آریوبرزن ، آریوبرزین
Persian nobleman, satrap of
Persis, defended the Persian gate against invading
Ariobarzanes is best known as the satrap of Persis who was almost able to defeat the Macedonian conqueror
Alexander the Great at the Persian gate, but before his day of fame, he had already earned his spurs. During the battle of
Gaugamela on Oct, 1 331 B.C., he had commanded a regiment of soldiers recruited along the
Ariobarzanes must have been a close relative or personal friend of
The Persians fought bravely at
Issus and Gaugamela, but were unable to prevent Macedonian victories, and Alexander proceeded to
Susa. A royal road connected the last-mentioned city with the capitals of Persis,
Dariush was building a new army at
It was obvious that Alexander wanted to reach the treasures of Persepolis before Dariush could defend them. Ariobarzanes had to prevent the Macedonian attack on Persis, and had two advantages: in the first place, he commanded people who were defending their homes and were very motivated; in the second place, he knew the terrain. There were only a few possible roads through the
Zagros Mountains, which were in January 330, covered with snow and ice. And Ariobarzanes knew how to exploit this.
For Ariobarzanes, the young Macedonian king was the best of all possible enemies. He first massacred the mountain tribe of the Uxians, and believed that after this deed, everyone would flee. Indeed, at the Susian Gate, west of
Yasuj, no one appeared to block the road. Believing that he would not encounter any problems in the Persian Gate either, Alexander forgot to send scouts into the pass and walked into Ariobarzanes' trap with his eyes wide open.
The satrap had occupied a position near the little village that is now known as
Cheshmeh Chenar. When one approaches this place from the west, the valley, called Tang-e Meyran, is initially very wide, so the Macedonians marched at some speed. But
From the northern slope, the Persians mercilessly rained down boulders and stones on the Macedonians, who were smashed away not individually, but by entire platoons. From the southern slope, Persian archers and catapults launched their projectiles. The Macedonians panicked, tried to return, but were unable to do so, because their rear guard was still advancing. It must have taken some time before Alexander's men were in full retreat. The casualties were left behind.
A local shepherd offered his services to the invaders, and told them how to turn the Persian Gate. This sounds like
Herodotus' story of Ephialtes, who showed the Persian king
Xerxes a road to circumvent
Thermopylae in 480.
Whatsoever, Alexander discovered an accessible mountain path, and at dawn, Ariobarzanes was under attack from the north by Philotas, from the east by Alexander, and from the west by Craterus. Ariobarzanes, and his surviving companions were trapped, but rather than surrender, they charged straight into the Macedonian lines.
Ariobarzanes was killed in the last charge.
Alexander reached the beautiful palace on one of the last days of January 330. He appointed a man named Phrasaortes as successor of Ariobarzanes, needed hundreds of dromedaries to carry away the treasure, and sacked the city in May 330.