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Persia / Achaemenid Dynasty /
Cambyses 2


(?-522 BCE) King of Persia 530-522 BCE, belonging to the Achaemenid Dynasty.
Cambyses greatest achievement was the conquest of Egypt, which had been planned by his father, Cyrus 2 the Great. His further ambitions, taking control over Cush, the Western Desert of Egypt and Carthage, were not carried out, because of supply shortage, accidents and his early death.
Cambyses 2 was said to suffer from mental illness, being involved in many atrocities, killing a brother and a sister and finally committing suicide. He was accused of drunkenness. But there are also some sources that depict him as an apt leader.
The Lost Army of Cambyses relates to the account that Cambyses had 50,000 troops sent out to cross the Western Desert and conquer the oasis of Siwa. At some point a sandstorm buries the entire army, and kills almost all of the troops.

Biography
Before 550 BCE: Born as son of Cyrus 2 the Great and Cassandane.
538: Cambyses proves his status when he is in charge of the important New Year festival, duties reserved for the king.
530: Is appointed regent in Babylon, when Cyrus sets out on his last great military campaign.
528: Cyrus dies, and Cambyses becomes the sole ruler of Persia.
525: With the Battle of Pelusium in the Nile Delta and the capture of Heliopolis and Memphis, Egypt falls under Cambyses and Persia's control.
523: According to some sources, Cambyses has his brother Smerdis murdered.
522 March: A certain Gaumtata claims to be Smerdis and manages to have himself crowned as king in the absence of Cambyses.
— Cambyses sets out for Syria in order to suppress an ongoing revolt, planning to head on back to Persia to deal with Gaumata/Smerdis.
— Dies or commits suicide while in Syria.




By Tore Kjeilen