), or ORONTAS.
1. A Persian, related by blood to the royal family, and distinguished for his military skill. Dareius II. (Nothus) appointed him to be one of the officers of his son, Cyrus the younger; but, after the accession of Artaxerxes Mnenmon, Orontes, who commanded in the citadel of Sardis, held it against Cyrus, professing to be therein obeying the king's commands. Cyrus reduced him to submission and pardoned him : but Orontes revolted from him a second time, fled to the Mysians, and joined them in invading his territory. Again Cyrus subdued him, and again received him into favour. When, however, the prince in his expedition against his brother (B. C. 401), had passed the Euphrates, Orontes asked to be entrusted with 1000 horse, promising to check effectually with these the royal cavalry, which was laying waste the country before the invaders. Cyrus consented ; but, ascertaining from an intercepted letter of his to Artaxerxes, that he meant to desert with the force committed to him, he caused him to be arrested, and summoned a council, consisting of seven of the principal Persians and Clearchus the Lacedaemonian, to try the case. Orontes had not a word of defence or palliation to offer, and was condemned unanimously by the judges.
He was then led off to the tent of Artapatas, one of the chief officers of Cyrus, and was never seen again either dead or alive. How he perished no one knew. Xenophon remarks that, on his way from the council, he received all the customary marks of respect from his inferiors, though they knew his doom. (Xen. Anab. 1.6
. §§ 1-11.)