Darius III, King of Persia 381 - 330 BC
King of ancient Persia. Ruled from 336 to 330; he abandoned his mother, wife, and children at the battle of Issus where he was defeated by Alexander; fought and lost again at Gaugamela. Darius inherited the throne after the death of his cousin Artaxerxes III who was murdered by the eunuch Bagoas. In turn, Darius murdered Bagoas. His short rule proved unstable when he underestimated the strength of Alexander the Great who invaded Persia. Darius suffered defeat in the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. and again at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 B.C. Darius' lack of military prowess forced him to flee to Ecbatana and then to Bactria where he was murdered by the satrap of Bactria, This brought and end to the Persian Empire.