People > Phraortes



Phraortes was a significant figure in ancient Iranian history, known primarily from Assyrian sources. He is traditionally considered the first king of the Medes, a people who played a crucial role in the early history of Iran. Phraortes is traditionally regarded as the founder of the Median Dynasty, which emerged in the western part of Iran during the late 7th century BCE. He likely rose to power through a combination of military prowess and political maneuvering.

Phraortes is said to have expanded the territory of the Median Empire through military conquests. He led campaigns against neighboring peoples and tribes, extending Median influence and control over a larger area. Phraortes is mentioned in Assyrian annals as a significant opponent of the Assyrian Empire. He is recorded as having launched several campaigns against Assyrian territories, posing a serious threat to Assyrian dominance in the region. According to Assyrian records, Phraortes's reign came to an end when he was defeated and killed by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. His death marked a setback for the Median Empire and temporarily halted its expansion.

Following Phraortes's death, his son Cyaxares succeeded him as king of the Medes. Cyaxares would go on to avenge his father's death and lead the Medes to even greater heights of power, ultimately playing a key role in the downfall of the Assyrian Empire. Phraortes is regarded as a foundational figure in Median history, laying the groundwork for the rise of the Median Empire. His reign marked the beginning of the Medes' emergence as a significant regional power in the ancient Near East.

Phraortes, as the traditional founder of the Median Dynasty, played a crucial role in the early history of Iran. His military campaigns and conflicts with the Assyrian Empire helped to shape the geopolitical landscape of the ancient Near East. Although his reign ended in defeat, his legacy lived on through his successors, particularly his son Cyaxares, who would build upon his achievements and establish the Medes as a major power in the region.


Akbarzadeh, D.; A. Yahyanezhad (2006). The Behistun Inscriptions (Old Persian Texts) (in Persian). Khaneye-Farhikhtagan-e Honarhaye Sonati. p. 87. ISBN 964-8499-05-5.

Kent, Ronald Grubb (1384 AP). Old Persian: Grammar, Text, Glossary (in Persian). translated into Persian by S. Oryan. p. 406. ISBN 964-421-045-X.

Medvedskaya, I. (20 Jul 2004). "PHRAORTES". Encyclopædia Iranica.

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