Ancient and Early Medieval Ancestors
Part P. Early Middle
Early Middle Eastern Ancestors
Cyrus the Great of Persia to Vologaeses I of Parthia
Ref: Stone, Don Charles, “Some Ancient and Medieval Descents of Edward I of England” (2003). These genealogy lines were obtained directly from this author, September 2006.
Much of the following detailed information was obtained from Wikipedia on the Internet, March 2007.
1. Cyrus or Kurush II the Great, King of Anshan from 559 B.C., was the Great King of Persia (after defeating and capturing his Median overload), 550-530 B.C. He died in 530 B.C. He married Cassandane. She was the daughter of Pharnaspes and Atossa.
They were probably parents of a daughter, Atossa.
Cyrus conquered Babylonia and freed the Jews; he was always a generous victor, respecting the customs, institutions and religions of those he defeated.
“Cyrus the Great (ca. 576 or 590 BC — August 530 BC), also known as Cyrus II of Persia and Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. As leader of the Persian people in Anshan, he conquered the Medes and unified the two separate Iranian kingdoms; as the king of Persia, he reigned over the new empire from 559 BC until his death. The empire expanded under his rule, eventually conquering most of Southwest Asia, much of Central Asia, and much of the Indian frontier to create the largest nation the world had yet seen.
During his 29-year reign, Cyrus fought against some of the great states of the early Classical period, including Media, Lydia, and Babylon. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in August 530 BC. Cyrus was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to conquer Egypt during his short rule.
Cyrus is the first king whose name was suffixed with the word "Great", or Vazraka in Old Persian, (Bozorg in modern Persian), a titulary style adopted by his Achaemenid successors including Darius the Great, Xerxes the Great, et al. He is considered by most Persians as the Father of Iran. Beyond his civilization, Cyrus left a lasting legacy on religion, politics, as well as on Middle Eastern and Western civilization.
The name Cyrus is a Latin transliteration of the Greek Κῦρος. The ancient historians Ctesias and Plutarch noted that Cyrus was named from Kuros, the sun, a concept which has been interpreted as meaning "like the sun," by noting its relation to the Persian noun for sun, khorsheed, while using -vash as a suffix of likeness. However, some modern historians, such as Karl Hoffmann and Rüdiger Schmitt of the Encyclopedia Iranica, have suggested the translation "humiliator of the enemy in verbal contest."
In modern Persian, Cyrus is referred to as Kourosh-e Kabir, and, more recently, as Kourosh-e Bozorg — the Persian-derived name for Cyrus the Great. In the Bible, he is known as simply Koresh.
Cyrus the Great was an Achaemenid Persian, son of the local Persian king Cambyses I and the Mede princess Mandane, who was the daughter of Astyages, the last Median emperor. Before he uniting Persians and Medes under a single empire, he was the ruler of Anshān, then a vassal kingdom of the Median Empire, in what is now part of Khūzestān Province in southwestern Iran.
The dynasty had been founded by Achaemenes (ca. 700 BC), who was succeeded by his son Teispes of Anshan. Inscriptions indicate that when the latter died, two of his sons shared the throne as Cyrus I of Anshan and Ariaramnes of Persia. They were succeeded by their respective sons Cambyses I of Anshan and Arsames of Persia. However, the authenticity of these inscriptions has been called into question, thus blurring the history of Cyrus' predecessors.
Cambyses is considered by Herodotus and Ctesias to be of humble origin, but they further note his marriage to Princess Māndānā, who was the daughter of Princess Aryenis of Lydia and Astyages, king of the Medes. From their union, Māndānā bore only one son, Cyrus II, better known today as Cyrus the Great, whom Cambyses named after the child's grandfather.
According to Ctesias, Cyrus the Great married a daughter of Astyages, which seems unlikely, as his wife would also be his aunt. A possible explanation is that Astyages married again, and his second wife bore him this daughter. Cyrus' first wife, Cassandane, is equally obscure. According to Herodotus and the Behistun Inscription, she bore Cyrus at least two sons, Cambyses II and Smerdis. Both sons later separately ruled Persia for a short period of time. Cyrus also had several daughters, of which two would marry Darius the Great, Artystone and Atossa. The latter is significant, as she gave birth to Xerxes I, Darius' successor.
Cyrus was born in either 576 BC or 590 BC. Little is known of his early years, as the sources detailing that part of his life are few, and have been damaged or lost.
Herodotus's story of Cyrus' early life belongs to a genre of legends in which abandoned children of noble birth, such as Oedipus and Romulus and Remus, return to claim their royal positions. His overlord was his own grandfather, Astyages, ruler of the powerful Median kingdom.
After the birth of Cyrus, Astyages had a dream that his Magi interpreted as a sign that his grandson would eventually overthrow him. He then ordered his steward Harpagus to kill the infant. Harpagus, morally unable to kill a newborn, summoned a herdsman of the king named Mithridates and ordered him to dispose of the child. Luckily for the young boy, the herdsman took him in and raised him as his own.
When Cyrus was ten years old, Herodotus claims that it was obvious that Cyrus was not a herdsman's son, stating that his behavior was too noble. Astyages interviewed the boy and noticed that they resembled each other. Astyages ordered Harpagus to explain what he had done with the baby, and after confessing that he had not killed the boy, the king tricked him into eating his own son. Astyages was more lenient with Cyrus, and allowed him to return to his biological parents, Cambyses and Mandane. While Herodotus' description may be a legend, it does give insight into the figures surrounding Cyrus the Great's early life.
After his father's death in 559 BC, Cyrus became king of Anshan. However, Cyrus was not yet an independent ruler. Like his predecessors, Cyrus had to recognize Mede overlordship. During Astyages' reign, the Medes may have ruled over the majority of the Ancient Near East, from the Lydian frontier in the west to the Parthians and Persians in the east.
In Herodotus' version, Harpagus, seeking vengeance, convinced Cyrus to rally the Persian people to revolt against their feudal lords, the Medes. However, it is likely that both Harpagus and Cyrus rebelled due to their dissatisfaction with Astyages' policies. From the start of the revolt in 554 BC, with the help of Harpagus, Cyrus led his armies against the Medes until the capture of Ecbatana in 549 BC, effectively conquering the Median Empire.
While Cyrus seems to have accepted the crown of Media, by 546 BC, he officially assumed the title of King of Persia instead. Arsames, who had been the ruler of Persia under the Medes, therefore had to give up his throne. His son, Hystaspes, who was also Cyrus' second cousin, was then made satrap of Parthia and Phrygia. Arsames would live to see his grandson become Darius the Great, Shahanshah of Persia, after the deaths of both of Cyrus' sons.
Cyrus' conquest of Media was merely the start of his wars. Astyages had been allied with his brother-in-law Croesus of Lydia (son of Alyattes II), Nabonidus of Babylon, and Amasis II of Egypt, who reportedly intended to join forces against Cyrus and Empire.
The exact dates of the Lydian conquest are unknown, but it is generally suggested to have begun in 547 BC. The Lydians first attacked the Achaemenid Empire's city of Pteria in Cappadocia. Croesus laid siege to the city, and captured its inhabitants as slaves. Meanwhile, The Persians invited the citizens of Ionia, who were part of the Lydian kingdom, to revolt against their ruler. The offer was rebuffed, and thus Cyrus levied an army and marched against the Lydians, increasing his numbers while passing through nations in his way. The Battle of Pteria was effectively a stalemate, with both sides suffering heavy casualties by nightfall. Croesus retreated to Sardis the following morning.
While in Sardis, Croesus sent out requests for his allies to send aid to Lydia. However, near the end of winter, before the allies could unite, Cyrus pushed the war into Lydian territory and besieged Croesus in his capital, Sardis. Shortly before the final battle between the two rulers, Harpagus advised Cyrus to place his dromedaries in front of his warriors; the Lydian horses, not used to the dromedaries' smell, would be very afraid. The strategy worked; the Lydian cavalry was routed. Cyrus defeated and captured Croesus. Cyrus occupied the capital at Sardis, conquering the Lydian kingdom in 546 BC. According to Herodotus, Cyrus spared Croesus' life and kept him as an advisor, but this account conflicts with some translations of the contemporary Nabonidus Chronicle, which interpret that the king of Lydia was slain.
Before returning to the capital, a Lydian named Pactyes was entrusted by Cyrus to send Croesus' treasury to Persia. However, soon after Cyrus' departure, Pactyes hired mercenaries and caused an uprising in Sardis, revolting against the Persian satrap of Lydia, Tabalus. With recommendations from Croesus that he should turn the minds of the Lydian people to luxury, Cyrus sent Mazares, one of his commanders, to subdue the insurrection, but demanded that Pactyas be returned alive. Upon Mazares' arrival, Pactyas fled to Ionia, where he had hired mercenaries. Mazares marched his troops into the Greek country and captured the cities of Magnesia and Priene, where Pactyas was captured and sent back to Persia for punishment.
Mazares continued the conquest of Asia Minor, but died of unknown causes during his campaign in Ionia. Cyrus sent Harpagus to complete Mazares' conquest of Asia Minor. Harpagus captured Lycia, Cilicia and Phoenicia, using the technique of building earthworks to breach the walls of besieged cities, a method unknown to the Greeks. He ended his conquest of the area in 542 BC, and returned to Persia.
In 539 BC, towards the end of September, Cyrus' armies, under the command of Gubaru, the governor of Gutium, attacked Opis on the Tigris river and defeated the Babylonians after a minor uprising. With Opis subjugated, the Persians took control of the vast canal system of Babylonia.
On October 10, the city of Sippar was seized without a battle, with little to no resistance from the populace. It is probable that Cyrus engaged in negotiations with the Babylonian generals to obtain a compromise on their part and therefore avoid an armed confrontation. Nabonidus was staying in the city at the time, and soon fled to the capital, Babylon, which he had not visited in years.
Two days later, on October 12 (Julian calendar; October 7 by the Gregorian calendar), Gubaru's troops entered Babylon, again without any resistance from the Babylonian armies. Herodotus explains that to accomplish this feat, the Persians diverted the Euphrates river into a canal so that the water level dropped "to the height of the middle of a man's thigh," which allowed the invading forces to march directly through the river bed to enter at night. On October 29, Cyrus himself entered the city of Babylon and arrested Nabonidus. He then assumed the titles of "king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four sides of the world."
Prior to Cyrus' invasion of Babylon, the Babylonian Empire had conquered many kingdoms. In addition to Babylonia itself, Cyrus incorporated its subnational entities into his Empire, including Syria and Palestine.
Before leaving Babylon, Cyrus also freed the Israelites by allowing them to return to their native land, effectively ending the Babylonian captivity. The return of the exiles reinforced the Jewish population in their homeland, which had been waning since the start of the Babylonian rule.
According to the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great, Cyrus' dominions must have comprised the largest empire the world had ever seen. At the end of Cyrus' rule, the Achaemenid Empire stretched from Asia Minor and Judah in the west to the Indus River in the east.
Ctesias reports only that Cyrus met his death while warring against tribes north-east of the headwaters of the Tigris. In Herodotus' account, Cyrus met his fate in a fierce battle with the Massagetae, a tribe from the southern deserts of Kharesm and Kizilhoum in the southernmost portion of the steppe region, after ignoring advice from his advisor, Croesus, to not continue forward. The Massagetae were related to the Scythians in their dress and mode of living; they fought on horseback and on foot.
The queen of the Massagetae, Tomyris, who had assumed control after Cyrus had defeated Tomyris' son Spargapises, led the attack. The Persian forces suffered heavy casualties, including Cyrus himself. After the battle, Tomyris ordered the body of Cyrus to be found, and then dipped his head in blood (or ordered his head to put into a wine-skin filled with human blood) to avenge the death of her son at his hands. Persians later won the battle and recovered Cyrus's body.
Cyrus was buried in the city of Pasargadae, where his tomb remains today. Both Strabo and Arrian give descriptions of his tomb, based on eyewitness reports from the time of Alexander the Great's invasion. Though the city itself is now in ruins, the burial place of Cyrus the Great has remained largely intact; and the tomb has been partially restored to counter its natural deterioration over the years. According to Plutarch, his epitaph said,
"O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know you will come, I am Cyrus who won the Persians their empire. Do not therefore grudge me this little earth that covers my body."
Cuneiform evidence from Babylon (letters dated to regnal years) prove that Cyrus died in August 530 BCE, and that his son Cambyses II had become king. His younger son, Smerdis, died before Cambyses left to invade the eastern front. From Herodotus' account, Cambyses killed his brother to avoid a rebellion in his absence. Cambyses continued his father's policy of expansion, and managed to capture Egypt for the Empire, but soon died, after only seven years of rule. An imposter named Gaumata, claiming to be Smerdis, became the sole ruler of Persia for seven months, until he was killed by Darius the Great, the grandson of Arsames, who ruled Persia before Cyrus' rise.
Cyrus was distinguished equally as a statesman and as a soldier. By pursuing a policy of generosity instead of repression, and by favoring local religions, he was able to make his newly conquered subjects into enthusiastic supporters. Due in part to the political infrastructure he created, the Achaemenid empire endured long after his demise.
The only known example of his religious policy is his treatment of the Jews in Babylon. The Bible records that a remnant of the Jewish population returned to the Promised Land from Babylon, following an edict from Cyrus to rebuild the temple. This edict is fully reproduced in the Book of Ezra. As a result of Cyrus' policies, the Jews honored him as a dignified and righteous king. He is the only Gentile to be designated as a messiah, a divinely-appointed king, in the Tanakh.
Some contemporary Muslim scholars have suggested that the Qur'anic figure of Dhul-Qarnayn is Cyrus the Great. This theory was endorsed by Shi'a scholar Allameh Tabatabaei, in his Tafsir al-Mizan. Conversely, it has been challenged by some, including Iranologist and archaeologist Alireza Shapour Shahbazi.
During his reign, Cyrus maintained control over a vast region of conquered kingdoms, achieved partly through retaining and expanding Median satrapies. Further organization of newly conquered territories into provinces ruled by vassal kings called satraps, was continued by Cyrus' successor Darius the Great. Cyrus' empire demanded only tribute and conscripts from many parts of the realm.
Cyrus' conquests began a new era in the age of empire building, where a vast superstate, comprising many dozens of countries, races, religions, and languages, were ruled under a single administration headed by a central government. This system lasted for centuries, and was retained both by the invading Seleucid dynasty during their control of Persia, and later Iranian dynasties including the Persian Parthians and Sassanids.
In 1992, he was ranked #87 on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history. On December 10, 2003, in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi evoked Cyrus, saying:
'I am an Iranian, a descendant of Cyrus the Great. This emperor proclaimed at the pinnacle of power 2,500 years ago that he 'would not reign over the people if they did not wish it.' He promised not to force any person to change his religion and faith and guaranteed freedom for all. The Charter of Cyrus the Great should be studied in the history of human rights'”.
2. Atossa married (3) Darius or Darayavahush I,
Great King of Persia (522-486 B.C.). He was born about 549 B. C. He died in 486 B.C. He was the son of Hystaspes,
satrap of Parthia. He seized the
throne in 522 from (he claimed) an impersonator. He suppressed several
rebellions, then conquered the Indus Valley. He
attempted to subjugate Greece until the defeat at Marathon. He was a superb
“Darius I was born 550 and died 486 BC. King of Persia (522–486 BC). He was the son of Hystaspes, satrap of Parthia. Much of what is known of him is through his own inscriptions. He took the throne by force, killing Bardiya, a son of Cyrus the Great, calling him an impostor who had usurped power. He continued the conquests of his predecessors, subduing Thrace, Macedonia, some Aegean islands, and land stretching to the Indus valley. He failed in his great expedition against the Scythians (513) but put down the Ionian revolt (499), which had been supported by Eretria and Athens. After that he twice tried to conquer Greece, but a storm destroyed his fleet in 492 and the Athenians defeated him at the Battle of Marathon in 490. He died before a third expedition could be launched. Among the greatest of the Achaemenian dynasty, he was noted for his administrative genius and his building projects, especially those at Persepolis.”
Darius in his inscriptions appears as a fervent worshiper of Ahura Mazda. A great statesman and organizer, Darius thoroughly revised the Persian system of administration and also the legal code. His revisions of the legal code revolved around laws of evidence, slave sales, deposits, bribery, and assault.
Having ascended to power amidst a controversy and bloodshed that claimed the lives of two sons of Cyrus the Great, Darius I's reign was marked by revolt; twice Babylonia revolted, three times Susiana, and Ionian revolt precipitated several ill-fated Persian expeditions against Greece, including a crushing defeat at Marathon. Darius subjugated the wild nations of the Pontic and Armenian mountains, and extended Persian dominion to the Caucasus; for the same reasons he fought against the Saka and other Iranian steppe tribes, as well as the mysterious Turanians from beyond the Oxus. In the process of these campaigns he made military reforms such as introducing conscription, pay for soldiers, military training and he also made changes in the army and navy.
It was through the organization of the empire he became the true successor of Cyrus the Great. His organizing of provinces and fixing of tributes is described by Herodotus (iii. 90 if.), evidently from good official sources. He divided the Persian Empire into twenty provinces, each under the supervision of a governor or satrap. The satrap position was usually hereditary and largely autonomous, allowing each province its own distinct laws, traditions, and elite class. Every province, however, was responsible for paying a gold or silver tribute to the emperor; many areas, such as Babylonia, underwent severe economic decline resulting from these quotas.
Each province also had an independent financial controller and an independent military coordinator as well as the satrap, who controlled administration and the law. All three probably reported directly to the king. This distributed power within the province more evenly and lowered the chance of revolt. Darius also increased the bureaucracy of the empire, with many scribes employed to provide records of the administration.
Many building projects were initiated during the reign of Darius, with the largest being the building of the new capital of Persepolis. Pasargadae was too well associated with the previous dynasty of Cyrus and Cambyses and so Darius sought a new capital. The city would have walls sixty feet high and thirty-three feet thick and would be an enormous engineering undertaking. Darius' tomb was cut into a rock face not far from the city. He dug a canal from the Nile to Suez, and, as the fragments of a hieroglyphic inscription found there show, his ships sailed from the Nile through the Red Sea by Saba to Persia. Darius also commissioned the extensive road network that was built all over the country. The Persepolis Tablets mention a ‘royal road’ from Susa to Persepolis and from Sardis to Susa built by Darius. It was highly organized with rest stations, guarded garrisons, inns and apparently no bandits. Darius is also remembered for his Behistun Inscription which was chiseled into the rock face near the town of Behistun. It showed Darius' successful ascension to the throne and described Darius' legitimacy to be king.
Darius is often renowned above all as being a great financier. He fixed the coinage and introduced the golden Daric. He developed commerce within the empire and trade without. For example, he sent an expedition down the Kabul and Indus Rivers, led by the Carian captain Scylax of Caryanda, who explored the Indian Ocean from the mouth of the Indus to Suez. During his reign, the population increased and industries flourished in towns.
Persia under Darius probably had connections with Carthage (cf. the Karka of the Nakshi Rustam inscription) of Sicily and Italy. At the same time he attempted to gain the good-will of the subject nations, and for this purpose promoted the aims of their priests. He allowed the Jews to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. In Egypt his name appears on the temples which he built in Memphis, Edfu and the Great Oasis. He called the high-priest of Sais, Tzahor, to Susa (as we learn from his inscription in the Vatican Museum), and gave him full powers to reorganize the "house of life," the great medical school of the temple of Sais. In the Egyptian traditions he is considered one of the great benefactors and lawgivers of the country. In similar relations he stood to the Greek sanctuaries (cf. his rescript to "his slave" Godatas, the inspector of a royal park near Magnesia on the Maeander, in which he grants freedom of taxes and forced labor to the sacred territory of Apollo); all the Greek oracles in Asia Minor and Europe therefore stood on the side of Persia in the Persian Wars and admonished the Greeks against attempting resistance.
Weights and measures were standardized (as in a "royal cubit" or a "king’s measure") but often they still operated side by side with their Egyptian or Babylonian counterparts. This would have been a boon for merchants and traders as trade would now have been far simpler. The upgraded communication and administration networks also helped to turn the Empire ruled by the Achaemenid dynasty into a seemingly commercial entity based on generating wealth.
Darius also continued the process of religious tolerance to his subjects, which had been important parts of the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses. Darius himself was likely monotheistic - in royal inscriptions Ahuramazda is the only god mentioned by name. But, time and again he is mentioned worshipping, funding or giving 'lip-service' to various pantheons of gods. This was important as the majority of the empire's inhabitants were polytheists. Also, like many other Persian Kings, he maintained a no-slave policy; for example, all workers at the Persepolis site and other sites made for him were paid, which was revolutionary at the time. His human rights policies were also common to his ancestors and future Persian kings, continuing the legacy of the first human rights document ever made.
About 512 BC Darius undertook a war against the Scythians. A great army crossed the Bosporus, subjugated eastern Thrace, Macedonia submitted voluntarily, and crossed the Danube. The purpose of this war can only have been to attack the nomadic tribes in the rear and thus to secure peace on the northern frontier of the empire. Yet the whole plan was based upon an incorrect geographical assumption; a common one in that era, and repeated by Alexander the Great and his Macedonians, who believed that on the Hindu Kush (which they called the Caucasus Indicus) and on the shores of the Jaxartes (which they called Tanais, i.e., the River Don) they were quite near to the Black Sea. Of course the expedition undertaken on these grounds could only prove a failure; having advanced for some weeks into the steppes of Ukraine, Darius was forced to return. The details given by Herodotus (according to him, Darius had reached the Volga) are quite fantastic; and the account which Darius himself had given on a tablet, which was added to his great inscription in Behistun, is destroyed with the exception of a few words.
Although European Greece was intimately connected with the coasts of Asia Minor, and the opposing parties in the Greek towns were continually soliciting his intervention, Darius did not meddle with their affairs. The Persian wars were begun by the Greeks themselves. The support which Athens and Eretria gave to the rebellious Ionians and Carians made their punishment inevitable as soon as the rebellion had been put down. But the first expedition, that of Mardonius, failed on the cliffs of Mount Athos (492 BC), and the army which was led into Attica by Datis in 490 BC was beaten at the Battle of Marathon. Before Darius had finished his preparations for a third expedition an insurrection broke out in Egypt (486 BC). In the next year Darius died, probably in October 485 BC, after a reign of thirty-six years.
By the daughter of Gobryas
By Parmys, daughter of Smerdis
By Phaedymia, daughter of Otanes
By unknown wives
3. Xerxes or Khshayarsha I, Great King of Persia, was born about 521 B.C. He died about 465 B.C. He married Amestris. She was the daughter of Otanes.
“Xerxes was the
Great King of Persia 486-465 BC. From here the descendency until Anna of
Byzantium 886-914 (daughter of Leo VI "The Wise", Emperor
of Byzantium 886-912) is not 100% sure but according to
4. Artaxerxes or Attakhshassa II, Great King of Persia, was born about 500 B. C. , died about 424 B. C. He had a concubine, Andia Babylon, a native of Babylonia. They had a son, Darius II Darayavahoush Achaemenid.
5. Darius II Darayavahoush Achaemenid was born about 475, died about 404, married Parysatis Babylon. They had an only child, Artaxerxes.
6. Artaxerxes II Abiyataka Achaemenid was born in 456 B.C. He died in 359 B.C. He lost Egypt in 404 B.C. He married Statira of Armenia.
II Mnemon Achaemenid, King of Persia and Egypt,
died 359 B.C. Artaxerxes at that time
had but a little hold on life, by reason of his extreme age, and so, when he
heard of the fate of Arsames, he could not sustain it
at all, but sinking at once under the weight of his grief and distress,
expired, after a life of ninety-four years, and a reign of sixty-two."2 He
put down a revolt by the satraps of western Anatolia 366 B.C., circa.3 He was
responsible for changes in Persia's religion, due to his failures, and saw the
restoration of the worship of the earlier gods 374 B.C..1
He conducted a second campaign against Egypt, which also failed, 375-374 B.C..1 He conducted a failed expedition against Egypt
385-383 B.C..1 He asked to mediate between Sparta and
Athens, the Greek city-states fighting the Great
Peloponnesian War, leading to the King's Peace 387 B.C..4
He executed his wife's servant, Gigas,
who conspired with his mother to poison his wife, Statira, by having her head
crushed between two large stones, the punishment for
and his mother he exiled, not against her will, to Babylon 402 B. C. 2 He faced a revolt by his brother, Cyrus, who gathered
an army of Greek mercenaries and moved to attack him in Anatolia 403 B.C..1,5 He almost assassinated by
his brother, Cyrus, at his coronation, and as he was about to execute Cyrus,
their mother interceded on Cyrus' behalf (Cyrus was her
son), she putting her neck alongside Cyrus', Artaxerxes relented and freed him,
0404 B.C..2 King of Persia, 404-359 B. C. ,6 He saw Amyrtaeus, Prince of
Sais, declare himself King of Egypt ending complete Persian control 405 B.C..7
King of Egypt, 405-359 B.C..8 "She [Parysatis]
perceived he was desperately in love with Atossa, one
of his own two daughters, and that he concealed and checked his passion chiefly
for fear of herself, though, if we may believe some writers, he had privately
given way to it with the young girl already. As soon as Parysatis suspected it,
she displayed a greater fondness for the young girl than before, and extolled
both her virtue and beauty to him, as being truly imperial and majestic. In
fine she persuaded him to marry her and declare her to be his lawful wife,
overriding all the principles and the laws by which the Greeks hold themselves
bound, and regarding himself as divinely appointed for a law to the Persians,
and the supreme arbitrator of good and evil." He married Statira of
Armenia , daughter of Hydranes III of Armenia and N.
N. (?) , 420 B. C.; His 1st.9,2,10 He was proclaimed successor (for Plutarch
gives him a reign of sixty-two years) 421 B.C..2 He was the son of King of
Persia and Egypt Darius II Nothus Achaemenid and
Parysatis (?).2 He was born 453 B. C. . The 1st son.11
He was the grandson of Artaxerxes the Longhanded, and
the eldest son of his daughter Parysatis, and her half-brother Darius.10 He was
gentler in everything, and of a nature more yielding and soft in its action.2,10 Also called King Artaxerxes II of Egypt. Also called Arsicas His 1st name.2,10 Also
called Artakhshassa II. Sources: 1. Stuart, R. W.
'Royalty for Commoners', line 414. ; 2. Bryan, K. 'Davidic Descents to the
House of Plantagenet' Augustan, Vol. XXV, 16-23. He was grandson of Artaxerxes
I, by his daughter Parysatis and her husband, Darius.2 He was at first called Arsicas, and when he was proclaimed king, his name changed
to Artaxerxes, in honor of his grandfather.2 King of Persia and Egypt
Artaxerxes II Mnemon Achaemenid also went by the name
of Artaxerxes II "the Mindful."2,10 Also called Artakhšaça
II Hakhâmanišiya old-Persian.6
Children of King of Persia and Egypt Artaxerxes II Mnemon Achaemenid and Statira of Armenia :
King of Persia and Egypt Artaxerxes III Ochus Achaemenid + b. 415 B.C., d. 338 BCE
Ariaspes Achaemenid b. 416 B.C., d. 359 B.C.
Darius Achaemenid b. 417 B.C., d. 390 B.C.
Rhodogune Achaemenid + b. 419 B.C.
Children of King of Persia and Egypt Artaxerxes II Mnemon Achaemenid:
Apama Achaemenid+ b. 410 B.C.
Arsames Achaemenid b. 414 B.C., d. 359 B.C.
[S931] A.H. Clough, Plutarch's Lives, He died, in 359 B.C., at age 94..
Artaxerxes II 's family with Stateira Persia
Artaxerxes II and Stateira were married (further details are not known).
They had a son and two daughters, named Apame, Rodogune and Sisygambis.
Pharnabazus (in Greek Φαρνάβαζος; lived 4th century BC) was a Persian general, son of Artabazus. He joined his father exile at the Macedonian court in the years 353–343 BC. He returned in Persia when his father made peace with the king Artaxerxes III; Pharnabazus became brother-in-law of Memnon, under whose guidance he gained military experience. When Memnon died in 333 BC he assumed the command of the Persian fleet with Autophradates. They succeeded in reducing Mytilene, Tenedos, and Chios, and, having dispatched some ships to Cos and Halicarnassus, they sailed with 100 of their fastest vessels to Siphnus. Here they were visited by Agis III, king of Sparta, who came to ask for money and troops to support the anti-Macedonian party in the Peloponnese. But just at this crisis intelligence arrived of Alexander's victory at Issus (333 BC), and Pharnabazus, fearing that the effect of it might be the revolt of Chios, sailed thither with 12 ships and 1500 mercenaries. He did not, however, prevent the islanders from putting down the Persian government, and he was himself taken prisoner; but he escaped, and took refuge in Cos.1
In 324 BC, Artonis, the sister of Pharnabazus, was given in marriage to Eumenes by Alexander the Great; and in 321 BC we find Pharnabazus commanding a squadron of cavalry for Eumenes, in the battle in which he defeated Craterus and Neoptolemus.
9. Spitamenes, Satrap of Bactria. He died in 328 B.C.
“Spitamenes (in old Persian Spitamaneh; killed 328 BC) was a Persian courtier who betrayed in 329 BC his self-proclaimed sovereign Artaxerexes V, handing him over to Ptolemy, Alexander the Great's general, with the hope of appeasing the latter.
Shortly after in the same year, when Alexander was intent on founding Alexandria Eschate on the Jaxartes river, news came that Spitamenes had roused Sogdiana against him and was besieging the Macedonian garrison in Maracanda. Too occupied at the moment to personally confront Spitamenes he sent an army under the command of Pharnuches which was promptly annihilated with a loss of no less than 2000 infantry and 300 cavalry.
Understanding now the danger represented by his enemy, Alexander moved personally to relieve Maracanda, only to learn that Spitamenes had left Sogdiana, attacking now Bactra, from where he was repulsed with great difficulty by the satrap of Bactria Artabazus (328 BC).
The decisive battle came in December when Spithamenes was badly defeated by Alexander's general Coenus. At this point his allies, feeling the situation desperate, killed their leader sending his head as a present to Alexander.
Spitamenes had a daughter, Apama, who was married to one of Alexander's most important generals, Seleucus I Nicator (February 324 BC). The couple had a son, Antiochus I Soter. After the death of the great conqueror, Seleucus and Antiochus were to become kings of Alexander's Asian possessions. Several towns were named Apamea after the daughter of Spitamenes.”
10. Apama married Seleucus I Nicator (Victor). Seleucus was the son of Antiochus, one of Philip's generals,
and of Laodice. He established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid
Empire. He was the ruler from 312 to 305 B.C.; he was King from 305 B.C.; sole
ruler 305-September 292; co-ruler 292-September 280 B.C. He was assassinated.
He was born about 256 B.C. He was one of Alexander the Great's
generals. He gained Babylonia for himself after the Alexander's death. He
conquered Iran and then Syria from Antigonus.
“Seleucus I (surnamed for later generations Nicator, Greek: Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, i.e. Seleucus Victor) (c. 358 BC–281 BC), was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great. In the wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire.
Seleucus was the son of Antiochus, one of Philip's generals, and of Laodice. In 333 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, he accompanied Alexander into Asia and won distinction in the Indian campaign of 326 BC. In 324 BCE Seleucus took as wife Apama, with whom he had four children: two daughters, Apama and Laodice and sons Antiochus & Achaeus.
When the Macedonian empire was divided in 323 BC (the "Partition of Babylon"), Seleucus was given the office of chiliarch, which attached him closely to the regent Perdiccas. Subsequently, Seleucus had a hand in the murder of Perdiccas during the latter's unsuccessful invasion of Egypt in 321 BC.
At the second partition, at Triparadisus (321 BC), Seleucus was given the government of the Babylonian satrapy. In 316 BC, when Antigonus had made himself master of the eastern provinces, Seleucus felt himself threatened and fled to Egypt. In the war which followed between Antigonus and the other Macedonian chiefs, Seleucus actively cooperated with Ptolemy and commanded Egyptian squadrons in the Aegean Sea.
The victory won by Ptolemy at the battle of Gaza in 312 BC opened the way for Seleucus to return to the east. His return to Babylon was afterwards officially regarded as the beginning of the Seleucid Empire and that year as the first of the Seleucid era. Master of Babylonia, Seleucus at once proceeded to wrest the neighboring provinces of Persia, Susiana and Media from the nominees of Antigonus. A raid into Babylonia conducted in 311 BC by Demetrius, son of Antigonus, did not seriously check Seleucus' progress. Over the course of nine years (311-302 BC), while Antigonus was occupied in the west, Seleucus brought the whole eastern part of Alexander's empire as far as the Jaxartes and Indus Rivers under his authority.
In 305 BC, after the extinction of the old royal line of Macedonia, Seleucus, like the other four principal Macedonian chiefs, assumed the title and style of King. He established Seleucia on the Tigris as his capital.
In the year 305 BC Seleucus I Nicator went to India and apparently occupied territory as far as the Indus, after what he waged war with the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta Maurya:
"Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he [Seleucus] acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus. He crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus [Maurya], king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship." Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55
As most historians note, Seleucus appears to have fared poorly as he did not achieve his aims. The two leaders ultimately reached an agreement, and through a treaty sealed in 305 BC, Seleucus ceded a considerable amount of territory to Chandragupta in exchange for 500 war elephants, which were to play a key role in the battles that were to come. According to Strabo, these were territories bordering the Indus:
"The Indians occupy [in part] some of the countries situated along the Indus, which formerly belonged to the Persians: Alexander deprived the Ariani of them, and established there settlements of his own. But Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants." Strabo 15.2.1(9)
Modern scholarship often considers that Seleucus actually gave more territory, in what is now southern Afghanistan, and parts of Persia west of the Indus. This would tend to be corroborated archaeologically, as concrete indications of Mauryan influence, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandhahar, in today's southern Afghanistan.
Some authors claim this is an exaggeration, which comes from a statement made by Pliny the Elder, referring not specifically to the lands received by Chandragupta, but rather to the various opinions of geographers regarding the definition of the word "India":
"The greater part of the geographers, in fact, do not look upon India as bounded by the river Indus, but add to it the four Satrapies of the Gedrosi (Gedrosia), the Arachotć (Arachosia), the Arii (Aria), and the Paropauisidć (Paropamisadae), the river Cophes (Kabul river) thus forming the extreme boundary of India. All these territories, however, according to other writers, are reckoned as belonging to the country of the Arii." Pliny, Natural History VI, 23
Also the passage of Arrian explaining that Megasthenes lived in Arachosia with the satrap Sibyrtius, from where he visited India to visit Chandragupta, goes against the notion that Arachosia was under Maurya rule:
"Megasthenes lived with Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, and often speaks of his visiting Sandracottus, the king of the Indians." Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri v,6
Nevertheless, it is accepted today that Arachosia and the other three regions did become dominions of the Mauryan Empire, as proven by archaeological, numismatic, and literary evidence.
To cement the treaty, there was either some sort of marriage alliance (Epigamia) involving Seleucus' daughter or the diplomatic recognition of intermarriage between Indians and Greeks.
In addition to this matrimonial recognition or alliance, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra (Modern Patna in Bihar state).
Seleucus obtained knowledge of most of northern India, as explained by Pliny the Elder through his numerous embassies to the Mauryan Empire:
In 301 BC he joined Lysimachus in Asia Minor, and at Ipsus Antigonus fell before their combined power. A new partition of the empire followed, by which Seleucus added to his kingdom Syria, and perhaps some regions of Asia Minor.
In 300 BCE, after the death of Apama, Seleucus married Stratonice, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. Seleucus had a daughter by Stratonice, who was called Phila.
The possession of Syria gave him an opening to the Mediterranean, and he immediately founded the new city of Antioch on the Orontes as his chief seat of government. Seleucia on the Tigris continued to be the capital for the eastern satrapies. About 293 BC, he installed his son Antiochus there as viceroy, the vast extent of the empire seeming to require a double government.
It is said of Seleucus that "few princes have ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas"
The capture of Demetrius in 285 BC added to Seleucus's prestige. The unpopularity of Lysimachus after the murder of Agathocles gave Seleucus an opportunity for removing his last rival. His intervention in the west was solicited by Ptolemy Keraunos, who, on the accession to the Egyptian throne of his brother Ptolemy II (285 BC), had at first taken refuge with Lysimachus and then with Seleucus. War between Seleucus and Lysimachus broke out, and at the decisive battle of Corupedium in Lydia, Lysimachus fell (281 BC). Seleucus now held the whole of Alexander's conquests excepting Egypt in his hands, and moved to take possession of Macedonia and Thrace. He intended to leave Asia to Antiochus and content himself for the remainder of his days with the Macedonian kingdom in its old limits. He had, however, hardly crossed into the Chersonese when he was assassinated by Ptolemy Keraunos near Lysimachia (281 BC).”
11. Antiochus I Soter, King of Syria, was born in 324/23 B.C. He died in 262/61 B.C. He reigned as co-ruler from 292 to 280 B.C. Later, he was the sole Emperor of the Seleucid Empire from 281-261 B. C. He was assassinated. Antiochus married his step-mother, Stratonice, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes and Phila. Demetrius Poliorcetes was born in 337 B.C. He died in 283 B.C. He was the King of ancient Macedonia, ruling from 294 to 288 B.C.
He was the son of Antigonus Monophthalmus and Stratonice. His first wife was Phila, daughter of Antipater. Antigonus I Monophthalamus, born in 383/82 B.C. and died in 301 B.C. was an officer in the army of Alexander the Great, one of the Diadochi. He was the son of Philip and Stratonice, daughter of Corrhaeus.
They had a son, Antiochus II.
“Antiochus I Soter (Saviour); 324/323-262/261 BC, was an emperor of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. He reigned from 281 - 261 BC. He was half Persian, his mother Apama being one of the eastern princesses whom Alexander the Great had given as wives to his generals in 324 BC.
On the assassination of his father Seleucus I in 281 BC, the task of holding together the empire was a formidable one, and a revolt in Syria broke out almost immediately. With his father's murderer, Ptolemy Keraunos, Antiochus was soon compelled to make peace, abandoning apparently Macedonia and Thrace. In Asia Minor he was unable to reduce Bithynia or the Persian dynasties that ruled in Cappadocia.
In 278 BC the Gauls broke into Asia Minor, and a victory that Antiochus won over these hordes is said to have been the origin of his title of Soter (Gr. for "saviour").
At the end of 275 BC the question of Coele-Syria, which had been open between the houses of Seleucus and Ptolemy since the partition of 301 BC, led to hostilities (the First Syrian War). It had been continuously in Ptolemaic occupation, but the house of Seleucus maintained its claim.
War did not materially change the outlines of the two kingdoms, though frontier cities like Damascus and the coast districts of Asia Minor might change hands.
About 262 BC Antiochus tried to break the growing power of Pergamum by force of arms, but suffered defeat near Sardis and died soon afterwards. His eldest son Seleucus, who had ruled in the east as viceroy from 275 BC(?) till 268/267 BC, was put to death in that year by his father on the charge of rebellion. He was succeeded (261 BC) by his second son Antiochus II Theos.
After the death of his father, Antiochus married his step-mother, Stratonice, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes, their son Antiochus II Theos succeeded his father.”
“Stratonice was the daughter of king Demetrius Poliorcetes and Phila, the daughter of Antipater. In 300 BC, at which time she could not have been more than seventeen years of age, her hand was solicited by Seleucus, king of Syria, and she was conducted by her father Demetrius to Rhosus, on the Pierian coast (in Macedonia), where her nuptials were celebrated with the utmost magnificence. Notwithstanding the disparity of their ages, she appears to have lived in perfect harmony with the old king for some years, and had already borne him one child, a daughter called Phila, when it was discovered that her step-son Antiochus was deeply enamored of her, and Seleucus, in order to save the life of his son, which was endangered by the violence of his passion, in 294 BC gave up Stratonice in marriage to the young prince, whom he at the same time constituted king of the eastern provinces. The union seems to have been a prosperous one, but we find little subsequent mention of Stratonice. She bore three children to Antiochus: Antiochus II Theos, who was to succeed his father as king; Apama, married to Magas, king of Cyrene; and Stratonice. The city of Stratonikeia in Caria was named after her by Antiochus.”
12. Antiochus II Theos, King of Syria (261-246 B.C.) married Loadice.
“Antiochus II Theos (286–246 BC), was a king of the Hellenistic Seleucid Kingdom who reigned 261–246 BC). He succeeded his father Antiochus I Soter in 261 BC. He was the son of Antiochus I and princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes.
He inherited a state of war with Egypt, which was fought along the coasts of Asia Minor (the "Second Syrian War"). Antiochus also made some attempt to get a footing in Thrace. During the war he was given the title "Theos" which means "God" in Greek, being such to the Milesians in slaying the tyrant Timarchus.
During the time Antiochus was tied with the war against Egypt, Andragoras, his satrap in Parthia, proclaimed independence. In Bactria, his satrap Diodotus also revolted in 255 BC, and founded the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, which further expanded in India in 180 BC to form the Greco-Indian kingdom (180–1 BC). Then about 250 BC, Arsaces led a revolt of the Parthians against Andragoras, leading to the foundation of the Parthian Empire.
About this time, Antiochus made peace with Ptolemy II, ending the Second Syrian War. Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice and married Ptolemy's daughter Berenice to seal their treaty, but by 246 BC Antiochus had left Berenice and her infant son in Antioch to live again with Laodice in Asia Minor.
Laodice poisoned Berenice, her infant son, and in time Antiochus. She then proclaimed her own son Seleucus II Callinicus king.
Antiochus is mentioned in the Edicts of Ashoka, as one of the recipients of the Indian Emperor Ashoka's Buddhist prozelitism, although no Western historical record of this event remain:
"The conquest by Dharma has been won here, on the borders, and even six hundred yojanas (5,400-9,600 km) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni (Sri Lanka)." (Edicts of Ashoka, 13th Rock Edict, S. Dhammika).
Ashoka also claims that he encouraged the development of herbal medicine, for men and animals, in the territories of the Hellenistic kings:
"Everywhere within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi's [Ashoka's] domain, and among the people beyond the borders, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, the Keralaputras, as far as Tamraparni and where the Greek king Antiochos rules, and among the kings who are neighbors of Antiochos, everywhere has Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, made provision for two types of medical treatment: medical treatment for humans and medical treatment for animals. Wherever medical herbs suitable for humans or animals are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or fruits are not available I have had them imported and grown. Along roads I have had wells dug and trees planted for the benefit of humans and animals." Edicts of Ashoka, 2nd Rock Edict.”
13. Seleucus II Callinicus, King of Syria
“Seleucus II Callinicus or Pogon (the epithets meaning "beautiful victor" and "bearded", respectively), was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, who reigned from 246 to 225 BC. He was proclaimed king by his mother, Laodice, while her partisans at Antioch murdered Berenice and her son.
This dynastic feud began the Third Syrian War. Ptolemy III, who was Berenice's brother and the ruler of Egypt, invaded the Seleucid Empire and marched victoriously to the Tigris or beyond. He received the submission of the Seleucid Empire's eastern provinces, while Egyptian fleets swept the coast of Asia Minor.
Seleucus managed to maintain himself in the interior of Asia Minor. When Ptolemy returned to Egypt, Seleucus recovered Northern Syria and the nearer provinces of Iran. However, Antiochus Hierax, a younger brother of Seleucus, was set up as a rival in Asia Minor against Seleucus by a party to which Laodice herself adhered.
At Ancyra (about 235 BC) Seleucus sustained a crushing defeat and left the country beyond the Taurus to his brother and the other powers of the peninsula. Seleucus then undertook an anabasis to regain Parthia, the results of which came to nothing. According to some sources, he was even taken prisoner for several years by the Parthian king. Other sources mention that he established a peace with Arsaces I, who recognized his sovereignty.
In Asia Minor, Pergamon now rose to greatness under Attalus I. Antiochus Hierax, after a failed attempt to seize his brother's dominions when his own were vanishing, perished as a fugitive in Thrace in 228 or 227 BC.
About a year later, Seleucus was killed by a fall from his horse. He was succeeded by his elder son, Seleucus III Ceraunus, and later by his younger son Antiochus III the Great.
Seleucus III Soter, called Seleucus Ceraunus (c. 243 BC - 223 BC), was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid kingdom, the eldest son of Seleucus II Callinicus. After a brief reign of three years (225 BC-223 BC), Seleucus was assassinated in Asia Minor by members of his army while on campaign against Attalus I of Pergamon. His official byname "Soter" means "Saviour", while his nickname "Ceraunus" means "Thunder" in Greek.”
14. Antiochus III Megas, King of Syria (223-187 B.C.)
“Antiochus III the Great, (Greek Μέγας Ἀντίoχoς; c. 241–187 BC, ruled 223–187 BC), younger son of Seleucus II Callinicus, became ruler of the Seleucid Empire as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. His traditional designation, the Great, reflects an epithet he briefly assumed after his Eastern Campaign (it appears in regnal formulas at Amyzon in 203 and 202 BC, but not later). Antiochos also assumed the title "Basileus Megas" (which is Greek for Great King), the traditional title of the Persian kings, which he adopted after his conquest of Koile Syria.
Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Not only had Asia Minor become detached, but the further eastern provinces had broken away, Bactria under the Greek Diodotus of Bactria, and Parthia under the nomad chieftain Arsaces. Soon after Antiochus's accession, Media and Persis revolted under their governors, the brothers Molon and Alexander.
The young king, under the baneful influence of the minister Hermeias, authorized an attack on Judea instead of going in person to face the rebels. The attack on Judea proved a fiasco, and the generals sent against Molon and Alexander met with disaster. Only in Asia Minor, where the king's cousin, the able Achaeus represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits.
In 221 BC Antiochus at last went east, and the rebellion of Molon and Alexander collapsed. The submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus rid himself of Hermeias by assassination and returned to Syria (220 BC). Meanwhile Achaeus himself had revolted and assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, however, his power was not well enough grounded to allow of his attacking Syria, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present and renew his attempt on Judea.
The campaigns of 219 BC and 218 BC carried the Seleucid armies almost to the confines of Ptolemaic Egypt, but in 217 BC Ptolemy IV confronted Antiochus at the battle of Raphia and inflicted a defeat upon him which nullified all Antiochus's successes and compelled him to withdraw north of the Lebanon. In 216 BC Antiochus went north to deal with Achaeus, and had by 214 BC driven him from the field into Sardis. Antiochus contrived to get possession of the person of Achaeus (see Polybius), but the citadel held out until 213 BC under Achaeus' widow Laodice and then surrendered.
Having thus recovered the central part of Asia Minor — for the Seleucid government had perforce to tolerate the dynasties in Pergamon, Bithynia and Cappadocia — Antiochus turned to recover the outlying provinces of the north and east. He obliged Xerxes of Armenia to acknowledge his supremacy in 212 BC. In 209 BC Antiochus invaded Parthia, occupied the capital Hecatompylus and pushed forward into Hyrcania. The Parthian king Arsaces II apparently successfully sued for peace.
Year 209 BC saw Antiochus in Bactria, where the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus I had supplanted the original rebel. Antiochus again met with success. After sustaining a famous siege in his capital Bactra (Balkh), Euthydemus obtained an honorable peace by which Antiochus promised Euthydemus' son Demetrius the hand of one of his daughters.
Antiochus next, following in the steps of Alexander, crossed into the Kabul valley, renewed his friendship with the Indian king Sophagasenus and returned west by way of Seistan and Kerman (206/5). According to Polybius:
"He crossed the Caucasus (Hindu Kush) and descended into India; renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus the king of the Indians; received more elephants, until he had a hundred and fifty altogether; and having once more provisioned his troops, set out again personally with his army: leaving Androsthenes of Cyzicus the duty of taking home the treasure which this king had agreed to hand over to him." Polybius 11.39
From Seleucia on the Tigris he led a short expedition down the Persian Gulf against the Gerrhaeans of the Arabian coast (205 BC/204 BC). Antiochus seemed to have restored the Seleucid empire in the east, and the achievement brought him the title of "the Great." (Antiochos Megas). In 205 BC/204 BC the infant Ptolemy V Epiphanes succeeded to the Egyptian throne, and Antiochus is said (notably by Polybios) to have concluded a secret pact with Philip V of Macedon for the partition of the Ptolemaic possessions (203 BC).
Once more Antiochus attacked the Ptolemaic province of Koile Syria and Phoenicia, and by 199 BC he seems to have had possession of it before the Aetolian, Scopas, recovered it for Ptolemy. But that recovery proved brief, for in 198 BC Antiochus defeated Scopas at the Battle of Panium, near the sources of the Jordan, a battle which marks the end of Ptolemaic rule in Judea.
Antiochus then moved to Asia Minor to secure the coast towns which had acknowledged Ptolemy and the independent Greek cities. This enterprise brought him into antagonism with Rome, since Smyrna and Lampsacus appealed to the republic of the west, and the tension became greater after Antiochus had in 196 BC established a footing in Thrace. The evacuation of Greece by the Romans gave Antiochus his opportunity, and he now had the fugitive Hannibal at his court to urge him on.
In 192 BC Antiochus invaded Greece with a 10,000 men army, and was elected Aetolians commander in chief. In 191 BC, however, the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio routed him at Thermopylae and obliged him to withdraw to Asia. But the Romans followed up their success by attacking Antiochus in Anatolia, and the decisive victory of Scipio Asiaticus at Magnesia ad Sipylum (190 BC), following the defeat of Hannibal at sea off Side, gave Asia Minor into their hands.
By the Treaty of Apamea (188 BC) the Seleucid king abandoned all the country north of the Taurus, which Rome distributed amongst its friends. As a consequence of this blow to the Seleucid power, the outlying provinces of the empire, recovered by Antiochus, reasserted their independence.
Antiochus mounted a fresh expedition to the east in Luristan, where he died in an attempt to rob a temple at Elymaďs, Persia, in 187 BC. The Seleucid kingdom as Antiochus left it fell to his son, Seleucus IV Philopator.”
15. Seleucus IV Philopator, King of Syria, was born about 217 B.C. He began his reign in 187 B.C. He was killed by Alexander Balas in 150 B.C. His wife is unknown. He had a son, Demetrius I.
“Seleucus IV Philopator, ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 187 BC to 175 BC over a realm consisting of Syria (now including Cilicia and Palestine), Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Nearer Iran (Media and Persia).
He was compelled by financial necessities, created in part by the heavy war-indemnity exacted by Rome, to pursue an ambitious policy and was assassinated by his minister Heliodorus.
The true heir Demetrius, son of Seleucus, now being retained in Rome as a hostage, the kingdom was seized by the younger brother of Seleucus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, even though an infant son, also named Antiochus, was formal head of state for a few years until Epiphanes had him murdered.”
16. Demetrius I Soter, King of Syria (162-150 B.C.)
“Demetrius I (d. 150 BC), surnamed Soter, was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. He had been sent to Rome as a hostage during the reign of his father, Seleucus IV Philopator. After his father's death in 175 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes took advantage of Demetrius' captivity to seize the throne. Demetrius escaped from confinement and established himself on the Syrian throne (162 BC) after overthrowing and murdering King Antiochus V Eupator, his nephew.
Demetrius acquired his surname of Soter, or Savior, from the Babylonians, whom he delivered from the tyranny of the Median satrap, Timarchus. Timarchus, who had distinguished himself by defending Media against the emergent Parthians, seems to have treated Demetrius' accession as an excuse to declare himself an independent king and extend his realm into Babylonia. His forces were however not enough for the legal Seleucid king: Demetrius defeated and killed Timarchus in 160 BCE, and the Seleucid empire was temporarily united again.
Demetrius is famous in Jewish history for his contests with the Maccabees.
Demetrius' downfall is attributed to Heracleides, a surviving brother of the defeated rebel Timarchus, who championed the cause of Alexander Balas, a boy he claimed was a natural son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Heracleides convinced the Roman senate to support the young pretender against Demetrius, who was defeated and killed in 150 BC. Thus the family of Timarchus contributed in no little way to the disintegration of the Seleucid empire.”
17. Demetrius II Nicator, King of Syria (146-125 B.C.). He married Cleopatra Thea.
“Demetrius II (d. 125 BC), called Nicator (Victor), ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom, was the middle son of Demetrius I Soter. As a young boy, he fled to Crete after the death of his father, his mother and his older brother, when Alexander Balas usurped the Seleucid throne. About 147 BC he returned to Syria, and with the help of Ptolemy VI Philometor, king of Egypt, regained his father's throne. The Egyptian king also divorced his daughter Cleopatra Thea from Balas and remarried her to Demetrius. Alexander fled to Cilicia.
However, Demetrius was not a popular king. The people of Syria had little respect for the young boy, who had come to power with the help of Egypt and Cretan mercenaries led by the ruthless condottiere Lasthenes. The Antiochenians offered the Seleucid throne to Ptolemy VI, who had already conquered most of southern Syria for his own interest. However, he insisted Demetrius would become king, knowing that Rome would never tolerate a unified Hellenistic state, and the year after Ptolemy VI was killed when Alexander Balas made a last desperate attempt to regain his throne. The Egyptian troops marched home, leaderless and disillusioned, and with Balas dead as well Demetrius became sole master of the Seleucid kingdom.
But new troubles soon arose. The pillaging of the Cretan soldiers caused the Antiochenians to rise in rebellion, and only after terrible massacres could order be restored. Soon after, the general Diodotus conquered Antioch and had his protégé Antiochus VI Dionysus, the infant son of Alexander Balas, proclaimed king. Demetrius proved unable to retake the capital, instead establishing himself in Seleucia. Diodotus had Antiochus VI deposed a few years later, and made himself King as Tryphon, but the division of the kingdom between the legitimate Seleucid heir and the usurper in Antioch persisted.
In 139 BCE Parthian activities forced Demetrius to take action. He marched against Mithradates I, king of Parthia and was initially successful, but was defeated in the Iranian mountains and taken prisoner the following year. The Babylonian province of the Seleucid empire became Parthian, but in Syria was the dynasty's grip was reassured under Antiochus VII Sidetes, the younger brother of Demetrius, who also married Cleopatra Thea.
King Mithradates had kept Demetrius II alive and even married him to a Parthian princess named Rhodogune, with whom he had children. However, Demetrius was restless and twice tried to escape from his exile on the shores of the Caspian sea, once with the help of his friend Kallimander, who had gone to great lengths to rescue the king: he had traveled incognito through Babylonia and Parthia. When the two friends were captured, the Parthian king did not punish Kallimander but rewarded him for his fidelity to Demetrius. The second time Demetrius was captured when he tried to escape, Mithradates humiliated him by giving him a golden set of dice, thus hinting that Demetrius II was a restless child who needed toys. It was however for political reasons that the Parthians treated Demetrius II kindly.
In 130 BCE Antiochus Sidetes felt secure enough to march against Parthia, and scored massive initial successes. Now Mithradates released what he thought was a powerful move: he released Demetrius, hoping that the two brothers would start a civil war. However, Sidetes was defeated soon after his brother's release and never met him. Mithradates set people to pursue Demetrius, but he could return safely home to Syria to regain his throne and his queen as well.
However, the Seleucid kingdom was now but a shadow of its former glory, and Demetrius had a hard time to rule even in Syria. Recollections of his cruelties and vices - along with his humiliating defeat - caused him to be greatly detested. The Egyptian queen Cleopatra II set up an army for Demetrius, hoping to engage him in her civil wars against her brother king Ptolemy VIII, but this only added to his grief. The troops soon deserted, and king Ptolemy VIII reacted by setting up yet another usurper, a man named Alexander II Zabinas against Demetrius.
In 126 BCE Demetrius was defeated in a battle at Damascus, and killed on a ship near Tyre, after his wife Cleopatra Thea had deserted him. His miserable death - he was captured and possibly tortured - was a fitting epitaph to the many shortcomings of his reign. Demetrius II was certainly incapable of handling the developing threats to the Seleucid empire, but his reputation for cruelty was probably undeserved. He was only around fourteen at his coronation, and the real power was in the hands of others.
He was succeeded by his queen Cleopatra Thea and then by two of their sons, Seleucus V Philometor and Antiochus VIII Grypus.”
Cleopatra Thea (c. 164 BC - 121 BC) surnamed Euergetis (i.e., "Benefactress"), ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, was a daughter of Ptolemy VI of Egypt and Cleopatra II of Egypt. She ruled Syria from 125 BC to 121 BC.
She married Alexander Balas in about 150 BC. This union produced Antiochus VI Dionysus.
Her second marriage was to Demetrius II Nicator in about 148 BC. Their children were Seleucus V Philometor, Antiochus VIII Grypus, and possibly a daughter (Laodice?). Demetrius was captured fighting against the Parthians and was consequently off the scene for a while.
Her third husband, married during Demetrius' captivity, was his brother Antiochus VII Sidetes. They certainly had one son, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, but the names of any other children are uncertain. In about 129 BC, Antiochus was killed fighting the Parthians. Demetrius had been released and returned home to reclaim his throne and queen. Cleopatra had taken the precaution of sending Antiochus IX (her son by Antiochus VII) to Cyzicus in Asia Minor (hence his surname).
Demetrius unsuccessfully attempted to invade Egypt. In retaliation, the ruler of Egypt put forward Alexander Zabinas, allegedly a son of Alexander Balas as king of Syria, provoking civil war. After a defeat by Zabinas' forces at Damascus, Demetrius retreated to Ptolemais Hermiou only to find the city gates closed against him by Cleopatra. He boarded a ship to flee, but was killed on Cleopatra's orders.
From 125 BC to 121 BC, Cleopatra ruled Syria, killing Demetrius' eldest son Seleucus when he attempted to claim the throne. To legitimize her reign, she shared the throne with her son Antiochus VIII Grypus.
Antiochus became less controllable as he grew up and in 121 BC, she decided to eliminate him. As he returned from a hunt one day, she offered him a cup of wine. Since this was not common behavior for her, Antiochus was suspicious and forced her to drink the wine, which killed her.”
18. Antiochus VIII Philometor Grypus (Hook Nose), King of Syria (125-96 B.C.). He married Cleopatra Tryphaena Lagid, a Ptolemaic princess.
“Antiochus VIII Epiphanes/Callinicus/Philometor, nicknamed Grypus (hook-nose), ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom, was son of Demetrius II Nicator. Either he or his half brother Antiochus IX Cyzicenus is probably identical with the ephemeral child ruler Antiochus Epiphanes, who was crowned by Cleopatra Thea after the death of Antiochus VII but before Demetrius II returned to Antioch. The child Antiochus Epiphanes, who is known from coins, was deposed -- but not killed -- when Demetrius II was restored in 129 B.C.
Antiochus Grypus was crowned as a teenager in 125 BC after his mother Cleopatra Thea had killed his elder brother Seleucus V Philometor, ruling jointly with her. After Antiochus defeated usurper Alexander II Zabinas in 123 BC his mother tried to poison him with wine, but the suspicious king forced her to drink the cup herself. (The story may have been inspired by the fact that Grypus was interested in toxicology; some poems about poisonous herbs believed to have been written by him are quoted by the famous physician Galen.)
He married the Ptolemaic princess Tryphaena, but in 116 BC his half-brother and cousin Antiochus IX Cyzicenus (see Antiochus VII Sidetes) returned from exile and a civil war began. Cyzicenus' wife, also named Cleopatra, was a half-sister of Tryphaena and was eventually killed in a dramatic fashion in the temple of Daphne outside Antioch, on the order of Tryphaena. Cyzicenus eventually killed Tryphaena as revenge. The two brothers then divided Syria between them until Grypus was killed by his minister Heracleon in 96 BC.
Five of Grypus' sons, Seleucus VI Epiphanes, Antiochus XI Ephiphanes Philadelphus, Philip I Philadelphus, and Demetrius III Eucaerus later rose to the kingship, contributing to the confusion of civil war amid which the Seleucid empire ended. Grypus' daughter Laodice was married to king Mithradates I Callinicus of Commagene as part of a settlement by Mithradates' father Samos II to ensure peace between the Kingdom of Commagene and the Seleucid Empire. Their son, Grypus' grandson, was king Antiochus I Theos of Commagene.
Despite political shortcomings, Grypus was a popular king. His ugly, lazy appearance on coins (common among the last Seleucids), together with stories of his lavish banquets, made posterity believe his dynasty was degenerated and decadent. This was however a conscious image, an invocation of the Hellenistic idea Tryphe - meaning good life, which the last Seleucids strove to be associated with, as opposed to the exhausting civil wars and feuds which troubled their reigns in reality.
A story of his luxurious parties claims he sent food home with guests whom attended banquets, complete with a camel as beast of burden, as well as a with attendant to carry the guest himself. This should certainly have caused some strain on the already depleted treasury.”
19. Laodice Thea Philadelphos Seleucid was born about 120 B.C. She died about 89 B.C. She married Mithradates I Kallinikos Ervanduni, King of Commagene, born about 120 B.C. He ruled during the period about 96-70 B.C. He died in 63 B.C. in Commagene, Anatolia, Syria. He was the son of Samus Theosebes Dikaios Ervanduni, born in 120 B.C., and Pythodoris Arshamid, born about 150 B.C. in Syria. They were married in 101 B.C.
See the ancestral lineage for Mithradates below in this section
Mithradates and Laodice had the following children:
1. Antiochus Theos Dikaios Ervanduni was born in 100 B.C. See below.
2. Princess Ervanduni
20. Antiochus I Theos, King of Commagene (about 70-36 B.C.) married Isias.
21. ___________ married Artavazdes I, King of Media (56-32/1 B.C.).
22. A Prince of Media Atropatene, possibly named Darius (Or, possibly, Ariobarzanes (Arttabanus) II, King of Media Atropatene (20 B. C.-A. D. 4), and of Armenia (A.D. 2-4). He died in 4 A.D. He had children by a Greek concubine, __________.
He had at least two sons:
1. Gotarzes II.
“Gotarzes II of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire intermittently between about 40 and 51. He was the son of Artabanus II and when his father died in about 38 and his brother Vardanes I succeeded to the throne, Gotarzes rebelled.
He soon made himself detested by his cruelty — among many other murders he even slew his brother Artabanus and his whole family — and Vardanes regained the throne; Gotarzes fled to Hyrcania and gathered an army from the Dahae nomads. The war between the two kings was at last ended by a treaty, as both were afraid of the conspiracies of their nobles. Gotarzes returned to Hyrcania. But when Vardanes was assassinated in about 47, Gotarzes was acknowledged in the whole empire.
Gotarzes then added to his coins the usual Parthian titles, "king of kings Arsaces the benefactor, the just, the illustrious (Epiphanes), the friend of the Greeks (Philhellen)", without mentioning his proper name.
The discontent excited by his cruelty and luxury induced the hostile party to apply to the Roman emperor Claudius to fetch from Rome an Arsacid prince Meherdates, who lived there as hostage. Meherdates crossed the Euphrates in 49, but was beaten and taken prisoner by Gotarzes, who cut off his ears.
Soon afterwards Gotarzes died, according to Tacitus, of an illness; Josephus says that he was murdered. His last coin is dated from June 51. He was succeeded briefly by Vonones II (probably his brother) and then by Vonones' son Vologases I.”
2. Vonones II. See below.
23. Vonones II, King of Media Atropatene, (11-51 A.D.), Great King of Parthia in 51. He died in 51.
Vonones II of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire briefly in 51. During the reign of his brother Gotarzes II he was governor of Media, and was raised to the throne on Gotarzes' death. However, he died after a few months and was succeeded by his son Vologases I.
24. Vologaeses (Vologases) I, Great King of Parthia ruled during the period 51-77 A.D. He died in 77 A.D. He fought with Rome over Armenia, and he reacted strongly against Hellenism. His wife is unknown. He had a son, Mithradates.
See the continuation of this descent elsewhere in this volume.
The following is the ancestral lineage of Bagabigna of Persia to Mithradates I.
1. Bagabigna of Persia
2. Hydranes of Persia
3. Hydranes of Persia
4. Orontes of Persia
5. Artasyras of Persia
6. Ervand of Persia
7. Ervand Ervanduni
8. Mithranes Ctistes Ervanduni
9. Ervand Ervanduni
10. Samos Ervanduni
11. Arsames Ervanduni
12. Xerxes Ervanduni
13. Ervand Ervanduni
14. Samos Ervanduni
15. Samus Theosebes Dikaios Ervanduni was born in 120 B.C. He married in 101 B.C., Princess Pythodoris Arshamid, born about 150 B.C. in Pontus, Anatolis, Syria. She was the daughter of Mithradates Eurgetes Arshamid, born in 180 B.C., died in 121 B.C., and Laodice Seleucid, born in 190 B.C. She was the granddaughter of Pharnaces Arshamid, born 225 B.C. in Pontus, Anatolia, Syria, and Nysa Seleucid, born about 200 B.C. They had a son, Mithradates Kallinikos Ervanduni
16. Mithradates Kallinikos Ervanduni married Laodice Thea Philadelphos Seleucid, born about 120 B.C. She died about 89 B.C. Mithradates was the King of Commagene, born about 120 B.C. He ruled during the period about 96-70 B.C. He died in 63 B.C. in Commagene, Anatolia, Syria.
See the continuation of this lineage above in this section.