Cambyses II of Persia defeats Psamtik III of Egypt
This is a scene you are used to seeing from Ancient Egypt; a triumphant, dominating king, with a pleading & subdued enemy. But here, the tables have turned. Here the king of Egypt is the pleading subdued one, as the “Achaemenid King of Kings” holds the power.
The king of Egypt pleading with the Achaemenian king. Possibly king Psamtik III of Egypt being defeated by Cambyses II of Persia, marking the start of the 27th Dynasty of Egypt, the first under Persian rule (c.525-404 B.C.). The other Persian occupation being the 31st Dynasty, when once more the Achaemenian king Artaxerxes III gained rulership over the Egyptian empire, (c. 343-332 B.C), later to be dissolved by Alexander the Great.
This is a chalcedony (quartz) Achaemenid cylinder seal, known today as the Zvenigorodsky seal, and dates from Late 500 B.C. – 400 B.C., around the time of the Persian conquest of Egypt.
Although this piece holds no titles, we can see a man in Egyptian dress, with the double crown kneeling before the Achaemenid King, with bound prisoners behind the Persian ruler. Bordering the scene are two date palms, still growing today in Egypt. Therefore, this scene is believed to depict the Persian (Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire) dominance over Ancient Egypt.
The Zvenigorodsky seal now belongs to the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Inv.no Гл-501
Watch our YouTube video about the first Persian conquest of Egypt here: