358 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
who also claimed royal honors and purposed the reestablishment of the old monarchy. But
this ambitious leader was overthrown and captured by the troops sent against him. He was
sent to Darius, now marching in person against the Susianians, and by him was put to
death. A new rebel, however, took his place, with even more lofty pretensions. He called
himself Martes, and had it given out that he was a descendant of the ancient kings. His
pretensions were soon extinguished; for the king was now free from the peril of the
Babylonian revolt, and Martes was seized by the Susianians, and by them was put to death
before the king's arrival.
Meanwhile, in the North, the three great states of Media, Assyria, and Armenia had
revolted, and were making common cause against Darius. At the head of the rebellion was
Xath rites, a Mede, who was proclaimed king. He, like the other insurgents of his time,
claimed royal descent, representing himself as a great-grandson of Cyaxares. His claim was
recognized not only by the Medes, but also. by the Assyrians and Armenians, who
acknowledged him as their sovereign. Here, then, was an affair of the most alarming
Darius now established his court at Babylon. Thence he sent forth his generals to test the
strength of his antagonist. The main army was put under the command of Hydarnes, one of
the Princes who had helped Darius to the throne. He advanced into Media, while Dadarses,
with another division, was sent against the Armenians, and Vomises against the Assyrians.
All three armies had hard battles with the insurrectionists, and in some of the
engagements the forces of the king were worsted, but the rebels were finally and
completely subdued. Xathrites fled towards Parthia, but was taken and brought to Ecbatana,
where Darius had him dreadfully mutilated and chained to the door-posts of the palace.
After some days of suffering he was crucified. The whole North was speedily overrun by the
king's armies and taught the bitter lesson of experience. The revolts in Parthia,
Sagartia were less important and were easily quelled. The terror excited by the Great
King's successes and by the severe measures adopted by him against those who defied his
authority, was borne on the wings of rumor, and was of itself sufficient in most instances
to deter the tempted from the rashness of rebellion. In one instance there was a domestic
insurrection. While Darius was absent in Parthia, another impostor, a second Smerdis
redivivus appeared and claimed the throne. The remnant of the Magi were ready for
anything. A party of adherents gathered around the pretender, who took the field and
endeavored to win by force as well as fraud. But he was soon overwhelmed by the Persian
army, which could not be seduced from its loyalty, and was captured and crucified.
While these events were taking place in Persia, a second rebellion had broken out in
Babylonia. A certain Aracus who, like the preceding impostor, styled himself
"Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabonadius," raised the standard of revolt, and gathered around
him the malcontents of the king- dom. A force was sent against him by Darius, and he. was
soon taken and put to death. With his overthrow there seems to have been an end of
turbulence, and the king found, for the first time since his accession, an opportunity to
turn his attention to other matters, not, however, until he had compassed the killing of
the governor of Sardis for some disloyal conduct, and procured the death of the Egyptian
Pharaoh for daring to put his image on the coins of the Empire.
The monarch, as soon as quiet was everywhere restored, gave himself to grave questions of
statecraft. The occurrence of rebellions and the heterogeneous character of the nations
composing the Empire, led him to consider the feasibility of reconstructing the whole
frame of government, to the end that tranquility might henceforth be the rule and revolt
the exception in the history of his country.
The first object proposed by Darius was the establishment of uniformity throughout the
Empire by the institution of a