ANAPHAS, Persian male name, attested only in the Greek forms Anaphās (Diodorus, 31.19.1-2), Ionic Anáphēs (Herodotus, 7.62.2, where we find the secondary variant Anáphanēs), and Onáphas (Ctesias, fragment 13, par. 16.24.30). It may most easily reflect an Old Persian hypocoristic form *Vana-f-a- from *Vanafarnah- “earning the divine splendor and glory” or the like (see most recently R. Schmitt in J. Harmatta, ed., Prolegomena to the Sources on the History of Pre-Islamic Central Asia, Budapest, 1979, pp. 125-26). The known bearers of this name are: 1. One of the “Seven Persians,” a conspirator with Darius (according to Ctesias, fragment 13, par. 16, and Diodorus, 31.19.1, apparently corresponding to the Otánēš of Herodotus 3.70.2 and the Utāna of DB IV 83). According to an unhistorical genealogical tree related by Diodorus which had been invented to link him to Cyrus and the Achaemenids, he was the son of Artamnes. For his bravery Anaphas was named satrap, or dynast, of Cappadocia—he is considered founder of the royal dynasty of Cappadocia—and did not haveto pay tribute to the Persian king. He was the father of the Persian queen Amestris, Xerxes’ wife (Ctesias, fragment 13, par. 24), and of the commander of the Persian navy at Salamis (ibid., par. 30). 2. Unhistorical dynast of Cappadocia, son and successor of his homonymous father (no. 1), according to Diodorus, 31.19.2. 3. As Anaphēs, leader of the Cissians in Xerxes’ invasion of Greece, son of Otanes (Herodotus, 7.62.2). If this Otanés corresponds to one of Darius’ helpers of the same name (sec no. 1), Anaphēs should be identical with the unhistorical Anaphas of Cappadocia (no. 2).


Ctesias, Persika, in Jacoby, Fragmente, Leiden, 1958, III, C, 1.

(R. Schmitt)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, p. 2

Cite this entry:

R. Schmitt, “ANAPHAS,” Encyclopædia Iranica, II/1, p. 2, available online at (accessed on 30 December 2012).