Herodotus on Pheros

Herodotus tells us that Sesostris was succeeded by his son Pheros. Some argue that this name was simply a derivation of the title “pharaoh”, and it is not clear which king the name actually refers to.

His story is clearly fanciful, and (unsurprisingly) is not supported by any archaeological evidence.

Apparently, the king became blind when he threw a spear into the waters of the Nile. He was told by an Oracle that he would regain his sight when he washes his eyes in the “water” of a woman who had remained faithful to her husband. When the king tried using his own wife’s water, he remained blind. So he worked his way though all of the women of the land. When he eventually discovered a faithful woman, he summoned all of the others to the city of Erythrabolos (“Red Clod”?) and burned them all to death. He then married the faithful woman, who was already married, thus making her unfaithful to her husband!

Herodotus: Pharaohs

Copyright J Hill 2010