Merch Announcement! (and Satrap Coins)

One of many designs available in the new History of Persia Podcast Store!

Breaking News! The History of Persia Podcast now has merch, swag, gear, and other physical items to show off how much you like ancient Persia and this podcast.

Plus, there’s one last group of coins from the Achaemenid Empire that I want to talk about.
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Merch On Sale Now! Go to HistoryOfPersia.LaunchCart.store

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73: The Karanos

Meeting between Cyrus the Younger and Lysander, by Francesco Antonio Grue (1618-1673)

In 408 BCE, Darius II decided the Ionian War called for more drastic, teenage measures. He sent the 16 year old Prince Cyrus to rule western Anatolia as Karanos, a supreme military authority. Cyrus did everything in his power to enable his new Spartan allies’ victory against Athens.
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72: The Ionian War

A coin showing an image of Pharnabzus II, Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia via Wikimedia

Despite their defeat in Sicily, the tales of Athenian demise in 413 BCE were greatly exaggerated. In 411, Athens and Sparta began to clash again and protracted tug-of-war in the Aegean even as Athens itself was seized by political upheavals.
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71: New Friends, Old Enemies

The Aegean Sea during the later Peloponnesian War from Ian Mladjov’s Maps

Darius II’s reign in Anatolia saw the Persian reconquest of Ionia and the Greek cities of west Asia. This was only accomplished with the aid of a surprising ally: Sparta and the Peloponnesian League.
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Persepolis Reimagined by Getty.edu

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67: The Empire of Artaxerxes

The modern ruins of Artaxerxes Hall of 100 Columns via Wikimedia.

At just over 40 years on the throne, Artaxerxes I was the second-longest reigning Achaemenid king. This is an episode for all of the little things and less detailed stories that played out in that time. From a new status quo in the west to dramatic building projects in the east, Artaxerxes was a busy guy.
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66: The Syrian Civil War

An Assyrian Soldier, like those in Megabyzus’ army, as depicted on Xerxes’ tomb via Wikimedia

The story of the Megabyzid family conveniently flows from a solid recap of the story so far straight into the next major event in Achaemenid history: the very first satrap’s revolt, complete with Greek mercenaries and royal family drama.
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65: Peace of Callias

Map of the approximate boundaries of the Persian Empire and Greek leagues in the Aegean after the Peace of Callias via Ian Mladjov.

The treaty known as the Peace of Callias supposedly ended the second Greco-Persian War with a formal agreement between Athens and Persia. However, its very existence is the topic of intense historical debate. Despite this, hostilities did cease in 449 BCE, so something must have happened, right?
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64: Fight to the End

A cylinder seal depicting the Achaemenid King executing an Egyptian Pharaoh, usually identified with Cambyses, Artaxerxes I, or Artaxerxes III via Wikimedia

The city of Memphis spent almost five years under siege from 459-454 BCE, as the rebel Pharaoh Inaros tried to take the Egyptian capital and oust the Persian government with the aid of the Athenians. When Persian reinforcements arrived, the rebellion was swept aside with apparent ease. Inaros was captured and Athens was sent reeling, only to make one final attempt on Persian territory in Cyprus.
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63: The Little Pharaoh That Could(n’t)

After Artaxerxes I came to power in 465 BCE, a minor rebellion broke out in western Egypt led by the would-be Pharaoh Inaros II. Inaros quickly came to a stalemate with the local satrap, but in 460 BCE the Egyptian rebel reached out to Athens for aid. The Athenians came in force, broke the stalemate, killed the satrap (and Artaxerxes’ uncle), and joined Inaros as he marched on Memphis.
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Swords, Sorcery, and Socialism
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62: Death In Quick Succession

Themistocles standing before Artaxerxes for the first time illustrated by Walter Crane in The story of Greece : told to boys and girls by Mary Mcgregor via Wikimedia

In late 465 BCE, Xerxes I – the King of Kings – was murdered in his sleep by his own captain of the guard, Artabanus the Hyrcanian. Artabanus and a group of highly placed conspirators chose their victim’s third son, Artaxerxes to be their puppet on the throne and moved to secure their coup. Unbeknownst to them, Artaxerxes was not easily manipulated. When the conspirators turned on one another, the Achaemenid Empire plunged headfirst into the age of Artaxerxes with a new round of civil wars.
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