Forum

Persia 35: Persians in Molossia and Illyria
In Response To: Persia 34: Cyrus and Macedon ()

The father of Brasidas (Perdiccas II) in Sparta was called Tellis, apparently a play on the Persian Darius, who was actually more of a "Godfather". Even the name of Brasidas' mother, Argileonis, is known, which is exceptional.

Later, there was a king of Illyria (northwest Greece) named Bardyllus (Cf Tellis) who was a rival of Perdiccas III of Macedon.

Another region of Greece that had been taken over by the Persian royal family was Molossia (a.k.a. Epirus) in west-central Greece below Illyria.

Elizabeth Carney writes (p 9) in Olympias: Mother of Alexander the Great:

"During the Peloponnesian War, Molossian armies, commanded by the regent Sabulinthus, fought on the Spartan side early in the war (Thuc. 2.80.6). The young king, Tharyps, for whom the regent acted, was sent to Athens for education (Just. 17.3.11) and was apparently given Athenian citizenship (M. Tod, Greek Historical Inscriptions, 2.173, 1.4-5). Upon return to Molossia, Tharyps sponsored some degree of Hellneization in his kingdom."

The local name Sabulinthus may be one source of Darius II's nickname "Nothus". The identity of Tharyps is less obvious. Darius had four natural sons (in addition to the sons of other Persian royals under his patronage). His oldest son Arsaces/Artaxerxes II eventually gained control over Molossia (under the name Alcetes) even as he did Macedon (under the name Amyntas III). Tharyps very well could represent the Molossian identity of his younger brother and rival Prince Cyrus (Archelaus of Macedon), who was of course also highly prominent in Athens under the name Alcibiades.

The youngest two sons of Darius II have been almost completely ignored by scholars, and quite inappropriately so. We'll discuss their involvement in the continuing Persia saga in the next segment of the Persia study.