King Xerxes I (520-465 BCE)

By: Andrew Brown and Jordan Leal

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Early Life and Rise to Power

Xerxes was born in 520 BCE to Darius the Great and Queen Atosa who was the daughter of Cyrus the Great. He designated heir to the throne as early as 498 BCE. Before he became king he was the prince and governed over Babylon. Xerxes was crowned king when his father, King Darius died in 486 BCE.

Revolution in Egypt

In 485 BCE of Xerxes reign, the king of Persia went on the campaign to quell the revolt in Egypt. Xerxes' great leadership skills of a military made quick work of the Egyptian's attempt to rebel.


Arguably the most notable action Xerxes I has taken as king of Persia was his invasion of Greece started with the battle of Thermopylae, which was a decisive victory for Persia. This invasion was also marked with other famous battles such as the battle of Salamis and the Battle Plataea. However, the Greeks have managed to push back the Persian military and Xerxes retreated back to his palace in Persepolis. After the defeat at Greece; it was assumed this was a major factor that lead to the decline of the Achaemenian empire.

Later Life and Death

Xerxes continued live life blissfully as king in Persia. Life was rough for his Persian people as the Achaemenian empire days of glory were long gone. All this turmoil eventually lead Xerxes' own senate plotting against him and murdering him.

Was Xerxes a good leader?

We personally believe that Xerxes started off as good leader who was great at leading his military. However several problems arose during Xerxes reign which made not care anymore and wanted to live a luxurious life in his capital. This lead to further decay of the Achaemenian empire's power.


"Historic Personalities of Iran: Xerxes (Khashayar Shah)." Historic Personalities of Iran: Xerxes (Khashayar Shah). Web. 12 Nov. 2015.