| The conspiracy of Darius

Βρισκόμαστε στα 522 e.g.. The biggest Empire the world shocked by a dynastic crisis which has all the features history detective mystery. The rightful King is to campaign in Egypt, and conquer. Always been despotic, but it seems now it sinks into madness as murdering members of their family, including his brother, for whom, perhaps not unfairly, maintains suspicion that questioning the Royal throne.
On the way back, the King receives a Messenger who informs him that in Persia the authority has undertaken a usurper who presented as brother of King. Shortly after the Prince is injured in the leg under unclear circumstances and soon dies from trauma. A group of Persian nobles conspire to overthrow the usurper. The designs of the conspirators succeed and the Royal power leads to the man who will bring the Persian Empire at the height of its glory.

Let's see how they present the story the various sources available, before we try to explain the narratives they, the inconsistencies and contradictions between them, and, then, to identify any elements of historical reality can contain or ... hide.

(J). The sources

As the greatest achaimenidologos of our time, Pierre Briand [«Histoire de l'Empire Perse (De Cyrus à Alexandre)«, Fayard, Paris, 1996, SLE. 109], the historian attempting to clarify the dynastic crisis of 522 depends almost entirely from the Greek sources of the classical antiquity, in particular by Herodotus.

(J). (A). The Greek sources

(a). Herodotus's version: The historian from Halicarnassus presents the Persian King Kambysi as a mentally disordered person. The insanity of having manifests itself as the first victim of the sibling brother, the Smerdi. The rage of the ruler against his brother has, According to Herodotus, dual cause: Firstly, the insult to the person of the King, When his brother is the only one of the Persians who tries and manages to bend the bow to bring gift to Kambysi the ruler of Ethiopia. Secondly, that Cambyses sees in dream brother sits in the Royal throne. These reasons are enough to his order of, the Prixaspi, to assassinate Smerdi:
"Cambyses tree, as legoysi AIgyptioi, dia aytika τὸ ἀdikima Helene emani, ewn oyde erstwhile frenzied. and first men of kakwn exergasato the ἀdelfeon Smerdin eonta patros mitros and of a, the ἀpepempse es fthonw ἐξ AIgyptoy Persas, ὅτι τὸ mounos Persewn Te toxon oson daktyloys of two eIryse, τὸ AIthiopos ineikan founded of the Ichthyofagoi, τῶν ἄllwn Persewn he oydeis Te egeneto oIos. ἀpoichomenoy es Smerdios wn Persas of opsin eIde ἐν ypnw of Cambyses in toiinde· edoxe the ἄggelon elthonta Persewn ἀggellein ἐκ as in thronw in basiliiw in Izomenos oyranou kefali on Smerdis of psayseie. respect of these deisas ewytou wn non-min ἀpokteinas ὁ ἀdelfeos ἄrchi, refer Prixaspea es Persas, os in these ἀnir loyal Persewn, ἀpokteneonta min. • He ἀnabas es ἀpekteine Smerdin Sousa, oI legoysi men ἄgrin ep᾽ exagagonta, oI he es the proagagonta sea katapontwsai ' Erythrin (Herodotus, Book Iii Thalia, 30, 1-3).

The Halicarnassus lists then all crimes committed within the paranoia of Cambyses: kills sister and wife, which indeed pose. Burying alive a dozen young noble Persians. Tormenting the former King of Lydia, the Croesus. In the same context and the gruesome execution of Royal judge Sisamni, the Cambyses, judging him guilty of deception, order to shreds and with his skin to dress the throne on which it sits the new Royal judge (the Otanis, son of slain), so as to be doubly careful when issuing its decisions.

While, though, the Cambyses remains in Egypt, two brothers who are Magicians, i.e. the caste of Iranian priests, take advantage of the fact that the murder of his brother King had kept secret. One of them, the Patizeithis staged in the Royal throne his brother who bore the same name as the murdered brother Kambysi and seemed very! New arrive and in the camp of Kambysi, on his return from Egypt, While he is in Syria.
"He Kambysi Cyrus chronizonti AIgypton in and around parafronisanti epanisteatai ἄndres Magicians two ἀdelfeoi, of the eteron kataleloipee of oIkiwn meledwnon of Cambyses. oytos di wn the epanesti mathwn Te Smerdios in mortem as kryptoito genomenos, and as eIisan epistamenoi by oligoi ayton Persewn, Oi polloi he perieonta min eIdeiisan. Respect these boyleysas one epecheirise toisi basiliioisi. in the ἀdelfeos, the eIpa by synepanastinai, oIkws τὸ Smerdi in eIdos even Kirou, the ewytou ἀdelfeon of Cambyses eonta ἀpekteine· in te omoios in Smerdi di eIdos and di and oynoma twyto had Smerdin. Touton the Magician Patizeithis ἄndra ἀnagnwsas ws of the aytos always diaprixei, eIse ἄgwn es the basiliion thronon. He poiisas Helene preacher on Te ἄlli diepempe and AIgypton proereonta di es and priest in stratw as Smerdios of the loipou ἀkoystea Cyrus ἀll᾽ eIi Kambysew worst.

OI Te di wn ἄlloi proigoreyon these preachers and di and ep᾽ tachtheis of AIgypton, eyriske gar Kambysea and the straton eonta ἐν Ἀgbatanoisi Syriis .........., stas proigoreye es Middle home entetalmena ἐκ of Sorcerer ' (Herodotus, Thalia, 61-62).

Initially, the Achaimenidis occupied by remorse, because he realizes he probably unfairly had executed his brother, a and others eventually was the usurper. Then, the logic prevails and Cambyses decides to return as soon as possible in Susa to face the usurper. As, though, coming up on his horse, his sword leaving casing and seriously injures leg.

"Enthauta ἀkoysanta Kambysea Smerdios etypse the oynoma the ἀlitheii of Te reasons and of enypnioy· os edokee in ypnw ἀpaggeilai to speak in these as Smerdis es basiliion thronon Izomenos the psayseie on the oyranou kefali. He Mathwn as vain ἀpolwlekws the eIi ἀdelfeon, ἀpeklaie Smerdin· He ἀpoklaysas and periimektisas on ἁpasi symfori ἀnathrwskei of the Ippon, ἐν echwn now the tachistin es strateyesthai Sousa of the Magon. And the ἀnathrwskonti of the koleou of the Ippon xifeos ὁ ἀpopiptei Miki, He gymnwthen the sword the paiei miron ... in he ekechristo Boytous eti erstwhile ἐκ polios ἐν Ἀgbatanoisi teleytisein the bion. men di toisi ḟ ἐν Midikoisi Ἀgbatanoisi edokee teleytisein hoary, ἐν toisi in these home always prigmata· τὸ christirion ἐν toisi he Syrii Ἀgbatanoisi elege ἐν fonts. And as di epeiromenos epytheto .......... then polios τὸ oynoma, its on the symforis of Te ἐκ of Magician and ekpepligmenos of trwmatos eswfronise, He syllabwn τὸ theopropion eIpe "enthauta Kambysea Cyrus peprwmenon teleytan the esti"» (64).

The Cambyses realizes that probably the end of approaching. Invites the nobles and reveals the truth. The murder of his brother, the reasons why the decided, the usurpation of power by the Sorcerer (65). However, Persian nobles of Kambysi sequence doesn't seem to believe the conspiracy Magi and rather believe that usurper is his brother King. Attach the words of Kambysi in hate he had for his brother and believe that its purpose is to make all the Persians to switch against the second and not let him on the throne of Achaemenides. A few days later, the gangrene caused by the trauma gets the Kambysi in the world of the dead.

"he these meta as esfakelise te the osteon and miros esapi of rapidly, ἀpineike Kambysea the Cyrus, basileysanta men home always epta etea and five minas, He ἄpaida τὸ ersenos eonta parapan and brood female. Persewn he pareousi ἀpistii toisi toys ypekechyto polli Magicians echein home prigmata, ἀll᾽ of eIpein Kambysea ipisteato diaboli home of the death Smerdios eIpe, These ekpolemwthi Ina πᾶν τὸ Persikon» (66, 2-3).

For seven months the usurper reign undisturbed. Even filolaϊka takes steps to consolidate his power (three-year tax relief). Then, Herodotus displays the Otani, one of the eygenesteroys Persians, suspecting fraud of pseudo-Smerdios. He asks his daughter, the Faidymi, which was Kambysi's wife and now this that appears as Smerdis. She replies that she has never seen the Smerdi in person. The Otanis tells her to ask the Atossa except Consort is and sister of Kambysi and Smerdios. She will know well whether it is her brother or someone usurper. The Faidymi responds that they cannot see the Atossa, a and are on different partitions and the King does not allow a Royal wife to see the other (68). The Otanis begins to ensure that impersonation. Knowing that Cambyses had punish the magician Smerdi for some misconduct by cutting of the ears ("he said the Sorcerer of Smerdios ἄrchwn of Kambysew Kuros home wta ἀpetame ep᾽ aItii tini smikri worst municipalities»), asks his daughter to finds the same if the "King" have ears or not. When the Faidymi gives the expected negative answer, the Otanis puts in place his plan. Calls on two other noble, the Aspathini and the Gobrya and decide to kill the magician usurper. Each conspirator undertakes to find and another accomplice (the Otanis shall associate itself with the Intaferni, the Gobryas and Aspathinis Megabyzo him the Hydarnes). Susa is displayed and another great Persian Aristocrat, Darius, whom else render immediately participant in their design.

«events he said ex es paraginetai Dareios Sousa Ystaspeos's of Persewn by ikwn· having these in di gar • patir yparchos. epei wn oytos ἀpiketo, ex toisi of Persewn edoxe and Dareion prosetairisasthai» (70).

Darius takes a leading role in conspiracy. While the Otanis proposes to delay the implementation of the plan until you were implementing the plan up to ensure their success, Darius proposes to act immediately, view required (76). Indeed, Darius and Gobryas invade the Royal apartments of the Palace in Susa and the first kills the Sorcerer usurper, While the second has previously immobilise (78).

Then, the conspirators talked about what to do regarding the governance of the Empire. Herodotus shows to express political views most Greek. The Otanis supports a form of democracy, as he talks about "equality" with the ancient Greek meaning of the word (i.e.. the equal participation of citizens in the offices and responsibilities of governance) (80), the Megabyzos speaks as a supporter of the oligarchy (81), While Darius supports maintaining the institution of kingship (82). As expected, Darius's view prevails, and it remains to be decided how you select the new King among seven. The way he is ... ippomanteia: King will become the one who the next dawn his horse will first chlimintrisei (84)! Darius course will beat, Thanks to the fallacy of the ippokomoy, of Oibari (85-87).

"Te di Dareios ὁ Ystaspeos basileys ἀpededekto» (88,1).

In order to legalize more power, Darius marries two daughters of Cyrus, the Atossa, He was a husband and Kambysi and pseudo-Smerdios, and Artystwni, but the Parmy, daughter of Smerdios, his brother Kambysi, and, fysikotata, the daughter of Otani, which revealed the impersonation of the magician, the Faidymi (88, 2).

(b). The remaining ancient Greek sources: Without scope and eloquence of mythistorimatikis story of history from Bodrum, other Greek authors refer to Persian dynastic crisis of 522 or to persons and events about this.

In Cyropaedia, Xenophon doesn't deal with events subsequent death of Cyrus (If we can say that in particular the Athenian moralising textbook deals with events). Commemorates the sibling brother Kambysi as Tanaoxari.

To The Persians, Aeschylus mentions his brother Kambysi, which calls Mardo: "Cyrus he pais ... Fifth he irxen Mardos, patra aIschyni thronoisi t I ἀrchaioisi» (773-775). Reports that reigned and features shame of the dynasty, but no talks about usurpation by a Sorcerer.

Much more extensive reference to facts makes the Rules, the Greek archiatros of the Persian Court in the reign of Artaxerxi Ii (405-359). In Persian, He Ctesias calls Tanyoxarki his brother Kambysi. Cause of loss of Tanyoxarki is, in the Ktisia, the fierce battle with the Sorcerer Sfendadati. The magician the MAL Tanyoxarki in Kambysi, claiming that intends to usurp the kingship. The Cambyses convinced and orders the execution of his brother. After this, the Sfendadatis operates the great Visual resemblance to the Prince and commanding Bactria as satrap for five years. At this point appear in the foreground two eunuchs, the Artasyras and Bagapatis, who put the Sfendadati on Royal throne. A third eunuch, the Izabatis, threatens to reveal the scam. The conspirators heidrek (Persian, 10-13).

Apart from the writers of classical antiquity, There is also the Justin, Roman historian of the 3rd-4th century. a.d. ((J), 9, 4-11). And he says the dream of Kambysi in Egypt, He sees his brother ... Mergi sitting in the Royal throne. The Cambyses relying on a trusted following, the magician Comet, to assassinate Mergi. The Comet performs the assigned mission, but in the meantime dies the Cambyses the magician decides to raise to the throne his brother, the Oropasti, who has great skill, well understood, to ... much like in appearance with the murdered brother Kambysi.

Between the different versions of the story are impressive differences in the name of his brother Kambysi (Smerdis, Tanaoxaris, Tanyoxarkis, Mardos and Mergis), but the usurper (Smerdis, Sfendadatis, Oropastis) or the plotters that the raise to the throne (Patizeithis, Artasyras and Bagopatis, Comet). There Are, though, some fundamental common elements, as notes and the Briand (ibid., SLE. 110-111):

– The murder of his brother Kambysi, by order of King Achaimenidi.

– The replacement of the Prince from a magician.

– The striking similarity in appearance between the Magician and the Prince.

Essential differentiation occurs as to the chronological order of events. According to Herodotus, both the murder of Smerdios and usurpation of the Throne from the magician of the same name occur at the time of Kambysi's campaign in Egypt. By Ctesias, Instead, places the assassination of Prince five years ago the usurpation. When Justin, end, and the murder and misappropriation after the death of Kambysi. Apparently, in circles of the Persian nobility, but among the Greeks in Asia minor and in particular Greece, should, as early as the 5th century, to were various stories about the rise of Darius in power, which rather anemixan or interpreted by Herodotus and the followers of.

(J). (B). The Persian source: the version of Darius

Fortunately, We have at our disposal and a Persian source and indeed the great protagonist, Darius. In deeply cut into the rock monumental inscription of Mpechistoyn, the Persian ruler gives his version onthe how found the throne of Achaemenides.

"Conquer the Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, and he had a sibling brother called Mparntigia. Then the Cambyses killed Mparntigia. The murder he was not known to the people. Later the Cambyses left for Egypt and, then, the people rebelled. After this, the lie dominated in Persia, in Midia and in other peoples. Then it appeared someone, a magician who say Gkaoymata. He rebelled in Paϊsigiaoybanta, near mount Arakantri, the 14th day of the month Bigiaxna. He lied to the people: "I'm the Mparntigia, the son of Cyrus, his brother Kambysi». Then, whole people rose up against the Kambysi and written with the rebel and in Persia and in Midia and in other countries. The wizard usurped the Royal power in the 9th day of the month Gkarmapanta [= 1.3.522]. Then the Cambyses died of natural death ...

Anyone, Persian or Midos ... could not get the Kingdom from the hands of Gkaoymata, of the magician. The people feared him too. He killed many who had known the Mparntigia. This is why the kill: "Do not learn that I am not the Mparntigia, the son of Cyrus '. No one dared say anything to Gkaoymata the magician, until appeared I. ..

With the help of Mazda Achoyra and with few men I killed the magician and his supporters. Killed him in a fortress called Sikagiaoybati, in the area of Nisagia, in Midia. The got the Kingdom and the power of Achoyra Mazda became King ... " (inscription of the Mpechistoyn, 1the column, 10-13).

Behold men who were present when I killed the Gkaoymata, the magician who claimed he was the Mparntigia. Worked with me as a loyal supporters.

The Bintarna,son of Bagiaspara [= Intafernis]

The Oytana, son of Thoykra [= Otanis]

The Gkaoymparoyba, son of Marntoynigia [= Gobryas, father of Mardonioy]

The Bintarna, son of Mpagkampinia [= Hydarnes]

The Mpagkampoyxa, son of Ntatoybachya [= Megabyzos]

The Arntoymanis, son of Bakaoyna " (inscription of the Mpechistoyn, 4the column, 68-69).

Among the detailed storytelling of Herodotus and the Declaration of Darius the great, there are enough commonalities, like some essential differences.

– Darius places chronicles the murder of his brother Kambysi before the departure of the monarch for the Egyptian campaign, While the Halicarnassus in space that Cambyses is located in Egypt.

– Different names. Even if we accept that the ' Smerdis ' transposing into Greek of the Persian name "Mparntigia", diversification remains in the name of the usurper Magician, that according to Herodotus is again ' Smerdis ', While in Darius ' Gkaoymata ' (name that alludes to the Comet of Ioystinoy, that, though, is a conspirator against Kambysi, but it raises in the throne his brother, the Oropasti).

– The role of Darius is presented and evaluated differently in one and in the other text (Briant, ibid., SLE. 112, 120). Darius does reason for conspiracy, mentions only loyal supporters (which coincide almost exactly with those mentioned as conspirators Herodotus: the only differentiation relates to the Arntoymanis, who can not be identified with the Aspathini of Herodotus). The Royal power, Darius has to Achoyra Mazda (and to himself).

– How and where killing the usurper. Instead of murder in Palace, Darius talks about battles and capture Fort in which he had holed up with supporters of the magician.

II. An attempted explanation

It is possible to reconcile all these narrations and especially that of Herodotus as Darius; How much historical truth contain; Let's try to see a little more clearly.

(a). Opponents brothers: Before departing for his expedition to Central Asia, that would be fatal for him, Cyrus (probably the 530) He named his successor officially the greatest son, the Kambysi. The youngest son, the Mparntigia, the "compensated" diorizontas the satrap of the Bactrian, with the privilege of exemption from the obligation to return tax ypoteleias to his brother. (Briant, ibid., SLE. 60, 113). The taste of Cyrus for the first born were from long-established: already from the 539, had him named King of Babylon.

The completely negative image of Kambysi which give the classical sources should be treated with a lot of reservations. As noted by Briand it literary place, often combined with the known arguments on Persian decadence (ibid., SLE. 60, 109). Usually there is a contrapuntal presentation of "good" Cyrus, "father" of the Empire, and the despotic and demented Kambysi. Typical is the placement of Herodotus "Cambyses he despot, Kuros he father ... • He ὅτι chalepos te in, oligwros, • He ὅτι ipios Te ἀgatha and always» sfi emichanisato (Iii "Thalia", 85, 3). General, all evils and sins that the sources attribute it to Kambysi is not at all certain that correspond to historical reality (see. e.g.. Briand, ibid., SLE. 66 op., where, based on Egyptian sources, the historian attempting to refute the accusations of destruction of the sacred Kambysi).

In any case, the enmity between Kambysi and Mparntigia/Smerdios is an indisputable fact, a and a lot of evidence shows that the second never accepted the paternal choice: the negation of (and even two times) be presented to the Royal Court at the invitation of his brother, the anecdote that captures Herodotus about the arc of King of Ethiopia etc.

(b). The big scam (;) Darius: The most paradoxical aspect of the story is ultimately the existence of usurper Magician, that exploits the fact that the "murder" of his brother King had kept secret. This element, They apparently raised first himself Darius and accepted the Greek authors, It is suspected from the outset. Darius has every interest to present himself as a natural exponent of Sogdiana and San initiator of restoration of dynastikis legality. Does, well, the magician usurper (Gkaoymata/Smerdis/Sfendadatis/Oropastis) It is simply a spurious spin of Darius, in order to hide that the real usurper of Royal power (and killer of his brother Kambysi and most legitimate heir to the) was he; The question that put nearly all contemporary historians and most suspected that the answer should be affirmative! This is also the place of Pierre Briand (ibid., SLE. 112 op.). The same version also presents the Gore Vidal in his novel Creation. Moreover, It seems incredible the ' fact ' that Royal spouses Atossa and Faidymi didn't realize anything associated with the murder of his brother Kambysi and his replacement by a magician usurper (Briant, ibid., SLE. 112).

Therefore, If there was one usurper of Royal power in the years of Kambysi, He must have been originally his brother, the Mparntigia/Smerdis. As we saw previously, even in Herodotus (Iii "Thalia", 66), Persian nobles sequence Kambysi have precisely this belief. If we follow the chronological order of events according to Herodotus, the Cambyses, having subjugated Egypt, gets the way back in spring 522. While in Syria is injured in the leg and gangrene causes his death at the beginning of summer. Based on the story of Darius in the inscription of Mpechistoyn, the Gkaoymata declared himself King in early March 522. Combining these figures with the animosity between the two brothers, We can conclude that indeed the Mparntigia rebelled against his brother. But either he was usurper, or not, After the death of Kambysi the Mparntigia/Smerdis becomes legal successor of his brother, who died childless.

(c). Literary fiction; We can consider that the narrative of Herodotus about the conspiracy of seven and the rise of Darius in the throne meet the historical events; Too difficult. The symbolic number seven is suspect. The various illustrated facts (the disclosure of the identity of the magician from Faidymi, the selection of a new King by using ippomanteias, the trick of ippokomoy Darius) seem to constitute elements of an imaginative literary screenplay and only. As for the deliberations of Seven concerning the future Constitution of Persia, These are taken directly from Greek political discussions (Briant, ibid., SLE. 121).

Conspiracy, of course, must have been. The participants are all superior Persians nobles who probably belonged to the intimate environment of Kambysi and had every reason to believe that her brother and successor would behave absolutely hostile. The Otanis was indeed among the greatest nobles: his sister, the Kassandani, She was the wife of Cyrus, his daughter Faidymi was married to the Kambysi (and then the Mparntigia. Darius is son of Ystaspi, which inadvertently Herodotus (Iii ' Thalia ', 70) as Governor of Persia, but it was actually rather satrap of Parthia during that period (inscription of the Mpechistoyn, 2the column, 35/ Briant, ibid., SLE. 124), had not accompanied the Kyro in his campaign in North and Central Asia. Darius himself had already distinguished personal, having been faretroforos of Cyrus and satellite (arshtibara) of Kambysi, He held i.e. axiom that make it first in rank among the nobles of King's suite. Of Course, though Darius is trying to present itself as legitimate successor, may had close kinship with the Kyro and Kambysi, While it is difficult to accept that belonged to a minor branch of the Royal family (Briant, ibid., SLE. 122 op.). The attempt (the inscription of Mpechistoyn) to display a family tree that brings him diseggono of the founder of the Achaimeni dynasty (person who is not mentioned by any earlier Persian source) is, When Briand, simply rearranging the dynastikis legitimacy solely on the basis of the interest of Darius.

Of Course, There is also a Variant that discredits morally alafghany when absolutely. Be considered that is responsible and the accident that deprived him of his life Kambysi. In such a case, Darius is the standard of immoral conspirator and the terminator of the legitimate imperial dynasty. However, it is not necessary to go that far and to accept both pulled matters (except maybe though we admire the glory and imagination of Herodotus).

Besides, the Empire probably won with the dynastic change. Darius was to prove to be the more capable monarch of: giving not only the greatest territory (with the annexation of three of the Indian satrapies elsewhere), but the most significant economic development. Unfairly i.e. featured Herodotus ' kapilo ';

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