I'm on a bit of a quest to contextualize the story of Purim by getting a better sense of the ages of the main characters. So far, with Mi Yodeya's help, I've explored the age of Esther, and I have also discovered a suggested age of Mordechai. I've also been exploring the age of Haman.

Are there any textual sources in Midrashic or later literature which provide an age for Achashverosh during the Purim story?

I do understand that this one is a bit more nuanced since the identity of Achashverosh is debated amongst modern historians (though, from my understanding, he is generally identified as being Xerxes I, who was assassinated at age 54).

  • Achashveirosh might actually be easier than some of the others you’ve asked about, as we also get to know him in Ezra ch. 4, which chronologically precedes the Megillah by two years or so. The Pesukim there don’t discuss any ages, but commentaries and/or Midrashim there might.
    – DonielF
    Mar 14, 2019 at 2:19
  • @DonielF Right, although not everyone identifies the two characters as the same Persian king. See Reggio's commentary where he identifies the Ezra version as Cambyses I.
    – Chaim
    Mar 14, 2019 at 12:19
  • Achashveirosh is identified by name in 4:6. While the rest of the chapter refers to Artachshasta, Rosh Hashanah 3b says that it’s simply a royal title, no different than “king” or “Pharaoh.” In the context of the verses, it makes sense to say they’re the same person: v. 6 says that in Achashveirosh’s time they wrote an accusation against the Jews, and in the remainder of the chapter it discusses the contents of this accusation. For this reason, Seder Olam 29 identifies Artachshasta there as Achashveirosh.
    – DonielF
    Mar 14, 2019 at 13:24
  • @DonielF I personally agree; I was just pointing out that there are those who contest the point.
    – Chaim
    Mar 14, 2019 at 14:55


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