Talk:Cambyses II

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Deleted the text below - I don't know the source, but it's quite obviously not NPOV, nor appropriate to a modern encyclopedia in any way. -- April

From Herodotus, I think; parts of Book II but not word-for-word the Rawlinson translation. -- Vignaux

While Harpagus was completing the subjugation of the West, Cyrus was making conquest of Upper Asia, and overthrew the kingdom of Assyria, of which the chief city was Babylon, a very wonderful city, wherein there had ruled two famous queens, Semiramis and Nitocris. Now, this queen had made the city wondrous strong by the craft of engineers, yet Cyrus took it by a shrewd device, drawing off the water of the river so as to gain a passage. Thus Babylon also fell under the sway of the Persian. But when Cyrus would have made war upon Tomyris, the queen of the Massagetae, who dwelt to the eastward, there was a great battle, and Cyrus himself was slain and the most part of his host. And Cambyses, his son, reigned in his stead.

CAMBYSES set out to conquer Egypt, taking in his army certain of the Greeks. But of what I shall tell about that land, the most was told to me by the priests whom I myself visited at Memphis and Thebes and Heliopolis. The Egyptians account themselves the most ancient of peoples. If the Ionians are right, who reckon that Egypt is only the Nile Delta, this could not be. But I reckon that the whole Egyptian territory is Egypt, from the Cataracts and Elephantine down to the sea, parted into the Asiatic part and the Libyan part by the Nile.

For the causes of the rising and falling of the Nile, the reasons that men give are of no account. And of the sources whence the river springs are strange stories told, of which I say not whether they be true or false; but the course of it is known for four months' journey by land and water, and in my opinion it is a river comparable to the Ister.

The priests tell that the first ruler of Egypt was Menes, and after him were three hundred and thirty kings, counting one queen, who was called Nitocris. After them came Sesostris, who carried his conquest as far as the Thracians and Scythians; and later was Rhampsinitus, who married his daughter to the clever thief that robbed his treasure-house; and after him Cheops, who built the pyramid, drawing the stones from the Arabian mountain down to the Nile. Chephren also, and Mycerinus built pyramids, and the Greeks have a story-which is not true-that another was built by Rhodopis. And in the reign of Sethon, Egypt was invaded by Sennacherib the Assyrian, whose army's bowstrings were eaten by field-mice.

A thing more wonderful than the pyramids is the labyrinth near Lake Moeris, and still more wonderful is Lake Moeris itself, all which were made by the twelve kings who ruled at once after Sethon. And after them, Psammitichus made himself the monarch; and after him his great-grandson Apries prospered greatly, till he was overthrown by Amasis. And Amasis also prospered, and showed favour to the Greeks. But for whatever reason, in his day Cambyses made his expedition against Egypt, invading it just when Amasis had died, and his son Psammenitus was reigning.

CAMBYSES put the Egyptian army to rout in a great battle and conquered the country, making Psammenitus prisoner. Yet he would have set him up as governor of the province, according to the Persian custom, but that Psammenitus was stirred up to revolt and, being discovered, was put to death. Thereafter Cambyses would have made war upon Carthage, but that the Phoenicians would not aid him; and against the Ethiopians, who are called 'long-lived,' but his army could get no food; and against the Ammonians, but the troops that went were seen no more.

Now, madness came upon Cambyses, and he died, having committed many crimes, among which was the slaying of his brother Smerdis. And there rose up one among the Magi who pretended to be Smerdis, and was proclaimed king. But this false Smerdis was one whose ears had been cut off, and he was thus found out by one of his wives, the daughter of a Persian nobleman, Otanes. Then seven nobles conspired together, since they would not be ruled over by one of the Magi; and having determined that it was best to have one man for ruler, rather than the rule of the people or of the nobles, they slew Smerdis and made Darius, the son of Hystaspes, their king.

I've added the 1911 encyclopedia text so there's a little content. Brion VIBBER, Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Cambyses II was really the name both of the father and the son of Cyrus? Does that make sense?

Ya, it sort of does. Cambyses I was the father, and Cyrus himseifl was named after his grandfather Cyrus I, and so he felt it probably traditional to call his son after his own father (or the boy's grandfather) Cambyses but of course to avoid confusion we call the son Cambyses II to not confuse him with Cambyses I. Dr. Persi (talk) 21:31, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Italian Text[edit]

Is there an English article? Ardric47 00:00, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Dates and numbers in this article[edit]

Wikipedia policy is clear on the use of Eras in articles:

Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. Normally you should use plain numbers for years in the Common Era, but when events span the start of the Common Era, use AD or CE for the date at the end of the range (note that AD precedes the date and CE follows it). For example, 1 BCAD 1 or 1 BCE1 CE.

It is up to the author(s) of an article to determine the dating system to be used and there must be consistency with each article. In this case, for a non-Christian topic in a non-Christian region of the world, BCE/CE would seem to make the most sense. Sunray 19:50, 2005 May 22 (UTC)

I see that someone who is not an author of the article has reverted to BC/AD. Perhaps we could get some comments from article authors as to which dating system to use. Sunray 06:54, 2005 May 23 (UTC)

We Interrupt this BC/BCE Catfight with an Important Announcement...[edit]

This type of stuff should go on the talk page, not right in the article itself:

  • - This number is highly speculative seeing that ancient sources like to exaggerate with such numbers. In the documentary on the History Channel with Tom Brown, the number of soldiers that Cambyses II actually sent was only 5,000 men. One can suppose, if the force was even bigger, then bigger remnants would stil remain, for 50,000 men is a huge number!

Added by Anonymous, moved here by --Jpbrenna 19:20, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Collateral Damage[edit]

I've put some effort into making the infoboxes at the bottom of the Persian rulers' pages nicer, and I'd appreciate if people took that into accunt when childishly reverting each others contribs. --Jpbrenna 23:57, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

The East was not conquered.[edit]

Among the probles with this text is the presence of this statement: "the only remaining independent state of the Eastern world." This is clearly wrong (unless we are using the phrase "Eastern world" to mean, say, western Asia! India, China, Indonesia, Japan etc. were not conquered by Mid-Eastern powers. Kdammers 00:23, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Something's Terribly Wrong[edit]

Okay, i only stumbled upon this cuz i'm an Africna history buff looking up stuff about Kush (Nubia to those that don't know). In Kush, King Nastasen leaves an inscription saying he kicked Cambyses' a$$ and jacked his ships (along with a whole bunch of other stuff). one small problem. The two figures lived litteraly TWO CENTURIES APART. Nastasen reigne in the 330s BCE. Cabysess II rule in Egypt in the early 500s BC. Anyone know what's going on here. Camby might well have gone into nubia and fought the Kushites, but I seriously doubt it was against King Nasty.Scott Free 04:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, not sure about the other source that you have. But Cambyses II did venture into Africa after Egypt but he suffered defeat with Ethiopians, at least that is what Herodotus would have you believe. That is when he decided to return having subdued the Egypt dynasty. Dr. Persi (talk) 21:28, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Account of Attempted March on Ethiopia Completely Wrong[edit]

Herodotus explains how Cambyses first sent emissaries( in reality spies)to Ethiopia, bearing gifts. The Ethiopian King shrugs off the messengers, infuriating Cambyses. Cambyses then attempts to march to Ethiopia, but had not prepared well. His men run out of food, and begin drawing lots to consume the unfortunate soul who lost the drawings. Cambyses is made aware of this, and returns to Egypt.

I will begin editing this section of the article, if there are no objections? Nathraq (talk) 20:51, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

hahah, ya no I dont think anybody would want to stop you there haha. :P Dr. Persi (talk) 21:33, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


I think the traditional view of Cambyses as a mentally unstable tyrant would now be questioned by modern historians. This is taken from classical Graeco-Roman accounts, but they could have been repeating Darius's propaganda. PatGallacher (talk) 21:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

And what other evidence is there? Darius' view is scarcely kinder, and much briefer. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:11, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


This article has a bad title, it implies that there was a "Cambyses I of Persia". The point is to disambiguate him from Cambyses I of Anshan, but we can simplify matters. I propose to move this article to "Cambyses of Persia" and the other to "Cambyses of Anshan", which I believe is in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines. However even Cambyses I and Cambyses II would be preferable, although they raise problems. PatGallacher (talk) 16:43, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

That implication is your OR. For this article at least please please do not move without putting move request in a formal manner. Thank you.Xashaiar (talk) 13:28, 30 October 2009 (UTC)


The article states at present that Darius claimed that Cambyses committed suicide. However the Full translation of the Behistun Inscription states that he died of natural causes. Can someone clarify? PatGallacher (talk) 21:01, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I guess better late than never. The fact is that most historican do not really know what happened. Some believe it was caused by an accidental self injury, others speculate suicide. Dr. Persi (talk) 21:25, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was move. All kings being notable, it's probably best if primary usage of Cambyses discussion is kept separate for now. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 05:28, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Cambyses of PersiaCambyses II — - The name "Cambyses of Persia" is not used anywhere. Making such title would be justified if "Cambyses II" was ambiguous and used by another person with the same notability. This is not the case and he is the only one with this name and notability. I propose this move. Also using google books test makes sure that Cambyses II is the correct name and some Encyclopaedias like Britannica ([1]) or Dictionaries, or more specialised works like The Cambridge History series, show that "Cambyses II" is unambiguous, unique among notable people, and correct and widely use. --Xashaiar (talk) 12:59, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Agree in general; but this is the primary meaning of Cambyses, and should be so called. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:08, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The correct form of the name[edit]

Cambyses is greek for کمبوجیه , NOT کامبیز as another author has suggested.

There are pesianized greek given names , often with a persian origin like زرکسیس zaraksis, that is a persianization of Xerexes; itself coming from the persian خشایار. The suggested name کامبیز might have been an incorrect persianization of Cambyses. The original name is کمبوجیه and its modern form is کامبد caambod.

Kamboj (Greek: Cambyses) has a large number of descendents in subcontinent. They had used Kamboj as the surname for centuries. Mughal Empereor changed it to Kambo that later became Kamboh in thel ast two hundred years. There are two main categories in the line of the Cambyses. first one has developed into 84 casts (Gotums) and the second group has established 52 casts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 4 March 2012 (UTC) (talk) 05:53, 1 August 2010 (UTC)goshtasp

coin image [infobox][edit]

This is from the 16th century. Nor is the image on the coin in Persian style. The article needs something like HammerFilmFan (talk) 14:26, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

I second the suggestion; the image in the infobox is typical of inaccurate depiction of Persians (and Eastern civilization) by Europeans in the era. The absurd mystification of Eastern civilization was arguably an indirect affront, which is consistent with historical and cultural tensions that were inflamed as a result of the Crusades. The image should be deleted because there are alternatives that can be used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Cambyses II died in Hama[edit]

According to Herodotus (3.64) he died in Ecbatana, i.e. Hamath, Syria. note: Ecbatana/Hamedan (Iran) is not to be confused with Ecbatana/Hamath (Syria) where Herodotus claims that Cambyses II died. Böri (talk) 13:25, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

The way I heard the story, Cambyses was accidentally wounded in the thigh by his own blade during a scuffle with his guards and kinsmen. He had flown into a fit of rage upon learning that he had been deceived into leaving Egypt by Darius, who was sent by Hystaspes (father of Darius) to retrieve the young king from his African expedition of conquest and debauchery. “An empire cannot run itself,” Hystaspes reminded his son. The death of Cambyses is most ironic in this oral version of the story, in that Smerdis, the younger brother of the king, had accidentally been killed years before, in Balkh, by the personal guard of Hystaspes. The story is sourced from unpublished material, which makes it unsuitable for wikipedia, but interesting nevertheless.
As it regards your comment, the names Hamedan (Ecbatana, then known as Aga-matanu) and Hamath are similar, but there was little confusion between them in those days. Coincidentally, though, in this version of the story, the altercation between Cambyses and Darius did take place near Hamath but the destination was Ecbatana. By the time they reached the former Median capital, gangrene had developed in Cambyses’ leg and he died shortly thereafter. Imahd (talk) 17:37, 12 May 2016 (UTC)


I tried to simplify this but was reverted. I've removed 'convincingly' again and made a stab at fixing some English but gave up as I don't understand that the IP is trying to say. Perhaps it's a poor translation of something but at the moment it doesn't make much sense to me. Dougweller (talk) 21:06, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the text is translated from French to English from the text "Estudio de la historia: Volume 7, Part 2, 1961, p 577-579, Arnold Joseph Toynbee. Yes, the English translation is bit difficult. I will see if I can improve the translation. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:35, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I still don't see the point of emphasizing Toynbee to the extent it's been done in this article. Dougweller (talk) 08:22, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

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