According to currently accepted history, the Persian king, Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 BC.

According to Herodotus, the pharaoh of Egypt at the time was "Psammetichos", whom modern historians sometimes name "Psamtik III." However, according to the epitome of the Persica by Thotius, it was "Amyrtaeus" that Cambyses defeated, and moreover the actual general was a certain eunuch named Bagapates, not Cambyses himself.

Which account is correct?

  • 2
    The first google hit redirected me to this wikipedia article. – Mikel Urkia Sep 24 '15 at 16:18
  • @MikelUrkia I am familiar with the standard texts and derivatives of those texts such as the Wikipedia page you linked. These texts simply repeat the account of Herodotus and the authors of those texts (and Wikipedia pages) appear to be ignorant of the Persica, so such articles are of no use in resolving the question. – Tyler Durden Sep 24 '15 at 17:17
  • The comments on "Persica" say that "Amyrtaeus" is just author's fault. BTW. "Persica" is written by Ctesias, not Thotius. – Matt Sep 24 '15 at 17:31
  • @user4419802 What "comments"? I find no such comments. The Persica does not exist anymore, it is a lost work. The so-called "fragments" of the Persica are not fragments at all, but are an epitome written by Thotius (just one of many mistakes in the Wikipedia article). – Tyler Durden Sep 24 '15 at 17:38
  • I mean modern comments. "Persica" contradicts with other known sources on that matter, so it's natural to suppose that "Persica" contains an error. – Matt Sep 24 '15 at 17:43

Herodotus and Ctesias clearly contradict to each other, so there is no obvious answer on this question. Yet Manetho's "king list", as it was cited by Sextus Africanus, contains the name of Psammetichos (Psammecherit) just after Amasis, so Herodotus' version is usually preferred. This argument could be considered as weak, because Sextus Africanus could only see some epitome of Manetho's "Aegyptiaca", yet the situation with Amirtaeus is even worse, as he was mentioned exactly once.

There were several attempts to resolve this contradiction, e.g. by supposing that Amyrtaeus was the name of Psammetichos' son (Herodotus mentioned him several times but didn't say his name), but so far these are only the guesses without any proof.

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