Origin of the name DARIUS.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name DARIUS.
& Historical. [Latin, from Greek Dareios,
Hebrew Dareyavesh, from
Zend Dara = "king"]. Some authors render it
(1) A king
described as "Darius the Median," who "took the
kingdom," being then about 62 years old, on the night in which
Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans was slain (Dan. v. 30, 31).
(2) A "king of Persia" who in point of time
followed after Cyrus (Ezra iv. 5). When he came to the throne, the
building of the Temple had been suspended owing to complaints from the
jealous neighbouring tribes; but Darius, on being applied to, caused a
search to be made at Achmetha (Ecbatana), the Median capital, where the
edict of Cyrus permitting the work to be undertaken was found (Ezra vi.
1-12). (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894)
Dar (to possess) is the root of
Dareyavesh, called by Greeks Δαρειος; by Romans,
Darius; by Ferdosi, Dareb—the
title whence the gold coins of Persia were known to the Greeks as daries.
There is reason to suppose that Darya-oush (Dareyavesh) was rather a royal prefix than
a proper name; since him whom the Greeks knew as Darius Nothus, or the
bastard, is the first Dareb of the Shah-nameh. The Darius of
Daniel is the Greek Cyaxares the Mede, the Kai Khaoos of Ferdosi, the
old Persian Uvakshatara (beautiful eyed). The Darius of Ezra, the
Darius Hystaspes of the Greeks, is in the Shah-nameh Gushtasp; in old
Persian, Vishtaspa (possessor of horses), a curious coincidence with
Herodotus' story of the manner in which he was raised to the throne, as
well as with the legend that his horse's legs were drawn up into its
body and were released by a miracle of Zoroaster. Gushtasp is,
however, by some, thought to have been the father of Darius, the
Hystaspes of the Greeks, and, perhaps, true heir to the throne; but who
waived his right in favour of his son, lived and served under him, and,
finally, was killed by the breaking of the rope by which he was being
let down to inspect the sculptures of the monument that Darius was
preparing in his own life-time. (History
of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884).