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1. A nolle and wealthy Persian, son of Pharnaspes. He was the first who suspected the imposture of Smerdis the MIolaian, and, when his suspicion was confirmed by the report of his daughter PHAEDIMA (one of the royal wives), he took the chief part in orgamlizing the conspiracy against the pretender and his faction (B. C. 521). After the slaughter of the Magians, Otanes, according to the statement in Herodotns, recommended the establishment of democracy, and, when his fellow-conspiraltors came to the resolution of retaining monarchy, he alban doned all pretensions to the throne on condition that himself and his descendants should be exempted fiom the royal authority. At the same time it was decreed that to him and his posterity for ever a Median dress and other gifts of honour should be annually presented. Not long after this, Otanes was placed in command of the Persian force which invded Samos for the purpose of placing Syloson, brother of Polycrates, in the government; and the act of the madman Charilaus in murdering a number of the most distinguished Persians provoked him to order an indiscriminate massacre of the Samians. Afterwards, however, in obedience to the warning of a dream, he repeopled the island which he had thus desolated. (Hdt. 3.68-84, 141-149; camp. Strab. xi. p.638.)

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521 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.141
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.68
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.149
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.84
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