Xerxes II

  (Redirected from Xerxes II of Persia)

Xerxes II (/ˈzɜːrksz/; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠, romanized: Xšayaṛša (About this soundpronunciation ), "ruling over heroes"; Ancient Greek: Ξέρξης, romanizedXérxēs, [ksérksɛːs]; d. 424 BC), was a Persian king who was very briefly a ruler of the Achaemenid Empire, as the son and successor of Artaxerxes I.

Xerxes II
King of Kings
Great King
King of Persia
Pharaoh of Egypt
King of Countries
Coin of Achaemenid Empire (Xerxes II to Artaxerxes II).jpg
Achaemenid coin minted at Sardis, possibly under Xerxes II
King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire
Reign424 BC (45 days)
PredecessorArtaxerxes I
DiedPersepolis, Persia
FatherArtaxerxes I

After a reign of forty-five days—where he only had control over the Persian heartlands—he was assassinated in 424 BC by his half-brother Sogdianus, who in turn was murdered by Darius II six months later. He is an obscure historical figure known primarily from the writings of Ctesias. He was reportedly the only legitimate son of Artaxerxes I and Damaspia, and 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

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