1902 Encyclopedia > Darius II

Darius II
King of Persia (from 424 BC)




DARIUS II., called Ochus before his accession, and Nothos after it (on account of his being one of the 17 bastard sons of Artaxerxes Longimanus), was ninth king of the Persian empire. Ho was made satrap of Hyrcania, and married to Parysatis, the daughter of Xerxes I., by whom he had several children, amongst them two daughters, Amestris and Artosta, as well as Arsaces or Arsicas, who succeeded him under the name of Artaxerxes (Mnemon), and Cyrus the younger. Sogdianus or Secydianus, the murderer of Xerxes II., was defeated in battle by Darius, through the desertion of the two satraps of Egypt and Armenia, and afterwards put to death, Darius assuming the diadem (424 B.C.). Darius was completely under the power of three eunuchs and his wife Parysatis, and his reign of 19 years was characterized by little except insur-rections and revolts. The first of these was raised by his brother Arsites and Artyphius the son of Megabyzus, with the help of Greek mercenaries, and was only put down by a liberal employment of gold, the leaders of the insurrection being betrayed by their followers and burned alive. The next was raised by Pissuthnes, sartap of Lydia (414 B.C.), but was also crushed by the bribes offered to his Athenian mercenaries by his antagonist Tissaphernes. Amorges, the son of Pissuthnes, however, continued to maintain himself as a kind of independent monarch in Caria for many years afterwards. Another plot was formed by the chief eunuch, Artoxares, but quickly suppressed. In 411 B.C. Egypt rebelled under Amyrtaeus, and Darius was compelled to recognize Pausiris the son of the latter as his successor in 401 B.C. Media, which revolted about the same time, according to Xenophon, was not so fortunate as Egypt in recovering its independence. With the revolt of Media may be connected the rebellion of Terituchmes, a son-in-law of the king. The latter part of the reign of Darius was occupied in supporting Sparta against Athens by means of Persian gold.






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