Artaxerxes was the name of several Persian kings (ancient Persian Artakhshathra).


Artaxerxes I, surnamed Longimanus ("long-handed", no doubt from his wide-reaching power), the second son of Xerxes, after the conspiracy of Artabanus, which caused the death of the king, put to death his elder brother, and ascended the throne in 465 BC. His long reign, extending for 40 years, was marked by a decline of power.


Artaxerxes II, surnamed Mnemon ("the mindful"), succeeded his father, Darius II, in 404 BC. After the death of his rebellious brother Cyrus in the battle of Cunaxa, he became involved in war with Sparta, which ended with the peace of Antalcidas. He died in 358.


Artaxerxes III, named Ochus, was the son and successor of the preceding. He found the empire falling to pieces, but did much to build it up again, and stave off the coming ruin. After putting down the revolts of Artabazus and Orontes, he subdued Phoenicia and Egypt, and reduced Cyprus. He mainly owed the conquest of Egypt to his general, Mentor, and rewarded him with the satrapy of the west coast of Asia Minor. He outraged the religion of the Egyptians by desecrating their temples and slaughtering their sacred animals. he was poisoned in 338 by his favorite eunuch.


Artaxerxes, or Ardeshir, the founder of the new Persian dynasty of the Sassanidae, overthrew Ardaván (Artabanus), the last of the Parian kings, and was hailed as "king of kings" on the battlefield in 227 BC. He next conquered Media and a large part of the Iranian highlands, but had less success in Armenia, and was defeated by Alexander Severus in a great battle in 233. He made most of the former vassal states of the Arsacidae into provinces of an empire, which he consolidated so well that it lasted for four hundred years. he died in 242.