Ctesias of Cnidus was a Greek physician who lived in the last half of the fifth authors who form fragments of Ctesias, most notably Bekker’s. Ctesias returned to Greece in and began writing his Persica, a history of Assyria-Babylonia in 23 books. Books I–VI included a history of Assyria and the. CTESIAS (Gk. Ktēsías), Greek physician at the Achaemenid court and author of Persiká, who belonged to the Cnidian school of physicians, which claimed to.

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He wrote several books about Persia and India.

They are now lost but were quoted by ancient authors; consequently, we are able to judge their value as history low and as works of art entertaining. The following text is the first part of an excerpt from the Persica by the Byzantine scholar Photius c. The translation was made by J. Freese and was found at Tertullian. In the first six he treats of Assyrian affairs and of events before the foundation of the Persian empireand only begins to treat of Persian affairs in the seventh book.

Ctesias is later than Herodotus, and says that he was an eyewitness of most of what he describes, and that, where this was not the case, he obtained his information directly from Persians, and in this manner he composed his history.

He not only disagrees with Herodotus, but also in some respects with Xenophon the ctfsias of Gryllus. Her husband Spitamas, however, was put to death, because, when asked, he had falsely declared that he did not know where Astyigas was. In his account of these events Ctesias differs from Herodotus.

Amongst the large number of prisoners taken by the Sacae were Parmises, the brother of Amytis, and his three sons, presica were subsequently released in exchange for Amorges. By the advice of Oebaras he peraica up wooden figures representing Persicq round the walls, the sight of which so terrified the inhabitants that the city was easily taken. Before this, the son of Croesus was handed over ctfsias a hostage, the king himself having been deceived by a divine vision.

Since Croesus was evidently meditating treachery, his son was put to death before his eyes; his mother, who was a witness of his execution, committed suicide by throwing herself from the walls. Those who had been prisoners with Croesus had their heads cut off, on suspicion of having conspired to release him.

He was subsequently taken to the palace and bound more securely, but was again loosed by thunder and lightning sent from heaven. Finally Cyrus, against his will, set him free, treated him kindly from that time, and bestowed upon cteskas a large city near Ecbatana, named Barene, in which there were horsemen and 10, peltasts, javelin-throwers, and archers.

Oebaras then advised Petisacas to leave Astyigas in some lonely spot, to perish of hunger and thirst; which he perzica. But the crime was revealed in a dream, and Petisacas, at the urgent request of Peesica, was handed over to her by Cyrus for punishment. She ordered his eyes to be dug out, had him flayed alive, and then crucified.

Ctesias, Overview of the works

Ctesia, afraid of suffering the same punishment, although Cyrus assured ctesis that he would not allow it, starved himself to death by fasting for ten days. Astyigas was accorded a splendid funeral; his body had remained untouched by wild beasts in the wilder-ness, some lions having guarded it until it was removed by Petisacas. The Derbices suddenly brought up some elephants which had been kept in ambush, and put Cyrus’ cavalry to flight.

Cyrus himself fell from his horse, and an Indian wounded him mortally with a javelin under the thigh. The Indians fought on the side persicaa the Derbices and supplied them with elephants. Cyrus’ friends took him up while he was still alive and returned to camp.

Many Persians and Derbices were slain, to the number of 10, on each side. Amorges, when he heard of what had happened to Cyrus, in pegsica haste went to the assistance of the Persians with 20, Sacan cavalry. In a subsequent engagement, the Persians and Sacae gained a brilliant victory, Amoraeus, the king of the Derbices, and his two sons being slain.

Thirty thousand Derbicans and 9, Persians fell in the battle.


The country then submitted to Cyrus. Of the children of Spitamas, he appointed Spitaces satrap of the Derbices, Megabernes of the Barcanians, bidding them obey their mother in everything. He also endeavored to make them friends with Amorges, bestowing his blessing on those who should remain on friendly terms with one another, and a curse upon those who first did wrong.

With these words he died, three days after he had been wounded, after a reign of thirty years. This is the end of the eleventh book. Immediately after his accession he sent his father’s body by the eunuch Bagapates to Persia for burial, and in all other respects carried out his father’s wishes.

The men who had the greatest influence with him were Artasyras the Hyrcanianand the eunuchs Izabates, Aspadates, and Bagapates, who had been his father’s favorite after the death of Petisacas. Cambyses first made this arrangement with him through Izabates, the cousin of Combaphis, and afterwards confirmed it by his personal promise. Having taken Amyrtaeus alive ctesais did him no harm, but merely removed him to Susa with Egyptians chosen by himself.

The whole of Egypt then became subject to Cambyses. The Egyptians lost 50, men in the battle, the Persians In proof of this he declared that Tanyoxarces would refuse to come if summoned.

Cambyses thereupon summoned his brother, who, being engaged on another pfrsica, put off coming.

CTESIAS – Encyclopaedia Iranica

The Magian thereupon accused him more freely. His mother Amytis, who suspected the Magian, advised Cambyses not to listen to him.

Cambyses pretended not to believe him, while in reality he did. Being summoned by Cambyses a third time, Tanyoxarces obeyed the summons. Dtesias brother embraced him, but nevertheless cteias to put him ctexias death, and, unknown to ctesixs mother Amytis, took measures presica carry out his plan. Being himself very like Tanyoxarces, he advised the king publicly to order that his ctedias should be cut off as having falsely accused the king’s brother; that in the meantime Tanyoxarces should secretly be put to death, and he note [I.

Cambyses agreed to this. Prrsica was put to death by being forced to drink bull’s blood; the Magian put on his clothes and was mistaken for him by the people. The fraud was not known for a long time except to Artasyras, Bagapates, and Izabates, to whom alone Cambyses had entrusted the secret.

Labyzus, in astonishment, replied, “Whom else should we think him to be? The Magian was accordingly sent to Bactria, where he played the ctfsias of Tanyoxarces. Five years later Amytis, having learnt the truth from the eunuch Tibethis, whom the Magian had flogged, demanded that Cambyses should ctesiass over Sphendadates to her, but he refused. Whereupon Amytis, after heaping curses upon him, drank poison and died. This greatly alarmed him, and the birth of a son without a head by Roxana increased this alarm.

This portent was interpreted by the wise men to mean that he would leave no successor. His mother also appeared to him in a dream, threatening retribution for the murder he had committed, which alarmed him still more. At Babylonwhile vtesias a piece of wood with a knife for his amusement, he peesica wounded himself in the thigh, and died eleven days afterwards, in the eighteenth year of his reign.

Izabates, who had gone to convey the body of Cambyses to Persia, finding on his return that the Magian was reigning under the name of Tanyoxarces, disclosed the truth to the army and exposed the Magian. After this he took refuge in a temple, where he was seized and put to death.

After they had given and taken the most solemn pledges, they admitted to their counsels Artasyras and Bagapates, who kept all the keys of the palace. The seven, having been admitted into ctwsias palace by Bagapates, found the Magian asleep. At the sight of them he jumped up, but finding no weapon ready to hand for Bagapates had secretly removed them all he smashed a chair made of gold and defended himself with one ctesiae the legs, but was finally stabbed to death by the seven.

He had reigned seven months. The latter, however, were anxious to make the ascent to it, but the priests who were dragging them up, being frightened at the sight of some snakes, let go the ropes and they fell and were dashed to pieces. Darius was greatly grieved and ordered the heads of the forty men who were responsible to be cut off. He went over in thirty penteconters, and among others took captive Marsagetes, the Scythian king’s brother, who had cctesias imprisoned by his own brother for certain offenses.


The ruler of the Scythians, being enraged, wrote an abusive letter to Darius, who replied in the same tone. The two kings sent each other a bow in turn. Darius, seeing that the bow of the Scythians was stronger, turned back and fled perslca the bridges, destroying some of them in his haste before the entire army had crossed. Eighty thousand of his men, who had been left behind in Europe, were put to death by the ruler of the Scythians.

Darius, after he had crossed the bridge, set fire to the houses and temples of the Chalcedonians, because they had attempted to break down the bridges which he had made near their city and had also destroyed the altar perrsica by him, when crossing, in honor of Zeus Diabaterios.

At Marathon he was met by Miltiades ; the barbarians were defeated and Datis himself slain, the Athenians afterwards refusing to give up ctesiaas body at the request of the Persians. Artasyras and Bagapates also died, the latter having been for seven years the keeper of ctesiaas tomb of Darius.

Artapanus the son of Artasyras had as great influence as his father had had over Darius. His other confidential advisers were the aged Mardonius ppersica Matacas the eunuch. Xerxes married Amestristhe daughter of Onophas, who bore him a son, Dariaeus, two years afterwards Hystaspes and Artaxerxes, and two daughters, one named Rhodogyne and another called Amytis after her grandmother.

But first he visited Babylonbeing desirous of seeing the tomb of Belitanes, which Mardonius showed him. But he was unable to fill the vessel of oil, as had been written. Ctesias’ account is different from perscia of Herodotus. What the latter relates of Zopyrus is attributed by Ctesias, with the exception of his mule giving birth to a foal, to Megabyzus, the son-in-law of Xerxes and the husband of his daughter Amytis.

Babylon was taken by Megabyzus, upon whom Xerxes bestowed, amongst other rewards, a golden hand-mill, weighing six talents, the most honorable of the royal gifts. Demaratus the Spartan, who arrived there first and accompanied Xerxes across, dissuaded him from invading Sparta. His general Artapanuswith 10, men, fought an engagement with Leonidas, the Spartan general, at Thermopylae ; the Persian host was cut to pieces, while only two or three of the Spartans were slain.

The ctesiae then ordered an attack with 20, but these were defeated, and although flogged to the battle, were routed again. The next day he ordered an attack with 50, but without success, and accordingly ceased operations.

Thorax the Thessalian and Calliades and Timaphernes, the leaders of the Trachinians, who were present with their forces, were summoned by Xerxes together with Demaratus and Hegias the Ephesian, who told him that the Spartans could never be defeated unless they were surrounded. A Persian army of 40, men was conducted by the two leaders of the Trachinians over an almost inaccessible mountain-path to the rear of the Lacedaemonians, who were surrounded and died bravely to a man.

He was opposed by Pausanias the Spartan, with only Spartiates, perioeciand from the other cities. The Persians suffered a severe defeat, Mardonius being wounded and obliged to take to flight. After this, Xerxes proceeded to a narrow strip of land in Attica called Heracleum, and began to construct an embankment in the direction of Salamis, intending to cross over on foot. By the advice of the Athenians Themistocles and Aristides archers were summoned from Crete. Then a naval engagement took place between the Greeks with ships and the Persians with more than under Onophas.

The Athenians were victorious, thanks to the advice and clever strategy of Aristides and Themistocles; the Persians lost ships, and Xerxes took to flight. In the remaining battles 12, Persians were killed. On his refusing to go, the eunuch Matacas was sent in his place, to insult Apollo and plunder the temple.

Xerxes severely reprimanded her, but she declared that she was not guilty.