OXATHRES, Persian masculine name, attested only in the Greek forms Oxáthras and Oxáthrēs (sometimes transformed by popular etymology as Oxyáthrēs [see OXYATHRES] and Oxyártēs [see OXYARTES]), which reflects OIr. *Huxšaθra- being the onomastic equivalent of the attested Avestan epithet huxšaθra- ‘of good reign’ (see, recently, W. Hinz, Altiranisches Sprachgut der Nebenüberlieferungen, Wiesbaden, 1975, p. 123). Among the known bearers of this name are:

1. The youngest son of Darius II Ochus and Parysatis (after Artaxerxes II, Cyrus [the Younger], Ostanes alias Artostes) according to Plutarch, Artox. 1.2; 5.5 (called Oxéndras in Ctesias F 15 51 J., which form, since unparalleled, must recede in comparison with the more current one).

2. Son of Abulites, the satrap of Susiana under Darius III Codomannus (Arrian 3.8.5 [here Oxánth-]; 19.2 [here Oxoáth-]; 7.4.1; called Oxyártēs, however, in Plutarch, Alex. 68. 7); he was the commander of the Uxians and the Susians fighting against Alexander in the battle of Gaugamela (Arrian, Anabasis 3.8.5); but shortly after, when Alexander marched toward Susa, Oxathres and his father, the Susian satrap, submitted themselves and the city with its rich treasure to him (ibid. 3.16.6 f.; Curtius Rufus 5.2.8 f.). Like his father, who was allowed to keep his office, Oxathres was rewarded: he was appointed satrap of Paraetacene, the neighboring district of Susiana (Arrian 3.19.2). Both father and son were derelict in their duties in Alexander’s eyes; in particular they abstained from helping and supporting the king in the fatiguing and troublesome retreat from India through the desert of Gedrosia in 325/24 B.C.E., so that they were put to death in 324 B.C.E. (ibid. 7.4.1f.), Oxathres reportedly by Alexander himself (Plutarch, Alex. 68.7).

3. Son of Oxyathres’ (alias Exathres’) daughter Amastris (Amastrine), who was married to Dionysius, the tyrant of Heraclea Pontica, and later to Lysimachus; Oxathres and his brother Clearchus killed their mother (after 292 B.C.E.) and were executed on Lysimachus’ order (Diodorus 20.77.1, where Oxathras is emended from manuscriptal Ozathras).

4. A brother of Darius III Codomannus; the Greek sources have his name mostly in the (secondary) form Oxyathres.


Bibliography (in addition to that given in the text):

Justi, Namenbuch, pp. 232f. (no. 2–4).

H. Berve, Das Alexanderreich auf prosopographischer Grundlage II, Munich, 1926, p. 291 no. 585.

J. Miller / H. Berve, “Oxathres,” in Pauly-Wissowa 18/2, 1942, col. 2001.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

Originally Published: July 20, 2002

Last Updated: July 20, 2002