Page 0367

367 PERSIA.-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

killed him and took the throne under the title of DARIUS NOTHUS. He had held the satrapy

of Hyrcania during the life of Artaxerxes, and had married his aunt, Parysatis, a daughter

of Xerxes the Great. By her he had a son, Arsaces, afterwards known as Artaxerxes II. The

reign of Nothus lasted, for nineteen years (B. G. 426- 407), and was almost wholly

occupied with rebellions in the satrapies and imbroglios with the Greeks. The first

insurrection was raised by his brother, Arsites, and that same Megabyzus who had been

previously at the head of the Syrian revolt. For a while the insurgents, aided by a large

force of Greek mercenaries, were successful, and not until these foreign auxiliaries had

been corrupted with Persian gold were the king's forces able to reduce the rest to

submission. Terms were granted to Arsites, but the queen induced the king to. break his

word of faith, and the rebel brother was put to death.

The next insurrection broke out in Lydia. Pissuthnes, the satrap of that province, was a

member of the royal family. With the re-accumulated wealth of Sardis, he hired a large

contingent of Greeks, who were now known to be the best soldiers of the world-

unconquerable save by bribery. This was the weapon now employed against them.

Tissaphernes, the Persian general who was sent against them, used the gold of his master,

and Lycon, the Greek commander, yielded to the temptation, went over with his men to the

king, and left the rebellious satrap to the mercy of the winds. Again were terms of

surrender granted, only to be violated when Pissuthnes was taken a prisoner to Susa, and

executed in defiance of all honor. Soon afterwards, however, Amorges, a son of Pissuthnes,

renewed the struggle, and was able to hold out against Tissaphernes for several years.

Meanwhile, the commonwealth of Athens had been engaged in her great and disastrous

campaign against Sicily. In that island she had suffered an overthrow so complete as to

leave her prostrate. When the knowledge of this ruin of the ancient rival of his country

was borne to Darius he at once ordered the satraps Tissaphernes and Phamabazus to begin

the exaction of tribute from the Greek cities of Asia Minor as of old. This edict was in

direct violation of the Peace of Callias, but Persian faith was dead, and the action was

regarded as a matter of course. To produce dissension among the Greeks themselves a

tempting offer was made to Sparta, and by her accepted, to enter into an alliance with

Persia. She who at Thermopylae had cut down her thousands now leagued herself with the

foes of liberty.

Thus a new war broke out between the Persians and the Greeks. But it was no longer

necessary for Darius and his successors to bear down with immense armaments upon the West,

since either Athens or Sparta-embittered by their own long continued internecine strife-

could always be secured against the other by bribery. The court of Susa was able to gain

and to maintain among the powers of Greece an ascendancy which was not seriously impaired

until the petty states of that distracted country went down before the ambition of

Alexander. Such was the condition of affairs during the latter years of the reign of

Darius Nothus. That monarch died in the year B. C. 407, and was succeeded by Arsaces with

the title of Artaxerxes II. He had not been "born in the purple", and his right to the

throne was to that extent endangered.

Before the death of the late king, the question of the succession had been raised by

Parysatis, the queen, who preferred her younger son, Cyrus. This preference was

intensified by the fact that this prince had been born after his father became king, and

was, therefore, under the old, precedent, the rightful heir. Nevertheless, Darius named

ARTAXERXES for his successor and the latter became king, not, however, until his life had

been attempted by Cyrus on the day of coronation.

The latter was arrested and was about to be put to death, but his mother interceded for

him and he was sent away to his satrapy in Asia Minor, burning for revenge. He immediately

began the organization of a body of Greek mercenaries, for the ostensible purpose of

making war on the Pisidians