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On this page: Prytanis – Psamatosiris – Psammenitus – Psammis of – Psammitichus



pian. Miilir. 4—7 ; Justin. xxxiv. 4 ; Liv. Epit. \. ; Diod. xxxii. Exc. Phot. p. 523; Zonar. ix. 28.)

Prusias II. is described to us as a man in whom personal deformity was combined with a character the most vicious and degraded, and all ancient authors concur in representing him as the slave of every vice that was contemptible in a man, or odious in a king. . His passion for the chase is attested by the epithet of the "Huntsman" (Kwyyos), by which he is sometimes designated. (Polyb. xxx. 16, xxxvii. 2 ; Diod. xxxii. Exc. Vales, p. 591 ; -Appian. Miilir. 2, 4 ; Liv. Epit. 1. ; Athen. xi. p. 496. d.)

The chronology of the reigns of tie two kings who bore the name of Prusias is very obscure: the earlier writers, such as Reinerus and Sigonius, even confounded the two, and supposed that there was only one king of Bithynia of this name. Va-lesius (ad Polyb. xxxvii. 2) was the first to point out this error: and the subject has since been fully investigated by Mr. Clinton (F.H. vol. iii. pp.413, 418.) If we adopt the view of the last author, we may assign to the elder Prusias a reign of about 48 years (b. c. 228—180), and of 31 years to the younger (180—149). But of these dates the only one that can be fixed with certainty is that of the death of Prusias II. [E. H. B.J


PRYTANIS (npiWis). 1. A king of Sparta, of the Proclid line, who, according to Pausanias, was the son of Eurypon, and fourth king of that race. The same author ascribes to his reign the commencement of the wars between Sparta and Argos. Diodorus allots a period of forty-nine years to his reign, but omits all notice of the two kings between him and Procles. It is needless to remark, that the chronology, and even the gene­alogy, of the kings of Sparta before Lycurgus, is probably apocryphal. (Paus. iii. 7. § 2 ; Diod. ap. Euseb. Arm. p. 150.)

2. One of the sons of parisades I., king of Bosporus. He appears to have submitted without opposition to the authority of his elder brother Satyrus, who ascended the throne on the death of Parisades, b. c. 311, and was left by him in charge of his capital city of Panticapaeum, during the campaign in which he engaged against their remaining brother Eumelus. Satyrus him­ self having fallen on this expedition, Prytanis as­ sumed the sovereign power, but was defeated by Eumelus, and compelled to conclude a treaty, by which he resigned the crown to his brother. Not­ withstanding this, he made a second attempt to recover it, but was again defeated, and put to death by order of Eumelus. His wife and chil­ dren shared the same fate. (Diod. xx. 22— 24.) [E. H. B.]

PSAMATOSIRIS. [arsacidae, p. 363, a.]

PSAMMENITUS (VawfriTos), king of Egypt, succeeded his father Amasis in b. c. 526, and reigned only six months. He was conquered



by Cambyses in b. c. 525, and his country made a province of the Persian empire. His life was spared by Cambyses, but as he was detected shortly afterwards in endeavouring to excite a revolt among the Egyptians, he was compelled to put an end to his life by drinking bull's blood. (Herod, iii. 10, 13—15.)

PSAMMIS OFa/x^s),king of Egypt, succeeded his father Necho in b. c. 601, and reigned six years.. He carried on war against Ethiopia, and died immediately after his return from the latter country. He was succeeded by his son A pries in b. c. 596 or 595. (Herod, ii. 159—161.) In con­sequence of the shortness of his reign and his war with the Ethiopians, his name does not occur in the writers of the Old Testament, like those of his father and son. Herodotus is the only writer who calls him Psammis. Manetho calls him Psam-muthis, and Rosellini and Wilkinson make him Psametik II. (Bunsen, Aegpytcns Stette in der WeltgescliicMe, vol. iii. p. 130.)

PSAMMITICHUS or PSAMME'TICHUS (^fa^inx,^ or ^ayU/xTfn^os), the Greek form of the Egyptian psametik. 1. A king of Egypt, and founder of the Saitic dynasty, reigned 54 years, according to Herodotus, that is, from b. c. 671 to 617.* (Herod, ii. 157.) The reign of this monarch forms an important epoch in Egyptian history. It was during his time that the Greeks were first introduced into Egypt; and accordingly the Greek writers were no longer exclusively de­pendent on the accounts of the Egyptian priests for the history of the country. Psammitichus was the son of Necho, and after his father had been put to death by Sabacon, the Aethiopian usurper of the Egyptian throne, he fled to Syria, and was restored to Egypt by the inhabitants of the Saitic district, of which he was a native, when Sabacon abandoned Egypt in consequence of a dream. (Herod, ii. ] 52.) The manner in which Psammitichus obtained possession of the kingdom is related at length by Herodotus. After the death of Setho, the king and priest of Hephaestos, the dominion of Egypt was divided among twelve kings, of whom Psam­mitichus was one.

This period is usually called the Dodecarchia. The twelve kings probably obtained their inde­pendent sovereignty in the confusion which fol­lowed the death of Setho, of which Diodonis speaks (i. 66), and to which Isaiah probably al­ludes, when he says (Is. xix. 2), lfc they fought every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour ; city against city, and king­dom against kingdom." The Dodecarchia is not mentioned by Manetho, but he makes three kings of the Saitic dynasty intervene between the last of the Ethiopians and Psammitichus. This, how­ever, need occasion us no surprise, because, as Bunsen remarks, lists of dynasties know nothing of anarchies or dodecarchies ; and, in the chronological tables of a monarchy, the name of a prince has the dynastic right of occupying the period, which the historian must represent as an anarchy or a divided sovereignty. Thus Louis XVIII. did not enter France as king till the eighteenth year of his reign, and Louis XVII. is never even mentioned in French history.

But to return to the narrative of Herodotus. These

* Bbckh places his accession in b. c. 654. (Afa-netho und die Hundstern-Periode, p. 342, &c.)

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