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Artystone


Small bust of a Persian lady, from Persepolis. Now in the Archaeological Museum, Tehran (Iran). Photo Marco Prins.
Small bust of a Persian lady, from Persepolis (Archaeological Museum, Tehran)
Artystone (Elamite Irtašduna) was the daughter of the Persian king Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE) and a wife of king Darius I the Great (522-486).

Artystone's marriage to Darius, briefly after his coup d'état, was important because it connected two lines of the Achaemenid dynasty, which was necessary because the older branch had died out and Darius belonged to a younger branch. A similar marriages was concluded between Darius and Artystone's sister Atossa.

According to the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus, Artystone was Darius' favorite wife; he erected a golden statue of her (Histories, 7.69). The couple had three children: Arsames, Gobryas, and Artozostre.

In the Persepolis Fortification Tablets, this queen is called Irtašduna. She is one of the most influential women at the Achaemenid court, and owned large estates in Persis.
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 1999
Revision: 5 August 2012
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