USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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The negative depiction of Cambyses offered up in the historical record is due in some part to the sources themselves. Herodotus, for instance, characterizes Cambyses as vicious and insane, but this gruesome portrait is surely influenced by both the Greek historian's antagonism toward Persians as a whole and his general love of scandal. Added to that may be anti-Cambyses propaganda found in Persian sources originating, no doubt, in the reigns of Darius and Xerxes, Cambyses' successors, who sought to enhance their image by comparison to the previous regime and so told tales of Cambyses' savagery.

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