People > Artaxerxes III

Artaxerxes III

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Artaxerxes III, also known as Ochus, was a king of the Achaemenid Empire who reigned from 358 to 338 BCE. His rule is marked by efforts to consolidate power within the empire, military campaigns to subdue rebellions, and significant interactions with ancient Egypt, which included a major campaign that led to the re-conquest of Egypt. Here is an overview of Artaxerxes III and his interactions with ancient Egypt:


  1. Achaemenid Empire:

    • The Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, was a vast and powerful empire that spanned three continents at its height. It included regions such as Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and parts of India and Greece.
    • Artaxerxes III came to the throne during a period of internal strife and external threats, following the reign of his father, Artaxerxes II.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Artaxerxes III was the son of Artaxerxes II and Stateira. He ascended the throne after his father's death and promptly sought to strengthen central authority by eliminating potential rivals within the royal family and the nobility.

Reign of Artaxerxes III

  1. Consolidation of Power:
    • Upon becoming king, Artaxerxes III faced the task of consolidating his rule over the diverse and sprawling Achaemenid Empire. He acted decisively by executing numerous members of the royal family who posed a threat to his authority.
    • His ruthless approach extended to suppressing revolts and reasserting control over rebellious satrapies, ensuring the stability of the central government.

Interactions with Ancient Egypt

  1. Context of Egyptian Rebellion:

    • Egypt had been a troublesome region for the Achaemenid Empire, with frequent revolts against Persian rule. The most significant rebellion occurred during the reign of Artaxerxes II, leading to Egypt's temporary independence under native pharaohs.
    • By the time Artaxerxes III ascended the throne, Egypt had been independent for several decades, ruled by the 30th Dynasty, with Nectanebo II as the reigning pharaoh.
  2. First Campaign Against Egypt:

    • In 351 BCE, Artaxerxes III launched his first campaign to reassert Persian control over Egypt. This campaign, however, was unsuccessful due to logistical challenges, strong resistance from the Egyptians, and possible involvement of Greek mercenaries aiding Egypt.
    • The failure of this campaign did not deter Artaxerxes III, who was determined to bring Egypt back under Persian control.
  3. Second Campaign and Conquest:

    • In 343 BCE, Artaxerxes III launched a second, more formidable campaign against Egypt. This time, he gathered a large and well-equipped army, including Greek mercenaries, and planned his strategy meticulously.
    • The Persian forces successfully advanced into Egypt, defeating Nectanebo II in a series of battles. The decisive battle likely took place near Pelusium, a strategic point in the Nile Delta.
    • Following his defeat, Nectanebo II fled south to Nubia, and Egypt was brought back under Persian control. This marked the end of the 30th Dynasty and the reestablishment of Persian rule, initiating the Second Persian Period in Egypt.
  4. Reorganization and Administration:

    • After the conquest, Artaxerxes III reorganized the administration of Egypt to ensure tighter control. He installed loyal Persian officials and garrisoned troops to maintain order and prevent further rebellions.
    • Significant fortifications were built, and existing structures were strengthened to secure Persian dominance. Artaxerxes III also imposed heavy tributes and taxes to fund his empire.
  5. Cultural and Religious Policies:

    • Artaxerxes III attempted to integrate Egypt into the Achaemenid administrative and cultural framework while respecting some local traditions to appease the population.
    • However, his reign in Egypt was marked by instances of harsh treatment, including the reported desecration of temples and the plundering of religious sites, which generated resentment among the Egyptians.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Artaxerxes III’s re-conquest of Egypt was a significant achievement, restoring Achaemenid control over one of the wealthiest and most strategically important regions of the empire.
    • His military successes and ruthless consolidation of power stabilized the Achaemenid Empire during his reign, though his methods often generated animosity and rebellion.
  2. Impact on Egypt:

    • The reassertion of Persian control had a profound impact on Egypt, leading to increased Persian influence over Egyptian politics, economy, and military affairs.
    • The harsh policies and heavy tributes imposed by Artaxerxes III contributed to the instability and unrest that persisted in Egypt even after his death.
  3. End of Reign and Death:

    • Artaxerxes III was assassinated in 338 BCE, reportedly by a eunuch named Bagoas, who had significant influence in the Persian court. His death led to a period of turmoil and succession struggles within the Achaemenid Empire.
    • His successor, Artaxerxes IV, faced challenges in maintaining control, and the empire eventually fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BCE, marking the end of the Achaemenid Empire.


Artaxerxes III, ruling from 358 to 338 BCE, was a powerful and ambitious king of the Achaemenid Empire known for his efforts to consolidate power and his successful military campaign to re-conquer Egypt. His interactions with Egypt included two major campaigns, the second of which resulted in the defeat of Nectanebo II and the reestablishment of Persian control over Egypt. Despite his successes, Artaxerxes III's harsh policies and heavy taxation generated significant resentment among the Egyptians. His legacy includes the stabilization of the Achaemenid Empire and the restoration of Persian dominance over Egypt, although his reign also set the stage for continued unrest and eventual conquest by Alexander the Great.

Sabalico Logo
Sabalytics Logo
World Map Logo
rStatistics Logo
Time Zone Logo
Galaxy View Logo
Periodic Table Logo
My Location Logo
Weather Track Logo
Sprite Sheet Logo
Barcode Generator Logo
Test Speed Logo
Website Tools Logo
Image Tools Logo
Color Tools Logo
Text Tools Logo
Finance Tools Logo
File Tools Logo
Data Tools Logo
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo