People > Orxines



Orxines, also known as Artabanus, was a Persian nobleman who served as a satrap (provincial governor) of the Achaemenid Empire during the reign of King Xerxes I (486–465 BCE). He is primarily known for his role as the satrap of Sardis, the capital of Lydia, and his involvement in the construction of a monumental bridge across the Hellespont (modern-day Dardanelles) during the Persian invasion of Greece. Orxines hailed from a noble Persian family and held a position of prominence within the Achaemenid Empire. He likely rose through the ranks of Persian society through loyal service to the king or through familial connections.

Satrapy of Sardis

Orxines was appointed by King Xerxes I as the satrap of Sardis, a strategically important province in western Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). As satrap, he was responsible for governing the region, collecting taxes, maintaining order, and overseeing Persian interests in Lydia. In preparation for Xerxes I's invasion of Greece in 480 BCE, Orxines was tasked with overseeing the construction of a massive pontoon bridge across the Hellespont. The bridge was intended to facilitate the movement of Persian troops and supplies from Asia Minor to mainland Greece, bypassing the narrow strait.

Hellespont Bridge

Orxines supervised the construction of the Hellespont Bridge, which was a remarkable engineering feat for its time. The bridge consisted of a series of floating pontoons anchored together to form a stable platform for the passage of troops and equipment. Following the Persian defeat in the Greco-Persian Wars, the fate of Orxines is unclear. It is likely that he continued to serve as satrap of Sardis or in another administrative capacity within the Achaemenid Empire. After his tenure, subsequent satraps would have taken over the governance of Lydia and its capital, Sardis.

Orxines is remembered in history primarily for his role in overseeing the construction of the Hellespont Bridge, which played a significant role in Xerxes I's military campaign against Greece. The bridge, although ultimately destroyed by a storm, remains a testament to Persian engineering prowess and the ambitious military endeavors of the Achaemenid Empire.

Orxines, as the satrap of Sardis during the reign of Xerxes I, played a crucial role in the Persian preparations for the invasion of Greece by overseeing the construction of the Hellespont Bridge. While his specific actions beyond this endeavor are not well-documented, Orxines remains a notable figure in the context of Persian imperial administration and military logistics during the Greco-Persian Wars.


Primary Sources

Curtius Rufus -Curtius Rufus, Histories of Alexander the Great, Book 10 Translated by J. C. Yardley Oxford University Press, 12 Mar 2009 ISBN 019156785X [Retrieved 2015-04-13]

Secondary Sources

The History of Alexander By Quintus Curtius Rufus

CP Mason - Fellow of University College, London. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Volume 3. J. Murray, 1873. Retrieved 2015-04-12.

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