Bust of Atossa
|Queen of Persia|
perhaps Bardya (or maybe Gaumata)
Darius the Great
|Father||Cyrus the Great|
The name Atossa (or Atusa) mean "the girl with beautiful legs". it also mean "well trickling" or "well granting". Atossa is Grecized (Ancient Greek: Ἄτοσσα) of Old Persian name Utauθa. her name in Avestan is Hutaosā.
Atossa was born in 550 BC in Pasargadae. she was eldest daughter of Cyrus the Great and Cassandane.
Whe Darius I defeated the followers of a man claiming to be Bardiya (Smerdis), the younger brother of Cambyses II in 522 BC, she married to Atossa and her sister Artystone. Atossa played an important role in the Achaemenid royal family, as she bore Darius the Great the next Achaemenid king, Xerxes I.
Atossa had a "great authority" in the Achaemenid royal house and her marriage with Darius I is likely due to her power, influence and the fact that she was a direct descendant of Cyrus.
Herodotus records in The Histories that Atossa was troubled by a bleeding lump in her breast. She wrapped herself in sheets and sought a self-imposed quarantine. Ultimately, a Greek slave, Democedes, persuaded her to allow him to excise the tumor.
Xerxes I was the eldest son of Atossa and Darius. Atossa lived to see Xerxes invade Greece. Being a direct descendant of Cyrus the Great, Atossa had a great authority within Achamenian imperial house and court. Atossa's special position enabled Xerxes, who was not the eldest son of Darius, to succeed his father.
Atossa is also included in Herodotus' The Histories and is shown to be a strong woman with a lot of influence. He even goes as far as to suggest that her wanting a Greek maiden was a reason for why Darius the Great decided to begin his campaign to Greece.
In his history of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee imagines Atossa traveling through time, encountering different diagnoses and treatments for her breast cancer. Atossa becomes emblematic of cancer sufferers through history.
Atossa Genetics was named after Queen Atossa by its founder, Dr. Steven Quay, in 2009. The NASDAQ public company is dedicated to helping women with breast cancer through its development of pharmaceuticals to treat early stage tumors. The company's logo is a rendition of a bust of Atossa held in the National Museum of Iran.
- Boyce, Mary (1982). A History of Zoroastrianism: Volume II: Under the Achaemenians. BRILL. p. 78. ISBN 9004065067. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Schmitt, Rüdiger (1989). "Atossa". Encyclopaedia Iranica. vol. 3. Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation. ISBN 0-7100-9121-4.
- Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies, p.41. See Herodotus, The Histories, OUP, 1998, pt. VIII
- Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies, pp. 463–467
- "Atossa - The Celestrial and Terrestrial Lady of Ancient Iran". Iran Chamber Society.