ARIYĀRAMNA (Elamite Har-ri-ya-ra-um-na, Akkadian Ar-ḭa-ra-am-na-ʾ, Greek Ariaramnēs), Old Persian proper name; the derivation from *Aryārāman-, from aryā “Arians” and rāman- “joy, peace,” signifying “He who brings peace to the Arians” (Bartholomae, AirWb., cols. 199, 1524) is problematic (see Kent, Old Persian, p. 170; W. Brandenstein and M. Mayrhofer, Handbuch des Altpersischen, Wiesbaden, 1964, p. 105 with references; and M. Mayrhofer, Iranisches Personennamenbuch I/2, Vienna, 1979, pp. 11ff. no. 5). The Greek form Ariaram(a)nēs was in the Hellenistic period sometimes confused with a similar name, Greek Ariam(e)nes (q.v.), see below, no. 5. The known bearers of this name are:

1. The great-grandfather of Darius the Great. According to Darius (Behistun [OP version] 1.9f. [Kent, op. cit., p. 117]), eight members of his family had ruled “in two lines” (duvitāparanam) before him; he also says (1.4f. [Kent, op. cit., p.116]) that he was the son of Vištāspa (Hystaspes), son of Aršāma (Arsames), son of Ariyāramna (Ariaramnēs), son of Čišpiš (Teispes), son of Haxāmaniš(a) (Achaemenes). In his turn, Cyrus the Great states in his Babylonian Chronicle (line 21, for which see most recently P.-R. Berger, “Die Kyros-Zylinder mit dem Zusatzfragment BIN II Nr. 32,” ZA 64, 1975, pp. 192-234 esp. pp. 196f.) that he was “the son of Cambyses, the Great King, King of Anshan, the grandson of Cyrus, the Great King, King of Anshan, the great-grandson of Teispes, the Great King, King of Anshan.” From these statements, scholars inferred that Teispes had divided his kingdom between his two sons, assigning Pārsa (Persis/Fārs) to Ariaramnes and the less important Anshan, then thought to be located somewhere in the Baḵtīāri region, to Cyrus, who accordingly was held to have been the younger of the two brothers; they were assumed to have reigned from ca. 640 to ca. 600 B.C. (J. Marquart, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte von Eran II, Leipzig, 1905, pp. 194f.; C. F. Lehmann-Haupt, “Darius und der Achämeniden-Stammbaum,” Klio 8, 1908, pp. 493-96; F. H. Weissbach, “Kyros,” in Pauly-Wissowa, Suppl. IV, 1924, cols. 1140f.; E. F. Weidner, “Der älteste Nachricht über das persische Königshaus,” Archiv für Orientforschung, 7, 1931/32, pp. 1-7; A. Sh. Shahbazi, Cyrus the Great [in Persian], Shiraz, 1970, pp. 27ff.). This interpretation of the textual data received strong support from an Old Persian inscription engraved in ten lines on a gold sheet which E. Herzfeld reported he had found at Hamadān (“Ariaramana, König der Könige,” AMI 3, 1930/31, pp. 117-22; for further bibliography see Kent, op. cit., p. 107). The text may be translated as follows (Kent p. 116): “Ariaramnes, the Great King, King of Kings, King in Pārsa (Persis), son of Teispes the King, grandson of Achaemenes. Saith Ariaramnes the King: This country Pārsa which I hold, which is possessed of good horses, of good men, upon me the Great God Ahuramazda bestowed (it). By the will of Ahuramazda I am king in this country. Saith Ariaramnes the King: May Ahuramazda bear me aid.” However, the surprising title of Ariaramnes, at best a provincial lord in Persis and a vassal of the Median king of kings, as “Great King, King of Kings,” and the fact that the short text contains as much as seven grammatical inaccuracies of the type encountered in the latest Old Persian texts, proved the unauthenticity of this text (H. H. Schaeder, “Über die Inschrift des Ariaramnes,” SPAW, 1931, pp. 635-45 and 1935, pp. 494-98; R. G. Kent, “The Oldest Old Persian Inscriptions,” JAOS 66, 1946, pp. 206ff.). Even if not a modern fake, the inscription was probably ordered by one of the late Achaemenid kings in order to honor a famed ancestor. Furthermore, it is now established that the city of Anshan was on the site of Tepe Malīān (near Dež-e Espīd/Bayżā) in Fārs, and that at least from the middle of the seventh century B. C., the term Anshan was an alternative name for Fārs; and since Anshan/Persis was ruled by Cyrus I, Ariaramnes could not have reigned there. Hence, some have maintained that the division of Teispes’ kingdom was a myth and Ariaramnes and his son Arsames were not kings at all (D. Stronach, “Achaemenid Village I at Susa and the Persian Migration of Fars,” Iraq 34, 1974, pp. 239-48 esp. p. 248; J. M. Cook, The Persian Empire, New York, 1983, p. 8). According to an often discussed testimony of Herodotus (7.11) Xerxes said “If I do not punish the Athenians, may I not be the son of Darius, son of Hystaspes, son of Arsames, son of Ariaramnes, son of Teispes, son of Cyrus, son of Cambyses, son of Teispes, son of Achaemenes.” This statement is now related to the evidence of the Behistun inscription and taken to mean that the eight kings preceding Darius were: 1. Teispes [I], 2. Cambyses [I], 3. Cyrus [I], 4. Teispes [II], 5. Cyrus [II], 6. Cambyses [II], 7. Cyrus [III = the Great], 8. Cambyses [III] (P. Calmeyer, “Zur Genese altiranischer Motive V. Synarchie,” AMI, N.F. 9, 1976, pp. 88-89 with n. 269). However, this view contradicts Darius’ testimony that Ariaramnes was the son of that Teispes who was the son of Achaemenes; and Xerxes was in fact giving his genealogy from the paternal side as well as the maternal side, and both became one under Teispes, the son of Achaemenes, hence the naming of Teispes twice. Furthermore, the fact that Anshan was an alternative name for Pārsa/Persis and was ruled by Cyrus I does not justify the conclusion that Ariaramnes and his son Arsames could not have been petty kings somewhere in that large province or, as M. Dandamayev (“The Dynasty of the Achaemenids in the Early Period,” Acta Antiqua Academiae Scient. Hungaricae 24 [= Studies in Honour of J. Harmatta, I], Budapest, 1977, pp. 39-42 esp. p. 42) puts it “in a small kingdom somewhere in Iran.” Indeed, we find a similar situation half a millennium later: Pābak ruled Persis as the king accepted by the Parthian overlordship, but at the same time there were a number of other “kings” holding various districts of that province (Christensen, Iran Sass., pp. 86f.). Of Ariaramnes’ life nothing is known. In the 20th year of Darius the Great (501 B.C.), a magus named Ukpish received “3 (irtiba [of grain] as) rations of the lan (ceremony), 3 (irtiba) for the god Mithra, 3 for Mount Ariaramnes, 3 for the river Ahinharišda,” (R. T. Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets, Chicago, 1969, p. 559 [no. 1955, 11.1ff.]). It is possible that this Mount Ariaramnes was named after Darius’ great-grandfather in the same way that Mount Qārin in Ṭabarestān received its name from the local king/hero Qārin, son of Soḵra (cf. Justi, Namenbuch, p. 157a).

2. A general (almost certainly unhistorical) of Darius the Great according to Ctesias (Persica, ed. and tr. R. H. Henry, Bruxelles, 1947, epit. 16). He relates that before invading Scythia (in ca. 513 B.C.), Darius the Great “ordered Ariaramnes, the satrap of Cappadocia, to penetrate into the country of the Scythians and there to take women and men captive. The satrap crossed [the Black Sea] with 30 ships and took some prisoners. He captured even Marsagetes, the brother of the king of the Scythians, whom he found chained by the order of his own brother for some misdeed.” Although the historicity of this Ariaramnes and his mission have at times been accepted (e.g., M. Rostovtzeff, Iranians and Greeks in South Russia, Oxford, 1922, p. 84), there are strong arguments for rejecting them. Cappadocia had no satrap under Darius the Great (it was a part of the satrapy of Dascyleion: Herodotus 3.90 with 1.72), and the earliest date for the forming of such a satrapy was in about 410 B.C., under Darius II; and Ctesias has so many times projected men of his own time back into remoter past that this Ariaramnes, too, must have been a satrap of Cappadocia when he was writing his Persica or slightly earlier (J. Marquart, “Die Assyriaka des Ktesias,” Philologus, Suppl. 6, 1895, p. 627; Untersuchungen zur Geschichte von Eran I, Göttingen, 1896, pp. 15f.; II, pp. 113ff.)

3. A noble Persian at the court of Xerxes. When the king was observing the battle of Salamis, Ariaramnes, who was “a friend of the Ionians,” stood at his side and encouraged him to act harshly against the Phoenicians who had unfairly accused the Ionians of treachery and cowardice (Herodotus 8.90). Justi (Namenbuch, p. 25a) identifies him with no. 2 above, but this is unnecessary in view of the unhistoricity of the latter. Nor is it safe to count this companion of Xerxes as an Achaemenid (as did G. Rawlinson, tr. of Herodotus, vol. 3, New York, 1875, p. 329 n. 8) because Herodotus was normally careful to make such an attribute clear (e.g., 3.2, 4.43, 7.117).

4. A tombstone found at Kertsch (Crimea in the Black Sea) is engraved with the figure of a horseman whom an inscription identifies as Daiskos son of Ariaramnes (Justi, op. cit., p. 76 with reference; reedited in Corpus Inscriptionum Regni Bosporani, Moscow and Leningrad, 1965, p. 354 no. 597).

5. Three Cappadocian kings (two of them unhistorical). A fictitious pedigree made for the Cappadocian kings traces their descent to a certain Pharnaces who married an Achaemenid princess named Atossa, and places, in the fourth generation, an Ariamnes ( = Ariaramnes, see below; the text has Artamnes, but this has long since been shown to be an error) and makes him the father of Anaphas, one of the seven Persians who overthrew the Pseudo-Smerdis (i.e., HŪtana/Otanes). Of Anaphas two sons are named: Arimnaios (a name closely related to Aria(ra)mnes) and Datames; the latter is said to have had a son also named Aria(ra)mnes, who allegedly reigned for fifty years. His son and successor was Ariarathes I, who was followed by his son, Aria(ra)mnes, who was followed by his nephew, Ariarathes II. The last one had a son called Aria(ra)mnes, with whom the Cappadocian dynasty enters into the full light of history because coins bearing kings’ names substantiate the statements of our written sources. Now, although historians named this king Ariamnes, the legend on the reverse of his coin reads (in Greek): Ariaramnou “belonging to Ariaramnes,” proving that the name was actually the Iranian Ariyāramna. The obverse of Ariaramnes’ coins represents his head in profile and wearing the “satrapal” tiara; the reverse depicts him as a galloping horseman. At first Ariaramnes ruled as a vassal of the Seleucids, but then he rebelled against them and made Cappadocia an independent kingdom. Nevertheless he maintained family links with his former overlord: He arranged the marriages of his daughter to Antiochus Hierax and this one’s sister, Stratonice, to his own son, Ariarathes [II], whereupon Antiochus II (Theos) conferred on him the title “king,” and this occurring in the year 256 B.C., was made the opening year of the Cappadocian Era. Ariaramnes was still reigning in 230 B.C., when Antiochus Hierax took refuge with him upon fleeing from his reigning brother. (The basic source for this section is Diodorus Siculus 31.19; see also Justin 27.3.7, 8; the best study of the history of the Cappadocian kings remains that by Marquart, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte von Eran I, pp. 1-30; 2, pp. 114-16; see also, Justi, Namenbuch, p. 25).

6. An inscription found on a stone near Kertsch mentions an Ariaramnes, son of Ariarathes. Paleographical indications suggest that the text was carved in the 1st century A.D. (Corpus Inscriptionum Regni Bosporani, p. 244 no. 359).

7. A priest (magus) of the cult of Mithra named in an inscription written in Greek and Aramaic found somewhere in Asia Minor (Marquart, op. cit., II, pp. 122f.).

Bibliography: Given in the text.

(A. Sh. Shahbazi)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 12, 2011

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Vol. II, Fasc. 4, pp. 410-411