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Atossa


Daughter of Cyrus the Great

She was married three times.

First, she married her half-brother, Cambyses, because he fell in love with her. Cambyses was also married to another of her sisters. He murdered Atossa's sister when she was pregnant.

Next, she married to the false Smerdis (a Magus) who usurped the throne of Cambyses.

Third, she was married with four other women to Darius Hystapes. The others were: the daughter of Gobryas, who was the mother of Darius’ first-born son, Artabazanes; Atossa's younger sister, Artystone; Parmys, Atossa's neice by her brother, Smerdis; and Phaedima, daughter of Otanes.

Atossa was the mother of four children by Darius and Xerxes was her first-born son.

Influence:
Atossa is the one who gave the idea of invading Greece to Darius. She was treated for a boil by a Greek doctor, Democedes. He first suggested the invasion of Greece.

Atossa said to Darius:
“It seems strange, my lord, that, with the mighty power which is yours, you sit idle, and neither make any conquest, nor advance the power of the Persians. I think that one who is so young, and so richly endowed with wealth, should perform some noble achievement to prove to the Persians that it is a man who governs them. . . Lead your host first into Greece. I long to be served by some of those Lacedaemonian [Spartan] maids of whom I have heard so much. I want also Argive, and Athenian, and Corinthian women.” Herodotus, The Persian Wars
Atossa was so powerful that she arranged for her eldest son, Xerxes, to inherit the throne. Artabazanes, the eldest son of Darius by his first wife, was passed over.


Tragic costume for a foreign woman, Andromeda. Atossa would be costumed in a similar way.