~ 521 BC

Atossa was the daughter of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, the wife of both Cambyses and Darius, and the mother of Xerxes. As such, she was an influential person in the Imperial court throughout her life. There is some debate about how long she lived.

Key events during the life of Atossa:

530 BC
Atossa married Cambyses, her half-brother.
522 BC
Married Smerdis the Magi when he usurped the throne.
521 BC
Married Darius when he was raised to the throne.
520 BC
Birth of Xerxes.
518 BC
Helped Democedes, a Greek physician, organize an expedition to Greece.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Reconnoitering of Greece in  Darius the Great  by  Jacob Abbott
Mother of Xerxes  in  Xerxes  by  Jacob Abbott
How Preparation Was Made for the Second War  in  The Story of the Persian War  by  Alfred J. Church
Kingdom of Darius  in  Stories of the East From Herodotus  by  Alfred J. Church
Story of the Persians in  Stories from the Greek Tragedians  by  Alfred J. Church
Hippias Visits Darius  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber

Image Links

Dream of Atossa
 in Stories from the Greek Tragedians

Short Biography
Cambyses Eldest son of Cyrus. Invaded Egypt, killed brother, then died.
Smerdis the Magi Impersonated Smerdis, son of Cyrus and stole the throne of Persia.
Darius the Great With six conspirators seized the throne of Persia, primarily through craft rather than force.
Xerxes Raised an enormous army for Persian invasion of Greece. Defeated at Battle of Salamis.
Democedes Greek physician, valuable slave of Darius. Schemed and plotted to return to Greece.