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Mausolus (Greek: Μαύσωλος; also Maussollus) was a satrap of the Persian empire and virtual ruler of Caria (377-353/352 BC).

He took part in the revolt against Artaxerxes Mnemon (362), conquered a great part of Lycia, Ionia and several of the Greek islands and cooperated with the Rhodians and their ally in the war against Athens. He moved his capital from Mylasa, the ancient seat of the Carian kings, to Halicarnassus.

Mausolus was the eldest son of Hecatomnus of Mylasa, a native Carian who became Satrap of Caria, when Tissaphernes died, around 395 BC. These Carian rulers embraced Hellenic culture.

He is best known from the tomb erected for him by his sister and widow Artemisia. The architects Satyrus and Pythis, and the sculptors Scopas, Leochares, Bryaxis and Timotheus, finished the work after her death. The term Mausoleum has come to be used generically for any grand tomb. Its site and a few remains can still be seen in the Turkish town of Bodrum.

An inscription discovered at Mylasa (Philipp August Böckh, Inscr. gr. ii. 2691 c.) details the punishment of certain conspirators who had made an attempt upon his life at a festival in a temple at Labranda in 353.

Artemisia and Mausolus

Photo of Mausolus, British Museum

Mausolus British Museum

Links

Livius, Maussolus by Jona Lendering

Caria

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