Xerxes And The Fall Of The Achaemenid Empire

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At one point in time, the king of the Persians and The Medes looked out amongst a great army of some two million men. The sheer size of such a military was enough to send anyone who valued their life running. The great king of kings was going to accomplish what had not been done before, not by his father or anyone of the like. He was going to conquer Greece. Such confidence could only later be replaced with horror, as the once great king looked upon his defeat from the height of a mountain, a symbolic end to a powerful campaign. The life of Xerxes is one most eventful, from his beginning filled with worthwhile education and preparation to be a legendary ruler, to his most well-known campaign against the Greeks, and finally the aftermath of …show more content…
He built grand monuments and buildings even more superior than his father’s. In this way he exhausted the royal wealth even more. He mainly expanded Susa and Persepolis, but also built grand palaces for himself and even one commissioned for his father. Due to this exhaust of wealth, Xerxes was forced to heavily tax his subjects, who were not at all pleased. Such a drastic drain in wealth, first with his march against Greece, and then his fixation on building projects, could only cause the start of the decline of the Achaemenid Empire. Xerxes certainly had enemies after all he had done, including the commander of the royal body guard named Artabanos. He too blamed Xerxes for the decline of the empire, and so desired that Xerxes’ son, Artaxerxes, take his place as king. It is sometimes thought that this was simply just strategy to dissect the empire’s power further so Artabanos himself could reign, though there are many varied opinions about what specifically happened once the empire went into decline. It was only a matter of time before Xerxes was murdered in his bedchamber by Artabanos and an eunuch, Aspamitres in 465 B.C. Artabanos was influential, and managed to blame his murder on Darius, Xerxes’s oldest son. It was enough to turn blood against blood, and Artaxerxes had Darius killed. However, it wasn’t long before it was uncovered that Artabanos was the actual murderer. Artaxerxes then rightfully executed him and his sons, before claiming the throne for the next forty years. Even though Persia fell under new rule, it was too late to save the decline of the empire. Xerxes lived to be the last leader who brought fame to the flourishing Achaemenid Empire, something that would always be

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