Tissaphernes, a Persian general, assassinated in Colossae, Phrygia, in 395 B. C. In 414 Darius Nothus appointed him satrap of Lower Asia, S. of the Adramyttian bay, in place of Pissuthnes, then in revolt. He was ordered by the king to collect from the Hellenic cities within his jurisdiction the tributes in arrears for half a century, and also to slay or imprison Amorges, the son of Pissuthnes, who had rebelled and made an alliance with the Athenians. Tissaphernes obtained the aid of the Spartans through the influence of Alci-biades, who desired to support the Chians in their revolt against the Athenians. Throughout the ensuing contest, comprising the closing scenes of the Peloponnesian war, Tissaphernes acted treacherously to his allies. (See Alct-biades, and Greece, vol. viii., p. 194.) In 407 Cyrus the Younger was appointed viceroy of the maritime region of Asia Minor. Hostility soon sprang up between him and Tissaphernes, who accused him, after the death of Darius, of aspiring to the throne of his brother Artaxerxes II. Tissaphernes, being one of the four generals who commanded the Persian army at Cunaxa, gained possession of the persons of the five generals commanding the Greek mercenaries of Cyrus, and put four of them to death.
During the famous retreat of the 10,000 under Xenophon he continually harassed them as far as the Carduchian mountains. For his services he was made governor of the provinces formerly ruled by Cyrus, and as such he carried on war with the Spartans. Complaints against him constantly arrived at the Persian court, and Tithraustes was sent to put him to death. Tissaphernes was surprised in the bath and slain, and his head sent to Artaxerxes.