Darius II

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This article is about the ancient king of the Persian Empire. For the video game, see Darius II (video game).
Darius II
The Great King of Persia and Pharaoh of Egypt
Reign 423 BC – 405 BC
Predecessor Sogdianus
Successor Amyrtaeus (as Pharaoh of Egypt), Artaxerxes II (as Great King of Persia)
Father Artaxerxes I
Mother unknown

Darius II (Persian: داريوش دوم‎) (Dārayavahuš), was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 405 BC.[1]

Artaxerxes I, who died on December 25, 424 BC, was followed by his son Xerxes II. After a month and a half Xerxes II was murdered by his brother Secydianus or Sogdianus (the form of the name is uncertain). His illegitimate brother, Ochus, satrap of Hyrcania, rebelled against Sogdianus, and after a short fight killed him, and suppressed by treachery the attempt of his own brother Arsites to imitate his example. Ochus adopted the name Darius (Greek sources often call him Darius Nothos, "Bastard"). Neither the names Xerxes II nor Sogdianus occur in the dates of the numerous Babylonian tablets from Nippur; here effectively the reign of Darius II follows immediately after that of Artaxerxes I.

Prospective tomb of Darius II of Persia in Naqsh-e Rustam

Historians know little about Darius II's reign. A rebellion by the Medes in 409 BC is mentioned by Xenophon. It does seem that Darius II was quite dependent on his wife Parysatis. In excerpts from Ctesias some harem intrigues are recorded, in which he played a disreputable part.

It is likely that Ezra and Nehemiah were alive during this monarch's reign, as it was approximately at this time that the new walls of Jerusalem, demolished during the Babylonian period, were rebuilt.[2]

As long as the power of Athens remained intact he did not meddle in Greek affairs. When in 413 BC, Athens supported the rebel Amorges in Caria, Darius II would not have responded had not the Athenian power been broken in the same year at Syracuse. As a result of that event, Darius II gave orders to his satraps in Asia Minor, Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus, to send in the overdue tribute of the Greek towns and to begin a war with Athens. To support the war with Athens, the Persian satraps entered into an alliance with Sparta. In 408 BC he sent his son Cyrus to Asia Minor, to carry on the war with greater energy. Darius II died in 405 BC, in the nineteenth year of his reign, and was followed as Persian king by Artaxerxes II.

Offspring[edit]

Prior to his accession, Darius II was married to the daughter of Gobryas. With the daughter of Gobryas, Darius II had four sons, through whom one of his sons became the father of Artabazanes, who served as King of Media Atropatene in the second half of the 3rd century BC.[3][4][5]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brill's New Pauly, "Darius".
  2. ^ "The compiler, unable to distinguish between the Persian kings thought "year seven of Darius" meant Darius I. It was impossible, so he rejected it in favour of Artaxerxes, who had already been mentioned in the context of Nehemiah, because the two men were together at the dedication. Ezra really came in year seven of Darius II specially to dedicate the walls and to introduce the new law" from http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0290Ezra.php extracted 26/5/2011
  3. ^ ARTABAZANES, Encyclopedia Iranica
  4. ^ García Sánchez, M (2005): "La figura del sucesor del Gran Rey en la Persia Aqueménida", in V. Troncoso (ed.), Anejos Gerión 9, La figura del sucesor en las monarquías de época helenística.
  5. ^ Hallock, R (1985): "The evidence of the Persepolis Tablets", en Gershevitch (ed.) The Cambridge History of Iran v. 2, p. 591.
Darius II
Born:  ?? Died: 404 BC
Preceded by
Sogdianus
The Great King of Persia
423 BC – 404 BC
Succeeded by
Artaxerxes II
Pharaoh of Egypt
423–404
Succeeded by
Amyrtaeus