Deioces - Encyclopedia




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DEIOCES (Onc6vis), according to Herodotus (i. 96 ff.) the first king of the Medes. He narrates that, when the Medes had rebelled against the Assyrians and gained their independence about 710 B.C., according to his chronology (cf. Diodor. ii. 32), they lived in villages without any political organization, and therefore the whole country was in a state of anarchy. Then Deioces, son of Phraortes, an illustrious man of upright character, was chosen judge in his village, and the justness of his decisions induced the inhabitants of the other villages to throng to him. At last the Medes resolved to make an end of the intolerable state of their country by erecting a kingdom, and chose Deioces king. He now caused them to build a great capital, Ecbatana, with a royal palace, and introduced the ceremonial of oriental courts; he surrounded himself with a guard and no longer showed' himself to the people, but gave his judgments in writing and controlled the people by officials and spies. He united all the Median tribes, and ruled fifty-three years (c. 699-647 B.C.), though perhaps, as G. Rawlinson supposed, the fifty-three years of his reign are exchanged by mistake with the twenty-two years of his son Phraortes, under whom the Median conquests began.

The narration of Herodotus is only a popular tradition which derives the origin of kingship from its judicial functions, considered as its principal and most beneficent aspect. We know from the Assyrian inscriptions that just at the time which Herodotus assigns to Deioces the Medes were divided into numerous small principalities and subjected to the great Assyrian conquerors. Among these petty chieftains, Sargon in 715 mentions Dayukku, "lieutenant of Man" (he probably was, therefore, a vassal of the neighbouring king of Man in the mountains of south-eastern Armenia), who joined the Urartians and other enemies of Assyria, but was by Sargon transported to Hamath in Syria "with his clan." His district is called "bitDayaukki," "house of Deioces," also in 713, when Sargon invaded these regions again. So it seems that the dynasty, which more than half a century later succeeded in throwing off the Assyrian yoke and founded the Median empire, was derived from this Dayukku, and that his name was thus introduced into the Median traditions, which contrary to history considered him as founder of the kingdom. (ED. M.) DEiOTARUS, a tetrarch of Galatia (Gallo-Graecia) in Asia Minor, and a faithful ally of the Romans. He is first heard of at the beginning of the third Mithradatic war, when he drove out the troops of Mithradates under Eumachus from Phrygia. His most influential friend was Pompey, who, when settling the affairs of Asia (63 or 62 B.C.), rewarded him with the title of king and an increase of territory (Lesser Armenia). On the outbreak of the civil war, DeIotarus naturally sided with his old patron Pompey, and after the battle of Pharsalus escaped with him to Asia. In the meantime Pharnaces, the son of Mithradates, had seized Lesser Armenia, and defeated DeIotarus near Nicopolis. Fortunately for Diotarus, Caesar at that time (47) arrived in Asia from Egypt, and was met by the tetrarch in the dress of a suppliant. Caesar pardoned him for having sided with Pompey, ordered him to resume his royal attire, and hastened against Pharnaces, whom he defeated at Zela. In consequence of the complaints of certain Galatian princes, DeIotarus was deprived of part of his dominions, but allowed to retain the title of king. On the death of Mithradates of Pergamum, tetrarch of the Trocmi, DeIotarus was a candidate for the vacancy. Other tetrarchs also pressed their claims; and, further, DeIotarus was accused by his grandson Castor of having attempted to assassinate Caesar when the latter was his guest in Galatia. Cicero, who entertained a high opinion of Deiotarus, whose acquaintance he had made when governor of Cilicia, undertook his defence, the case being heard in Caesar's own house at Rome. The matter was allowed to drop for a time, and the assassination of Caesar prevented any final decision being pronounced. In his speech Cicero briefly dismisses the charge of assassination, the main question being the distribution of the provinces, which was the real cause of the quarrels between DeIotarus and his relatives. After Caesar's death, Mark Antony, for a large monetary consideration, publicly announced that, in accordance with instructions left by Caesar, DeIotarus was to resume possession of all the territory of which he had been deprived. When civil war again broke out, DeIotarus was persuaded to support Brutus and Cassius, but after the battle of Philippi went over to the triumvirs. He remained in possession of his kingdom till his death at a very advanced age.

See Cicero, Philippica, ii. 37; Ad fam. viii. 10, ix. 12, xv. I, 2, 4; Ad Att. xiv. 1; De divin. i. 15, ii. 36, 37; De harusp. resp. 13, and above all Pro rege Deiotaro; Appian, Bell. Mithrid. 75, 114; Bellum Alexandrinum, 34-4 1, 6 5-77; Dio Cassius xli. 63, xlii. 45, xlvii. 24, 48, xlviii. 33.

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