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Smerdis (smûrˈdĭs) [key], d. c.528 B.C., second son of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia. He is also called Bardiya. He was assassinated by his brother Cambyses II, who kept the murder a secret. Patizithes, the Magian custodian of Cambyses' palace, deposed Cambyses (who was campaigning in Egypt), put forward his own brother Guamata to impersonate Smerdis, and proclaimed him king. After a reign of seven months the false Smerdis was overthrown (521 B.C.) and slain. Darius I succeeded Guamata.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Middle East: Biographies

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