When in history did Purim happen? I understand that there are several opinions that this is based on (who אחשורוש was, whether this was before or after the end of the exile), but I've been unable to find the sources related to it.

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    The real question is if you think the Tanakh made sure to clarify the lengths of the full reigns of every Persian king ever. I was never sure why anyone would think that to be the case, though. – Double AA Feb 12 '14 at 10:26
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    The debate is on RH 3b, but Chazal's preference to mix together multiple characters for Midrashic purposes should never be confused with declarations about history. – Double AA Feb 12 '14 at 18:51
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    I'd say similar in that it refers to some of the sources I've been looking for. But not the same type of question or the same scope of historical analysis. – PixelArtDragon Feb 12 '14 at 21:42
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    seforim.blogspot.com/2013/02/… – jake Feb 12 '14 at 21:48
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    Also relevant and interesting, but not so current or accurate: Yashar's Mafteach el Megillat Esther – jake Feb 12 '14 at 21:50

From Codex Judaica pg. 112: they started to rebuild the Second Temple in 3391 Jewish year (-370) Achashverosh the second made his banquet in the year 3395 (-366). In the year 3406 (-355) Mordichai proclaimed the celebration of Purim.

Rabbi Yehuda Landy wrote an in depth book (Purim and the Persian Empire) about which Achashverosh was part of the Purim story,and has many archaeological pictures and finds which help determine who and what.

  • If you want the Jewish sources I will add them later,they are in the Codex – sam Feb 12 '14 at 17:26
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    Does R Landy agree with the dating of the Codex Judaica? – Double AA Feb 12 '14 at 17:33
  • I don't remember I read it a while ago,I could check later – sam Feb 12 '14 at 18:58
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    Is this the only opinion, or are there other possibilities based on differences of opinion? – PixelArtDragon Feb 12 '14 at 20:22
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/80662 – msh210 Mar 6 '17 at 20:24

The story of purim happened about 70 years after the destruction of the first temple which happened around year 422 BCE

  • Is that as precise as you can get? Can you source either of these numbers? – Double AA Feb 12 '14 at 23:42

According to purely Jewish sources, as elucidated by seder olam rabba, Achashverosh lived before Darius the Great, hence purim took place after the beginning of building the temple (during Cyrus) and before it was finished.

Taking into account other historical records it seems that Achashverosh was Xerxes, after Darius the Great, in which case purim took place after completing the Temple.

Both can be read into the pshat of Tanach.

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