- Pierre Briant
A descendant of a collateral branch of the royal family, Artashata (not Codomanus) acceded to the throne after the assassination of *Artaxerxes (4) IV and took the name Darius (336 bce). Since antiquity Darius has been judged very negatively—a serious distortion of what was in fact a complex reality. His dynastic legitimacy is well established; he prepared himself well for the confrontation with *Alexander (3) the Great; to the last he adhered to a coherent strategy—unfortunately unsuccessful—in coping with an exceptional opponent. He died in 330 as a result of a plot, when his struggle against Alexander had definitively failed.