This is the story of something that happened in the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled from India to Ethiopia - 127 provinces in all.
King Xerxes ruled from his royal throne in the palace complex of Susa.
In the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The military brass of Persia and Media were also there, along with the princes and governors of the provinces.
For six months he put on exhibit the huge wealth of his empire and its stunningly beautiful royal splendors.
At the conclusion of the exhibit, the king threw a weeklong party for everyone living in Susa, the capital - important and unimportant alike. The party was in the garden courtyard of the king's summer house.
The courtyard was elaborately decorated with white and blue cotton curtains tied with linen and purple cords to silver rings on marble columns. Silver and gold couches were arranged on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones.