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Catholic Dictionary




1. Called Darius the Great (Darius I), he ruled Persia 522-486 B.C. Many of his achievements were recorded on the limestone cliffs above Behistun (Ezra 5). He followed an exemplary policy of toleration toward the Jewish captives in Babylon and gave them practical help in their efforts to restore the Jerusalem temple. The work was completed in the early years of his reign (Ezra 6:6-12, 15); 2. Darius the Mede. Appears in the Book of Daniel as King of Babylon succeeding Belshazzar. Details of his life are contradictory (Daniel 5:31). Apparently he gave great authority early in his reign to Daniel (Daniel 6:1-3) but eventually was goaded into consigning him to the lion's den. Daniel's miraculous escape added to his prestige and his enemies' confusion (Daniel 6:22-29).