Such, then, was the end of the conspiracy. And now Ochus was sanguine in the hopes with which Atossa inspired him, but he was still afraid of Ariaspes, the only legitimate son of the king remaining, and also of Arsames among the illegitimate sons. For Ariaspes, not because he was older than Ochus, but because he was mild and straightforward and humane, was deemed by the Persians worthy to be their king; Arsames, however, was thought to have wisdom, and the fact that he was especially dear to his father was not unknown to Ochus.
Accordingly, he plotted against the lives of both, and being at once wily and bloody-minded, he brought the cruelty of his nature into play against Arsames, but his villainy and craft against Ariaspes. For he secretly sent to Ariaspes eunuchs and friends of the king, who constantly brought him word of sundry threatening and terrifying utterances implying that his father had determined to put him to a cruel and shameful death.
Since they pretended that these daily reports of theirs were secrets of state, and declared, now that the king was delaying in the matter, and now that he was on the point of acting, they so terrified the prince, and filled his mind with so great trepidation, confusion, and despair, that he drank a deadly poison which he had prepared, and thus rid himself of life.
When the king was informed of the manner of his death, he bewailed his son. He also suspected what had caused his death, but being unable by reason of his age to search out and convict the guilty one, he was still more well-affectioned towards Arsames, and clearly made him his chief support and confidant. Wherefore Ochus would not postpone his design, but set Arpates, a son of Teribazus, to the task and by his hand slew the prince.
Now Artaxerxes, by reason of his age, was already hovering between life and death; and when the sad fate of Arsames came to his ears, he could not hold out even a little while, but straightway expired of grief and despair. He had lived ninety-four years, and had been king sixty-two, and had the reputation of being gentle and fond of his subjects; though this was chiefly due to his son Ochus, who surpassed all men in cruelty and bloodguiltiness.