But there was one thing by which Artaxerxes gladdened the hearts of the Greeks, in return for all the evils which he wrought them, and that was his putting Tissaphernes to death, their most hated and malicious enemy.1
And he put him to death in consequence of accusations against him which were seconded by Parysatis. For the king did not long persist in his wrath against his mother, but was reconciled with her and summoned her to court, since he had that she had intellect and a lofty spirit worthy of a queen, and since there was no longer any ground for their suspecting and injuring one another if they were together.
After this she consulted the king's pleasure in all things, and by approving of everything that he did, acquired influence with him and achieved all her ends. She perceived that the king was desperately in love with one of his two daughters, Atossa, and that, chiefly on his mother's account, he was trying to conceal and restrain his passion, although some say that he had already had secret intercourse with the girl.
When, accordingly, Parysatis became suspicious of the matter, she showed the girl more affection than before, and would speak to Artaxerxes in praise of her beauty and her disposition, saying that she was truly royal and magnificent. At last, then, she persuaded the king to marry the girl and proclaim her his lawful wife, ignoring the opinions and laws of the Greeks, and regarding himself as appointed by Heaven to be a law unto the Persians and an arbitrator of good and evil.
Some, however, say, and among them is Heracleides of Cymé, that Artaxerxes married, not one of his daughters only, but also a second, Amestris, of whom we shall speak a little later.2
Atossa, however, was so beloved by her father as his consort, that when her body was covered with leprosy he was not offended at this in the least,
but offered prayers to Hera in her behalf, making his obeisance and clutching the earth before this goddess as he did before no other; while his satraps and friends, at his command, sent the goddess so many gifts that the sixteen furlongs between her sanctuary and the royal palace were filled with gold and silver and purple and horses.