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Hegemons

Inarus or Inaros

Inaros, son of Psammitichus, a chief of some of the Libyan tribes to the west of Egypt, commenced hostilities against the Persians at the western extremity of the Delta, and gradually succeeded in extending them to a general revolt, under his direction, of Egypt. This, according to Diodorus (xi. 71), would be in B. C. 461. In 460 Inaros called in the Athenians, who, with a fleet of 200 gallies, were then off Cyprus : the ships sailed up to Memphis, and, occupying two parts of the town, besieged the third (Thuc. i. 104). This was probably preceded by a great battle, recorded by Ctesias and Diodorus (Diod. xi. 74; Ctesias, 32), in which an immense host of Persians was defeated, and Achacmenes, the brother of the king Artaxerxes, slain by the hand of Inaros. But a new army, under a new commander, Megabyzus, was more successful. The Egyptians and their allies were defeated; and Inaros, says Thucydides (i. 110), was taken by treachery, and crucified, B. C. 455. According to Ctesias he retreated, when all Egypt fell from him, into the town of Byblus, and here capitulated with the Greeks, on the promise that his life should be spared. Megabyzus thus carried him prisoner to the court; and here the urgency of Amytis, the mother of the king, and Achaemenes, drove Artaxerxes, after five years' interval, to break the engagement which he had confirmed to his general. Inaros was put to a barbarous death, a combination, it sees, of impaling and flaying alive (epi trisi staurois, Ctesias; comp. Plut. Artax. c. 17). Megabyzus, in indignation, revolted. Herodotus records the death of Achaemenes by the hand of Inaros, and speaks of having seen the bones of those that fell with him in battle at Papremis (Herod. vii. 7, iii. 12). He also tells us that though Inaros had done the Persians more hurt than any man before him, his son Thannyras was allowed to succeed him in his government, that is, we must suppose, of the Libyan tribes. (Herod. iii. 15)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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