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Cambyses I


A Persian nobleman. Terracotta figure from Persepolis. Archaeological museum, Tehran (Iran). Photo Marco Prins.
A Persian nobleman.
Terracotta figure from
Persepolis (Archaeological
museum
, Tehran)
Cambyses (Old Persian Kambujiya): son of king Cyrus of Anšan, member of the Achaemenid dynasty, ruling as king in Anšan, the central part of Persia. In the first half of the sixth century BCE, Persia was subjected to the Medes, so he was a kind of vassal king.

According to the Greek researcher Herodotus, Cambyses was married to Mandane, the daughter of the Median leader Astyages; their son was the founder of the Achaemenid empire, king Cyrus the Great. This boy was born in or about 576 BCE, which leads to the conclusion that Cambyses was born somewhere c.600. It may be that his reign started in 580; it is certain that he died in 559 and Cyrus became king.

It is unclear whether the story about Cambyses' marriage to Mandane is true. Cyrus' Median mother may have been invented to justify the later Persian suzerainity. On the other hand, diplomatic marriages are of all ages.

Herodotus, Histories 1.107, calls Cambyses 'a man of good family and quiet habits'. An important archaeological site from his age is Masjid-e Solaiman, which is associated with the birth of his famous son.

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