- Pierre Briant
ExtractCyrus the Younger, second son of *Darius II and Parysatis. In 408 bce he was given an overarching command in Asia Minor to enable him to mount an effective fight against Athenian positions. When his ally *Lysander defeated Athens (405/4), he was actually at the Persian court for the coronation of his elder brother Arsikes/Arses, who took the throne-name *Artaxerxes (2) II. Supported by his mother, he returned to Sardis where he put in train preparations for a coup d'état. He mounted his attack with an army of regular contingents from Asia Minor, reinforced by Greek mercenaries, in the spring of 401, thus taking full advantage of the problems faced by the Persians in Egypt, which was slipping from their control at this time. He led his army to Babylonia; a battle was fought at *Cunaxa in which Cyrus lost his life. The reasons for his defeat were primarily political. Contrary to assertions in apologetic literature (esp. Xen. An.
- Near East