The Assassination Of Datames

We have described in another place the superior generalship of the Carian commander Datames and his subtlety in war.  Yet despite his abilities he fell victim to treachery and was assassinated in 362 B.C. by the king (Artaxerxes) whom he used to serve.  How this came about we will now tell, using the historian Cornelius Nepos as a guide.

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The Stratagem Of Datames

Datames was a general and political leader (satrap) who was born in Asia Minor in the region of Caria.  We do not know the exact date of his birth; we do know he was assassinated in 362 B.C.  He had a high reputation in antiquity for his generalship and battlefield tactics.  The short biography by the Latin historian Cornelius Nepos is one of the few intact sources we have about him.  Nepos relates the following anecdote about a stratagem Datames used to destroy, in one stroke, those who had betrayed him and those who opposed him in war.

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