Xerxes of Sophene


Xerxes (Ancient Greek: Ξέρξης; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠) was king of Sophene and Commagene from 228 BC to 212 BC. He was the son and successor of Arsames I.

Xerxes
Coin of Xerxes, from around 220 BC
King of Sophene and Commagene
Reign228 – 212 BC
PredecessorArsames I
SuccessorZariadres
Died212 BC
Sophene
ConsortAntiochis
IssueZariadres(?)
DynastyOrontid Dynasty
FatherArsames I

Name


Xérxēs (Ξέρξης) is the Greek and Latin (Xerxes, Xerses) transliteration of the Old Iranian Xšaya-ṛšā ("ruling over heroes"), a popular name amongst the rulers of the Persian Achaemenid Empire.[1]

Reign


Xerxes belonged to the Iranian Orontid dynasty.[2] His father was Arsames I, who ruled Sophene, Commagene and possibly Armenia.[3] Xerxes succeeded his father as the ruler of Sophene and Commagene in 228 BC, while his brother Orontes IV ruled Armenia. In 223 BC, several Seleucid satraps rebelled against King Antiochus III, including Artabazanes (Upper Media), Molon (Lower Media), Alexander (Persis), and Achaeus (Asia Minor). By 220 BC Antiochus had put down most of the rebellions; however, Achaeus was not defeated until 213 BC.

These rebellions help explain Antiochus' subsequent aggressive policy toward his satrap Xerxes. By 212 BC, Antiochus III had invaded the domain of Xerxes and defeated him after laying siege to the city of Arsamosata.[4] Shortly afterwards Antiochus III arranged for Xerxes to marry his sister, Antiochis.[5] However, within the same year she arranged to have her new husband assassinated, thinking that her brother would then be able to take control of Sophene. Whether Xerxes still ruled Commagene by the time of his assassination is not known.

References


Sources


  • Babaie, Sussan; Grigor, Talinn (2015). Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–288. ISBN 9780857734778.
  • Garsoian, Nina (2005). "Tigran II". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
  • Marciak, Michał (2017). Sophene, Gordyene, and Adiabene: Three Regna Minora of Northern Mesopotamia Between East and West. BRILL. ISBN 9789004350724.
  • Sartre, Maurice (2005). The Middle East Under Rome. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674016835.
  • Schmitt, Rüdiger (2000). "Xerxes i. The Name". Encyclopaedia Iranica.