Artaxerxes II (r. 404-358 BCE, also known as Artaxerxes II Mnemon) was the 10th monarch of the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE). He was the son of Darius II (r. 424-404 BCE) and Parysatis (who was Darius II's half-sister) and older brother...
Darius I Inscribed Stone Weight
The cuneiform inscription on this polished diorite weight states "I Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian". This is an abbreviated version of a standard inscription on a series of stone weights of Darius, which can...
Darius III (Facial Reconstruction)
A photorealistic representation of the Persian king Darius III (r. 336-330 BCE) as he may have appeared. This reconstruction is largely based on artistic evidence like the Alexander Mosaic (c. 100 BCE) and coins minted during the reign of...
Xerxes I (l. 519-465, r. 486-465 BCE), also known as Xerxes the Great, was the king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. His official title was Shahanshah which, though usually translated as `emperor', actually means `king of kings'. He is identified...
Tomb of Darius I, Naqsh-e Rustam
Tomb of Darius I, Naqsh-e Rustam, near Persepolis, Iran, c. 522–486 BCE
Court of Darius the Great
A modern recreation of the court of Darius the Great (r. 522-486 BCE), by Zvonimir Grbasic. Courtesy of Ancient History Magazine / Karwansaray Publishers.
Darius I as Pharaoh of Egypt
This wooden door shows Darius I (reigned 521-486 BCE) dressed as pharaoh on the right, making an offering to the Egyptian god Anubis. The goddess Isis stands on the left. The door originally belonged to a box (or naos) used to contain statuettes...
Relief of Darius I from Persepolis
Relief of Darius I from Persepolis, 522-486 BCE
Persian literature differs from the common definition of “literature” in that it is not confined to lyrical compositions, to poetry or imaginative prose, because the central elements of these appear, to greater or lesser degrees...
Darius Trampling Gaumata
Close-up of the Behistun Inscription.