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The bottom principles in the recent civil broils in Persia had been essentially religious.

To this subject the new monarch at once turned his attention. The Zoroastrian temples were

rebuilt and the old rites reinstituted. In proportion as favor was thus shown to the

ancient faith the innovations of Magism were carefully eradicated. The general policy of

Cyrus was adopted in the government, and the impression was thus made that the revolution

was really a restitution of the old regime.

During the reign of the Pseudo-Smerdis the Jews of the West had had trouble. The

rebuilding of their ancient temple, which had been begun under the edict of Cyrus, had, on

the petition of the Samaritans, been ordered to cease. After the accession of Darius the

enemies of the Jewish people attempted to secure a continuance of the injunction, but the

king not only renewed the concessions made by Cyrus but actually opened the royal store-

houses to furnish the means for the work in Jewry.

The religious attitude of Darius was at once his strength and his weakness. In Persia

proper the actions of the king in suppressing Magism met with general favor, and the same

was true in Bactria and the north-east. But in other parts of the Empire, especially in

Media, the reverse was true. In countries where Magism had come to be preferred to the

doctrines of Zoroaster, there was profound though silent hostility to the religious

revolution. In this the seeds of discontent were plentiful. The circumstances, moreover,

under which Darius had obtained the crown were such as to suggest the possibility of other

successful conspiracies. In the distant parts of the Empire the full force of the

imposture of Gomates, and the full justice of the Seven Princes in rebelling against him,

would not be felt, and Darius would be regarded merely as an insurgent who had won the

throne by audacity. The reimposition of tribute arid of military service by the new king-

things necessary to an actual, but not necessary to a factitious, monarch-tended to


All these reasons, and others, combined to launch Darius and his government on

a sea of troubles. Almost immediately after the new regime was established a series of

rebellions broke out, which rolled wave after wave through well-nigh the whole extent of

the Empire, and involved in their suppression the persistent efforts of the king for a

period of six years.

The most serious of the insurrections were in Susiana, Babylonia, Media, Assyria, Armenia,

Parthia, Hyrcania, Margiana, Sagartia, and Sacia. In all of these countries rebellion

followed rebellion like a succession of explosions, and at times much more than half of

the entire Persian dominions were in revolt. If Darius had been a prince subject to

alarms, he would, in all probability, have been overwhelmed. But he faced his insurgent

provinces with true courage, and ultimately showed himself the master.

The rebellions in Susiana and Babylonia broke out at about the same time. Rightly judging

the Baby Ionian insurrection to be the more important, the king at once proceeded to put

down the rebels in that country. They were led by a certain Nebuchadnezzar, who showed

himself as the son of Nabonadius, the last king of Babylon. Under the prestige of a great

name, the insurgent hoped to throw off the Persian yoke and reestablish the independence

of his country. An army was organized under his lead and advanced to the Babylonian

frontier on the Tigris. Here Darius found his rebellious subjects posted on the river

bank, the stream defended by their boats. But the king crossed in their faces and drove

them away in a rout. He pursued Nebuchadnezzar in the direction of Babylon. The latter

made another stand on the Euphrates, but was again defeated and driven with the remnant of

his forces into the capital. The city was soon surrendered and the rebellion ended.

On his departure in person against the insurgent army in Babylonia, Darius had dispatched

a part of his forces to suppress the revolt in Susiana. These had already achieved some

successes before news came of the king's victories over the Babylonians. The Susianian

rebellion had been instigated by an aspirant named Atrines,