Pharnabazus (1)


Pharnabazus (second quarter fifth century BCE): Persian nobleman, after 455 (?) satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia.

Achaemenid nobleman, late sixth/early fifth century BCE. Archaeological Museum, Tehran (Iran)
Achaemenid nobleman, late sixth/early fifth century BCE.

Pharnabazus was the son of a Persian nobleman named Artabazus, who was satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, i.e., the northwest of what is now Turkey. The family of Artabazus belonged to the highest Persian elite: his father Pharnaces had been mayor of the palace of his nephew, king Darius I the Great.

To us, Artabazus' son Pharnabazus is just a name. We do not even know when he became satrap, although 455 is likely. About his acts, we are ignorant. He had already been succeeded by his son Pharnaces II in the winter of 430/429.

So little is known about Pharnabazus, that it has been assumed that he was in fact never satrap. His father may still have been serving the king in 450/449 and several scholars have assumed that the son served his father, and never became satrap. In this reconstructrion, Pharnabazus' father was directly succeeded by Pharnaces.

This page was created in 2000; last modified on 16 August 2015.