Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
A magnate and the trusted Iranian at the time of Median
dynasty and advisor of the last Median king Astyages (q.v.). In 550
B.C.E, during the war between the Medes and Persians, Harpagos, who had
already made common cause with a number of Median nobles to support Cyrus
II the Great, defected to his side (q.v.; Herodotus 1.108-13, 117-20,
123, 127, 129). According to a legend recorded by Herodotus (1.119), the
reason for Harpagos' defection was that Astyages, in order to punish him
for an act of disobedience, had his son killed and his flesh served to him
and other magnates at a feast.
In 547 Harpagos served in Cyrus' army that conquered Lydia (Herodotus
1.80), and later, in about 540, he subjugated the cities of western Asia
Minor (Herodotus 1.164-77; see also Diodorus Siculus 9.35.33). Descendants
of this Harpagos probably remained in Asia Minor and carried the same
name. In any case, Lycian inscriptions of the late 5th and early 4th
centuries B.C.E. mention some prominent men with Iranian names, one of
whom was called Arppaxu (see Cook, p. 177; Schmitt, pp. 17 f.). A certain
Harpagos commanded Persian troops in Asia Minor in 499-93 B.C.E.
(Herodotus 6.28, 30). It is possible that he was a grandson of Harpagos
John Manuel Cook, The Persian Empire, London, etc.,
Dandamaev, A Political History of The Achaemenid
Empire, tr. Willem J. Vogelsang, Leiden and New York, 1989, pp.
Igor Mikhailovich D'yakonov
(Diakonoff), Istoriya Midii
(History of Media), Moscow and Leningrad, 1956, pp. 415 ff.; tr. Karim
Keæâvarz as Târikh-e Mâd, Tehran, 1345 ˆ./1966, pp.
Idem, "Media: The Medes and the Neighbouring Countries,"
in Camb. Hist. Iran II, pp. 36-148, esp. pp. 143-45.
J. Miller, "Harpagos," in Pauly-Wissowa VII/2, cols.
2396-397. Rüdiger Schmitt, Iranische Namen in den indogermanischen
Sprachen Kleinasiens: Iranisches Personennamenbuch V/4, Vienna,
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