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Xerxes Born in c 519 BC of the parents King Darius and his wife Atossa came Xerxes He was raised in the lavish opulence of an eastern court and became the designated heir to his fathers throne in which he was to rule over the greatest empire of his time for 21 years The Persian Empire He was not the oldest of Darius sons but still became the heir over his oldest brother Artabazanes There were two main reasons for this His mother Atossa was the daughter of the great Cyrus making Xerxes his grandson According to Herodotus Atossa would have used her influence to get her son on the throne Herodotus book 7 section-3 Xerxes stated superior claim to the throne for the same reasons Spartan King Demaratus who was exiled from Sparta and in the Persian court at the time suggested that they use the Spartan custom to elect a king That is that the son who is born first while the king sits on the throne will be the heir no matter how many sons there were before the king became king Herodotus book 7 section-3 This made Xerxes the rightful heir how ever he describes his accession himself on limestone foundation block at Persepolis My Father was Darius Darius father was Hystaspes by name Hystaspes father was Arsames by namesaith Xerxes the King Other sons of Darius there were but- thus unto Ahura-Mazda was the desire- Darius my father made me the greatest after himself When my father Darius went away from the throne by will of Ahura-Mazda I became king on my fathers throne So to help legitimise his claim to the throne Xerxes uses Ahura-Mazda In another inscription he supports himself by saying I am Xerxes the great king king of king king of lands containing many men king in this great earth far and wide son of Darius the king an Achaemid a Persian son of
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