Cyrus the Younger


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Cyrus the Younger

Cyrus the Younger, d. 401 B.C., Persian prince, younger son of Darius II and Parysatis. He was his mother's favorite, and she managed to get several satrapies in Asia Minor for him when he was very young. His friendship toward Lysander helped Sparta achieve victory in the Peloponnesian War. Cyrus was at court when Darius died (404 B.C.) and was accused (probably justly) by Tissaphernes of a plot to murder his elder brother and the legitimate heir, Artaxerxes II. Cyrus was saved only by the pleas of his mother and was restored to his satrapies. He began careful plans for a rebellion. He collected an army and through Clearchus hired a large troop of Greek mercenaries (the Ten Thousand) for the campaign. On the pretext of setting out to put down brigands in Pisidia, the army was marched E from Sardis to Tarsus and then into Syria. Tissaphernes rushed to court with the news, and Artaxerxes set out to meet the rebels. Many of Cyrus' men threatened mutiny when they learned of his true intent, but they were won over by his charm and bravery and proceeded to fight. Cyrus was killed in the battle of Cunaxa. The loss was followed by the heroic retreat of the Ten Thousand. The revolt of Cyrus and the battle of Cunaxa were the basis for Xenophon's celebrated prose history, Anabasis.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cyrus the Younger

 

Date of birth unknown; died 401 B.C. Vicegerent (satrap) in 408 or 407–401 in Asia Minor (Lydia, Greater Phrygia, and Cappadocia). Son of Darius II.

Cyrus attempted to seize the throne after his brother Artaxerxes II became king of the Achaemenid state in 404. Having gathered a large army, Cyrus advanced against Artaxerxes II from Sardis to Babylonia, but he was killed in the battle of Cunaxa and his army was defeated. These events are described by Xenophon in his Anabasis.

REFERENCE

Solomonik, E. I. “Kir Mladshii.” Uch. zap. LGU: Seriia istorich. nauk, 1941, issue 10.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.