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ESTHER, a Jewish virgin, whose great beauty raised her to the throne of Persia, whereby she saved her country from the total extermination planned by the proud Haman, prime minister and favourite of king Ahasuerus. The learned are not quite agreed who this king Ahasuerus was, but Josephus positively asserts, that the Ahasuerus of the Scriptures is the Artaxerxes Longimanus of prophane story; and the Septuagint, throughout the whole book of Esther, translate Ahasuerus by Artaxerxes. Most authors agree in this last opinion, and indeed the extraordinary kindness shown by Artaxerxes to the Jews, can scarce be accounted for otherwise than by supposing, that they had so powerful an advocate as Esther to solicit for them.
ESDRAS, or EZRA, a Jewish priest, and doctor of the law. Artaxerxes Longimanus sent him with rich presents for the use and ornament of the temple of Jerusalem, rebuilt under Zerubbabel; he also ordered the neighbouring governors to provide him with what conduced to the pomp of the Jewish religion, and to exempt the priests from paying taxes. Ezra is supposed to have been the collector of the Canon of Scripture; and that, by divine inspiration, he added some things which happened after the death of the authors. It is supposed he wrote the Chronicles, besides those books which bear his name; the two last of which are exploded as apocryphal, even by the church of Rome,
XERXES II., succeeded his father Artaxerxes Longimanus on the throne of Persia, and was assassinated in the first year of his reign by his brother Sogdianus.
SOGDIANUS, a son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who murdered his elder brother, king Xerxes, to make himself master of the Persian throne. He was but seven months in possession of the crown. His brother Ochus, who reigned under the name of Darius Nothus, conspired against him, and suffocated him in a tower full of warm ashes.
DARIUS II., surnamed Ochus, and also Nothus, was one of the natural sons of Artaxerxes Longimanus. He ascended the Persian throne in the year 423 B. C. His history as a sovereign is but a description of successive revolts, terminating in the defeat and death of those who excited them. He died in the twentieth year of his reign, and was succeeded by his son Arsaces, who assumed the name of Artaxerxes, and received the appellation of Mnemon from the Greeks, on account of his extraordinary memory. It is related of Mnemon, that while attending upon his father in his last hours, he asked how he could best perform the duties of government, to which Darius replied, that he had himself constantly acted, to the best of his knowledge, in obedience to the dictates of justice and religion,
PARYSATIS, an infamous Persian queen, wife of Darius Nothus, and mother of Artaxerxes Mnemon and Cyrus, the younger brother. Her partiality for Cyrus led her to commit the greatest injustice and barbarities; and she poisoned Statira, the wife of Artaxerxes.
ARIARATHES I., king of Cappadocia, who joined Darius Ochus in his expedition against Egypt, where he acquired much glory. His nephew, the second of that name, defended his kingdom against Perdiccas, the general of Alexander; but he was defeated, and hanged on a cross, in the eighty-first year of his age, B. C. 321. His son, Ariarathes III., escaped the massacre which attended his father and his followers; and after the death of Perdiccas, he recovered Cappadocia, by conquering Amyntas, the Macedonian general. He was succeeded by his son Ariamnes.
ARTAXERXES II., king of Persia, was sirnamed Mnemon, on account of his extensive memory. He was the son of Darius II., by Parysatis, and had three brothers, Cyrus, Ostanes, and Oxathres. His name was Arsaces, which he changed into Artaxerxes when he ascended the throne. His brother Cyrus was of such an ambitious disposition, that he resolved to make himself king, in opposition to Artaxerxes. Parysatis always favoured Cyrus; and when he had attempted the life of Artaxerxes, she obtained his pardon by her entreaties and influence. Cyrus, who had been appointed over Lydia and the sea-coasts, assembled a large army, under various pretences, and at last marched against his brother, at the head of 100,000 barbarians, and 13,000 Greeks. He was opposed by Artaxerxes, with 900,000 men, and a bloody battle was fought at Cunaxa, in which Cyrus was killed, and his forces routed. It has been reported, that Cyrus was killed by Artaxerxes, who was so desirous of the honour, that he put to death two men for saying they had killed him. The Greeks, who had assisted Cyrus against his brother, though at the distance of above six hundred miles from their country, made their way through the territories of the enemy, and nothing is more famous in the Grecian history than the retreat of the ten thousand. After he was delivered from the attacks of his brother, Artaxerxès stirred up a war among the Greeks against Sparta, and exerted all his influence to weaken the power of the Greeks. He married two of his own daughters, called Atossa and Amestris, and named his eldest son, Darius, to be successor. Darius, however, conspired against his father, and was put to death; and Ochus, one of the younger sons, called also Artaxerxes, made his way to the throne, by causing his elder brothers, Ariaspes and Arsames, to be assassinated. It is said Artaxerxes died of a broken heart, in consequence of his sons' unnatural behaviour, in the ninety-fourth year of his age,
after a reign of forty-six years, B. C. 358. It is said Artaxerxes had a hundred and fifty children, three hundred and fifty concubines, and only four legitimate sons.
CYRUS the YOUNGER, son of Darius Nothus, and brother of Artaxerxes. He was sent by his father, at the age of sixteen, to assist the Lacedæmonians against Athens. Artaxerxes succeeded to the throne at the death of Nothus; and Cyrus, mad with ambition, attempted to assassinate him. See the preceding article.
ASPASIA, or MILTO, mistress of Cyrus the Younger, born about B. C. 421, of free parents, at Phocis, in Ionia; was brought up virtuously, though in poverty, and being very beautiful, with the singularity of fine light hair, naturally curling, attracted the notice of one of the satraps of Cyrus, who forced her father to deliver her, against her consent, to him, for the seraglio of this prince. She was presented to Cyrus; but her modesty, dignity, and grief, so affected him, that he applied himself seriously to gain her affections; equality was established between them; and their union, the fame of which was spread all over Greece, and even in Persia, was esteemed a marriage. In effect, the regularity of her manners and conduct, and the respect he paid to her understanding, by consulting her on the most important affairs, a confidence of which he had never cause to repent, gave her all the consideration of a wife. Cyrus afterwards made her quit the name of Milto, which she had till then borne, and take that which Aspasia of Miletus, by her wit and beauty, had rendered so celebrated. A rich chain of gold being sent to him, of curious workmanship, he presented it to Aspasia, saying, "it was worthy the wife or daughter of a king;" but she refused it, advising him to send it to Parysatis, whose favourite son he was, who was so well pleased with her moderation, that she returned her many grand presents, and a large sum of gold, all of which Aspasia delivered to Cyrus, after praising the generosity of his mother. "It may be of service to you," said she, "who are my riches and my ornament." She availed herself only of the change in her fortune to rescue her father from the state of poverty in which he had formerly lived. Excited by his mother and his own ambition, Cyrus attempted to dethrone his elder brother, Artaxerxes, but perished in the trial. In the year 401 B. C., Aspasia was taken by the army of the conqueror; and, on his commanding her to be sought, they brought her before him loaded with chains. At this Artaxerxes was very angry; put her conductors in prison, and ordered her to be clothed in magnificent apparel. The tears of Aspasia flowed more abundantly than before. She had tenderly loved Cyrus, and regretted him sincerely; but at length was forced to accept the dresses which the king had sent her, and was soon ranked the
first among his women. His wife Statira was still living; and as he could not still marry her, he bestowed on her nearly the same honours as a queen. But it was long before his attentions and respect could efface the remembrance of Cyrus from her heart, CTESIAS, a native of Cnidus, who accompanied Cyrus, the son of Darius, in his expedition against his brother Artaxerxes, by whom he was taken prisoner. But curing Artaxerxes of a wound he received in the battle, he became a great favourite at the court of Persia, where he continued practising physic for seventeen years, and was employed in several negociations. He wrote the History of Persia, in twenty-three books, and a History of the Indies. But these works are now lost, and all we have remaining of them is an abridgment, compiled by Photius. Several of the ancients considered Ctesias a fabulous writer; yet others of the ancient historians, as well as some modern Christian writers, have adopted in part his chronology of the Assyrian kings.
CLEARCHUS, a Lacedæmonian, who was sent to quiet the Byzantines, but being recalled, refused to obey, and fled to Cyrus the Younger, who gave him the command of 13,000 Greek soldiers. He obtained a victory over Artaxerxes, who was so enraged at the defeat, that when Clearchus fell into his hands, by the treachery of Tissaphernes, he put him immediately to death.
DATAMES, a distinguished military commander, who first served among the guards of Artaxerxes Mnemon, and was afterwards employed in the war against the Cadusians. In this business he gained so much credit, and so high a name, that he was appointed governor of that part of Cilicia which borders. upon Cappadocia. Datames was afterwards appointed to reduce Thyus, who had revolted against the king. He performed the duty, and took his opponent prisoner, who was a very tall and stout man, and of a terrible aspect. He caused him to be dressed in the robes of a satrap, and decorated with a gold chain and bracelets; and at the same time putting himself into the rustic attire of a huntsman, with a club in one hand, and a cord in the other, to which Thyus, thus fastened, was led into the royal presence, as if he were a wild beast. The king was highly pleased with the incident, and appointed Datames to be chief of the Egyptian war; but while preparations were making, he was ordered to go in quest of Aspis, who had revolted from his allegiance. The success and high merit of Datames excited the envy of the courtiers, who combined to ruin him. Datames, apprized of their intention, resolved to be beforehand with them, by quitting the king's service, and making himself independent. His own son was the first to carry the news to court of his father's rebellion. The king sent against him a very numerous army, but it was unsuccessful; and the
most it could extort was the nominal submission of Datames, who in every engagement, proved himself the superior. Artaxerxes could not be reconciled to the rebellious general; and as he found himself incapable of conquering him, he determined to adopt the means of treachery, by which he finally accomplished his end. Datames was assassinated by the hands of Mithridates, who, in concert with the king, pretended to be an open enemy of his sovereign, while he was seeking the means of performing what lay nearest his heart.
TISSAPHERNES, a satrap of Persia, commander of the forces of Artaxerxes at Cunaxa, against Cyrus. It was by his valour and intrepidity that the king's forces gained the victory; and for this he obtained the daughter of Artaxerxes in marriage, and all the provinces of which Cyrus was governor. This popularity did not long continue, and the king ordered him to be put to death when he had been conquered by Agesilaus, B. C. 395.
PHARNABAZUS, a satrap of Persia, son of a person of the same name, B. C. 409. He assisted the Lacedæmonians against the Athenians, and gained their esteem by his friendly behaviour and support. His conduct, however, towards Alcibiades, was of the most perfidious nature, and he did not scruple to betray to his mortal enemies the man he had long honoured with his friendship.
CLEARCHUS, a tyrant of Heraclea, in Pontus, who was killed by Chion and Leonidas.
The following are the principal Grecians in this period.
CIMON, a celebrated Athenian general, was the son of the famous Miltiades, by the daughter of a Thracian king. He was famous for his debaucheries in his youth, and the reformation of his morals when arrived to years of discretion. He behaved with great courage at the battle of Samalis, and rendered himself popular by his munificence and valour. He defeated the Persian fleet, took two hundred ships, and totally routed their land army the very same day, B. C. 465. Cimon thus gained great wealth, both to the public and to himself. In his public character he had behaved with unimpeached honesty; and as a private citizen he dedicated his wealth to the most excellent purposes. He demolished the inclosures about his grounds and gardens, permitting every one to enter, and take what fruits they pleased; he kept an open table, where both rich and poor were plentifully entertained. If he met a citizen in a tattered suit of clothes, he made some of his attendants exchange with him; or if the quality of the person rendered that kindness unsuitable, he caused a sum of money to be privately given him. All this, however, was not suffici