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Athenians, who, having at that time a fleet of two hundred ships at the island of Cyprus, accepted the invi. tation with pleasure, and immediately set sail for Egypt, judging this a very favourable opportunity to weaken the power of the Persians, by driving them out of so great a kingdom.
* Advice being brought Artaxerxes of this revolt, he raised an army of three hundred thousand men, and resolved to march in person against the rebels. But his friends advising him not to venture himself in that expedition, he gave the command of it to Achemenes, one of his brothers. The latter being arrived in Egypt, encamped his great army on the banks of the Nile. During this interval, the Athenians having defeated the Persian fleet, and either destroyed or taken fifty of their ships, they went again up that river, landed their forces under the command of Charitimi their general; and having joined Inarus and his Egyptians, they charged Achemenes, and defeated him in a great battle, in which that Persian general and one hundred thousand of his soldiers were slain. Those who escaped fied to Memphis, whither the conquerors pursued them, and immediately made themselves masters of two quarters of the city ; but the Persians having fortified themselves in the third, called the White Wall, which was the largest and strongest of the three, they were besieged in it near three years, during which they made a most vigorous defence, till they were at last delivered by the forces sent to their aid.
Artaxerxeso hearing of the defeat of his army, and how much the Athenians had contributed to it, to make
• A. M. 3546. Ant. J. C. 458.
* A. M. 3545. Ant. J. C. 459. VOL. 3.
a diversion of their forces, and oblige them to turn
After the battle, all the rest of Egypt submitted to the conqueror, and was reunited to the empire of Artaxerxes, except Amyrteus, who had still a small party in the fens, where he long supported himself, through the difficulty the Persians found in penetrating far enough to reduce him.
PA. M. 3547. Ant. J. C. 457.
1 A. M. 3548. Ant. J. C. 456.
The siege of Prosopitis was still carrying on. * The Persians, finding that they made no advances in attacking it after the usual methods, because of the stratagems and intrepidity of the besieged, they therefore had recourse to an extraordinary expedient, which soon produced what force had not been able to effect. They turned the course, by different canals, of the arm of the Nile in which the Athenians lay, and by that means opened themselves a passage for their whole army to enter the island. Inarus, seeing that all was lost, compounded with Megabysus for himself, for all his Egyptians, and about fifty Athenians, and sur. rendered upon condition that their lives should be spared. The remainder of the auxiliary forces, which formed a body of six thousand men, resolved to hold out longer, and for this purpose they set fire to their ships, and drawing up in order of battle, resolved to die sword in hand, and sell their lives as dear as they could, in imitation of the Lacedemonians, who refused to yield, and were all cut to pieces at Thermopyle. The Persians, hearing they had taken so desperate a resolution, did not think it advisable to attack them. A peace was therefore offered them, with a promise that they should all be permitted to leave Egypt, and have free passage to their native country either by sea or land. They accepted the conditions, put the conquerors in possession of Biblos and of the whole island, and went by sea to Cyrene, where they embarked for Greece ; but most of the soldiers who had served in this expedition perished in it.
But this was not the only loss the Athenians sustained on this occasion. Another fleet of fifty
* A, M. 3550. Ant. J. C. 454,
ships, which they sent to the aid of their besieged countrymen, sailed up one of the arms of the Nile, just after the Athenians had surrendered, to disengage them, not knowing what had happened. But the instant they entered, the Persian fleet, which kept out at sea, followed them, and attacked their rear, whilst the army discharged showers of darts upon them from the banks of the river ; thus only a few ships escaped, which opened themselves a way through the enemy's fleet, and all the rest were lost. Here ended the fatal war carried on by the Athenians for six years in Egypt, which kingdom was now united again to the Persian empire, and continued so during the rest of the reign of Artaxerxes, of which this is the twentieth But the prisoners who were taken in this war met with the most unhappy fate.
INARUS IS DELIVERED UP TO THE KING'S MOTHER
MEGABYSUS'S AFFLICTION AND REVOLT.
ARTAXERXES,' after refusing to gratify the request of his mother, who for five years together had been daily importuning him to put Inarus and his Athenians into her hands, in order that she might sacrifice them to the manes of Achemenes her son, at last yielded to her solicitations. But how blind, how barbarously weak must this king have been, to break through the most solemn engagements merely through complaisance ; who, deaf to remorse, violated the law of nations, solely to avoid offending a most unjust mother.
*A. M. 3550. Ant. J. C. 454. e A. M. 3556. Ant. J. C. 448. Ctes. C. XXXV-l.
• This inhuman princess, without regard to the faith of solemn treaties, caused Inarus to be crucified, and beheaded all the rest.' Megabysus was in the deepest affliction on that account; for as he had promised that no injury should be done them, the affront reflected principally on him. He therefore left the court, and withdrew to Syria, of which he was governor ; and his discontent was so great, that he raised an army, and revolted openly.
w The king sent Osiris, who was one of the greatest lords of the court, against him, with an army of two hundred thousand men. Megabysus engaged Osiris, wounded him, took him prisoner, and put his army to flight. Artaxerxes sending to demand Osiris, Megabysus generously dismissed him, as soon as his wounds were cured.
* The next year Artaxerxes sent another army against him, the command of which he gave to Menostanes, son to Artarius the king's brother, and governor of Babylon. This general was not more fortunate than the former. He also was defeated and put to fight, and Megabysus gained as signal a victory as the former.
Artaxerxes finding he could not reduce him by force of arms, sent his brother Artarius and Amytis his sister, who was the wife of Megabysus, with several other persons of the first quality, to persuade the latter to return to his allegiance. They succeeded in their negotiation; the king pardoned him, and he returned to court.
Thucyd. 1. i.p. 72. * A. M. 3557. Ant. J. C. 447. * A. M, 3558. Ant. J. C. 446.