After the conquests of Alexander the Great, several women of the Pharnacid family, all daughters of Artabazos II, married Alexandrine nobility: Artonis married Eumenes, Artakama married Ptolemy I, while Barsine may have married Alexander the Great and given him a son, Heracles of Macedon.

Pharnavaz II of Iberia

Parnavaz II (Georgian: ფარნავაზი) (died 30 BC), of the Artaxiad Dynasty, was a king of Iberia (Kartli, eastern Georgia) from 63 to 30 BC. He is known as Pharnabazus in Classical sources, and is commonly identified with the Bartom or Bratman of the medieval Georgian chronicles.

He succeeded upon the death of his father Artag who had been defeated by the Roman general Pompey in 65 BC. However, Roman hegemony over Iberia proved to be impermanent, and, in 36 BC, the legate Publius Canidius Crassus led his army into Iberia, forcing Parnavaz to make an alliance against Zober, king of neighboring Albania. Canidius and Parnavaz marched to Albania and subdued its people. Incidentally, no Georgian source documents these events reported by Cassius Dio in his Roman History Instead, the Georgian annals concentrates upon the homecoming of Mirvan, the exiled son of Parnajom, who had been brought up in Iran. Mirvan returned to Kartli at the head of an Iranian army, killed Bartom and became a king.

Bartom is said to have adopted Kartam, the descendant of Kuji (the alleged ruler of Egrisi in the time of the first Iberian king Parnavaz). But Kartam had also been killed in battle against Mirvan. Nevertheless, Kartam’s pregnant wife – the daughter of Bartom – fled to Armenia where she gave birth to a son named Aderki.

Rulers of the Achaemenid Empire
Kings of Kings
of the Achaemenid Empire
Satraps of Lydia
Satraps of Hellespontine Phrygia
Satraps of Cappadocia
Greek Governors of Asia Minor cities
Dynasts of Lycia
Dynasts of Caria
Kings of Macedonia
Kings of Tyre
Kings of Sidon
Satraps of Armenia
Satraps of Egypt
Satraps of Bactria
Satraps of Media
Satraps of Cilicia
Other known satraps


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