This book takes a look at the phenomenon of people pretending to be deceased royalty. A number of examples throughout history are depicted in different chapters.
nd the other is his brother named Smerdis." He then conjured them to take vengeance upon the pretenders, and with some shrewd injunctions, took leave of them. After this interview his wound rapidly became mortal, and he died after a reign of little more than seven years.
Upon the decease of Cambyses, no one cared to dispute possession of the Persian throne with the pseudo Smerdis, who was, indeed, generally believed to be the prince whose name he had assumed, most people deeming the dying words of the late monarch to have been prompted by a desire for vengeance upon his brother for seeking the Persian sovereignty during his life. As for Prexaspes, for obvious reasons he refrained from proclaiming his share in the death of a son of Cyrus.
For seven months the pretender ruled this mighty empire, and with such beneficence and justice that for long after his death he was deeply regretted by all the peoples of Asia, with the exception of the warlike Persians, whom he offended by exempting all his sub