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353 PERSIA-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

and Khorassal, Cambyses would do with the nations of the unknown southwest. Three great

campaigns were accordingly planned by the conqueror; one against Carthage, one against the

Oasis of Arnun, and the third against Ethiopia. In the prosecution of the first he was

thwarted at the very outset by an unexpected difficulty. The Phoenicians refused to

participate in the Carthaginian expedition on the grounds that Carthage was a Phoenician

colony, and that they could not be expected to make war upon their own kinsmen and

friends. Without the cooperation of the fleet the campaign was an impossibility, for no

march to such a distance with the desert on the left and the sea on the right, could be

conducted without a constant resort to ships for necessary supplies. So the attack on

Carthage had to be postponed or wholly given up. But the expedition against Amun was

immediately under- taken. It will be remembered that this oasis was the seat of the

worship of the god Amun, held in such high esteem by the Thebans, and, indeed, by all the

hierarchy of Egypt. To overthrow this shrine and altar, and to substitute therefor the

rites and ceremonies of Zoroastrianism, seemed to Cambyses a necessary part of the work by

which Persia and Persian institutions should become predominant in all the world. So an

army of fifty thousand men was organized at Memphis and dispatched against Amun. But Amun

was regardful of his ancient rights. The Libyan sands were blown up in a terrific storm,

and the whole army was buried alive. Not a man was left to carry the news to Cambyses how

nature had fought for Africa.

These checks and disasters angered rather than dismayed the Persian monarch. With the

residue of his forces, he now undertook in person the subjugation of Ethiopia. The march

lay. across the Nubian desert. It was more Serious business than the crossing of those

Syrian wastes with which the kings of Western Asia were all familiar. The Persian had not

advanced far until he began to be distressed by failure of provisions. The farther he went

the more straitened became his condition. To go

forward was irretrievable ruin; to return was humiliation and disgrace. Necessity turned

the scale in favor of retreat. Without striking a blow Cambyses staggered back across the

desert, arid was glad to find himself again in Egypt with the survivors of his ill-advised

expeditions.

The Egyptians-especially the priests- were quick to see what they regarded as the omens of

hope in these disasters of their oppressor. To the people the haggard king and his hungry

forces seemed now but an army of shreds and patches. The gods of Africa were evidently in

a revival. Wherefore the priests proceeded to declare a new incarnation of Apis, and the

people, in accordance with immemorial usage on such occasions, broke forth in a jubilee.

Meanwhile, political sedition was at work. Psametik himself, who until now had retained

the government-of course, under direction of his conqueror-was detected in treasonable

intrigues. The Egyptian princes were mostly engaged in the same dangerous business, and

the priests were eager to set fire to the insurrection. But the Persian lion, who had come

back half- starved from the Nubian desert, was still a lion, and he soon taught them the

folly of supposing him an ass. He seized Psametik and put him to death. The nobles who had

conspired with him were also slain. The priests were scourged until their sacred backs

were bloody. The new Apis, in all his royal calfhood, was ordered to be brought into the

presence of Cambyses, who ran him through with his sword. The festival of the incarnation

was abolished by an edict. Every tradition of the hierarchy was openly insulted. The king

tore open the sacred sarcophagi, and handled the royal mummies with as much contempt as if

they had been pieces of decayed wood. He went into the holy places in the temples of

Memphis, and made faces at the image of Phtha. His insulted godship was then taken down

and burned. The Egyptians quailed before the angry monarch, whose vehement character they

had underestimated, and all symptoms of rebellion immediately disappeared. There is little

doubt, however, that the wrath of the king