battle of pelusium cats as shields

The Assyrians had already conquered the country in the late 7th century BCE, and the Egyptian army had proven itself no match for the superior weapons and tactics of the Mesopotamian forces. World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization. The Persian king, knowing the veneration the Egyptians held for cats, had the image of Bastet painted on his soldiers' shields and, further, "ranged before his front line dogs, sheep, cats, ibises and whatever other animals the Egyptians hold dear" (Polyaenus VII.9). Map of the Third Intermediate PeriodJeff Dahl (CC BY-SA).

They would have thought it better to surrender than betray their beliefs. On discovering the ruse, Cambyses was so furious that he was bent on invading Egypt itself. On the other side, according to Persian tradition, he was well treated until later, when his participation in a rebellion against the invader was discovered, he committed suicide or was forced to commit suicide ending his dynasty and making way for the XXVII, the Achaemenid, which lasted until 404 BC. Except for brief periods, Egypt ceased to be an autonomous nation following the Persian victory. A Daily Life Encyclopedia (Peter Lacovara)/The Ancient History of the Near East.

Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and University of Missouri. He then cut them one by one, draining their blood and mixing it with wine.

According to Herodotus, Apries was the previous pharaoh whom Amasis had defeated and killed, and whose daughter was now to be sent in place of Amasis's own offspring. Although the Egyptians did occasionally eat meat, and their royalty certainly engaged in the hunt, the Egyptian diet was primarily vegetarian or pescatarian, and this reflected the understanding of the sacred nature of all existence. Mummified pets of different kinds have been found including gazelles, baboons, birds, and even fish.

Polyaenus observes how, through this trickery, Cambyses II opened up the route into Egypt and the path to victory. September 5, 2015. The Egyptians regarded certain animals, especially cats, as being sacred (they had a cat goddess named Bastet), and would not injure them on any account. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt.

ins.dataset.adChannel=cid;if(ffid==2){ins.dataset.fullWidthResponsive='true';} This engagement was the decisive clash between the Pharaoh Psametik III (526-525 BCE) and the Persian king Cambyses II (525-522 BCE), resulting in the first Persian conquest of Egypt. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. The strategic predicament might have been even more exacerbated, since Phanes of Halicarnassus who was one of the better tactical advisers of Egypt, had already took the side ofthe invading Persians. Polyaenus, "a retired Macedonian general more interested in novelty than historical accuracy",[4] claims that, according to legend, Cambyses captured Pelusium by using a clever strategy. Furthermore, there was a big probability that the Egyptians forces (like their Persian counterparts) employed a lot of foreign mercenaries, including Arabs and Greeks who were surely not that fond of Bastet. Sources: Los nueve libros de la Historia (Herdoto)/The complete fragments of Ctesias of Cnidus: translation and commentary with an introduction (Andrew Nichols)/Stratagems (Polyaenus en Attalus)/The world of Ancient Egypt. The story is told by Polyaenus, a Macedonian general and lawyer from the 2nd century A.D. who wrote a military treatise in eight books entitled Stratagems (of which only references remain because it has been lost), and who explains that the Persians threw those animals that Egyptians considered sacred over the battlements in order to obtain a kind of covering fire in their assaults. Of course, the Greek historian only picks up the version of the losers. Posted By: Dattatreya Mandal According to Ctesias, fifty thousand Egyptians fell, whereas the entire loss on the Persian side was only seven thousand. According to Herodotus, Cambyses, in a last attempt to bring an end to the struggle, sent a Persian herald in a ship to exhort the Egyptians to give up before further bloodshed. Once greeted by Cambyses as "the daughter of Amasis", Nitetis explained the trickery employed by Amasis to avoid giving away his own daughter to the king. However, Herodotus takes a contrasting approach by mentioning very few details of the battle itself, except for its unusually high casualties and an ultimate Persian victory. Amasis himself died six months before Cambyses reached Egypt. if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[300,250],'realmofhistory_com-box-4','ezslot_4',156,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-realmofhistory_com-box-4-0')};But all was not well on the alliance front, with Greeks from the Cypriot towns, along with the large fleet of tyrant Polycrates of Samos (a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea), deciding to join the Persians in their invasion. On the other hand, modern sources talk about how instead of using living animals, the Persians might have taken the symbolic route to defeatthe Egyptians. But in Upper Egypt, she was also worshiped in the form of her alter-ego Sekhmet the warrior lioness who was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and symbolically led them in warfare.var asau='2492605976';var cid='6195260937';var pid='ca-pub-2695893311245169';var slotId='div-gpt-ad-realmofhistory_com-banner-1-0';var ffid=1;var alS=1030%1000;var container=document.getElementById(slotId);'100%';var ins=document.createElement('ins');'-asloaded';ins.className='adsbygoogle ezasloaded';ins.dataset.adClient=pid;if(typeof window.adsenseNoUnit=='undefined'){ins.dataset.adSlot=asau;} Battle between Ancient Egypt and the Achaemenid Persian Empire, Srpskohrvatski / , 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 6 July 2022, at 09:38. But Amasis fearing that his own daughter would live out her life as a concubine, decided to send another woman by the name of Nitetis, the daughter of the previous ruler, Apries. The Egyptians subsequently fortified their positions by the mouth of the Nile near the city of Pelusium. World History Encyclopedia. [2][3], Psamtik had hoped that Egypt would be able to withstand the threat of the Persian attack by an alliance with the Greeks, but this hope failed, as the Cypriot towns and the tyrant Polycrates of Samos, who possessed a large fleet, now preferred to join the Persians. [3] The Arabian king, himself an enemy of Amasis and glad to facilitate his destruction, granted safe passage to Cambyses and even supplied him with troops. Memphis was besieged and fell after a relatively short interval. While this may be sound advice, the refusal of the Egyptians to compromise their beliefs - no matter the cost - is a telling detail in understanding what made their culture so admirable and their civilization among the most impressive. Sources: / Attalus /HistoryofWar / Ripleys. Cambyses II is often depicted as a brutal and careless monarch by the Greek writers who had no love for the Persians. Pelusium or Pelosio was a city in Lower Egypt, located in the Nile Delta, although that name derived from the Greek and was later given by the classic authors, the real was Per-Amon. Amasis, unable to let go of his offspring, and unwilling to start a conflict with the Persians, instead sent an Egyptian girl named Nitetis, who was a daughter of an Egyptian named Apries. World History Publishing is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

On the other side, Herodotus does not mention this unusual tactic, but he does mention another equally demoralizing one: Cambyses had Amasis tomb profaned and his mummy burned. Psametik III fortified his position at Pelusium near the mouth of the Nile and awaited the Persian attack while simultaneously preparing his capital city of Memphis to withstand a siege. It has been suggested that the battle would have gone to the Persians regardless of the tactics used since Cambyses II was far more experienced in war than the young Pharaoh Psametik III. In fact, the use of such psychologically-inspired battlefield ploys was not unheard of during ancient times as is evident from the grand Macedonian phalanx demonstration (planned by Alexander the Great) that both impressed and intimidated the rebelling Illyrians. Your email address will not be published.

According to another version, they were not painted images but cats tied in the manner of living armor, which provoked the reluctance of the soldiers to strike against that disconcerting defense, which was one of the causes of the defeat. The influence of Egypt with Amosis reached places such as Cyprus in the north, Cyrene in the west and the first waterfall in the south, but the Persian Empire already appeared in the east. In the year 525 B.C. Mark, J. J. Phanes was captured in Lycia but outwitted his guards by getting them drunk and escaped to Persia, and assisted the Persian king in all manners of strategy, and was instrumental in shaping his resolve for conquest of Egypt. He noted that the skulls of the Egyptians were distinguishable from those of the Persians by their superior hardness, a fact confirmed he said by the mummies, and which he ascribed to the Egyptians' shaving their heads from infancy, and to the Persians covering them up with folds of cloth or linen.

The fields around were strewn with the bones of the combatants when Herodotus visited. Assuming Herodotus is correct, in between the insult and the battle, Amasis died and left the country in the hands of his son Psametik III (also known as Psammeticus III). According to Polyaenus, the Persian king took advantage of this seemingly unhealthy feline fascination of his enemys culture by positioning many such animals in the front-lines of his own army. document.getElementById("ak_js_1").setAttribute("value",(new Date()).getTime()); Home Blog Posts Military The Battle of Pelusium: Cats and psychological edge lead Persians to victory. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Pelusium probably surrendered itself immediately after the battle. To that end, the Persians could have just painted their shields with images and depictions of Bastet, thus psychologically afflicting the Egyptians. Our publication has been reviewed for educational use by Common Sense Education, Internet Scout, Merlot II, OER Commons and School Library Journal. She was the goddess of the home, domesticity, women's secrets, cats, fertility, and childbirth. Herodotus visited the battlefield about seventy-five years later, and reported that the bones of the dead were still lying in the desert. The pharaoh was captured after the fall of Memphis and allowed to live under Persian watch. It should be noted, however, that Herodotus' depiction of Cambyses II has been challenged. The mighty Assyrians had tried their luck in 8th century BC, when Sennacherib attempted to conquer Egypt but was supposedly defeated when a swarm of field-mice destroyed Assyrian bows, quivers and shields (according to Herodotus).

Some cats were also known to be mummified in a ceremonious manner with jewelry as was the case with many noble people. coincidence It is said that Cambyses II, after the battle, hurled cats into the faces of the defeated Egyptians in scorn that they would surrender their country and their freedom fearing for the safety of common animals. She was first represented as a woman with the head of a lioness and closely associated with the vengeful goddess Sekhmet, but the two diverged over time until Bastet was imagined as more of a close companion while Sekhmet remained a force of divine vengeance.'block';'px';'100%';'px';container.appendChild(ins);(adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({});window.ezoSTPixelAdd(slotId,'stat_source_id',44);window.ezoSTPixelAdd(slotId,'adsensetype',1);var lo=new MutationObserver(window.ezaslEvent);lo.observe(document.getElementById(slotId+'-asloaded'),{attributes:true}); Given such propensity for feline symbolization, cats were uniquely sacred in Egypt so much so that the punishment for killing a cat was death by stabbing. Bibliography Of course, there were deeper reasons -economic and political- to initiate the campaign and it was under the reign of Psamtik III when the disaster arrived. Cambyses II is also said to have killed the sacred Apis bull and thrown its carcass into the street and also to have defiled and banned sacred rites and traditions throughout Egypt. Polyaenus claims that Cambyses had his men carry the "sacred" animals in front of them to the attack.

It is possible the mummified cats found at Bubastis were pets who had died naturally and were brought to be interred at a sacred spot. Now when examined from the practical perspective, the use of real animals by the Persian forces to unnerve the Egyptians does seem a bit far-fetched.

He claimed to have examined the skulls and found that the Persians had thin, brittle bones and the Egyptians thick solid bones. [2], Despite having full control over the Neo-Babylonian empire and its sub-regions including northern Arabia, Cambyses sent a message to the King of Arabia requesting safe passage through the desert road from Gaza to Pelusium. Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter!

When word of the Persian mobilization reached him, however, he did his best to mount a defense and prepare for battle. It is probably a legend, typical but so fascinating that many people have tried to find their remains and in 2009 an Italian archaeological expedition found human bones along with weapons and bronze ornaments identified as achaemenides. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. Books [3] Originally a council man and advisor to Amasis, an unknown course of events led to bitterness developing between them to the point that Amasis sent an Egyptian eunuch after Phanes, pursuing him to Lydia. Now according to Herodotus, the bitterness between the two empires was sparked when Psammenitus father, Amasis, decided to dupe Cambyses by sending him a wrong woman. Given this (surely exaggerated) passage of pasthistory, Psammenitus might have felt a bit confident, especially with their already fortified advantage. warfare persia egypt ancient overlord