DARIUS III OF PERSIA (Updated)
Darius III was the king of the Persian Empire during the Asian military campaign of Alexander the Great. At the battle of Gaugamela, after which Alexander was proclaimed king of Persia in Babylon, Darius and his men retreated from the battlefield and escaped to Central Asia, to the provinces of the empire that were still under Achaemenid (Persian) control. There, in the north east of the empire, in the satrapies (provinces) of Bactria and Sogdiana, Darius hoped to assemble a new army to face Alexander one more time, but that would never happen. Alexander’s army advanced to the east searching for Darius, but they found the Persian king dead in an ox cart, murdered by one of his men, the Bactrian satrap (local governor) Bessus, who had proclaimed himself king of Persia. Alexander was furious, because he wanted to capture Darius alive. Bessus was later captured, tortured and executed by the Greeks. Alexander sent Darius’ body back to Persepolis, where he was given a magnificent funeral and was buried among his royal ancestors.