Saturday, October 7, 2023

XERXES - The Daughters of Darius

Unknown artist on Reddit

The Daughters of Darius

As one could imagine the daughters of Darius were treated with tender hand. Each was desired by far away kingdoms from the first announcement at birth. In total there were seven in the immediate household by Atossa and her sisters. Of travels in far away lands three more daughters of Darius were born. It mattered not if a blemish or a damaged limb grew with the daughter. These were valuable and very valued assets for the King of Persia.

Darius loved them as much if not more than he valued them. Phatagrius was the oldest and among his very favorites. She reminded him of his own mother but more vocal. He often complained of her vocality to the other councilors and all laughed at his dismay for she was her father’s daughter.

She was given to the more masculine pursuits and it suited her. Rare it was for women to engage in horsemanship or archery. But Phatagrius was supreme at both. She was a master archer. Although she desired a place in the ranks of commanders in her father’s guard this she was denied. Darius refused that one request most vehemently.

Phatagrius was the daughter of Atossa and my well beloved younger sister. One more gained my love from this union as well. Persah. Named by mother for her own mother’s mother. Persah was small and fragile. She was subtle and sublime. It was her beauty that alone saved her from the unpleasant union to a far away land. Father could not part with his little bird Persah. So it was that of all my sisters Phatagrius and Persah remained in the household. Opposites but inseparable. Both loved by all.

Phatagrius married our Father’s commander Ilmessia. The two provided a brood of men to make any Persian commander writhe in jealousy. Strong. Brave. Loyal. Proud. Not one daughter.

Persah remained alone. A companion to our mother. Always fragile. Protected. Persah died in her youth, her beauty unfailed.

Of the others little contact remained. Once a daughter of Darius was in a union, she no longer returned to the household. Darius might on occasion visit the household of one of his daughters. Any sons born to these unions were given high honours among the commands. All were considered royals. The future of Persia secured for yet another generation.