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Therefore a calamity [760] dreadful and unforgettable has been caused by him, a desolating calamity such as never before befell this city of Susa since our Lord Zeus first ordained that one ruler should bear sway over all Asia with its flocks and wield the sceptre of its government. [765] For Medus was first to be the leader of its host; and another, his son, completed his work since wisdom ruled his spirit. Third, after him, Cyrus, blessed in good fortune, came to the throne and established peace for all his people. [770] The Lydians and Phrygians he won to his rule, and the whole of Ionia he subdued by force; for he won the favor of the gods through his right-mindedness. Fourth in succession, the son of Cyrus ruled the host. Fifth in the list, Mardus came to power, a disgrace to his native land [775] and to the ancient throne; but he was slain in his palace by the guile of noble Artaphrenes, with the help of friends whose duty this was. [Sixth came Maraphis, and seventh Artaphrenes.1] And I in turn attained the lot I desired, [780] and many a campaign I made with a valiant force; but disaster so dire as this I brought not upon the state. Yet Xerxes my son, youth that he is, has the mind of youth and does not remember my injunctions. Be sure of this, my age-mates: [785] all of us who have held this sovereign power cannot be shown to have wrought ruin as great as this.

1 This interpolated or corrupt verse possibly comes from a variant list of the conspirators against the Smerdis (in l. 774 called Mardus), whom the Magian rebels planned to put in the place of the real prince of that name, who was slain by his brother Cambyses. The name Maraphis does not occur elsewhere in connection with this event, and neither he nor Artaphrenes was ever king. Herodotus names Intaphernes as the chief conspirator against the false Smerdis.

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