Astyages (Α᾿στυάγης, Diodorus Α᾿σπάδας) was the son and successor of Cyaxares (Smith's Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v.), and the last king of the Medes, B.C. 595-560 or B.C. 592-558, who was conquered by Cyrus (Bel and Dragon 1). The name is identified by Rawlinson and Niebuhr (Gesch. Assur's, p. 32) with Deioces = Ashdahak (Arm.), Ajis Dahaka (Pe's.), the biting snake, the emblem of the Median power. SEE DARIUS THE MEDE. According to Herodotus, he married the daughter of Abyaltes (i. 74), ascended the throne B.C. 595, and reigned thirty-five years (i. 130), with great severity (i. 123). The same historian states that his daughter was married to Cambyses, a Persian noble, but that, in consequence of a dream, the king caused her child (Cyrus) to be exposed by a herdsman, who, on the contrary, brought him up, till, on attaining manhood, he dethroned his grandfather (i. 107). The account of Ctesias (who calls him Astygas, Α᾿στυϊvγας) makes him to have been only the father-in-law of Cyrus, by whom he was conquered and deposed, but treated with respect, until at length treacherously left to perish by a royal eunuch (Ctes. Ap. Phot. cod. 72, p. 36, ed. Bekker). Xenophon, like Herodotus, makes Cyrus the grandson of Astyages, but says that Astyages was succeeded by his son Cyaxares II, on whose death Cyrus succeeded to the vacant throne (Cyrop. 1, 5, 2). This account tallies better with the notices in the Book of Daniel (Da 5:31; Da 6:1; Da 9:1) and Josephus (Ant. 10:11, 4), where "Darius (q.v.) the Mede" appears to be the same with this Cyaxares (q.v.). In that case Astyages will be identical with the "Ahasuerus" (q.v.) there named as the father of Darius. SEE CYRUS.

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