The Great Satraps' Revolt, or the Revolt of
the Satraps in 366-360, was a rebellion in the Achaemenid Empire of several
satraps against the authority of the Great King
Artaxerxes II Mnemon.
The Satraps who revolted were Datames, Ariobarzanes and Orontes of Armenia.
Mausolus the Dynast of Caria participated in the Revolt of the Satraps, both on
his nominal sovereign Artaxerxes Mnemon's side and (briefly) against him. They
were supported by the pharaohs of Egypt, Nectanebo I, Teos, and Nectanebo II,
to whom was sent Rheomithres who came back with 50 ships and 500 talents, and
all joined forces against Artaxerxes II.
Revolt of Datames (372-362):
Satrap Datames started to revolt in 372. Datames, the satrap of Cappadocia and
a talented military commander, had inherited his satrapy from his father
Camissares after 384 but later problems with the court led him to revolt in
372. The court commanded the neighboring satraps, Autophradates of Lydia and
Artumpara of Lycia, to crush the rebellion but Datames successfully resisted
their attacks. Datames was killed in 362 after his son in law Mitrobarzanes
betrayed him, falsely claiming to be his ally against the Achaemenid king.
Revolt of Ariobarzanes (366-363 ):
Ariobarzanes, satrap of Phrygia and a son of the ruler of Pontus, had been made
acting satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia until Artabazos, the legitimate heir of
the satrapy could take office. But when Artabazos was ready to take the satrapy
Ariobarzanes refused to surrender it and joined Datames' revolt in 366.
Ariobarzanes sought foreign aid and he received it from King Agesilaus II of
Sparta. Ariobarzanes withstood a siege at Adramyttium in 366, from Mausolus of
Caria and Autophradates of Lydia, until Agesilaus negotiated the besiegers'
retreat. As signal of sympathy in the effort, Athens made Ariobarzanes and
three of his sons citizens of Athens. Ariobarzanes was betrayed by his son
Mithridates to his overlord, the Persian king, who had Ariobarzanes crucified.
Revolt of Orontes (362) :
In 362 Orontes, satrap of Armenia, revolted after he was ordered by the King to
move to Mysia. His noble birth led the other satraps to recognize him as leader
of the revolt, but Orontes later sought a compromise with the King and betrayed
the other satraps, and the rebellion collapsed shortly afterward. Orontes
received much of the Aegean coast while Datames was killed after his son in law
Mitrobarzanes betrayed him. Ariobarzanes was also killed, but the other satraps
were pardoned, thus ending the rebellion.