Historical Figures

Artemis I, advisor to Xerxes

Artemis I re (5th century BC) was a queen of the ancient province of Caria, in Asia Minor (now Turkey). It rules under the suzerainty of the empire of the Achaemenid Empire.

Only woman among the warlords

Little information has reached us about Queen Artemis I re of Caria. According to Herodotus, His father, Lygdamis I, is the satrap (governor) of the city of Halicarnassus, his mother is a Cretan. She has a son, Pisindelis, and takes the throne upon her husband's death.

During the Persian Wars between Greeks and Persians, Artemis I re joined in 480 BC the expedition of Xerxes I st and takes part in the Naval Battle of Salamis. According to Herodotus, Artemis, the only woman among the warlords, would also be the only one to have advised Xerxes to avoid combat, the enemy being stronger. His advice is not heeded, wrongly since the fight will be a real debacle for the Persian army.

The flight

Artémise leads her troops into battle and is distinguished by her fighting spirit. During the confrontation, she fishes out the body of one of Xerxes' brothers and admirals, Ariabignès, which she will take to the king. When the defeat is proven and the Persian ships, trapped in a bottleneck, seek to flee, she does not hesitate to sink a friendly ship to facilitate her escape. Perhaps the occasion was too good:Artemis had a dispute with the owner of the sunken ship, the Lycian king of Calinda, Damasithymos. Observing the fight and believing that the queen had just sunk a Greek ship, Xerxes is said to have exclaimed, "My men have become women, and my women men. »

After the Battle of Salamis, still according to Herodotus, Xerxes would have listened to and followed the advice of Artemis concerning the continuation of the military campaign, before sending him to Ephesus to take care of his illegitimate sons.

A myth has it that Artemis, after falling in love without return, threw herself into the sea from the top of a rocky cape.

Useful links

Wikipedia of Artémise Ire
English Wikipedia of Artémise Ire