throne name of several Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty.


ARTAXERXES, throne name of several Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty. The Old Persian form Artaxšaçā (really Ṛtaxšaca, for the forms with -ā/-ām in the nom./acc. sing. are influenced by Xerxes’ name, Xšayārša) means “whose reign is through truth.” The interpretation in Herodotus 6.98.3 as mégas arḗïos “great warrior” is wrong. A misspelling of the Old Pers. form is Ardaxčašča on the vase inscription AVsa (Venice, San Marco). The name is also attested in the following forms: Elamite Ir-tak-(ik-)ša-aš-ša, Ir-tak-ik-ša-iš-ša, Ir-da-ik-ša-iš-ša; Akkadian Ar-ta-ʾ-ḫa-šá-is-su, Ar-ta-ak-šá-as-su, Ar-ták-(ša-)šat-su, Ar-ták-šat-šu, Ar-taḫ-ša/šá-as-su, Ar-táḫ-ša-as(-siš, -si-iš, -is-su), Ar-ták-ša-as-su, Al-tàk-šat-su; Aramaic ʾrtḥšsš and, in both the Hebrew and the Aramaic parts of the Bible, ʾrtḥšśtʾ, ʾrtḥšstʾ; Egyptian ʾrṭḫšsš, ʾrṭḫššs; Greek Artaxéssēs occurs once on an inscription from Trallis (Caria); the common form Artaxerxes (sometimes Artoxérxēs) is a transformation of such a form, assimilated to the name Xérxēs; Latin Artaxerxes; Lydian Artakśassa-; not undisputed is the position of Lycian Ertakssiraza- (on the Xanthos stele: b. 59f.). Of the rock-cut tombs at Naqš-e Rostam, the second from the left is generally identified as that of Artaxerxes I; the two tombs in the slopes of Kūh-e Raḥmat east of the Persepolis terrace are usually ascribed to Artaxerxes II and III, but there is still doubt about the order. Inscriptions which can be attributed to a specific Artaxerxes are cited in the following articles. Others are: the labels of the throne bearers on the southern tomb (of Artaxerxes II or III?) at Persepolis (Kent, Old Persian, New Haven, 1953, pp. 155f.: A?P); a stone fragment from Babylon (F. H. Weissbach, Die Keilinschriften der Achämeniden, Leipzig, 1911, p. XXVIII; R. Schmitt in Die Sprache 21, 1975, p. 42); various seals and vases (Kent, op. cit., p. 157; Sf, AVsa, SVsb-d [very probably to be assigned to Artaxerxes I]; a seal in Moscow (M. A. Dandamaev, Iran pri pervykh Akhemenidakh, Moscow, 1963, p. 97); and a vase from Orsk in the southern Urals (T. V. Savel’eva and K. F. Smirnov, VDI, 1972/3, pp. 106-23).



W. Judeich, “Artaxerxes,” Pauly-Wissowa, II/1, 1895, cols. 1311-21 (based on the classical sources).

Justi, Namenbuch, p. 34.

See also the general histories: J. V. Prašek, Geschichte der Meder und Perser bis zur makedonischen Eroberung I-II, Gotha, 1906-10, repr. Darmstadt, 1968.

A. T. Olmstead, History of the Persian Empire, Chicago, 1948.

R. Schmitt, “Artaxerxes, Ardašīr und Verwandte,” Incontri Linguistici, 5, 1979, pp. 61-72.

Idem, “Achaemenid Throne-names,” Annali dell’Istituto Orientale di Napoli 42, 1982, pp. 83-95.

(R. Schmitt)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 15, 2011

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Vol. II, Fasc. 6, pp. 654-655