Persian Pišišyaothna; c.470-c.415): Persian satrap of
Lydia, revolted against king
Darius II Nothus in 420-415 BCE.
Pissuthnes was born as the son of a man named
Hystaspes. The two names are remarkable, because they are purely
Zoroastrian. The father is otherwise unknown, but may have been a member of the
Achaemenid dynasty that ruled the Persian empire. However this may be, it is certain that in 440, Pissuthnes was satrap of Lydia. He served the interests of his king
Artaxerxes I Makrocheir (465-424) by supporting the oligarchs of
Samos, who had revolted against
Greek town that regularly attacked the Persian possessions in
Asia Minor. However, the Athenians were able to suppress the rebellion of their ally.
During the Archidamian War (431-421), Athens and
Sparta, the other leading Greek power, were at each others throats. Pissuthnes repeated his policy between 430 and 428, when he supported the Athenian ally Colophon against its master by sending mercenaries to the town. Next year, when the Greeks of Lesbos rose in rebellion against Athens, they could offer Sparta a treaty with Pissuthnes. However, the Athenians were able to prevent the escalation of the Lesbian revolt.
In 420, Pissuthnes revolted against king Darius II Nothus (423-404). We do not know why. The king sent a nobleman named
Tissaphernes to Lydia, and he was able to incite a rebellion among Pissuthnes' Greek mercenaries. Having achieved this, he offered negotiations. When Pissuthnes arrived at the place of the talks, he was arrested, sent to the king and executed.
Tissaphernes succeeded Pissuthnes as satrap of Lydia (ca.415). During his first years, he still had to fight against Pissuthnes' son
Amorges, who continued the struggle with Athenian help. It was probably this Athenian intervention in Persian territory that made king Darius II side with Sparta in the Decelean or
Ionian War (413-404).