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Artabanus


Fourth century head of a Persian, made by a Greek artist. Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam (Holland). Photo Jona Lendering.Fourth century head of a Persian, made by a Greek artist. Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam (Holland). Photo Karwansaray.
Fourth century head of a
Persian, made by a Greek artist (Allard Piersonmuseum, Amsterdam)
Artabanus: Persian prince, younger brother of king Darius I the Great mentioned in our sources between 513 and 480 BCE.

Artabanus was the son of Hystaspes and the younger brother of the Persian king Darius (ruled 522-486). From the tablets found at Persepolis, we know that Irdabanuš (the Elamite form of Artabanus' name) was satrap of the important satrapy Bactria, which probably means that he was considered the first in line of succession until Darius' son Xerxes was old enough.

In the Histories of the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus (fifth century BCE), Artabanus usually plays the role of the wise councelor, who warns against dangerous military enterprises. He is also mentioned by Ctesias of Cnidus, who calls him Artapanus.

Artabanus had several sons: Artyphius, Ariomardus, Bassaces, Tigranes and Tritantaechmes. All these men commanded Persian contingents during Xerxes' disastrous expedition to Greece (480 BCE), against which Artabanus had warned.

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