Did King Darius make up the story of Cambyses’s madness?



Damien F. Mackey


Dear Sir, I am reading your Nabonidus papers. Re: the madness of Cambyses, this is a story made up by Darius to justify his seizure of power from the sons of Cyrus. Cyrus would have known if Cambyses was prone to madness and would not have entrusted the throne to him. Cambyses was not mad; he did die from a wound; but not one self inflicted for having killed the Apis Bull. The Apis Bull died a natural death and was replaced. There was no “imposter” Bardiya. Darius killed the real Bardiya and made up the imposter and Cambyses madness stories to cover up his seizure of power. Herodotus was taken in, or otherwise induced to endorse the false propaganda. Yours ….


Damien Mackey’s response:

Or is it “Cambyses” as a Persian king that has been “made up”?


For, might not “Cambyses” actually be the mad King Nebuchednezzar himself?

After all, Cambyses had (as I have noted in articles) another name, “Nebuchednezzar”.


And Nebuchednezzar also smashed Egypt – particularly in his guise as Ashurbanipal (who had a burning fiery furnace). See e.g. my series:

“Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”: dreams, illness-madness, Egyptophobia. Part Two: Ashurbanipal; Nabonidus; Cambyses; Artaxerxes III

most relevant, in this case, being Part Two:


And his death also occurred apparently soon after he was in Egypt.


And he, too, was highly superstitious and pious.

And he, too, messed around with the traditional rites.


And I have also suggested that the Udjahorresne who had assisted Cambyses in Egypt was the very same individual as Tirhakah’s son and heir, Ushanahuru:


Cambyses mentored in Egypt by Udjahorresne. Part Two: Meeting and identifying Udjahorresne


Tirhakah being, of course, a contemporary of Ashurbanipal (= Nebuchednezzar).


My best regards,



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