King Darius the Great

THE ruler who succeeded Cambyses in the vast empire of Persia was the able and honored Darius I. Cambyses left no heirs, and Darius, one of his generals, fought his way to sovereignty against many rivals. At one time he had eight revolts upon his hands at once. The native Persians were, however, his supporters throughout; and in the days of his established sovereignty he claimed to be of the royal family of Cyrus and to have been chosen by the Persian god of all good, Ormuzd, as the ruler of the empire.

Darius governed the world wisely, and, for the most part, peacefully. He established post-roads everywhere, and a postal service. He had officers of justice in every land, a police force, and a regular system of taxation. He was also a great builder, the founder of the Persian capital, Persepolis; and his tomb near Persepolis is, perhaps, the most impressive remaining monument of Persian civilization. The face of a frowning precipice has been smoothed in the form of a cross, with the entrance to the tomb in the centre. All around this, the rock face has been carved with inscriptions and sculptures, the chief of which give Darius' own idea of his crowning by Ormuzd, the welcome given him by the true Persians, and his triumph over all the other pretenders to the throne.

Darius founded the line of emperors who ruled Persia until its conquest by Alexander the Great.

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Read about King Darius the Great in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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