TIL According to Plutarch the traitor Bessus was executed by having two trees forcibly bent towards each other, tied him to both, and then the trees released, causing an agonizing death in which the ligaments, tendons, muscles and organs would slowly come apart as the trees straightened.
He was fifty years old. After Darius III had been defeated by Alexander the Great, the satrap of Bactria, Bessus, attempted to organise a national resistance but was captured by other warlords and delivered to Alexander. Artaxerxes V Bessus. They never arrived; it is not clear why. [3.21.9] Alexander himself then started off again at dusk with all the speed he could make, and covering some eighty kilometers in the course of the night, came up with the Persians just as dawn was breaking.note[Near a place called Choara.].
It is not clear whether Bessus was motivated primarily by personal ambition or by disillusionment with Darius as a leader. The Babylonian chronicle known as BCHP 1 indicates this happened in July 330 BC. In 330, after Alexander the Great had defeated Darius in several major battles, Bessus murdered Darius and assumed the kingship as Artaxerxes IV. In the Spring of 329, Alexander crossed the Hindu Kush mountains, which Bessus had left unguarded because only a madman would try to cross them early in the year.
That sounds incorrect. The wound proved fatal, and Darius died shortly afterwards, before Alexander could see him. The historian, Quintus Curtius Rufus, says he was crucified in the place where Darius had been killed, Arrian states that he was tortured and then decapitated in Ecbatana, and Plutarch suggests that he was torn apart in Bactria by recoiling trees after a Macedonian trial, a style which was according to Persian custom: two trees would have been forcibly bent towards each other, the victim tied to both, and then the trees released, causing an agonizing and drawn-out death in which the ligaments, tendons, muscles and organs would slowly come apart as the trees straightened themselves. Posted by. You learn something new every day; what did you learn today? All content copyright © 1995–2020 Livius.org.
This was shocking to the Greeks and Macedonians, but it was what Alexander had to do as a Persian king who punished a regicide. Bessus survived the battle and remained with his king, whose routed army eluded Alexander's forces and spent the winter in Ecbatana. But, since most of the Persian empire had been conquered and Bessus only ruled over a loose alliance of renegade provinces, historians do not generally regard him as an official Persian king. That's some outside the box thinking, there. Two centuries before, Darius the Great had ordered the same treatment for Phraortes, the last ruler of independent Media.note[See Behistun inscription, section 32.]
The site has been identified near modern Ahuan. However, Bessus, Barsaentes (the satrap of Arachosia and Drangiana), and Satibarzanes (the satrap of Aria), assessed the situation differently. But since most of the Persian Empire had already been conquered and Bessus only ruled over a loose alliance of those provinces not yet occupied by the Macedonians, historians do not generally regard him as an official King of Kings of Persia.". All content copyright © 1995–2020 Livius.org. At the Battle of Gaugamela (1 October 331 BC), in which Alexander defeated Darius III, Bessus commanded the left wing of the Persian army, chiefly composed of warriors from his Satrapy who had been mobilized before the Battle of Issus. In the summer of 331, Bessus commanded as satrap the Bactrian troops. The Macedonian vanguard was commanded by Gen… New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the todayilearned community. According to sources, the panicked conspirators stabbed Darius and left him dying in a cart to be found by a Macedonian soldier. I can't see any way this would be slow unless their release was controlled. If they remained loyal to their king, the Macedonians would invade the eastern satrapies. According to classical sources, he killed his predecessor, Darius III Codomannus, after the Persian army had been defeated by Alexander the Great. Alexander was so angry, however, that he bade his guards seize Bessus, and had him put to death in the most barbarous way. However, unlike Bessus, Satibarzanes had not aspired to the Persian throne. At the Battle of Gaugamela (1 October 331 BC), in which Alexander defeated Darius III, Bessus commanded the left wing of the Persian army, chiefly composed of warriors from his Satrapy who had been mobilized before the Battle of Issus.
He survived the loss at Gaugamela and remained with his king, whose routed army eluded Alexander’s forces and spent the winter in Ectabana. Darius III was taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman.
He quite likely intended to surrender the king to the Macedonians, but Alexander ordered his forces to brutally pursue the Persians even after receiving word of Darius’ arrest. On the approach of Alexander, he fled to join the traitor Bessus; and the city, after a short siege, was captured by the Macedonians.
The Persian king no longer controlled his own destiny, and was taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman. https://historica.fandom.com/wiki/Bessus?oldid=261920. A fellow conspirator against Darius, Satibarzanes Satrap of Aria, had already surrendered to Alexander and had been pardoned. Darius was now forced to go to the eastern satrapies, which were famous for their mounted archers. The site has been identified near modern Ahuan. According to classical sources, he killed his predecessor, Darius III Codomannus, after the Persian army had been defeated by Alexander the Great.
Before Alexander reached him, however, Darius was killed by his cousin Satrap Bessus. However, Alexander's men built rafts: they stuffed their tents with hay, and five days later, the army was on the other bank in the southeast of what is now called Turkmenistan. He may have intended to surrender the deposed king to the Macedonians, but Alexander ordered his forces to continue to pursue the Persians. Press J to jump to the feed. Historica Wiki is a FANDOM Games Community. Bessus' nose and earlobes were cut off in the traditional Persian punishment for regicides, and he was then torn apart while tied to recoiling trees. Bessus then assumed the regnal name "Artaxerxes V" and claimed to be the new Shahanshah of Persia, but most of Persia had already been conquered, and he only ruled over the Central Asian provinces not yet in Alexander's hands. All rights reserved. After burning the crops Bessus fled east, crossing the river Oxus. 1.0k. [...]. To the Macedonian king, this was unacceptable: if he executed his prisoner, his Persian subjects would never be loyal to Alexander's reign, but if he left him alive, there would be a natural focus for Persian resistance. The site has been identified near modern Ahuan. Trees snap back to their original position (or close to it) as soon as the tension is released. He
The following description is taken from the Anabasis (section 3.21.6-22.2) by Arrian of … On the other hand, if they arrested Darius and delivered him to the invaders, there would be no war, because it was unlikely that the Macedonians were interested in faraway countries, where they would be forced to fight a war of an unknown type. At Hamadan, Alexander ordered that Bessus's nose and earlobes be cut off, which was a Persian custom for those involved in rebellion and regicide; the Behistun inscription relates that Darius the Great punished the usurper Phraortes of Media (who was the son of Upadaranma, king of Media) in a similar manner (c. Government of Macedonia (ancient kingdom).
Bessus(died 329 BC), also known asArtaxerxes V,was Shah of the Persian Empire from 330 to 329 BC, succeeding Darius III and preceding Alexander the Great. His courtiers arrested, perhaps because they thought that extraditing him would guarantee their own lives, or perhaps because they wanted to choose a new, stronger king.
Bessus tried to defend Bactria and Sogdia, and in fact forced Alexander to make a detour through Drangiana, Arachosia and Gandara, that is through southern Afghanistan. Arresting and extraditing Darius could have been instrumental to save the eastern satrapies - except for the fact that Alexander had decided to stay in Asia. [3.21.7] Learning that they had resolved to continue their journey by night, he asked the natives of the place if they knew a short cut by which he could catch up with them. Homicide, the killing of one human being by another. I think Theseus was supposed to have defeated a bandit who executed his victims similarly. On 1 October 331, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (336-323) defeated the Persian army at Gaugamela.
He reigned as Artaxerxes V between July 330 and late Summer 329 BCE. Ancient reports contradict each other about the nature of Bessus's execution. "There it is, Homer, the cleverest thing you'll ever say and nobody heard it."
However, Alexander the Great ordered his army to resume its pursuit of the Persians, so the panicked Persians stabbed Darius in his prison cart at Ahugan in July 330 BC. Darius escaped with a small core of his forces remaining intact, although the Bactrian cavalry and Bessus soon caught up with him. The following description is taken from the Anabasis (section 3.21.6-22.2) by Arrian of Nicomedia; it was translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt.
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