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Cambyses I, king of Persis, r.c.600-559 BC

Cambyses I, king of Persis, r.c.600-559 BC



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Cambyses I, king of Persis, r.c.600-559 BC

Cambyses I was king of Persis (c.600-559) and the father of Cyrus II the Great, founder of the Persian Empire. Cambyses inherited the throne of western Persis (or Anshan) from his father Cyrus I. Eastern Persis was then held by the family of his uncle Ariaramnes, brother of Cyrus I. For the last two generations Persis had apparently been free of Median control, largely due to the 'Scythian interregnum', a period where Scythian nomads from the east briefly overthrew the Median rulers. According to Herodotus the Scythians were overthrown by Cyaxares of Media (625-585 BC), who got their leaders drunk at a party and then killed them. Cyaxares then restored Median control over Persis, and appointed Cambyses as ruler of both halves of Persis.

Cyaxares was succeeded by his son Astyages (r.585-550). At some point after Astyages came to the throne he married his daughter Mandana to Cambyses and in around 575 BC they had a son, the future Cyrus II the Great. As might be expected plenty of legends surround Cyrus's childhood. According to the most famous, Astyages chose to marry his daughter to Cambyses in response to a dream. After the birth of Cyrus he had another dream, this time suggesting that the young prince would overthrow him. Astyages sent a general to assassinate the young Cyrus, but instead he chose to hide him away. Cyrus was raised by a shepherd, but his real identity was later revealed and he was allowed to succeed his father Cambyses as king of western Persis and presumably overlord of eastern Persis.


Cambyses I, king of Persis, r.c.600-559 BC - History

Iran is a land of extraordinary diversity, geographically, climatically and ethnically. To many Europeans the word Persia is evocative of beautiful works of art- carpets, tiles, fine ceramics, miniatures and metal-work. Or they might think of Persian poets such as Hafez, Saadi or Omar Khayyam, who are often quoted in translation. Yet these artistic and literary accomplishments all date from the Islamic era. Much less well known, but no less fascinating, are the art and history of ancient Persia, or Iran.

Towards the end of Darius' reign, intense struggle with Greece began which ended the superiority of the Persians. Xerxes , son of Darius, was king of Persia at this time. In the early part of his reign there were revolts in Egypt and Babylonia to deal with, but six years later he was ready to turn his attention toward Greece. Xerxes tried to attack Athens but all he accomplished was destroying the deserted city and burning the temples on the Acropolis, while the Athenians were waiting for him at Salamis. Xerxes believed that in order for him to gain control of the Peloponnese he would have to win this battle. The Greek and Persian fleets fought at Salamis, under Themistocles, in 480 B.C. The Greeks won a convincing victory. Later, the Achaemenid (Persian) attempt to overrun Greece was ended. In 465 BC, Xerxes was killed in his palace and his successor Artaxerxes continued building work at Persepolis. It was completed during the reign of Artaxerxes III, around 338 BC. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great defeated the Persian armies of the third Darius. He marched into Iran and, once there, he turned his attention to Persepolis, and that magnificent complex of buildings was burnt down. This act of destruction for revenge of the Acropolis, was surprising from one who prided himself on being a pupil of Aristotle. This was the end of the Persian Empire.

Median names are followed by their Greek transcriptions, as those are generally better recognized.


Mystery Surrounding Lost Army of Persian King Cambyses II May Have Been Solved

Prof Olaf Kaper, an archaeologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, believes he may have solved one of the greatest mysteries in ancient history – what happened to the 50,000-man army of Persian King Cambyses II in the Egyptian desert around 524 BC.

Persian warriors, a detail from the frieze in Darius’ palace in Susa. Pergamon Museum / Vorderasiatisches Museum, Germany. Image credit: Mohammed Shamma / CC BY 2.0.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Cambyses II, the oldest son of Cyrus the Great, sent his army to destroy the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis. 50,000 warriors entered the Egypt’s western desert near Luxor. Somewhere in the middle of the desert the army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed.

Although many scientists regard the story as a myth, amateur as well as professional archaeologists have searched for the remains of the Persian soldiers for many decades.

Prof Kaper never believed this story. “Some expect to find an entire army, fully equipped. However, experience has long shown that you cannot die from a sandstorm,” he said.

Prof Kaper argues that the lost army of Cambyses II did not disappear, but was defeated.

“My research shows that the army was not simply passing through the desert, its final destination was the Dakhla Oasis.”

“This was the location of the troops of the Egyptian rebel leader Petubastis III.”

“He ultimately ambushed the army of Cambyses II, and in this way managed from his base in the oasis to reconquer a large part of Egypt, after which he let himself be crowned Pharaoh in the capital, Memphis.”

The fact that the fate of the army of Cambyses II remained unclear for such a long time is probably due to the Persian King Darius I, who ended the Egyptian revolt with much bloodshed two years after Cambyses II’s defeat.

“Darius I attributed the shameful defeat of his predecessor to natural elements. Thanks to this effective manipulation, 75 years after the event all Herodotus could do was take note of the sandstorm story.”

During the past ten years, Prof Kaper has been involved in excavations in Amheida, in the Dakhla Oasis.

Earlier this year, he deciphered the full list of titles of Petubastis III on ancient temple blocks.

“That’s when the puzzle pieces fell into place,” Prof Kaper said.

“The temple blocks indicate that this must have been a stronghold at the start of the Persian period. Once we combined this with the limited information we had about Petubastis III, the excavation site and the story of Herodotus, we were able to reconstruct what happened.”

Olaf Kaper. Policies of Darius I in the Western Desert of Egypt. International Conference of the ERC project BABYLON. June 19, 2014


Cambyses I, king of Persis, r.c.600-559 BC - History

The Rest of the Story

by Ed Costanza

Esther, the beautiful Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus and her cousin Mordecai persuade the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jews throughout the empire. The massacre had been plotted by the king's chief minister, Haman, and the date decided by casting lots. 8

But the work of God goes much deeper and farther than the book of Esther records. The book of Esther is just the beginning of the history of God's chosen nation. It begins with the prophecy of Isaiah (41:1-2 44:24-28 45:1-13) to send his people back to Israel to restore the temple and settle the land after the 70 years of captivity for the punishment of Israel's sins and to give the land her rest (seven year land rest). Hidden in the books of the bible and revealed through the various prophets God reveals the means He used to raise up Cyrus.

Cyrus is the grandson of King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther. Cambyses, Cyrus' father dies when he is 12 years old. His grandparents ( King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther) summon him and his mother (Mandane) to come live with them at the palace. Cyrus is taught by Esther and the King about the laws of God and the prophecies written 150 years before by God through the prophets about him (Cyrus). When the time comes Cyrus king of Persia issues the edict for the Jews to return to Israel: "Isa 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." Below is the Genealogy of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia and Darius King of the Medes complete with notes and references.

Genealogy of Cyrus the Great and Darius King of the Medes


1 &ndash Battle of Opis (539 BC)

This was one of the most important victories in Cyrus the Great&rsquos career as his army defeated the Babylonian army. It was significant because, in 539 BC, Babylon was the only major power in the western Asian region that was free from Persian control. As you might expect from a battle that is over 2,500 years old, details are sketchy, but we do know that fighting took place over several days at the city of Opis which was located north of Babylon.

The main source of information for the Battle of Opis is the Nabonidus Chronicle which is one of the famed Babylonian Chronicles. According to this data, the battle took place sometime between September 27 and October 27. Cyrus led the Persian army in the field while Belshazzar, son of the Babylonian ruler Nabonidus probably led the Babylon forces. Even the size of the forces or amount of casualties is unknown, and the fate of Belshazzar is also a mystery although it is assumed that he died on the field.

The Chronicle refers to a massacre, but while some translators believe this refers to the Babylonian army, others suggest it relates to the citizens of Opis. Regardless of who was slaughtered, it is clear that Cyrus&rsquo army was victorious as the Babylonian forces either fled the field or died while retreating.

The defeat at Opis practically ended the fierce Babylonian resistance to the Persian regime, and within two weeks, the city of Sippar surrendered without a fight. Apparently, Cyrus was even able to march into Babylon itself unopposed, so the enemy either laid down its arms or was annihilated at Opis. According to a Babylonian historian named Berossus who wrote in the third century BC, Nabonidus was spared by Cyrus and died in exile.

Cyrus presented himself as the new leader of Babylon, but far from ravaging the newly conquered territory, he released political prisoners and restored temples. During his reign which lasted between 29 and 31 years, Cyrus created the largest empire the world had seen to that point. Egypt was the only major western power left, but he died before launching any sort of invasion. It was left to his son, Cambyses II, to complete the job.


On September 29, 522 B.C., following two years of bizarre and bloody political intrigue, King Darius I the Great of Persia killed a Magian (think of the magi or wise men of the Bible) usurper, thereby securing Darius’s hold as great king of the Persian Empire.

Digging Deeper

Most westerners know of Darius as one of the two Persian monarchs who attempted and failed to conquer Greece. Darius’s forces were those who suffered the iconic defeat at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. Yet, this invasion happened over thirty years into Darius’s reign and just four years before his death. As such, the Greco-Persian Wars occurred only in the final third of the great king’s reign. Much of his long and storied career is rarely remembered today. Prior to his foray into Greece, he had expanded the Persian Empire to become the largest empire the ancient world would see (yes, even geographically larger than the Roman Empire).

The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent, under the rule of Darius I (522 BC to 486 BC)

Of course how exactly Darius came to the throne to undertake such imperial expansion has been the subject of much mystery and debate over the past 2500 years.

Over the course of these past centuries, historians have divided into two camps over whether or not Darius legitimately came to the throne or if he was something of a usurper. According to the traditional story, the first camp, which draws upon most ancient sources, believes that around the time of the death of then Great King Cambyses, a Magus named Gaumata took over the throne. According to this version of the story, Cambyses dreamt of his brother, Bardiya, being a potential rival to his throne and so Cambyses had Bardiya assassinated. BUT Cambyses kept the murder a secret. This blunder allowed Gaumata to seize the opportunity to impersonate Bardiya as the new great king of Persia with no one being any the wiser, and yes, that apparently included even the wife and women of Bardiya’s harem…

From there, the traditional story gets even more akin to something on a cable TV drama series. Eventually, a Persian noble named Otanes suspected Gaumata was indeed an imposter. Otanes revealed his suspicions to his daughter Phaidime, who was married to Bardiya. Because Otanes knew that the Magus known as Gaumata had earlier had his ears severed by Cyrus the Great, Otanes told his daughter to feel for the Magus’s ears under his flowing locks as they slept together. Apparently not having noticed this physical difference earlier on her own accord, she did as her father instructed. To what must have been her surprise, that’s right, she found no ears on the head of her husband, thereby confirming Otanes’s suspicions. After Otanes’s daughter informed her father of her discovery, Otanes along with six others, including Darius, surprised Gaumata at a castle, where the seven conspirators stabbed the false king to death on September 29, 522 B.C.

Gaumata under Darius I’s boot engraved at Behistun Inscription in Kermanshah.

Out of the seven, it fell upon Darius to become the new ruler. To legitimize his new throne, he subsequently married Atossa, a daughter of Cyrus the Great (Persia’s first great king) and a sister of Cambyses. Atossa would go on to bear Darius’s son and successor Xerxes of the famous Battle of Thermopylae, memorialized in the major motion picture 300.

The problem with the above story is that it is not only entertaining (if you like political blood and guts types of intrigues!), but it really seems to work in the favor of Darius, the ultimate winner of the whole mess, perhaps a little too well. Thus, multiple revisionist historians have taken a different stance on the whole incident claiming that Gaumata was in fact Bardiya, the legitimate heir to Cambyses, and Darius fabricated the story to legitimize his own coup. Such scholars point to how if Darius’s version is correct, it means that even Bardiya’s own wife believed Gaumata to be her husband until her father had to convince her otherwise.

Question for students (and subscribers): So, which account seems most credible to you? The original sources, i.e. those closest to the event would have us believe that after a prophetic dream, one king had his brother killed thereby allowing a magus to seize power, duping the dead heir’s wife and various others, until a group of nobles slew him and then redeemed their nation’s monarchy by having one of the usurper’s murderers marry into the legitimate royal family. Or do you instead agree with modern revisionists who instead argue that Darius simply killed the actual brother of Cambyses and made up a nice story to legitimize his actions? Yet, even if the modern account sounds more credible, keep in mind, no ancient sources necessarily tell that story. In any event, please let us know what you believe in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

The oldest source on the matter is the Behistun Inscription from Darius’s reign, which provides Darius’s take on how he came to power. The inscription also includes an image of Gaumata under Darius’s foot!

The famous Greek historian Herodotus writing in the century following this events and known simultaneously as “the Father of History” and “the Father of Lies” also recounts the story.

For an excellent scholarly account of the history of the ancient Persian Empire, see Pierre Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire ( Eisenbrauns , 2002).

For more information, please see…

Abbott, Jacob. Darius the Great: Makers of History. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.

Poolos, J. and Arthur Meier Schlesinger. Darius the Great (Ancient World Leaders). Chelsea House Pub, 2008.


Darius I 'the Great' King of Persia

Darius I, titled "Darius the Great," was the third king of kings of the Achaemenid Empire. Darius held the empire at its peak, then including Egypt, and parts of Greece. The decay and downfall of the empire commenced with his death and the coronation of his son, Xerxes I.[1]

Darius ascended the throne by assassinating the alleged usurper Gaumata with the assistance of six other Persian noble families Darius was crowned the following morning. The new emperor met with rebellions throughout his kingdom, and quelled them each time. A major event in Darius' life was his expedition to punish Athens and Eretria and subjugate Greece (an attempt which failed). Darius expanded his empire by conquering Thrace and Macedon, and invading the Saka, Iranian tribes who had invaded Medes even killed Cyrus the Great. [2]

Darius organized the empire, by dividing it into provinces and placing governors to govern it. He organized a new monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Babylon, and Egypt. Darius created a codification of laws for Egypt. He also carved the cliff-face Behistun Inscription, an autobiography of great modern linguistic significance.

Darius left a tri-lingual monumental relief on Mount Behistun which was written in Elamite, Old Persian and Babylonian between his coronation and his death. The inscription first gives a brief autobiography of Darius with his ancestry and lineage. To expand on his ancestry, Darius left a sequence of events that occurred after the death of Cyrus the Great. Darius mentions several times that he is the rightful emperor by the grace of Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian God. In addition, further texts and monuments from Persepolis have been found, including a fragmentary Old Iranian inscription from Gherla, Rumania (Harmatta), and a letter from Darius to Gadates, preserved in a Greek text of the Roman period.

Herodotus, a Greek historian and author of The Histories, provided an account of many Iranian emperors and of the Greco-Iranian Wars. He wrote extensively of Darius. The story of Darius spans half of book 3, along with books 4, 5 and 6 it begins with removal of the alleged usurper Gaumata and continues to the end of Darius's reign. After his death.[2]

The Book of Ezra (chapter 6, verse 1) describes the adoption and precise instructions to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. It was completed and inaugurated of the sixth year of Darius (March 515 BCE), as also related in the Book of Ezra (chapter 6, verse 15), so the 70-year prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled. Between Cyrus and Darius, an exchange of letters with King Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes is described (Chapter 4, Verse 7), the grandson of Darius I, in whose reign Ezra and Nehemiah came to Jerusalem. The generous funding of the temple gave Darius and his successors the support of the Jewish priesthood.

There is mention of a Darius in the Book of Daniel, identified as Darius the Mede. He began ruling when he was 62 years old (chapter 5, verse 31), appointed 120 satraps to govern over their provinces or districts (chapter 6, verse 1), was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans (chapter 9, verse 1), and predated Cyrus (chapter 11, verse 1). Therefore, many scholars identify him with Cyaxares II rather than Darius I of Persia.

Darius was born as the eldest son to Hystaspes and Rhodugune in 550 BCE. Hystaspes was a leading figure of authority in Persis which was the homeland of the Persians. Darius' inscription states that his father was satrap of Bactria in 522 BCE. According to Herodotus, Hystaspes was satrap of Persis, although this is considered to be an error by most historians. Also according to Herodotus (III.139), Darius, prior to seizing power and "of no consequence at the time", had served as a spearman (doryphoros) in the Egyptian campaign (528� BCE) of Cambyses II, then the Persian emperor.[6]

The rise of Darius to the throne contains two different sides to the story. Our sources (the Bisitun inscription and Herodotus) both give similar stories (below). However, historians have inferred from these that Darius' rise to power may have been illegitimate. It seems likely that 'Gaumata' was in fact Bardiya, and that under cover of revolts, Darius killed the heir to the throne and took it himself. The fact that Darius' father and grandfather are still alive (Bisitun Inscription) implies that he was not the next in line to a hereditary throne.

The account of Darius which is written at the Behistun Inscription states that Cambyses II killed his own brother Bardiya, but that this murder was not known among the Iranian people. A would-be usurper named Gaumata came and lied to the people, stating he was Bardiya.[8] The Iranians had grown rebellious against Cambyses' rule, and on 11 March 522 BCE, a revolt against Cambyses broke out, in his absence.

On 1 July, the Iranian people chose to be under the leadership of Gaumata, as "Bardiya". No member of the Achamenid family would rise against Gaumata for the safety of their own life. Darius, who had served Cambyses as his lance-bearer until the deposed ruler's death, prayed for aid, and in September 522 BCE, he along with Otanes, Intraphrenes, Gobryas, Hydarnes, Megabyxus and Aspathines killed Gaumata in the fortress of Sikayauvati. Darius was proclaimed emperor.[8]

According to the accounts of Greek historians, Cambyses II had left Patizeithes in charge of the kingdom when he headed for Egypt. He later sent Prexaspes to murder Bardiya. After the killing, Patizeithes put his brother Gaumata, a Magian who resembled Bardiya, on the throne and declared him the emperor. Otanes discovered that Gaumata was an impostor, and along with six other Iranian nobles including Darius, created a plan to oust the pseudo-Bardiya. After killing the impostor along with his brother Patizeithes and other Magians, Darius was crowned emperor the following morning.[2]

After Bardiya was murdered, widespread revolts occurred throughout the empire, especially on the eastern side. Darius asserted his position as emperor by force, taking his armies throughout the empire, supressing each revolt individually. The most notable of all the revolts is the Babylonian revolt which was led by Nebuchadnezzar III. This revolt occurred when Otanes had taken a large amount of the army out of Babylon to aid Darius in suppressing other revolts. Darius felt that the Babylonian had taken advantage of him and deceived him, which resulted in Darius gathering up a large army and marching to Babylon. At Babylon, Darius was met with closed gates and a series of defences to keep him and his armies out of Babylon. [9]

Darius encountered mockey and taunting from the rebels, including the famous saying "Oh yes, you will capture our city, when mules shall have foals." For 1 and half years, Darius and his armies were inable to capture Babylon. Darius had attempted many tricks and strategies, even copying the method that Cyrus the Great had utilized when he had captured Babylon. However, the situation changed in the favor of Darius, when one of the mules of Zopyrus foaled. At the time, it was believed to be a great miracle and an act of God. Following this, a plan was created for a high ranking soldier to pretend to be a deserter to enter the Babylonian camp and gain the trust of the Babylonians. The plan was successful and the Persians eventually surrouned the city and were able to conquer the rebels.[10]

During this revolt, Scythian nomads took advantage of the disorder and chaos and invaded southern Persia. Darius first finished defeating the rebels in Elam, Assyria and Babylon, which he followed up with an attack agaisnt the invaders. Darius pursued the invaders who led him to a marsh, where he found no known enemies but an enigmatic Scythian tribe distinguishable by their large pointed hats.[11] Even though, Darius' campaign agaisnt the Scythians would more the most part end in failure, he would soon attain larger, greater successess with his escapades and campaigns in Europe.

Darius's European expedition was a major event in his reign. Starting with the Scythians, Darius conquered Scythia, Thrace and many cities of the northern Aegean, while Macedonia submitted voluntarily. The Asiatic Greeks and Greek islands had submitted to Persian rule by 510 BCE. They were being governed by tyrants responsible to Darius.[13]

Nonetheless, there were certain Greeks who were pro-Persian, such as the Medizing Greeks, which were largely grouped at Athens. This improved Greek-Persian relations as Darius opened his court and treasuries to the Greeks who wanted to serve him. These Greeks served as soldiers, artisans, statesmen and mariners for Darius. However, Greek fear of the Persians becoming very strong and the constant interference by the Greeks in Ionia and Lydia were all stepping stones in the conflict that was yet to come between Persia and Greece.[13]

When Aristagoras organized the Ionian revolt, Eretria and Athens supported him by sending ships to Ionia and burning Sardis. Persian military and naval operations to quell the revolt ended in the Persian reoccupation of Ionian and Greek islands. However, anti-Persian parties gained more power in Athens, and pro-Persian aristocrats were exiled from Athens and Sparta. Darius responded by sending a group of troops led by his son-in-law across the Hellespont. However, the battle was lost due to a violent storm and harassment by Thracians.[13]

Determined to punish Athens, Darius sent a second army consisting of 20,000 men under Datis who captured Eretria and moved onwards to Marathon. In 490, at the Battle of Marathon, the Persians were defeated by a heavily armed Athenian army with 9,000 men who were supported by 600 Plataeans and 10,000 lightly armed soldiers led by Miltiades. The defeat at Marathon marked the end of the First Persian invasion of Greece.[13]

After becoming aware of the Persian defeat at the Battle of Marathon, Darius began planning another expedition against the Greek-city states, this time he would command his armies, rather than Datis. Darius spent three years preparing armies and ships for the war, when a revolt broke out in Egypt. This revolt in Egypt worsened his failing health and prevented the possibility of sending another army himself. In October 486 BCE, Darius was embalmed and entombed in the rock-cut sepulcher which had been prepared for him several years earlier. Xerxes, the eldest son of Darius and Atossa was the successor of Darius and acceded to the throne as Xerxes I. However, prior to Xerxes's accession, Xerxes fought for the right to the throne with his elder half-brother Artobazan, Darius' oldest son who was born to his commoner first wife before Darius rose to power.

Early in his reign, Darius wanted to organize the loosely organized empire with a system of taxation which had been passed down to him from Cyrus and Cambyses. To do this, Darius created twenty provinces called satrapies (or archi) which were each assigned to a satrap (archon) and specified fixed tributes that the satrapies were required to pay. A complete list is preserved in the catalog of Herodotus, beginning from Ionia and listing the other satrapies from west to east excluding Persis which was the land of the Persians and the only province which was not a conquered land. Tributes were paid in both silver and gold talents. The tributes from each satrap that were paid in silver were measured with the Babylonian talent, and those paid in gold were measured with the Euboic talent. The total tribute from the satraps came to a number less than 15,000 silver talents.[15]

The majority of the satraps were of Persian origin and were members of the royal house or the six great noble families. These satraps were personally picked by Darius to monitor these provinces, which were divided into sub-provinces with their own governors which were chosen either by the royal court or by the satrap. The assessment of the tribute was accomplished by Darius sending a commission of men to evaluate the expenses and revenues of each satrap. To ensure that one person did not gain too much power, each satrap had a secretary who observed the affairs of the state and communicated with Darius, a treasurer who safeguarded provincial revenues, and a garrison commander who was responsible for the troops. Additionally, royal inspectors who were the "eyes and ears" of Darius completed further checks over each satrap.[16]

There were headquarters of imperial administration at Persepolis, Susa, and Babylon while Bactria, Ecbatana, Sardis, Dascyclium and Memphis also had branches of imperial administration. Darius chose Aramaic as a common language, which soon spread throughout the empire. However, Darius gathered a group of scholars to create a separate language system only used for Persis and the Persians, which was called Aryan script which was only used during official inscriptions.[16]

Before 500 BCE, Darius had introduced a new monetary system which was based on silver coins with a weight averaging to be around 8g and gold coins averaging to be 5.40 g. The gold coin was called dārayaka and was probably named after Darius. In order to improve trade, Darius built canals, underground waterways, and a powerful navy. He further improved the network of roads and way stations throughout the empire, so that there was a system of travel authorization by King, satrap, or other high official, which entitled the traveler to draw provisions at daily stopping places.

Darius was an adherent of Zoroastrianism and believed that Ahura Mazda had appointed him to rule the Persian Empire. At inscriptions, such as the Behistun Inscription, he mentions that he believes he is chosen by Ahura Mazda to be the emperor. Darius had dualistic convictions and believed that each rebellion in his kingdom was the work of Drug, the enemy of Asha. Darius believed that because he lived righteously by Asha, Ahura Mazda supported him. [18] In many cuneiform inscriptions denoting his achievements, he presents himself a devout believer perhaps even convinced that he had a divine right to rule over the world. [19]

In the lands that were conquered by the Persian Empire, Darius followed the same Achaemenid tolerance that Cyrus had shown, and later Achaemenid emperors would show. He supported faiths and religions that were "alien" as long as the adherents were submissive and peaceable, sometimes giving them grants from his treasury for their purposes. [20] He had funded the restoration of the Jewish temple which had originally been decreed by Cyrus the Great, presented favour towards Greek cults which can be seen in his letter to Gadatas, and supported Elamite priests. He had also observed Egyptian religious rites related to kingship and had built the temple for the Egyptian God, Amun.[21]

During Darius's Greek expedition, he had taken on building programs in Susa, Egypt and Persepolis. He had linked the Red Sea to the river Nile by building a canal which ran from modern Zaqāzīq to modern Suez. To open this canal, he traveled to Egypt in 497 BCE, where the inauguration was done among great fanfare and celebration. Darius also built a canal to connect the Red Sea and Mediterranean. [14][22] On this visit to Egypt, he erected monuments and executed Aryandes on the accounts of treason. When Darius returned back to Persis, he found that the codification of Egyptian law had been finished.[13]

Additionally, Darius sponsored large construction projects in Susa, Babylon, Egypt, and Persepolis. The monuments that Darius built were often inscribed in the official languages of the Persian Empire, which were Old Persian, Elamite, Babylonian and Egyptian hieroglyphs. To construct these monuments, Darius had hired a large number of workers and artisans of diverse nationalities. Several of these workers were deportees who had been employed specifically for these projects. These deportees enhanced the economy and improved international relations with neighboring countries that these deportees arrived from.[16]

During the period of Darius's death, construction projects were still underway. Xerxes completed these works and in some cases expanded his father's projects by erecting new buildings of his own.

Darawesh/Darius I, King of Persia, was born circa 558 BC, died circa 486 BC.

He married Atossa circa 522 BC.

Darius I, called The Great (558?-486 bc), king of Persia (522-486 bc), son of the Persian noble Hystaspes, and a member of a royal Persian family, the Achaemenids. In 522 bc, on the death of King Cambyses II, a group of Magian priests tried to give the throne to one of their number, the usurper Gaumata he pretended to be Smerdis (died about 523 bc), the murdered brother of Cambyses II. In 522, Darius defeated Gaumata and was chosen king of Persia.

The first two years of his reign were occupied with suppressing rebellions, the most important of which occurred in Babylonia. Thereafter he devoted himself to reforming the internal organization of Persia and making its outer borders secure. He reorganized the vast empire into 20 satrapies, built highways, organized a postal system, reformed the currency, encouraged commerce, and won the goodwill of large portions of the heterogeneous population. Because he respected their religions, he was honored by the Jews, whom he permitted to complete the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem in 516 by the Egyptians, whose high priest he consulted and by the Greeks of Asia Minor, whose oracles supported him during the revolt of the Greek cities.

In protecting the borders of the empire, Darius conquered new territories along the Indus River in the east and in the Caucasus Mountains in the northeast, but his expedition in 516 against the tribes of the Danube River failed. In 499 a revolt broke out among the Ionian Greek cities of Asia Minor, partly encouraged by some of the Greek cities on the mainland. The revolt was suppressed by 494, and Darius prepared to punish the mainland Greeks for their intervention. In 492 an army under Mardonius, the son-in-law of Darius, crossed the Bosporus into Thrace but was unable to reach Greece because the supply ships were wrecked off Mount Athos. Two years later, a strong Persian force under the joint command of Artaphernes (flourished 5th century bc), a nephew of Darius, and the Mede commander Datis (flourished 5th century bc) invaded Greece from the north but was defeated at Marathon. A third expedition was being prepared when Darius died. He left a detailed account of his reign, inscribed in three languages on a towering rock. This Behistun Inscription, the first English transcription of which was complete in 1849, confirms many details of the life of Darius.

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Father: Hystaspes of Persia

Marriage 1 Atossa of Persia

Dareios I (grekisk form av persiska Darayavahush) var en persisk kung som var gift med Atossa. Han gjorde sig mest känd för att ha skapat det persiska rikets organisation. Persien indelades i tjugo omrn, satrapier, med en ståthållare (satrap) i ledningen. Ett skatteväsen inrättades, man byggde vägar, inrättade en kejserlig postlinje och präglade guldmynt. Satrapierna hade visst självstyre, men lämnade soldater till den likaledes upporganiserade armén.

Persien hade redan under Kyros (Kurash) utvidgats österut mot Indien, liksom mot Egypten, men Dareios hade nu sina blickar västerut. Han skickade trupper mot skyterna 513 f Kr och trängde in i Balkan, men lyckades inte riktigt. Grekerna hade sedan länge en rad kolonistr längs Mindre Asiens kust, kallat Jonien, den mest kända Miletos (på grund av de filosofer som var verksamma där, såsom Thales. 499 gjorde dessa str, ledda av Miletos, uppror mot perserna. De vägrades hjälp av Sparta men fick i stället underst཭ av Athen och Eritrea. Efter vissa inledande framgångar vann dock perserna kriget om Jonien. Invånarna i Miletos lär ha sålts som slavar och staden brändes.

Två år senare skickades en flotta för att straffa Athen och Eritrea. Den förstördes av en storm, men samtidigt erövrades omrt norr om Grekland. Makedonien blev en persisk satrap (för en tid). Två år senare, 490 f Kr landade en ny persisk expeditionsstyrka på Attikas kust vid Marathon. De numerärt överlägsna perserna besegrades här av en samlad grekisk styrka ledd av Miltiades. Detta var inledningen till perserkrigen, där grekerna ledda av Athen förhindrade den persiska övermaktens försök att krossa den gryende athenska demokratin och därmed den västerländska senare utvecklingen. Se Xerxes I.

Dareios dog 486 under en tid då det åter var uppror i Egypten

Herodotus: The Histories, Penguin Classics.

Tullia Linders: Vem är Vem i Antikens Grekland, Prisma 1995 (och senare)

Many building projects were started during the reign of Darius, the largest being the building of the new capital of Persepolis. Pasargadae was too well associated with the previous dynasty of Cyrus and Cambyses and so Darius sought a new capital. The city would have walls sixty feet high and thirty-three feet thick and would be an enormous engineering undertaking. Darius' tomb was cut into a rock face not far from the city. He dug a canal from the Nile to Suez, and, as the fragments of a hieroglyphic inscription found there show, his ships sailed from the Nile through the Red Sea by Saba to Persia. Darius also commissioned the extensive road network that was built all over the country. The Persepolis Tablets mention a ‘royal road’ from Susa to Persepolis and from Sardis to Susa built by Darius. It was highly organised with rest stations, guarded garrisons, inns and apparently no bandits. Darius is also remembered for his Behistun Inscription which was chiselled into the rock face near the town of Behistun. It showed Darius' successful ascension to the throne and described Darius' legitimacy to be king.

About 512 BC Darius undertook a war against the Scythians. A great army crossed the Bosporus, subjugated eastern Thrace, Macedonia submitted voluntarily, and crossed the Danube. The purpose of this war can only have been to attack the nomadic tribes in the rear and thus to secure peace on the northern frontier of the empire. Yet the whole plan was based upon an incorrect geographical assumption a common one in that era, and repeated by Alexander the Great and his Macedonians, who believed that on the Hindu Kush (which they called the Caucasus Indicus) and on the shores of the Jaxartes (which they called Tanais, i.e., the River Don) they were quite near to the Black Sea. Of course the expedition undertaken on these grounds could only prove a failure having advanced for some weeks into the steppes of Ukraine, Darius was forced to return. The details given by Herodotus (according to him, Darius had reached the Volga) are quite fantastic and the account which Darius himself had given on a tablet, which was added to his great inscription in Behistun, is destroyed with the exception of a few words.

At the time, European Greece was intimately connected with the Greek cities on the coast of Asia Minor and as a result Athens and Eretria gave support to the Ionian Revolt against the Persians. Once the rebellion was put down, the Persians attempted to punish Athens and European Greece for meddling in the rebellion. But the first expedition, that of Mardonius, failed on the cliffs of Mount Athos (492 BC), and the army which was led into Attica by Datis in 490 BC was beaten at the Battle of Marathon. Before Darius had finished his preparations for a third expedition an insurrection broke out in Egypt (486 BC). In the next year Darius died, probably in October 485 BC, after a reign of thirty-six years.

Darius is often renowned above all as being a great financier. He fixed the coinage and introduced the golden Daric. He developed commerce within the empire and trade without. For example, he sent an expedition down the Kabul and Indus Rivers, led by the Carian captain Scylax of Caryanda, who explored the Indian Ocean from the mouth of the Indus to Suez. During his reign, the population increased and industries flourished in towns.

Persia under Darius probably had connections with Carthage (cf. the Karka of the Nakshi Rustam inscription) of Sicily and Italy. At the same time he attempted to gain the good-will of the subject nations, and for this purpose promoted the aims of their priests. He allowed the Jews to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem and it was finished in 516 BCE, his sixth year. In Egypt his name appears on the temples which he built in Memphis, Edfu and the Great Oasis. He called the high-priest of Sais, Tzahor, to Susa (as we learn from his inscription in the Vatican Museum), and gave him full powers to reorganize the "house of life," the great medical school of the temple of Sais. In the Egyptian traditions he is considered one of the great benefactors and lawgivers of the country. In similar relations he stood to the Greek sanctuaries (cf. his rescript to "his slave" Godatas, the inspector of a royal park near Magnesia on the Maeander, in which he grants freedom of taxes and forced labor to the sacred territory of Apollo) all the Greek oracles in Asia Minor and Europe therefore stood on the side of Persia in the Persian Wars and admonished the Greeks against attempting resistance.

Weights and measures were standardized (as in a "royal cubit" or a "king’s measure") but often they still operated side by side with their Egyptian or Babylonian counterparts. This would have been a boon for merchants and traders as trade would now have been far simpler. The upgraded communication and administration networks also helped to turn the Empire ruled by the Achaemenid dynasty into a seemingly commercial entity based on generating wealth.

Darius also continued the process of religious tolerance to his subjects, which had been important parts of the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses. Darius himself was likely monotheistic - in royal inscriptions Ahuramazda is the only god mentioned by name. But, time and again he is mentioned worshipping, funding or giving 'lip-service' to various pantheons of gods. This was important as the majority of the empire's inhabitants were polytheists. Also, like many other Persian Kings, he maintained a no-slave policy for example, all workers at the Persepolis site and other sites made for him were paid, which was revolutionary at the time. His human rights policies were also common to his ancestors and future Persian kings, continuing the legacy of the first human rights document ever made.

•ID: I62234 •Name: DARIUS @ OF PERSIA •Given Name: DARIUS @ •Surname: OF PERSIA •Nickname: The Great •Sex: M •_UID: 3DE023FAFF7FD542BF38752F1E8F059AB68B 𠈬hange Date: 18 Jun 2004 •Note: Darius I, called The Great (558?-486 bc), king of Persia (522-486 bc), son of the Persian noble Hystaspes, and a member of a royal Persian family, the Achaemenids. In 522 bc, on the death of King Cambyses II, a group of Magian priests tried to give the throne to one of their number, the usurper Gaumata he pretended to be Smerdis (died about 523 bc), the murdered brother of Cambyses II. In 522, Darius defeated Gaumata and was chosen king of Persia.

The first two years of his reign were occupied with suppressing rebellions, the most important of which occurred in Babylonia. Thereafter he devoted himself to reforming the internal organization of Persia and making its outer borders secure. He reorganized the vast empire into 20 satrapies, built highways, organized a postal system, reformed the currency, encouraged commerce, and won the goodwill of large portions of the heterogeneous population. Because he respected their religions, he was honored by the Jews, whom he permitted to complete the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem in 516 by the Egyptians, whose high priest he consulted and by the Greeks of Asia Minor, whose oracles supported him during the revolt of the Greek cities.

In protecting the borders of the empire, Darius conquered new territories along the Indus River in the east and in the Caucasus Mountains in the northeast, but his expedition in 516 against the tribes of the Danube River failed. In 499 a revolt broke out among the Ionian Greek cities of Asia Minor, partly encouraged by some of the Greek cities on the mainland. The revolt was suppressed by 494, and Darius prepared to punish the mainland Greeks for their intervention. In 492 an army under Mardonius, the son-in-law of Darius, crossed the Bosporus into Thrace but was unable to reach Greece because the supply ships were wrecked off Mount Athos. Two years later, a strong Persian force under the joint command of Artaphernes (flourished 5th century bc), a nephew of Darius, and the Mede commander Datis (flourished 5th century bc) invaded Greece from the north but was defeated at Marathon. A third expedition was being prepared when Darius died. He left a detailed account of his reign, inscribed in three languages on a towering rock. This Behistun Inscription, the first English transcription of which was complete in 1849, confirms many details of the life of Darius.

© 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

𠈫irth: 558 BC �th: 486 BC

Father: Hystaspes of Persia

Marriage 1 Atossa of Persia •Married: Children 1. XERXES @ OF PERSIA b: ABT 519


Family Status and the Greatness of the King

Cyrus married Cassandane, who was a daughter of Pharnaspes and belonged to the Achaemenians. Cyrus and Cassandane had four children: Bardiya, Cambyses II, Atossa, and another daughter, whose name was not mentioned in the ancient writings. Besides, the king had one more daughter, Arystone, who was not Cassandane’s daughter. Cyrus and Cassandane were in a great love for each other. Nevertheless, the other sources asserted that the king had a wife named Amytis, who was a daughter of Astyages, the Median king. However, this fact can be controversial. Immediately after the death of his father, Cambyses executed his brother, Bardiya, and many of his supporters. After that, Cambyses II became the king of Persia. Cyrus’ daughter, Atossa married Darius the Great and gave birth to Xerxes I.

Cyrus is still considered a great monarch, who took the royal title of the king of Babylon and the king of the countries. He won the sympathy of the inhabitants with his attempts to restore the economic activity of the conquered countries and his decision to maintain the local administration in Babylon. He allowed the Jews, who were in captivity in Babylon, to return home. The religious preferences of Cyrus are unknown, but according to the Babylon and Jewish sources, he followed the policy of providing a considerable freedom of any cult. In the conquered territories, Cyrus II encouraged the development of the crafts and trade, as well as built the cities, fortresses, and roads. In the fortresses, he had constant military garrisons and gave them the value of the strong points of the Persian dominion.

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Conclusion

Taking into account all the information mentioned above, it should be noted that the Persian king, Cyrus II the Great, left a noticeable mark in the world history. The huge power created by him has existed and prospered for the two centuries after his death on the battlefield. Only Alexander the Great managed to crush its power. Cyrus created his Empire not only by the means of the military force but also the rare ability to find faithful allies among the defeated nations. He was a talented statesman concerned about the prosperity of Persia and the subdued people and tolerantly treated their religion and customs. The image of Cyrus left a deep mark in the ancient and classical literature. In a short time, the leader of a small and little-known tribe founded a mighty empire spreading from the Indus and Jaxartes to the Aegean Sea and the borders of Egypt. Cyrus was a great warrior and statesman, who not only was distinguished by the great political intelligence and diplomatic foresight but also enjoyed a good fortune, which gave into his hands Media and Babylonia. They suffered from the internal strife and, therefore, considered him not an alien conqueror but a liberator.


Watch the video: How Did Achaemenid Empire Rise to the Top? (August 2022).