DATAPHERNES (Gk. Dataphérnēs < Ir. *Dāta-farnah- "to whom farnah- [i.e. grace and glory] is given,” also reflected in Babylonian Da-da-pir-na-ʾ, Da-da-a-pa-ar-na-ʾ and El. Da-tap-par-na, Da-ud-da-pa-ir-na and variants), name of an Iranian (perhaps Bactrian) officer in the entourage of Bessos, murderer of Darius III (336-30 B.C.E.). Although he was one of Bessos’ confidants, in the spring of 329 B.C.E. he volunteered, together with Spitamenes, to arrest his master and turn him over to Alexander the Great, though in the end he did not do so (Arrian, Anabasis 3.29.6-30.1, following Ptolemaeus; for another version, following Aristobulus, cf. Arrian, Anabasis 3.30.5; for more details, see Curtius Rufus, 7.5.21-26). Having joined in this treachery and an uprising led by Spitamenes, after the assassination of the latter he was delivered to Alexander by the Dahae (Curtius Rufus, 8.3.16).



J. Kaerst, “Dataphernes,” in Pauly-WissowaIV/2, col. 2226.

C. Werba, Die arischen Personennamen und ihre Träger bei den Alexan-derhistorikern, Ph.D. diss., Vienna, 1982, pp. 156-57.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

Originally Published: December 15, 1994

Last Updated: November 18, 2011

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Vol. VII, Fasc. 2, p. 117