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Maurycy Gottlieb : Self-Portrait as Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew (1876; National Museum in Krakow )

Ahasuerus ( Old Persian Chšayāŗšā , Hebrew אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ Achaschwerosch , Aramaic Aḫšeweruš , Greek Ἀσούηρος, Latin Ahasuerus , Ahasverus ) is a name of old Persian origin. It is mostly viewed as a transliteration of the Persian خشیارش ( Xerxes ). The Vulgate uses the translation Assuerus . It designates various people in the Tanakh , the Hebrew Bible , as well as in Jewish apocrypha and Christian legends .


Book of Esther

In the Book of Esther , the Persian king Ahasuerus takes after the repudiation of his first wife Vashti the Jewess Ester wife. He is involved in the intrigue of the court servant Haman to murder all Jews in the Persian Empire in one day, who are saved by Esther and her guardian Mordechai (see Purim ). He is commonly equated with the Persian king Xerxes I. The Septuagint , Josephus and the Midrash Esther Rabba, I, 3 , however , identify him as Artaxerxes I. This name is also used by the standard translation.

Book of Ezra

The Persian king Ahasuerus in the book of Ezra is equated by the Jewish tradition with the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. Bible scholars of the 19th century see him as the Persian king Cambyses II (Kambujiya, کمبوجیه).

Book Daniel

In the book of Daniel , Ahasuerus is the father of Darius the Mede . As the father of the ancient historian called Josephus , however Astyages . Medieval Jewish commentators also refer to him as the uncle and foster father of Cyrus II. This agrees with Xenophon 's statement that Astyages is the son of Kyaxares II. This Ahasuerus is commonly equated with Astyages.

Others equate Ahasuerus in the book of Daniel with Kyaxares I , who is named as the father of Astyages in the book of Tobit . The differences result from various attempts to balance the sources given.


In the book of Tobit (Tob 14,15), which belongs to the canons of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches, but was never a canonical part of the Tanakh and is therefore also considered an apocryphal in Protestantism , an Ahasuerus comes as an ally of the Babylonian king Nabu-kudurri-usur II. Before. Biblical historians identify him as the Medieval King Kyaxares I. According to a traditional Catholic view, he is identical to Ahasuerus in the Book of Daniel.

Mythical figure Ahasuerus

The Christian folk tale of the Eternal Jew calls it Ahasuerus in a version published in 1602 . It tells of a shoemaker from Jerusalem who refuses to rest Jesus of Nazareth , who is carrying his cross, on his doorstep and is therefore cursed not to rest until the crucified comes back at the end of the day. Since then he has been on a restless wandering through the ages to bear witness for Jesus and against Judaism . In this form Ahasver has become the material for many works of literature and art , but also for anti-Semitic propaganda .

Ahasuerus in literature

Web links

Wiktionary: Ahasuerus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations