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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

proportions.

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,

Hyrcania, and

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