Darius III

(Darius Codomannus)

d. 330 BC

The eunuch Bagoas, having murdered Artaxerxes III in 338 B.C. and his son Arses in 336 B.C., raised to the throne a distant relative of the royal house, whose name was Codomannus, and who had excelled in a war against the Cadusians. The new king, who adopted the name of Darius, took warning by the fate of his predecessors, and saved himself from it by forcing Bagoas to drink the cup himself. Already in 336 Philip II of Macedon had sent an army into Asia Minor, and in the spring of 334 the campaign of Alexander to Conquer Persia began. In the following year Darius himself took the field against the Macedonian king, but was beaten at Issus and in 331 at Arbela. In his flight to the east he was deposed and killed by Bessus.

Key events during the life of Darius III:

336 BC
Raised to the throne by the ambitious Eunuch Bagoas.
335 BC
Forced Bagoas to drink his own poison.
334 BC
Persia invaded by Alexander the Great, Battle of Granicus.
333 BC
Met Alexander in battle at Issus. Wife and mother were lost.
331 BC
Final defeat by Alexander at Gaugamela.
330 BC
Murdered by his attendants as he flew from Alexander.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Campaign in Asia Minor  in  Alexander the Great  by  Jacob Abbott
Great Victory  in  Alexander the Great  by  Jacob Abbott
Irresistible Phalanx  in  Helmet and Spear  by  Alfred J. Church
Death of Darius  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber
Darius Gallops from the Battlefield  in  The Story of Greece  by  Mary Macgregor
Alexander the Great and Darius  in  Historical Tales: Greek  by  Charles Morris
Alexander the Great  in  The Story of the Greek People  by  Eva March Tappan

Image Links

The family of Darius at Alexander's feet, Crane
 in Famous Men of Greece

The Death of Darius
 in Greatest Nations - Greece

Alexander discovering the body of Darius
 in Back Matter

Short Biography
Bagoas Devious minister who murdered two kings.
Alexander the Great Greatest general of ancient times. Conquered Persian Empire with 40,000 soldiers.