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Persia / Achaemenid Dynasty /
Artaxerxes 3
Old Persian: artakhshayarsha



Artaxerxes 3' tomb, Persepolis, Iran.
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Artaxerxes 3' tomb, Persepolis, Iran.

(?-338 BCE) King of Persia 358-338 BCE, belonging to the Achaemenid Dynasty. His name was Ochus before he became king.
Artaxerxes 3 is considered to have been both very efficient and extremely cruel. He killed all close relatives in order to protect his throne, and 40,000 inhabitants of the Phoenician city of Sidon committed suicide rather than submit again to the kind of retaliations that Artaxerses had once imposed on them after they tried to break free from Persia a few years before. Artaxerxes also took back control over Egypt, and destroyed much property and plundered its temples.

Biography
Around 400? BCE: Born as son of King Artaxerxes 2.
358: Becomes king upon the death of his father, Artaxerxes 2. He quickly launches a campaign to have all his relatives killed, in order to protect his power.
356: Orders all the satraps of Persia to dismiss their mercenaries, in order to secure the central power.
355: He forces Athens to conclude peace and to acknowledge the independence of its neighbours.
351: Launches an attack on Egypt, but his army is crushed.
— Witnessing the weakness of the Persian army on its campaign against Egypt, the cities of Phoenicia and the princes of Cyprus revolt against the Persian supremacy.
345: Attacks the Phoenician city of Sidon, severely defeating it.
343: Launches an attack on Egypt, and defeats Pharaoh Nectanebo 2. Defensive walls of Egyptian cities are torn down, many temples plundered, and Egypt is made into a Persian satrapy.
340: Western cities are attacked by the Macedonian king, Philip, the father of Alexander the Great.
338: Is together with his oldest sons killed by vizier and head eunuch Bagoas, the vizier and the king's former favourite. His youngest son, Arses is made the new king, under the control of Bagoas.




By Tore Kjeilen