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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 518

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Artamène, in reality Cyrus the Great, the son of the king of Persia. Given as a child to a shepherd to be killed because of an ill omen, the boy is reared by the shepherd. As Artamène, he becomes a great general. He falls in love with Mandane, a beautiful princess, and, along with numerous others, pursues her endlessly and against great odds. After conquering many of the kingdoms of Asia while in pursuit of Mandane, Artamène finds his princess still alive and safe, and they are wed.


Cyaxares (si-AK-suh-reez), king of Cappadocia and Media. Artamène becomes his best general and falls in love with his daughter.


Mandane, the daughter of King Cyaxares. Her hand is sought by numerous kings and princes, but she loves only Artamène. She is the object of the Queen of Scythia’s jealousy. When captured by the queen, she is marked for murder; by mistake, a maid of honor is killed in her place. Rescued by Artamène, she marries him at last.


Philidaspes, king of Assyria, who is in love with Mandane. He abducts her and takes her to Babylon but there loses her to a rival.


Mazare, the prince of Sacia, who also loves Mandane. While Philidaspes is locked in a tower, Mazare takes Mandane away.

The King of Pontus

The King of Pontus, also in love with Mandane. He captures her when she and Mazare are shipwrecked near his fortress. When his fortress is threatened by Artamène, he carries Mandane away.


Anaxoris, in reality Aryante, prince of the Massagetae and Queen Thomyris’ brother. Anaxoris also loves Mandane. Entrusted with Mandane’s safety by his friend Philidaspes, he turns her over to Thomyris to keep her away from Artamène.


Thomyris, the powerful queen of Scythia. In love with Artamène, her jealousy causes her to order Mandane’s death. A maid of honor is killed by mistake, and before Thomyris can act again, Mandane is rescued by Artamène.


Spargapises, Thomyris’ son, who commits suicide in disgrace because he is not recognized when captured in battle.


Araminta, the sister of the queen of Pontus. Mandane is jealous of her because she mistakenly thinks Artamène is enamored of her.


Spithridates, Araminta’s suitor, who resembles Artamène and thus causes Mandane to think it is Artamène who is pursuing Araminta. He is killed in battle and, still being mistaken for Artamène, his head is presented to Thomyris.

Prince Phraortes

Prince Phraortes (fray-OHR-teez), who abducts Araminta, leaving Spithridates desperate.


Panthea, the wife of Abradantes, who, along with Araminta, is taken as a hostage by Artamène at Sardis.


Abradantes, one of the rulers whom Artamène fights in his siege of Sardis.


Martesie, Mandane’s maid of honor.

The Queen of Corinth

The Queen of Corinth, who forms a platonic attachment for Artamène and sends her fleet to help him capture Cumae, to which the king of Pontus has fled with Mandane.


Metrobate, a traitor.

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