Petubastis III

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Seheruibre Padibastet, better known as Petubastis III, is a proposed Egyptian ruler, c. 522 – 520 BC, who revolted against Persian rule and satrap Aryandes.[3] His name Padibastet means Given by Bastet.[4]


Petubastis was a native, local prince, dynast and probably a member of the old royal Saitic line who attempted to take control of Egypt and seize power.[5] Although he assumed royal titles and titulary of a pharaoh, he has been a largely unknown character and a shadowy figure in Egyptian history.[5]

Petubastis probably took advantage of the disruption caused by the usurpation of Bardiya after the death of Cambyses to rebel.[6] According to the words and writings of the Ancient Greek military author Polyaenus, who wrote about the revolt, it was oppressive taxation imposed by Aryandes. The Behistun Inscription, which offers great insight for the events during this period, mentions a rebellion in Egypt which occurred at the same time as other rebellions in the eastern quarters of the Persian Empire. Darius I, the author of the Behistun Inscription, does not go into any detail about how he dealt with the rebellion in Egypt; Polyaenus reports that Darius himself moved to Egypt to suppress the revolt, and entered in Memphis during the mourning for the death of an Apis bull. Cunningly, the Great King promised a hundred talents of silver for the one that would provide a new Apis, impressing the natives to the point that they passed en masse to his side.[7] It is most likely Petubastis' revolt was unsuccessful and that the satrap Aryandes quelled the rebellion by 520 BC at the latest, before Darius conducted a visit and authorised the codification of local Egyptian laws about two years later.


The existence of this shadowy rebel ruler was confirmed by inscriptions found on two seals and one scarab that bear his name written in a royal form inside a cartouche.[3] His figure appears on a doorjamb once covered in gold leaf, now at the Louvre Museum, and on a wooden panel now in Bologna (KS 289).[1] There also exists a document that has been dated to 522 BCE, which was the first year of his reign.[5]

In 2014, Olaf Kaper of the Leiden University announced that he found an inscription by Petubastis III claiming that he ambushed and defeated the famous Lost Army of Cambyses.[8][9]

See also[edit]

  • Psammetichus IV – another Egyptian rebel ruler during the First Persian Period.


  1. ^ a b Jean Yoyotte: Pétoubastis III, Revue d'Egyptologie 24 (1972): pp. 216-223, plate 19
  2. ^ Placed in this dynasty only for chronological reasons, as he was not related to the Achaemenids.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ancient Egypt: History and Chronology, 27th dynasty".
  4. ^ Hermann Ranke: Die ägyptischen Personennamen. Verlag von J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, 1935, p.123
  5. ^ a b c Eiddon Stephen Edwards, The Cambridge Ancient History, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p 262
  6. ^ Clayton,P, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson, 2006
  7. ^ Polyaenus, Stratagems VII, 11 §7.
  8. ^ "Egyptologist Discovers What Really Happened to Missing 50,000-Strong Persian Army". 
  9. ^ "Leiden Egyptologist unravels ancient mystery". 


  • Yoyotte, J., 'Pétoubastis III,' Revue d'Égyptologie 24 (1972), 216-23.
Preceded by
Cambyses II
Pharaoh of Egypt
Twenty-seventh Dynasty
Succeeded by
Darius I