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Praxaspes

Πραξάστης), a Persian, who was high in favour with king Cambyses, and acted as his messenger. By his means Cambyses had his brother Smerdis assassinated. In one of his fits of madness, Cambyses shot the son of Praxaspes with an arrow through the heart, in the presence of his father. When the news of the usurpation of Smerdis reached Cambyses, he naturally suspected Praxaspes of not having fulfilled his directions. The latter, however, succeeded in clearing himself. After the death of Cambyses, the Magians deemed it advisable to endeavour to secure the co-operation of Praxaspes, as he was the only person who could certify the death of Smerdis, having murdered him with his own hands. He at first assented to their proposals, but having been directed by them to proclaim to the assembled Persians that the pretender was really the son of Cyrus, he, on the contrary, declared the stratagem that was being practised, and then threw himself headlong from the tower on which he was standing, and so perished. (Hdt. 3.30, 33, 34, 62, 66, 74.)

[C.P.M]

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