Cambyses, Iranian Invasion of Ethiopia (Ancient Sudan ? Kush), Second Destruction of Napata. Part XI

Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
 
In three preliminary articles titled "Fake Sudan (Real Ethiopia) and Fake Ethiopia (Real Abyssinia): what is at stake?" (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/141807), "Sudan (Real Ethiopia), Abyssinia (Fake Ethiopia): Evil Progeny of Pan-Arabism and Ethiopianism" (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/142342), and "Egypt, Ethiopia - Sudan, Abyssinia, the Freemasonic Orientalist Fallacy of Ethiopianism, and Nubia" (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/egypt-ethiopia-sudan-abyssinia-the-freemasonic-orientalist-fallacy-of-ethiopianism-and-nubia.html), I focused on the colonially masterminded project against Eastern Africa, which involved the projection of fake identity on both, the Arabic speaking populations of Central Sudan, and the Semitic Amhara and Tigray Abyssinians. This was effectuated by means of two fake ideologies, Pan-Arabism and Ethiopianism.

Pan-Arabism was the fake doctrine fabricated by the colonial Orientalist academia in order to project the fake Arab identity onto the former.

Ethiopianism was the fake doctrine fabricated by the colonial Orientalist academia in order to project the fake Ethiopian identity onto the latter.

I underscored that the evil, colonial diplomacy and academia, in order to better implement Pan-Arabism in Sudan and effectively disorient the Arabic-speaking Sudanese from the search of their true Kushitic ? Ethiopian identity and historical heritage, machinated the renaming of the Kushitic ? Ethiopian Antiquity, monuments, History, and culture as "Nubian". This is a misnomer.

To clarify that the non-Egyptian antiquities of the Egyptian South and the Sudanese North cannot be called "Nubian", I initiated a series of articles, presenting the historical interaction among the Hamitic ? Kushitic Egyptians, the Kushitic Ethiopians (ancestors to today´s Arabic-speaking Sudanese, Oromos, Sidamas, and other Eastern African Kushites), and the Medjay ? Nubians, who are ancestors to the modern Nubians. The latter may now be the exclusive inhabitants of a vast part of the territory of Ancient Kush (Ethiopia), namely from the South of Aswan to Wadi Halfa and further to Debba, but in the Antiquity, they were a minority in the said territory (and in the rest of Egypt); furthermore, the Ancient Nubians never formed a state of their own in the pre-Christian times.

Consequently, the Nubians cannot be considered as the only or the primary heir to either the Egyptian or the Kushitic / Ethiopian Antiquity, History, monuments, and Heritage. The term "Nubian" cannot be given to the kings of Kerma, Napata and Meroe ? the three most important capitals of Pre-Christian Kush / Ethiopia ? because these kings were not Nubians but Kushites / Ethiopians; speaking at both, the ethnic and the linguistic levels, they were as different as the Ancient Greeks from the Ancient Babylonians.

An Outline of the Earlier Parts

To extensively analyze the subject, I expanded in ten earlier articles, covering

1) the early periods of Prehistory and History (A-Group, C-Group, Kerma kingdom) of Ancient Kush ? Ethiopia (Sudan),

2) the Anti-Egyptian alliance between the Kushitic / Ethiopian kingdom of Kerma and the Asiatic invaders of Egypt, the notorious Hyksos,

3) the liberation of Egypt from the Hyksos rulers,

4) the cooperation of the Egyptian throne with the Kushite / Ethiopian noblesse opposing the Kerma rulers in view of the eradication of the latter,

5) the presence of the Kushite / Ethiopian noblesse in the pharaonic court, notably the high priestess Ahmose Nefertari, a Kushite / Ethiopian noble lady and Queen Mother of the Pharaoh Amenhotep I,

6) the eradication of "evil" kingdom of Kerma by Thutmose I, and the annexation of the entire Kas (Kush / Ethiopia) by Egypt,

7) the rise and the fall of the Egyptian New Kingdom,

8) the permanent clash of the monotheistic and polytheistic priesthoods of Amun of Thebes during the times of New Kingdom,

9) the rise and the fall (14th century BCE) of the religious ? spiritual revolution of Akhenaten of Egypt, who preached the monotheistic system (Atonism ? the system evolving around Aton, the Only God) that pre-modeled the Kushitic / Ethiopian monotheism and the later monotheistic Kushitic religions,

10) the rift caused by Atonism within the Egyptian society,

11) the division and decadence of Egypt into several countries and dynasties after the victory of Ramesses III over the Sea Peoples,

12) the prevalence of the polytheistic Amun Theban priesthood throughout Upper Egypt and Kush / Ethiopia that remained united under the Thebes-based Amun high priests for no less than three centuries after Egypt´s split,

13) the shift of power from Thebes to Napata, whereby a local, Kushitic / Ethiopian dynasty rose to defend not only Kush / Ethiopia but also Thebes, against the monotheistic priesthood of Heliopolis, the Delta Kings of Lower Egypt, and their Libyan allies,

14) the beginning of the Napatan dynasty of Kush / Ethiopia, and the reigns of Alara and Kashta, the early Napatan rulers, who attributed great importance to their interconnection and interaction with the polytheistic Amun Theban priesthood up to the point of consecrating female relatives (like Amenardis (Imen-iirdisi), the Divine (female) Adorer of Amun, and Divine Wife of Amun) to the Theban clergy.

15) the clash between the Kushite Piankhi and the Heliopolitan priesthood backed by the Berbers for prevalence in Lower Egypt,

16) the introduction of a new mortuary architectural style in Kush / Ethiopia with the erection of small, steep pyramids over the Kushitic pharaohs´ tombs in the early Napatan necropolis (late 8th century BCE),

17) the conquest of the Egyptian North by Shabaka, and the search for the Authentic Hamitic ? Kushitic Spirituality that was undertaken by Piankhi´s younger brother,

18) the alliance between Shabaka´s successor Shebitqu with Hezekiah of Judah and the Palestinians against the great monotheist Emperor Sennacherib of Assyria, the then world´s sole superpower, the crushing defeat of all the allies at the battle of Eltekeh, and the subsequent expedition of the Assyrian army up to the gates of Egypt, i.e. Pelusium (Per Amun, i.e. the House of Amun, in Ancient Egyptian, nearby today´s Port Said),

19) the successive attacks of the Assyrian Emperor Assarhaddon, the Assyrian invasion of Memphis, and occupation of Lower Egypt, and the subsequent limitation of the Kushitic / Ethiopian control in Upper Egypt,

20) the two consecutive invasions of Egypt by Assurbanipal, the destruction of Thebes, Taharqa´s last years, and Tanwetamani´s defeat and expulsion from Egypt which had become province of the Assyrian Empire, and

21) the massive return of the Thebes / Upper Egypt / North Kush-based Kushites / Ethiopians to central parts of Kush, notably between Kawa (Dunqulah) and Napata (Karima), the subsequent, increased proportion of the Nubian population in Upper Egypt and Kush´s northern confines (namely the region between the first and the second cataracts), and the reigns of Tanwetamani´s successors, e.g. Atlanersa, Senkamanisken, Anlamani, and Aspelta until the destruction of Napata (592 BCE) by Pharaoh Psamtek II, his Egyptian and Berbers soldiers, and his Aramaean, Phoenician, Judean, Carian, and Greek mercenaries.

Here are the titles of, and the links to, the first ten parts of the series:

"The Common Origins of Egypt, and Ethiopia ? Sudan. Oromos, Arabic Speaking Sudanese, Nubians. I" (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-common-origins-of-egypt-and-ethiopia-sudan-oromos-arabic-speaking-sudanese-nubians-i.html)

"Hamitic-Kushitic Origins of Egypt and Ethiopia / Sudan. Oromos, Arabic Speaking Sudanese, Nubians II" (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/hamitic-kushitic-origins-of-egypt-and-ethiopia-sudan-oromos-arabic-speaking-sudanese-nubians-ii.html),

"Egyptian Rule over Kush-Ethiopia, and Ahmose Nefertari, Foremother of Oromos and Sudanese. Part III" (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/egyptian-rule-over-kush-ethiopia-and-ahmose-nefertari-foremother-of-oromos-and-sudanese-part-iii.html)

"Egypt, Akhenaten, Aton Monotheism: Origins of Oromos´ and Sidamas´ Kushitic / Ethiopian Religions" (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/147078)

"Napata: Egypt Ruled by the Forefathers of Arabic-speaking Sudanese and Oromos (not Amharas). Part V" (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/napata-egypt-ruled-by-the-forefathers-of-arabic-speaking-sudanese-and-oromos-not-amharas-part-v.html)

"From Piankhi to Shabaka: Ancestors to Egyptians, Arabic-speaking Sudanese, Oromos, Sidamas. Part VI" (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/from-piankhi-to-shabaka-ancestors-to-egyptians-arabic-speaking-sudanese-oromos-sidamas-part-vi.html)

"Sennacherib of Assyria Defeats Shebitqu of Egypt and Kush / Ethiopia, Jews, Palestinians Allies" (http://www.afroarticles.com/article-dashboard/Article/Sennacherib-of-Assyria-Defeats-Shebitqu-of-Egypt-and-Kush---Ethiopia--Jews---Palestinian-Allies/205543)

"Taharqa Routed by Assarhaddon, Memphis Sacked, Kush / Ethiopia Driven from Lower Egypt. Part VIII" (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/148167)

"Taharqa, Egypt, Ethiopia (Ancient Sudan), Nubians, Assyria and Assurbanipal, Emperor of the Universe"

(http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/148223)

"Kush (Ethiopia), Egypt and Nubia from Tanwetamani to Psamtek II. The Destruction of Napata. Part X"

(http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/149132)

In the present, eleventh article of the series, I will focus on the ultimate period of Napatan rule and the second destruction of Napata, by Kambudjiya (Cambyses) of Iran who invaded Egypt and Kush / Ethiopia in 525 BCE.

From Aspelta to Amaniastabarka

Aspelta ruled over Kush / Ethiopia for more than two decades after Napata´s destruction. We have few remains from that dark period of the Napatan kingdom; the shock of the destruction of the millennia old capital of both, Kemet (Egypt) and Kush (Ethiopia), was horrendous, even more so because it was perpetrated by Egyptians soldiers in alliance with Northerners who arrived for the first time so far in the South. The Berber rule over Egypt was therefore taking dimensions of sacrilege, and the Kushite / Ethiopian rulers had to envision how Kush would preserve, alone from now onwards, the millennia long, common heritage. The relocation to Meroe was a political decision imposed by geo-strategic considerations and defense purposes, but contradicted because of religious matters of the utmost importance.

The destroyed capital of Napata was Amun´s holy mountain and holy place; the destruction was existent at the material level only. It did not minimize in anything the sanctity of the location. It would be very difficult for a Kushite / Ethiopian Qore to rule Kush / Ethiopia to disregard this dimension; it would also look awkward for a Kushite / Ethiopian Qore to rule from a place other than the location where the royal tombs were. To be buried at a holy location is considered as a privileged and honorable distinction, particularly reserved for kings, princes, priests, and noblesse. It would be impossible to be a true Qore (king) and Kandak (queen) of Kush / Ethiopia and be buried in any other place than the area of Amun´s holy mountain (today´s Jebel Barkal).

A balance was ultimately achieved between the religious imperatives and the military considerations. Starting with Aspelta, the Kushite / Ethiopian Qore transferred their administrative capital further to the south in Meroe (today´s Bagrawiyah) but kept having pyramids built, mortuary temples erected, and tomb chambers hewn in Nuri, and were thus buried in the propinquity of Amun´s Holy Mountain. The first to have a pyramid erected in Meroe (more than 500 km in the southeast, if calculating the distance alongside the Nile) was Arnekhamani who reigned at the end of the 3rd century BCE (235?218).

This means that for more than 350 years after Napata´s first destruction (by Psamtek II) and for more than 300 years after Napata´s second destruction (by Cambyses), the Kushite / Ethiopian rulers reigned from a location other than their burial place.

This makes difficult the division of Ancient Sudan´s History into different periods. Different scholars have actually opted for different moments of the Kushitic /Ethiopian past in their efforts to identify the end of the Kushitic period and the start of the Meroitic period.

Certainly the two terms are conventional. Either called Kushites or described as Meroites, the bulk of the indigenous population of Ancient Sudan (Ethiopia) was the same people. The use of the two terms depends on the Ancient Sudanese (Ethiopian) capital.

During the Kushitic period, capital of Kush / Ethiopia was Napata.

During the Meroitic period, capital of Kush / Ethiopia was Meroe.

Consequently, we identify as Meroites the Kushites / Ethiopians of the Meroitic period. The Meroites are not a different people, and there is absolute cultural, religious, and sociopolitical continuity between Napata and Meroe.

The three dates, 592 BCE, 525 BCE, and 235 BCE, as possible historical termini, are extreme. It is too early to put the end of the Kushitic period at 592 BCE; and 235 BCE seems to be too late a date to consider as start of Meroitic period.

It would be more logical to identify the turning point between the two periods with another development of the utmost importance, namely the introduction of an indigenous Kushitic / Ethiopian writing system.

Until the times of Aspelta, the official and religious language of Kush / Ethiopia was the Ancient Egyptian, written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is clear that until that period, the native language of the Ancient Kushites / Ethiopians was not written.

A new writing system was invented in Kush almost two centuries after Napata´s second destruction, and several (approx. 8) decades before Arnekhamani decided to have a pyramid built in Meroe, thus inaugurating the Meroitic necropolis.

The earliest saved monument with a Meroitic inscription dates back to 320 ? 310 BCE. Written in Egyptian hieroglyphic characters, the Meroitic writing system consists basically in an alphabet, contrarily to the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing which is a mixed system composed of hundreds of ideograms and an alphabet.

More than a century after the introduction of the Meroitic hieroglyphic writing system, a second Meroitic writing system was invented (ca. 190 ? 180 BCE), this time based on the Egyptian Demotic writing, which was a cursive writing of the hieroglyphic signs.

Similarly, the Meroitic cursive writing system was used whenever practical needs imposed fast writing; contrarily, the Meroitic hieroglyphic writing system was used for monumental purposes (temples´ bas-reliefs, royal inscriptions, etc.).

The Meroitic hieroglyphic writing system fell in desuetude at the moment of Meroe´s destruction by the Axumite Abyssinians (ca. 360 CE), but the Meroitic cursive writing system was still in use until the rise of the Christian Ethiopian kingdoms in the area of today´s Northern Sudan (ca. 440 CE).

It would therefore be safe to date the end of the Kushitic period (characterized by the lack of local writing system) at 320 BCE, which corresponds to the beginning of the Ptolemaic era in Egypt.

After Aspelta´s death, Armantelqo rose to the throne of Meroe and ruled for ca. 15 years (568 ? 555 BCE). It was a period of disarray, as he had to deploy great efforts in order to consolidate his kingdom after the calamitous results of the Egyptian expedition. Few monuments from his reign (coming mainly from Meroe, and Nuri, the Napatan necropolis) have been preserved down to our times. His had pyramids built at Nuri for himself (Nu 9) and for his royal wife, Amanitakaye (Nu 55). As far as his title and names are concerned, he continued the Egyptian tradition of five pharaonic names, calling himself King of the Upper and Lower Egypt, although he did not control even a minor territory there, and in addition, the border regions of his own kingdom were under Egyptian occupation.

A golden necklace spacer, currently at the Brooklyn Museum (New York) is the most impressive remain dating from his reign. The frontal inscription reads: "Son of Ra, Lord of the Crowns, Aramatelqo, may he live forever; Beloved of Hathor, Lady of Dendera, Mistress of the Gods, may she give life". On the backside, another inscription reads: "King of Upper and of Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Wadj-ka-ra, may he live for ever; Beloved of Ra-Harakhte, the Great God, Master of Heaven, may he give life".

Son of Armanteqo and Amanitakaye, Malonaqen ruled Kush / Ethiopia along with his royal wife, queen Tagtal, from Meroe for a period of ca. 15 years (555 ? 542 BCE). He was buried at Nuri, in Nu 5 pyramid. Few remains from his reign have also been unearthed in Kawa and Meroe (blocks from the temple M 242). Due to scarce evidence, only two of his five names have been identified thus far. Even less is saved from his successor´s reign. Analmaaye reigned only a few years (542 ? 538 BCE), and was buried at Nuri (pyramid Nu 18).

The times of their reign were a period of upheaval, as major developments took place in Asia that would later determine the political history of both, Kemet (Egypt) and Kush (Ethiopia). The rise in force of the Achaemenid (Persian: Hakhamaneshiyan) dynasty in Fars (the southern part of today´s central Iran) and the merge of the Persian and Median kingdoms heralded the Achaemenid invasion of Mesopotamia, and the parallel collapse of Nabonid Babylonia.

The new Iranian Empire was a political, cultural, ideological, and religious replica of the monotheistic state of the Assyrian Sargonids; the Achaemenids tried to imitate the Sargonids, posturing as true successors of the glory of Nineveh, and as heirs of the Mesopotamian tradition ? in striking contrast with the Nabonid polytheists.

Under Kurosh (Cyrus), Iran expanded fast throughout the Asiatic part of the Middle East and controlled the entire territory between today´s Turkey´s westernmost confines, the eastern Black Sea coastland, India and Central Asia. Only the faraway kingdoms of Yemen remained intact. Under Kurosh´s successor, Kambudjiyah (Cambyses), Egypt and Kush / Ethiopia were the next to be attacked.

Analmaaye´s successor, Amaniatabarqa (538 ? 519 BCE) was totally unable to face the challenge. Egypt collapsed instantly (525 BCE), and the invading Iranian army advanced at great speed to the South. The event had a great impact, and the shocking nature of the exploit left its stamp for many generations and among many different peoples. Amaniatabarqa failed to prevent the Iranian armies from destroying Napata for a second time in less than 70 years. It is not clear how far Cambyses proceeded to the South; according to some interpretations, he even attacked but failed to conquer Meroe. If this is true, his African campaign eclipses Alexander´s campaign in India because already at Napata, Cambyses was at a distance of more than 4500 km far from his capital Pasargad in today´s Central Iran. It is quite possible that he tried to cross the Bayuda desert from Napata to Meroe (instead of advancing alongside the Nile), and then at a certain point he renounced to advance further, and returned to Egypt, in order to further advance against Carthage. A town named Kabujiyah nearby Bagrawiyah in today´s Sudan bears a name that looks similar to that of the Achaemenid invader; however, the linguistic identification has not yet been established.

As a matter of fact, Cambyses´ armies did not stay long in Napata, and Amaniastabarqa, after having ruled his embattled country from Meroe, was buried at Nuri, in the pyramid Nu 2. A gold sheet with chased decoration is his reign´s most exquisite remain. Unearthed in February 1917 by the Harvard University-MFA Boston Expedition, it is currently exposed at the Khartoum Museum.

In a forthcoming article, I will focus on the period of the last burials at Nuri and the rise of the Meroitic Empire of Kush / Ethiopia.

Further Readings:

1. Egypt and the rising Persian empire

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/the_rising_persian_empire.htm

During much of the later period of Babylonian hegemony, peaceful relations reigned between the various nations of the Middle East, interrupted by - in Babylonian eyes at least - minor policing actions against Judah and Tyre and an abortive Delta invasion by Nebukadrezzar II (568 BCE), following which Egypt stopped intervening militarily in Palestine.

The relationship between Chaldeans and Medes and later their successors, the Persians, was one of cooperation and they respected each others spheres of interest for most of the time.

In 560 Ahmose II conquered Cyprus, strategically placed opposite the coast held by his potential enemies.

He was the first of men who conquered Cyprus and subdued it so that it paid him tribute.

Herodotus, Histories 2,182, translated by Macaulay

Gutenberg Project

After Cyrus had deposed the king of the Medes, Astyagus, in 555 and had thus become lord of Cilicia, tensions arose between him and Nabonidus (Nabu-naihc, r.556-539), the last Babylonian king because of the latter's conquest of Harran. Croesus, king of Lydia, intended to exploit the situation, relying on his alliances with Sparta, Babylon and Egypt.

Following an indecisive battle against Cyrus at Pteria

he intended to call on the Egyptians to honour their treaty. Before making an alliance with the Lakedaemonians he had allied himself with Amasis, King of Egypt. He was also sending for the Babylonians, with whose king Labynetus he had signed a treaty of assistance.

Herodotus, Histories 1.77

Ships arrived from Egypt, Cyprus and Phoenicia bringing reinforcements. But the Persians took Sardis (546) and annexed Lydia and the Ionian cities on the coast. This robbed Egypt of a major ally.

With the fall of Sardis, the philhellenic Ahmose formed an alliance with Polykrates , tyrant of Samos, and according to H.T.Wallinga funded his navy [1].

He concluded a treaty with Amasis king of Egypt, and sent him gifts and received gifts from him. ... The power of Polykrates grew and he became famous in Ionia and all other Greek lands. All his military ventures succeeded. He had one hundred ships with fifty oars and a thousand archers.

Herodotus, Histories 3.39

Amasis also dedicated offerings in Hellas, first at Kyrene an image of Athene covered over with gold and a figure of himself made like by painting; then in the temple of Athene at Lindos two images of stone and a corslet of linen worthy to be seen; and also at Samos two wooden figures of himself dedicated to Hera, which were standing even to my own time in the great temple, behind the doors. Now at Samos he dedicated offerings because of the guest-friendship between himself and Polykrates the son of Aiakes; at Lindos for no guest-friendship but because the temple of Athene at Lindos is said to have been founded by the daughters of Danaos, who had touched land there at the time when they were fleeing from the sons of Aigyptos. These offerings were dedicated by Amasis.

Herodotus, Histories 2,182, translated by Macaulay

Gutenberg Project

But when Cambyses prepared his forces in 526, Polykrates considered opposition futile and decided to join the Persians, offering them the use of his fleet.

Nabonidus of Babylon had concentrated his efforts on rebuilding temples and left the running of the State to his son, Bel-shar-usur (the biblical Belshazzar). The Persians under Cyrus took Babylon by a coup de main (539) thus gaining control of most of the Near East.

Cambyses prepared his forces, entered into an alliance with the Arabs and after the death of Ahmose crossed the Sinai desert and reached Pelusium

There he (Phanes, a Greek general who had deserted) found Cambyses prepared to set out against Egypt, but in doubt as to his march, how he should cross the waterless desert; so Phanes showed him what was Amasis' condition and how he should march; as to this, he advised Cambyses to send and ask the king of the Arabians for a safe passage.

Herodotus, Histories 3,4

The Arabian ... devised the following: Camel-skins were filled with water and loaded on his camels. They were driven into the waterless desert and waited for Cambyses' army.

Psammenitus, the son of Amasis, waited for the attack of Cambyses encamped by the Pelusian mouth of the Nile.

The fighting was fierce, and many men of both sides were killed; but at last the Egyptians were routed.

Herodotus, Histories 3,9ff

Psammetic III retreated to Memphis, Cambyses took it after a siege and captured the Pharaoh.

Psammenitus plotted evil and got his punishment. He was caught inciting the Egyptians to revolt, and when this became known to Cambyses, Psammenitus drank blood of a bull and died. Such was his end.

Herodotus, Histories 3,15

2. Herodotus on Apries

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/herodotus/apries.htm

Psammis1 reigned over Egypt for only six years; he invaded Ethiopia, and immediately thereafter died, and Apries2 the son of Psammis reigned in his place.

He was more blessed than any former king, except the first founder of his family, Psammetichus I, during his rule of twenty-five years, during which he sent an army against Sidon3 and engaged the Tyrian4 at sea. But when it was fated that evil should overtake him, that which is alleged as the cause of it was something that I will say a little, and more about it in the Libyan part of this history.

Apries sent a great expedition against Cyrene which suffered a great defeat. The Egyptians blamed him for this and rebelled against him; for they thought that Apries had knowingly sent his men to their doom, so that after their death his rule over the rest of the Egyptians would be strengthened. Bitterly angered by this, those who returned home and the friends of the slain rose against him.

Apries sent Amasis5 to dissuade them, when he heard of this. Amasis met the Egyptians and he exhorted them to desist; but as he spoke an Egyptian put a helmet on his head from behind, saying it was the token of royalty. This wasn't unwelcome to Amasis and for after being crownded king by the rebelling Egyptians he prepared to march against Apries. When Apries heard of it, he sent against Amasis Egyptian of good reputation named Patarbemis, one of his own court, with the order to bring Amasis live into his presence. When Patarbemis came and summoned Amasis, Amasis, sitting on horseback, raised his leg and farted, telling the messenger to take that back to Apries. But when in spite of this Patarbemis insisted that Amasis obey the king's summons and go to him, Amasis answered that he had for some time been getting ready to do just that, and Apries would not find fault with him, for he would come himself and bring others with him.

Hearing this, Patarbemis could not be mistaken about his intentions; he saw his preparations and departed in a hurry, desiring quickly to make known to the king what was being done. When Apries saw him return without bringing Amasis, he didn't listen to what was being said and in his rage and fury had Patarbemis' ears and nose cut off. The rest of the Egyptians, who were still on his side, seeing this outrage done to the man who was most prominent among them, joined the revolt without delay and offered themselves to Amasis.

Hearing of this, too, Apries armed his mercenaries and marched against the Egyptians; he had a bodyguard of Carians and Ionians, numbering thirty thousand, and his royal palace was in the city of Sais, a great and worthy palace. Apries and his men marched against the Egyptians, and so did Amasis and his against the foreign mercenaries. So they both came to Momemphis6 and were going to make trial of one another in fight.

So when Apries leading his foreign mercenaries, and Amasis at the head of the army of Egyptians, in their approach to one another had reached the city of Momemphis, they engaged in battle: and although the foreign mercenaries fought well, yet being much inferior in number they were defeated because of this. But Apries is said to have supposed that not even a god would be able to cause him to lose his rule, so firmly did he think that it was established. In that battle then, as I said, he was defeated, was taken alive and taken to the city of Sais, which had once been his own dwelling but from then on was to be the palace of Amasis.

Histories 2,161 ff

3. A prevented desertion

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/weapons/deserters.htm

Nesuhor, hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, beloved sole companion was governor of the Door of the Southern Countries, i.e. commander of the fortress of Elephantine under Wahibre (Apries, 587-569 BCE). He prides himself on having prevented foreign mercenaries from deserting to Nubia.

Let my name abide in your house, let my ka be remembered after my life, let my statue abide and my name endure upon it imperishable in your temple.

For ye rescued me from an evil plight, from the mercenaries, [Libyans], Greeks, Asiatics, and foreigners, who had it in their hearts to ...., and who had it in their hearts to go to Shas-heret.

His majesty feared because of the evil which they did. I re-established their heart in reason by advice, not permitting them to go to Nubia, but bringing them to the place where his majesty was; and his majesty executed their punishment.

Inscription of Nesuhor

James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt Part Four, ?? 993 f.

4. The Persian Satrapy

625 - 404 BCE

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/satrapy.htm

With the conquest of Egypt, the Persian kings became pharaohs, constituting the 27th and 31st dynasties. Cambyses appointed a satrap, Aryandes, who ruled Egypt, Kyrene and Barca from Memphis.

Economically the country formed an important part of the empire, being its breadbasket (as it was to be Rome's). It paid the highest tribute of all the Persian satrapies, 700 talents of silver. (Cilicians were taxed 500 talents as were the Lydians, Ionians and Carians 450, Phrygians 350 and Phoenicia, Cyprus and Palestine another 350.) Moreover it was responsible for the upkeep of the occupying army.

During the unrest prior to the accession of Darius I (522-486 BCE), Aryandes intervened militarily in Kyrene whose tyrant Arkesilas II had been killed and he launched an unsuccessful attack by sea and land against Barca

Aryandes sent a messenger to Barca to inquire who had killed Arkesilaus, before sending his army. The people of Barca said that all the city had agreed to it as Arkesilaus had committed many crimes. On hearing this Aryandes despatched Pheretime at the head of an army. But this was just an excuse. I think that the army was sent to conquer Libya.

Herodotus, Histories IV, 167

Darius I was not pleased with the outcome of this expensive expedition and having come to Egypt in 517, he condemned Aryandes to death for having struck coins, a royal Persian monopoly

Aryandes had been made governor of Egypt by Cambyses, later he was executed by Darius for making himself equal to the king. When he learned that Darius intended to leave a memorial surpassing anything other kings had left, Aryandes did likewise and was punished for it. The coins struck by Darius were of extremely pure gold and Aryandes, who was ruling Egypt, made silver coins, and no silver money was as pure as that of Aryandes. When Darius heard of this, he had Aryandes executed for rebellion, but not for striking coins.

Herodotus, Histories IV, 166

While Cambyses had enraged the priesthood by taking over large parts of the temples' wealth and income - Herodotus describes him as mad and sacrilegious - Darius was spoken of more favourably. He lightened the tax burden, returned some of the impounded possessions to the temples and helped to restore temples at Karnak, Fayum and Memphis. A temple of Amen in the oasis of el Kargeh was reconstructed. But as had happened under Egyptian pharaohs, the Persians favoured some temples - mainly those of Thebes and Memphis - over others, such as the temple of Neith at Sais. The nationwide cult of Isis also grew in importance.

Darius improved irrigation and finished the canal begun by Necho. The trade route through Wadi Hammamat from Koptos to Qoseir on the Red Sea became widely used as well. In his third year he ordered the compilation of Egyptian law, of which the Demotic Legal Code of Hermopolis was part, that took sixteen years to complete. His reign was a time of order and prosperity. Diodorus considered him to be one of the greatest legislators and administrators of Egypt.

Following the death of Darius in 486 a rebellion broke out in Egypt which was suppressed by Xerxes (483), who was not favourable towards Egyptians, treating the country as a conquered province and not employing any Egyptians in his administration but entrusting the government of the satrapy to his brother Achaemenes. The Egyptians had to supply 200 ships for the battle of Salamis. This Persian defeat and the following defeat at Plataia weakened the Persian hold over their territories.

Xerxes marched against the rebels in the year after the death of Darius. He subdued them and laid Egypt under a much harder slavery than in the time of Darius, and he handed it over to Achaemenes, his own brother and Darius' son. While ruling Egypt, Achaemenes was later killed by a Libyan, Inaros son of Psammetic.

Herodotus, Histories 7.7

Another revolt broke out after Xerxes was assassinated by the chief of his guard. Inaros, with Athenian support took control of part of the Delta around Sais, Amyrtaios of the northern marshes (460). After taking Cyprus from the Persians, the Athenians sent more than 200 ships and troops under Charitimides to Egypt. Achaemenes was killed at Papremis and the remaining Persians defended the citadel of Memphis vigorously. The Athenian fleet reached Memphis but couldn't conquer them. The satrap of Syria Megabysis arrived with a strong Phoenician fleet and an army. Charitimides fell and Inaros was wounded (456) and surrendered after fighting for a year and a half in the marshes, was taken to Susa and, after many delays, executed by Artaxerxes.

The new satrap Sarsamas pursued a policy of conciliation and handed the control of Sais to Thannyras, son of Inaros and set up Pausisris, son of Amyrtaios, as governor of Buto.

There are many instances showing that it is their [i.e. the Persians'] custom so to do [that is honouring kings' sons], and notably the giving back of his father's sovereign power to Thannyras son of Inaros, and also to Pausiris son of Amyrtaeus; yet none ever did the Persians more harm than Inaros and Amyrtaeus.

Herodotus, Histories 3.15

Darius II (424-404 BCE), who followed Artaxerxes II, embellished the temple of el Kargeh, and had a hymn to Amen engraved there. But the Persian kings of the late 5th century were weak and their continued hold over their empire mostly due to dissension among their main enemies, the Greeks.

5. The inscription of Udjahorresne

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/udjahorresne.htm

The one honored by Neith-the-Great, the mother of god and by the gods of Sais, the prince, count, royal seal-bearer, sole companion, true beloved King's friend, the scribe, inspector of council scribes, chief scribe of the great outer hall, administrator of the palace, commander of the royal navy under the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khenemibre, commander of the royal navy under the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ankhkare, Udjahorresne; engendered by the administrator of the castles (of the red crown), chief-of-Pe priest, rnp-priest, priest of the Horus Eye, prophet of Neith who presides over the nome of Sais, Pettuaneith; he says:

1 When the great King of all lands, Cambyses, came to Egypt, the people of all (foreign) lands were with him. He exercised sovereignty in the land in its entire extent; they settled down in it, he being the great King of Egypt, the mighty Sovereign of this country. His Majesty conferred upon me the dignity of Chief San, and granted that I should be by him as Smer and Provost of the temple.

He assumed the official title in his name of Mestu-Ra.

I made known to His Majesty the grandeur of Sais, as being the abode of Neith, the Great Mother, who gave birth to the Sun-god Ra, the First-born, when as yet no birth had been, together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the house of Neith, as being a Heaven in its whole plan; together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the (other) temples of Neith, and of all the gods and goddesses who dwell in them, also of the grandeur of the Hat-nat, as being the abode of the Sovereign and Lord of Heaven, together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the South Chapel, and of the North Chapel, of the house of Ra, and of the house of Tmu, as being the mysterious abodes of all the gods.

The one honored by his city-god and all the gods, the prince, count, royal seal-bearer, sole companion, true beloved King's friend, the chief physician, Udjahorresne, born of Atemirdis, he says:

2 I made supplication to the King Cambyses against the people who had taken up their abode in this temple of Neith, that they should be dislodged from it in order that the temple of Neith should be restored to all its splendours as formerly.

His Majesty ordered that all the people should be dislodged who had taken up their abode in the temple of Neith, that all the houses should be destroyed, and that all their belongings which were in the temple, they should themselves carry out of the precincts of this temple. His Majesty gave order that the temple of Neith should be purified, that all its own people should be restored to it ////// people, Hours of the temple. His Majesty gave order that the sacred revenue should be restored to Neith, the Great Mother, and the great gods of Sais, as formerly. His Majesty gave orders to (restore) all their panegyries, and all their possessions as formerly. His Majesty did this because I had instructed him as to the grandeur of Sais, as being the city of all the gods who dwell upon their thrones within it for evermore.

The one honored by the gods of Sais, the chief physician, Udjahorresne, he says:

3 When King Cambyses arrived at Sais, His Majesty came himself to the temple of Neith.

He made a great prostration before her majesty, as every king has done. He made presents to the almighty goddess of all good things, to Neith, the mighty one, the Divine Mother, and to the gods who are in Sais, as all pious kings have done. His Majesty did this because I had instructed him as to the grandeur of the goddess, as being the Mother of the Sun-god himself.

The one honored by Osiris-Hemag, the chief physician, Udjahorresne; he says:

4 His Majesty performed all the rites at the temple of Neith. He established the offering of a libation to the Lord of Eternity within the temple of Neith, as all Kings had done of old. His Majesty did this because I had instructed him as to all the rites at this temple performed by all the Kings on account of the grandeur of this temple, as being the dwelling of all the gods who abide for evermore.

The one honored by the gods of the Saite nome, the chief physician, Udhahorresne, he says:

5 I established the property of Neith, the mighty one, the Divine Mother, as His Majesty had ordered, for an everlasting duration, I provided the monuments of Neith, the Mistress of Sais, with all good things, as does every dutiful servant for his lord.

I was a good man before his face. I saved the population in the dire calamity which took place throughout the whole land, such a one as had never happened in this land. I shielded the weak against the strong, I protected him who honoured me, and was to him his best portion. I did all good things for them when the time came to do them.

The one honored by his city-god, the chief physician, Udja-horresne, he says:

6 I was pious towards my father and did the will of my mother; kind-hearted towards my brethren. I established for them what His Majesty had ordered, giving to them splendid lands for an everlasting duration, as His Majesty had pleased. I made a good sarcophagus for one who had no coffin. I made all their children to live, I made firm all their houses, I did for them all good things as a father does for his son when the calamity came to pass in this nome, yea when the dire calamity befell the entire land.

The prince, count, royal seal-bearer, sole companion, prophet of those by whom one lives, the chief physician, Udjahorresne, born of Atemirdis, he says:

7 His Majesty, the King Darius, everliving, gave orders that I should come to Egypt whilst His Majesty was in Arma -for he was Sovereign of all provinces and great King of Egypt- to re-establish the school of the Hierogrammatists and (restore) what had fallen in ruin.

And strangers conveyed me from province to province, bringing me in safety to Egypt according to the command of the Lord of the Two Lands. I did what His Majesty had commanded. I chose them from their (schools?) out of the children of the inhabitants to the great sorrow of the childless. I gave them to a skilful teacher who should instruct them in every kind of work. I provided all those who distinguished themselves with all that was necessary for the scribe's profession according to their progress. His Majesty did this in consequence of his knowing that this work was the best means of restoring what had fallen into ruin, of rendering firm the names of the gods, their temples, their revenues, and the celebration of their festivals for evermore.

The chief physician, Udjahorresne, he says:

8 I was devoted to all the masters that I had, and they bestowed upon me decorations of gold and gave me all glory.

9 O all ye gods who are in Sais! declare all the glorious things which the Chief San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, hath done; O grant to him all glory, establish for him a good name in this land for evermore.

10 O Osiris, Lord of Eternity! the Chief San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, puts his arms behind you to guard your image. Be there done to him all glorious things as he has done who protects your shrine for evermore.

11 A royal table of offerings grant Osiris Hemaka, abundance of bread, beer, beeves, geese, and all good and pure things to the image of the Chief San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, pious towards the gods of Sais.

12 A royal table of offerings grant Osiris abiding in Hat-nat, funeral offerings, bread, beer, beeves, geese, mummy bands, incense, and all good things to the image of the great San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, pious towards all the gods.

From:

The Pastophorus of the Vatican (XXVIth Dynasty)

translated by Peter Le Page Renouf

S. Birch, ed. Records of the Past, Series I, vol.X, 1878

and

Lichtheim, Miriam: Ancient Egyptian Literature Vol. 3, University of California Press, 1980, pp.36ff

6. The stela of Ankhenesneferibre

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/ankhenesneferibre.htm

1 Year 1, third month of the third season, day 29, under the majesty of Horus: Menekhib (mnx-ib); Favorite of the Two Goddesses: Mighty of Arm; Golden Horus: Beautifying the Two Lands; King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Neferibre; Son of Re: 2 Psamtik II, given life. On this day the king's-daughter, Enekhnesneferibre, arrived at Thebes.

Her mother, the Divine Consort, Nitocris, who liveth, came forth 3 to behold her beauty, and they went together to the House (pr) of Amon. Then was conducted the [divine (?)] [image (?)] from [the House of] [Amon], to /// /// 4 [///] in order to make her titulary as follows:
 
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"The Greatly Praised in [///], Flower in the Palace, [///] of the [///] of 5 Amon, High Priest of Amon, King's-Daughter Enchhnesneferibre. She shall be in the Presence of her Father, Amon-Re, Lord of Thebes, Presider over Karnak."

6 Year 7, first month of the first season, day 23, went forth this Good God, Lord of the Two Lands, Psamtik (II) to heaven. He joined the sun, the divine limbs mingling with him who made him {jr-sw).

Then was crowned 7 his son, in his place, (even) Horus; Wahib; Favorite of the Two Goddesses: Lord of Might; Golden Horus: Making Verdant the Two Lands; King of Upper and Lower Egypt; Apries (Haa-jb-ra); Son of Re: Wahibre (wAH-jb-ra) who liveth.

Year 4, fourth month of the third season, 8 day 4, of this king; went forth the Divine Votress {dwA.t-nTr), Nitocris, triumphant, to heaven. She joined the sun, the divine limbs mingling with him who made her. Her daughter, the High Priest, Enekhnesneferibre, 9 did for her all that is done for every excellent king.

Now, when twelve days had elapsed after these events, (in) the fourth month of the third season, day 15, went the king's-daughter, 10 the High Priest, Enekhnesneferibre, to the House of Amon-Re, king of gods; while the prophets, the divine fathers, the priests (wab), ritual priests and lay priests of the temple of Amon 11 were behind her, and the great companions were in front thereof. There were performed for her all the customary ceremonies of the induction of the Divine Votress (dwA.t-nTr) of Amon into the temple, by the divine scribe 12 and nine priests (wab) of this house (pr). She fastened on all the amulets and ornaments of the Divine Consort (Hm.t-nTr), and the Divine Votrcss {dwA.t-nTr) of Amon, crowned with the two plumes, the diadem of 13 her forehead, to be queen (Hn.t) of every circuit of the sun.

Her titulary was made as follows:

"Hereditary Princess, Great in Amiability, Great in Favor, Mistress of Loveliness, Sweet in Love, Queen (Hn.t} of all Women, Divine Consort, 14 Divine Votress, Heknefrumut (HqA.t nfr.w mw.t), Divine Hand, Enekhnesneferibre, who liveth, King's-Daughter of the Lord of the Two Lands, Psamtik (II)."

There were done for her all the customary rites and all the ceremonies as 15 was done for Tafnut in the beginning. The prophets, the divine fathers, and the lay priests of the temple came to her at all times when she went to the House of Amon, at his every festal procession.

J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Four, ? 988

7. Herodotus on Cambyses

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/herodotus/cambyses.htm

3.7.1] Now as soon as the Persians took possession of Egypt, they became the caretakers of the entryway into it, having it provisioned with water in the way I have described. [3.7.2] But at this time there was as yet no ready supply of water; and so Cambyses, hearing what was said by the stranger from Halicarnassus, sent messengers to the Arabian and asked and obtained safe conduct, giving to him and receiving from him pledges.

3.8.1] There are no men who respect pledges more than the Arabians. This is how they give them: a man stands between the two pledging parties, and with a sharp stone cuts the palms of their hands, near the thumb; then he takes a piece of wood from the cloak of each and smears with their blood seven stones that lie between them, meanwhile calling on Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; [3.8.2] after this is done, the one who has given his pledge commends the stranger (or his countryman if the other be one) to his friends, and his friends hold themselves bound to honor the pledge. [3.8.3] They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, Orotalt; and Aphrodite, Alilat.

3.9.1] When, then, the Arabian had made the pledge to the messengers who had come from Cambyses, he devised the following expedient: he filled camel-skins with water and loaded all his camels with these; then he drove them into the waterless land and there awaited Cambyses' army. [3.9.2] This is the most credible of the stories told; but I must relate the less credible tale also, since they tell it. There is a great river in Arabia called Corys, emptying into the sea called Red. [3.9.3] From this river (it is said) the king of the Arabians brought water by an aqueduct made of sewn oxhides and other hides and extensive enough to reach to the dry country; and he had great tanks dug in that country to try to receive and keep the water. [3.9.4] It is a twelve days' journey from the river to that desert. By three aqueducts (they say) he brought the water to three different places.

3.10.1] Psammenitus, son of Amasis, was encamped by the mouth of the Nile called Pelusian, awaiting Cambyses. [3.10.2] For when Cambyses marched against Egypt, he found Amasis no longer alive; he had died after reigning forty-four years, during which he had suffered no great misfortune; and being dead he was embalmed and laid in the burial-place built for him in the temple. [3.10.3] While his son Psammenitus was king of Egypt, the people saw an extraordinary thing, namely, rain at Thebes of Egypt, where, as the Thebans themselves say, there had never been rain before, nor since to my lifetime; for indeed there is no rain at all in the upper parts of Egypt; but at that time a drizzle of rain fell at Thebes.1

3.11.1] When the Persians had crossed the waterless country and encamped near the Egyptians intending to engage them, the Egyptian mercenaries, Greeks and Carians, devised a plan to punish Phanes, angered at him for leading a foreign army into Egypt. [3.11.2] Phanes had left sons in Egypt; these they brought to the camp, into their father's sight, and set a great bowl between the two armies; then they brought the sons one by one and cut their throats over the bowl. [3.11.3] When all the sons had been slaughtered, they poured wine and water into the bowl, and the mercenaries drank this and then gave battle. The fighting was fierce, and many of both armies fell; but at last the Egyptians were routed.

3.12.1] I saw a strange thing on the site of the battle, of which the people of the country had told me. The bones of those killed on either side in this fight lying scattered separately (for the Persian bones lay in one place and the Egyptian in another, where the armies had first separately stood), the skulls of the Persians are so brittle that if you throw no more than a pebble it will pierce them, but the Egyptian skulls are so strong that a blow of a stone will hardly crack them. [3.12.2] And this, the people said (which for my own part I readily believed), is the explanation of it: the Egyptians shave their heads from childhood, and the bone thickens by exposure to the sun. [3.12.3] This also is the reason why they do not grow bald; for nowhere can one see so few bald heads as in Egypt. [3.12.4] Their skulls then are strong for this reason; while the Persian skulls are weak because they cover their heads throughout their lives with the felt hats (called tiaras) which they wear. Such is the truth of the matter. I saw too the skulls of those Persians at Papremis who were killed with Darius' son Achaemenes by Inaros the Libyan, and they were like the others.

3.13.1] After their rout in the battle the Egyptians fled in disorder; and when they had been overtaken in Memphis, Cambyses sent a Persian herald up the river aboard a Mytilenean boat to invite the Egyptians to an accord. [3.13.2] But when they saw the boat coming to Memphis, they sallied out all together from their walls, destroyed the boat, dismembered the crew (like butchers) and carried them within the walls. [3.13.3] So the Egyptians were besieged, and after a long while surrendered; but the neighboring Libyans, frightened by what had happened in Egypt, surrendered without a fight, laying tribute on themselves and sending gifts; and so too did the people of Cyrene and Barca, frightened like the Libyans. [3.13.4] Cambyses received in all kindness the gifts of the Libyans; but he seized what came from Cyrene and, displeased, I think, because it was so little--for the Cyrenaeans had sent five hundred silver minae--cast it with his own hands among his army.

3.14.1] On the tenth day after the surrender of the walled city of Memphis, Cambyses took Psammenitus king of Egypt, who had reigned for six months, and confined him in the outer part of the city with other Egyptians, to insult him; having confined him there, he tried Psammenitus' spirit, as I shall show. [3.14.2] He dressed the daughter of the king as a slave and sent her out with a pitcher to fetch water, together with other girls from the families of the leading men, dressed like the daughter of the king. [3.14.3] So when the girls went out before their fathers' eyes crying and lamenting, all the rest answered with cries and weeping, seeing their children abused; but Psammenitus, having seen with his own eyes and learned all, bowed himself to the ground. [3.14.4] After the water-carriers had passed by, Cambyses next made Psammenitus' son go out before him with two thousand Egyptians of the same age, all with ropes bound round their necks and bridle-bits in their mouths; [3.14.5] they were led out to be punished for those Mytileneans who had perished with their boat at Memphis; for such was the judgment of the royal judges, that every man's death be paid for by the deaths of ten noble Egyptians. [3.14.6] When Psammenitus saw them passing and perceived that his son was being led out to die, and all the Egyptians who sat with him wept and showed their affliction, he did as he had done at the sight of his daughter. [3.14.7] After these too had gone out, it happened that there was one of his companions, a man past his prime, who had lost all his possessions, and had only what a poor man might have, and begged of the army; this man now went out before Psammenitus son of Amasis and the Egyptians confined in the outer part of the city.

When Psammenitus saw him, he broke into loud weeping, striking his head and calling on his companion by name. [3.14.8] Now there were men set to watch Psammenitus, who told Cambyses all that he did as each went forth. Wondering at what the king did, Cambyses made this inquiry of him by a messenger: [3.14.9] "Psammenitus, Lord Cambyses wants to know why, seeing your daughter abused and your son going to his death, you did not cry out or weep, yet you showed such feeling for the beggar, who (as Cambyses learns from others) is not one of your kindred?" So the messenger inquired. Psammenitus answered: [3.14.10] "Son of Cyrus, my private grief was too great for weeping; but the unhappiness of my companion deserves tears--a man fallen from abundance and prosperity to beggary come to the threshold of old age." When the messenger reported this, Cambyses and his court, it is said, thought the answer good. [3.14.11] And, the Egyptians say, Croesus wept (for it happened that he too had come with Cambyses to Egypt) and the Persians that were there wept; Cambyses himself felt some pity, and he ordered that Psammenitus' son be spared from those that were to be executed, and that Psammenitus himself be brought in from the outer part of the city and brought before him.

3.15.1] Those that went for him found that the son was no longer alive, but had been the first to be slaughtered; but they brought Psammenitus up and led him to Cambyses; and there he lived, and no violence was done him for the rest of his life. [3.15.2] And if he had known how to mind his own business, he would have regained Egypt to govern; for the Persians are inclined to honor kings' sons; even though kings revolt from them, they give back to their sons the sovereign power. [3.15.3] There are many instances showing that it is their custom so to do, and notably the giving back of his father's sovereign power to Thannyras son of Inaros, and also to Pausiris son of Amyrtaeus; yet none ever did the Persians more harm than Inaros and Amyrtaeus.1 [3.15.4] But as it was, Psammenitus plotted evil and got his reward; for he was caught raising a revolt among the Egyptians; and when Cambyses heard of it, Psammenitus drank bull's blood and died. Such was his end.

3.16.1] From Memphis Cambyses went to the city Sais, anxious to do exactly what he did do. Entering the house of Amasis, he had the body of Amasis carried outside from its place of burial; and when this had been done, he gave orders to scourge it and pull out the hair and pierce it with goads, and to desecrate it in every way. [3.16.2] When they were weary of doing this (for the body, being embalmed, remained whole and did not fall to pieces), Cambyses gave orders to burn it, a sacrilegious command; for the Persians hold fire to be a god; [3.16.3] therefore neither nation thinks it right to burn the dead, the Persians for the reason given, as they say it is wrong to give the dead body of a man to a god; while the Egyptians believe fire to be a living beast that devours all that it catches, and when sated with its meal dies together with that on which it feeds. [3.16.4] Now it is by no means their custom to give the dead to beasts; and this is why they embalm the corpse, that it may not lie and feed worms. Thus what Cambyses commanded was contrary to the custom of both peoples. [3.16.5] The Egyptians say, however, that it was not Amasis to whom this was done, but another Egyptian of the same age as Amasis, whom the Persians abused thinking that they were abusing Amasis. [3.16.6] For their story is that Amasis learned from an oracle what was to be done to him after his death, and so to escape this fate buried this dead man, the one that was scourged, near the door inside his own vault, and ordered his son that he himself should be laid in the farthest corner of the vault. [3.16.7] I think that these commands of Amasis, regarding the burial-place and the man, were never given at all, and that the Egyptians believe in them in vain.

3.17.1] After this Cambyses planned three expeditions, against the Carchedonians (Carthaginians), against the Ammonians, and against the "long-lived" Ethiopians, who inhabit that part of Libya that is on the southern sea. [3.17.2] He decided after consideration to send his fleet against the Carthaginians and a part of his land army against the Ammonians; to Ethiopia he would first send spies, to see what truth there was in the story of a Table of the Sun in that country, and to spy out all else besides, under the pretext of bringing gifts for the Ethiopian king.

3.19.1] When Cambyses determined to send the spies, he sent for those Fish-eaters from the city of Elephantine who understood the Ethiopian language. [3.19.2] While they were fetching them, he ordered his fleet to sail against Carthage. But the Phoenicians said they would not do it; for they were bound, they said, by strong oaths, and if they sailed against their own progeny they would be doing an impious thing; and the Phoenicians being unwilling, the rest were inadequate fighters. [3.19.3] Thus the Carthaginians escaped being enslaved by the Persians; for Cambyses would not use force with the Phoenicians, seeing that they had willingly surrendered to the Persians, and the whole fleet drew its strength from them. The Cyprians too had come of their own accord to aid the Persians against Egypt.

3.20.1] When the Fish-eaters arrived from Elephantine at Cambyses' summons, he sent them to Ethiopia, with orders what to say, and bearing as gifts a red cloak and a twisted gold necklace and bracelets and an alabaster box of incense and an earthenware jar of palm wine. These Ethiopians, to whom Cambyses sent them, are said to be the tallest and most handsome of all men. [3.20.2] Their way of choosing kings is different from that of all others, as (it is said) are all their laws; they consider that man worthy to be their king whom they judge to be tallest and to have strength proportional to his stature.

3.21.1] When the Fish-eaters arrived among these men, they gave the gifts to their king and said: "Cambyses, the king of the Persians, wishing to become your friend and ally, sent us with orders to address ourselves to you; and he offers you as gifts these things which he enjoys using himself." [3.21.2] But the Ethiopian, perceiving that they had come as spies, spoke thus to them: "It is not because he values my friendship that the Persian King sends you with gifts, nor do you speak the truth (for you have come to spy on my realm), nor is that man just; for were he just, he would not have coveted a land other than his own, nor would he try to lead into slavery men by whom he has not been injured. Now, give him this bow, and this message: [3.21.3] 'The King of the Ethiopians advises the King of the Persians to bring overwhelming odds to attack the long-lived Ethiopians when the Persians can draw a bow of this length as easily as I do; but until then, to thank the gods who do not incite the sons of the Ethiopians to add other land to their own.'"

3.22.1] So speaking he unstrung the bow and gave it to the men who had come. Then, taking the red cloak, he asked what it was and how it was made; and when the Fish-eaters told him the truth about the color and the process of dyeing, he said that both the men and their garments were full of deceit. [3.22.2] Next he inquired about the twisted gold necklace and the bracelets; and when the Fish-eaters told him how they were made, the king smiled, and, thinking them to be fetters, said: "We have stronger chains than these." [3.22.3] Thirdly he inquired about the incense; and when they described making and applying it, he made the same reply as about the cloak. But when he came to the wine and asked about its making, he was vastly pleased with the drink, and asked further what food their king ate, and what was the greatest age to which a Persian lived. [3.22.4] They told him their king ate bread, showing him how wheat grew; and said that the full age to which a man might hope to live was eighty years. Then, said the Ethiopian, it was no wonder that they lived so few years, if they ate dung;1 they would not even have been able to live that many unless they were refreshed by the drink--signifying to the Fish-eaters the wine--for in this, he said, the Persians excelled the Ethiopians.

3.25.1] Having seen everything, the spies departed again. When they reported all this, Cambyses was angry, and marched at once against the Ethiopians, neither giving directions for any provision of food nor considering that he was about to lead his army to the ends of the earth; [3.25.2] being not in his right mind but mad, however, he marched at once on hearing from the Fish-eaters, ordering the Greeks who were with him to await him where they were, and taking with him all his land army. [3.25.3] When he came in his march to Thebes, he detached about fifty thousand men from his army, and directed them to enslave the Ammonians and burn the oracle of Zeus; and he himself went on towards Ethiopia with the rest of his host. [3.25.4] But before his army had accomplished the fifth part of their journey they had come to an end of all there was in the way of provision, and after the food was gone, they ate the beasts of burden until there was none of these left either. [3.25.5] Now had Cambyses, when he perceived this, changed his mind and led his army back again, he would have been a wise man at last after his first fault; but as it was, he went ever forward, taking account of nothing. [3.25.6] While his soldiers could get anything from the earth, they kept themselves alive by eating grass; but when they came to the sandy desert, some did a terrible thing, taking by lot one man out of ten and eating him. [3.25.7] Hearing this, Cambyses feared their becoming cannibals, and so gave up his expedition against the Ethiopians and marched back to Thebes, with the loss of many of his army; from Thebes he came down to Memphis, and sent the Greeks to sail away.

3.26.1] So fared the expedition against Ethiopia. As for those who were sent to march against the Ammonians, they set out and journeyed from Thebes with guides; and it is known that they came to the city of Oasis, inhabited by Samians said to be of the Aeschrionian tribe, seven days' march from Thebes across sandy desert; this place is called, in the Greek language, Islands of the Blest. [3.26.2] Thus far, it is said, the army came; after that, except for the Ammonians themselves and those who heard from them, no man can say anything of them; for they neither reached the Ammonians nor returned back. [3.26.3] But this is what the Ammonians themselves say: when the Persians were crossing the sand from Oasis (probably the oasis of Kargeh) to attack them, and were about midway between their country and Oasis, while they were breakfasting a great and violent south wind arose, which buried them in the masses of sand which it bore; and so they disappeared from sight. Such is the Ammonian tale about this army.

3.27.1] When Cambyses was back at Memphis, there appeared in Egypt that Apis whom the Greeks call Epaphus; at whose epiphany the Egyptians put on their best clothing and held a festival. [3.27.2] Seeing the Egyptians so doing, Cambyses was fully persuaded that these signs of joy were for his misfortunes, and summoned the rulers of Memphis; when they came before him, he asked them why the Egyptians behaved so at the moment he returned with so many of his army lost, though they had done nothing like it when he was before at Memphis. [3.27.3] The rulers told him that a god, wont to appear after long intervals of time, had now appeared to them; and that all Egypt rejoiced and made holiday whenever he so appeared. At this Cambyses said that they lied, and he punished them with death for their lie.

3.28.1] Having put them to death, he next summoned the priests before him. When they gave him the same account, he said that if a tame god had come to the Egyptians he would know it; and with no more words he bade the priests bring Apis. So they went to fetch and bring him. [3.28.2] This Apis, or Epaphus, is a calf born of a cow that can never conceive again. By what the Egyptians say, the cow is made pregnant by a light from heaven, and thereafter gives birth to Apis. [3.28.3] The marks of this calf called Apis are these: he is black, and has on his forehead a three-cornered white spot, and the likeness of an eagle on his back; the hairs of the tail are double, and there is a knot under the tongue.

3.29.1] When the priests led Apis in, Cambyses--for he was all but mad--drew his dagger and, meaning to stab the calf in the belly, stuck the thigh; then laughing he said to the priests: [3.29.2] "Simpletons, are these your gods, creatures of flesh and blood that can feel weapons of iron? That is a god worthy of the Egyptians. But for you, you shall suffer for making me your laughing-stock." So saying he bade those, whose business it was, to scourge the priests well, and to kill any other Egyptian whom they found holiday-making. [3.29.3] So the Egyptian festival ended, and the priests were punished, and Apis lay in the temple and died of the wound in the thigh. When he was dead of the wound, the priests buried him without Cambyses' knowledge.

3.30.1] But Cambyses, the Egyptians say, owing to this wrongful act immediately went mad, although even before he had not been sensible. His first evil act was to destroy his full brother Smerdis, whom he had sent away from Egypt to Persia out of jealousy, because Smerdis alone could draw the bow brought from the Ethiopian by the Fish-eaters as far as two fingerbreadths, but no other Persian could draw it. [3.30.2] Smerdis having gone to Persia, Cambyses saw in a dream a vision, in which it seemed to him that a messenger came from Persia and told him that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head. [3.30.3] Fearing therefore for himself, lest his brother might slay him and so be king, he sent Prexaspes, the most trusted of his Persians, to Persia to kill him. Prexaspes went up to Susa and killed Smerdis; some say that he took Smerdis out hunting, others that he brought him to the Red Sea (the Persian Gulf) and there drowned him.

3.31.1] This, they say, was the first of Cambyses' evil acts; next, he destroyed his full sister, who had come with him to Egypt, and whom he had taken to wife. [3.31.2] He married her in this way (for before this, it had by no means been customary for Persians to marry their sisters): Cambyses was infatuated with one of his sisters and when he wanted to marry her, because his intention was contrary to usage, he summoned the royal judges (a standing body of seven) and inquired whether there were any law enjoining one, that so desired, to marry his sister. [3.31.3] These royal judges are men chosen out from the Persians to function until they die or are detected in some injustice; it is they who decide suits in Persia and interpret the laws of the land; all matters are referred to them. [3.31.4] These then replied to Cambyses with an answer which was both just and prudent, namely, that they could find no law enjoining a brother to marry his sister; but that they had found a law permitting the King of Persia to do whatever he liked. [3.31.5] Thus, although they feared Cambyses they did not break the law, and, to save themselves from death for keeping it, they found another law abetting one who wished to marry sisters. [3.31.6] So Cambyses married the object of his desire; yet not long afterwards he took another sister as well. It was the younger of these who had come with him to Egypt, and whom he now killed.

3.32.1] There are two tales of her death, as there are of the death of Smerdis. The Greeks say that Cambyses had set a lion cub to fight a puppy, and that this woman was watching too; and that as the puppy was losing, its brother broke its leash and came to help, and the two dogs together got the better of the cub. [3.32.2] Cambyses, they say, was pleased with the sight, but the woman wept as she sat by. Cambyses perceiving it asked why she wept, and she said that when she saw the puppy help its brother she had wept, recalling Smerdis and knowing that there would be no avenger for him. [3.32.3] For saying this, according to the Greek story, she was killed by Cambyses. But the Egyptian tale is that as the two sat at table the woman took a lettuce and plucked off the leaves, then asked her husband whether he preferred the look of it with or without leaves. "With the leaves," he said; whereupon she answered: [3.32.4] "Yet you have stripped Cyrus' house as bare as this lettuce." Angered at this, they say, he sprang upon her, who was great with child, and she miscarried and died of the hurt he gave her.

3.33.1] Such were Cambyses' mad acts to his own household, whether they were done because of Apis or grew from some of the many troubles that are wont to beset men; for indeed he is said to have been afflicted from his birth with that grievous disease which some call "sacred." (Epilepsy) It is not unlikely then that when his body was grievously afflicted his mind too should be diseased.

8. Cambyses II, the Persian Ruler of Egypt

(27th Dynasty) And His Lost Army

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/cambyses2.htm

In 525 BC the Persian emperor Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great, who had already named his son as king of Babylon though Cambyses II resigned that position after only one year, invaded Egypt and successfully overthrew the native Egyptian pharaoh, Psamtek III, last ruler of Egypt's 26th Dynasty to become the first ruler of Egypt's 27th Persian Dynasty. His father had earlier attempted an invasion of Egypt against Psamtek III's predecessor, Amasis, but Cyrus' death in 529 BC put a halt to that expedition.

After capturing Egypt, Cambyses took the Throne name Mesut-i-re (Mesuti-Ra), meaning "Offspring of Re". Though the Persians would rule Egypt for the next 193 years until Alexander the Great defeated Darius III and conquered Egypt in 332 BC, Cambyses II's victory would bring to an end (for the most part) Egyptians truly ruling Egyptians until the mid 20th century, when Egypt finally shrugged off colonial rule.

We know very little about Cambyses II through contemporary texts, but his reputation as a mad tyrannical despot has come down to us in the writings of the Greek historian Herodotus (440 BC) and a Jewish document from 407 BC known as 'The Demotic Chronicle' which speaks of the Persian king destroying all the temples of the Egyptian gods. However, it must be repeatedly noted that the Greeks shared no love for the Persians. Herodotus informs us that Cambyses II was a monster of cruelty and impiety.

Herodotus gives us three tales as to why the Persians invaded Egypt. In one, Cambyses II had requested an Egyptian princess for a wife, or actually a concubine, and was angered when he found that he had been sent a lady of second rate standing. In another, it turns out that he was the bastard son of Nitetis, daughter of the Saite (from Sais) king Apries, and therefore half Egyptian anyway, whereas the third story provides that Cambyses II, at the age of ten, made a promise to his mother (who is now Cassandane) that he would "turn Egypt upside down" to avenge a slight paid to her. However, Ctesias of Cnidus states that his mother was Amytis, the daughter of the last king of independent Media so we are really unsure of that side of his parentage. While even Herodotus doubts all of these stories, and given the fact that his father had already planned one invasion of Egypt, the stories do in fact reflect the later Greek bias towards his Persian dynasty.

Regardless of Cambyses II's reason for his invasion of Egypt, Herodotus notes how the Persians easily entered Egypt across the desert. They were advised by the defecting mercenary general, Phanes of Halicarnassus, to employ the Bedouins as guides. However, Phanes had left his two sons in Egypt. We are told that for his treachery, as the armies of the Persians and the mercenary army of the Egyptians met, his sons were bought out in front of the Egyptian army where they could be seen by their father, and there throats were slit over a large bowl. Afterwards, Herodotus tells us that water and wine were added to the contents of the bowl and drunk by every man in the Egyptian force.

This did not stop the ensuing battle at Pelusium, Greek pelos, which was the gateway to Egypt. Its location on Egypt's eastern boundary, meant that it was an important trading post was well and also of immense strategic importance. It was the starting point for Egyptian expeditions to Asia and an entry point for foreign invaders.

Here, the Egyptian forces were routed in the battle and fled back to Memphis. Apparently Psamtek III managed to escape the ensuing besiege of the Egyptian capital, only to be captured a short time afterwards and was carried off to Susa in chains. Herodotus goes on to tell us of all the outrages that Cambyses II then inflicted on the Egyptians, not only including the stabbing of a sacred Apis bull and his subsequent burial at the Serapeum in Saqqara, but also the desecration and deliberate burning of the embalmed body of Amasis (a story that has been partly evidenced by destruction of some of Amasis' inscriptions) and the banishment of other Egyptian opponents.

The story of Cambyses II's fit of jealousy towards the Apis bull, whether true or simply Greek propaganda, was intended to reflect his personal failures as a monarch and military leader. In the three short years of his rule over Egypt he personally led a disastrous campaign up the River Nile into Ethiopia. There, we are told, his ill-prepared mercenary army was so meagerly supplied with food that they were forced to eat the flesh of their own colleagues as their supplies ran out in the Nubian desert. The Persian army returned northwards in abject humiliation having failed even to encounter their enemy in battle.

Then, of course, there is also the mystery of his lost army, some fifty thousand strong, that vanished in the Western Desert on their way to the Siwa Oasis along with all their weapons and other equipment, never to be heard of again. Cambyses II had also planned a military campaign against Carthage, but this too was aborted because, on this occasion, the king's Phoenician sea captains refused to attack their kinfolk who had founded the Carthagian colony towards the end of the 8th century BC. In fact, the conquest of Egypt was Cambyses' only spectacular military success in his seven years of troubled rule over the Persian empire.

However, we are told that when the Persians at home received news of Cambyses' several military disasters, some of the most influential nobles revolted, swearing allegiance to the king's younger brother Bardiya. With their support, the pretender to the great throne of Cyrus seized power in July 522 BC as Cambyses II was returning home.

The story is told that, on hearing of this revolt, and in haste to mount his horse to swiftly finish the journey home, Cambyses II managed to stab himself in the thigh with his own dagger. At that moment, he began to recall an Egyptian prophecy told to him by the priests of Buto in which it was predicted that the king would die in Ecbatana. Cambyses II had thought that the Persian summer capital of Ecbatana had been meant and that he would therefore die in old age. But now he realized that the prophecy had been fulfilled in a very different way here in Syrian Ecbatana.

Still enveloped in his dark and disturbed mood, Cambyses II decided that his fate had been sealed and simply lay down to await his end. The wound soon became gangrenous and the king died in early August of 522 BC. However, it should be noted that other references tell us that Cambyses II had his brother murdered even prior to his expedition to Egypt, but apparently if it was not Bardiya (though there is speculation that Cambyses II's servants perhaps did not kill his brother as ordered), there seems to have definitely been an usurper to the throne, perhaps claiming to be his brother, who we are told was killed secretly.

The Real Cambyses II

Modern Egyptologists believe that many of these accounts are rather biased, and that Cambyses II's rule was perhaps not nearly so traumatic as Herodotus, who wrote his history only about 75 years after Cambyses II's demise, would have us believe. In reality, the Saite dynasty had all but completely collapsed, and it is likely that with Psamtek III's (Psammetichus III) capture by the Persians, Cambyses II simply took charge of the country. The Egyptians were particularly isolated at this time in their history, having seen there Greek allies defect, including not only Phanes, but Polycrates of Samos. In addition, many of Egypt's minorities, such as the Jewish community at Elephantine and even certain elements within the Egyptian aristocracy, seem to have even welcomed Cambyses II's rule.

Right: A depiction of Cambyses II worshipping the Apris Bull

The Egyptian evidence that we do have depicts a ruler anxious to avoid offending Egyptian susceptibilities who at least presented himself as an Egyptian king in all respects. It is even possible that the pillaging of Egyptian towns told to us by Greek sources never occurred at all. In an inscription on the statue of Udjadhorresnet, a Saite priest and doctor, as well as a former naval officer, we learn that Cambyses II was prepared to work with and promote native Egyptians to assist in government, and that he showed at least some respect for Egyptian religion. For example, regardless of the death of the Apris Bull, it should be noted that the animal's burial was held with proper pomp, ceremony and respect. Udjahorresnet also tells us that:

"I let His Majesty know the greatness of Sais, that it is the seat of Neith-the-Great, mother who bore Re and inaugurated birth when birth had not yet been...I made a petition to the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Cambyses, about all the foreigners who dwelled in the temple of Neith, in order to have them expelled from it., so as to let the temple of Neith be in all its splendor, as it had been before. His Majesty commanded to expel all the foreigners who dwelled in the temple of Neith, to demolish all their houses and all their unclean things that were in the temple.

When they had carried all their personal belongings outside the wall of the temple, His Majesty commanded to cleanse the temple of Neith and to return all its personnel to it...and the hour-priests of the temple. His Majesty commanded to give divine offerings to Neith-the-Great, the mother of god, and to the great gods of Sais, as it had been before. His Majesty knew the greatness of Sais, that it is a city of all the gods, who dwell there on their seats forever."

Indeed, Cambyses II continued Egyptian policy regarding sanctuaries and national cults, confirmed by his building work in the Wadi Hammamat and at a few other Egyptian temples.

Left: The statue recording the autobiography of Udjadhorresnet

Udjadhorresnet goes on to say in his autobiography written on a naophorous statue now in the Vatican collection at Rome, that he introduced Cambyses II to Egyptian culture so that he might take on the appearance of a traditional Egyptian Pharaoh.

However, even though Cambyses II had his name written in a kingly Egyptian cartouche, he did remained very Persian, and was buried at Takht-i-Rustam near Persepolis (Iran). It has been suggested that Cambyses II may have originally followed a traditional Persian policy of reconciliation in the footsteps of their conquests. In deed, it may be that Cambyses II's rule began well enough, but with the his defeats and losses, his mood may very well have turned darker with time, along with his actions.

We do know that there was a short lived revolt which broke out in Egypt after Cambyses II died in 522 BC, but the independence was lost almost immediately to his successor, a distant relative and an officer in Cambyses II's army, named Darius. The dynasty of Persian rulers who then ruled Egypt did so as absentee landlords from afar.

The Lost Army of Cambyses II

Within recent years all manner of artifacts and monuments have been discovered in Egypt's Western Desert. Here and there, new discoveries of temples and tombs turn up, even in relatively inhabited areas where more modern structures are often difficult to distinguish from ancient ruins. It is a place where the shifting sands can uncover whole new archaeological worlds, and so vast that no more than very small regions are ever investigated systematically by Egyptologists. In fact, most discoveries if not almost all are made by accident, so Egypt antiquity officials must remain ever alert to those who bring them an inscribed stone unearthed beneath a house, or a textile fragment found in the sand.

Lately, there has been considerable petroleum excavation in the Western Desert. Anyone traveling the main route between the near oasis will see this activity, but the exploration for oil stretched much deeper into the Western Desert. It is not surprising that they have come upon a few archaeological finds, and it is not unlikely that they will come across others. Very recently, when a geological team from the Helwan University geologists found themselves walking through dunes littered with fragments of textiles, daggers, arrow-heads, and the bleached bones of the men to whom all these trappings belonged, they reported the discovery to the antiquity service.

Mohammed al-Saghir of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) now believes that this accidental find may very well be at least remnants of the mysterious Lost Army of Cambyses II, and he is now organizing a mission to investigate the site more thoroughly. If he is successful and the discovery is that of Cambyses II's 50,000 strong lost army, than it will not only answer some ancient mysteries, but will probably also provide us with a rich source of information on the Persian military of that time, and maybe even expand our knowledge of Cambyses II himself. The Persian armed forces consisted of many elements, including companies of foreign mercenaries such as Greeks, Phoenicians, Carians, Cilicians, Medes and Syrians. Hence, if this is not another false lead, we may expect excellent preservation of helmets, leather corselets, cloth garments, spears, bows, swords and daggers ? a veritable treasure trove of military memorabilia. The rations and support equipment will all be there, ready for detailed analysis.

However, it should be noted that some Egyptologists question the very existence of such an army, rather believing that the whole affair was simply a fable told by a very prejudiced Greek.

Yet if true, Cambyses II probably sent his army to Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert to seek (or seize) legitimization of his rule from the oracle of Amun, much as Alexander the Great would do in the 4th century BC. However, the army was overtaken by a sandstorm and buried. For centuries adventurers and archaeologists have tried to find the lost army, and at times, tantalizing, though usually false glues have been discovered.

Legitimizing his rule does not fully explain the need for taking such a large army to the Siwa Oasis. Accounts and other resources provide that the priests of the oracle were perhaps posing a danger to Cambyses II's rule, probably encouraging revolt among the native Egyptians. Perhaps the priests felt slighted that Cambyses II had not immediately sought their approval as Alexander the Great would do almost upon his arrival in Egypt. Therefore, it is likely that Cambyses II intended to forces their legitimization of his rule. In fact, some sources believe that his intent was to simply destroy the Oasis completely for their treachery, while it is also know that the army was to continue on after Siwa in order to attack the Libyans.

Yet the Siwa Oasis, the western most of Egypt's Oasis, is much deeper into the desert than others, such as Bahariya, and apparently, like many of Cambyses II's military operations, this one too was ill conceived. Why he so easily entered Egypt with the help of the Bedouins, and than sent such a large force into the desert only to be lost is a mystery.

We know that the army was dispatched from the holy city of Thebes, supported by a great train of pack animals. After a seven day march, it reached the Kharga Oasis and moved on to the last of the near Oasis, the Bahariya, before turning towards the 325 kilometers of desert that separated it from the Siwa Oasis. It would have been a 30 day march through burning heat with no additional sources of water or shade.

According to Herodotus (as later reported to him by the inhabitants of Siwa), after many days of struggle through the soft sand, the troops were resting one morning when calamity struck without warning. "As they were at their breakfast, a wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which buried the troops and caused them utterly to disappear." Overwhelmed by the powerful sandstorm, men and animals alike were asphyxiated as they huddled together, gradually being enveloped in a sea of drift-sand.

It was after learning of the loss of his army that, having witnessed the reverence with which the Egyptians regarded the sacred Apis bull of Memphis in a ceremony and believing he was being mocked, he fell into a rage, drew his dagger and plunged it into the bull-calf. However, it seems that he must have latter regretted this action, for the Bull was buried with due reverence.

Bibliography:

http://www.narmer.pl/indexen.htm

http://wysinger.homestead.com/kingarmantelqo.html

http://wysinger.homestead.com/kingamaniastabarqa.html

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/meroitic.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambyses_II

Note

Picture: Gold sheet with chased decoration from the reign of Amaniastabarqa.

Beneath a star-filled hieroglyph for "heaven," the finely chased gold sheet shows at left the falcon-headed god Ra with sun-disk, offering the hieroglyphs for "life" and "stability" in his right hand to King Amaniastabarqa at right, whose name appears in the cartouche. The latter wears the "Kushite cap" with double uraeus and diadem, as well as the royal ram's-head neck ornament, a broad collar, armlets, bracelets, and crossed bands on his forearms. Beneath the triangular central tab of his kilt is a calf-length garment with a fringed seam through which his legs are visible. The king's sandals are bowed at the toes. Above him hovers the sun-disk with uraeus and outspread wings forming a right angle. King and god each extend a hand to the other, while the king's left hand is raised to the god in a gesture of recitation. The reciprocal, interdependent relationship between the god and the king, and their close cooperation, secure the foundations of world order.

From: http://wysinger.homestead.com/kingamaniastabarqa.html