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Extra resources for The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 4, The Persian Empire and the West

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His great-grandfather, Teispes, is the first of his family known to have been, and probably the first who His reign began as early as authority of Herodotus (i, Anshan. ) in 597. before this Teispes had been king of Persia, or rather of that small part of it that belonged to the Pasargadae, the most noble tribe of the Persians* (Hdt. i, 125), and lay in the valley of the Medus (modern Pulwar) in the western part of Persia adjacent to Elam, and if so, whether at his death, while bequeathing (xlix, Whether * the new kingdom which, from its ancient capital of Susa, was in direct connection with the great cities of the ancient world to his and remoter kingdom though considerais uncertain; Ariaramnes, son younger tions already referred to make some such arrangement not improbable.

Merely as successors to the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, the Persians, apart from any special provocation, would probably have sought to add Egypt to their empire; and certainly, as a matter of fact, in establishing their authority in that country for over a century (with one or two brief interruptions) they far surpassed the achievements of the Assyrians who, under Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal, conquered and for a few years held it, and even more that of Nebuchadrezzar who, barely forty years before the accession of Cambyses, attacked Egypt, but proceeded to no permanent occupation of it.

In the spring of the next year, persuaded by the ambiguous replies of the oracles that he would be victorious, he crossed the Halys into Cappadocia, and besieged and captured Pteria(vol. iii, p. 523). Cyrus, according to Herodotus, first attempted to parry this invasion of his territory by soliciting the lonians to revolt from Lydia. Failing in this, he himself began the campaign to which the Babylonian Chronicle refers, and fought a severe but indecisive action near Pteria. Cyrus showed no sign of immediately renewing the attack, and, as it was late in the year, Croesus, expecting to be left alone till the spring, retired to Sardes and disbanded his mercenaries; but immediately despatched envoys to his allies, bidding them prepare for united action in the spring.

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