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Psammenĭtus

Ψαμμήνιτος). Psamthek III., the last king of Egypt and a member of the Saïtic dynasty, the twenty-sixth of the royal lines that ruled in this country. Iulius Africanus calls him Psammecherītes. He was the son and successor of Amasis, and ascended the throne at the very moment that Camhyses was marching against Egypt to dethrone the father. Psammenitus met Cambyses on the frontiers, near the Pelusiac hranch of the Nile, with all his forces—Egyptians, Grecks, and Carians—but was totally defeated in a bloody battle. Shutting himself up in Memphis, he was besieged here by Cambyses, and, according to Ctesias, was finally betrayed and taken prisoner. All Egypt thereupon fell under the Persian power, and the reign of Psammenitus ended after a duration of only six months. The greatest outrages were heaped upon the unfortunate monarch and his family; but the firmness with which he endured them all touched at last even the ferocious Cambyses with compassion. Psammenitus was thereupon retained at court, treated with honour, and finally sent to Susa along with 6000 Egyptian captives. Having been accused, however, subsequently, of attempting to stir up a revolt, he was compelled to drink bull's blood, and ended his days (Herod.iii. 10 foll.).

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