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2. A distinguished Persian, a son of Pharnaces, who lived in the reign of Xerxes. In the expedition of this king to Greece, B. C. 480, Artabazus commanded the Parthians and Choasmians. (Hdt. 7.66.) When Xerxes quitted Greece, Artabazus accompanied him as far as the Hellespont, and then returned with his forces to Pallene. As Potidaea and the other towns of Pallene had revolted from the king after the battle of Salamis, Artabazus determined to reduce them. He first laid siege to Olynthus, which he took; he butchered the inhabitants whom he had compelled to quit the town, and gave the place and the town to the Chalcidians. After this Artabazus began the siege of Potidaea, and endeavoured to gain his end by bribes; but the treachery was discovered and his plans thwarted. The siege lasted for three months, and when at last the town seemed to be lost by the low waters of the sea, which enabled his troops to approach the walls from the sea-side, an almost wonderful event saved it, for the returning tide was higher than it had ever been before. The troops of Artabazus were partly overwhelmed by the waters and partly cut down by a sally of the Potidaeans. He now withdrew with the remnants of his army to Thessaly, to join Mardonius. (8.126-130.)

Shortly before the battle of Plataeae, B. C. 479, Artabazus dissuaded Mardonius from entering on an engagement with the Greeks, and urged him to lead his army to Thebes in order to obtain provisions for the men and the cattle; for he entertained the conviction that the mere presence of the Persians would soon compel the Greeks to surrender. (9.41.) His counsel had no effect, and as soon as he perceived the defeat of the Persians at Plataeae, he fled with forty thousand men through Phocis, Thessaly, Macedonia, and Thrace, to Byzantium, and led the remnants of his army, which had been greatly diminished by hunger and the fatigues of the retreat, across the Hellespont into Asia. (9.89; Diod. 11.31, 33.) Subsequently Artabazus conducted the negotiations between Xerxes and Pausanias. (Thuc. 1.129; Diod. 11.44; C. Nepos, Paus. 2, 4.)

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480 BC (1)
479 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 11.44
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 11.31
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 11.33
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.66
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.129
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