Losing Egypt, 415–400

Stephen Ruzicka

in Trouble in the West

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199766628
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932719 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Early Empires

Losing Egypt, 415–400

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Persia's continuing control of Egypt depended on the continuing submissiveness of independent-minded Delta dynasts, who were very astute in identifying moments of imperial weakness or vulnerability or moments of increasing power on the part of potential Persian opponents. So long as a state of détente between Athens and Persian continued, dynasts were quiet. But once Persian-Athenian hostilities resumed by 412, dynasts became actively rebellious in expectation of Athens’ engagement against Persia. Apparent Athenian success in the Peloponnesian War, which would free them from war with Sparta and place them in confrontation with Sparta's patron, the Persian king, sparked Egyptian revolt, at least in the Delta. The new Persian king made preparations in response and might have quickly suppressed this revolt but for the attempt by Cyrus the Younger to seize the kingship. This diverted the campaign force poised to attack Egypt, and the political aftermath of Cyrus’ attempted usurpation furnished rebel dynasts with sufficient time to extend the revolt throughout the whole of Egypt and to recreate an independent native kingship, which controlled all of Egypt by 399.

Keywords: Darius II; Amyrtaeus; Artaxerxes II; Cyrus the Younger; Egyptian Revolt

Chapter.  3120 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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