Loading...

Astyages

ASTYAGES ăs tī’ əjez (Old Pers. Arštivaiga, Gr. ̓Αστυάγης). The last king of the Median Empire (586-550 b.c.), the son of Cyaxares I. When his father overthrew Lydia, he made an agreement with its defeated king, Alyattes, that his son would marry the king’s daughter, the princess Aryenis (Herodotus, Histories, I, 74). The daughter of this marriage, Mandane, was given to a lower ranked Pers. nobleman, Cambyses, as wife. According to Herodotus, the old man, Astyages was afraid of any son which would be born to Mandane by reason of a terrifying dream he had had (ibid., I, 108). After another dream, Astyages plotted to take away any son that might be born, and he did this when his grandson Cyrus was born. The infant was exposed by his grandfather’s palace steward, Harpagus. This man was later alienated from Astyages when the king had his son butchered and served him as food. When Cyrus, who had been raised by a shepherd and his wife, grew to manhood, Harpagus rallied to him with a good