CASSANDANE, wife of Cyrus II, an Achaemenian, sister of Otanes and daughter of Pharnaspes. She bore four children: Cambyses II, Smerdis (see bardiya), Atossa, and an unnamed daughter (see Herodotus, 2.1; 3.2, 3). According to Herodotus (2.1), Cyrus loved her dearly and, when she died, ordered all the subjects of his empire to observe “a great mourning.” There is a report in the chronicle of Nabonidus that, when “the king’s wife died,” there was public mourning in Babylonia lasting from 27 Adar to 3 Nisan, that is, 21-26 March 538 (III.23; Grayson, p. 111); very probably it was the death of Cassandane that was being mourned. M. Boyce has suggested that she was buried in the tower called Zendān-e Solaymān at Pasargadae.


M. Boyce, “A Tomb for Cassandane,” in Orientalia J. Duchesne-Guillemin Emerito Oblata, Acta Iranica 23, Leiden, 1984, pp. 67-71.

A. K. Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Locust Valley, New York, 1975.

(Muhammad Dandamayev)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

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Vol.V, Fasc. 1, p. 62