Darius I (550–485 BC)

Darius the Great

550 BC This year is that when Darius I (Diryayas) was born, the son of Hystaspes, that who would become the king of Persians. “King of Kings, king in Persia, king of Tsars, son of Hystaspes, nephew of Arsames, the Achaemenid”, so Darius called himself in the famous inscription from Behistun. The inscription is impressive. It is on a high wall of rock, at 60 meters height.

522 BC Darius I became king of Persians. He started his reign defeating Gaume, who he killed. This had tried to take the throne of Camby. Darius defeated then other uprisings and strengthened his rule restoring his ancestors’ empire.

520 BC (or 518-516 BC, from the point of view of some researchers), Darius began the building of a Persian city, at the foot of Mercy Mount, kih-i-Rahmat, a city called Persepolis by Greeks. On one side of the mountain a huge terrace was built, where some double steps can be loaded. Darius also built the palace at Susa, his real residence.

518 BC He started an expedition against Egypt. Darius tried here to have allies among priests building a temple in the oasis of Ammon, Charga.

Darius ordered too the restoring of the fosse between Nile and Red Sea and commanded to scholars to establish a law code, activity that lasted 16 years. So, Darius avoided the religious conflicts and the possibility of any uprising.

517 BC From Egypt, Darius left to Central Asia, conquering Horezm, Balochistan and Afghanistan. Indus Valley became the border of Darius I Empire.

513 BC Darius conquered Thrace and a part of Greece and started an unsuccessful expedition against Scythians from the North of the Black Sea. Persians built the first bridge in Europe over the Danube, in the area inhabited by Getae. Herodotus spoke about this expedition; it is the first mention of our ancestors in recorded history.

499 BC Getae on the Coast of Minor Asia started a general uprising against Persians and were supported by Athenians. Persians oppressively defeated it and in 495 Miletus fell. Darius decided to punish Greek people. All great Greek buildings, except Sparta and Athens, were subjected to Darius.

490 BC A big army of Darius landed to the marshy plain at Marathon, 42 km far of Athens. Greeks skilfully used the land and had superior arms and so they defeated a huge Persian army that trusted very much herself.

486 BC Darius organized a new expedition against Greeks but it was interrupted because Egypt had revolted.

485 BC Before subjecting Egypt again, Darius I died. The task to take revenge for the Persia honour was transmitted to his son and to his successor, Xerxes I.

During his reign, Persian Empire achieved the peak of power and of territorial extent becoming the largest and the strongest state in the Middle East. [ro.biography.name]




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