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Tissaphernes (tĭsˌəfûrˈnēz) [key], d. 395 B.C., Persian satrap of coastal Asia Minor (c.413–395 B.C.). He was encouraged by Alcibiades (412) to intervene in the Peloponnesian War in support of Sparta. Out of favor with Cyrus the Younger, he rebuilt his fortunes by siding with Artaxerxes II and helping him to defeat Cyrus in the battle of Cunaxa (401). He pursued the retreating Greek allies (the Ten Thousand) and treacherously murdered Clearchus and four other Greek leaders (Xenophon). Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus were the chief figures in Artaxerxes' reign. After Tissaphernes asserted supremacy over the Ionian cities, he was involved in war with the Spartans, and Agesilaus II defeated him in 395. He was removed from office and assassinated.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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