Cambyses II of Persia

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Cambyses II (Old Persian: 𐎣𐎲𐎢𐎪𐎡𐎹 [1] Kɑmboujie[2], Persian: کمبوجیه, d. 522 BC) was the son of Cyrus the Great (r. 559–530 BC), founder of the Persian Empire and of its first dynasty. His grandfather was Cambyses I, king of Anshan. Following Cyrus' conquests of the Near East and Central Asia, Cambyses further expanded the empire into Egypt during the Late Period. His forces invaded the Kingdom of Kush (located in what is now the Republic of Sudan) without any breakthrough successes.

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Rise to power

When Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 539 BC, Cambyses was employed in leading religious ceremonies.[3] In the cylinder which contains Cyrus' proclamation to the Babylonians, Cambyses' name is joined to his father's in the prayers to Marduk. On a tablet dated from the first year of Cyrus, Cambyses is called king of Babylon, although his authority seems to have been ephemeral. Only in 530 BC, when Cyrus set out on his last expedition into the East, did Cyrus associate Cambyses with the throne. Numerous Babylonian tablets of the time date from the accession and the first year of Cambyses, when Cyrus was "king of the countries" (i.e., of the world).

After the death of his father in August 530, Cambyses became sole king. The tablets dating from his reign in Babylonia run to the end of his eighth year, in March 522 BC. Herodotus (3.66), who dates his reign from the death of Cyrus, gives him seven years five months, from 530 BC to the summer of 523.[4]

The traditions of Cambyses

The traditions about Cambyses, preserved by the Greek authors, come from two different sources. The first, which forms the main part of the account of Herodotus (3. 2–4; 10–37), is of Egyptian origin. Here Cambyses is made the legitimate son of Cyrus and a daughter of Apries named Nitetis (Herod. 3.2, Dinon fr. II, Polyaen. viii. 29), whose death he avenges on the successor of the usurper Amasis. Nevertheless, (Herod. 3.1 and Ctesias a/i. Athen. Xiii. 560), the Persians corrected this tradition:

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