Artaxerxes I [key], d. 425 b.c., king of ancient Persia (464–425 b.c.), of the dynasty of the Achaemenis. Artaxerxes is the Greek form of “Ardashir the Persian.” He succeeded his father, Xerxes I, in whose assassination he had no part. The later weakness of the Persian Empire is commonly traced to the reign of Artaxerxes, and there were many uprisings in the provinces. The revolt of Egypt, aided by the Athenians, was put down (c.455 b.c.) after years of fighting, and Bactria was pacified. The Athenians sent a fleet under Cimon to aid a rebellion of Cyprus against Persian rule. The fleet won a victory, but the treaty negotiated by Callias was generally favorable to Persia. Important cultural exchanges occurred between Greece and Persia during Artaxerxes' reign. He was remembered warmly in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah because he authorized their revival of Judaism.
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