Xerxes I

Xerxes I (Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayār̥šā; Greek: Ξέρξης; c.518 – August 465 BC), commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. He was the son and successor of Darius the Great (r. 522–486 BC) and his mother was Atossa, a daughter of Cyrus the Great (r. 550–530 BC), the founder of the Achaemenid empire. Like his father, he ruled the empire at its territorial peak. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Xerxes I
Rock relief of an Achaemenid king, most likely Xerxes I, located in the National Museum of Iran[1]
King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire
ReignOctober 486 – August 465 BC
PredecessorDarius the Great
SuccessorArtaxerxes I
Pharaoh of Egypt
ReignOctober 486 – August 465 BC
PredecessorDarius the Great
SuccessorArtaxerxes I
Bornc.518 BC
DiedAugust 465 BC (aged approximately 53)
FatherDarius the Great
ReligionIndo-Iranian religion
(possibly Zoroastrianism)
Xerxes (Xašayaruša/Ḫašayaruša)[2]
Egyptian hieroglyphs

Xerxes I is notable in Western history for his invasion of Greece in 480 BC. His forces temporarily overran mainland Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth[3][4] until losses at Salamis and Plataea a year later reversed these gains and ended the second invasion decisively. However, Xerxes successfully crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon.[5] Xerxes also oversaw the completion of various construction projects at Susa and Persepolis.

Xerxes is identified with the king Ahasuerus in the biblical Book of Esther,[6] which some scholars, including Eduard Schwartz, William Rainey Harper, and Michael V. Fox, consider to be historical romance.[7][8] There is nothing close to a consensus, however, as to what historical event provided the basis for the story.[9][10][11][12]

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