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habitants to be equally well treated. This conduct had all the effect that he wished for; it at once disarmed the Egyptians, and left them at full leisure to quarrel with their Greek mercenaries. Most of the towns in the Delta then opened their gates to the Persians without a struggle.

(52) Amongst a people degraded by despotism a single battle usually decides the fate of the state. Nectanebo, who was at Memphis, seeing that he had lost all chance of saving his throne, thought only of his treasures, and fled hastily up the Nile with such valuables as he could take with him into Ethiopia, beyond the reach of the Persian arms. Athenæus, According to another account, Nectanebo was taken lib. v. 13. prisoner by Ochus, and treated by him with great generosity and kindness; and, when dining at the table of his conqueror, he was led to remark that the proverbial magnificence of the Persian monarch even fell short of the cost and luxury which he had himself been used to, and that he had been ruined by his own wealth, and conquered by the moderation of Ochus.

lib. xvi. 51.

(53) No sooner, however, was ОCHUS master of the country than his conduct changed. He levelled the fortifiDiod. Sic. cations of all cities that he did not garrison; he destroyed the temples, carried away the gold and silver, and only gave up the sacred records on receiving a heavy ransom for them from the priests. He copied lib. iv. 3. Cambyses in making a wanton attack upon the religion and prejudices of his new subjects. When unsuccessful in his first invasion, the Egyptians, punning on his name, Artaxerxes Ochus, had called him Artaxerxes the Ass, and this was not forgotten. So taking up with their joke, he brought forward an ass as the patron deity of the Egyptians, and then slew their sacred bull Apis in sacrifice to the new god. But this insult to the Egyptian religion was neither forgotten nor forgiven. Soon after Lib. vi. 8. Ochus returned to Persia he was stabbed by the slaves in his own service, and first to strike the blow was Bagoas, an Egyptian eunuch, who was urged to the deed by zeal for the bull Apis. He cut the king's body into pieces and threw it to the beasts, as Osiris had been treated by Typhon in the Egyptian mythology.

(54) Ochus had returned to Babylon laden with spoils, and leaving the satrap Pherendates to govern the Diod. Sic. country; and for the next seventeen years Egypt lib. xvi. 51. was a province of Persia.

(55) Thus ended the kingdom of the Copts, if Lower Egypt still deserved that name. It was a country with several races of men; at least three languages were there spoken as native, and neither could now claim the superiority. The energies of the people seemed gone; they scarcely thought their political institutions worth guarding; while the land-holding soldiers, a terror only to their poorer neighbours, kept the arms in their own hands, and were equally unwilling to fight themselves and to allow the Greek mercenaries to fight for them. The superiority of the Greeks had humbled at the same time the valour and the patriotism of the Egyptians, whose skill in war was so little valued that they were even laughed at by the Persians.

(56) The death of Artaxerxes Ochus, and the accession of ARSES, and then of the unfortunate DARIUS CODOMANUS, made no change in the fate of the Egyptians. Egypt remained a province of Persia till Persia was conquered by the Greeks under Alexander. These last two hundred years, which in Egypt are dark with Persian tyranny and unsuccessful struggles for the nation's freedom, are the very years which embrace all that was most bright and glorious in Greek arts and letters. Athens, Sparta, and a few more little cities, had flourished in their noble rivalry. They had once for a moment acted together against the attacks of their common enemy the Persians. But when the growing strength of the monarchies around them called for union, the democracies were unable to unite, and therefore sunk half willingly under the king of Macedonia. Athenian liberty was cradled by Solon and crushed by Alexander. Between these two lived Eschylus, Pindar, Thucydides, Socrates, and Demosthenes. When Solon visited Egypt, Persia was preparing for the Egyptian war; and when Alexander entered Egypt he had already silenced the Athenian orators and was marching to the overthrow of the Persian monarchy.




(1) SUCH was the unhappy state of Egypt when the young ALEXANDER, Succeeding his father Philip on the throne of Macedonia, got himself appointed general by the chief of the Greek states, and marched against Darius Codomanus at the head of the allied armies. It was not difficult to foresee the result. The Greeks had learned the weakness of the Persians by having been so often hired to fight for them. For a century past, every Persian army had had a body of ten or twenty thousand Greeks in the van, and without this guard the Persians were like a flock of sheep without the shepherd's dog. Those countries which had trusted to Greek mercenaries to defend them could hardly help falling when the Greek states united for their conquest.

(2) Alexander defeated the Persians under Darius in a great and memorable battle near the town of Issus, at the foot of the Taurus, at the pass which divides Syria from Asia Minor, and then, instead of marching upon Persia, he turned aside to the easier conquest of Egypt. In his way there he spent seven months on the siege of the Q. Curtius, wealthy city of Tyre, and he there punished with

Diod. Sic. lib. xvii.

lib. iv. B.C. 332.

death every man capable of carrying arms, and made slaves of the rest. He was then stopped for some time before the little town of Gaza, where Batis, the brave governor, had the courage to close the gates against the Greek army. His angry fretfulness at being checked by so small a force was only equalled by his cruelty when he had overcome it; he tied Batis by the heels to his chariot, and dragged him round the walls of the city, as Achilles had dragged the body of Hector.

(3) On the seventh day after leaving Gaza he reached Pelusium, the most easterly town in Egypt, after a march of

lib. iv.

one hundred and seventy miles along the coast of the Mediterranean, through a parched glaring desert which forms the natural boundary of the country; while the fleet kept close to the shore to carry the stores for the army, as no fresh water is to Q. Curtius, be met with on the line of march. The Egyptians did not even try to hide their joy at his approach; they were bending very unwillingly under the heavy and hated yoke of Persia. The Persians had long been looked upon as their natural enemies, and in the pride of their success had added insults to the other evils of being governed by the satrap of a conqueror. They had not even gained the respect of the conquered by their warlike courage, for Egypt had in a great part been conquered and held by Greek mercenaries. (4) The Persian forces had been mostly withdrawn from the country by Sabaces, the satrap of Egypt, to be led against Alexander in Asia Minor, and had formed part of the army of Darius when he was beaten near the town of Issus, on the coast of Cilicia. The garrisons were not strong enough to guard the towns left in their charge; the Greek fleet easily overpowered the Egyptian fleet in the harbour of Pelusium, and the town opened its gates to Alexander. Here he left a garrison, and ordering his fleet to meet him at Memphis, he marched along the river's bank to Heliopolis. All the towns on his approach opened their gates to him. Mazakes, who had been left without an army as satrap of Egypt when Sabaces led the troops into Asia Minor, and who had heard of the shameful flight of Darius, of the death of Sabaces, and that Alexander was master of Phenicia, Syria, and the north of Arabia, had no choice but to yield up the fortified cities without a struggle. The Macedonian army crossed the Nile near Heliopolis, and then entered Memphis.


lib. iii.


lib. iii.

(5) Memphis had long been the chief city of all Egypt, even when not the seat of government. In earlier ages, when the warlike virtues of the Thebans had made Egypt the greatest kingdom in the world, Memphis and the lowland corn-fields of the Delta paid tribute to Thebes; but, with the improvements in navigation, the cities on the coast rose in wealth; the navigation of the Red Sea, though always dangerous, became less dreaded, and Thebes lost the toll on



the carrying trade of the Nile. Wealth alone, however, would not have given the sovereignty to Lower Egypt, had not the Greek mercenaries been at hand to fight for those who would pay them. The kings of Sais had guarded their thrones with Greek shields; and it was on the rash but praiseworthy attempt of Amasis to lessen the power of these mercenaries that they joined Cambyses, and Egypt became a Persian province. In the struggles of the Egyptians to throw off the Persian yoke, we have seen little more than the Athenians and Spartans carrying on their old quarrels on the coasts and plains of the Delta; and the Athenians, who counted their losses by ships not by men, said that Elianus, in their victories and defeats together Egypt had cost them two hundred triremes. Hence, when Alexander by his successes in Greece had put a stop to the feuds at home, the mercenaries of both parties flocked to his conquering standard, and he found himself on the throne of Upper and Lower Egypt without any struggle being made against him by the Egyptians. The Greek part of the population, who had been living in Egypt as foreigners, now found themselves masters. Egypt became at once a Greek kingdom, as though the blood and language of the people were changed at the conqueror's bidding. But the reader of these pages has seen that the change had been coming about slowly for several centuries.

lib. v. 10.

(6) Alexander's character as a triumphant general gains little from this easy conquest of an unwarlike country, and the overthrow of a crumbling monarchy. But as the founder of a new Macedonian state, and for his reuniting the scattered elements of society in Lower Egypt after the Persian conquest in the only form in which a government could be made to stand, he deserves to be placed among the least mischievous of conquerors. We trace his march, not by the ruin, misery, and anarchy which usually follow in the rear of an army, but by the building of new cities, the more certain administration of justice, the revival of trade, and the growth of Arrian. learning. On reaching Memphis, his first care was to prove to the Egyptians that he was come to reestablish their ancient monarchy. He went in state to the temple of Apis, and sacrificed to the sacred bull, as the native kings had done at their coronations; and gained the good will

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