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Ctesphon is the King of Stygia during the reign of King Conan of Aquilonia. He held the wizard Thoth-amon in such high esteem that he exalted him above his rival magicians. For this reason, they hate and fear Thoth-amon and will seek any opportunity to destroy him.[1]

Ctesphon casts down and elevates priests and mages at his own will in Stygia. The daughter-kingdoms of Stygia, like Kutchemes and Acheron, were priest-monarchies ruled by priest-kings. Ctesphon himself is a pureblooded white-skinned scion of the mysterious continent in the eastern ocean.

In "The Scarlet Citadel", it is revealed that Thoth's other co-conspirator, the bard Rinaldo, had dealings with Tsotha-lanthi. This one is an acolyte of the Stygian dark priest magehood and an initiate in the Stygian cult of state, the cult of Set. The Thoth-amon in "The phoenix on the Sword", the one story by Robert E. Howard where he appears, is not at all impressive, neither as a man nor as mage.


Ctesiphon is the name of the last capital of Persia before the Muslim conquest. Ahriman is the lord of darkness and evil of Zoroastrianism, the old religion of Persia. The great opponent of Ahriman is Ahura Mazda, father of the god Mithra.


  1. Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The Phoenix on the Sword"), Del Rey (2003).