Darius III facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsDarius III
|King of kings of the Achaemenid Empire|
|Predecessor||Artaxerxes IV Arses|
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Successor||Alexander the Great|
|Born||c. 380 BC|
|Died||July 330 BC (aged approximately 50)
Darius III (Old Persian: 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁, romanized: Dārayava(h)ušcode: peo is deprecated ; New Persian: داریوش; c. 380 – 330 BC) was the last Achaemenid King of Kings of Persia, reigning from 336 BC to his death in 330 BC.
Contrary to his predecessor Artaxerxes IV Arses, Darius was a distant member of the Achaemenid dynasty. During his early career, he was reportedly an obscure figure among his peers and first rose to prominence during the Cadusian expedition of Artaxerxes III in the 350s BC. As a reward for his bravery, he was given the Satrapy of Armenia. Around 340 BC, he was made in charge of the royal "postal service," a high-ranking position. In 338 BC, Artaxerxes III met an abrupt end after being poisoned by the court eunuch and chiliarch (hazahrapatish) Bagoas, who installed his youngest son Arses on the throne. He only reigned for a few years, until Bagoas had him poisoned as well. Darius was subsequently installed on the throne and soon forced Bagoas to drink his poison after discovering that the eunuch had planned to poison him as well.
In 334 BC, Alexander the Great began his invasion of the Persian Empire and subsequently defeated the Persians in several battles before looting and destroying their capital, Persepolis, by fire in 330 BC. With the Persian Empire now effectively under Alexander's control, Alexander then decided to pursue Darius. Before Alexander reached him, however, Darius was killed by his relative Bessus, who was also the satrap of Bactria.
Darius is partially remembered in Iranian traditions as Dara II, the last king of the mythological Kayanian dynasty, which reflected memories of the Achaemenids.
Images for kids
The Family of Darius before Alexander, by Paolo Veronese, 1570.
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