Artaxerxes III Ochus
404-358BC (46)

Artaxerxes III Ochus: Achaemenid king of the Persian Empire

Relatives:Fourth-century relief from Egypt, showing an Achaemenid king, probably identical to Artaxerxes III Ochus. Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam (Holland). Photo Jona Lendering.

  • Father: Artaxerxes II Mnemon
  • Mother: Statira
  • Wife: Unknown
  • Sons: Bisthanes, Artaxerxes IV Arses
  • Daughter: Parysatis (married to Alexander the Great)

Main deeds:

  • Accession in February or the first half of March 358
  • 355: Athens accepts defeat in the Social War after it has received a letter from the great king
  • 343: Invasion and reconquest of Egypt; rise of Bagoas and Mentor of Rhodes
  • Death between 26 August and 25 September 336 (natural causes; Diodorus' story about poisoning is contradictedt by BM 71537)

Artaxerxes III Ochus ruled Persia from 358 BC to 338 BC. He was the son of Artaxerxes II and was succeeded by Arses of Persia (also known as Artaxerxes IV). Soon after becoming the king, Artaxerxes killed all of his relatives to protect Persia from civil wars. In 343 BC Artaxerxes III defeated Nectanebo II, driving him from Egypt, and made Egypt once again a Persian satrapy.

There is evidence for a renewed building policy at Persepolis, where Artaxerxes III erected a new palace.

According to the Greek historian Diodorus, Artaxerxes was murdered by his minister, Bagoas, but this is contradicted by cuneiform texts.

The Chronicle concerning Artaxerxes III

ABC 9: Artaxerxes III ChronicleTranslation

1 The fourteenth year of Umasu, who was called[2] Artaxerxes [III]:

2 In the month Tašrītu the prisoners whom the king

3 had captured at Sidon [were brought] to Babylon and Susa.

4 On the thirteenth day of the same month a few of these troops

5 entered Babylon.

6 On the sixteenth day the women remaining among the prisoners of Sidon,

7 whom the king had sent to Babylon - on that day

8 they entered the palace of the king

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