25 Facts About Artaxerxes III


Artaxerxes III was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and his mother was Stateira.

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Artaxerxes III came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered and his father, Artaxerxes III II died.

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Artaxerxes III's activities were opposed by Artaxerxes, and with his support, the city of Perinthus resisted a Macedonian siege.

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Artaxerxes III had many illegitimate brothers born to concubine mothers, whom the 2nd-century AD Roman writer Justin numbered to be 115.

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At his accession, Artaxerxes III demanded that all the satraps in western Anatolia were to disband their mercenary forces.

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Later in 356 BC, Artaxerxes III attempted to dismiss Artabazus II from his satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, which resulted in the latter revolting.

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Artaxerxes III sent the other satraps in Anatolia—Tithraustes, Autophradates and Mausolus—to suppress the revolt.

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Artaxerxes III quickly pressured Athens to stop supporting Artabazus by the threat of war.

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Artaxerxes III was compelled to retreat and postpone his plans to reconquer Egypt.

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Artaxerxes III initiated a counter-offensive against Sidon by commanding the satrap of Syria Belesys and Mazaeus, the satrap of Cilicia, to invade the city and to keep the Phoenicians in check.

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Artaxerxes III' army comprised 300,000 foot soldiers, 30,000 cavalry, 300 triremes, and 500 transports or provision ships.

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Approach of Artaxerxes III sufficiently weakened the resolution of Tennes that he endeavoured to purchase his own pardon by delivering up 100 principal citizens of Sidon into the hands of the Persian king, and then admitting Artaxerxes III within the defences of the town.

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Artaxerxes III had the 100 citizens transfixed with javelins, and when 500 more came out as supplicants to seek his mercy, Artaxerxes III consigned them to the same fate.

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Artaxerxes III sold the ruins at a high price to speculators, who calculated on reimbursing themselves by the treasures which they hoped to dig out from among the ashes.

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Artaxerxes III later sent Jews who supported the revolt to Hyrcania, on the south coast of the Caspian Sea.

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The invasion started poorly, as Artaxerxes III lost some troops to quicksand at Barathra, and an attempt by his Theban troops to take Pelusium was successfully counterattacked by the garrison.

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Artaxerxes III then created three divisions of shock troops, each with a Greek commander and a Persian supervisor, while remaining himself in command of the reserves.

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Artaxerxes III raised high taxes and attempted to weaken Egypt enough that it could never revolt against Persia.

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Artaxerxes III then returned to his capital having successfully completed his invasion of Egypt.

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The reign of Artaxerxes III II saw a revival of the cult of Anahita and Mithra, when in his building inscriptions he invoked Ahura Mazda, Anahita and Mithra and even set up statues of his gods.

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Artaxerxes III is thought to have rejected Anahita and worshipped only Ahuramazda and Mithra.

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Strangely, Artaxerxes III had ordered that statues of the goddess Anahita be erected at Babylon, Damascus and Sardis, as well as at Susa, Ecbatana and Persepolis.

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Artaxerxes III' name appears on silver coins issued while he was in Egypt.

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Artaxerxes III' tomb was cut into the mountain behind the Persepolis platform, next to his father's tomb.

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Artaxerxes III II had more than 115 sons by many wives, most of them however were illegitimate.

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