(from the an Old Iranian
original Baga-data, "Given by the gods"), also Bagdates
, was a frataraka
or "Keeper of the Fire"
, and a governor or sub-dynast for the Seleucids
, ruling as a priest-king at Istakhr
in the former Achaemenid heartland, the territory of Persis
), after Alexander's conquests. He was the first indigenous Persian satrap to be appointed by the Seleucids, who held the higher administrative posts tightly within the Greco-Macedonian circle that was headed by the "Companions" and their heirs. On the reverse of his coins, Bagadates is depicted standing in front of a Zoroastrian fire-altar, or seated in majesty holding a staff of authority and possibly a pomegranate
in his left hand (illustration, left
). As the Seleucid Empire weakened, some of these frataraka
satraps became themselves kings: Bagadates seems to have asserted his independence about 280 BCE. "That the first oriental reaction to Macedonian rule should come from Persis, the homeland of the Achaemenids, is hardly surprising," Otto Mørkholm remarks. "It is only difficult to understand why it came so late." The uprising against Seleucid control was continued by Bagadates' son, Oborzos
, who emphasized the continuity by repeating the coinage type established by his father.
In a surviving inscription at Amyzon in Caria, another Bagadates was appointed neokoros of the Temple of Artemis there in 321; it is surmised that his family had been potent landowners in the region before the conquests of Alexander. The son of this Bagadates, Ariaramnēs, succeeded him as neokoros at Amyzon.