An Egyptian Princess — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 561 pages of information about An Egyptian Princess Complete.

“You know that people sometimes call me an Athenian, sometimes a Halikarnassian.  Now, as the Ionian, AEolian and Dorian mercenaries have never been on good terms with the Karians, my almost triple descent (if I may call it so) has proved very useful to me as commander of both these divisions.  Well qualified as Aristomachus may be for the command, yet in this one point Amasis will miss me; for I found it an easy matter to settle the differences among the troops and keep them at peace, while he, as a Spartan, will find it very difficult to keep right with the Karian soldiers.

“This double nationality of mine arises from the fact that my father married a Halikarnassian wife out of a noble Dorian family, and, at the time of my birth, was staying with her in Halikarnassus, having come thither in order to take possession of her parental inheritance.  So, though I was taken back to Athens before I was three months old, I must still be called a Karian, as a man’s native land is decided by his birthplace.

“In Athens, as a young nobleman, belonging to that most aristocratic and ancient family, the Philaidae, I was reared and educated in all the pride of an Attic noble.  Pisistratus, brave and clever, and though of equal, yet by no means of higher birth, than ourselves, for there exists no family more aristocratic than my father’s, gained possession of the supreme authority.  Twice, the nobles, by uniting all their strength, succeeded in overthrowing him, and when, the third time, assisted by Lygdamis of Naxos, the Argives and Eretrians, he attempted to return, we opposed him again.  We had encamped by the temple of Minerva at Pallene, and were engaged in sacrificing to the goddess, early, before our first meal, when we were suddenly surprised by the clever tyrant, who gained an easy, bloodless victory over our unarmed troops.  As half of the entire army opposed to the tyrant was under my command, I determined rather to die than yield, fought with my whole strength, implored the soldiers to remain steadfast, resisted without yielding a point, but fell at last with a spear in my shoulder.

“The Pisistratidae became lords of Athens.  I fled to Halikarnassus, my second home, accompanied by my wife and children.  There, my name being known through some daring military exploits, and, through my having once conquered in the Pythian games, I was appointed to a command in the mercenary troops of the King of Egypt; accompanied the expedition to Cyprus, shared with Aristomachus the renown of having conquered the birthplace of Aphrodite for Amasis, and finally was named commander-in-chief of all the mercenaries in Egypt.

“Last summer my wife died; our children, a boy of eleven and a girl of ten years, remained with an aunt in Halikarnassus.  But she too has followed to the inexorable Hades, and so, only a few days ago I sent for the little ones here.  They cannot, however, possibly reach Naukratis in less than three weeks, and yet they will already have set out on their journey before a letter to countermand my first order could reach them.

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An Egyptian Princess — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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