Persia / Achaemenid Dynasty /
Darius 3 Codomannus
Old Persian: Darayavaush
(380?-330 BCE) King of Persia 336-330 BCE, the last king of the Achaemenid Dynasty. His original name was Codomannus.
Darius tried to rule an empire unstable from unreliable and disloyal local rulers (satraps). There was much discontent among ordinary people. In addition, Persia soon came under attack by the greatest general of the ancient world: Alexander the Great.
Darius' regime became the end of the Achaemenid dynasty, but this does not indicate that he was a bad ruler. He probably faced a hard to handle.
Around 380?: Born as son of one of the lesser princes of royal family, great grandson of Darius 2.
336: Is placed on the throne by vizier and head eunuch Bagoas, after he has had Artaxerxes 3 and Arses murdered.
336: Philip 2 of Macedonia is killed, possibly by Darius. Philip had 3 years earlier started a campaign to liberate Greek cities from Persia.
Darius tries to exercise independent rule from Bagoas. Bagoas tries to have him poisoned, but Darius reacts with forcing Bagoas to drink the poison himself.
334: Philip's son Alexander the Great attacks the western parts of the Persian empire.
333: Leads personally the army against the forces of Alexander the Great. Darius suffers defeat at the battle of Issus. He has to escape, leaving his closest familt behind, which are imprisoned by Alexander.
Darius tries to buy his family free, but Alexander rejected.
331 October 1: Second clash with Alexander the Great, this time at Guagamela, and also with the defeat of Darius. Darius flees.
330 July: Is killed in Bactria by one the satrap Bessus (local ruler), while trying to escape Alexander the Great. Darius is buried in great splendour at the cost of Alexander the Great.