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  • Print publication year: 1988
  • Online publication date: March 2008

1 - The early history of the Medes and the Persians and the Achaemenid empire to the death of Cambyses

from PART I - THE PERSIAN EMPIRE
Summary
The Median and Achaemenid periods define a critical disjunction in history. Iranians, more particularly the Medes and the Persians, first appear in history in the ninth-century BC cuneiform texts touching on the western half of the plateau. For some time thereafter the Medes and Persians are only two of several ethnic and political groups found in the Zagros mountains. Only late in the seventh century BC do the Medes apparently begin to become the dominant power even in Media. Cyrus is the son of Cambyses, grandson of Cyrus, and a descendant of Teispes. Cambyses succeeded to the throne in September 530 BC after Cyrus' death. Four years after ascending the throne Cambyses marched against Egypt. Amasis, the shrewd penultimate ruler of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, attempted to bolster his defences by securing the aid of the Cypriots and other islanders in order to cut off any possibility of a Persian invasion by sea.
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The Cambridge Ancient History
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054317
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521228046
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