This is the hardest thing that a friend can ever be called to do. I was up the entire night thinking of the best words to speak of our beloved Xerxes.
However, I will share with you the life stages and major achievements of my friend and your king Xerxes. He was a man passionate about life and extensively determined to make change in his environment. As a king, he won a clear path for peace in our society. He possessed true values of leadership.
My friend Xerxes was born in 519 BC in Persia. He was a child to Atossa, the daughter to Cyrus the Great, who was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. His father was Darius 1 of Persia the son of Hystapes.
Xerxes had a half-brother by the name Artabazenes, who was older than him. However, he could not have succeeded Darius sine he was born of a mother who was not from a royal family as it was the case for Amytis (Gills 01).
Xerxes got married to Otanes who became the mother to his sons hsytaspes, Artaxerxes 1, Achamenes, Darius, as well as daughters Amytis and Rhodogune. As the commander in chief of the Army, Mardonius his cousin challenged him to launch a campaign against Greece. He had the intention of conquering the Satrap through the Xerxes victory. Although, Xerxes advisor and uncle Artabanus persuaded him not to abandon the expedition he followed the advice by Mardonius (Ancient World History 01).
As a child to the king, he had exclusive exposure to leadership and as the first-born to Atossa he became the king as a successor to his father Darius 1. His father was an energetic emperor who was always building the empire. The father had prepared him to become the king through extensive exposure to governance. The Persian law had already recognized him as a king since recommended his appointment when the father left for war in Athens in 487-486 BC. Unfortunately, the father did not return and he was killed and buried in a tomb that he had prepared at Naqsh-e Rostam before he went to war.
Xerxes was crowned as the king and the successor of his father in October-December 486 BC at the age of 36 years. He enjoyed a smooth transition following the influence of his mother at the time. No person challenged his power at the time (Brondu 01).
My friend was determined to influence the governance of the surrounding societies. Immediately after his appointment, Xerxes mad his father major achievement by ending the revolts in Egypt and Babylon that had arisen one year before. He appointed his brother Achaemenes as satrap in Egypt. In 484 BC, Xerxes challenged the Babylonians through violent confiscation as well as the meltdown of the golden statue of Bel (Gills 01).
Xerxes had extensive exposure that marked his skillful leadership through the massive developments that he brought in Egypt. He had massive building projects in the country, which further mark his reign in the country. He mounted massive expeditions in 480 BC against Greece. As a wise son, Xerxes followed the footsteps of his father and the guidance of his mother who had a taste of leadership following his long exposure in the leadership (Brondu 01).
King Xerxes was keen to protect the culture of the kingdom. He continued to subjugate the Babylon city as he aimed at melting down the Marduk. He never believed in the teachings of the religion. He argued that it was contrary to what the Persians believed.
As a king he had to achieve control over his enemies. He was able to overcome the challenges of the Babylonians who always aimed at bringing him down. He succeeded in achieving prowess over them and made it easy for him to achieve an extensive governance of his time (Gills 01).
He was a man who would seek counsel when issues got out of his hands. He believed in the art of consultation for critical decisions. He was also excellent in planning through coordination of the available forces to define proper decisions. For example, I clearly recall his efforts to gather men who would assist him in facing the Hellespont, which was a major challenge to his government. He proved his respect for unity when he gathered several men who would assist him in conquering Hellespont. As a good planner, king Xerxes planned for the activity for four years.
As a king, he was aware there were extremely many people who were attracted to the throne. Therefore, he was keen to employ any strategy that an advisor or diviner recommended to him. For example, he easily turned down the request by Pythias to release his son for domestic purposes. He could tell of Pythias’ ill motive to the governance. His brilliance made him overcome most of such challenges.
He was well prepared to fight for his kingdom and protect his people. He had approximately two million men in his troop and over four thousand ships. He ordered the battalion through exclusive brilliance. He appointed strategic commanders such as Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius. The prowess of the king was through his major challenge for Europe who had attempted to attack Persia.
Apart from being a conqueror at war, my friend was exclusively determined to influence development of his kingdom. The king was busy making larger, as well as grander monuments and extensive building projects. In his activities, he depleted the royal treasury to a greater extent than the expedition was already for the Greece. He extended development through maintenance of roadways in the empire. The main road under his construction and maintenance was the Royal Road (Mark 01).
He also raised an elegant palace for himself and constructed a Hall with massive columns, which could serve as the quarters for the treasury. Following the pressure to fund these projects, Xerxes had to impose high taxes upon the members of the empire. He realized there was a problem, and he had to use his power to make things flow in the region. The construction was a sign of the development mind that Xerxes had always possessed. He believed in exclusive development and growth of the empire (Mark 01).
He was always looking forward to leaving the palace better and of a higher profile than he found it. As a result, he had to do all he could have done to ensure that his efforts could pay off. Although the Darius palace was still okay, he pushed for a better construction that would serve the purpose of success in leadership and maintain the class for the king who would succeed him (Gills 01). Therefore, the construction had to continue, and he had to ensure necessary principles were satisfied, and the necessary achievements were met.
It was not easy to believe that the story of a successful man as Xerxes would end in sad note as it did in 465 BC. My friend was brutally murdered. It was unbelievable that there still exist people who could take the life of such a great leader. He died at the age of 54. His effect in our personal lives as well as the kingdom remains in our minds and hearts. We trust Xerxes is celebrating with the Almighty after his successful and royal reign as the king of Persia. May his soul rest in peace
Mark, Joshua. "Xerxes I." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Definition, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. Retrieved From: http://www.ancient.eu/Xerxes_I/Top of FormBottom of Form
"Ancient World History." : Xerxes (Persian King). Adhit.ad, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. Retrieved from: http://earlyworldhistory.blogspot.com/2012/01/xerxes-persian-king.htmlTop of ForBottom of Form
Brondu, Colleen. "Xerxes, King of Persia."Xerxes, King of Persia. Dulcinea, 23 July 2010. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.findingdulcinea.com/features/profiles/x/xerxes.htmlTop of FormBottom of Form
Gills, Nelly. "A Profile of Xerxes the Great, King of the Persian Empire." About. Classical History Glossary, 10 Apr. 2014. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. Retrieved from: http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/xerxes/g/Xerxes.htm