The Legacy of Xerxes

Topics: Darius I of Persia, Peloponnesian War, Greece Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: June 13, 2013
Xerxes lived from 520 to 465BC. He was the grandson of Cyrus and son of Darius. Xerxes was put into succession according to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, as Xerxes was the first son of Darius’s wife Atossa. Xerxes father Darius 1 died in 486BC, and this is where Xerxes took over for his father and became king.

Xerxes continued his father strategy of consolidating and tightening control of the empire, particularly in Egypt, Babylon and Asiatic Greece. Xerxes felt he needed to invade Greece as he didn’t want to fall short of Darius’s ambition to punish them, he hoped to just frighten them but then intended to conquer them in battle since frightening the Greeks into submission did not work out.

In Xerxes time as king he did a lot to remember his legacy, although descriptions of Xerxes are different on how how people remembered him as a king and leader. Xerxes himself describes his character as a legitimate ruler, just to all, able to control his temper, devoted to his father and the god of Ahuramazda.

The view of the Persians and Asiatic Greeks was that he was a visionary with royal presence, generous, honest, chivalrous and capable of inspiring great reverence.

The European Greek tradition is however scathing of Xerxes capabilities as a king claiming he did not have the personality, temperament, or judgment to be a great king/leader.

Looking at the facts Xerxes displays all the expected traits of a king, he was serious in the role of Persia, the administration and the punishment of Greece.

During Xerxes plan to invade Greece he uncounted risks and problems but minimized these issues by careful thinking, this shows Xerxes did have some sort of patience and had the ability to think before taking action and making the wrong decision. This bit of information backs up Xerxes interpretation of him has being able to make judgment of situations.

Xerxes decided to build a canal and a bridge to solve practical problems during the long walks...
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