Sametik III was sometimes referred to as Psametik III, and he was the last ruler of Egypt before the empire was conquered by the Persians under Cambyses. His reign marked the beginning of the end of the Egyptians as a superpower in the world. Once the Egyptians were brought under Persian rule during the reign of Cambyses II, they never again became a prominent nation in world affairs. The defeat appears on the Bible Timeline in the sixth century BC.
Psametik III was born to Amasis II, and he had a wife and son. He became pharaoh of Egypt after his father died in 526 B.C. Once he gained power in Egypt he had an extremely brief rule before the Persians showed up at the borders of Egypt. A historian named Herodotus said he only ruled the Egyptians six months before the Persians arrived.
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Cambyses II was the son of Cyrus the Great, and he became the ruler of the Persian Empire around 530 B.C. Before he became the king, he was a priest. Cambyses II had joined his father during his Babylonian campaign and witnessed first hand how Cyrus was subjecting the various empires and nations under his control. Cyrus the Great had finally subdued many of the world’s leading kingdoms and empires including the Israelites and Judeans so he turned his attention to the Egyptians who were the final empire that remained independent of Persia.
Cambyses II took an army and marched them through the desert to assault Egypt. He had the aid of Arabian tribes to assist him through the desert when he marched against Egypt. Once he arrived at the borders of Egypt, he attacked a border fortress at Pelusium and defeated the Egyptians in battle. He then moved his forces into the main cities of Egypt and eventually brought the kingdom to its knees. Psamtik III tried his best to repel the Persians, but it was no use their army was far superior.
The Egyptians were also encountering God’s will in the sense that he already ordained the Persians to become the next dominate power in the world. The Egyptians were fighting a losing battle before it even began.
After Cambyses conquered Psamtik and the rest of the Egyptian army in the city of Memphis he then ordered the death of 2000 of Egypt’s upper-class citizens including Psamtik’s III son. Historians also claim that Cambyses rule the city with cruelty and rage once he conquered Egypt. After slaughtering 2000 of Egypt’s most prominent citizens, he then imprisoned Psamtik III. Cambyses turned his daughter into a slave. Psamtik III was treated with respect while in captivity until Cambyses II discovered he had been involved in a plot to lead a rebellion against Persia.
During Cambyses II time in Egypt, he tried to extend further the might of the Persian Empire by attacking Abyssinia and Carthage. The army he sent to invade Carthage from Egypt had disappeared altogether. The Egyptians claim that Cambyses II was a hard and cruel ruler while the Persians assert that he was fair and just. Often time when Persia had conquered a kingdom they would leave some soldiers in key areas and set up a governor of their choosing. As long as the people paid tribute and whatever taxes that the empire demanded they would not be harmed. Cambyses II did more than just place a satrapy in the land he tried to rule personally the area. Unfortunately for him this became his undoing. Historians and scholars claim that he went home an insane and discouraged man. Egypt never again gained prominence as a world power once they were defeated by the Persians under Cambyses II.
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