Artabanus of Persia

Artabanus of Persia

Artabanus the Hyrcanian was a Persian political figure during the Achaemenid Dynasty who was reportedly Regent of Persia for a few months (465 BC - 464 BC).

Artabanus probably originated from the province of Hyrcania and reportedly served as the chief official of Xerxes I. He is considered to have served either as his vizier or as his head bodyguard.

According to Aristotle, Artabanus was responsible for the death of Crown Prince Darius. He then became afraid that Xerxes would seek revenge and proceeded to assassinate the King. On the other hand Junianus Justinus reported that Artabanus had personal ambitions for the throne. He first secretly murdered Xerxes and then accused Darius of parricide, resulting in his execution. The order of events remain uncertain but Xerxes and Darius certainly left the throne vacant.

Artabanus' course of action is also uncertain. Some accounts have him usurping the throne for himself. Others consider him to have named young Artaxerxes I as King and to have acted as Regent and power behind the throne. This state of affairs would not last more than a few months. Artaxerxes reportedly slew him with his own sword, either in battle or by surprise. Artabanus is occasionally listed among the Kings of the Achaemenid dynasty though he was not related to them. As Artaxerxes is believed to be the inspiration for King Ahasuerus in the story of Purim, Artabanus may have been the inspiration for Haman in the same story.

Classical sources

*Aristotle, "Politics" 5.131Ib
*Diodorus Siculus, "Historical Library" 11.69 []
*Justin, "Epitome of Philipic Histories of Pompeius Trogus" III 1 [] []
*Photius, "Epitome of Persica of Ctesias" 20 []
*Plutarch, "Life of Themistocles" 27

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Persia — • The history, religion, and civilization of Persia are offshoots from those of Media. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Persia     Persia      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Artabanus — * Artabanus is the name of a genus of insects in the family Aradidae * Artabanus was the name of two noblemen of Persia: ** Artabanus was the younger brother of king Darius I of Persia, and satrap of Bactria in the early 5th century BC. He… …   Wikipedia

  • Artabanus IV of Parthia — ruled the Parthian Empire from 216 to 224. He was the younger son of Vologases V of Parthia (191 ndash;208) who died in 208. Artabanus IV rebelled against his brother Vologases VI of Parthia (208 ndash;228), and soon gained the upper hand,… …   Wikipedia

  • Artabanus — ▪ Achaemenian minister also called  Ardaban  died 465/464 BC       minister of the Achaemenid king Xerxes I of Persia, whom he murdered in 465. According to one Greek source, Artabanus had previously killed Xerxes son Darius and feared that the… …   Universalium

  • List of kings of Persia — History of Greater Iran until the rise of modern nation states Pre modern …   Wikipedia

  • Xerxes I of Persia — ] , foretelling his invasion of Greece. The reference to Darius the son of Ahasuerus in , in turn corresponding to Babylonian ak. Aḫšiyaršu .All of these names originate with Old Persian pe. Xšayāršā .In the Book of EstherFor these same reasons… …   Wikipedia

  • 5th century BC — The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC.OverviewThis century saw the beginning of a period of philosophical brilliance among Western civilizations, particularly the Greeks which would continue all the… …   Wikipedia

  • 460s BC — Events and trends* 468 BC Sophocles, Greek playwright, defeats Aeschylus for the Athenian Prize. * 468 BC Antium captured by Roman forces. * 468 BC Zhou Zhen Ding Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. * 466 BC Delian League defeats… …   Wikipedia

  • Iran, ancient — Introduction also known as  Persia        historic region of southwestern Asia that is only roughly coterminous with modern Iran. The term Persia was used for centuries, chiefly in the West, to designate those regions where Persian language and… …   Universalium

  • Sassanid Empire — Infobox Former Country native name = Eranshahr ساسانیان conventional long name = Sassanid Empire common name = Sassanid Empire national motto = continent = Asia region = Persia country = Iran era = status = government type = Monarchy year start …   Wikipedia