ABOULITES, satrap of Susiana under Darius III, at the time of the Achaemenid collapse. He was perhaps an Elamite, although his son bears an Iranian name—one that seems distinctly Zoroastrian (Oxathres: GAv. Huxšathra). After the battle of Arbela (1 October 331 B.C.), Mesopotamia rapidly fell to Alexander’s forces. Thus Aboulites had little choice but to arrange an orderly surrender of Susa. (Cf. the implausible speculation in Diodorus Siculus 17.65.5) He signified this intention to an advance force under Philoxenus (Arrian 3.16.6), then sent his son as his envoy to Alexander. Entering this co-capital of the empire, Alexander took possession of a vast collection of treasure, including 50,000 talents of silver in ingots (Quintus Curtius 5.2.8ff.; other classical authors give somewhat different amounts); this example of the dynasty’s hoarding of specie illustrates the shortsightedness of Achaemenid fiscal policy. Loot from Xerxes’ campaign in Greece, including art works, was also found (Arrian, loc. cit.). As Alexander prepared to move on into Fārs, he acted as he had in Babylon. Aboulites was confirmed as satrap, holding civil jurisdiction; a garrison was left in occupation under Macedonian commanders (Curtius 5.2.17; Arrian 3.16.9). Aboulites continued to govern until Alexander’s return from the arduous Indian campaign in 324; and he may, in the meantime, have moved to assert his independence. For real or alleged abuses of power, he and his son were promptly arrested and executed. Immediately afterwards, however, Alexander held at Susa the famous mass wedding of his companions with Persian and Median noblewomen, thus again showing his commitment to the ideal of Greek and Persian partnership.


See also Justi, Namenbuch, p. 2.

(C. J. Brunner)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 19, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 228

Cite this entry:

C. J. Brunner, “ABOULITES,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, p. 228; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/aboulites-satrap-of-susiana-under-darius-iii-at-the-time-of-the-achaemenid-collapse (accessed on 25 January 2014).