Probably to be identified with Xerxes I (486–465 BCE), who is mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus. As portrayed in the book of Esther, Ahasuerus oscillated between threatening a holocaust at the instigation of Haman, followed by protection of the Jews through the intervention of his Jewish queen Esther. The story is fictitious and written to provide an account of the origin of the feast of Purim; the book contains no references to the known historical events of the reign of Xerxes.