Ancient Egypt eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Ancient Egypt.

[31] Ezekiel xxx. 3-18.



The first revolt of the Egyptians against their conquerors, appears to have been provoked by the news of the battle of Marathon.  Egypt heard, in B.C. 490, that the arms of the oppressor, as she ever determined to consider Darius, had met with a reverse in European Greece, where 200,000 Medes and Persians had been completely defeated by 20,000 Athenians and Plataens.  Darius, it was understood, had taken greatly to heart this reverse, and was bent on avenging it.  The strength of the Persian Empire was about to be employed towards the West, and an excellent opportunity seemed to have arisen for a defection on the South.  Accordingly Egypt, after making secret preparations for three years, in B.C. 487 broke out in open revolt.  She probably overpowered and massacred the Persian garrison in Memphis, which is said to have numbered 120,000 men, and, proclaiming herself independent, set up a native sovereign.

The Egyptian monuments suggest that this monarch bore the foreign-sounding name of Khabash.  He fortified the coast of Egypt against attempts which might be made upon it by the Persian fleet, and doubtless prepared himself also to resist an invasion by land.  But he was quite unable to do anything effectual.  Though Darius died in the year after the revolt, B.C. 486, yet its suppression was immediately undertaken by his son and successor, Xerxes, who invaded Egypt in the next year, easily crushed all resistance, and placed the province under a severer rule than any that it had previously experienced.  Achaemenes, his brother, was made satrap.

Twenty-five years of tranquillity followed, during which the Egyptians were submissive subjects of the Persian crown, and even showed remarkable courage and skill in the Persian military expeditions.  Egypt furnished as many as two hundred triremes to the fleet which was brought against Greece by Xerxes, and the squadron particularly distinguished itself in the sea-fights off Artemisium, where they actually captured five Grecian vessels with their crews.  Mardonius, moreover, set so high a value on the marines who fought on board the Egyptian ships, that he retained them as land-troops when the Persian fleet returned to Asia after Salamis.

No further defection took place during the reign of Xerxes; but in B.C. 460, after the throne had been occupied for about five years by Xerxes’ son, Artaxerxes, a second rebellion broke out, which led to a long and terrible struggle.  A certain Inarus, who bore rule over some of the African tribes on the western border of Egypt, and who may have been a descendant of the Psamatiks, headed the insurrection, and in conjunction with an Egyptian, named Amyrtaeus, suddenly attacked the Persian garrison stationed in Egypt, the ordinary strength of which was 120,000 men.  A great battle was fought at Papremis, in the Delta, wherein the Persians

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Ancient Egypt from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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