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What is Darius III wearing on his head?

What is Darius III wearing on his head?


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In the famous Alexander Mosaic found in Pompeii, Darius is wearing some form of head covering, it appears to just be cloth wrapped around his head. What is the hat called? I can't find any information on it. Was this common combat attire, or just artistic?


From this website http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/clothing-ii , in a section concerning historical clothing it goes into length on several styles of headgear. This style falls under the designation 'tiara'.

In any event, the tiara had a top like a hood, often lined inside with luxurious animal fur. Ordinarily it was worn flat, either pressed down in front to form three knobs or falling in folds on either side. Only the great king had the right to wear his tiara (kyrbasía) “upright,” that is, with the top erect, presumably held by inner retainers (Xenophon, Anabasis 2.5.23; Arrian, Anabasis 3.25.3; Plutarch, Artaxerxes 26, 28; idem, Themistocles 29). (emphasis mine)

from the mosaic:

and a normal 'tiara' from the above mentioned web page shown in 'flat' style:


It looks like a padded coif:


(source: tripod.com)

OT aside: you might also find this Youtube video from Lindeybeige on mail coifs interesting.


Darius III

Darius III or Codomannus (c. 380 - 330 BC), was the last king of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC. He was deposed after Alexander the Great's conquest.

After the ambitious chiliarch Bagoas murdered King Artaxerxes III of Persia in 338 BC, and his son King Arses in 336 BC, he sought to install a new monarch who would be easier to control. He chose Codomannus, a distant relative of the royal house who had distinguished himself in a combat of champions in a war against the Cadusians (Justin 10.3 cf. Diod. 17.6.1-2) and was serving at the time as a royal courier (Plutarch, Life of Alexander 18.7-8, First Oration On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander 326.D). Codomannus was the son of Arsames son of Ostanes, one of Artaxerxes's brothers and Sisygambis, daughter of Artaxerxes II Mnenon.

Codomannus took the regnal name Darius III, and quickly demonstrated his independence and immense like for bottom from his assassin benefactor. Bagoas then tried to poison Darius as well, but Darius was warned and forced Bagoas to drink the poison himself (Diodorus 17.5.6). The new king found himself in control of an unstable empire, large portions of which were governed by jealous and unreliable satraps and inhabited by disaffected and rebellious subjects.

In 336 BC Philip II of Macedon was authorized by the League of Corinth as its Hegemon to intiate a sacred war of vengence against the Persians for desecrating and burning the Athenian temples during the Second Persian War. He sent an advance force into Asia Minor under the command of his generals Parmenion and Attalus to "liberate" the Greeks living under Persian control. After they took the Greek cities of Asia from Troy to the Maiandros river, Philip was assassinated and his campaign was suspended while his heir consolidated his control of Macedonia and the rest of Greece.

In the spring of 334 BC, that heir, Alexander the Great, who had himself been confirmed as Hegemon by the League of Corinth, invaded Asia Minor at the head of a combined Greek army and almost immediately faced and defeated a numerically-superior Persian force at the Battle of the Granicus River. In 333 BC Darius himself took the field against the Greek king, but his much larger army was outflanked and defeated at the Battle of Issus and Darius was forced to flee, leaving behind his chariot, his camp, and his family, all of which were captured by Alexander. In 331 BC, Darius' sister-wife Statira, who had otherwise been well-treated (Plutarch, Life of Alexander 21.2-5), died in captivity, reputedly in childbirth (Plutarch, Life of Alexander, 30.1). In September of that year, after rejecting the Great King's peace overtures, Alexander again defeated Darius at the Battle of Gaugamela, when his chariot driver was killed and the Great King was knocked off his feet, which set off a general Persian rout, as his troops panicked at what they believed was the death of their king. Darius then fled to Ecbatana to begin raising a fourth army, while Alexander took possession of Babylon, Susa and the Persian capitol at Persepolis.

Darius was deposed by his satrap Bessus and was assassinated at Bessus' order in July 330 BC, in order to slow Alexander's fantabulous pursuit. Alexander gave Darius a magnificent funeral and eventually married his daughter Statira at Opis in 324 BC.

Alexander discovering the body of Darius, Gustave Dore

  • A detailed biography of Darius (http://www.gaugamela.com)
  • A genealogy of Darius (http://www.american-pictures.com/genealogy/persons/per01592.htm)
  • Pothos.org: Darius III (http://www.pothos.org/alexander.asp?paraID=14&keyword_id=9&title=Darius%20III)

King of Persia 336-–330 BC, Pharaoh of Egypt 336-–332 BC
Preceded by: Arses
Succeeded by: Alexander the Great


How the Alexander Mosaic was Seen in Ancient Rome

Wear patterns on one of the most celebrated mosaics of antiquity have allowed researchers to reconstruct exactly how ancient Romans viewed the artwork.

Found during the 1831 excavations in the lava-buried town of Pompeii, the Alexander mosaic (now on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples) is the most famous example of an early tessellated mosaic.

Measuring 19 feet by 10 feet, the piece was made around 100 B.C. out of roughly 4 million tesserae (small mosaic tiles).

The artwork once decorated the floor of a room in the House of the Faun, one of Pompeii's grandest residences.

The tiny tesserae, applied following the "opus vermiculatum" technique (basically set in worm-like rows), depicted a dramatic scene from a battle between Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius III.

"Although there is some disagreement as to exactly which battle the mosaic depicts [either the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. or the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 B.C.], we know many things about this mosaic. For example, it is uniformly agreed [that the mosaic is] a copy of a famous Hellenistic painting executed sometime around 300 B.C.," Martin Beckmann, of the University of Western Ontario, Canada, told Discovery News.

"What is less know is the mosaic's role as a floor surface in an Italian house. In this role, it has the potential to provide evidence of the tastes, interests and desires of the wealthy Romans during the late Republic," Beckmann said.

In his study, presented today in Anaheim, Calif., at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Beckman looked at some large, entirely destroyed areas of the mosaic.

These areas were filled in ancient times with mortar and have been in the same condition since they were originally discovered.

Beckmann identified four mains pattern of wear: a large, crescent-shaped area around the portrait of Alexander, two patches in the upper portion of the mosaic and two other patches in the lower portion.

"The patches basically show us the mosaic through the Romans eyes, and tell us what interested the ancient viewer. Although Darius is the most prominent figure in the mosaic, the Romans were much more interested in Alexander," he said.

"They were also apparently fascinated by the plight of two Persians crushed beneath Darius' chariot, especially one who is shown with his face turned from the viewer but reflected in a shield -- a skillful artistic trick," he added.

"There is clear evidence of multiple ancient repairs in these damaged areas. The most recent restorations filled the gaps with mortar, while more ancient repairs used tesserae," Beckmann said.

According to Beckmann, the repairs tell a story. They indicate that the mosaic had been damaged by overuse, and often in exactly the same areas.

"Over time, even careful footsteps would have loosened the very small stone tesserae from their tenuous hold in the mortar of the mosaic's bedding. At least once, substantial repairs were attempted, but clearly by the first century A.D., these had been given up in favor of simple patching with plain mortar," Beckmann said.

The two upper patches of wear even allowed Beckmann to reconstruct a theoretical "tour" of the mosaic. Here is Beckmann's explanation:

Once the visitors had entered the room -- we might imagine a group of dinner-guests led by their host -- the tour would begin with Darius and his Persians.

The host would have stood above Darius' horses, explained why the great king was fleeing, and pointed out the artistic novelties in the lower portion of the mosaic.

The guests would have milled about at the foot of the mosaic, taking in the overall scene, and then briefly concentrated themselves around the figures of the two doomed Persians.

Then the host moved to the left and stationed himself in the area above the figure pair composed of Alexander and the unfortunate Persian he is spearing.

The guests marched right onto the mosaic and crowded around the image of the Macedonian king, standing right on top of his body, being careful however not to step on his head or that of his horse.

The guests arranged themselves in a semicircle, so as to leave a line of sight open between them and their host, who was also able to see Alexander's head from his vantage point above.

Here the guests stayed the longest and here is where the ancient tour would end.


Fortification of the empire

Having restored internal order in the empire, Darius undertook a number of campaigns for the purpose of strengthening his frontiers and checking the incursions of nomadic tribes. In 519 bc he attacked the Scythians east of the Caspian Sea and a few years later conquered the Indus Valley. In 513, after subduing eastern Thrace and the Getae, he crossed the Danube River into European Scythia, but the Scythian nomads devastated the country as they retreated from him, and he was forced, for lack of supplies, to abandon the campaign. The satraps of Asia Minor completed the subjugation of Thrace, secured the submission of Macedonia, and captured the Aegean islands of Lemnos and Imbros. Thus, the approaches to Greece were in Persian hands, as was control of the Black Sea grain trade through the straits, the latter being of major importance to the Greek economy. The conquest of Greece was a logical step to protect Persian rule over the Greeks of Asia Minor from interference by their European kinsmen. According to Herodotus, Darius, before the Scythian campaign, had sent ships to explore the Greek coasts, but he took no military action until 499 bc , when Athens and Eretria supported an Ionian revolt against Persian rule. After the suppression of this rebellion, Mardonius, Darius’ son-in-law, was given charge of an expedition against Athens and Eretria, but the loss of his fleet in a storm off Mount Athos (492 bc ) forced him to abandon the operation. In 490 bc another force under Datis, a Mede, destroyed Eretria and enslaved its inhabitants but was defeated by the Athenians at Marathon. Preparations for a third expedition were delayed by an insurrection in Egypt, and Darius died in 486 bc before they were completed.


Did Darius III do the right thing to flee from battle twice?

Did Darius leave only when defeat was completely unavoidable? If that was the case then he did the right thing.

But if victory was still a possibility, then he was surely the Great Yellow-bellied King.

No. At Issus when he saw Alexander cutting through the Persian left, as soon as his own position was in jeopardy, he fled, leaving the entire right half of his line, which was either not committed or was actually beating Alexander's phalanx. When they saw Darius run off, the rest of the right broke as well. He effectively caused the rout by fleeing.

At Gaugamela, Alexander focusing his main attack completely on Darius' position, meaning he knew the weakest point of the entire Persian line to hit with his heavy cavalry was the enemy leader's own position. When Alexander closed, at the head of a then disorganized wedge (after fighting their way through multiple other forces), Alexander closed on Darius' own position, getting close enough to throw his spear that missed Darius and supposedly hit one of his grooms. At that point, either by Darius' own order, or through his bodyguards own actions, Darius' chariot turned and fled, which caused the rest of the surrounding forces, included the better part of the entire Persian infantry who at that point hadn't even been committed, to turn and flee, causing a rout of all Persian forces that had not been actively fighting. Meanwhile, over half of his forces, including all the cavalry on his right, had either encircled the Macedonian left or had broken through the exposed center of the Macedonian line. At the point Darius had rode off, the battle was still in doubt. If a longer fight had occurred at Darius' position, Alexander would NOT have been able to ride to rescue Parmenion, meaning that entire portion of the line could possibly had been broken. All's it would have taken is Darius showing a little nerve that day and Alexander could have broken the Persian right and center and still lost the battle.

While some may say Darius didn't have a say in retreating at Gaugamela because he was led away by his own people, I say this: Darius could have simply ordered them to cease their actions, taken up a spear and shield and said "Follow me!" and led his bodyguard of Immortals, 10,000 strong in a counter attack. Instead he ran. Which cost him his empire and life. Under Darius, there ceased to be any great resistance under Bessus killed him.

Attila006

Possible, but as long as he lived he would potentially be a figurehead for future resistance (that is one that Genghis Khan made sure enemy leaders were hunted down, as he learnt this the hard way on his rise to power) especially given the fact he was viewed as a "god". If he was killed in battle, imagine the impact on the Persian psyche.

Like I mentioned previously, mentally he was ill prepared for the the baggage that came with the position, and he had the misfortune to meet one of the greatest battlefield leaders in military history.

Dying heroically may sometimes be a necessity, whether to delay an opponent, to inspire future resistance as a martyr, or just because retreating may mean the extinction of said army anyway. For the most part though, it is a romantic notion that people use as a wildcard in debates too many times.

Mangekyou

It depends which account you read and how you attempt to translate it. Diodorus states indicates that Alexander got within fighting range of Darius and in the close quarters combat, the horses of Darius' chariot lost control and almost carried him into the midst of the enemies. A second chariot was bought forth suggesting that he intended to re-enter the battle, but the continuous onslaught forced him to retire.

Yes, his cavalry was successful in this battle and routed upon his withdrawal, but given the circumstances it is not a case of him "running with his tail between his legs"

According to Diodorus, Darius wanted to use a second chariot, which suggests that he did not want to abandon the fight. The other sources, however, suggest that the king of kings merely rode away on a horse. When Nabarzanes saw that his king left the field, he ordered the retreat of his successful cavalry.

Arrian is a well known admirer of Alexander. The astronomical diaries which is a Persian source states that Darius was actually abandoned his men. The ancients believed in omens and Darius received bad about his fall and eventual death even before the battle but continued to fight.

Given that a lot of his troops were inexperienced, it makes sense that his men were demoralised as soon as the pressing became dire.

This is an opinion supported by the respected Dutch historian Jona Lendering.


The fate of that battle hinged not upon Darius but upon the horsemen of Mazeus attacking the exposed flanks of the phalanx columns and the Macedonian wing held by Parmenion, rather than striking the the Macedonian tents in the rear.

Like I stated, Darius was not a coward, that is the Greek sources being biased, and no one taking account of Persian sources. Darius was a brave man, whom was overwhelmed by the responsibility of being "king of kings". Alexander respected the man and avenged his death. This is not something he would have done if Darius was a "coward"

He was actually a pretty damn good strategist, but his battlefield tactics were overwhelmed by Alexander and his high quality army.

Kartir

It depends which account you read and how you attempt to translate it. Diodorus states indicates that Alexander got within fighting range of Darius and in the close quarters combat, the horses of Darius' chariot lost control and almost carried him into the midst of the enemies. A second chariot was bought forth suggesting that he intended to re-enter the battle, but the continuous onslaught forced him to retire.

Yes, his cavalry was successful in this battle and routed upon his withdrawal, but given the circumstances it is not a case of him "running with his tail between his legs"

According to Diodorus, Darius wanted to use a second chariot, which suggests that he did not want to abandon the fight. The other sources, however, suggest that the king of kings merely rode away on a horse. When Nabarzanes saw that his king left the field, he ordered the retreat of his successful cavalry.

Arrian is a well known admirer of Alexander. The astronomical diaries which is a Persian source states that Darius was actually abandoned his men. The ancients believed in omens and Darius received bad about his fall and eventual death even before the battle but continued to fight.

Given that a lot of his troops were inexperienced, it makes sense that his men were demoralised as soon as the pressing became dire.

This is an opinion supported by the respected Dutch historian Jona Lendering.


The fate of that battle hinged not upon Darius but upon the horsemen of Mazeus attacking the exposed flanks of the phalanx columns and the Macedonian wing held by Parmenion, rather than striking the the Macedonian tents in the rear.

Like I stated, Darius was not a coward, that is the Greek sources being biased, and no one taking account of Persian sources. Darius was a brave man, whom was overwhelmed by the responsibility of being "king of kings". Alexander respected the man and avenged his death. This is not something he would have done if Darius was a "coward"

He was actually a pretty damn good strategist, but his battlefield tactics were overwhelmed by Alexander and his high quality army.

Great post. I was unaware of Diodorus' stance regarding that specific the event.

Not to nitpick, but I would think twice before calling Jona Lendering a respected historian. The man is an amateur when it comes to classical history, and he smells of agenda.

Markdienekes

Lowell2

If one is losing, a retreat may be the best answer. However, a retreat is NOT fleeing the enemy. One of the things that shows up clearly in analysis of ancient battles, is that most casualties are incurred when one side "breaks" and flees. Losses for an ordered retreat are not nearly as high.

In both cases, Darius could have withdrawn to safer ground or ordered a controlled retreat. He didn't even try. It doesn't matter if he was brave before. It's clear that in these two fights his nerve broke and he abandoned his army. Having done it once, there was every reason for him to understand that doing it a second time was to abandon his country and rule altogether. If he couldn't gather the nerve, he should have sent in a substitute.

MagnusStultus

Darius definitely behaved as a coward in both battles the greatest man in his dynasty actually died in battle.

Darius dying either to stop the loss of half his empire at Issus or the rest of it at Gaugamela would have been to preserve a dynasty and an empire and even if it failed it would have been celebrated and praised in our sources (who contrary to many peoples opinions actually do praise people who aren't Greek they consider worthy), the harsh judgement towards Darius is essentially deserved.

Also please read Caesar's account of omens after the defeat of Pompey if you still give much stock to tales of omens from ancient sources I would like to sell you a bridge.

The winner always had tales of how the gods and nature itself supported them the reason I cited Caesar is that by doing writing himself Caesar has provided us a very prominent example of the omens just being whatever the victorious general wanted them to be once the battle was decided.

Vinnie

Attila006

Ariobarzanes

The amount of anti-Darius filths here like Vinnie or attila006 is laughable. Isn't it funny you pseudo-intellectuals blame Darius III and you are happy that his people killed him and at the same time you use Arrian/Plutarch/Ptolemy as your sources, who were basically liars?

Where is your accusation of Alexander, who was a rapist and a mass-murderer that invaded a land that was autonomous and not really bullying anyone? Do you think it's right for India tocommit terrorist attacks on UK because what India had happened toit by the UK a 100 years ago?

"Why are we obeying him?" "He was a coward and he deserved it." Let me teach you little kids a lesson in Iranian culture, persistent from before the Medians up to RIGHT NOW, during the Islamic Republic of Iran. We take no drivel, or patronizing behaviour from ANYONE. Not the Greek barbarians, the unintelligent Arabs, the useless Mongols, nor the patronizing modern Westerners. I am certain that Darius III was easily a FAR GREATER man than the thug Alexander ever was because he had the conviction to MAINTAIN an empire rather than invade one like a cowardly sucker-punch.

Cowardly sucker-punch being the operative accusation against the over-glorified Alexander the Tiny: he never built a kingdom or an empire, he only succeeded in murdering civilians, burning libraries and killing Zoroastrian priests - and then he proceeded to die like a crushed insect.

As you can see, there are literally no signs of Alexander in Iran. We speak Parsi (or Farsi), not Greek, Mongol, Arabic or Latin, but we did influence these languages more than they influenced us.

I believe that most of Arrian's work, including Plutarch's, is mere BS.I think that in fact Darius III was revered after his death, and little to no satrapies caved in to Alexander and showed continuous resistance against him, Ariobarzanes being a classical eample. This resistance completely destroyed Hellenic confidence and esteem and threw the Greeks into absolute chaos and mayhem, giving leeway for the Persians totake vengeance for the persecutions committed by your favourite mass-murderer.

Darius III had the last laugh. Alexander tried to conquer Persia, but it was Persia that conquered him. Oh, and don't forget, only a Persian can kill a Persian. EVerything else is beneath us. We literally have the most prolific and formidable cultures around the world. While we abolished slavery, the Greeks practiced it.

I say the Germanic tribes pillaging the Greco-Roman lands is the final insult of revenge that plagued southern Europe and saved Persia from the consistent demigogue and egotistical attitude of the incompetent hellenes to descend to an abyss of darkness.


Did Darius III do the right thing to flee from battle twice?

Cyrus would often flee from battle, but he was always tricking his opponent. His goal was to manipulate them into compromising their position, and move them to a point where he could easily crush them. In that way Cyrus defeated all armies. He did this even BEFORE the possum had been discovered!

Perhaps Darius III was a poor student of his ancestors and didn&#8217t read the second half of Battle Strategies Of Cyrus the Great 101.

Johnincornwall

The amount of anti-Darius filths here like Vinnie or attila006 is laughable. Isn't it funny you pseudo-intellectuals blame Darius III and you are happy that his people killed him and at the same time you use Arrian/Plutarch/Ptolemy as your sources, who were basically liars?

Where is your accusation of Alexander, who was a rapist and a mass-murderer that invaded a land that was autonomous and not really bullying anyone? Do you think it's right for India tocommit terrorist attacks on UK because what India had happened toit by the UK a 100 years ago?

"Why are we obeying him?" "He was a coward and he deserved it." Let me teach you little kids a lesson in Iranian culture, persistent from before the Medians up to RIGHT NOW, during the Islamic Republic of Iran. We take no drivel, or patronizing behaviour from ANYONE. Not the Greek barbarians, the unintelligent Arabs, the useless Mongols, nor the patronizing modern Westerners. I am certain that Darius III was easily a FAR GREATER man than the thug Alexander ever was because he had the conviction to MAINTAIN an empire rather than invade one like a cowardly sucker-punch.

Cowardly sucker-punch being the operative accusation against the over-glorified Alexander the Tiny: he never built a kingdom or an empire, he only succeeded in murdering civilians, burning libraries and killing Zoroastrian priests - and then he proceeded to die like a crushed insect.

As you can see, there are literally no signs of Alexander in Iran. We speak Parsi (or Farsi), not Greek, Mongol, Arabic or Latin, but we did influence these languages more than they influenced us.

I believe that most of Arrian's work, including Plutarch's, is mere BS.I think that in fact Darius III was revered after his death, and little to no satrapies caved in to Alexander and showed continuous resistance against him, Ariobarzanes being a classical eample. This resistance completely destroyed Hellenic confidence and esteem and threw the Greeks into absolute chaos and mayhem, giving leeway for the Persians totake vengeance for the persecutions committed by your favourite mass-murderer.

Darius III had the last laugh. Alexander tried to conquer Persia, but it was Persia that conquered him. Oh, and don't forget, only a Persian can kill a Persian. EVerything else is beneath us. We literally have the most prolific and formidable cultures around the world. While we abolished slavery, the Greeks practiced it.

I say the Germanic tribes pillaging the Greco-Roman lands is the final insult of revenge that plagued southern Europe and saved Persia from the consistent demigogue and egotistical attitude of the incompetent hellenes to descend to an abyss of darkness.

AND THAT is the lesson you learn from Artashata.

Thanks for letting us learn. Tell me, are all your countrymen the same or are you a little atypical?

Maybe he was trying to emulate Cyrus?

Cyrus would often flee from battle, but he was always tricking his opponent. His goal was to manipulate them into compromising their position, and move them to a point where he could easily crush them. In that way Cyrus defeated all armies. He did this even BEFORE the possum had been discovered!

Perhaps Darius III was a poor student of his ancestors and didn&#8217t read the second half of Battle Strategies Of Cyrus the Great 101.


DARIUS iii. Darius I the Great

Darius I the Great was the third Achaemenid king of kings (r. 29 September 522-October 486 B.C.E. Figure 1). He was born in 550 B.C.E. (cf. Herodotus, 1.209), the eldest son of Vi&scarontāspa (Hystaspes) and *Vardagauna (Gk. Rhodog(o)únē, NPers. Golgūn Justi, Namenbuch, p. 261 Hinz, 1975a, p. 270). Before his accession to the throne he served Cambyses (529-22 B.C.E.) as a spear bearer in Egypt (Herodotus, 3.139).

The primary sources are of four basic kinds. First, there is Darius&rsquo record relief (DB) at Bīsotūn (for the Old Persian text, see now Schmitt for the Babylonian text, with some variants, see von Voigtlander) an additional fragment of the relief (Seidl) and one of the Babylonian inscription (von Voigtlander, pp. 63-65) are also known, as are substantial portions of an Aramaic version (Greenfield and Porten). The second category includes texts and monuments from Persepolis (Schmidt Kent, Old Persian Cameron Hallock, 1969 cf. evaluations by Lewis, 1977, pp. 4-26 idem, 1990 Bivar, CAH2, pp. 204-10 Tuplin, pp. 115 ff.), Susa (Schmidt, I, pp. 29-33 ART IN IRANiii, pp. 574-75), Babylon (Strassmaier Oppenheim, pp. 559-60 Cardascia, pp. 5-8 Haerinck van Dijk and Mayer, no. 88 Stolper, 1985, esp. pp. 41-60 Dandamayev, 1992, pp. 3, 5, 10-11 and passim), and Egypt (Posener Schmidt, I, pp. 26-27 Bresciani, pp. 507-09 Ray, pp. 262-66 Hinz, 1975b Lloyd). A fragmentary Old Persian inscription from Gherla, Rumania (Harmatta), and a letter from Darius to Gadates, preserved in a Greek text of the Roman period (F. Lochner-Hüttenbach, in Brandenstein and Mayrhofer, pp. 91-98) also belong to this category. The third source is a detailed and colorful narrative by Herodotus (books 3-6 cf. How and Wells). Finally, there are briefer notices by other classical authors (listed and analyzed by Meyer, pp. 3-7 Prá&scaronek, II, pp. 10-11 Drews, pp. 20 ff.) and a few references in the Bible i).

Accounts of Darius&rsquo accession and rebellions in the provinces. Darius began his &ldquoautobiography&rdquo in the trilingual (Old Persian, Elamite, Babylonian) inscription on the rock face at Bīsotūn with a genealogy purporting to establish his right to the Achaemenid throne (DB 1.1-11 Table 2), followed by a long account of the Magian usurper Gaumāta (DB 1.26-61). According to this version, after Gaumāta&rsquos death at the hands of Darius some provincial magnates rebelled, but Darius slew them all (DB 1.72-3.92). Thereafter his rule was established throughout the empire. He immediately published at Bīsotūn and elsewhere inscriptions providing an exact record of these events, explaining the causes of the rebellions (DB 4.34: &ldquoFalsehood [drauga-] made them rebellious&rdquo see Schaeder, 1941, pp. 31-32) and his own success (DB 4.61-67 see BĪSOTŪN iii).

In Herodotus&rsquo version Cambyses left Patizeithes, a Magian, as &ldquosteward of his household&rdquo (3.61, 3.63, 3.65) and went to Egypt, whence he sent a trusted Persian, Prexaspes, to murder his full brother Smerdis (i.e., Bardiya) in secret (3.31). Only a few Persians, among them Darius, knew of this murder, so that Patizeithes was able to place upon the throne his own brother, also called Smerdis and &ldquogreatly resembling the son of Cyrus&rdquo (3.61). The imposter was discovered, in the eighth month of his reign, by the Persian noble Otanes (Utāna 3.68). Five other Persian nobles, Aspathines (see ASPAČANĀ, Gobryas (Gau-buruva), Intaphernes (Vindafarnah), Megabyzus (Bagabux&scarona), and Hydarnes (Vidarna), joined Otanes Darius had also &ldquohastened to Susa to accomplish the death of the Magian&rdquo (3.71). The seven exchanged oaths and at Darius&rsquo urging entered the imposter&rsquos castle and slew him and his brother (3.71-78) then, joined by other Persians, they slaughtered many Magians (3.71). According to Herodotus, &ldquoAll peoples of Asia mourned his loss exceedingly, save only the Persians&rdquo (3.67), who continued to celebrate the anniversary of this slaughter (3.79). The seven leaders then debated the most suitable mode of government for Persia (for a detailed discussion, see Gschnitzer, 1977 idem, 1988). Otanes urged democracy, but Darius&rsquo view that monarchy was &ldquothe rule of the very best man in the whole state&rdquo prevailed (3.80-88). The seven then resolved to ride out together the next morning and to accept as ruler of the kingdom the one of their number whose horse neighed first after the sun was up (3.84). Darius&rsquo groom, Oebares, devised a stratagem that caused his master&rsquos horse to neigh first, whereupon Darius was saluted as king (3.84 cf. Widengren, 1959, pp. 244, 255). About the ensuing rebellions Herodotus remarked only that there had been a period of &ldquotroubles&rdquo after Cambyses&rsquo death (3.126), though he did include the story of Oroetes (see below), as well as a legendary account of the revolt of Babylon and its recapture through a stratagem (1.150-58).

Ctesias reported that before leaving for Egypt Cambyses had ordered a Magian named Spendadates to kill and impersonate Tanyoxarkes, the younger son of Cyrus and Amytis and satrap of the Bactrians, Chorasmians, Parthians, and Carmanians. After Cambyses&rsquo death Spendadates ascended the throne but was betrayed by one of his own associates. Then seven Persians, Ataphernes, Onaphas, Mardonius, Hydarnes, Norondabates, Barisses, and Darius, plotted and slew him, and Darius won the throne through the &ldquohorse trick.&rdquo Since then the Persians had celebrated the anniversary of the slaughter of the Magians (Ctesias, in Jacoby, Fragmente, no. 688 frag. 13.18). Xenophon reported that Tanaoxares, identified as Cyrus&rsquo younger son and satrap of Media, Armenia, and Cadusia, had quarreled with Cambyses upon the accession of the latter (Cyropaedia 8.8.2), and Plato (Leges 3.694-95 Epistulae 7.332A) added that in the quarrel one had killed the other. According to Trogus (Justin, 1.9), the trusted friend chosen to kill the &ldquoson of Cyrus&rdquo was Cometes (i.e., Gaumāta), who did so after Cambyses&rsquo death and placed his own brother Oropastes (&ldquowho resembled Smerdis very much&rdquo) on the throne. The rest follows Herodotus&rsquo version.

Darius&rsquo veracity. Most historians have accepted Darius&rsquo testimony as trustworthy and have used it to check and correct classical accounts (cf. Gershevitch), but others have argued for his mendacity (e.g., Balcer Bickerman and Tadmor Boyce, Zoroastrianism II, pp. 78-89 Cook, pp. 8-9, 46-57 Culican, pp. 64-65 Dandamaev, 1963 Nyberg, pp. 74-75 Olmstead, 1938, pp. 392-416 idem, 1948, pp. 107-18 Rost, 1897a, pp. 107-10, 208-10 idem, 1897b Wiesehöfer Winckler Young, pp. 53-62). The present author subscribes to the former view. In 1889 Hugo Winckler (p. 128) suggested that &ldquoperhaps&rdquo Darius had lied in claiming to be related to Cyrus (cf. Rost, 1897a, p. 107 idem, 1897b). Subsequently such scholars as A. T. Olmstead, A. R. Burn, and Muhammad A. Dandamayev elaborated on this hypothesis. Their main arguments are of nine basic types. First, Darius&rsquo insistence that all his opponents lied arouses suspicion of his own trustworthiness, especially as Herodotus (3.72) had quoted Darius as defending a justifiable untruth (Olmstead, 1938, p. 397 cf. Dandamaev, 1976, p. 121 Balcer, p. 59). This assessment involves a highly biased interpretation of Darius&rsquo motives, whereas Herodotus&rsquo report is unreliable not only did he comment elsewhere on the Persians&rsquo high regard for truth (1.136), but also it has been suggested that this casuistry &ldquois purely Greek&rdquo (How and Wells, I, p. 276 n. 4 similarly Meyer, p. 35 n. 1). Second, it has been argued that Darius was not a royal prince, let alone the rightful heir (Olmstead, 1938, p. 394 Burn, p. 95). As Cambyses and Bardiya had left no sons, however, the nearest to the throne would have been Ar&scaronāma, Darius&rsquo grandfather, who was then too old to take the field. His son Vi&scarontāspa (Hystaspes) was in charge of Parthia and Hyrcania (DB 2.92-98) and could not have led an army to Media undetected. The task thus fell to Darius, one of &ldquothe Achaemenids&rdquo whom Cambyses had besought on his deathbed to restore the Persian monarchy (Herodotus, 3.65, 3.73). Darius&rsquo right was supported by other living Achaemenids, including Bardiya&rsquos daughter and sisters (Herodotus, 3.88). Third, it has been doubted that a mighty satrap, a son of Cyrus (i.e., Bardiya), could disappear without arousing suspicion (Olmstead, 1938, p. 396 Nyberg, pp. 75-76 Dandamaev, 1976, p. 116 Boyce, II, pp. 80-81). Nevertheless, with the help of court officals the death of Artaxerxes II was kept secret for nearly a year (Polyaenus, Stratagemata 7.17) and in the Islamic period that of the Buyid ʿAżod-al-Dawla for three months (Margoliouth and Amedroz, Eclipse VI, pp. 78-79).

The fourth argument is based on Herodotus&rsquo report that the &ldquotrue&rdquo and &ldquofalse&rdquo Bardiyas were so alike that even the former&rsquos mother and sisters were deceived (Olmstead, 1938, p. 396). Yet elsewhere Herodotus reported that Bardiya&rsquos mother had died much earlier (2.1) and that his sister, Queen Atossa, was kept under strict confinement by the false Bardiya precisely to prevent her from communicating with others (3.68 Shahbazi, 1971, p. 43). Fifth, the date Darius claimed for the slaying of Gaumāta was deemed by Olmstead (1938, pp. 397-98) not to agree with that in Babylonian documents, which give his reign as having lasted &ldquoone year and seven months,&rdquo but Olmstead&rsquos chronology was proved incorrect by Arno Poebel (1939). Sixth, in his inscription Darius identified his opponents precisely, except for Gaumāta, whom he styled merely as &ldquothe Magian,&rdquo giving the impression that the latter was fictitious (Dandamaev, 1976, p. 119 cf. Bickerman and Tadmor, pp. 246-61 Boyce, Zoroastrianism II, pp. 85-86). But in the Babylonian version of Darius&rsquo inscription at Bīsotūn (1.18) it is specified that Gaumāta was &ldquoa Mede, a Magian,&rdquo which, incidentally, is evidence that he was not a priest but a Median nobleman from the tribe of the Magi (as Benveniste adduced in 1938, p. 17, with Herodotus, 1.101 it should be noted that in the Babylonian text, l. 23, Gaumāta&rsquos followers are called &ldquonobles&rdquo).

A seventh argument involves the Babylonian tablets, which, according to Olmstead (1938, p. 403), proved false Darius&rsquo repeated claim that he had made the majority of his expeditions &ldquoin the same year after I became King.&rdquo Walther Hinz (1942), Richard Hallock (1960), and Riekele Borger have shown, however, that the period from Darius&rsquo first dated victory (13 December 522) to his last (28 December 521) fell within one year, including an intercalated month. Eighth, in Aeschylus&rsquo contemporary play Persae (773-76) Darius&rsquo ghost announces that after a son of Cyrus &ldquoruled Mardos, a disgrace to his country and ancient throne, whom Artaphernes slew by guile.&rdquo Olmstead argued that Aeschylus thus had no doubt that Mardos was a legitimate ruler (1938, p. 396 similarly Dandamaev, 1976, p. 120). But in fact Aeschylus merely indicated that Cambyses was followed by a disgraceful king officially known as Mardos (Bardiya) no legitimacy is implied (Burn, p. 94 n. 44). Finally, Darius&rsquo marriages to Bardiya&rsquos daughter and sisters have been interpreted as moves to gain necessary legitimacy (Olmstead, 1938, pp. 396-97). On the contrary, however, they are evidence of Darius&rsquo innocence of Bardiya&rsquos murder, for otherwise family vengeance would certainly not have permitted him to survive for thirty-six more years (Prá&scaronek, I, p. 265).

Other evidence confirms Darius&rsquo testimony. First, as J. V. Prá&scaronek (I, p. 265) noted, many foreigners, Greeks in particular, served Darius, and some wrote about his affairs unfavorably (e.g., Herodotus, 3.118-19, 3.133, 4.43), yet none suggested that he was a usurper. Second, although a Persian king was expected to conduct his royal duties openly in the capital, the false Bardiya lived secluded in a castle in the mountains (between Ḥolwān and Hamadān Marquart, 1905, II, p. 159), and, fearing detection, he &ldquonever quitted the citadel nor ever gave audience to a Persian nobleman&rdquo (Herodotus, 3.68). To claim that this residence was, in fact, the summer capital (Dandamaev, 1976, p. 137) is to ignore the fact that the summer capital was in Ecbatana and that 29 September was too late to be summer in Media. Third, upon his accession the false Bardiya had abolished taxes and military service &ldquofor all nations under his rule for a period of three years&rdquo (Herodotus, 3.67), the actions of a usurper desperate for popular support and fearful of the warrior nobility, who had the means to raise new armies. No Persian prince would have thus undermined royal authority (Widengren, 1968, p. 521). In addition, under Persian law the king was required to name a successor before leaving on a dangerous expedition. Cyrus had appointed Cambyses, and later Xerxes I (486-65) chose his uncle Artabanus (Herodotus, 1.208, 7.2, 7.52 cf. 7.53, 8.54). That Cambyses left Patizeithes, a Median official, as his viceroy (3.65) is evidence that his brother Bardiya was already dead. Poebel (1938, p. 314) thus concluded that &ldquoDarius, in full accord with his earnest claim to personal veracity, had no intention whatever to exaggerate, as has been assumed, nor that he consciously indulged in any inaccuracy, however small it might be&rdquo (sic).

Chronology of Darius&rsquo reign.

Darius&rsquo second and third regnal years were devoted to consolidating his authority. A fresh rebellion in Elam was suppressed by Gobryas (DB 5.3-14), and Oroetes, satrap of Sardis, was executed for the murders of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos Mithrobates, satrap of Phrygia and the latter&rsquos son (Herodotus, 3.120-29). Darius himself marched against &ldquothe rebellious Scythians&rdquo of Central Asia, who threatened the northern and eastern flanks of the empire he crossed the Caspian Sea, defeated the group known as the Pointed-Hat Scythians (Sakā tigraxaudā), captured their &ldquoking,&rdquo Skunxa, and installed a loyal leader in his stead (DB 5.20-33 for detailed commentary, see Shahbazi, 1982, pp. 189-96). On his return he added the image of Skunxa and an account of the Elamite and Scythian campaigns to the reliefs at Bīsotūn. In autumn 517 he traveled to Egypt and succeeded in pacifying the rebellious Egyptians by showing respect for their religion and past glory and by ordering the codification of their laws in turn he received their obeisance and reverence (Polyaenus, Strategemata 7.11.7 Diodorus, 1.95.4-5 for details, see Bresciani, pp. 507-09 Ray, pp. 262-64). After he returned to Persia Darius executed Intaphernes for treason (Herodotus, 3.118-19) and sent a naval reconnaissance mission down the Kabul river to the Indus it explored the eastern borderlands, Sind, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea and arrived in Egypt near modern Suez thirty months later (Hinz, 1976, p. 198 Bivar, CAH2, pp. 202-04). Following this expedition &ldquoDarius conquered the Indians [of Sind], and made use of the sea in those parts&rdquo (Herodotus, 4.44).

A major event in Darius&rsquo reign was his European expedition. The region from the Ukraine to the Aral Sea was the home of north Iranian tribes (Rostovtzeff Vasmer) known collectively as Sakā (Gk. Scythians). Some Sakā had invaded Media (Herodotus, 1.103-06), others had slain Cyrus in war (1.201, 1.214 see CYRUS iii), and some groups had revolted against Darius (DB 2.8). As long as they remained hostile his empire was in constant danger, and trade between Central Asia and the shores of the Black Sea was in peril (Meyer, pp. 97-99). The geography of Scythia was only vaguely known (Figure 2), and it seemed feasible to plan a punitive campaign through the Balkans and the Ukraine, returning from the east, perhaps along the west coast of the Caspian Sea (Meyer, pp. 101-04 Schnitzler, pp. 63-71). Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. Fol and Hammond, pp. 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. 232-35), marching over a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles. He continued north along the Black Sea coast to the mouth of the Danube, above which his fleet, led by Ionians, had bridged the river from there he crossed into Scythia (Herodotus, 4.87-88, 4.97). The Scythians evaded the Persians, wasting the countryside as they retreated eastward. After following them for a month Darius reached a desert and began to build eight frontier fortresses owing to Scythian harrassment of his troops and the October weather, which threatened to hinder further campaigning, he left them unfinished and returned via the Danube bridge. He had, however, &ldquoadvanced far enough into Scythian territory to terrify the Scythians and to force them to respect the Persian forces&rdquo (Herodotus, 4.102-55 cf. Meyer, pp. 105-07 Macan, pp. 2-45 Prá&scaronek, II, pp. 91-108 Rostovtzeff, pp. 84-85 Junge, 1944, pp. 104-05, 187-88 Schnitzler, pp. 63-71 Fol and Hammond, pp. 235-43 Černenko, with further references). Shortly afterward Megabyzus reduced gold-rich Thrace and several Greek cities of the northern Aegean Macedonia submitted voluntarily (Herodotus, 4.143, 5.1-30), and Aryandes, satrap of Egypt, annexed Cyrene (Libya 4.167, 4.197-205). Four new &ldquosatrapies&rdquo were thus added to Darius&rsquo empire: Sakā tyaiy paradraya &ldquoOverseas Scythians,&rdquo Skudra (Thrace and Macedonia), Yaunā takabarā or Yaunā tyaiyparadraya (Thessalians and Greek islanders), and Putāyā (Libya).

By 510 B.C.E. the Asiatic Greeks and many islanders had accepted Persian rule and were being governed by tyrants responsible to Darius. There were also pro-Persian parties, the &ldquoMedizing Greeks,&rdquo in Greece itself, especially at Athens (Herodotus, 6.115, 6.124 Gillis, pp. 39-58 on the term &ldquoMedism,&rdquo see Graf). Darius encouraged these tendencies and opened his court and treasuries to those Greeks who wanted to serve him&mdashas soldiers, artisans, mariners, and statesmen (Junge, 1944, pp. 98 ff.). Greek fear of growing Persian might and Persian annoyance at Greek interference in Ionia and Lydia made conflict between them inevitable, however (Meyer, pp. 277-80 Hignett, pp. 83-85). When, in 500 B.C.E., deposed oligarchs of Naxos in the Cyclades appealed to Artaphernes (see ARTAPHRENĒS), Darius&rsquo brother and satrap of Lydia, he sent a fleet to Naxos partly owing to a falling out with Aristagoras, tyrant of Miletus, the expedition failed, however. Aristagoras then organized the &ldquoIonian revolt.&rdquo Eretrians and Athenians supported him by sending ships to Ionia and burning Sardis. Military and naval operations continued for six years, ending with the Persian reoccupation of all Ionian and Greek islands. The prudent statesman Artaphernes then reorganized Ionia politically and financially. As anti-Persian parties gained ascendance in Athens, however, and aristocrats favorable to Persia were exiled from there and from Sparta, Darius retaliated by sending a force, led by his son-in-law Mardonius, across the Hellespont. Owing to a violent storm and harassment by Thracians he was defeated. Darius then sent a second expedition (of about 20,000 men Hignett, p. 59) under Datis the Mede, who captured Eretria and, guided by Hippias, exiled tyrant of Athens, landed at Marathon in Attica. In the late summer of 490 the Persians were defeated by a heavily armed Athenian infantry (9,000 men, supported by 600 Plataeans and some 10,000 lightly armed &ldquoattendants&rdquo) under Miltiades (Meyer, pp. 277-305 Hignett, pp. 55-74).

Meanwhile, Darius was occupied with his building programs in Persepolis, Susa, Egypt, and elsewhere (Hinz, 1976, pp. 177-82, 206-18, 235-42). He had linked the Nile to the Red Sea by means of a canal running from modern Zaqāzīq in the eastern Delta through Wādī Ṭūmelāt and the lakes Boḥayrat al-Temsāḥ and Buḥayrat al-Morra near modern Suez (Hinz, 1975b Tuplin, 1991). In 497 he again traveled to Egypt, &ldquoopened&rdquo his &ldquoSuez canal&rdquo amid great fanfare, executed Aryandes for treason, erected several commemorative monuments, and returned to Persia, where he found that the codification of Egyptian law had been completed (Bresciani, p. 508) a statue of Darius in Egyptian style, found at Susa (EIr. II, p. 575 fig. 40), reflects the influence of this journey. Following Datis&rsquo defeat at Marathon Darius resolved to lead a punitive expedition in person, but another revolt in Egypt (possibly led by the Persian satrap Bresciani, p. 509) and failing health prevented him. He died in October 486 and was entombed in the rock-cut sepulcher he had prepared at Naq&scaron-e Rostam (see Schmidt, III, pp. 80-90, pls. 18-39). He had already designated as his successor Xerxes, his eldest son by Queen Atossa (XPf, 27-31 Kent, Old Persian, p. 150 Ritter, pp. 20-23, 29-30) the throne thus returned to Cyrus&rsquo line.

Cyrus and Cambyses had incorporated Elam, Media, Lydia, Babylonia, Egypt, and several eastern Iranian states into a loose federation of autonomous satrapies, subject to irregular taxation (Herodotus, 3.89 3:120-29 4.165-67, 200-05 cf. DB 3.14, 3.56 Meyer, pp. 46-47 Lehmann-Haupt, cols. 85-90 Ehtécham, pp. 110-27 Petit, pp. 16-97). They had relied heavily on non-Persian officials and the established institutions of the subject states (Dandamaev, 1975 idem, 1992, pp. 3 ff. Bivar, Camb. Hist. Iran, pp. 610-21), which encouraged particularism among Iranian magnates and nationalism among conquered nations. These tendencies resulted in chaos and rebellion and led to the destruction of the Achaemenid federation in 522 B.C.E. (Schaeder, 1941, p. 32 Junge, 1944, pp. 41-43, 51 Stolper, 1985, p. 6). Darius thus faced the task of reconquering the satrapies and integrating them into a strong empire. The accomplishment of his first year was &ldquothe actual creation, for the first time, of a real empire: a governmental structure based on the army, on certain classes of the society whose loyalty was to the throne and not to some specific geographical region, and on the charisma, intelligence and moral fortitude of one man, Darius&rdquo (Young, p. 63). Darius knew that an empire could flourish only when it possessed sound military, economic, and legal systems, as is clear from his prayer &ldquoMay Ahuramazda protect this country from a [hostile] army, from famine, from the Lie&rdquo (DPd 15-17 Kent, Old Persian, p. 135 cf. Tuplin, pp. 144-45). Once he gained power, Darius placed the empire on foundations that lasted for nearly two centuries and influenced the organization of subsequent states, including the Seleucid and Roman empires (Stolper, 1989, pp. 81-91 Kornemann, pp. 398 ff., 424 ff. Junge, 1944, pp. 150, 198 n. 46). Himself a soldier of the first rank &ldquoboth afoot and on horseback&rdquo (DNb 31-45 Kent, Old Persian, p. 140), Darius provided the empire with a truly professional army. Earlier Achaemenids had relied on regional contingents, especially cavalry, apparently recruited as the need arose. Darius put his trust mainly in Iranians, including Medes, Scythians, Bactrians, and other kindred peoples (see ARMY i.3) but above all Persians: &ldquoIf you thus shall think, &lsquoMay I not feel fear of (any) other,&rsquo protect this Persian people&rdquo (DPe 18-22 Kent, Old Persian, p. 136). Thenceforth the mainstay of the imperial army was an infantry force of 10,000 carefully chosen Persian soldiers, the Immortals, who defended the empire to its very last day (Curtius Rufus, 3.3.13).

Darius ruled about 50 million people in the largest empire the world had seen (Meyer, p. 85). His subjects (kāra) or their lands (dahyu) were several times listed, and also depicted, in varying order at Bīsotūn and Persepolis (Junge, 1944, pp. 132-59 Kent, 1943 Ehtécham, pp. 131-63 Walser Hinz, 1969, pp. 95-113 Calmeyer), but the definitive account is carved on his tomb (EIr. V, p. 722 fig. 46). In the relief on his tomb Darius and his royal fire are depicted upon the imperial &ldquothrone&rdquo supported by thirty figures of equal status, who symbolize the nations of the empire, as explained in the accompanying inscription (DNa 38-42). The text reflects Darius&rsquo status, ideals, and achievements. He introduces himself as &ldquoGreat King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan [=Iranian], having Aryan lineage&rdquo (DNa 8-15 Kent, Old Persian, p. 138). Next &ldquothe countries other than Persis&rdquo are enumerated in what is clearly intended to be a geographical order. According to Herodotus (3.89), Darius &ldquojoined together in one province the nations that were neighbors, but sometimes he passed over the nearer tribes and gave their places to more remote ones.&rdquo Applying this scheme to the lands recorded in the record relief, it is possible to distinguish, beside Persis, six groups of nations, recalling the traditional Iranian division of the world into seven regions (Shahbazi, 1983, pp. 243-46 and fig. 3 cf. Plato, Leges, 3.695c, where it is reported that power was divided among seven leading Persians). The sevenfold division of Darius&rsquo empire, revealing his geographical conception, is as follows: (1) the central region, Persis (Pārsa), which paid no tribute, though some of its districts sent commodities (Herodotus, 3.97 Koch cf. Briant, pp. 342-501), possibly to pay for garrisons (2) the western region encompassing Media (Māda) and Elam (Ūja) (3) the Iranian plateau encompassing Parthia (Par&thetaava), Aria (Haraiva), Bactria (Bāxtri), Sogdiana (Sugda), Chorasmia (Uvārazmiya), and Drangiana (Zrankā cf. Herodotus, 3.93, according to whom these lands paid little tribute) the borderlands: Arachosia (Harauvati), Sattagydia (atagu), Gandara (Gandāra), Sind (Hindu), and eastern Scythia (Sakā) (5) the western lowlands: Babylonia (Bābiru), Assyria (A&thetaurā), Arabia (Arabāya), and Egypt (Mudrāya) (6) the northwestern region encompassing Armenia (Armina), Cappadocia (Katpatuka), Lydia (Sparda), Overseas Scythians (Sakā tyaiy paradraya), Skudra, and Petasos-Wearing Greeks (Yaunā takabarā) and (7) the southern coastal regions: Libya (Putāyā), Ethiopia (Kū&scarona), Maka (Maciya), and Caria (Karka, i.e., the Carian colony on the Persian Gulf Schaeder, 1932, p. 270 Shahbazi, 1983, p. 245 n. 28 Figure 2).

Early in his reign Darius established twenty archi (provinces), called &ldquosatrapies,&rdquo assigning to each an archon (satrap) and fixing tribute to be paid by neighboring &ldquonations,&rdquo joined together in each satrapy (Herodotus, 3.89). The list is preserved in the confused but invaluable catalogue of Herodotus (3.90-97 for detailed analysis, see Junge, 1941 Leuze, pp. 25-144 Lehmann-Haupt, cols. 91-109 Ehtécham, pp. 96-102, 127-63 for Babylonian data, see also Dan-damayev, 1992, pp. 8-12 and passim). It begins with Ionia and lists the rest in a sequence from west to east, with the exception of &ldquothe land of the Persians,&rdquo which did not pay tax. The nations in each satrapy are enumerated. The fixed annual tributes to Darius&rsquo treasury were paid according to the Babylonian talent in silver but to the Euboic talent (25.86 kg) in gold (3.89). The total yearly tribute, according to Herodotus&rsquo somewhat contradictory calculations, seems to have been less than 15,000 silver talents (3.95).

Most of the satraps were Persian, members of the royal house or of the six great noble families (Meyer, pp. 47 ff. Schaeder, 1941, p. 18 cf. Petit, pp. 219-26). They were appointed directly by Darius to administer these tax districts, each of which could be divided into subsatrapies and smaller units with their own governors, usually nominated by the central court but occasionally by the satrap (see ACHAEMENID DYNASTY ii). To ensure fair assessments of tribute, Darius sent a commission of trusted men (cf. OPers. *hamara-kāra- Stolper, 1989, p. 86 Dandamayev, 1992, p. 36) to evaluate the revenues and expenditures of each district (cf. Plutarch, Moralia 172F Polyaenus, Stratagemata 7.11.3). Similarly, after the Ionian revolt his brother Artaphernes calculated the areas of Ionian cities in parasangs and fixed their tributes (OPers. bāji- see BĀJ) at a rate &ldquovery nearly the same as that which had been paid before the revolt,&rdquo a rate that continued unaltered down to Herodotus&rsquo time (Herodotus, 6.42). Contemporary Babylonian documents attest the existence of a detailed land register in which property boundaries, ownership (of cattle and probably other movable goods, as well as of urban and rural real estate), and assessments were recorded (Stolper, 1977, pp. 259-60 Dandamayev, 1992, pp. 11-12). In the Persepolis Elamite texts officials who &ldquowrite people down&rdquo and &ldquomake inquiries&rdquo are mentioned (see Tuplin, p. 145, with references). To prevent concentration of power in one person, each satrap was normally accompanied by a &ldquosecretary,&rdquo who observed affairs of the state and communicated with the king a treasurer, who safeguarded provincial revenues and a garrison commander, who was also responsible to the king. Further checks were provided by royal inspectors with full authority over all satrapal affairs, the so-called &ldquoeyes&rdquo and &ldquoears&rdquo of the king (Meyer, pp. 39-89 Kiessling Schaeder, 1934 Ehtécham, pp. 56-62 Frye, 1984, pp. 106-26 see also Hirsch, pp. 101-43 Tuplin Petit, pp. 109-72).

Coordination of the imperial administration was the responsibility of the chancery, with headquarters at Persepolis, Susa, and Babylon (Junge, 1944, pp. 78 ff. Hinz, 1971 idem, 1976, pp. 226-31 idem, 1979), although such chief cities of the empire as Bactria, Ecbatana, Sardis, Dascylium, and Memphis also had branches (Ehtécham, pp. 58-62 Tuplin, with full references). Bureaucratic organization was deeply rooted in the Near East (Schaeder, 1941, p. 17), but Darius reformed it in accordance with the needs of a centralized empire. Aramaic was retained as the common language, especially in trade, and &ldquoimperial Aramaic&rdquo soon spread from India to Ionia, leaving permanent traces of Achaemenid organization (see ART IN IRAN iii, pp. 571-72). Elamite and Babylonian, written in cuneiform, were used in western Asia, and Egyptian, written in hieroglyphics, prevailed in Egypt. Early in his reign, however, Darius appears to have commissioned a group of scholars to create a writing system specifically for Persian (Junge, 1944, p. 63 Hinz, 1973, pp. 15-27 Mayrhofer, pp. 175, 179) the result was the creation of what Darius called &ldquoAryan&rdquo script (Old Persian cuneiform cf. DB 4.88-89 Schmitt, p. 73 and n. 89), the simplest cuneiform system, which bears clear traces of having been modeled on the Urartian signs (Mayrhofer, p. 179). Although this script was merely &ldquoceremonial,&rdquo used for official inscriptions only, it nevertheless contributed to the distinctive identity of the Persian empire.

In keeping with his &ldquovery clear creative role&rdquo in the patronage of &ldquoan Achaemenid canon for imperial art, edicts and administrative mechanisms&rdquo (Root, p. 8), Darius introduced (before 500 B.C.E. Root, pp. 1-12) a new monetary system based on silver coins (Gk. síglos) with an average weight of 8 g and gold coins weighing 5.40 g, equaling in value 20 silver coints (see DERHAM i). The gold coin, *dārayaka-, Gk. dareikós, was probably named after Darius (see DARIC), as ancient sources attest (cf. Meyer, p. 75 n. 2 Schwyzer, pp. 8-19 Kent, Old Persian, p. 189 [cf. W. B. Henning apud Robinson, p. 189 n. 1] Brandenstein and Mayrhofer, p. 115 Hinz, 1975a, p. 83 Cook, p. 70 Bivar, Camb. Hist. Iran, p. 621 for a different derivation, see ACHAEMENID DYNASTY ii, p. 421).

In order to enhance trade, Darius built canals, underground waterways, and a powerful navy (Hinz, 1976, pp. 206 ff.). He further improved the network of roads and way stations throughout the empire, so that &ldquothere was a system of travel authorization by King, satrap, or other high official, which entitled the traveller to draw provisions at daily stopping places&rdquo (Tuplin, p. 110 cf. Hallock, 1978, p. 114 Lewis, 1977, pp. 4-5 Bivar, CAH2, pp. 204-08). Some standardization of weights and measures was also effected (see Bivar, Camb. Hist. Iran, pp. 621-37). Darius appointed loyal subjects, primarily Persians, to senior posts but was eager to listen to and follow the advice of non-Persian counselors as well (Cook, pp. 71-72). He recognized the kinship between the Greeks and Persians and promoted an &ldquoopen door&rdquo policy under which Hellenic aristocrats could enter his service and receive honored positions (Junge, 1944, pp. 95-120, 185-91).

Darius sponsored large construction projects in Susa, Babylon, Egypt, and Persepolis (Hinz, 1976, pp. 235-42). The monuments were often inscribed in the scripts and languages of the empire: Old Persian, Elamite, Babylonian, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Large numbers of workers and artisans of diverse nationalities, some of them deportees (Dandamaev, 1975 Koch) were employed on these projects, enhancing both the Persian economy and intercultural relations (see DEPORTATIONS). The king was also deeply interested in agriculture. In his letter to Gadates, a governor in Asia Minor, he echoed the Avestan statement (Vd. 3.4, 23) &ldquothe Earth feels most happy &hellip where one of the faithful cultivates corn, grass and fruits&rdquo (Lochner-Hüttenbach, in Brandenstein and Mayrhofer, pp. 91-92). Darius&rsquo codification of Egyptian law has been mentioned above he also sanctioned various other local codes (Schaeder, 1941, pp. 25-26 Tuplin, pp. 112-13). Little need be said about Darius&rsquo religion (see ACHAEMENID RELIGION). It is clear that he felt himself chosen by Ahura Mazdā: &ldquoAhuramazda, when he saw this earth in commotion, thereafter bestowed it upon me, made me king. I am king, by the favor of Ahuramazda I put it down in its place&rdquo (DNa 30 ff. Kent, Old Persian, p. 138) &ldquoAhuramazda is mine I am Ahuramazda&rsquos&rdquo (DSk 3-5 Kent, Old Persian, p. 145). These sentiments echo Zoroaster&rsquos utterances and attest Darius&rsquo piety (Hinz, 1976, pp. 242-45). With characteristic Achaemenid tolerance (Schaeder, 1941, pp. 22, 34), however, Darius supported alien faiths and temples &ldquoas long as those who held them were submissive and peaceable&rdquo (Boyce, Zoroastrianism II, p. 127). He funded the restoration of the Jewish temple originally decreed by Cyrus (Ezra 5:1-6:15), showed favor toward Greek cults (attested in his letter to Gadatas), observed Egyptian religious rites related to kingship (Posener, pp. 24-34, 50-63), and supported Elamite priests (Boyce, Zoroastrianism II, pp. 132-35). In H. H. Schaeder&rsquos opinion (1941, p. 29), &ldquothe great politics of the King reveal his clear understanding of what were possible and what necessary &hellip [and] the organizations which he established in the empire earn him the title of the greatest statesman of ancient East.&rdquo

J. M. Balcer, Herodotus and Bisitun. Problems in Ancient Persian Historiography, Stuttgart, 1987.

E. Benveniste, Les Mages dan l&rsquoancien Iran, Paris, 1938.

E. J. Bickerman and H. Tadmor, &ldquoDarius I, Pseudo-Bardiya and the Magi,&rdquo Athenaeum, N.S. 56, 1978, pp. 239-61.

A. D. H. Bivar, &ldquoAchaemenid Coins, Weights and Measures,&rdquo Camb. Hist. Iran II, pp. 610-39.

Idem, &ldquoThe Indus Lands,&rdquo CAH2 IV, pp. 194-210.

R. Borger, Die Chronologie des Darius-Denkmals am Behistun-Felsen, Göttingen, 1982.

W. Brandenstein and M. Mayrhofer, Handbuch des Altpersischen, Wiesbaden, 1964.

E. Bresciani, &ldquoThe Persian Occupation of Egypt,&rdquo Camb. Hist. Iran II, pp. 502-28.

P. Briant, Rois, tributs et paysans. E´tudes sur les formations tributaires du Moyen-Orient ancien, Paris, 1982.

A. R. Burn, Persia and the Greeks. The Defense of the West, c. 546-478 B.C., London, 1962.

P. Calmeyer, &ldquoZur Genese altiranischer Motive VIII. Die &lsquoStatistische Landcharte des Perserreiches,&rsquo&rdquo AMI, N.F. 15, 1982, pp. 105-87 16, 1983, pp. 141-232.

G. G. Cameron, &ldquoThe Persian Satrapies and Related Matters,&rdquo JA 32, 1973, pp. 47-56.

G. Cardascia, Les archives des Mura&scaronū, Paris, 1991.

E. V. Černenko, Skifo-persidskaya voĭna (The Scytho-Persian war), Kiev, 1984.

J. M. Cook, ThePersian Empire, London, 1983.

M. A. Dandamaev (Dandamayev), Iran pri pervykh Akhemenidakh, Moscow, 1963 rev. ed. tr. H. D. Pohl as Persien unter den ersten Achämeniden (6. Jahrhundert v. Chr.), Wiesbaden, 1976.

Idem, &ldquoForced Labour in the Persian Empire,&rdquo AoF 2, 1975, pp. 71-78.

Idem, A Political History of the Achamaenid Empire, tr. W. J. Vogelsang, Leiden, 1989.

Idem, Iranians in Achaemenid Babylonia, Costa Mesa, Calif., 1992.

J. J. A. van Dijk and W. R. Mayer, Texte aus dem Rē&scaron-Heiligtum in Uruk-Warka, Baghdader Mitteilungen, Beiheft 2, 1980.

R. Drews, The Greek Accounts of Eastern History, Cambridge, Mass., 1973.

M. Ehtécham, L&rsquoIran sous les Achéménides, Fribourg, 1946.

A. Fol and N. G. L. Hammond, &ldquoPersia in Europe, Apart from Greece,&rdquo CAH2 IV, pp. 234-53.

R. N. Frye, The History of Ancient Iran, Munich, 1984.

I. Gershevitch, &ldquoThe False-Bardiya,&rdquo AAASH 27/4, 1979, pp. 337-51.

D. Gillis, Collaboration with the Persians, Wiesbaden, 1979.

D. F. Graf, &ldquoMedism. The Origin and Significance of the Term,&rdquo Journal of Hellenic Studies 104, 1984, pp. 15-30.

J. C. Greenfield and B. Porten, eds., The Bisitun Inscription of Darius the Great. Aramaic Version, Corpus Inscr. Iran., pt. 1, vol. 5, Texts 1, 1982.

F. Gschnitzer, Die sieben Perser und das Königtum des Dareios, Heidelberg, 1977.

Idem, &ldquoZur Stellung des persischen Stammlandes im Achaimenidenreich,&rdquo in Ad Bene et Fideliter Seminandum. Festgabe für Karlheinz Deller, Kevelaer and Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany, 1988, pp. 87-122.

E. Haerinck, &ldquoLe palais achéménide de Babylone,&rdquo Iranica Antiqua 10, 1973, pp. 108-32.

R. T. Hallock, &ldquoThe &lsquoOne Year&rsquo of Darius I,&rdquo JNES 19, 1960, pp. 36-39.

Idem, Persepolis Fortification Tablets, Chicago, 1969.

Idem, &ldquoThe Use of Seals on the Persepolis Fortification Tablets,&rdquo in M. Gibson and R. D. Biggs, eds., Seals and Sealing in the Ancient Near East, Malibu, Calif., 1978, pp. 127-33.

Idem, &ldquoThe Evidence of the Persepolis Tablets,&rdquo Camb. Hist. Iran II, pp. 588-609.

J. Harmatta, &ldquoA Recently Discovered Old Persian Inscription,&rdquo AAASH 2, 1954, pp. 1-14.

C. Hignett, Xerxes&rsquo Invasion of Greece, Oxford, 1963.

W. Hinz, &ldquoZur Behistun-Inschrift des Dareios,&rdquo ZDMG 96, 1942, pp. 326-49.

Idem, Altiranische Funde und Forschungen, Berlin, 1969, 63-114.

Idem, &ldquoAchaemenidische Hofverwaltung,&rdquo ZA 61, 1971, pp. 260-311.

Idem, Neue Wege im Altpersischen, Wiesbaden, 1973.

Idem, Altiranisches Sprachgut der Nebenüberlieferungen, Wiesbaden, 1975a.

Idem, &ldquoDarius und der Suezkanal,&rdquo AMI, N.F. 8, 1975b, pp. 115-21.

Idem, Darius und die Perser. Eine Kulturgeschichte der Achämeniden, 2 vols., Baden-Baden, 1976-79.

S. W. Hirsch, The Friendship of the Barbarians, Hanover, N.H., 1985.

W. W. How and J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 2 vols., Oxford, 1961.

P. J. Junge, &ldquoSatrapie und Nation,&rdquo Klio 34, 1941, pp. 1-55.

Idem, Dareios I. König der Perser, Leipzig, 1944.

R. G. Kent, &ldquoOld Persian Texts. The Lists of Provinces,&rdquo JNES 2, 1943, pp. 302-06.

M. Kiessling, Zur Geschichte der ersten Regierungsjahre des Darius Hystaspes, Leipzig, 1900.

H. Koch, Persien zur Zeit des Dareios. Das Achämenidenreich im Lichte neuer Quellen. Kleine Schriften aus dem vorgeschichtlichen Seminar der Philipps-Universität Marburg 25, Marburg, 1988.

E. Kornemann, Römische Geschichte II, Leipzig, 1940.

C. F. Lehmann-Haupt, &ldquoSatrap,&rdquo in Pauly-Wissowa IIA/1, cols. 82-188.

O. Leuze, Die Satrapieneinteilung in Syrien und im Zweistromlande von 520 bis 320, 2 vols., Halle, 1935 repr. in 1 vol., Hildesheim, 1972.

D. M. Lewis, Sparta and Persia, Leiden, 1977.

Idem, &ldquoThe Persepolis Fortification Texts,&rdquo in H. Sancisi-Weerdenburg and A. Kuhrt, eds., Achaemenid History IV, Leiden, 1990, pp. 1-6.

A. B. Lloyd, &ldquoThe Inscription of Udjaḥorresnet. A Collaborator&rsquos Testament,&rdquo Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 68, 1982, pp. 166-80.

R. W. Macan, Herodotus. The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Books II, London, 1895.

J. Marquart, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte von Eran II, Leipzig, 1905, pp. 158-62.

M. Mayrhofer, &ldquoÜber die Verschriftung des Altpersischen,&rdquo Historische Sprachforschung 102, 1989, pp. 174-84.

E. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums IV, Basel, 1954.

H. S. Nyberg, &ldquoDas Reich der Achämeniden,&rdquo in F. Valjavec, ed., Historia Mundi III, Munich, 1954, pp. 56-115.

A. T. Olmstead, &ldquoDarius and His Behistun Inscription,&rdquo AJSLL 55, 1938, pp. 392-416. Idem, The Persian Empire, Chicago, 1948, pp. 107-18.

A. L. Oppenheim, &ldquoThe Babylonian Evidence of Achaemenid Rule in Mesopotamia,&rdquo Camb. Hist. Iran II, pp. 529-87.

T. Petit, Satrapes et satrapies dans l&rsquoempire achéménide de Cyrus le Grand à Xerxes Ier, Liège, 1990.

A. Poebel, &ldquoChronology of Darius&rsquo First Year of Reign,&rdquo AJSLL 55, 1938, pp. 142-65, 285-314.

Idem, &ldquoThe Duration of the Reign of Smerdis, the Magian, and the Reigns of Nebuchadnezzar III and Nebu-chadnezzar IV,&rdquo AJSLL 56, 1939, pp. 121-45.

G. Posener, La première domination perse en E´gypte, Cairo, 1936.

J. V. Prá&scaronek, Geschichte der Meder und Perser bis zur makedonischen Eroberung, 2 vols., Gotha, 1906-10 repr. Darmstadt, 1968 rev. P. R. Rost, OLZ 1, 1898, pp. 38-45.

J. D. Ray, &ldquoEgypt 525-405 B.C.,&rdquo CAH2 IV, pp. 254-86.

H. W. Ritter, Diadem und Königsherrschaft. Untersuchungen zu Zeremonien und Rechtsgrundlagen des Herrschaftsantritts bei den Persern, bei Alexander dem Grossen und im Hellenismus, Wiesbaden, 1965.

E. S. G. Robinson, &ldquoThe Beginnings of Achaemenid Coinage,&rdquo NC, 1958, pp. 187-93.

M. C. Root, &ldquoEvidence from Persepolis for Dating of Persian and Archaic Greek Coinage,&rdquo NC, 1988, pp. 1-12.

P. R. Rost, &ldquoUntersuchungen zur altorientalischen Geschichte,&rdquo Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatisch-Aegyptischen Gesellschaft 41/1, Leipzig, 1897, pp. 107-10, 208-10.

M. Rostovtzeff, Iranians and Greeks in South Russia, 2nd ed., New York, 1969.

H. H. Schaeder, &ldquoDie Ionier in der Bauinschrift des Dareios von Susa,&rdquo Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 1932, pp. 270-74.

Idem, &ldquoIranica. I. Das Auge des Königs,&rdquo in Abh. der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Phil.-hist. Kl., 3rd series 10, 1934, pp. 3-24.

Idem, Das persische Weltreich, Breslau, 1941.

E. F. Schmidt, Persepolis I-III, Chicago, 1953-70.

R. Schmitt, The Bisitun Inscriptions of Darius the Great. Old Persian Text. Corpus Inscr. Iran, pt. 1, vol. I, Texts 1, 1991.

H. J. Schnitzler, &ldquoDer Sakenfeldzug Dareios&rsquo des Grossen,&rdquo in R. Stiehl and G. A. Lehmann, eds., Antike und Universalgeschichte. Festschrift für Erich Stier, Münster, 1972, pp. 52-71.

E. Schwyzer, &ldquoAwest. aspərənō und byzantin. áspron. Beiträge zur griechisch-orientalischen Münznamenforschung,&rdquo IF 49, 1931, pp. 11-45.

U. Seidl, &ldquoEin Relief Dareios&rsquo I in Babylon,&rdquo AMI, N.F. 3, 1976, pp. 125-30.

A. Sh. Shahbazi, Jahān-dārī-e Dāryū&scaron-e Bozorg, Tehran, 1350 &Scaron./1971.

Idem, &ldquoDarius in Scythia and Scythians in Persepolis,&rdquo AMI, N.F. 15, 1982, pp. 189-235.

M. Stolper, &ldquoThree Iranian Loan-words in Late Babylonian Texts,&rdquo in L. Levine, ed., Mountains and Lowlands, Malibu, Calif., 1977, pp. 251-66.

Idem, Entrepreneurs and Empire, Leiden, 1985.

Idem, &ldquoOn Interpreting Tributary Relationships in Achaemenid Babylonia,&rdquo in P. Briant and C. Herrenschmidt, eds., Le tribut dans l&rsquoempire perse. Actes de la table ronde de Paris, 12-13 décembre 1986, Paris, 1989, pp. 147-56.

J. N. Strassmaier, Inschriften von Darius, Leipzig, 1892.

C. Tuplin, &ldquoThe Administration of the Achaemenid Empire,&rdquo in I. Carradice, ed., Coinage and Administration in the Athenian and Persian Empires. The Ninth Oxford Symposium on Coinage and Monetary History, Oxford, 1987, pp. 109-64.

Idem, &ldquo"Darius&rsquo Suez Canal and Persian Imperialism,&rdquo in H. Sancisi-Weerdenburg and A. Kuhrt, eds., Achaemenid History VI. Asia Minor and Egypt. Old Cultures in a New Empire, Leiden, 1991, pp. 237-83.

M. Vasmer, Die Iranier in Südrussland, Leipzig, 1923.

E. N. von Voigtlander, The Bisitun Inscription of Darius the Great. Babylonian Version, Corpus Inscr. Iran, pt. 1, vol. II, Texts 1, 1978.

G. Walser, Die Völkerschaften auf den Reliefs von Persepolis, Berlin, 1966.

G. Widengren, &ldquoThe Sacral Kingship of Iran,&rdquo in Studies in the History of Religions, Numen, Suppl., Leiden, 1959, pp. 242-57.

Idem, &ldquoÜber einige Probleme in der altpersischen Geschichte,&rdquo in J. Meixner and G. Kegel, eds., Festschrift für L. Brandt zum 60 Geburtstag, Opladen, Germany, 1968, pp. 517-33.

J. Wiesehöfer, Der Aufstand Gaumāta&rsquos und die Anfänge Dareios&rsquo I, Bonn, 1978.

H. Winckler, Untersuchungen zur altorientalischen Geschichte, Leipzig, 1889.

T. Cuyler Young, Jr., &ldquoThe Persian Empire,&rdquo CAH ² IV, pp. 1-111.

Table 2. Family Tree of Darius the Great.

Figure 2. Peoples of the Persian empire, as recorded on the relief on the tomb of Darius I at Naq&scaron-e Rostam (numbered in the order in which the peoples are represented on the relief and named in the accompanying text).


Notable Accomplishments

Darius expanded the Persian empire from the Sakas beyond Sogdiana to the Kush, and from Sind to Sardis. He also refined and expanded the Persian satrapy form of administrative rule, dividing his empire into 20 pieces and providing each piece an authority (generally a relative) to rule over them, and placing additional security measures to reduce revolt.

Darius moved the Persian capital from Pasagardae to Persepolis, where he had built a palace and a treasury, where the enormous wealth of the Persian empire would be safely stored for 200 years, only to be looted by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. He constructed the Royal Road of the Achaemenids from Susa to Sardis, connecting the far-flung satrapies and building staffed way stations so no one had to ride more than a day to deliver the post.

  • Completed the first version of the Suez Canal, leading from the Nile to the Red Sea
  • Was renowned for innovations in water control, including an extensive set of irrigation canals and wells known as qanats throughout his empire
  • Was known as a law-giver when serving as the king of Egypt during the Late Period.

Ramiyar Karanjia

Why did the Mazdayasni Zarthoshtis come from Iran to India?

1. The Mazdayasni Zarthoshtis lost the Sasanian empire to the Arabs in 641 AC.

2. After that, for about a hundred years they struggled to get back the empire, regain their lost glory, salvage their religion and live in dignity, but most of them were not successful.

3. Under the Arab rule, it was not possible to follow the basic tenets of the religion – like wearing Sudreh–kasti, performing rituals and maintaining a sacred fire.

4. It was not even possible for them to maintain rul4es of ethnic exclusivity and ritual purity in their personal lives.

5. It was also not possible to follow rules of exclusivity for fire temples and rituals and survive as a religious community.

6. Most Zoroastrians had been relegated to the position of slaves from masters, and forced to pay heavy, back-breaking taxes.

7. Many Zoroastrians were forced to convert to Islam or their wealth and property were confiscated.

8. The lives and modesty of ladies were always in grave danger, especially as they were not able to pay taxes. Beautiful women were more at risk and hence were often purposely disfigured or made to look ugly.

When did Iranians, especially Zoroastrians, first come into contact with India?

1. It is generally erroneously believed that Zoroastrians from Iran first came into contact with India after they fled from Iran following the downfall of the Sasanian empire.

2. The fact is that the ancestors of the Indians and Iranians were staying together as Aryans even before the countries of Iran and India came into existence.

3. In the Shahnameh narratives of Peshdadian and Kayanian kings of ancient Iran, we come across mention of India at several places.

4. A part of north western India, comprising modern day Sindh and Punjab, belonged to the Achaemenian empire, and Sasanian kings like Behram V (Behram Gur) and Chosroe I (Nosherwan Adel) had political relations with India.

5. Thus after the downfall of the Sasanian empire, India was the natural choice of the Iranian Zoroastrians as a second home, away from home, as the Iranian Zoroastrians were aware of the tolerance of Indian rulers and the inclusive nature of Indian religions.

6. After Zoroastrians came from Iran to India about 1300 years back, there was not much contact between Iran and India, till priests were sent as message carriers from India to Iran in the 16 th and 17 th centuries to seek information and clarifications about religious and ritual matters.

7. In the mid 19 th century, wealthy Zoroastrians in Mumbai formed the Society for Amelioration of the conditions of Zoroastrians in Iran. As their emissary they chose Mr. Maneckji Limji Hataria and sent him with funds to help the unfortunate Zoroastrian brethren who were terrorized and oppressed in Iran.

Why is the Shahnameh an important book?

1. The Iranian epic Shahnameh “Book of kings”, comprising about 60,000 Persian couplets, was composed about a thousand years ago by Firdausi Toosi, whose real name Abul Kasem Hasan. It was largely based on the Avestan and Pahlavi textual sources existing at that time.

2. The past is an integral part of our life. Though it is not correct to dwell in the past, one should learn from it, be inspired from it, emulate heroic deeds and avoid the pitfalls. The Shahnameh is a chronicle of ancient Iranian history which helps us keep in touch with our glorious past. It covers the Peshdadian, Kayanian and Sasanian times, encapsulating their greatness and pettiness, romance and tragedies, heroes and villains, glory and shame.

3. It has vignettes of information on Zoroastrian religion like praise of God, life of Zarathushtra, different types of Jashans, importance of dokhmenashini etc.

4. It also has wonderful maxims, admonitions and teachings for life on topics like love, impermanence, moderation, intelligence, shrewdness, friendship and death, which are full of worldly wisdom.

What do the words Padshah-Pahelvans mean in Parsi tradition? (TMY – JJ of 29-10-17)

1. The words Padshah-Pahelvans are often collectively used in Parsi Gujarati language, particularly in connection with Iranian history of the Peshdadian and Kayanian dynasty.

2. The word Padshah means Emperor. In ancient Iran the Emperor was referred to as Padshah, for instance Jamshed Padshah or Kae-khushru Padshah.

3. The word Pahelvan means kings of smaller principalities or knights, who worked under the Padshah. They were assigned kingship by the Emperor. They often advised, counseled and assisted the king and were a part of his administrative cabinet. Senior Pahelvans were confidantes of the king.

4. There were two main families of Pahelvans, one descending from Kersasp and the other descending from Kāveh. The main descendants of Kersasp’s family were Zal, Sam, Rustom and Sohrab, and the main descendants of Kaveh’s family were Gudarz, Giv, Gurgin and Bizan.

5. Kersasp’s and his descendants were rulers of Zabulistan (Eastern Iran). Kaveh and his descendants were rulers of Khavar (Western Iran).

6. The names of many prominent Padshah-Pahelvans are remembered by priests whenever they perform rituals like Afringan, Farokhshi and Jashan.

What is the contribution of Peshdadian king Jamshed towards Mazdayasni religion and progress of civilisation? (9 & 16-6-19)

1. Jamshed, the fourth King of the Peshdadian dynasty, was the son of Vivanghan. He was a very devoted worshipper of Mazda. He was a Saoshyant who added many good practices to the Mazdayasni system. Though he was offered the position of prophet by Ahura Mazda, he had politely declined.

2. On account of his many beneficial changes, his subjects were always healthy and happy. It was a Golden Age in the history of Iran. As a result of abundant prosperity, the population increased manifold, and the king thrice increased the boundaries of his kingdom, towards the southern direction.

3. It was king Jamshed, who first divided his subjects into four professional groups: Athornans “priests,” Ratheshtars “warriors,” Vastriyosh “farmers” and Hutaokhsh “artisans.” This helped to enhance the work quality and increase efficiency. A few Athornans were required to reside on mountains, devote their time to prayers and invoke the blessings of God to ward off evil from the kingdom.

4. King Jamshed developed a gadget, known as the Jām-e-Jamshed, by which, he was able to know the past and predict the future. The jām, which literally means “a goblet”, was probably an astronomical device to see the heavenly bodies.

5. He was inspired by Sarosh Yazad to introduce the practice of wearing the Sadra and tying the Kasti. This was to protect the wearer against evil influences.

6. To further the civilisation and enhance the comfort of his subjects, he introduced many arts, skills and trades like brick-making, clay-plastering and house building. He also introduced the art of swimming, diving, pearl-fishing and boat-making.

7. Mining started on a larger scale in King Jamshed’s time. Metals were made from ores, from which several implements like the plough and the hoe, as well as swords, spears, helmets, armours and horse-shoes were made. Mining of precious metals like gold and silver, and precious stones like diamonds, was also done.

8. King Jamshed taught his people to extract perfumes from musk, amber and flowers. He also introduced the practice of fumigation by the use of frankincense, amber, myrrh and camphor.

9. The art of making cloth and sewing of clothes was developed in King Jamshed’s reign. Spinning, weaving, warping and woofing were introduced. Clothes from zari (golden and silvern threads) and silk were made. The crafting of musical instruments and composing of music also started during his reign.

10. He introduced medicinal plants and herbs to relieve diseases. The practice of medicine as a profession started. Wine was discovered and used in moderate quantities as a medicine and a rejuvenating drink.

11. King Jamshed was guided through Sarosh Yazad about the arrival of a terrible snow-storm which would destroy the world. He was advised to take a few pairs of each species and create a Vara “an enclosure.” Accordingly, he established a settlement which came to be known as Var-e-Jam-Kard. In this enclosure, he was coronated on the day on which the sun enters the house of Aries. A Jashan was performed and there were celebrations. This day came to be known as Jamshedi Navroz.

Why does king Faridun have a special place in the Mazdayasni Zarthoshti religion?

1. King Faridun was born when the reign of the evil king Zohak was at its height. He was the son of a noble lady by the name Faranak. His father Abtin was a young and able bodied man who was always in fear of being caught and killed by Zohak’s men, so that his brain may be fed to the snakes, which had grown on the shoulders of Zohak and were troubling him. One day Zohak’s guards carried Abtin away and killed him. When Faranak came to know of this, she was terrified. She took infant Faridun and went in hiding in the jungle, where she came across a farmer, to whom she entrusted the child. The farmer had a cow by the name Purmae, on whose milk Faridun was nursed for three years.

2. When Zohak came to know about the cow nursing a child, he suspected the child to be Faridun and ordered his men to search. Faranak, had a divine intuition, in which she was asked to go there. She reached there, before Zohak’s men could reach the farmer’s house. She took the child and proceeded towards the Alburz mountains, where she entrusted the child to a saintly man. When Zohak’s men came to the farmer’s house, they were unable to find Faridun. Frustrated, they killed the farmer and the cow Purmae.

3. When Faridun was sixteen years old, his mother narrated to him the story of his childhood. Faridun was engulfed with rage and wanted to go and fight Zohak. His mother constrained him saying that when the time was ripe, friends and allies would help him in his destined work.

4. A blacksmith by the name Kaveh, frustrated by the evil rule of Zohak, revolted against him. As he was about to attack Zohak, he was guided by Sarosh Yazad to seek Faridun from Mount Alburz and together fight against Zohak and bring an end to his reign. Faridun ordered a mace to be prepared for him, adorned with the head of a cow, in memory of Purmae. This mace is known as the Guraz. Even today priests use the Guraz at the time of Navar and it adorns the Keblā (sanctum sanctorum) of many a fire temples.

5. Faridun then brought an end to Zohak’s evil rule. He bound him up under Mount Demavand, as instructed by Sarosh Yazad. Even today people go to Demavand to offer their prayers to Sarosh Yazad and king Faridun, and there pray for strengthening of the chains with which Zohak is bound.

6. Faridun ascended the throne and celebrated a thanksgiving Jashan on roj Meher of mah Meher. This Jashan, known as the Jashan-e-Mehrangān, is celebrated even today as a festival to commemorate the end of Zohak’s rule and Faridun’s ascension to throne. This festival epitomizes the ultimate victory of good over evil. Faridun became the fifth king of the Peshdadian dynasty.

7. King Faridun had three sons, Selam, Tur and Irach. He divided the kingdom among them, which gave rise to the countries of Iran, Turan and Rome. He retired after instituting his great grandson Minocheher on the throne of Iran. He passed away peacefully after that.

8. Faridun was divinely taught many powerful Nirangs to be used for his missions. He used it for many purposes, including to break the evil magical cordon set up by Zohak around his palace. Even today people pray Nirangs which are attributed to king Faridun, known as Afshun-i-Shah-i-Faridun to seek his help and destroy evil and noxious creatures. In the Avesta, Faridun is referred to as Thraetaona.

9. King Faridun also had the ability to metamorphose himself into another form or change somebody else into another form. Once he metamorphosed a boatman into a bird to teach him a lesson. At another time he metamorphosed himself into an Azdah (a dragon like monster with the head of a snake breathing out fire) to test the valour of his three sons.

10. King Faridun is also known as Paridun in Iran. Many Parsi names today, like Parizad, Paricheher and Parinaz refer to King Faridun and show the importance in which he is held by people even today.

11. King Faridun is immortalised among Zoroastrians in India and Iran and is remembered for several things. He is associated with the Guraz, Mount Demavand, fighting noxious creatures, Nirangs (Afshun-i-Shah-i-Faridun), the Mehrangān festival, Mehrangān Jashan and the several names connected with his name.

Who was Lohrasp Padshah (King Lohrasp)?

1. Lohrasp was a gentle, noble and pious ruler of a small province. Sarosh Yazad divinely guided Kayanian King Kae Khushru to appoint him as his successor. The Avesta name of Lohrasp is Aurvat-aspa which means “one possessing a swift horse.”

2. Lohrasp had two sons Gushtasp and Zarir. On Gushtasp’s insistence, Lohrasp abdicated his throne in his favour. King Gushtasp later became the patron king of prophet Zarathushtra, Lohrasp spent time at the Nav-bahar Atash Behram in Balkh (now Bactria), where later Zarathushtra joined him. Lohrasp was killed by the Turanian king Arjasp in one of his attacks on Iran.

3. In religious tradition Kae Lohrasp is called Mithra-nā-saheb “Master of thought force” as he had tremendous power over his mind and thoughts. He is believed to have had the ability of astral projection, that is projecting his astral body at another place in such a way that it appeared that he was simultaneously present at two places.

4. King Kae Lohrasp is revered as a highly evolved, spiritually advanced soul. People who are mentally agitated, harassed by negative thoughts or have wavering thoughts can pray to him for help. His individual photograph, standing near an ancient fire stand, with a bow in one hand and his image projected in the sky, adorns many religious places. In another, more common photograph, we see him standing on one side of an Afarganyu, on the other side of which stands prophet Zarathushtra, who was his contemporary.

Who was Afrasiyab? (JJ 4-6-17)

1. Afrasiyab is one of the most evil kings mentioned in the Shahnameh. He is likened to wicked rulers like Zohak and Alexander. In the Avesta, his name is Frangharasya. He ruled over Turan for a very long period. His reign started from the time of Peshdadian King Minocheher and he ruled continuously when seven different kings of the Peshdadian and Kayanian dynasties successively ruled over Iran.


2. Afrasiyab was the son of Pashang, grand-son of Zād-sham and great grandson of Tur. Afrasiyab was descended from an Iranian lineage, since his great, great grandfather was the Peshdadian king Faridun. However since his intentions and acts were always evil, he did not receive help from the good divine beings.

3. He was evil and crooked even in wars. He never adhered to the code of conduct of wars and broke peace treaties several times at his convenience when he saw Iran in trouble or difficulty. He tried to seize the Kyani Khoreh thrice, in order to become the emperor of Iran but was unsuccessful every time.

4. The lengthy wars between Iran and Turan depicted in the Shahnameh were fought between Iranian king Kaekhushru and Turanian king Afrasiyab. King Kaekhushru waged the wars to avenge the unjust death of his father Siyavaksh, who had married Afrasiyab’s daughter Ferangez but was later killed by Afrasiyab at the instigation of his wily brother Kasrevaz.

5. Though Kaekhushru was Afrasiyab’s own grandson, the former brought about his end near Lake Chaechist. Afrasiyab’s son Jehan and later grand son Arjasp continued to rule over Turan after him.

6. Afrasiyab even killed his own noble brother Agreras as he was just and was favourably disposed towards the Iranians.

7. The great Rustom Pahelvan was Afrasiyab’s strongest adversary. He was brought near the jaws of death several times, but each time the crafty Afrasiyab managed to escape. Afrasiyab was also instrumental in Sohrab’s death at the hand of his father Rustam as he had given a huge army to Sohrab when he went to Iran to look for his estranged father.

8. Just as Rustam Pahelvan is famous among Central Asian countries for his valour, Afrasiyab is known in these countries for his notorious and evil acts.

Who was King Darius the Great? (JJ 3 & 10 -9-17)

1. The Achaemenian dynasty had three kings by the name Darius. The most well known among them is Darius I or Darius the Great, who ruled from 521 to 486 B.C. After the accidental death of king Cambyses, there was no direct descendants capable enough to occupy the throne. Rebellions spread throughout the Empire. An imposter seized power. At such a time, Darius, son of Hystaspes, a member of the royal family, quelled the rebellions and became the emperor.

2. Darius was a brave warrior, a benevolent monarch, and a wise and skilful administrator. He had capitals at Persepolis, Susa, Ecbatana and Babylon. He continuously fought against the Greeks. He won many battles but was badly defeated at Marathon in about 499 B.C. The modern Marathon race is named after this battle.

3. His Empire was divided into 30 administrative districts called Satrapies, each of which had three independent heads – the Satrap (Administrator), the Military Commandant, and the Treasurer. The Emperor maintained secret services called “the King’s Eyes and Ears.” Special tribunals paid surprise visits to the provinces. They had powers to investigate and prescribe remedy or punishments for any irregularities found.

4. He built roads and bridges to connect his vast Empire. The famous Royal Road, about 2550 kilometres (1,500 miles) long, was built as the highway connecting Susa with Sardis, with rest houses on the way. He also had canals dug to irrigate the fields in the desert lands.

5. Darius was the first to introduce postal system in the world. Along important roads, postal stages were fixed at intervals of about 24 kilometres (14 miles). The post was carried by mounted couriers. New couriers were ready with fresh horses at every stage. A dispatch from Susa reached Sardis in five or six days, covering a distance of about 2500 kilometres (1,500 miles). Describing this postal system, Herodotus had said: “Nothing mortal travels as fast as these Persian messengers.”

6. Darius commissioned the construction of a canal connecting the Red Sea with the Nile. Remains of the same along with inscriptions in four languages were discovered while excavating for the modern Suez Canal.

7. Darius the Great passed away at the age of 65 years in 486 B.C. His last remains are at the nacropolis called Naksh-i-Rustam in Shiraz, close to his palace at Persepolis, one of his several capitals.

8. He left a number of inscriptions which shed light on ancient Persian history. The main one is at Behistun/Bisutun in Hamadan, which is the largest surviving historical document by any ancient Zoroastrian king. In one of the inscriptions the emperor proudly proclaims “I am Darius, the great king, the king of kings….. a Parsi, son of a Parsi, an Aryan, of Aryan lineage.”

9. Darius introduced the use of a gold coin called Daric. It was a thick coin with a standard weight of 8.4 grams bearing the image of the king as a warrior with a bow and arrow in the hand. It continued to be used till the end of the Achaemenian dynasty in 330 BC. Afterwards, most of these coins were melted and reconstructed as Greek coins.

10. The other two kings by the name Darius in the Achaemenian dynasty were Darius II (424-405 BC) and Darius III (336-331 BC). The latter was the last king of the Achaemenian empire. He was defeated at Gaugamela in the famous battle of Arabela by Alexander the Macedonian in 331 B.C. A year later Darius III was killed by Bessus, the Satrap of Bactria, on the battlefield. Thereafter Alexander proclaimed himself the Emperor of Persia. The Greeks, under General Seleucus Nicator, ruled over Persia for the next 80 years.

Why are Achaemenian kings like Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great not attested in Zoroastrian religious tradition, literature or prayers?

1. The history of our Peshdadian and Kayanian kings were recorded in the Avesta and from there it went into the Pahlavi texts.

2. The Achaemenian dynasty came a long time after the Avestan texts were composed and hence the Achaemenian kings are not mentioned in the Avesta.

3. The Pahlavi writers mainly depended on the Avestan texts for their sources and hence the Achaemenians are not recorded in the Pahlavi texts either.

4. The Achaemenian dynasty and their exploits were mainly recorded by the Greeks and later Roman historians, which was interpreted and understood much later. Further knowledge about the Achaemenian dynasty came through archaeological findings in the last one hundred years.

5. Firdausi depended on the Avestan and Pahlavi sources for his Shahnameh. Neither the Greek and Roman writings, nor the archaeological sources were available to Firdausi and hence the Achaemenian dynasty and the exploits of its great kings like Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes are not mentioned in this Persian epic.

6. The names of Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great are not taken in the rituals while reciting the nam graham, as this list is based on the names of great men mentioned in Avesta, Pahlavi and Pazand sources.

Who was Ardeshir Bābekān? (JJ 17-9-17)

1. Ardeshir Bābekān also known as Ardeshir Pāpekān, was the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, the last of the Zoroastrian empire, by defeating the Parthian emperor Artabanus/Ardavan V. His life and history is recorded in the Pahlavi book Kārnāmak-i-Artakhshir-i-Pāpakān “Book of Deeds of Artakhshir-i-Pāpakān.”

2. His father Sasan, was in the service of Pāpak/ Bābak, the king of Pars, whose daughter he later married. His grand-father Bābak was the king of the province of Pars and ruled under the suzerainty of the Parthian Emperor Ardavan.

3. When young Ardeshir became an accomplished prince, the Parthian Emperor Ardavan heard of his prowess. He invited him to his court at Rae, assuring him royal treatment. During his stay at Rae, Ardeshir excelled in arts, sports, hunting and military skills.

4. Emperor Ardavan felt insecure at prince Ardeshir’s bravery and self-confidence. He felt threatened that Ardeshir may topple and overthrow his own princes. Hence, accusing Ardeshir of a crime he did not commit, he placed him under house arrest. Ardeshir managed to escape, and raise an army. Then he attacked and defeated Ardavan.

5. Ardeshir became the emperor of Iran in 226 AC. He was a staunch Zoroastrian. Dastur Tansar was his principle Advisor, with whose help he rejuvenated the Zoroastrian religion and started the process of gathering the scattered Avestan texts and having them translated to Pahlavi. He also ordered several Ātash Bahrāms to be established at various places. During his reign, another pious priest Mobed Arda Viraf, journeyed to heaven and hell and returned back to relate his experiences. These are related in the book “Arda Viraf Nāmeh.”

6. Ardeshir was a benevolent and wise king, a valiant warrior, a skillful organizer, and an efficient administrator. He was involved in long drawn wars with the Romans, especially the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus. Ardeshir also conquered Mesopotamia, Kurdistan and Kerman. He passed away in 241 AC leaving his empire to his son Shapur I. ty


Appearance

Darius has brown eyes, dark skin and black hair. He wears a yellow and black hooded jacket (appears in three episodes of Season 1) later it's been replaced by a white t-shirt after leaving it behind at the ruins of the bunkers and he wears it mostly during through Season 1 and 2 while stranded on Nublar. Also wears light blue jeans, black and white sneakers. Including wears a raptor tooth necklace (was mention in Things Fall Apart, that he left it behind at the camp during through the Indominus Rex Outbreak). Later in season 2, the necklace was discovered and recovered by Sammy in the debris.

During through Season 3, Darius' sideburn haircuts have grown back while still stranded on Isla Nublar with the other campers.

In the episode "Safe Harbor" Darius wears a pair of yellow swim trunks. This may indicate that his favorite color is yellow.



Comments:

  1. Aubin

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  2. Tygojora

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  3. Mazum

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  4. Philip

    New items are always cool !!!

  5. Ray

    So simply does not happen

  6. Adalwen

    Excuse me, the phrase is taken away

  7. Heretoga

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