previous next


Τισσαφέρνης). A famous Persian, who was appointed satrap of Lower Asia in B.C. 414. He espoused the cause of the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War, but he did not give them any effectual assistance, since his policy was not to allow either Spartans or Athenians to gain the supremacy, but to exhaust the strength of both parties by the continuance of the war. His plans, however, were thwarted by the arrival of Cyrus in Asia Minor in 407. This prince supplied the Lacedaemonians with effectual assistance. Tissaphernes and Cyrus were not on good terms; and after the death of Darius they were engaged in continual disputes about the cities in the satrapy of the latter, over which Cyrus claimed dominion. The ambitious views of Cyrus towards the throne at length became manifest to Tissaphernes, who lost no time in repairing to the king with information of the danger. At the battle of Cunaxa, in 401, he was one of the four generals who commanded the army of Artaxerxes, and his troops were the only portion of the left wing that was not put to flight by the Greeks. When the Ten Thousand had begun their retreat Tissaphernes professed his great anxiety to serve them, and promised to conduct them home in safety. In the course of the march he treacherously arrested Clearchus and four of the other generals, who were put to death. After this, Tissaphernes annoyed and harassed the Greeks in their march, without, however, seriously impeding it, till they reached the Carduchian Mountains, at which point he gave up the pursuit. Not long after, Tissaphernes, as a reward for his great services, was invested by the king, in addition to his own satrapy, with all the authority which Cyrus had enjoyed in Western Asia. On his arrival he claimed dominion over the Ionian cities, which applied to Sparta for aid. Their request was granted, and the Spartans carried on war against Tissaphernes with success for some years under the command successively of Thimbron, Dercyllidas, and Agesilaüs (400-395). The continued want of success on the part of Tissaphernes led to grievous complaints against him, and the charges were transmitted to court, where they were backed by all the influence of Parysatis, eager for the revenge on the enemy of Cyrus, her favourite son. The result was that Tithraustes was commissioned by the king to put Tissaphernes to death and to succeed him in his government, which was accordingly done (395 B.C.) (Thucyd. viii.; Xen. Hell. i. 1, 2, 5; iii. 1, 2, 4; Xen. Anab.; Diod.xiii. 46; xiv. 23-27; Diod. 14.80).

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 13.46
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 14.23
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 14.80
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.1
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.2
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 3.1.2
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: