Darius the Great Accomplishments: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 Darius the Great
  • 0:55 Satraps
  • 1:30 Mailmen and the Royal Road
  • 2:13 Zoroastrianism
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Diehl

Elizabeth studied to be a special education teacher at Regis University, and received her masters in 2014.

What makes a person great? Darius I became known as Darius the Great because he was ready to try new ideas to help rule his empire. Let's learn about some of Darius the Great's accomplishments.

Darius the Great

Darius was not a mediocre emperor of one of the largest empires of the world. Darius was great! In addition to expanding his empire during his lifetime, he brought new ideas into Persia. His rule over the ancient Persian Empire was so famous that people still refer to him as Darius the Great.

Darius I lived from 549 to 486 BCE. He ruled ancient Persia, which is now Iran and other parts of the Middle East, for about 35 years. We do not know very much about his life before he became emperor, except that he was a general in the Persian army. When the young emperor before Darius was returning home from a battle, he died suddenly. After a quick battle with an opponent, Darius stepped in and led the army home. He then kept the authority to rule. Here are some of his accomplishments.


Under Darius the Great, the Persian Empire grew. He was ruler of a large amount of land with many different groups of people. Quickly, Darius realized that the people who were not Persian might have trouble serving him because he was so different from them. So Darius created a new job, satrap, for each province.

A satrap was basically a governor who ruled the province for Darius. The satrap allowed the local people to practice their own religions and celebrate their own holidays, and protected them from enemies. The satrap was in close connection with Darius, so he could tell Darius what was happening.

Mailmen and the Royal Road

If you're wondering how Darius kept in such close communication with his satraps so long ago, then you're ready for the next accomplishment! Darius created a huge, long road that connected the capital city, Susa, to Sardis, the most distant city in his empire. This road was called the Royal Road and was about 1,500 miles long.

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