Brief History About the Battle of Pelusium
The battle of Pelusium (526-525 BCE) was fought between the ancient Egyptian empire led by “Pharaoh Psametik III” (526-525 BCE) and the Achaemenid Empire (the First Persian Empire) led by “Cambyses II” (525-522 BCE) due to the stupid and aggravating actions of “Pharaoh Amasis II” the father of Psametik III. The battle of Pelusium was crucial in defining the kingdom’s future since the pharaohs’ throne was handed to Cambyses II of Persia. The Persian army won this fight because of his grasp of Egyptian culture and an innovative plan of utilizing cats as prisoners.
Reasons for the Battle of Pelusium
When King Cambyses asked Amasis’ daughter for marriage, he didn’t want to lose her to a Persian who was considered to be less in stature than an Egyptian even though he was a king, so he sent another girl named “Nitetis” to take her place and pretended to be his daughter and Cambyses’ future wife, but when she stood in front of him, she explained Asami’s wickedness and trickery, and Cambyses vowed to avenge his insult.
Amasia II’s Catastrophic Diplomatic Relations
For an unknown reason, Amasia II’s bitterness toward “Phanes of Halicarnassus,” a wise councilman, mercenary, and tactician, and one of the most respected and revered men in the military and royal community of Egypt, led “Phanes” to become his worst enemy as he escaped to Persia and assisted the Persian king’s army in their conquest in all manners of strategy and tactics, and was the true mastermind in the Amasia II had a poor tendency of making enemies and developing a sour relationship with his neighbours, such as the king of Arabia, who provided safe passage to the Cambyses army and supplied him with men, allowing the Egyptian kingdom to be completely destroyed. Amasis died six months before Cambyses arrived in Egypt, leaving his son “Psamtik” to rely solely on his army and limited military experience to save his country, as all of Egypt’s allies, including the Greek forces, the grand fleet of Polycrates of Samos, and Egypt’s most prominent tactical advisor, phanes of Halicarnassus, had switched sides across the Persian.
The Persian Army’s Brilliant Battle-Winning Strategy
According to Herodotus, the battle of Pelusium was a unique fight since it was the first instance of psychological warfare (a Greek historian). The Persians devised a brilliant strategy to exploit the Egyptians’ religious beliefs: they attacked with cats in front of them, and the Egyptians didn’t dare to shoot an arrow or attack in any way so as not to harm the cats. This strategy was based on the belief that the goddess Bastet (the cat goddess of beauty, protection, the home, and fertility) was the most powerful and honored goddess in Egypt at the time, and as a result, casts were protected and highly respected, as killing a cat resulted in death and eternal damnation in the afterlife, which is why the Egyptians lost the city of Pelusium. The Egyptians lost 50,000 soldiers while the Persians only lost 7,000, and the Egyptians were forced to retire to Memphis. Cambyses led his army to Memphis and defeated the remaining army, forcing Psamtik to abandon the city and live under the Persian emperor’s protection, but he was subsequently killed for launching a revolution against the Persian Empire
The Battle’s Repercussions
Egypt would be controlled by the Persians as an autonomous country for nearly two hundred years between the 27th and 31st dynasties, until Alexander, the Great’s forces arrived in 331 BCE and conquered the region, which was then ruled by a Greek monarchy until it was acquired by the Roman kingdom in 30 BCE.
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