Page 0235


horse, and a million of infantry as the terrible array which Astyages deemed necessary to recover a young man whom he could recently have destroyed by a nod. The Mede put himself at the head of his host, and the invasion of Persia began.

Cyrus and Cambyses, his father-king of the Persians-prepared resistance. They had a hundred chariots of war, fifty thousand horsemen, and two hundred thousand infantry. Willing with this comparatively small force to anticipate the movement of his enemy, Cambyses marched boldly to a frontier town of his dominions and awaited the onset. The Medes joined battle, and for a whole day the conflict raged without decisive results; but on the second day superior numbers gave the advantage to Astyages. Detaching a hundred thousand men he sent them to the rear of the town, and while the Persians were absorbed in the main contest the stronghold in their rear was assaulted and taken. In defending the fortifications Cambyses himself received a mortal wound.

The Persians were attacked in front and rear and only succeeded in saving themselves by flight. The army retreated in broken fragments and fell back on Pasargadze, the capital. After burying his dead rival the king of the Medes pressed on to make an end by destroying at one blow the metropolis and the kingdom.

The stress of their affairs brought out