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Cyrus the Great - conquered Babylon in 539 BC. Jews are allowed to return to Jerusalem.

Cambyses II - 525-522 BC. Herodotus tells the stories of Cambyses II invasion of Egypt in Book 3 of Histories. A legend relates how Cambyses' army was lost in the desert on the way past Siwa Oasis. Archaeologists have recently discovered his lost army.

Darius I - 521-486 BC. ANE 1, fig.196 this could be the Darius in the Book of Daniel (5:30,6:1), but it may refer to Gubaru the governor of Babylon (ANET, 306; ANE 1, 203), or Cyrus' throne name in Babylon (6:28; I Chronicles 5:26; NIV note). Darius is referred to in Ezra 4-6, Haggai 2:6-7,21-22, and Zechariah 1-8. I Esd. 4:42-5:3 says that Darius appointed Zerubbabel to restore Judah. In 490 BC Darius' army was defeated by the Greeks at Marathon.

Xerxes - 485-465 BC. ANE 1, fig.197. This is the king who chose Esther as his queen (Esther 1:1, NIV note). Susa was the winter capital of Persian kings. There were three other capitals; Babylon, Persepolis, and Ecbatana. The banquet in Esther chapter one might be the assembly mentioned by Herodotus (Book 7:8; bottom of page 443). Queen Amestris was deposed in 484 BC. The Greek historians called her Amestris, but this may be Queen Vashti in the book of Esther. She returned as Queen mother during her son's reign Artaxerxes I, and died in 424 BC.(Wright in "Historicity of the Book of Esther" in New Perspectives on the Old Testament ed. by J.Barton Payne; Word, 1970). The other possibility is that Amestris is Esther (Ishtar; see ISBE Vol.2, 1008; Herodotus Book 7:114, 9:112). Haman being an Agagite probably refers to the district of Agag in Persia. Mordecai is the Hebrew transliteration of Marduk. In a Persian text a Marduka is named as a high official under Darius or Xerxes. This could be Mordecai argues Carey Moore (BA 38(1975): 74). The LXX has additions to Esther. 

Artaxerxes I - 465-424 BC. Artaxerxes I was born about the time his mother Amestris was deposed. He is mentioned in Ezra (7:1,7,11; 12:21), and Nehemiah (2:1, 5:14, 13:6). Nehemiah was his cupbearer. During his reign the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC. where Greeks fought each other until 404 BC. This is also the Golden Age of Athens when Pericles, Socrates, Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Phidias lived.

During the 5th century BC there was a Jewish military colony at Elephantine, Egypt. Many Aramaic texts have been found here describing this period. The Jews built a temple to Yahweh with an altar for sacrifice. ANE 1, 278. ANET, 491. 

Darius II - 423-405 BC.

Artaxerxes II - 405-359 BC.

Dynasty 28 - 404-399 BC Amyrtaeus.

Dynasty 29 - 399-380 BC.

Dynasty 30 - 380-343 BC.

Dynasty 31 - 343-332 BC (2nd Persian Period).

Artaxerxes II.

Darius III.