Frataraka is an ancient Persian title, interpreted variously as “leader, governor, forerunner”. It is an epithet or title of a series of rulers in Persis from 3rd to mid 2nd century BC, or alternatively between 295 and 220 BC, at the time of the Seleucid Empire, prior to the Parthian conquest of West Asia and Iran. Studies of Frataraka coins are important to historians of this period.
Several rulers have been identified as belonging to Fratarakā dynasty (from the title prtrk’ zy alhaya, or “governor of the gods” on their coins): bgdt (Baydād), rtḥštry (Ardaxšīr I), whwbrz (Vahbarz, who is called Oborzos in Polyenus 7.40), and wtprdt (Vādfradād I).
Traditionally, they used to be considered as independent, anti-Seleucid rulers of Persis in the 3rd century BC. It seems however that they were rather representatives of the Seleucids in the region of Fārs. They ruled from the end of the 3rd century BC to the beginning of the 2nd century BC, and Vahbarz or Vādfradād obtained independence circa 150 BC, when Seleucid power waned in the areas of southwestern Persia and the Persian Gulf region.
Alternatively, they may have ruled between circa 295 and 220 BC, until the Seleucid briefly took back direct control of the region of Persis under the Seleucid satrap Alexander, circa 220 BC. Some authors consider that Persis remained under the control of the Seleucids throughout the 3rd century. Antiochus III is known to have visited Antiochia in Persis in 205 BC.