Friday, March 29, 2024

The name Xerxes comes to us from the Old Persian/Iranian (Xšayā-ršā), meaning "ruler over heroes/men," or more simply, "king of all men." It is rendered in Elamite as kšerš-ša, and in Babylonian as aḫ-ši-ia-ar-šu. From this, the name was rendered into Hebrew as אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ (ʾAḥashverōsh), and then into Latin as Ahasuerus, where many recognize the name from the story of Esther. However, it is from the Greek rendering of Ξέρξης (Xérxēs, pronounced KSER-ksays) that we get Xerxes. King Xerxes I "The Great" ruled Achaemenid Persia from 486 to 465 BCE, famously invading Greece in 480 BCE.