Artabazos II of Phrygia

Artabazus (in Greek Αρτάβαζος) (fl. 389 BC 329 BC) was a Persian general and satrap. He was the son of the Persian satrap of Phrygia, Pharnabazus, and younger kinsman (brother or rather nephew) of Ariobarzanes of Phrygia who revolted against Artaxerxes II around 356 BC.

Revolt by Ariobarzan

In 362 BC, Artabazus was sent by Artaxerxes II to capture Datames, the satrap of Cappadocia, who had joined in the Satraps' revolt by Artabazus' brother, Ariobarzanes. However, Artabazus was defeated by the bravery and resolution of Datames.[1]

Rebellion against the Persian King

Following the capture and death of his brother, Artabazus was made satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, but in 356 BC he refused obedience to the Persian king, Artaxerxes III. Artabazus then became involved in a revolt against the king and against other satraps who acknowledged the authority of Artaxerxes III.

However, Artabazus was at first supported by Chares, the Athenian, and his mercenaries, whom he rewarded very generously. Afterwards Artabazus was also supported by the Thebans, who sent him 5,000 men under Pammenes. With the assistance of these and other allies, Artabazus defeated his enemies in two great battles.

However, Artaxerxes III was later able to deprive Artabazus of his Athenian and Boeotian allies, whereupon Artabazus was defeated by the king's general, Autophradates, and was taken prisoner. Mentor and Memnon, two brothers-in-law of Artabazus, who had supported him, still continued the revolt, as they were aided by the Athenian Charidemus. Together they were able to free Artabazus.

After this, Artabazus seems either to have continued his rebellious operations, or at least started a fresh revolt. However, eventually, he had no choice but to flee with Memnon and his family. They went into exile and took refuge with Philip II of Macedonia.

Return to Persia

During the absence of Artabazus, Mentor, his brother-in-law, was of great service to the king of Persia in his war against Nectanebo II of Egypt. After the close of this war, in summer 342 BC, Artaxerxes gave to Mentor the command against the rebellious satraps of western Asia. Mentor took advantage of this opportunity to ask the king to grant a pardon to Artabazus and Memnon. The king agreed and both men and their families were able to return to Persia.[2]

In the subsequent reign of Darius III Codomannus, Artabazus distinguished himself by his loyalty and commitment to the new Persian king. He took part in the Battle of Gaugamela, and afterwards accompanied Darius on his flight from Alexander's Macedonian armies. After the final defeat and death of Darius III (330 BC), Alexander recognised and rewarded Artabazus for his loyalty to the Persian king by giving him the satrapy of Bactria.


Artabazus' daughter, Barsine, may have married Alexander and may have been the mother of Heracles. Another daughter, Artacama, was given in marriage to Ptolemy; and a third daughter, Artonis, was given in marriage to Eumenes. In 328 BC, Artabazus resigned his satrapy, which was given to Clitus.[3]

Artabazus had a son named Pharnabazus (fl. 370 BC - 320 BC).



  1. Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xv. 91
  2. Diodorus, xvi. 22, 34, 52; Demosthenes, Speeches, "Against Aristocrates", 154, 155, 157, 159, 163
  3. Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, iii. 23, 29, vii. 4; Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni, iii. 13, v. 9, 12, vi. 5, vii. 3, 5, viii. 1

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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 

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