NameArtabazos I Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia
Birth525 BC
Death449 BC
Misc. Notes
Artabazus was the son of Pharnaces , the chief economic official of king Darius the Great (522-486), who happened to be Pharnaces' cousin. Pharnaces owned large possessions in Hellespontine Phrygia and his son Artabazus must have seen this region when he was young. 
In cuneiform texts from Persepolis , an Artabazus is mentioned as satrap of Maka . This is probably not 'our' Artabazus. 
During the Greek expedition of king Xerxes (in 480-479), Artabazus first commanded the mounted archers from Chorasmia and Parthia , who are not mentioned again in the description of the war by the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus .

The first year brought great Persian successes: Thessaly and Boeotia were conquered, Athens was captured. Xerxes left general Mardonius behind with a small army, which had as only task to secure the collaboration of Athens and to punish Sparta. The main part of the army was needed in Asia, where Babylon may have been revolting. (This revolt was led by BĂȘl-shimanni and ?ama?-eriba , but much about it is unclear, including the date.) 
Artabazus was one of Mardonius minor commanders; he was sent to the Chalcidice in order to take Potidaea, a Greek town that was not yet subjected to the Persians. His attack was not successful, however. During the battle of Plataea (August 479), Artabazus commanded the Persian reserve, but was unable to prevent the Persian defeat; in the aftermath of the battle, he was able to bring a large part of the army in safety, an act for which he was highly esteemed. 
Since 477, he was satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, i.e., the northwest of what is now Turkey. It is possible that he negotiated with the leader of the allied Greek forces, the Spartan prince Pausanias . As satrap, he was succeeded by his son Pharnabazus (perhaps in 455), who is hardly more than a name. However, it marked the beginning of a dynasty. A century later, Artabazus' family still held Hellespontine Phrygia. His namesake and descendant Artabazus played a very important role during the war between Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid empire . 

The first Artabazus is probably identical to the Artabazus who was involved in the war between the Athenians and Persians on Cyprus and in Egypt, and opened negotiations between king Artaxerxes I and the Athenians (450).
ChildrenPharnabazos I (480bc-414bc)
Last Modified 24 Jul 2003Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh