28 Facts About Cambyses II


Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 530 to 522 BC.


Cambyses II was the son and successor of Cyrus the Great and his mother was Cassandane.


Cambyses II thus became the sole ruler of the vast Achaemenid Empire, facing no reported opposition.


Cambyses II died three weeks later at a location called Agbatana, which is most likely the modern city of Hama.


Cambyses II died childless, and was thus succeeded by his younger brother Bardiya, who ruled for a short period before being overthrown by Darius the Great, who went on to increase the power of the Achaemenids even further.


The origins of the name of "Cambyses II" is disputed in scholarship; according to some scholars, the name is of Elamite origin, whilst others associate it with Kambojas, an Iranian people who inhabited northwestern India.


The name of Cambyses II is known in other languages as: Elamite Kanbuziya; Akkadian Kambuziya; Aramaic Kanbuzi.


Cambyses II was the eldest son of Cyrus the Great and Cassandane.


Cambyses II had a younger brother named Bardiya, and three sisters named Artystone, Atossa and Roxanne.


Cambyses II reportedly took part in the expedition against the Massagetae, but, due to his being the heir to the throne, he was sent back to Persia, before Cyrus fell to the Massagetae.


Cambyses II had his father's body carried to Pasargadae in Persis, where he was buried in a tomb that had been prepared for him earlier.


Cambyses II, before starting his expedition into Egypt, had seized Cyprus from Amasis II, which was reportedly a heavy blow to the latter.


Cambyses II had essentially laid the foundations for the Persian navy, which was crucial to his ambitions to conquer Egypt.


The forces of Cambyses II then laid siege to Memphis, where Psamtik III and his men had fortified themselves.


Cambyses II now adopted the aspirations of the last pharaohs in seeking to control the neighbouring lands towards the west and south.


Cambyses II originally intended to make an expedition against the Phoenician state of Carthage, but it was ultimately called off due to his Phoenician subjects' reluctance to make war against their own people.


Cambyses II used propaganda to show his Egyptian conquest as a legitimate unification with the native Egyptians, and that he was himself of Egyptian descent, claiming to be the son of Princess Nitetis, a daughter of the pharaoh Apries.


At Sais, Cambyses II had himself crowned in the temple of the goddess Neith as part of a religious ritual, during which he made sacrifices to the Egyptian gods.


Historians such as Herodotus put an emphasis on Cambyses II' supposed killing of the Egyptian sacred bull Apis.


The successor of the Apis died in 518 BC, four years after Cambyses II had already died.


Rather, Cambyses II took part in the preservation and burial ceremony of an Apis.


The most notable of these Persians were relatives of the king, such as his cousin Darius, who occupied high offices under Cyrus and Cambyses II, and serving as a spear-bearer under the latter.


However, Herodotus states that Cambyses II married Otanes' daughter Phaidyme, whilst his contemporary Ctesias names Roxane as Cambyses II' wife, but she is not referred to as his sister.


The accusations against Cambyses II of committing incest are mentioned as part of his "blasphemous actions", which were designed to illustrate his "madness and vanity".


Cambyses II died three weeks later at a location called Agbatana, which is most likely the modern city of Hama.


Cambyses II died childless, and was succeeded by his younger brother Bardiya.


Herodotus' story is that while mounting his horse, the tip of Cambyses II' scabbard broke and his sword pierced his thigh.


Some modern historians suspect that Cambyses II was assassinated, either by Darius as the first step to usurping the empire for himself, or by supporters of Bardiya.