jueves, 10 de diciembre de 2009

Darío III

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Darío III Codomano
(Dāriūš)
Gran Rey (Shah) de Persia
Archivo:Battle of Issus.jpg
Representación de Darío III (zona central) luchando contra Alejandro Magno (a la izquierda) en la batalla de Issos. Mosaico hallado en la Casa del fauno, en Pompeya, Italia. Museo Arqueológico Nacional de Nápoles.
Reinado 338336 a. C.
Nacimiento hacia 380 a. C.
Persia
Fallecimiento 330 a. C.
Bactria, Persia
Entierro Persépolis
Predecesor Artajerjes IV Arses
Sucesor Alejandro Magno
Dinastía Aqueménida
Padre Arsames de Ostanes
Madre Sisigambis

Darío III Codomano (en persa moderno داریوش Dāriyūsch, en persa antiguoDārayavahusch o Dārayavausch) (circa 380 - 330 a. C.), último rey persa de la dinastía aqueménida (336-330 a. C.).

En el año 338 a. C. el visir y eunuco Bagoas, jefe de la guardia real, envenenó al rey Artajerjes III, y promovió el ascenso de Arsés, hijo de Artajerjes. Sin embargo, ante el riesgo de que Arsés pudiera eliminarle, envenenó a Arsés a principios del año 336 a. C., e intentó instalar en el trono a un nuevo monarca que le resultara más fácil de controlar. Eligió para este fin a Darío, miembro relativamente lejano de la dinastía real, que se había distinguido en combate de campeones durante la guerra contra los cadusios (cadusii) del noroeste de Irán (Justino, 10.3; Diodoro, 17.6. 1-2), y que servía en ese momento como mensajero real (Plutarco, Vida de Alejandro, 18.7-8).

Darío era hijo de Arsames, hijo a su vez de Ostanes (hermano de Artajerjes II), y de Sisigambis, hija de Artajerjes II Mnemón; el apelativo Codomano parece ser una forma adaptada al griego de su verdadero nombre, antes de adoptar el de Darío, para así evocar a Darío I y ganar legitimidad sobre el trono. El nuevo rey pronto demostró ser más independiente y capacitado de lo esperado por Bagoas, que intentó recurrir de nuevo al veneno para eliminar al rey persa. Sin embargo, esta vez no tuvo éxito, ya que Darío, prevenido de las intenciones de Bagoas, le ordenó beber de la copa envenenada que éste le ofrecía (Diodoro 17.5.6).

Contenido


Primeros años de reinado [editar]

El nuevo rey trató de afirmar su control sobre un imperio inestable, en el cual muchos de sus territorios eran gobernados por sátrapas celosos de sus prerrogativas y poco leales, y poblados por súbditos descontentos y siempre dispuestos a la rebelión. Trató de afirmar el poderío persa de cara al exterior mediante la conquista de Egipto (334 a. C.), tras una campaña militar que debía demostrar el resurgimiento del poder aqueménida, si bien resultó ser la última conquista del imperio persa como tal.

Respecto al panorama exterior, hubo de preparse ante la amenaza que suponía el rey Filipo IIMacedonia. En el año 336 a. C. Filipo había sido nombrado Hegemon por la Liga de Corinto para comandar el ejército greco-macedonio en la guerra panhelénica de venganza contra el Imperio persa, por la destrucción y el incendio de los templos de la Acrópolisateniense durante la Segunda Guerra Médica. Filipo destacó un ejército hacia Asia Menor, bajo el mando de sus generales Parmenión y Átalo, para liberar a las ciudades griegas que estaban bajo el control persa, ocupando tras diversos contratiempos la Tróade hasta el río Meandro. Sin embargo, el asesinato de Filipo detuvo la campaña, mientras su sucesor intentaba hacerse con el control de Macedonia y del resto de Grecia. de

La guerra contra Alejandro [editar]

En abril del año 334 a. C., Alejandro III de Macedonia, que había sido confirmado como Hegemon por la Liga de Corinto, invadió Asia Menor a la cabeza de un ejército conjunto greco-macedonio. Tras desembarcar en la Tróade, tomó varias ciudades y aldeas de la costa egea (Lampsaco entre ellas). Un ejército persa de unos 50.000 efectivos, al mando de Memnón de Rodas, plantó cara al rey macedonio, siendo derrotado en la batalla del Gránico. Tras esta victoria, las fuerzas greco-macedonias avanzaron por la costa mediterránea en dirección a las Puertas Cilicias. Ante este avance, en 333 a. C. el propio Darío asumió el mando de los ejércitos persas para luchar contra el rey macedonio, pero su numeroso ejército fue ampliamente superado y derrotado en la batalla de Issos (12 de noviembre de 333 a. C.). Darío huyó cuando comprobó que la batalla estaba perdida, dejando atrás su carro, el campamento persa y a su propia familia, todo lo cual fue capturado por Alejandro, quien trató con respeto a los prisioneros reales.

El ejército macedonio se dirigió entonces hacia el sur, para conquistar Canaán y Egipto, y asegurar así su retaguardia antes de marchar hacia el corazón del Imperio persa. Darío envió varios mensajes sin éxito a Alejandro, en los cuales llegó a solicitar la devolución de su familia a cambio de un rescate, y a ofrecer al rey macedonio la posesión de los territorios situados al oeste del Éufrates para así finalizar la contienda. La negativa de Alejandro obligó a Darío a realizar una leva general en todas las satrapías del Imperio que aún controlaba. Reunió así un numeroso ejército, que incluía contingentes de numerosos pueblos sometidos (bactrianos, sogdianos, escitas, partos, árabes, armenios, medos, indios, etc.), y que algunos autores clásicos estimaron en un millón de infantes, cien mil jinetes, doscientos carros con hoces afiladas en las ruedas, y quince elefantes de guerra. Darío concentró su ejército en Babilonia, y al ver el resuelto avance de Alejandro desde Egipto, seleccionó cuidadosamente en Mesopotamia el campo de batalla, escogiendo para tal fin la llanura de Gaugamela, cien kilómetros al oeste de la ciudad de Arbela (la actual Arbil, en Iraq), para no cometer el mismo error que en Issos, donde la estrechez del campo había sido un inconveniente crucial en su derrota.

Alejandro llegó a las inmediaciones de la llanura a finales de septiembre de 331 a. C., con un ejército de 40.000 infantes y 7.000 jinetes, situando su campamento a 10 km del campamento persa. Poco antes de entablar combate, Estatira, esposa y hermana de Darío, falleció durante el parto del hijo que esperaba (Plutarco, Vida de Alejandro, 21.2-5).

Derrota y muerte [editar]

Archivo:Batalla de Gaugamela (M.A.N. Inv.1980-60-1) 02.jpg
Huída de Darío en la batalla de Gaugamela. Relieve en marfil del s. XVIII (M.A.N., Madrid).

La batalla de Gaugamela finalizó con una gran derrota de los persas, ante la cual Darío emprendió la huida de nuevo, dirigiéndose a Arbela y más tarde a Ecbatana, la capital de Media. Alejandro ocupó las ciudades de Babilonia y Susa, antes de emprender la persecución de Darío para impedirle reunir un nuevo ejército en las satrapías más orientales. Por tanto Darío huyó de nuevo hacia Hircania, una satrapía situada al sur del Caspio, y desde allí trató de dirigirse a Bactra, la capital de Bactriana, perseguido de cerca por el ejército macedonio.

Sin embargo, al ver que Alejandro estaba decidido a capturar a Darío, un grupo de nobles, entre los que se encontraban los sátrapas Besos, Barsaentes y Nabarzanes, tomaron a Darío como rehén, para así poder pactar con Alejandro y, al entregarlo, obtener del rey macedonio la independencia de las satrapías orientales que gobernaban. Enterado Alejandro de estos sucesos por un grupo de persas fugitivos, emprendió una rápida marcha para llegar hasta Darío (mediados de julio de 330 a. C.), pero poco antes de llegar al campamento de los sátrapas insurgentes, éstos apuñalaron a Darío al tener conocimiento de su llegada, y emprendieron la huida. Darío sólo sobrevivió unos instantes, agradeciendo el socorro que le brindó un destacamento macedonio. Se cuenta que Alejandro, al ver el cadáver de Darío, lloró y lo cubrió con su manto, diciendo: "No era esto lo que yo pretendía".

Alejandro prosiguió la conquista del imperio persa, ahora con Besos como su rival (quien se había autoproclamado emperador de Persia con el nombre de Artajerjes V) y con la excusa de vengar la muerte de Darío. No obstante, su duelo por Darío fue sincero: ordenó el traslado de su cuerpo a Ecbatana fuertemente custodiado, donde fue embalsamado y entregado a su madre para que oficiase los funerales por su hijo en Persépolis. Igualmente, una vez que Alejandro hubo capturado a Besos, mandó condenarlo y ejecutarlo según las leyes persas por el asesinato de su soberano.

Véase también [editar]


Precedido por:
Arsés
Último rey aqueménida
(336–330 a. C.)
Sucesor:
Alejandro Magno
Rey de Egipto
(336–332 a. C.)

Darius III of PersiaOneRiotYahooAmazonTwitterdel.icio.us

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Darius III
Shah (King) of Persia
File:Meister der Alexanderschlacht 003.jpg
Detail of Darius III from Alexander Mosaic
Reign 336-330 BCE
Born c. 380 BC
Birthplace Persia
Died 330 BC (aged 50)
Place of death Bactria
Buried Persepolis
Predecessor Artaxerxes IV Arses
Successor Artaxerxes V Bessus
Consort Stateira I
Offspring Stateira II
Drypetis
Royal House Achaemenid Dynasty
Father Arsames
Mother Sisygambis
Religious beliefs Zoroastrianism

Darius III (Artashata) (c. 380–330 BC, Persian داریوش Dāriūš, pronounced [dɔːriˈuːʃ]) was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC. It was under his rule that the Persian Empire was conquered during the Wars of Alexander the Great (for more information on the name, see the entry for Darius I.)

Contents


[edit] Appointment

Artaxerxes III of Persia and all of his sons except one, Arses, were killed off through the assassination plots of a Vizier named Bagoas, who installed Arses on the throne as a puppet king. When he found out Arses couldn’t be controlled, however, Bagoas killed him off as well in 336 BC, and installed to the throne a man named Codomannus, the last surviving legitimate heir to the Persian throne. Codomannus was a distant relative of the royal house who had distinguished himself in a combat of champions in a war against the Cadusii[1] and was serving at the time as a royal courier[2]. Codomannus was the son of Arsames, son of Ostanes, one of Artaxerxes's brothers and Sisygambis, daughter of Artaxerxes II Memnon. He took the throne at the age of 46.

Codomannus took the regnal name Darius III, and quickly demonstrated his independence from his assassin benefactor. Bagoas then tried to poison Darius as well, when he learned that even Darius couldn't be controlled, but Darius was warned and forced Bagoas to drink the poison himself[3]. The new king found himself in control of an unstable empire, large portions of which were governed by jealous and unreliable satraps and inhabited by disaffected and rebellious subjects, such as Khabash in Egypt. Compared to his ancestors and his fellow heirs who had since perished, Darius had a distinct lack of experience ruling an empire, and a lack of any previous ambition to do so. Darius was a ruler of entirely average stamp, without the striking talents and qualities which the administration of a vast empire required during that period of crisis [4].

In 336 BC Philip II of Macedonia was authorized by the League of Corinth as its Hegemon to initiate a sacred war of vengeance against the Persians for desecrating and burning the Athenian temples during the Second Persian War. He sent an advance force into Asia MinorParmenion and Attalus to "liberate" the Greeks living under Persian control. After they took the Greek cities of Asia from Troy to the Maiandros river, Philip was assassinated and his campaign was suspended while his heir consolidated his control of Macedonia and Greece. under the command of his generals

[edit] Conflict with Alexander

Darius III portrayed (near middle) battling Alexander the Great in a Greek depiction
Darius’s flight at the Battle of Gaugamela (18th-century ivory relief)

In the spring of 334 BC, Philip's heir, Alexander the Great, who had himself been confirmed as Hegemon by the League of Corinth, invaded Asia Minor at the head of a combined Macedonian army. This invasion, which marked the beginning of the Wars of Alexander the Great, was followed almost immediately by the victory of Alexander over the Persians at Battle of the Granicus. Darius never showed up for the battle, because there was no reason for him to suppose that Alexander intended to conquer the whole of Asia, and Darius may well have supposed that the satraps of the ‘lower’ satrapies could deal with the crisis,[5] so he instead decided to remain at home in Persepolis and let his satraps handle it.

Darius did not actually take the field against Alexander’s army until a year and a half after Granicus, at the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. His forces outnumbered Alexander's soldiers by at least a 2 to 1 ratio, but Darius was still outflanked, defeated, and forced to flee. It is told by Arrian that at the Battle of Issus the moment the Persian left went to pieces under Alexander’s attack and Darius, in his war-chariot, saw that it was cut off, he incontinently fled – indeed, he led the race for safety [6]. On the way, he left behind his chariot, his bow, and his royal mantle, all of which were later picked up by Alexander. Greek sources such as Diodorus Siculus' Library of History and Justin's Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum recount that Darius fled out of fear at the Battle of Issus and again two years later at the Battle of Gaugamela despite commanding a larger force in a defensive position each time.[7] At the Battle of Issus, Darius III even caught Alexander by surprise and failed to defeat the Macedonian forces.[8] Darius fled so far so fast, that Alexander was able to capture Darius’s headquarters, and take Darius’s family as prisoners in the process. Darius petitioned to Alexander through letters several times to get his family back, but Alexander refused to do so unless Darius would acknowledge him as the new emperor of Persia. In 331 BC, Darius' sister-wife Statira, who had otherwise been well-treated[9], died in captivity, reputedly during childbirth[10].

Circumstances were more in Darius’s favor at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. He had a good number of troops who had been organized on the battlefield properly, he had the support of the armies of several of his satraps, and the ground on the battlefield was almost perfectly even, so as not to impede movement. Despite all these beneficial factors, he still fled the battle before any victor had been decided and deserted his experienced commanders as well as one of the largest armies ever assembled.[11] Another source accounts that when Darius perceived the fierce attack of Alexander, as at Issus he turned his chariot around, and was the first to flee [12], once again abandoning all of his soldiers and his property to be taken by Alexander. Many Persian soldiers lost their lives that day, so many in fact that after the battle the casualties of the enemy ensured that Darius would never again raise an imperial army [13]. Darius then fled to Ecbatana and attempted to raise a third army, while Alexander took possession of Babylon, Susa, and the Persian capital at Persepolis. Darius reportedly offered all of his empire west of the Euphrates River to Alexander in exchange for peace several times, each time denied by Alexander against the advice of his senior commanders.[14] Alexander could have declared victory after the capture of Persepolis, but he instead decided to pursue Darius.

[edit] Flight, imprisonment and death

Darius did attempt to restore his once great army after his defeat at the hands of Alexander, but he failed to raise a force comparable to that which had fought at Battle of Gaugamela, partly because the defeat had undermined his authority, and also because Alexander’s liberal policy, for instance in Babylonia and in Persis, offered an acceptable alternative to Persian domination [13].

When at Ecbatana Darius learned of Alexander's approaching army, he decided to retreat to Bactria where he could better use his cavalry and mercenary forces on the more even ground of the plains of Asia. He led his army through the Caspian Gates, the main road through the mountains that would work to slow a following army.[15] The Persian forces became increasingly demoralized with the constant threat of a surprise attack from Alexander, leading to many desertions and eventually a coup led by Bessus, a satrap, and Nabarzanes, who managed all audiences with the King and was in charge of the palace guard.[16] The two men suggested to Darius that the army regroup under Bessus and that power would be transferred back to the King once Alexander was defeated. Darius obviously did not accept this plan, and his conspirators became more anxious to remove him for his successive failures against Alexander and his forces. Patron, a Greek mercenary, encouraged Darius to accept a bodyguard of Greek mercenaries rather than his usual Persian guard to protect him from Bessus and Nabarzanes, but the King could not accept for political reasons and grew accustomed to his fate.[17] Bessus and Nabarzanes eventually bound Darius and threw him in an ox-cart while they ordered the Persian forces to continue on. According to Curtius' History of Alexander, at this point Alexander and a small, mobile force arrived and threw the Persians into a panic, leading to Bessus and two other conspirators, Satibarzanes and Barsaentes, wounding the king with their javelins and leaving him to die.[18]

Alexander covers the corpse of Darius with his cloak (18th-century engraving)

A Macedonian soldier found Darius either dead or dying in the wagon shortly thereafter—a disappointment to Alexander, who wanted to capture Darius alive. Alexander saw Darius’s dead body in the wagon, and took the signet ring off the dead king’s finger. Afterwards he sent Darius’s body back to Persepolis and ordered that he be buried, like all his royal predecessors, in the royal tombs.[19] Alexander gave Darius a magnificent funeral and eventually married Darius' daughter Statira at Opis in 324 BC. According to historian Plutarch, Alexander also took on as eromenos one of Darius' catamites, the eunuchBagoas.[20]

With the old king defeated and given a proper burial, Alexander's rulership of Persia became official. So ended Darius’s life, with his last purpose being to serve as a vehicle for Alexander’s ascension to the throne of Asia. The idea of Darius as ’great and good’ is belived by most scholars to be a fiction of legend. He may have possessed the domestic virtues, but otherwise he was a poor type of despot, cowardly and inefficient [21], and under his rulership, the entirety of the Persian Empire fell to a foreign invader.

After killing Darius, Bessus took the regal name Artaxerxes V and began calling himself the King of Asia [13]. He would later be captured by Alexander, and subsequently tortured and executed.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Justin 10.3; cf. Diod. 17.6.1-2
  2. ^ Plutarch, Life of Alexander 18.7-8, First Oration On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander 326.D
  3. ^ Diodorus 17.5.6
  4. ^ Hermann Bengtson: History of Greece from the Beginnings to the Byzantine Era, pg. 205
  5. ^ George Cawkwell, The Greek Wars: The Failure of Persia, Pg. 209
  6. ^ Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander
  7. ^ John Prevas, Envy of the Gods: Alexander the Great's Ill-Fated Journey across Asia (Da Capo Press, 2004), 47.
  8. ^ Prevas 47.
  9. ^ Plutarch, Life of Alexander 21.2-5
  10. ^ Plutarch, Life of Alexander, 30.1
  11. ^ Prevas 48
  12. ^ Ulrich Wilcken, Alexander The Great
  13. ^ a b c N.G.L. Hammond, The Genius of Alexander the Great
  14. ^ Prevas 52
  15. ^ Prevas 55
  16. ^ Prevas 60
  17. ^ Prevas 64-5
  18. ^ Prevas 69
  19. ^ Prevas 71
  20. ^ Curtius, VI.5.23.
  21. ^ W.W. Tarn, Alexander The Great

[edit] Sources

Prevas, John. Envy of the Gods: Alexander the Great's Ill-Fated Journey across Asia. USA: Da Capo Press, 2004.

[edit] External links

Darius III of Persia
Born: ca. 380 BC Died: 330 BC
Preceded by
Artaxerxes IV Arses
Great King of Persia
336 BC – 330 BC
Succeeded by
Artaxerxes V Bessus
Pharaoh
XXXI Dynasty
336 BC – 330
Categories: Monarchs of Persia | Pharaohs of the Achaemenid dynasty of Egypt | Alexander the Great | Murdered monarchs | 380 BC births | 330 BC deaths | Achaemenid kings | 4th-century BC rulers | History of pederasty
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