Xerxes I

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Xerxes I (Xerxes the Great) (zûrk´sēz), d. 465 BC, king of ancient Persia (486–465 BC). His name in Old Persian is Khshayarsha, in the Bible Ahasuerus. He was the son of Darius I and Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great. After bringing (484 BC.) Egypt once more under Persian rule, Xerxes prepared for an invasion of Greece (see Persian Wars) by constructing a bridge of boats across the Hellespont and cutting a canal through the isthmus of Athos. Setting out from Sardis, he marched through Thrace and Macedonia and, despite the bravery of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, overthrew (480) the Lacedaemonians at Thermopylae. He then occupied and pillaged Athens. In the same year his fleet was destroyed at Salamis. Leaving an army under his general, Mardonius, he retired into Asia. He was slain by the captain of his bodyguard and was succeeded by his son Artaxerxes I.

See P. Green, Xerxes at Salamis (1970).

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Xerxes I (c.519–465 bc) King of Persia (486–465 bc). Succeeding his father, Darius I, Xerxes regained Egypt and crushed a rebellion in Babylon before launching his invasion of Greece (480 bc). After his fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Salamis he retired, and the defeat of the Persian army in Greece at the Battle of Plataea ended his plans for conquest. He was later assassinated by one of his own men. See also Persian Wars.

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Xerxes I (c.519–465 bc), son of Darius I, king of Persia 486–465. He continued his father's attack on the Greeks for their support of the Ionian cities that had revolted against Persian rule. His invasion of Greece achieved victories in 480 at Artemisium and Thermopylae, but defeats at Salamis (480) and Plataea (479) forced him to withdraw.