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Darius I

[duh-rahy-uh s] /dəˈraɪ əs/
noun
1.
(Darius Hystaspes"the Great") 558?–486? b.c, king of Persia 521–486.

Darius II

noun
1.
(Ochus) died 404 b.c, king of Persia 424–404 (son of Artaxerxes I).

Darius III

noun
1.
(Codomannus) died 330 b.c, king of Persia 336–330.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for darius
  • darius also commissioned the extensive road network that was built all over the country.
  • darius is often renowned above all as being a great financier.
  • darius, the eldest, is an accomplished pianist, producer, educator and performer.
British Dictionary definitions for darius

Darius I

/dəˈraɪəs/
noun
1.
known as Darius the Great, surname Hystaspis. ?550–486 bc, king of Persia (521–486), who extended the Persian empire and crushed the revolt of the Ionian city states (500). He led two expeditions against Greece but was defeated at Marathon (490)

Darius III

noun
1.
died 330 bc, last Achaemenid king of Persia (336–330), who was defeated by Alexander the Great
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for darius

Darius

name of three Persian rulers, notably Darius the Great, Persian emperor 521-485 B.C.E., from Greek Darius, from Old Persian Darayavaus, probably literally "he who holds firm the good," from PIE root *dher- (2) "to hold firmly, support" (see firm (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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darius in the Bible

the holder or supporter, the name of several Persian kings. (1.) Darius the Mede (Dan. 11:1), "the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes" (9:1). On the death of Belshazzar the Chaldean he "received the kingdom" of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus. During his brief reign (B.C. 538-536) Daniel was promoted to the highest dignity (Dan. 6:1, 2); but on account of the malice of his enemies he was cast into the den of lions. After his miraculous escape, a decree was issued by Darius enjoining "reverence for the God of Daniel" (6:26). This king was probably the "Astyages" of the Greek historians. Nothing can, however, be with certainty affirmed regarding him. Some are of opinion that the name "Darius" is simply a name of office, equivalent to "governor," and that the "Gobryas" of the inscriptions was the person intended by the name. (2.) Darius, king of Persia, was the son of Hystaspes, of the royal family of the Achaemenidae. He did not immediately succeed Cyrus on the throne. There were two intermediate kings, viz., Cambyses (the Ahasuerus of Ezra), the son of Cyrus, who reigned from B.C. 529-522, and was succeeded by a usurper named Smerdis, who occupied the throne only ten months, and was succeeded by this Darius (B.C. 521-486). Smerdis was a Margian, and therefore had no sympathy with Cyrus and Cambyses in the manner in which they had treated the Jews. He issued a decree prohibiting the restoration of the temple and of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:17-22). But soon after his death and the accession of Darius, the Jews resumed their work, thinking that the edict of Smerdis would be now null and void, as Darius was in known harmony with the religious policy of Cyrus. The enemies of the Jews lost no time in bringing the matter under the notice of Darius, who caused search to be made for the decree of Cyrus (q.v.). It was not found at Babylon, but at Achmetha (Ezra 6:2); and Darius forthwith issued a new decree, giving the Jews full liberty to prosecute their work, at the same time requiring the Syrian satrap and his subordinates to give them all needed help. It was with the army of this king that the Greeks fought the famous battle of Marathon (B.C. 490). During his reign the Jews enjoyed much peace and prosperity. He was succeeded by Ahasuerus, known to the Greeks as Xerxes, who reigned for twenty-one years. (3.) Darius the Persian (Neh. 12:22) was probably the Darius II. (Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great (B.C. 336-331).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for darius

Darius III

the last king (reigned 336-330 BC) of the Achaemenid dynasty

Learn more about Darius III with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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