Zum Datum der persischen Eroberung Ägyptens unter Kambyses

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Joachim F. Quack Ägyptologisches Institut Heidelberg

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There is a long-standing consensus of historians that Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 BCE. This seemed very convenient as long as the reign of Amasis was supposed to have begun in 569 and to have lasted for 44 years. However, a lunar date shows that his accession has to be dated one year earlier. Up to now, the normal process was to ascribe to him an (unattested) 45th year in order to keep the following dates in their places. A study of the Egyptian sources shows that there is strong evidence against such a 45th year and that, given the maximum length of the reign of Psammetichus III, the Persian conquest has to be set in 526 BCE. Relevant texts and the question of dating praxis in Egypt under Cambyses are discussed. Also, a new translation of the decree of Dareios concerning the codification of the laws of Egypt is given, including several new readings.

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