Amasis Becomes Pharaoh

Chapter 169 (part 1 of 2). Apries' Greek mercenaries are too few to carry the day, and Amasis' Egyptians overwhelm them, capturing Apries. The battlefield at Momemphis was about halfway between Sais and Memphis, near the river. Amasis takes over the grand palace in Sais, and everything that belonged to Apries. He treats the deposed Apries well, but the other Egyptians demand the ex-Pharaoh's death, and Amasis eventually hands him over to them. This probably summarizes a more complicated episode, involving co-regency and a later battle in which Apries is supposed to have been killed. Herodotus only relates what the Egyptians told him.



We meet an older genitive singular for first declension masculines here. Herodotus uses w in place of oi . The handing over is present tense, and an example of a contraction from a theoretical form. It is interesting to study the use of the tenses in this selection, comparing aorist and imperfect. As usual, participles are very important. There are several examples of Ionic usage in this section that are not specifically pointed out, since we have seen them previously, or they seem obvious.

And then Apries, leading the mercenaries, and Amasis all the Egyptians, coming together arrived in the town of Momemphis and clashed. Although the foreigners fought well, being much less in number were for this reason beaten. It is said that Apries had the belief that not even a god had the power to end his rule. Thus, he thought he was safely settled. Then, in the conflict he was defeated and captured alive was led to the town of Sais, into the same dwelling that was previously his, but now was Amasis' palace. There, for a while, he was kept in the royal household, and Amasis treated him well. Finally the Egyptians complained that it was not doing right to maintain theirs and his worst enemy, so he handed Apries over to the Egyptians.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Last revised 7 July 1999