|King of Kings of Persia|
|Relief of Darius I in Persepolis|
|September 522 BCE to October 486 BCE (36 years)|
|October 486 BCE (aged approximately 64)|
|Naqsh-e Rustam, Iran|
Darius I (Old Persian: Dārayava(h)uš; New Persian: داریوش یکم هخامنشی c. 550–486 BCE) was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia), portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, coastal Sudan, Eritrea, as well as most of Pakistan, the Aegean Islands and northern Greece / Thrace-Macedonia.
Darius is mentioned in the Biblical books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah.
Darius ascended the throne by overthrowing Gaumata, the alleged magus usurper of Bardiya with the assistance of six other Persian noble families; Darius was crowned the following morning. The new king met with rebellions throughout his kingdom and quelled them each time. A major event in Darius''s life was his expedition to punish Athens and Eretria for their aid in the Ionian Revolt, and subjugate Greece. Although ultimately ending in failure, Darius succeeded at the re-subjugation of Thrace, expansion of the empire via the conquering of Macedon, Cyclades, and the island of Naxos, and the sacking and enslavement of the city of Eretria.
Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern it. He organized a new uniform monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon and Egypt. Darius devised a codification of laws for Egypt. He also had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved, an autobiography of great modern linguistic significance. Darius also started many massive architectural projects, including magnificent palaces in Persepolis and Susa.Contents
Dārīus and Dārēus are the Latin form of the Greek Dareîos (Δαρεῖος), itself from Old Persian Dāraya(h)uš (