[Note: Xerxes I, also called Xerxes the Great, was the successor to Darius I and the son of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, and he governed the satrapy of Babylon before coming to the throne of the Persian Empire. It was Xerxes I who later angered the Babylonians by melting down the gold statue of Bel (Marduk, biblical, “Merodach”), and thereafter did not take the title of king of Babylon.]
[Note: Artaxerxes is considered to be a throne name, and some consider him to be the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. However the Ahasuerus of Scripture is more likely to have been Xerxes I, whose name was Khshayarsha as transliterated from the Old Persian, and he was the heir apparent and successor to his father Darius I, who during his reign issued a decree in support of the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem.
Late in his rule Xerxes I invaded Greece, which was a continuation of the Greco-Persian Wars, and it was he who confronted Leonidas and the 300 Spartans after advancing through Thrace and Macedonia. He then occupied Athens before retiring back to the capital cities of Persia in Asia. Some historians consider his invasion of Greece to be the beginning of the end for the Achaemenid Empire.]