Darius II

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Darius II
King of Kings
Great King
King of Persia
Pharaoh of Egypt
King of Countries
Darius II.jpg
Darius II as depicted on his tomb in Naqsh-e Rustam
King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire
Reign423–404 BC
Predecessor Sogdianus
Successor Artaxerxes II
Pharaoh of Egypt
Reign423–404 BC
Predecessor Sogdianus
Successor Amyrtaeus
Died404 BC
Spouse Parysatis
Issue Artaxerxes II
Cyrus the Younger
Ostanes
House Achaemenid
Father Artaxerxes I
Mother Cosmartidene of Babylon
Soldiers of the Empire, on the tomb of Darius II. Darius II soldiers with labels.jpg
Soldiers of the Empire, on the tomb of Darius II.
Location of Darius II in the Achaemenid family tree. Achaemenid lineage.jpg
Location of Darius II in the Achaemenid family tree.

Darius II (Old Persian: Dārayavahuš), also called Darius II Nothus or Darius II Ochus, was king of kings of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 [1] or 405 BC. [2]

Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages. Like other Old Iranian languages, this language was known to its native speakers as Iranian language. Old Persian appears primarily in the inscriptions, clay tablets and seals of the Achaemenid era. Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, with the most important attestation by far being the contents of the Behistun Inscription. Recent research (2007) into the vast Persepolis Fortification Archive at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago have unearthed Old Persian tablets, which suggest Old Persian was a written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Contents

Artaxerxes I, who died in 424 BC, was followed by his son Xerxes II. After a month and a half Xerxes II was murdered by his brother Secydianus or Sogdianus (the form of the name is uncertain). His illegitimate brother, Ochus, satrap of Hyrcania, rebelled against Sogdianus, and after a short fight killed him, and suppressed by treachery the attempt of his own brother Arsites to imitate his example. Ochus adopted the name Darius (Greek sources often call him Darius Nothos, "Bastard"). Neither the names Xerxes II nor Sogdianus occur in the dates of the numerous Babylonian tablets from Nippur; here effectively the reign of Darius II follows immediately after that of Artaxerxes I. [1]

Satrap Ruler of a province in ancient Persia

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy; and the word also came to suggest tyranny, or ostentatious splendour.

Hyrcania satrapy of the Sassanian Empire

Hyrcania is a historical region composed of the land south-east of the Caspian Sea in modern-day Iran, bound in the south by the Alborz mountain range and the Kopet Dag in the east.

Babylon Kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC

Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. The name-giving capital city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon was originally a small Akkadian town dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BCE.

Prospective tomb of Darius II in Naqsh-e Rustam Tomb of Darius II.jpg
Prospective tomb of Darius II in Naqsh-e Rustam

Historians know little about Darius II's reign. A rebellion by the Medes in 409 BC is mentioned by Xenophon. It does seem that Darius II was quite dependent on his wife Parysatis. In excerpts from Ctesias some harem intrigues are recorded, in which he played a disreputable part. [1] The Elephantine papyri mention Darius II as a contemporary of the high priest Johanan of Ezra 10:6. [3] [4]

Medes ancient Iranian civilization

The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran. Late 9th to early 7th centuries BC, the region of Media was bounded by the Zagros Mountains to its west, to its south by the Garrin Mountain in Lorestan Province, to its northwest by the Qaflankuh Mountains in Zanjan Province, and to its east by the Dasht-e Kavir desert. Its neighbors were the kingdoms of Gizilbunda and Mannea in the northwest, and Ellipi and Elam in the south.

Xenophon Classical Greek philosopher, historian, and soldier

Xenophon of Athens was an ancient Greek philosopher, historian, soldier, mercenary, and student of Socrates. As a soldier, Xenophon became commander of the Ten Thousand at about 30, with noted military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge saying of him, “the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior.” He established the precedent for many logistical operations and was among the first to use flanking maneuvers, feints and attacks in depth. He was among the greatest commanders of antiquity. As a historian, Xenophon is known for recording the history of his time, the late-5th and early-4th centuries BC, in such works as the Hellenica, which covered the final seven years and the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, thus representing a thematic continuation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War.

Parysatis was the 5th-century BC illegitimate daughter of Artaxerxes I, Emperor of Persia and Andia of Babylon.

Conflict with Athens

As long as the power of Athens remained intact he did not meddle in Greek affairs. When in 413 BC, Athens supported the rebel Amorges in Caria, Darius II would not have responded had not the Athenian power been broken in the same year at Syracuse. As a result of that event, Darius II gave orders to his satraps in Asia Minor, Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus, to send in the overdue tribute of the Greek towns and to begin a war with Athens. To support the war with Athens, the Persian satraps entered into an alliance with Sparta. In 408 BC he sent his son Cyrus to Asia Minor, to carry on the war with greater energy.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Amorges, son of the Persian rebel satrap Pissouthnes (Πισσούθνης) of Lydia, was the leader of a Carian rebellion against king Darius II Nothus in 413 BC. He was captured by Tissaphernes and executed in 412 BC. During his Carian rebellion, he occupied and was sheltered in the port of Iasus. Athens was sympathetic to him during the Peloponnesian War against Sparta.

Darius II may have expelled various Greek dynasts who had been ruling cities in Ionia: Pausanias wrote that the sons of Themistocles, which include Archeptolis, Governor of Magnesia, "appear to have returned to Athens", and that they dedicated a painting of Themistocles in the Parthenon and erected a bronze statue to Artemis Leucophryene, the goddess of Magnesia, on the Acropolis. [5] [6] [7] They may have returned from Asia Minor in old age, after 412 BC, when the Achaemenids took again firm control of the Greek cities of Asia, and they may have been expelled by the Achaemenid satrap Tissaphernes sometime between 412 and 399 BC. [5] In effect, from 414 BC, Darius II had started to resent increasing Athenian power in the Aegean and had Tissaphernes enter into an alliance with Sparta against Athens, which in 412 BC led to the Persian conquest of the greater part of Ionia. [8]

Pausanias (geographer) 2nd-century AD Greek geographer

Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the second-century AD, who lived in the time of Roman emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece, a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from his first-hand observations. This work provides crucial information for making links between classical literature and modern archaeology. Andrew Stewart assesses him as:

A careful, pedestrian writer...interested not only in the grandiose or the exquisite but in unusual sights and obscure ritual. He is occasionally careless or makes unwarranted inferences, and his guides or even his own notes sometimes mislead him, yet his honesty is unquestionable, and his value without par.

Themistocles Athenian statesman

Themistocles was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower-class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he convinced the polis to increase the naval power of Athens, a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece he fought at the Battle of Marathon and was possibly one of the ten Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle.

Archeptolis

Archeptolis, also Archepolis, was a Governor of Magnesia on the Maeander in Ionia for the Achaemenid Empire circa 459 BCE to possibly around 412 BCE, and a son and successor of the former Athenian general Themistocles.

Darius is said to have received the visit of Greek athlete and Olympic champion Polydamas of Skotoussa, who made a demonstration of his strength by killing three Immortals in front of the Persian ruler. [9] [10] A sculpture representing the scene is visible in the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of antiquity. [11]

Polydamas of Skotoussa, son of Nicias, was a Thessalian pankratiast, and victor in the 93rd Olympiad.

Darius II died in 404 BC, in the nineteenth year of his reign, and was followed as Persian king by Artaxerxes II. [1]

Issue

Prior to his accession, Darius II was married to the daughter of Gobryas. With the daughter of Gobryas, Darius II had four sons, one of whom fathered Artabazanes, who served as King of Media Atropatene in the second half of the 3rd century BC. [12] [13] [14]

By Parysatis (his half-sister)
Artaxerxes II
Cyrus the Younger
Oxathres or Oxendares or Oxendras
Artoxexes
Ostanes
Amestris wife of Teritouchmes & then Artaxerxes II
& seven other unnamed children
By other wives
Artostes
The unnamed satrap of Media at 401 B.C.

See also

Related Research Articles

Year 404 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Volusus, Cossus, Fidenas, Ambustus, Maluginensis and Rutilus. The denomination 404 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Xerxes II of Persia King of Kings

Xerxes II, was a Persian king and the son and successor of Artaxerxes I. After a reign of forty-five days, he was assassinated in 424 BC by his brother Sogdianus, who in turn was murdered by Darius II. He is an obscure historical figure known primarily from the writings of Ctesias. He was reportedly the only legitimate son of Artaxerxes I and his Queen Damaspia. He is known to have served as Crown Prince.

This article concerns the period 469 BC – 460 BC.

This article concerns the period 409 BC – 400 BC.

Artaxerxes I of Persia King of Kings

Artaxerxes I was the sixth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, from 465-424 BC. He was the third son of Xerxes I.

Year 412 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Ambustus and Pacilus. The denomination 412 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Year 423 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Atratinus and Ambustus. The denomination 423 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Cyrus the Younger Achaemenid king

Cyrus the Younger, son of Darius II of Persia and Parysatis, was a Persian prince and general, Satrap of Lydia and Ionia from 408 to 401 BC. His birth date is unknown, but he died in 401 BC after a failed battle to oust his elder brother, Artaxerxes II, from the Persian throne.

Tissaphernes Persian satrap

Tissaphernes was a Persian soldier and statesman, Satrap of Lydia. He was a grandson of Hydarnes, one of the six conspirators who had supported the rise of Darius the Great.

Artaxerxes II of Persia King of Kings

Artaxerxes II Mnemon was the King of Kings of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.

Artabazos I of Phrygia Iranian politician (0600-0500)

Artabazos was a Persian general in the army of Xerxes I, and later satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia under the Achaemenid dynasty, founder of the Pharnacid dynasty of satraps. He was the son of Pharnaces, who was the younger brother of Hystaspes, father of Darius I. Artabazos was therefore a first cousin of the great Achaemenid ruler Darius I.

Artaxerxes III King of Kings

Ochus, better known by his dynastic name of Artaxerxes III was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 358 to 338 BC. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and his mother was Stateira.

Sogdianus was king of Persia in 424–423 BC. He ruled the Achaemenid Empire for a short time, with little recognition in his kingdom known primarily from the writings of Ctesias. He was reportedly an illegitimate son of Artaxerxes I by his concubine Alogyne of Babylon.

Artoxares was a Paphlagonian eunuch, who played a central role during the reigns of Artaxerxes I and Darius II of Persia.

Masistes politician

Masistes was a Persian prince of the Achaemenid Dynasty, son of king Darius I and of his wife Atossa, and full brother of king Xerxes I. He was satrap (governor) of Bactria during his brother's reign, where he attempted to start a revolt in 478 BC.

Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt dynasty and satrap in 5th and 6th centuries BC

The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the First Egyptian Satrapy was effectively a province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 525 BC and 404 BC. It was founded by Cambyses II, the King of Persia, after his conquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the rebellion and crowning of Amyrtaeus as Pharaoh. A second period of Achaemenid rule in Egypt occurred under the Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt.

Artabazanes Prince and King of the Persian Atropatene Kingdom of Armenia

Artabazanes of Media Atropatene was a Prince and King of the Atropatene Kingdom. He ruled in 221 BC or 220 BC and was a contemporary of the Seleucid Greek King Antiochus III the Great.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Meyer, Eduard (1911). "Darius". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 833.
  2. Brill's New Pauly , "Darius".
  3. Pritchard, James B. ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, Princeton University Press, third edition with supplement 1969, p. 492
  4. Bezalel Porten (Author), J. J. Farber (Author), C. J. F. Martin (Author), G. Vittmann (Author), The Elephantine Papyri in English (Documenta Et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui, book 22), Koninklijke Brill NV, The Netherlands, 1996, p 125-153.
  5. 1 2 Harvey, David; Wilkins, John (2002). The Rivals of Aristophanes: Studies in Athenian Old Comedy. ISD LLC. p. 200. ISBN   9781910589595.
  6. Paus. 1.1.2, 26.4
  7. Habicht, Christian (1998). Pausanias Guide to Ancient Greece. University of California Press. p. 5. ISBN   9780520061705.
  8. Smith, William (1867). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. vol. 3. Boston: Little, Brown. pp. 1154–1156.
  9. Lynch, James (2015). The Ancient Olympiads: 776 BC to 393 AD. Warwick Press Inc. p. 141. ISBN   9781987944006.
  10. Valavanēs, Panos (2004). Games and sanctuaries in ancient Greece: Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, Nemea, Athens. Kapon Editions. p. 433.
  11. Ministry of Culture and Sports | Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of antiquity.
  12. ARTABAZANES, Encyclopedia Iranica
  13. García Sánchez, M (2005): "La figura del sucesor del Gran Rey en la Persia Aqueménida", in V. Troncoso (ed.), Anejos Gerión 9, La figura del sucesor en las monarquías de época helenística.
  14. Hallock, R (1985): "The evidence of the Persepolis Tablets", in Gershevitch (ed.) The Cambridge History of Iran v. 2, p. 591.
Darius II
Born: ?? Died: 404 BC
Preceded by
?
Satrap of Hyrcania
?-423 BC
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Sogdianus
The Great King of Persia
423–404 BC
Succeeded by
Artaxerxes II
Pharaoh of Egypt
423404
Succeeded by
Amyrtaeus