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Cambyses II
𐎣𐎲𐎢𐎪𐎡𐎹
King of Kings
Great King
King of Persia
King of Babylon
Pharaoh of Egypt
King of Countries
Stela Cambyses Apis closeup.jpg
Cambyses (left, kneeling) as pharaoh while worshipping an Apis bull (524 BC)
Reign 530 – July 522 BC
Died July 522 BC
Place of death Agbatana, Eber-Nari
Predecessor Cyrus the Great
Successor Bardiya
Consort See below
Royal House Achaemenid
Father Cyrus the Great
Mother Cassandane
Religious beliefs Indo-Iranian religion
(possibly Zoroastrianism)

Cambyses II (Old Persian: 𐎣𐎲𐎢𐎪𐎡𐎹 Kabūjiya) was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 530 to 522 BC. He was the son and successor of Cyrus the Great (r. 550 – 530 BC) and his mother was Cassandane.

Before his accession, Cambyses had briefly served as the governor of northern Babylonia under his father from April 539 BC to December 538 BC. Afterwards, he continued to roam in the Babylonian cities of Babylon and Sippar, before being appointed by his father as co-ruler in 530 BC, who set off to mount an expedition against the Massagetae of Central Asia, where he met his end. Cambyses thus became the sole ruler of the vast Achaemenid Empire, facing no noticeable opposition.

His relatively brief reign was marked by his conquests in Africa, notably Egypt, which he conquered after his victory over the Egyptian pharaoh Psamtik III (r. 526 – 525) at the battle of Pelusium in 525 BC. After having established himself in Egypt, he expanded his holdings in Africa even further, such as his conquest of Cyrenaica. In the spring of 522 BC, Cambyses hurriedly left Egypt to deal with a rebellion in Persia.

While en route in Syria (Eber-Nari), he received a wound to the thigh, which was soon affected by gangrene. Cambyses died three weeks later at a location called Agbatana, which is most likely the modern city of Hama. He died childless, and was thus succeeded by his younger brother Bardiya, who ruled for a short period before being overthrown by Darius the Great (r. 522 – 486), who went on to increase the power of the Achaemenids even further.

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