Xerxes II of Persia

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Xerxes II
King of Persia
Reign 424 BC (45 days)
Predecessor Artaxerxes I
Successor Sogdianus
Died Persepolis, Persia
House Achaemenid
Father Artaxerxes I
Mother Damaspia
Religion Zoroastrianism

Xerxes II (/ˈzɜːrksz/; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayaṛša (About this soundKhshāyarsha ) "ruling over heroes", Greek Ξέρξης Xérxēs [ksérksɛːs]; 519–465 BC), was a Persian king and the son and successor of Artaxerxes I. After a reign of forty-five days, he was assassinated in 424 BC by his brother Sogdianus, who in turn was murdered by Darius II. He is an obscure historical figure known primarily from the writings of Ctesias. He was reportedly the only legitimate son of Artaxerxes I and his Queen Damaspia. He is known to have served as Crown Prince.

The last inscription mentioning Artaxerxes I being alive can be dated to 424 BC. Xerxes apparently succeeded to the throne but two of his illegitimate brothers claimed the throne for themselves. The first was Sogdianus, Artaxerxes I's son by his concubine Alogyne of Babylon. The second was Darius II, Artaxerxes I's son by his concubine Cosmartidene of Babylon, who was married to their common half-sister Parysatis, daughter of Artaxerxes I and his concubine Andia of Babylon.[1]

Xerxes II was apparently only recognized as king in Persia and Sogdianus in Elam. Ochus' first inscription as Darius II can be dated to January 10, 423 BC. He was already satrap of Hyrcania and was soon recognized by Media, Babylonia and Egypt. Xerxes II only ruled forty-five days. He was reportedly murdered by Pharnacyas and Menostanes on Sogdianus' orders, while drunk. Sogdianus apparently gained the support of his regions. Sogdianus was killed a few months later. Darius II became the sole ruler of the Persian Empire and reigned until 404 BC.[1]


  1. ^ a b S. Zawadzki, "The Circumstances of Darius II's Accession" in Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 34 (1995-1996) 45-49

External links

  • A more detailed profile of Xerxes II
Xerxes II of Persia
Born: ?? Died: 424 BC
Preceded by
Artaxerxes I
Great King (Shah) of Persia
424 BC
Succeeded by
Pharaoh of Egypt
424 BC
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