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Having thus secured, beyond peradventure, the capitals of two of the principal states of

the West, Nebuchadnezzar was free to undertake the chastisement of Egypt. It will be

remembered how Pharaoh Apries, having allowed Zedekiah to break with the Babylonians in

the interest of Egypt, had incontinently rushed to the support of his ally and had then

incontinently rushed back again. Nebuchadnezzar now made preparations to punish

his would-be rival, and, in B. C. 581, began an Egyptian campaign.

Herodotus and the records of Egypt differ as to the results of the invasion, the former

staling that Apries was dethroned and put to death; the latter, that the Pharaoh continued

to reign until many years afterwards, when he perished in an insurrection of his own

subjects. The truth appears to be that in his first campaign, Nebuchadnezzar had no marked

success; but that in a second invasion of the country, in B. C. 570, the king of Egypt was

driven from his throne, to be succeeded by Ainasis, who became tributary to Babylonian


Such were the wars of the great king in Syria and the West. Besides these actual

achievements tradition has built up about the name of Nebuchadnezzar almost as dazzling an

array of conquests as of Sesostris or of Alexander. The Babylonian was even reputed to

have made war in Africa and Spain and all around the outposts to the horizon of

civilization, until his Empire extended from the Pillars of Hercules to the limits of

Armenia and the foot of the Caucasus. For such extraordinary exploits and wide-spread

dominion there are no sufficient grounds of historic belief. After all deductions,

however, the wars of Nebuchadnezzar were sufficiently important and successful to win for

him the name of a great conqueror, and to insure for his own capital and kingdom an era of

peace and splendor.

Perhaps the first great result of these imperial conquests was to bring into Babylon and

the surrounding districts vast multi-