Darius I

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The Achaemid Family Tree showing the merging or the royal houses of the Medes and the Persians to create the Medo-Persian Empire; also known to many as simply the Persian Empire.

Darius I, or Darius the Great, also know as Darius Hystaspas / Hystaspis or Darius the Persian[1], is commonly noted as the Emperor of the Persian Empire from 521 BC to 486 BC.

Upon seizing the throne by murdering False Smerdis, he quelled a multitude of rebellions. Later he quelled the Ionian Revolt and then invaded Greece, but was repulsed at the Battle of Marathon and forced to withdraw.

In the Bible

as Darius the Mede

It is claimed regularly enough by some that the Persian Darius I, was simply known to the Jews as Darius the Mede: as presented in the Book of Daniel and therefore a contemporary of Daniel the Prophet.

Opponents to this view argue that this can not be as:

  1. Darius the Persian appears in 522 BC as a younger, but fully mature man. While Darius the Mede appears in 536 BC as an already old man in his sixties at the fall of Babylon. These well established time lines are contradictory.
  2. it would simply make Daniel too old! For Daniel would have had to have served Nebuchadnezzar beginning in 606BC, then through his son Evil-Merodach who was assassinated by Neriglissar (560 BC), who possibly after battle with Cyrus[2] was succeeded by his young son Labashi-Marduk (556 BC), who in turn was assassinated in a by Nabonidas who officially ruled (being supported by his son Belzazzar) until the conquest of Babylon (536 BC) and the very debated Darius the Mede (possibly Cyaxares II), Cyrus the Great, Cambyses II, False Smerdis and then finally serve Darius I at the very minimum in 522BC. Therefore if this logic is followed, the Prophet Daniel would have to exceeded at the very minimum 130 years of age, while also being functional!

Opponents also argue that:

  1. the emphasis on the specific title of "the Mede", which by no account Darius' linage could claim (see image), is inconsistent with a full blood Persian as was Darius I.
  2. Darius was open about quelling the Median usurpation under False Smerdis as well the rebels, engraving it into billboard sized stone on the highway into Ecbatana! Then to pretend that Darius I needed an alter ego as a political stunt is seen as counter productive and un-necessary.

in Daniel 11

Darius I is regularly identified[3] as one of the four kings identified in Daniel 11:2 by a broad spectrum of Biblical scholars. Their reasoning is thus:

  • The prophecy was given in the reign of Cyrus the Great
  • Therefor the first of the four would have to be Cambyses II
  • The next would be False Smerdis
  • Followed by Darius I
  • Only to be succeeded by his son Xerxes I The Great
  • a reading that naturally and logically fits the text and undisputed history.

It must be noted that the earlier presence of "Darius the Mede" in Dan. 10-11:1 contextually prior to that of Cyrus the Great logically forbids acceptance of Darius I as "Darius the Mede" in the section above. Similarly this understanding prohibits imposing the identity of "Darius the Mede" upon any individual after Cyrus II.

in Ezra

Ezra 4:4-11 Specifically lists "Darius king of Persia" which logic dictates can only be Darius I. There are no known contestations upon this point.


Encyclopedia of Military History, Dupuy & Dupuy, 1979
  1. Nehemiah 12:22
  2. Xenophon, Cyropaedia
  3. The New Loud Cry, UNDERSTANDING THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL 11:2 - CYRUS, CAMBYSES II, FALSE SMERDIS, DARIUS I & XERXES I, 2020, https://www.bitchute.com/video/0tMVCzzdoZkO/