ČIÇANTAXMA (OPers. č-i-ç-t-x-m, Elamite Zi-iš-ša-in/an-tak-ma, Babylonian Ši-it-ra-an-taḫ-ma, Šī-tir-an-taḫ-mu), an Iranian personal name signifying “brave in lineage” (originally from the phrase *čiθram taxmam “the lineage [is] brave”); aside from this hybrid form, it is also attested in pure variants in both Median *Çiθrantaxma­- (Elamite Zi-ut-ra-an-tak-ma; see Hinz and Koch, p. 1306; cf. Greek Tritantaíchmēs, derived from *Titrantáchmēs via *Titrantaíchmēs) and Persian *Čiçantahma- (Elamite Ti-iš-ša-an-tam-ma; Hinz and Koch, p. 328).

Among known bearers of this name and its variants are the following:

1. In the Bīsotūn inscription Darius I mentioned a Sagartian who rebelled against him, passing himself off as “king in Sagartia” and a descendant “of Cyaxares’s family” (DB 2.78-91, par. 33; Kent, Old Persian, pp. 122, 124). In the summary in par. 52 this Čiçantaxma is mentioned as the sixth of the pretenders to the throne (DB 4.20-23), and he is also depicted in a corresponding position on the Bīsotūn relief (Luschey, pl. 30; cf. the minor inscription DBg accompanying that figure). The date when a royal army led by the Median general Taxmaspāda took Čiçantaxma prisoner, 4 Tammuz of Darius’s first regnal year (15 July 521 b.c.e.), is ex­pressly reported only in the Babylonian version of the inscription (Voigtlander, p. 58; cf. Borger, pp. 24-25; Borger and Hinz, p. 435 n. e). He was then mutilated, publicly exposed at the royal palace, and finally impaled at Arbairā/Arbela, which was perhaps the capital of the district (later satrapy) of Sagartia.

2. Tritantaíchmēs, son of Artabazus (no. 3), mentioned by Herodotus (1.192.2) as satrap of Babylonia (though without that title and without any clue to the date, which was probably in Herodotus’s own time); he is said to have received as tribute an artabē of silver daily.

3. Tritantaíchmēs, son of Darius I’s brother Artabanus (no. 1) and thus a cousin of Xerxes, who made him commander-in-chief, along with five others, of the armies invading Greece (Herodotus, 7.82); he and Gergis led one of Xerxes’s three divisions along the farthest inland route between Doriscus and Acanthus (7.121). Herodotus (8.26.2-3) also recounted a story explaining why Xerxes charged him with cowardice.



R. Borger, Die Chronologie des Darius-Denkmals am Behistun-Felsen, Göttingen, 1982.

Idem and W. Hinz, “Die Behistun-Inschrift Darius’ des Grossen” in Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments 1/4. Historisch-chronologische Texte I, Gütersloh, 1984.

W. Hinz and H. Koch, Elamisches Wörterbuch, 2 vols., Berlin, 1987.

H. Luschey, “Studien zu dem Darius ­Relief von Bisutun,” AMI, N.S. 1, 1968, pp. 63-94.

E. von Voigtlander, The Bisutun Inscription of Darius the Great. Babylonian Version, Corpus Inscr. Iran., pt. I, II/1, London, 1978.

For onomastics, see Iranisches Personennamenbuch I/2, p. 17.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

Originally Published: December 15, 1991

Last Updated: October 20, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. V, Fasc. 5, pp. 557-558