Aryandes (Old Iranian: Aryavanda[1]: 266  or Arvanta, Ancient Greek: Ἀρυάνδης) was the first Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt between the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, during the early 27th Dynasty of Egypt.

Satrap of Egypt
Western part of the Achaemenid Empire.jpg
Aryandes was the first satrap of the Achaemenid Province of Egypt.
Predecessornew office
Dynasty27th Dynasty
PharaohCambyses II to Darius I


When king Cambyses II defeated pharaoh Psamtik III at the battle of Pelusium (525 BCE), Egypt became a satrapy of the Achaemenid empire, and Aryandes was appointed satrap shortly after. In 522 BCE, Aryandes was overthrown due to a revolt against the Achaemenid rule led by a native Egyptian pharaoh, Petubastis III. The rebellion was personally quelled by the new king Darius I during his expedition to Egypt in 518 BCE, and Aryandes reinstated. The satrap then attempted to subjugate Libya with poor results.[1]: 262 

Around 496 BCE, Aryandes fell out of favour with Darius I and was deposed and replaced by Pherendates.[1]: 266  The reason for this decision is unknown, with Herodotus and later Polyaenus claiming that the satrap started minting his own silver coinage, calling it aryandic in opposition of the golden, already existing daric, thus irritating the great king. This story is now considered unlikely, also because no aryandic has ever been found to date.[2] It appears more likely that Darius had real concerns of a declaration of independence by Aryandes for his satrapy.[1]: 264 

Aryandes had been made governor of Egypt by Cambyses, later he was executed by Darius for making himself equal to the king. When he learned that Darius intended to leave a memorial surpassing anything other kings had left, Aryandes did likewise and was punished for it. The coins struck by Darius were of extremely pure gold and Aryandes, who was ruling Egypt, made silver coins, and no silver money was as pure as that of Aryandes. When Darius heard of this, he had Aryandes executed for rebellion, but not for striking coins.

— Herodotus, Histories IV, 166


  1. ^ a b c d Ray, John D. (2006). "Egypt, 525–404 B.C.". In Boardman, John; Hammond, N.D.L.; Lewis, D.M.; Ostwald, M. (eds.). The Cambridge Ancient History (2nd ed.), vol. IV – Persia, Greece and the Western Mediterranean c. 525 to 479 B.C. Cambridge University Press. pp. 254–286. ISBN 0-521-22804-2.
  2. ^ ARYANDES at the Encyclopædia Iranica

Further readingEdit

  • Milne, J.G. (1936). "The Silver of Aryandes". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 24: 245–6. doi:10.1177/030751333802400146. S2CID 194027993.
  • Van Alfen, Peter G. (2005). "Herodotus' "Aryandic" Silver and Bullion Use in Persian-Period Egypt". American Journal of Numismatics. Second Series. American Numismatic Society. 16–17: 7–46.
New title Satrap of Egypt
c.525 – 522 BCE
518 – c.496 BCE
Succeeded by