When, namely, the forces of
Mentor and Bagoas were encamped near Bubastus, the Egyptians, without the knowledge of the
Greeks, sent an envoy to Bagoas offering to deliver the city if he would consent to their
The Greeks, having knowledge of the mission, overtook
the envoy and by dire threats extracted the truth, whereat they were much enraged and attacked
the Egyptians, slew some, wounded others, and herded the rest into a quarter of the city.
The discomfited men, having notified Bagoas of what had taken
place, asked him to come with all speed and receive the city from themselves. But the Greeks
had been privately treating with Mentor, who gave them secret encouragement, as soon as Bagoas
should enter Bubastus, to attack the barbarians.
when Bagoas with the Persians was entering the city without the sanction of the Greeks and a
portion of his men had got inside, the Greeks suddenly closed the gates and attacked those who
were inside the walls, and, having slain all the men, took Bagoas himself prisoner.
The latter, seeing that his hopes of safety lay in Mentor, besought him
to spare his life and promised in future to do nothing without his advice.
Mentor, who now prevailed upon the Greeks to set Bagoas free and to
arrange the surrender through himself, won credit himself for his success, but, having become
responsible for Bagoas' life, he made an agreement with him for common action, and after an
exchange of pledges on this matter kept the agreement faithfully till the end of his life.
The result of this was that these two by their co-operation
in the service of the King attained later on to the greatest power of all the friends and
relatives at Artaxerxes' court. In fact Mentor, having been appointed to the chief command in
the coastal districts of Asia, performed great services to the King in gathering mercenaries
from Greece and sending them to Artaxerxes, and in the course of his activities administering
all his duties courageously and loyally.
As for Bagoas, after
he had administered all the King's affairs in the upper satrapies,1
to such power because of his partnership with Mentor that he was master of the kingdom, and
Artaxerxes did nothing without his advice. And after Artaxerxes' death he designated in every
case the successor to the throne and enjoyed all the functions of kingship save the title. But
of these matters we shall record the details in their proper chronological sequence.