Darius the Great - Jacob Abbott
The story of Darius began with Cambyses' ascension to the Persian throne and his subsequent conquest of Egypt. On Cambyses' death, a usurper assumed the throne. Darius dispatched the usurper and was awarded the throne. He then embarked on a series of misadventures including a thwarted excursion to Scythia, crushing a rebellion in Ionia, and two unsuccessful campaigns to conquer Greece, including the famous battle of Marathon.
DARIUS CROSSING THE BOSPORUS
In describing the character and the action of the personages whose histories form the subjects of this series, the writer makes no attempt to darken the colors in which he depicts their deeds of violence and wrong, or to increase, by indignant denunciations, the obloquy which heroes and conquerors have so often brought upon themselves, in the estimation of mankind, by their ambition, their tyranny, or their desperate and reckless crimes. In fact, it seems desirable to diminish, rather than to increase, the spirit of censoriousness which often leads men so harshly to condemn the errors and sins of others, committed in circumstances of temptation to which they themselves were never exposed. Besides, to denounce or vituperate guilt, in a narrative of the transactions in which it was displayed, has little influence in awakening a healthy sensitiveness in the conscience of the reader. We observe, accordingly, that in the narratives of the sacred Scriptures, such denunciations are seldom found. The story of Absalom's undutifulness and rebellion, of David's adultery and murder, of Herod's tyranny, and all other narratives of crime, are related in a calm, simple, impartial, and forbearing spirit, which leads us to condemn the sins, but not to feel a pharisaical resentment and wrath against the sinner.
This example, so obviously proper and right, the writer of this series has made it his endeavor in all respects to follow.