~ 480 BC

Artabanus was a younger brother of Darius, and is a character who figures predominantly in the histories of Herodotus, much more as a counselor than a man of action. He was an advisor to both Darius and Xerxes, but his dialogues with Xerxes regarding the pending war on Greece are of particular interest. He is nearly always portrayed as advising caution and conservative action rather than aggression. He counselled and accompanied Xerxes during all of his three years of preparations for war with Greece, and followed him as far as Asia Minor. There he gave Xerxes a final warning regarding the risks of the campaign. He then returned to Susa to govern in Xerxes's absence, but is heard of no more in the stories of Herodotus.

Artabanus was also the name of a conspirator who plotted to murder Xerxes fifteen years after the invasion of Greece, but he was of no relation ot Artabanus, the brother of Darius.

Key events during the life of Artabanus:

512 BC
Cautioned Darius against the invasion of Persia.
495 BC
Helped decide which of the sons of Darius should follow him on the throne.
482 BC
Cautioned Xerxes against invasion of Greece. Changed mind after seeing Xerxes's ghost.
480 BC
Accompanied Xerxes as far as Abydos, then returned to Susa.

Book Links
Xerxes  by  Jacob Abbott

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Debate on the Proposed Invasion of Greece  in  Xerxes  by  Jacob Abbott
How Preparation Was Made for the Second War  in  The Story of the Persian War  by  Alfred J. Church
Of the March of Xerxes  in  The Story of the Persian War  by  Alfred J. Church
Dream of Xerxes  in  The Story of Greece  by  Mary Macgregor

Image Links

Artabanus and the Ghost
 in Xerxes

Short Biography
Darius the Great With six conspirators seized the throne of Persia, primarily through craft rather than force.
Xerxes Raised an enormous army for Persian invasion of Greece. Defeated at Battle of Salamis.
Mardonius Brother-in-law of Xerxes and commander-in-chief of Xerxes's Army.