Artaxerxes


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Related to Artaxerxes: Artaxerxes II, Nehemiah

Artaxerxes

 

Persian kings of the Achaemenid Dynasty.

Artaxerxes I, “Long Hand.” Artaxerxes I reigned from 465 to 424 B.C. He attained the throne after his father Xerxes I was killed as the result of a court conspiracy. At the beginning of his reign Artaxerxes put down an uprising by the Egyptians, who were supported by the Athenians; the latter had been engaged in war with the Achaemenid Empire. In 454 the Persians destroyed the Athenian fleet in the Nile Delta. After the Athenian victory at Salamis in 449 (on Cyprus), Artaxerxes concluded the Peace of Callias, which brought the Greco-Persian wars to an end. In accordance with this peace treaty, Artaxerxes I recognized the political independence of the Greek cities of Asia Minor. Despite growing separatist tendencies among the members of the Persian aristocracy—for example, the rebellion of Megabyzus, circa 449 B.C.—and uprisings of subject peoples, the central authority remained quite powerful during the rule of Artaxerxes I, and the integrity of the Achaemenid state was basically preserved.

Artaxerxes II, Mnēmon. Artaxerxes II reigned from 404 to 358 B.C. He was the oldest son of Darius II. At the beginning of his reign Artaxerxes II engaged in a struggle for the throne with his younger brother Cyrus, the ruler of Asia Minor. Despite a number of successes in foreign policy—for example, the destruction of the Spartan fleet at Cnidus in 394 and the Peace of Antalcidas in 386—during the reign of Artaxerxes II the Achaemenid state became weaker. Several revolts were launched against Artaxerxes II by satraps, vassal princes, and semidependent tribes (the Cadusians and others).

Artaxerxes III, Ochus. Artaxerxes III reigned from 358 to 338 B.C. He was the son of Artaxerxes II; he became king after the liquidation of his elder brothers, in which he took an active part. With great energy Artaxerxes III attempted to restore the integrity of the Achaemenid state. He prohibited the satraps from maintaining mercenary troops, and with great cruelty he suppressed a number of uprisings (in Asia Minor and Phoenicia and on Cyprus). In 341 he again annexed Egypt, which had seceded from the Achaemenid state at the end of the fifth century B.C. Artaxerxes III was murdered by his close adviser, the eunuch Bagoas.

E. A. GRANTOVSKII

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