1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Phraortes

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PHRAORTES, the Greek form of Fravartish, king of Media. According to Herodotus (i. 102) he was the son of Deioces, and began the Median conquests. He first subjugated the Persians, and then a great many other peoples of Asia, till at last he attacked the Assyrians, but was defeated and killed in a battle, after a reign of twenty-two years (about 646-625 B.C.; but perhaps, as G. Rawlinson supposes, the fifty-three years of Deioces ought in reality to be transferred to him). From other sources we obtain no information whatever about Phraortes; but the data of the Assyrian inscriptions prove that Assur-bani-pal (see Babylonia and Assyria), at least during the greater part of his reign, maintained the Assyrian supremacy in Western Asia, and that in 645 he conquered Susa. The Medians too were subject to him as far as the Elburz and the central Iranian desert.

When after the assassination of Smerdis all the Iranian tribes, the Babylonians and the Armenians rebelled against Darius and the Persian rule, “a man of the name of Fravartish (i.e. Phraortes), a Mede, rebelled in Media and spoke to the people thus: I am Khshathrita, of the family of Uvakhshatra (Cyaxares).” He reigned for a short time, but was defeated by Hydarnes, and afterwards by Darius himself, taken prisoner in Rhagae (Rai), and executed in Ecbatana (520 B.C.; see inscription of Darius at Behistun).

(Ed. M.)