Teispes, king of Persis, fl. mid 7th C BC

Teispes, fl. mid 7th C BC, was the second recorded king of the Achaemenid dynasty, and may have expended his kingdom from its basis in Persis during a period of weakness in the Median Empire. In Old Persian his name is recorded as Chishpish.

Teispes was said to have been the son of Achaemenes, the possibly-legendary founder of the dynasty. He ruled Persis, on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, at some point during the mid Seventh century BC. Achaemenes, if he existed, had probably been a subsidiary ruler within the Median Empire, but Teispes is said to have ruled during the 'Scythian interregnum', a short period in which Scythian invaders from the east may have overthrown the Median emperors. Teispes expanded his kingdom along the Persian Gulf.

At his death the kingdom was split between his two sons, Ariaramnes, who was given eastern Persis, and Cyrus I, who ruled western Persis (also known as Anshan). Both branches of the family eventually produced Persian emperors. Cyrus I was the direct ancestor of Cyrus II the Great, who founded the Persian Empire. After the death of Cambyses II this branch of the family became extinct and the throne was taken by Darius I, a descendent of Ariaramnes.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 February 2015), Teispes, king of Persis, fl. mid 7thC BC, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_teispes.html

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