Nebuchadnezzar IV

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Behistun relief of Arakha (Nebuchadnezzar IV). Label: "This is Arakha. He lied, saying: 'I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus. I am king in Babylon.'"[1]
Relief depicting Nebuchadnezzar IV

Nebuchadnezzar IV (/ˌnɛbjʊkədˈnɛzər/) (fl. 520s BC), also known as Arakha, was a self-proclaimed King of Babylon.[2] Arakha was an Armenian who was the son of Haldita. However, he claimed to be the son of the previous king of Babylon, Nabonidus, and renamed himself Nebuchadnezzar IV. His rebellion against the Persian king, Darius I, which commenced around 522 BC, was short-lived and by 520 BC it had been suppressed by Intaphrenes, Darius's bow carrier.


In 522 BC, with the disturbances that occurred after the death of Cambyses II and the proclamation of Bardiya as King, the Armenians revolted. Darius I sent an Armenian named Dâdarši to end the revolt, later replacing him with the Persian Vaumisa who defeated the Armenians in 521 BC. Around the same time, another Armenian named Arakha (meaning 'crown prince' in Armenian) claimed to be the son of the previous king of Babylon, Nabonidus, and renamed himself Nebuchadnezzar IV. His rebellion was short-lived and was suppressed by Intaphrenes, Darius's bow carrier.

According to Herodotus,[3] Intaphrenes was one of the seven who helped Darius I usurp the throne from Bardiya following Bardiya's usurping of the throne from Cambyses II. Bardiya was on the Persian throne for seven months during 522 BC. These events have been the subject of debate among historians in recent years. Intaphrenes was put to death after the insurrection for trying to enter the King's palace while he was lying with his wife.[4]

The self-mutilated Zopyros, from Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

During the siege of Babylon,[5] Zopyros, son of Megabyzus I (who had been one of the seven usurpers[3]), mutilated himself to gain the trust of the Babylonians and thus gained entrance to the near impenetrable fortress.

After a period of time, Zopyros earned their trust to such an extent that he was entrusted with the keys to all the gates. When the Persian forces arrived outside the city walls, Zopyros opened the gates and let the Persian king, Darius, and his forces in and victory was assured. The siege of Babylon had started soon after Darius I's accession to the throne in 521 BC and lasted more than a year and seven months[6] with the siege ending during 520 BC.

As to whether or not Zopyros was his bow carrier, there is no mention. However, the name Intaphrenes was never mentioned again by Herodotus after Intaphrenes's death.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Behistun, minor inscriptions DBb inscription- Livius.
  2. ^ Ancient Nebuchadnezzar IV
  3. ^ a b Herodotus III, 70
  4. ^ a b Herodotus III, 118
  5. ^ Herodutus III 152–160
  6. ^ Herodotus III, 152

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Nebuchadnezzar III
King of Babylon
521-520 BC
Succeeded by
Office abolished