Martiya: Persian, son of Zinzakriš, king of Elam in 522-521 BCE.

The Elamite king Martiya on the Behistun relief
The Elamite king Martiya on the Behistun relief

Martiya - his name is Persian and means "warrior" - continued the Elamite rebellion against the Persian overlord, king Darius, which had been started by ššina in September 522, but had been suppressed almost immediately. In the winter, Martiya took charge of the rebellion; his throne name was Ummaniš. Since he posed no direct threat to Darius' vital interests, he was left alone for some time.

When the Persian king moved from Media, where he had suppressed the rebellion of Phraortes, to Persia and was in the neighborhood, a part of the Elamite population decided that it was better to kill Martiya. This must have happened in June 521, as we can deduce from the relief above the Behistun Inscription, which shows Darius' opponents in the sequence of their death. Martiya stands right behind Phraortes.

For some time, Elam remained quiet, but after some time, Martiya was succeeded by king Atamaita, who was captured by the Persian general Gobryas in the autumn of 521 or the following winter.

This page was created in 2001; last modified on 11 August 2015.