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date: 23 January 2021

Darius Ilocked

  • Pierre Briant

Extract

Darius I (OP Darāyavauš) son of Hystaspes, a Persian of noble lineage already known in the reigns of *Cyrus (1) and *Cambyses. He seized power after a bloody struggle against an individual said by him to have been the magus Gaumata. It is quite possible that the person he in fact assassinated was Bardiya (Gk. Smerdis), the brother of Cambyses (522 bce). He then had to quell numerous revolts by subject peoples and deal with the insubordinate Oroites, satrap of Sardis. His achievements were commemorated for posterity, in text and picture, on the rock of *Bisitun in Media. To mark what he presented as a refoundation of the empire, he created two new royal residences: *Susa in *Elam and *Persepolis in *Persia. He also extended the empire in the east (Indus valley) and west (*Thrace). Soon after his brutal crushing of the *Ionian Revolt (c.

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