Who Was Darius the Great?

While Xerxes became an important part of Persian, as well as Greek ancient history, he was accompanied throughout the record of time by a variety of important family members and associations. In this article, we will take a look at one of the most influential characters in ancient Persian history, his father, Darius the Great.


When exploring the character of Darius the Great, it seems that the former king followed the words and beliefs of Ahura Mazda, which involved an ancient Indo-Iranian religion. When Darius ruled over the Persians, he was known as a highly respected statesman and organizer of the people. He was credited with revising the administrative system of Persia, as well as established a helpful legal code. It is because of him that the people understood the consequences and descriptions of assault, bribery, slave sales, and the laws of evidence.


When Darius took power over the land, it was under a heavy cloud of controversy and death that took the lives Cyrus the Great’s two sons. Many revolts followed across Babylonia, Susiana, and in Ionia, which led to the Persians voyages and battles to and with Greece. He fought many nations and also claimed a few for his own. During these times, he worked with the military to help arrange pay for the soldiers, as well as changed the way the army and navy trained.


Under his rule, numerous building projects were implemented. The capital of Persepolis was built during his reign with walls that measured 60 feet into the air. The thickness of the walls was also something to talk about as a heavy-duty construction job followed. Located close to the city, the tomb of Darius was cut into a rock face.


He was also responsible for the digging of a canal that stretched from the Nile to Suez. His ships also traveled from the Nile to the Red Sea, as intense roadwork occurred on the homefront. Throughout the country, he oversaw numerous building projects and improvements to the land.


When it came to finance, Darius made strides in this area as well, which earned him the reputation of being a highly respected financier. He was responsible for adjusting and fixing the coinage, as well as presented the golden Daric to the people. He established commerce within the empire and saw that trade remained consistent. As a result of the progress associated with his reign, he sent some of his men throughout the surrounding lands to explore new territories, such as Indian Ocean expeditions, which allows his numbers to rise, as more towns progressed from the fruits of his labor.


As for fighting, Darius held a war of his own against the Scythians. It is believed that he created the war so he could attack the nomadic tribes that resided in the area. It was also his interventions to establish peace throughout the northern region of his empire. Since he was geographically incorrect in his research, he was forced to return as a result of the miscalculations. He would lead his army into Attica and after his empire stood beaten at the Battle of Marathon, insurrection spread across Egypt in 496 BC. The following year, Darius was gone after ruling his lands for 36 years.


To learn more about his son, Xerxes, seek out the article titled, ” Who is Xerxes of Persia?”