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Tritantaechmes. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Tritantaechmes (Old Persian Ciçantakhma): king of Sagartia (521 BCE).

According to the Behistun inscription, the Medes rose in rebellion against the Persian king Darius I the Great after he had suppressed the usurper Gaumâta. The leader of this rebellion was Phraortes, who was defeated by Darius in May 521 BCE. The Sagartian Tritantaechmes continued the rebellion, claiming, like Phraortes, to be a descendant of the great leader of independent Media, Cyaxares.

His reign was a short one. Tritantaechmes was defeated and arrested by Darius' Median general Takhmaspâda in the summer of 521. Darius cut of the rebel's nose and ears, put out his eyes, and finally had him crucified in Arbela. Since Darius does not mention that he cut off Tritantaechmes' tongue, the usual treatment of liars, it is probable that the Sagartian leader had indeed been a member of the Median royal house.

On the monument at Behistun, Tritantaechmes is represented before he was mutilated (picture).

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