The organization of the Persian Empire under Artaxerxes II was no longer as Darius I had left it. Without an overpowering personality at the helm of the state in Susa, the imperial satraps saw little reason for them not to reassert virtually autonomous control over both the army and financial matters in their respective provinces.
The Egyptian ruler Achoris (394–381) had aided the Greeks in their struggle against Persia through the supply of grain and ships, and had encouraged the ambitions of Evagoras in Cyprus and along the eastern Mediterranean littoral to disrupt the Persian campaign to restore control over Egypt. In the process, Achoris also built a substantial army composed primarily of Greek mercenaries. His successor, Nekhtnebf (381–363), ascended the Egyptian throne just about the time that the Persians were preparing a new campaign to suppress the revolt. By 380, Artaxerxes had reestablished Persian control over Cilicia and Phoenicia, had driven Evagoras back to his enclave at Cypriot Salamis, and, under the direction of Pharnabazus, the former satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, had begun preparations for an assault on Egypt. The campaign was delayed until 373, however, because of a conflict that broke out with the Cadusians in the interim. Although the Egyptians suffered an initial reverse, the indecisiveness of the Persian commander Pharnabazus permitted them to reconstitute their forces and, subsequently, fight the Persian army to a stalemate, making it necessary for the latter to withdraw. This time, however, Artaxerxes could not muster the resources necessary to send yet another army to attempt to suppress the rebellion.
By default, Egypt had finally regained its independence, even though Artaxerxes understood that with the loss of Egypt it would not be long be-