King Darius III birth name was Artashata and he was born in 380 B.C. He changed his name to Darius III after he came to power. He took the throne in 336 B.C. which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline with World History. When he came to power he probably didn’t realize that he was going to be the last ruler of the mighty Persian Empire. He came to power thanks to an official name Bagoas.
Bagoas had great power within the Empire around 336 B.C. He had assassinated King Artaxerxes III and put the king’s son Artaxerxes IV Arses on the throne. He did this so that he could govern the empire through the young king. Eventually King Artaxerxes IV Arses didn’t like this arrangement so he plotted to eliminate Bagoas but Bagoas had managed to get the upper hand against him before the plot could be carried out. In 336 B.C. Bagoas was finally able to kill King Artaxerxes IV Arses and he placed his cousin King Darius III on the throne. Once King Darius III was in power Bagoas realized that he could not control King Darius III like he expected and thought to kill him but the king finally managed to eliminate this troublesome official.
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Bagoas’ actions helped to quicken the fall of the Persian Empire. This self-centered official wanted to rule the empire through weak kings and while he was trying to orchestrate this feat Persia’s primary enemy was already preparing to wipe them out. The Greeks under Alexander the Great were preparing to invade Persia and the Persian’s weren’t fully prepared to deal with this situation because they were distracted by the events that were taking place inside of the Persian court. Other parts of the Persian Empire had been in a state of unrest from the previous rulers and they were starting to rebel against their Persian rulers as they always have in the past.
Persia’s downfall began when Alexander the Great started to defeat King Darius III armies in various battles. The Persian king didn’t show up to deal with the initial battles because he didn’t think Alexander was that significant but he eventually realized that he must confront this conqueror. King Darius III realized that Alexander was winning too many victories and was going wipe him out. King Darius III fled before Alexander and his troops even though he had superior forces. The last time he fled Alexander the Great captured his family and held them hostage. King Darius III wanted them back but Alexander the Great refused to return them unless the Persian King acknowledged that he was the new ruler of the Persian Empire.
Alexander the Great managed to undermine his authority with his conquests and many of the provinces that served under Persia were now becoming more unstable. Alexander the Great was hunting all over the Persian Empire for the king but the king kept fleeing from him. Eventually, King Darius III subjects had enough of him and two governors named Bessus and Nabarzanes carried out his assassination. Soldiers from Alexander the Great’s army found King Darius III and he was already dead. Alexander the Great was saddened by his death because he wanted to capture the king alive and he didn’t think this was a noble way for a ruler to die. Alexander gave him a magnificent funeral and buried him with his forefathers. King Darius died in 330 B.C. after he spent most of his reign running from Alexander the Great. The Persian governor Bessus appointed himself the new king of Persia but he was quickly captured, tortured and killed by Alexander the Great. The Persian Empire now belonged to the Greeks and once they gained this empire many of the provinces were glad that they came. Alexander married Darius III oldest daughter, Stateira, and treated his family with great respect. Though the Achaemenid Dynasty ended with the demise of Darius III, his family still remained wealthy and important because of the kindness of Alexander the Great.
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