- Artabanus of Persia
Artabanus the Hyrcanian was a Persian political figure during the
Achaemenid Dynastywho was reportedly Regentof Persia for a few months (465 BC - 464 BC).
Artabanus probably originated from the province of
Hyrcaniaand reportedly served as the chief official of Xerxes I. He is considered to have served either as his vizieror as his head bodyguard.
Aristotle, Artabanus was responsible for the death of Crown PrinceDarius. He then became afraid that Xerxes would seek revengeand proceeded to assassinate the King. On the other hand Junianus Justinusreported 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 Ias King and to have acted as Regentand 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 Hamanin the same story.
Aristotle, "Politics" 5.131Ib
Diodorus Siculus, "Historical Library" 11.69 [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0084]
Justin, " Epitomeof Philipic Histories of Pompeius Trogus" III 1 [http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/justinus_03_books01to10.htm] [http://www.forumromanum.org/literature/justin/english/trans3.html]
Epitomeof Persica of Ctesias" 20 [http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/ctesias/photius_persica.html]
Plutarch, "Life of Themistocles" 27
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