died 353 BC

Satrap (governor) of Caria in South Asia Minor.

Nominally under the control of the Persian empire, he took advantage of upheaval in Asia Minor to gain independence. He was influential among the Greek cities of Ionia and instigated the revolt of Athens's allies in 357. He endowed his capital, Halicarnassus, with fine buildings. His sister and wife, Artemisia II, finished building his tomb, the Mausoleum. It was designed by the Greek architect Pythius and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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▪ Persian satrap
died , 353/352 BC

      Persian satrap (governor), though virtually an independent ruler, of Caria, in southwestern Anatolia, from 377/376 to 353. He is best known from the name of his monumental tomb, the so-called Mausoleum—considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—a word now used to designate any large and imposing burial structure.

      By moving his capital from Mylasa in the interior to Halicarnassus on the coast, Mausolus indicated that he would attempt to make Caria an expansionist power. In 362 he joined the revolt of the satraps of Anatolia against the Persian king Artaxerxes II (reigned 404–359/358) but abandoned the struggle just in time to keep from going down in defeat with his allies. Thereafter Mausolus was a nearly autonomous ruler who absorbed part of Lycia, immediately to the southeast, and several Ionian Greek cities northwest of Caria. He backed the islands of Rhodes, Cos, and Chios (all off the west coast of Anatolia) and their allies in their war against Athens (the Social War of 357–355), and the victory of this coalition brought Rhodes and Cos into his sphere of influence.

      The planning of his great tomb was begun by Mausolus; after his death, Artemisia, who was both his sister and his widow, directed the construction. Although now a ruin, the tomb was an enormous structure containing colossal figures of the Carian king and his queen. It was designed by the famous Greek architect Pythius and decorated with works by the Greek sculptors Scopas, Bryaxis, Timotheus, and Leochares.

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Universalium. 2010.

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