, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Persian Period and Ancient Egyptian History ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

April 24, 2012

Persian Period and Ancient Egyptian History

The Second Persian Period
When Egypt fell to the Persians in 343 BC, the reign of Nectanebo II, the last Egyptian pharaoh, came to an end; he was also the last Egyptian to rule Egypt for 2300 years until General Neguib and the 1952 Revolution. The Persian reaction, according to later Greek accounts which are obviously biased, was severe. Cities were slighted, temple treasuries robbed, sacred animals such as the Apis, Mnevis and Buchis bulls were slain, and the people enslaved with taxes. Once more a Persian satrap (this time Pherdates) ruled for an absentee king in Susa.

The greywacke statue of Nectanebo II
Whereas the first Persian dynasty had lasted from 525 until 404 BC, this time the occupation was for only a decade. Artaxerxes III was poisoned in Persia in 338 and his young successor, Arses, survived for only two years, to be murdered and succeeded by Darius III. There is little evidence of this period of Persian hegemony in Egypt. Artaxerxes struck Athenian-style silver tetradrachms at Memphis with an inscription in demotic (a cursive and difficult-to-read script derived from hieroglyphs) giving his name, and only two specimens survive. Mazaeus, who was satrap under Darius III, struck similar copies of Athenian tetradrachms but with his own name on them in Aramaic. He it was who wisely opened the gates of Egypt to Alexander the Great in 323 bc, saving the country and his own skin, and was transferred to high office in Babylon.

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