519 - 465 BC
King of Persia
Xerxes I was the son of Darius I and the grandson of Cyrus, the founder of
the Persian empire.
He was a great builder, but less tolerant than his predecessors. Xerxes abandoned the cautious policy of Darius and had to crush revolts in Egypt and Babylon.
Xerxes also wanted to avenge his father's defeat at Marathon. He invaded Greece and won a victory at Thermopylae, but later he suffered a decisive naval defeat at Salamis near Athens (see Persian War ).
The Persian defeat loomed very large in Greek eyes but for Xerxes
his recovery of Egypt was probably more important.