ARTASYRAS, Greek rendering of an Old Iranian name *Ṛta-sūra “powerful through Arta” (Akkadian Ar-ta-sur-ru, Elamite Ir-da-šu-ra), see M. Mayrhofer, Onomastica Persepolitana, Vienna, 1973, p. 166 no. 8.605).

1 ) Satrap of Hyrcania under Astyages and Cyrus II (Nicolaus of Damascus in: F. Jacoby, Fragmente der griechischen Historiker IIA, Berlin, 1926, no. 90, fragment 66).

2) A Hyrcanian courtier of Cambyses II who helped Darius I to seize the throne (Ctesias, Persica 29.9, 10, 13, 20). He may be the same person as 1.

3) A general of Darius II. When Arsites rose in rebellion against his brother Darius II, after two defeats Artasyras won a victory over Artyphius, ally of Arsites, bribing his Greek mercenaries. Sources: Ctesias 18.78 and 80-82; Diodorus 12.64.1 and 71.1; see also E. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums IV, Stuttgart and Berlin, 1912, p. 554.

4) The “king’s eye” of Artaxerxes II (Plutarch, Artoxerxes 12 and 14), probably the same person as 3.

5) Artasurru, a subordinate of Gubaru (Gobryas), satrap of Babylonia, mentioned as a witness in a contract from Nippur in 418 B.C. (The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania. Series A: Cuneiform Texts X, Philadelphia, 1904, no. 114).

6) Irdašura, a storekeeper in the royal economy in Iran under Darius I, see R. T. Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets, Chicago, 1969, p. 703.

7) An official at Persepolis under Xerxes, mentioned in the Persepolis Treasury tablets, see ibid., p. 703.

(M. A. Dandamayev)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 15, 2011

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