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The article deals with the ancient Greek stories of some Persians who carried the names originated from Old-Persian maθišta that is usually translated as ‘greatest’ (Masistres / Masistras, Masistius and Masistes). In some specifi c cases, however, this word was used by the Persians as a term for designation of army commander or a person chosen as ‘second after King’ in his rank. It seems to us the ancient Greek authors were misleading when mentioning Old-Persian PN instead of the title of maθišta. The possible identifi cation of herodotean Masistes with Ariamenes (known only from Plutarch and Justin) should be taken as an argument for suggestion. These metamorphoses may be due to the different socio-cultural and linguistic
conditions in which the Greco-Persian communications were carrying out for two centuries.


Masistes, Achaemenids, Darius I, Xerxes I, maθišta

Serafi ma O. Dvurechenskaya Institute of Archeology RAS, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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