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hunt; but others, that he led him to the Red Sea and drowned him. This, they say, was the first of the crimes of Cambyses : the second he committed against his sister, who had accompanied him into Egypt, and whom he married, and who was his sister by both parents. He married her in the following way: for before, the Persians were on no account accustomed to intermarry with their sisters. Cambyses became enamoured of one of his sisters, and then being desirous of making her his wife, because he purposed doing what was not customary, he summoned the royal judges, and asked them if there was any law permitting one who wished to marry his sister. The royal judges are men chosen from among Persians, who continue in office until they die, or are convicted of some injustice. They determine causes between the Persians, and are the interpreters of the ancient constitutions, and all questions are referred to them. When, therefore, Cambyses put the question, they gave an answer that was both just and safe ; saying that they could find no law permitting a brother to marry his sister, but had discovered another law which permitted the King of Persia to do whatever he pleased. Thus they did not abrogate the law through fear of Cambyses; but that they might not lose their lives by upholding the law, they found out another that favoured his desire of marrying his sister. Thereupon, Cambyses married her of whom he was enamoured, and shortly afterward he had another sister. The youngest of these, then, who followed him into Egypt, he put to death. With respect to her death, as well as that of Smerdis, a twofold account is given. The Greeks say that Cambyses made the whelp of a lion fight with a young dog ; and that this wife was also looking on; and that the dog being overmatched, another puppy of the same litter broke his chain, and came to his assistance, and thus the two dogs united got the better of the whelp: Cambyses was delighted at the sight, but she, sitting by him, shed tears. Cambyses, observing this, asked her why she wept. She answered, that she wept seeing the puppy come to the assistance of his brother, remembering Smerdis, and knowing that there was no one to avenge him. The Greeks say that for this speech she was put to death by Cambyses. But the Egyptians say that, as they were sitting at table, his wife took a lettuce, and stripped off its leaves, and then asked her husband, “Whether the lettuce stripped of its leaves, or thick with foliage, was the handsomer?” he said, “When thick with foliage": whereupon she remarked, “ Then you have imitated this lettuce, in dismembering the house of Cyrus.” Whereupon he, being enraged, kicked her when she was with child; and she miscarried and died.
Thus madly did Cambyses behave toward his own family; whether on account of Apis, or from some other cause, from which, in many ways, misfortunes are wont to befall mankind. For Cambyses is said, even from infancy, to have been afflicted with a certain severe malady, which some called the sacred disease. In that case, it was not at all surprising that when his body was so diseased his mind should not be sound. And toward the other Persians he behaved madly in the following instances: for it is reported that he said to Prexaspes, whom he highly honoured, and whose office it was to bring messages to him, and whose son was cup-bearer to Cambyses, and this is no trifling honour, he is reported to have spoken as follows: “Prexaspes, what sort of man do the Persians think me? and what remarks do they make about me?” He answered, “Sir, you are highly extolled in every other respect, but they say you are too much addicted to wine.” Prexaspes said this of the Persians, but the king, enraged, answered as follows: “Do the Persians indeed say that, by being addicted to wine, I am beside myself, and am not in my senses? Then their former words were not true.” For, on a former occasion, when the Persians and Croesus were sitting with him, Cambyses asked what sort of man he appeared to be in comparison with his father Cyrus; they answered that he was superior to his father, for that he held all that Cyrus possessed, and had acquired besides Egypt and the empire of the sea. Cræsus, being present, not being pleased with this decision, spoke thus to Cambyses: “To me now, O son of Cyrus, you do not appear comparable to your father, for you have not yet such a son as he left behind him." Cambyses was delighted at hearing this, and commended the judgment of Croesus. Therefore, remembering this, he said in anger to Prexaspes: “Observe now yourself, whether the Persians have spoken the truth, or whether they who say such things are not out of their senses; for if I shoot that son of yours who stands under the portico, and hit him in the heart, the Persians will appear to have said nothing to the purpose; but if I miss, then say that the Persians have spoken truth, and that I am not of sound mind.” Having said this, and bent his bow, he hit the boy; and when the boy had fallen, he ordered them to open him and examine the wound; and when the arrow was found in the heart, he said to the boy's father, laughing: “Prexaspes, it has been clearly shown to
you that I am not mad, but that the Persians are out of their senses. Now tell me, did you ever see a man take so true an aim?” But Prexaspes, perceiving him to be out of his mind, and being in fear for his own life, said, “Sir, I believe that a god himself could not have shot so well.” At that time he committed such an atrocity; and at another time, having, without any just cause, seized twelve Persians of the first rank, he had them buried alive up to the head.
While he was acting in this manner, Cræsus the Lydian thought fit to admonish him in the following terms: “O king, do not yield entirely to your youthful impulses and anger, but possess and restrain yourself. It is a good thing to be provident, and wise to have forethought. You put men to death who are your own subjects, having seized them without any just cause; and you slay their children. If you persist in such a course, beware lest the Persians revolt from you. Your father Cyrus strictly charged me to admonish you, and suggest whatever I might discover for your good." He then manifested his good-will in giving this advice; but Cambyses answered: “Do you presume to give me advice, you, who so wisely managed your own country; and so well advised my father, when you persuaded him to pass the river Araxes, and advance against the Massagetæ, when they were willing to cross over into our territory? You have first ruined yourself by badly governing your own country, and then ruined Cyrus, who was persuaded by your advice. But you shall have no reason to rejoice; for I have long wanted to find a pretext against you." So saying, he took up his bow for the purpose of shooting him; but Creesus jumped up and ran out. Cambyses, when he was unable to shoot him, commanded his attendants to seize him, and put him to death. But the attendants, knowing his temper, concealed Cræsus for the following reason, that if Cambyses should repent, and inquire for Crosus, they, by producing him, might receive rewards for preserving him alive; or if he should not repent, or regret him, then they would put him to death. Not long afterward Cambyses did regret Croesus, and the attendants, knowing this, acquainted him that he was still living; on which Cambyses said: “I am rejoiced that Cræsus is still alive; they, however, who saved him shall not escape with impunity, but I will have them put to death." And he made good his word.
He, then, committed many such mad actions, both against the Persians and his allies, while he stayed at Memphis, both opening ancient sepulchres, and examining the dead bodies ; he also entered the Temple of Vulcan, and derided the image,