The key aspects of the political carrier of the famous Persian satrap Tissaphernes are considered in the article. The first part is devoted to the study of Tissaphernes’ origin and family. It is assumed that he belonged to the family of Hydarnids and his prominent ancestors were among the political elite of the Persian Empire in the late 6th and early 5th century BC. The author comes to the conclusion that Tissaphernes had not been connected with Asia Minor before his appointment by King Darius II as the satrap of Sparda ca 420s (though his alleged grandfather Hydarnes II had temporarily resided there as Xerxes’ general). The beginning and the further development of Thissaphernes’ carrier are also analysed, especially his status during the activities of Cyrus the Younger in Asia Minor. The article ends with the detailed account of the circumstances of Tissaphernes’ death in 395.