Room 52

  • The identity of `Darius the Mede’, mentioned in chapters 6, 9 and 11 of Daniel is a mystery, but could possibly be a regional governor serving under king Cyrus.


  • Darius the Great is mentioned in Zechariah, Haggai and Ezra-Nehemiah.


  • Darius the Great, also Darius I (521-486B.C.), married Cyrus’ daughter. Darius ruled with a different spirit and developed the ideology of ‘holy war’, whereby men could fight on behalf of gods.


  • Darius’ attack on Greece is halted at the Battle of Marathon in 490B.C. His son Xerxes is halted at Thermopylae (‘300’) and the naval battle of Salamis. The destiny of Europe is changed forever.
Then King Darius issued a decree, and search was made in the archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. In Ecbatana in the fortress, which is in the province of Media, a scroll was found and there was written in it as follows: “Memorandum— In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree:



‘Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt and let its foundations be retained, its height being 60 cubits and its width 60 cubits; with three layers of huge stones and one layer of timbers. And let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. 
Also let the gold and silver utensils of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and brought to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; and you shall put them in the house of God.’”’ (Ezra 6:1-5).




Released from captivity in Babylon, according to God’s will, the Jews can now rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and the second temple.



Used to emboss clay tablets to authenticate whatever had been inscribed in cuneiform scrip, this Agate Cylinder Seal is an official seal of Darius I


His title is given in old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian, the three official languages of the empire
Ezra 5-6


A regional governor by the name of Darius served under Cryus is described in Daniel 9 and also mentioned in Chapters 6 and 11 where he is called ‘Darius the Mede’ He is not the Darius of this seal


After the regional ruler of this name had passed form the scene another Darius came to prominence as king over the entire empire


This was Darius the Great (Darius I) who ruled 521-486 BC and married Cyrus’ daughter (Cyrus own son committed suicide and Darius led a coup to take over )


During his reign the prophets Zechariah and Haggai ministered and both mention him a number of times. So does Ezra (many times) as he records the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 5-6)