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affection which the king bare unto her, be thought the daughter of Cyrus. Certain it is, that Esther did at length discover her kindred and nation, whereby, if histories could not be kept free from this error, yet the people, and especially the nobility, must needs have understood the truth; who nevertheless did so well know the parentage of Atossa, that for her sake, as being daughter of Cyrus, her son Xerxes was preferred to the kingdom before his elder brother, against whom also he could have pretended a very weak claim. But of these things more hereafter in fitter place.
CHAP. IV. The estate of things from the death of Cyrus to the reign
SECT. I. Of the number and names of the Persian kings. Of the successors of Cyrus, and the continuance of the Persian empire, there are many opinions; as that of Metasthenes, who hath numbered the Persian kings and their times as followeth : Darius Medus and Cyrus jointly
2 years. Cyrus alone
22 Priscus Artaxerxes
20 Darius Longimanus
37 Darius Nothus
19 Artaxerxes Mnemon
55 Artaxerxes Ochus
26 Arses, or Arsames
4 Darius the last, conquered by Alexander 6 To which Philo agreeth; which number of years added, make in all one hundred and ninety-one. But in this catalogue Metasthenes hath left out Cambyses and Xerxes, and names Artaxerxes Assuerus for the immediate successor of Cyrus; in place (saith Melancthon) of Darius the son of
Hystapses : for Metasthenes, as Melancthon conjectureth, doth not account Cambyses in the catalogue, because his reign was confounded with that of Cyrus.
There is a second opinion, though ridiculous, of Sedar Olam, who finds but four Persian kings from the beginning to the end of that empire.
Genebrard, Schubert, and Beroaldus have also a differing account from the Greeks; whom nevertheless Eusebius and most of the Latins follow, and so doth • Krentzheim, who hath fully answered, and, as I take it, refuted all the former authors varying from that account. For in this sort do the Greeks marshal the Persian kings with the times of their reigns.
Cyrus in all
219 Artaxerxes Longimanus
40 Darius Nothus
19 Artaxerxes Mnemon
431 Artaxerxes Ochus
3 Darius the last
61 Which numbers put together, make in all two hundred and thirty.
This account (as I have said) the most chronologers and the best learned approve; these Persian princes being all warranted by the authority of the scriptures, as Peucer in his historical animadversions hath gathered the places ; finding first Cyrus in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. Ezra i. 1. and often elsewhere.
Secondly, Cambyses in the eleventh of Daniel, who may indeed be well esteemed for one of those three kings in the second verse named, and so the marginal commentor upon the Geneva understands that place; but, under correction,
• Chron. Kren. fol. 135.
- Melanct. but 40.
mistakes the matter greatly, when he saith in the same note, that Darius Hystaspes was an enemy to the people of God, and stood against them : his great favour and liberality to the Jews being elsewhere proved.
Thirdly, Is Darius Hystaspes found in Ezra iv. 5. who in the sixth verse is also named Ahassuerus ?
Fourthly, In the eleventh of Daniel, verse the second, Xerxes is plainly foretold and described, and the great war which he should make against the Greeks by Daniel remembered.
Fifthly, Artaxerxes Longimanus in Ezra iv. 7. who is also called Arthasasta, c. 4. 1. 1. Ezra 7, and vii. 7.
Sixthly, Darius Nothus, Ezra iv. 24. and v. 6. Nehem. xii. 22.
Seventhly, Artaxerxes Mnemon in Nehem. ii. 1. who was father to Artaxerxes Ochus and Arsames: for Darius the last, he was of another family, the line of Cyrus the Great ending in Ochus, who descended from Xerxes the son of Atossa, Cyrus's daughter; and the issue male of Cyrus failing with his own sons.
But to proceed, Eusebius, with the Latins, following the Greeks, apply the beginnings and ends of every Persian king with their acts to some certain Olympiad ; as, the war of Astyages (Cyrus's maternal grandfather) and Alyattes, (Cræsus's father,) to the forty-ninth Olympiad ; the beginning of Cyrus's reign, to the beginning of the fifty-fifth Olympiad ; the taking of Sardis by Cyrus, to the fiftyeighth Olympiad ; the invasion of Egypt by Cambyses, to the third year of the sixty-third Olympiad; and so of the rest. Which reference, with good agreement between several forms of computation, add the more credit unto both.
Again, this historical demonstration is confirmed by the astronomical computation of Ptolomy“, who refers the death of Alexander the Great, who died the twelfth of November, in the beginning of the hundred and fortieth Olympiad, to the four hundred and twenty-fourth year after Nabonassar. And the era of Nabonassar began on the twenty-sixth of
Almag. 1. 3. c. 6.
February; which, conferred with the Olympiad, was in the ninth month of the first year of the eighth Olympiad ; so that whether we follow the account of the Olympiads, as do the Greek historians, or that of Nabonassar with Ptolomy, we shall find every memorable accident to fall out right with each computation.
For Ptolomy reckons the time answerable to two hundred and twenty-four Julian years, and an hundred and forty days from Nabonassar to the sixteenth of July, in the seventh year of Cambyses.
The Greeks, and namely Diodorus Siculus, place the taking of Egypt by Cambyses in the second or third year of the sixty-third Olympiad, and the beginning of Cambyses’ seventh year in the first of the sixty-fourth Olympiad: which first of the sixty-fourth Olympiad runs along with part of the twenty-second of Nabonassar. The like agreement is consequently found about the beginning and end of Cyrus.
Likewise the twentieth of Darius, who succeeded Cambyses, is according to Ptolomy the two hundred and fortysixth of Nabonassar, which (observing the differences of Nabonassar's era and the Olympiad, viz. twenty-eight years) it agrees with the third of the sixty-ninth Olympiad, wherein it is placed by the Greeks. In this Josephus agrees with the Greeks throughout, saving that he joineth Darius Medus, whom Xenophon calleth Cyaxares, with Cyrus in the destruction of Babylon; which is true, and not contrary to the Greek computation, but may very well stand with it.
Lastly, The disagreements and confused accounts of those that follow the other catalogue of the Persian kings formerly rehearsed, doth give the greater credit to this of the Greeks, which being constant in itself, accordeth also with the computation of other historians and astronomers, and likewise with the holy scriptures.
SECT. II. Of Cambyses, and the conquering of Egypt by him. WE will therefore, according to the truth, give the em
pire of Persia to Cambyses the son of Cyrus, though degenerate in all things, saving the desire to increase the greatness of his empire, whereof he was possessed in his father's time, while Cyrus made war in the north. Ctesias with others give him a longer reign than agreeth with the Grecian account before received.
In the fifth year of his sole reign, and in the third year of the threescore and third Olympiad, according to Diodore and Eusebius, he invaded Egypt, and having overthrown the king thereof, Psammenitus, he not only caused him to be slain, but also did put to death all his kindred and dependants, with the most of his children.
Herodotus and Ctesias give for cause of this war, (being no other indeed than the ambition of Cambyses,) that when he sent to Amasis king of Egypt, to have his daughter in marriage, Amasis presented him with Nitetis the daughter of Apries, his predecessor, which Cambyses disdained.
Howsoever it were, true it is that Cambyses gathered an army fit for such an enterprise, and caused the same to march. But before they entered Egypt Amasis died, and left Psammenitus, whom Ctesias called Amyrteus, his successor, who enjoyed Egypt after his father (according to the best copies of Herodotus) but six months, though other chronologers give him six years.
But how long soever he held the crown, in one battle he lost it, and was himself taken prisoner.
It is said that Cambyses, following therein the example of Cyrus, did not only spare life to the conquered king, but that he also trusted him with the government of Egypt; and that upon some revolt, or the suspicion thereof, he caused him to be slaughtered.
But the race of this king was not so extirpated, if we may believe Herodotus and Thucydides, but that he left a son called Inarus, who caused the Egyptian to revolt both from Xerxes and Artaxerxes.
l'hat Psammenitus was at the first entreated gently by Cambyses, I hold it very improbable, if it be true which is
* Lib. 2. c. 2. Her. 1. 3. p. 83, 84, 85.