I completely missed it. I had planned to write something last weekend noting the Jewish feast day, Purim, which was celebrated this year, beginning the evening of Saturday, March 11, and ending the evening of Sunday, March 12 (2017).
And then I forgot.
I was reminded of that while doing sit-ups and noticing my "advance copy/pre-publication copy/not-for-sale copy" of Abigail Pogrebin's My Jewish Year on the dusty bookshelf.
Pogrebin suggests the year was "sometime in the fifth century BCE." That would put it in the same century that the Greeks defeated the Persians, which made me curious.
It turns out that there is no clear date when the Jews in Persia were saved by Esther. It's not even agreed that the story is true.
However, what is most interesting is this nugget from wiki:
Nineteenth-century Bible commentaries generally identify Ahasuerus with Xerxes I of Persia.And, of course, it was Xerxes I that was defeated by the Greeks in 480 BCE.
Shortly after that the Greco-Persian wars ended and the Golden Age, the Classical Age, of Greece began.
I guess we all have our annus horribilis and for Xerxes I it was 480 BCE. And that's why Pegrebin stands on terra firma when she says it all began "sometime in the fifth century BCE."