Essay Modern and Ancient Interpretations of Xerxes

Words: 1008
Pages: 5

Ancient and modern sources present differing views of Xerxes. It’s difficult to make a judgment of Xerxes character and effectiveness as a King since there is a bias in a majority of these sources.

Ancient Persian
Ancient Persian sources are mostly inscriptions and reliefs found in Persepolis though there are also inscriptions found in other parts of the Persian Empire. An example are the Daiva inscriptions “A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth … who made Xerxes king, one king of many, one lord of many”. This states that Ahuramazda made Xerxes king and supports Xerxes. It emphasizes his right to rule through divine sanctions.
In many bas-reliefs Xerxes is much larger than his counterparts. The size of the king, the robes
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300 is a 2006 American action film based on the battle of Thermopylae (show excerpt). In the film Xerxes has multiple piercings and jewelry, barely wearing any clothes, bald, above average height and is quite feminine. Obviously, this is inaccurate since according to ancient Persian archaeological sources and Herodotus Xerxes had hair, a beard, was average height and wore clothes. In 300, Xerxes is a demigod (half god), which is why he is bigger than Leonidas the Spartan king. 300 was banned in many middle-eastern countries one of the reasons being its portrayal of the Persians. There were monsters and demons fighting in the Persian army and some people interpreted the portrayal of Xerxes as homosexual.

One night with the King – the story of Esther
One night with the King is a 2006 film based on the biblical story of Esther, who risked her life by approaching the king to request that he save the Jewish people. (Show excerpt)
In the film Xerxes is portrayed as being just and merciful, slow to anger. “ Like a true Persian don’t judge a man before the good and all the bad have been weighed.” There isn’t a lot about