Darius

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Darius

 

In ancient Persia:

Darius I (Persian. Dareiawosh). King from 522 to 486 B.C. Member of the Achaemenid dynasty. Darius 1 began to rule after he had murdered Gaumata. In 522–21 he suppressed uprisings in Babylon. Persia, Media, Margiana, Elam, Egypt. Parthia, and Sattagydia and among the Scythian tribes of Middle Asia. Around 518 he conquered the northwestern part of India. In 512 (according to Herodotus) he carried out an unsuccessful campaign against the Scythians of the Black Sea area. During the reign of Darius I the Greco-Persian Wars began.

Darius 1 promulgated a number of reforms. as a result of which the entire country was divided into military-administrative districts, called satrapies, and a regularized tribute system was established. The representatives of the Persian aristocracy obtained the responsible positions of satraps and heads of fortresses, as well as hereditary possessions in various countries of the empire. The reforms of Darius I, including the excellent maintenance of old trade routes and the construction of new ones, the restoration of the canal from the Nile to Suez, and the minting of gold coins (called darics), all facilitated the growth of international trade on a scale unknown until that time. During the reign of Darius 1 important construction projects were undertaken (including temples at Memphis, palaces in Susa, and a royal residence at Persepolis). The time of Darius I’s reign was the period during which the Achaemenids attained their greatest power.

Darius II. King from 423 to 404 B.C. A member of the Achaemenid dynasty and the son of Artaxerxes I. His reign was marked by a weakening of the state (in 409 Media revolted, and around 404 Egypt won back its independence), by revolts of the satraps against the central authority, and by internecine wars among the satraps themselves.

Darius III Codomannus. King from 336 to 330 B.C. Member of the Achaemenid dynasty. At the end of 335. Darius III conquered Egypt. In 333 at the battle of Issus, Darius III suffered defeat by Alexander of Macedon; in 331 at Gau-gamela the army of Darius III was utterly routed. He fled to eastern Iran, where he was murdered by Bessus, one of his satraps.

REFERENCES

Struve. V. V. “Vosstanie ν Margiane pri Darii I.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1949, no. 2.
Struve, V. V. “Vosstanie ν Egipite ν pervyi god tsarstvovaniia Dariia I.” In Palestinskii sbornik, issue I. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Dandamaev, M. A. Iran pri pervykh Akhmenidakh. Moscow, 1963.
Junge, P. J. Dareios I: König der Perser. Leipzig, 1944.
Olmstead, A. T. History of the Persian Empire. Chicago. 1960.

M. A. DANDAMAEV

Darius

(d. 486 B.C.) Persian king; permits and guarantees rebuilding of temple. [O.T.: Ezra 6:6–12]
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