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On this page: Amastris – Amata – Amathes – Amathusia – Amatius – Amazones


(i. 30; Plut. £>Zow,_2G; Plat. Timaeus, p. 21.) ; It would appear from Xenophon (Cyrop. viii. 6. § 20) that, after the overthrow of Croesus by Cyrus, Amasis was compelled to pay tribute. He strove to win the favour of the priest-caste by building them temples. During the reign of Amasis agriculture, commerce, and the arts flourished greatly. The extension of Egyptian commerce was much favoured by the conquest of Cyprus, which he made tributary. His reign was one of almost uninterrupted peace and prosperity, which gave him leisure for adorning Egypt with several magnificent buildings and works of art. (ii. 175, 176.) The plans of conquest which Cyrus had been unable to carry into effect, were followed out by Cambyses, who in B. c. 525 led an army against Egypt. According to the story told by Herodotus (iii. 1), Cambyses had been incensed by a deception practised upon him by Amasis, who, pretending to comply with a demand of the Persian king, that he should send him his daughter to adorn his harem, substituted the daughter of Apries for his own. Amasis however did not live to see the fall of his country. He died be­fore Cambyses reached the borders, after a reign of 44 years, and was buried at Sais in the tomb which he had constructed in the temple of Athena, (iii. 10, ii. 169.) His corpse was afterwards taken out of the tomb and shamefully insulted by the order of Cambyses. (iii. 16.) As a governor he exhibited great abilities, and was the author of several useful regulations (ii. 177), but he appears to have indulged in more familiarity towards those about him than was altogether consistent with his kingly dignity. (Herod, ii. 161—182, iii. 1—16 ; Diod. i. 68, 95.)

3. A Persian of the tribe of the Maraphii, who was sent by Aryandes, the governor of Egypt under Cam^ses, at the head of an army, to assist Pheretime, the mother of Arcesilaus III., king of Cyrene. He took Barca by strata­ gem and treachery, and made an unsuccessful attempt upon Cyrene. He was then recalled by Aryandes. On its march back the Persian army suffered severely from the Libyans. (Herod, iv. 167, 201, 203.) [C. P. M.]

AMASTRIS or AMESTRIS ("A/uwrrpw or "A^trrpis). 1. The wife of Xerxes, and mother of Artaxerxes I. According to Herodotus, she was the daughter of Otanes, according to Ctesias, who calls her Amistris, of Onophas. She was cruel and vindictive. On one occasion she sacri­ficed fourteen youths of the noblest Persian families to the god said to dwell beneath the earth. The tale of her horrible mutilation of the wife of Ma-sistes, recorded by Herodotus, gives us a lively picture of the intrigues and cruelties of a Persian harem. She survived Xerxes. (Herod, vii. 61, 114, ix. 108—113; Ctesias, Persic, c. 20. 30. ed. Lion ; Plut. Alcib. p. 123, c.)

2. A daughter of Artaxerxes II., whom her fa­ther promised in marriage to Teribazus. Instead of fulfilling his promise, he married her himself. (Plut. Artax. c. 27.)

3. Also called Amastrine ('Apaffrpivij^ the daughter of Oxyartes, the brother of Darius, was given by Alexander in marriage to Craterus. (Arrian. A nab. vii. 4.) Craterus having fallen in

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love with Phila, the daughter of Antipater, Amas­tris married Dionysius, tyrant of Heracleia, in Bi-thvnia, b. c. 322. After the death of Dionvsius,

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in B. c. 306, who left her guardian of their chil­dren, Clearchus, Oxyathres, and Amastris, she married Lysimachus, b. c. 302. Lysimachns, however, abandoned her shortly afterwards, and married Arsinoe, the daughter of Ptolemy Phila-delphus; whereupon Amastris retired to Heracleia, which she governed in her own right. She also founded a city, called after her own name, on the sea-coast of Paphlagonia. She was drowned by her two sons about b. c. 288. (Memnon, c. 4, 5 ; Diod. xx. 109.) -The head figured below probably represents Amastris: the woman on the reverse holds a small figure of victory in her hand. (Eck-hel, ii. p. 423.)

AMATA, the wife of king Latinus and mother of Lavinia, who, when Aeneas sued for the hand of the latter, opposed him, because she had already promised Lavinia to Turnus. At the same time she was instigated by Alecto, who acted according to the request of Juno, to stir up the war with Turnus. This -story fills the greater part of the seventh book of VirgiPs Aeneid. When Aniata was informed that Turnus had fallen in battle, she hung herself. (Virg. Aen. xii. 600 ; Dionys. i. 64.) [L. S.]

AMATHES ('A/ict07js), a son of Heracles, from whom the town of Amathus in Cyprus was be­ lieved to have derived its name. According to some traditions, however, its name was derived from Amathusa, the mother of Cinyras. (Steph. Byz. s. v. 'A/mflous ) [L. S.]

AMATHUSIA or AMATHU'NTIA ('A,ua- Oovffia or 'Ajuaflouvr/a), a surname of Aphrodite, which is derived from the town of Amathus in Cyprus, one of the most ancient seats of her wor­ ship. (Tac. Annal. iii. 62 ; Ov. Amor. iii. 15. 15 ; Virg. dr. 242 ; Catull. Ixviii. 51.) [L. S.]

AMATIUS, surnanied Pseudomarius, a per­son of low origin, who pretended to be either the son or grandson of the great Marius. On the death of Julius Caesar b. c. 44, he came forward as a popular leader, and erected an altar to Caesar on the spot where his body had been burnt. He was, however, shortly afterwards seized by the consul Antony and put to death without a trial. This illegal act was approved of by the senate in consequence of the advantages they derived from it. Valerius Maximus (ix. 15. § 2) says, that his name was Herophilus. (Appian, B. C. iii. 2, 3; Liv. Epit. 116; Cic. ad Alt. xii. 49, xiv. 6—8, Philipp. i. 2; Nicolaus Damascenus, Vit. Aug. c. 14. p. 258, ed. Coraes.)

AMAZONES fAjua^bVes), a warlike race of females, who act a prominent part in several of the adventures of Greek mythology. All accounts of them agree in the statement, that they came from, the country about the Caucasus, and that their, principal seats were on the river Thermodon, in the neighbourhood of the modern Trebizond. From thence they are said to have at different times in­vaded Thrace, Asia Minor, the islands of the Ae-

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