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The war chariot of Abradates
Death of Pantheia, wife of Abradatas, by Peter Paul Rubens

Abradatas (Greek: Αβραδάτας; fl. 6th century BC) was a king, probably fictional, of Susa, known to us from Xenophon's partly fictional biography of Cyrus the Great, the Cyropaedia.[1][2] According to it, he was an ally of the Assyrians against Cyrus the Great, while Cyrus was still a vassal to his (also probably fictional) uncle, Cyaxares II.[3]

His wife Panthea was taken by Cyrus on the conquest of the Assyrian camp, while Abradatas was absent on a mission to the Bactrians. In consequence of the honorable treatment [4] which his wife received from Cyrus, he was persuaded to join the latter with his forces. He fell in battle, while fighting against the army of Croesus, during the conquest of Lydia in 547 BC.[3] Inconsolable at his loss, Panthea committed suicide, [5][6] and her example was followed by her three eunuchs. Cyrus had a high mound raised in their honour: on a pillar[7] on the top were inscribed the names of Abradatas and Pantheia in the Syriac characters; and three columns below bore the inscription skēptouchōn (σκηπτούχων) in honour of the eunuchs.[8]

The romance of Abradatas and Pantheia forms a significant part of the latter half of the Cyropaedia.


  1. ^ Xenophon, Cyropaedia v. 1. § 3, vi. 1. § 31, &c. 4. § 2, &c. vii. 3. § 2, &c.
  2. ^ Lucian. Imag. 20
  3. ^ a b Brunner, Christopher Joseph (1984), "Abradatas", Encyclopaedia Iranica, 1.3, Costa Mesa: Mazda Pub, p. 228
  4. ^ Xenophon Hist., Cyropaedia Book 6, chapter 4, section 5, line 3: ἐν δὲ τούτῳ ἡ Πάνθεια ἀποχωρῆσαι κελεύσασα τοὺς παρόντας πάντας ἔλεξεν· Ἀλλ' ὅτι μέν, ὦ Ἀβραδάτα, εἴ τις καὶ ἄλλη πώποτε γυνὴ τὸν ἑαυτῆς ἄνδρα μεῖζον τῆς αὑτῆς ψυχῆς ἐτίμησεν, οἶμαί σε γιγνώ- σκειν ὅτι καὶ ἐγὼ μία τούτων εἰμί. τί οὖν ἐμὲ δεῖ καθ' ἓν ἕκαστον λέγειν; τὰ γὰρ ἔργα οἶμαί σοι πιθανώτερα παρε- σχῆσθαι τῶν νῦν λεχθέντων λόγων. ὅμως δὲ οὕτως ἔχουσα πρὸς σὲ ὥσπερ σὺ οἶσθα, ἐπομνύω σοι τὴν ἐμὴν καὶ σὴν φιλίαν ἦ μὴν ἐγὼ βούλεσθαι ἂν μετὰ σοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἀγαθοῦ γενομένου κοινῇ γῆν ἐπιέσασθαι μᾶλλον ἢ ζῆν μετ' αἰσχυνο- μένου αἰσχυνομένη· οὕτως ἐγὼ καὶ σὲ τῶν καλλίστων καὶ ἐμαυτὴν ἠξίωκα. καὶ Κύρῳ δὲ μεγάλην τινὰ δοκῶ ἡμᾶς χάριν ὀφείλειν, ὅτι με αἰχμάλωτον γενομένην καὶ ἐξαι- ρεθεῖσαν αὑτῷ οὔτε ὡς δούλην ἠξίωσε κεκτῆσθαι οὔτε ὡς ἐλευθέραν ἐν ἀτίμῳ ὀνόματι, διεφύλαξε δὲ σοὶ ὥσπερ ἀδελφοῦ γυναῖκα λαβών. πρὸς δὲ καὶ ὅτε Ἀράσπας ἀπέστη αὐτοῦ ὁ ἐμὲ φυλάττων, ὑπεσχόμην αὐτῷ, εἴ με ἐάσειε πρὸς
  5. ^ Joannes Rhet., Commentarium in Hermogenis librum περὶ ἰδεῶν 6, Page 431, line 9: <Ὥσπερ ὁ Ξενοφών·> φησὶ γὰρ οὗτος ἐν πέμ- πτῳ τῆς παιδείας Κύρου, τοῦ πρώτως βασιλεύσαν- τος Περσῶν, ὅτι ἡ Πανθία, τεθνῶτος τοῦ ἀνδρὸς Ἀ- βραδάτου, βασιλέως Σούσων, ὑπὸ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων, καὶ ἀποκοπείσης αὐτοῦ τῆς χειρὸς, λαβοῦσα ταύτην κατεφί- λει· ἦν γὰρ, ὡς ἀπεκόπη, ἁρμοσθεῖσα τῷ ἰδίῳ σώματι· φησὶ γάρ· καὶ ἡ χεὶρ ἐπηκολούθει.
  6. ^ Anonymi In Hermogenem Rhet., Commentarium in librum περὶ ἰδεῶν Volume 7, page 1078, line 12: Ὁ Ἀβραδάτης εἰς πόλεμον τέθνηκε, καὶ ἔκοψαν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἐκράτει τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ καταφιλοῦσα, καὶ ἠκολούθει ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ.
  7. ^ Αυτ. ΣΤ, 1, 46. Ζ, 3, 5
  8. ^ Smith, William (1867), "Abradatas", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, p. 3

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Abradatas". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: John Murray.