Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 - Artaxerxes Summary & Analysis

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Artaxerxes was the second king of Persia by that name, the grandson of the first Artaxerxes and the oldest son of Darius. He became king on the death of Darius, but was challenged by his younger brother Cyrus. Artaxerxes defeated Cyrus in battle, and Cyrus was killed. The matter of Cyrus' death is uncertain, Plutarch writes, and he provides several accounts based on previous writers, giving the matter much attention.

When Persia came under attack by the Spartans, Artaxerxes cleverly diverted their efforts by bribing the Greeks to declare war on Sparta. Later, he allied with Sparta and allowed them to take control of most of Greece.

Artaxerxes had several children by many wives. His eldest son named Darius was the evident successor to the throne but Darius was discovered to have conspired to kill Artaxerxes and was executed. This left three of his other...

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