RATHINES (Gk. Rathínēs), a general of Pharnabazos, the satrap of the Daskylitis (see DASCYLIUM) under Dareios II and Artaxerxes II (see DARIUS iv and ARTAXERXES II). Rathines and Spithridates (for whom, see MEGABATES, no. 4; RE IIIA2, 1929, cols. 1815-16) were sent out by Pharnabazos with a large force of cavalry and infantry; they sought battle with the Ten Thousand Greeks in 400 BCE somewhere in Bithynia (Xenophon, Anabasis 6.5.7) and suffered a heavy defeat (ibid., 6.5.27–32). The Rathines who was leader of a cavalry squadron of Pharnabazos (together with the satrap’s half-brother Bagaios) in 396 evidently is the same person. He advanced against the expeditionary force led by Agesilaos, king of Sparta (Xenophon, Hellenika 3.4.13). On that occasion the Greeks were forced to retreat, and Agesilaos became convinced that he needed sufficient cavalry for waging war on level ground (ibid., 3.4.14–15).

This cavalry-general Rathines in all probability is the historical model of the unhistorical man of the same name who is briefly mentioned in Xenophon, Cyropaedia 8.3.32 (for this emendation of the name, cf. Schmitt, 2002, p. 111 with fn. 63). After Cyrus’s first public appearance, featuring a splendid procession and sacrificial offerings, the king called for a horse-race, with each of the different peoples among the 10,000 horsemen in attendance (Persians, Medes, Armenians, Hyrcanians [see GORGĀN ii], Cadusians [see CADUSII], and Sakas [Cyr. 8.3.18]) racing separately. The winner among the Cadusians was Rathines (cf. Syme, p. 149). Thus we have to do here with one of those persons of the Anabasis whom Xenophon projected back from his own time into the narrative time of the Cyropaedia.

Further evidence is found, even if under the form Rathánēs, in the anonymous, so-called Hellenica Oxyrhynchia (cf. Chambers, p. 47, l. 725); there Rathanes is introduced as a Persian and is mentioned as the commander of the garrison of Gordion, who by his commitment was able to repulse the assaults of Agesilaos. The original Greek form of the name has to be sought in Rathínēs, whereas Rathánēs apparently has been associated with the more common Greek names in -ánēs; and this form Rathínēs can easily be explained as rendering OIran. *Raθ-ina-, a hypocoristicon in *-ina- based on some compound name with OIran. *raθa- “chariot” (see Schmitt, 1993, pp. 393 f.; 2002, pp. 111 f.; 2011, pp. 309 f., no. 277).



M. Chambers, Hellenica Oxyrhynchia, Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1993.

R. Schmitt, “Die iranischen Namen in den ‘Hellenika von Oxyrhynchos’,” in F. Heidermanns et al., eds., Sprachen und Schriften des antiken Mittelmeerraums. Festschrift für Jürgen Untermann, Innsbruck, 1993, pp. 385–401.

Idem, Die iranischen und Iranier-Namen in den Schriften Xenophons (Iranica Graeca Vetustiora II), Wien, 2002.

Idem, Iranisches Personennamenbuch V/5A. Iranische Personennamen in der griechischen Literatur vor Alexander d. Gr., Wien, 2011, pp. 308-10, nos. 276 f.

R. Syme, “The Cadusii in History and in Fiction,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 108, 1988, pp. 137–50.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

Originally Published: January 1, 2000

Last Updated: February 1, 2012