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Darius I (c. 550 BC – October 486 BC) was the third emperor of the Achaemenid Empire. He leads the Persians in Civilization V.


Darius I in game

Darius I speaks an ancient form of Aramaic, as it was used in the Achaemenid Empire. (This is why it was chosen over Old Persian of the old Parsi people, Avestan of the native religion of Zoroastrianism, or Modern Persian of Iran, where the modern descendants of the Ancient Persians live.) On his diplomacy screen, he is in his palace at Persepolis with murals of Immortals and golden, divine art behind him.

Capital: Persepolis

Unique Unit: Immortal

Unique Building: Satrap's Court

Unique Ability: Achaemenid Legacy

Voice Actor: Yassin Alsalman

AI Traits[]

Trait Amount
Competitiveness 7 (9-5)
Wonder Competitiveness 4 (6-2)
City-State Influence Competitiveness 4 (6-2)
Boldness 3 (5-1)
Diplobalance 5 (7-3)
Hate Warmongers 5 (7-3)
Willingness to Denounce 4 (6-2)
Willingness to Declare Friendship 4 (6-2)
Loyalty 7 (9-5)
Neediness 6 (8-4)
Forgiveness 3 (5-1)
Chattiness 4 (6-2)
Meanness 4 (6-2)
Offensive Unit Production 3 (5-1)
Defensive Unit Production 7 (9-5)
Defensive Building Production 6 (8-4)
Military Training Buildings Production 4 (6-2)
Recon Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Ranged Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Mobile Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Naval Recon Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Air Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Growth 5 (7-3)
Naval Tile Improvements 5 (7-3)
Water Connections 5 (7-3)
Expansion 5 (7-3)
Growth 6 (8-4)
Tile Improvements 7 (9-5)
Infrastructure (Roads) 7 (9-5)
Production Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Gold Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Science Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Culture Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Happiness Emphasis 8 (10-6)
Great People Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Wonder Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Religion Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Diplomacy Victory 5 (7-3)
Spaceship Victory 7 (9-5)
Nuke Production 4 (6-2)
Use of Nukes 5 (7-3)
Use of Espionage 5 (7-3)
Anti-Air Production 5 (7-3)
Air Carrier Production 5 (7-3)
Land Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Sea Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Archaeology Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Origin Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Destination Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Airlift Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to Declare War 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Hostile 3 (5-1)
Likeliness to be Deceptive 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Guarded 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Afraid 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Friendly 7 (9-5)
Likeliness to be Neutral 5 (7-3)
Ignore City-States 5 (7-3)
Friendliness to City-States 5 (7-3)
Protection of City-States 4 (6-2)
Conquest of City-States 5 (7-3)
Bullying of City-States 7 (9-5)

Personality and Behavior[]

Darius tends to go for either a scientific or cultural victory, but will almost never attempt a domination victory.

Unsurprisingly, Darius' main emphasis is 20xHappiness5.png Happiness. He also tends to try to get as much Gold Gold as possible.

Darius will generally have a small offensive army, but a large defensive army and well-defended cities. His empire will also have numerous tile improvements and one of the better infrastructures.

Darius is not very willing to forgive, but will very rarely turn hostile, unless the player is a warmonger. He is not very bold, either, and is one of the leaders more likely to be afraid.

Darius has a strong tendency to demand tribute from city-states.

Civilopedia entry[]


The son of a satrap (governor) of Parthia, Darius I forcibly took the throne of Persia upon the death of Cambyses II in 522 BC. An administrative genius, during his reign Darius reorganized the sprawling Persian empire, greatly increasing its wealth and power. He also implemented many great construction works across Persia.

Early History[]

Much of our knowledge of Darius I comes from the early Greek historian Herodotus, as well as from Persian inscriptions commissioned by Darius himself. According to Herodotus, as a youth Darius was suspected by Persian king Cyrus the Great of plotting against him. Darius survived this suspicion, later becoming a general and bodyguard of Cyrus's son and heir, Cambyses II after Cambyses assumed the throne. Cambyses died in 522 BC while in Egypt. Upon his death Darius returned to Media and killed Cambyses' brother, Bardiya, who Darius claimed was an imposter who had usurped the throne.

After killing Bardiya (or the imposter, depending upon whose story you believe) Darius claimed the Persian throne. This did not go over well in the provinces, and Darius faced serious revolts in Babylon, Susiana, Media, Sagartia, and Margiana. Babylon revolted twice, in fact, and Susiana three times. The insurrections were uncoordinated, however, and Darius was able to suppress each separately. According to one of his inscriptions, Darius defeated nine rebel leaders in 19 battles. By 518 or so his throne was secure.

Securing Persia's Borders[]

After establishing his position, Darius initiated a series of wars to expand and secure Persia's borders. In 519 he attacked the Scythians east of the Caspian Sea, and shortly after he conquered the Indus Valley. He later attacked northwest from Asia Minor, conquering Thrace and then Macedonia. He tried to expand his European bridgehead north across the Danube, but he was forced to withdraw by stubborn resistance of the Scythian nomads. Finally, he secured the Aegean islands of Lemnos and Imbros.

Persia now held the Greek colonies in Asia Minor, the straits of Bosporus (which gave them control over the Black Sea), Macedonia, which bordered Greece to the north, as well as a number of strategic islands in the Aegean. This inevitably led to conflict with the powerful but divided Greek city-states watching Persian expansion with jealousy and alarm.

Darius the Ruler[]

When not battling one of his empire's neighbors, Darius took a series of actions to unify the empire and to improve its administration. He completed the organization of the empire into satrapies (provinces) and set the annual tribute due from each. He improved the Persian road network and standardized coinage, weights and measures, greatly expanding the opportunities for trade throughout the empire. He funded exploration expeditions from India to Egypt, and he completed a canal in Egypt leading from the Nile River to the Red Sea.

Darius was the greatest builder in the Achaemenid Persian history. He constructed fortifications, a palace, and administrative buildings at Susa, his administrative capital. In his native Persepolis, Darius began construction of a new palace, as well as a council hall, treasury, and more fortifications (though these would not be completed until after his death).

While firmly putting down any attempts at insurrection within Persia, Darius showed a good deal of tolerance to his subject peoples' religious beliefs. He constructed a number of temples in Egypt honoring the Egyptian gods, and he ordered his Egyptian satrap to codify the Egyptian laws in consultation with the Egyptian priestly class. In 519 he allowed the Jews to begin reconstruction of the Temple at Jerusalem. Darius himself is thought to have been a follower of Zoroastrianism, which was eventually made the state religion of Persia.

War With Greece[]

In 499 BC the Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria supported a revolt of some Greek colonies in Asia Minor against Persia. Darius crushed the rebellion and began plotting a campaign against the meddling Greeks. In 492 BC Darius' son-in-law Mardonius was put in charge of an expedition against the Greeks, but his fleet was destroyed in a storm off of Mount Athos and he was unable to advance. In 490 another Persian force successfully invaded Greece, destroying Eretria and enslaving its inhabitants before being defeated by Athenian warriors at Marathon. Darius was in the middle of planning yet a third expedition when he died in 486 BC.

Verdict of History[]

History's view of Darius is generally quite favorable (if you put aside his questionable ascension to power, which was pretty much standard operating procedure throughout much of history). He constructed roads, reorganized the Persian provinces and government, secured the empire's borders, and generally treated his subjects about as well as or better than anyone in that time. Although not primarily known as a warlord, he fought a number of successful campaigns against both internal and external foes. It is quite possible that he could have successfully subjugated Greece if death had not intervened. His son, Xerxes I, certainly wasn't up to the task. All in all, Darius left his empire in better condition than he found it, which is a pretty good epitaph for any leader in any time period.


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Ancient Aramaic) Notes
Attacked (You are) Beneath me, son of a donkey "driver!" I shall crush you! takhtay, bar khamar! adaqakh!
Declares War Your greed and ineptness leaves me little choice: prepare for war! OR Your people cry out for relief from your incompetence. Prepare for war! OR Your continued existence is an embarrassment to world leaders everywhere. You must be destroyed.  ?
Defeated <shocked> Curse you! The blood of the greatest leader in world history is on your hands! OR You fool! Do you know what you have done? The world will long lament your heinous crime! OR You have defeated me?? But how could this have happened? There must be some mistake!  ?
Hate Hello Ahh, you... ah, ant hu...
Hate Let's Hear It 01 Go (on)! zil!
Hate Let's Hear It 02 I'm listening.
(lit. "We heard/listened.")
Hate No 01 We! anaknu!
Hate No 02 Of course not!
(lit. "Truly, no!")
lo beshrir!
Hate Yes 01 Alright.  ?
Hate Yes 02 Agreed.
(lit. "It has become agreeable.")
Intro Hello! (lit. "Peace be upon you!") I am Darius, the great and outstanding king of kings of great Persia. But you knew that. שלמה אלך. אנה דרהוש מלך מלקיה פרש רבה. לה פנה ישרת / shlama 'alikh! ana Darihush, malek malkaya faresh raba. leha fene yad'at.
Neutral Hello Good day to you!  yom tov lakh!
Neutral Let's Hear It 01 You said? ant amart?
Neutral Let's Hear It 02 Onwards, sir! heylakh, mar!
Neutral No 01 (Your offer is) Not good enough.
(lit. "It's missing a handful.")
Neutral No 02 You are not serious!
(lit. "Your heart is not truthful!")
libakh la sharir!
Neutral Yes 01 Certainly.
(lit. "In truth.")
Neutral Yes 02 Good/Beautiful! shappir!
Peaceful We'll call it a tie, shall we?  ?
Request In my endless magnanimity, I am making you this offer. You agree, of course?  ?
Trans Attacked What?! Y-you? ma? a-ant...


Darius I Loading Screen (Civ5).jpg

The blessings of heaven be upon you, beloved king Darius of Persia! You lead a strong and wise people. In the morning of the world, the great Persian leader Cyrus revolted against the mighty Median empire and by 550 BC, the Medes were no more. Through cunning diplomacy and military prowess, great Cyrus conquered wealthy Lydia and powerful Babylon. His son conquering proud Egypt some years later. Over time, Persian might expanded into far away Macedonia, at the very door of the upstart Greek city-states. Long would Persia prosper until the upstart villain Alexander of Macedon, destroyed the great empire in one shocking campaign.

Darius, your people look to you to once again bring back the days of power and glory for Persia! The empire of your ancestors must emerge again, to triumph over its foes and to bring peace and order to the world! O king, will you answer the call? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?


External links[]

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1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear.png Valid only in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only.png Valid only in the Brave New World expansion pack.