Cyrus the Younger

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Cyrus the Younger,

d. 401 B.C., Persian prince, younger son of Darius IIDarius II,
d. 404 B.C., king of ancient Persia (423?–404 B.C.); son of Artaxerxes I and a concubine, hence sometimes called Darius Nothus [Darius the bastard]. His rule was not popular or successful, and he spent most of his reign in quelling revolts in Syria, Lydia (413),
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 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 LysanderLysander
, d. 395 B.C., Spartan naval commander and statesman. Toward the end of the Peloponnesian War he was made admiral and built up the Spartan fleet so that it defeated (407 B.C.) the Athenians off Notium. Later he was responsible for the capture (405 B.C.
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 helped Sparta achieve victory in the Peloponnesian WarPeloponnesian War
, 431–404 B.C., decisive struggle in ancient Greece between Athens and Sparta. It ruined Athens, at least for a time. The rivalry between Athens' maritime domain and Sparta's land empire was of long standing. Athens under Pericles (from 445 B.C.
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. Cyrus was at court when Darius died (404 B.C.) and was accused (probably justly) by TissaphernesTissaphernes
, d. 395 B.C., Persian satrap of coastal Asia Minor (c.413–395 B.C.). He was encouraged by Alcibiades (412) to intervene in the Peloponnesian War in support of Sparta.
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 of a plot to murder his elder brother and the legitimate heir, Artaxerxes IIArtaxerxes II,
d. 358 B.C., king of ancient Persia (404–358 B.C.), son and successor of Darius II. He is sometimes called in Greek Artaxerxes Mnemon [the thoughtful]. Early in his reign Cyrus the Younger attempted to assassinate him and seize the throne.
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. 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 ClearchusClearchus
, d. 401 B.C., Spartan officer, celebrated as the leader of the Ten Thousand. Sent in 410 to govern Byzantium, he made himself unpopular by his harsh discipline, and Alcibiades took the city in 408 B.C.
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 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 CunaxaCunaxa
, ancient town of Babylonia, near the Euphrates River, NE of Ctesiphon. It was the scene of a battle (401 B.C.) between Cyrus the Younger and Artaxerxes II, described by Xenophon in the Anabasis.
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. 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 XenophonXenophon
, c.430 B.C.–c.355 B.C., Greek historian, b. Athens. He was one of the well-to-do young disciples of Socrates before leaving Athens to join the Greek force (the Ten Thousand) that was in the service of Cyrus the Younger of Persia.
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'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.


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.