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Astyages

ASTYAGES

as-ti'-a-jes (Astuages; or Astyigas (in Ktesias)), or Istuvigu, son of Cyaxares.

I, king of the Medes 585-550 BC, and predecessor of Cyrus (Bel and the Dragon verse 1):

His wife was the daughter of Alyattes, king of Lydia. The daughter of Astyages (Mandane) married a Persian, Cambyses, and a son was born to them who later became Cyrus the Great. Astyages had given orders to expose the babe; but Harpagus, on whom the task had been imposed, gave the child to a herdsman, with instructions to kill him. When the boy, who had been brought up as his own by the herdsman, arrived at the age of twelve, Astyages discovered that he was the son of Mandane. The king in wrath then had the son of Harpagus killed and served to his father as food. The latter concealed his feelings of hatred and resentment, and bided his time; and when the young Cyrus had grown to manhood, he stirred up the grandson in insurrection against Astyages, who was defeated and taken prisoner (Herodotus i.127-30). When Astyages marched against the Persians, the Medes, under the command of Harpagus, deserted their king, and sided with the disappointed Persians; and Cyrus was crowned king. This account of Herodotus is confirmed by the Annalistic Tablet of Cyrus (RP, series ii, 159). The dethroned monarch was treated with kindness by his conqueror. According to Ktesias, a home was provided for him by Cyrus in Hyrcania.

Astyages was the last of the kings of the Manda (Media). An exceedingly shrewd man, Deioces by name, had founded the kingdom 150 years before (699-646). Phraortes was the second in line (646-624), and Cyaxares the third (624-584).

J. E. Harry


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'ASTYAGES'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.