Cyrus the Younger

Cyrus the Younger
(ca. 424 b.c.-401 b.c.)
   A Persian prince, the younger brother of King Artaxerxes II, who tried but failed to depose Artaxerxes, bringing about one of the greatest battles ever fought in Mesopotamia. The second son of King Darius II, Cyrus was so energetic, capable, and well liked as a youth that he was made a satrap, or governor, of two provinces in Anatolia while still a teenager. A former Persian governor, Tissaphernes, evidently did not like Cyrus, however. After Artaxerxes became king, Tissaphernes told him that Cyrus was planning to overthrow him. It is unclear whether this was true, but the king believed it was and would have killed Cyrus had their mother not intervened and demanded the boy be pardoned.
   Perhaps because he no longer trusted his brother, Cyrus now began planning a real rebellion. As told by the Greek writer Xenophon, who worked as a mercenary soldier in Cyrus's army:
   The native troops he had [charge of as governor] he carefully trained to take the field, and made them loyal to himself. Greek mercenaries he assembled in as great a force as possible, secretly, in order to keep the king quite unprepared. (Anabasis 1.1)
   Artaxerxes eventually found out what Cyrus was up to, however. When the latter marched his army to Cunaxa, not far from Babylon, his older brother was waiting with a larger army. Cyrus was defeated and killed, and his Greek mercenaries, Xenophon among them, had to fight their way out of Persia.

Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. . 2015.

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