31st Century BC to 332 BC
EgyptAncient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age, and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.
The Badari was followed by the Naqada culture: the Amratian (Naqada I). The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (ca. 4000–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon dating study of the Predynastic period, however, suggests a much later date beginning sometime between 3,800–3,700 BC.
Gerzeh period followed Naqada I. The Gerzeh culture, also called Naqada II, which refers to the archaeological stage at Gerzeh (also Girza or Jirzah), a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile. The necropolis is named after el-Girzeh, the nearby contemporary town in Egypt.
Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating from approximately 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which began in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful polities.
The Early Dynastic Period was approximately contemporary to the early Sumerian-Akkadian civilization of Mesopotamia and of ancient Elam. The third-century BC Egyptian priest Manetho grouped the long line of kings from Menes to his own time into 30 dynasties, a system still used today. He began his official history with the king named "Meni" (or Menes in Greek) who was believed to have united the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. The transition to a unified state happened more gradually than ancient Egyptian writers represented, and there is no contemporary record of Menes. Some scholars now believe, however, that the mythical Menes may have been the king Narmer, who is depicted wearing royal regalia on the ceremonial Narmer Palette, in a symbolic act of unification. In the Early Dynastic Period, which began about 3000 BC, the first of the Dynastic kings solidified control over lower Egypt by establishing a capital at Memphis, from which he could control the labor force and agriculture of the fertile delta region, as well as the lucrative and critical trade routes to the Levant.
Yuntio Asiatica belongs to the tribes of the Arabian Desert as well as the Sinai. In pre-dynastic times, they appeared more enemies of Egypt and attacked in the eastern Nile Delta. Later on, the Yuntio tribes took possession of the Nubian Desert. The Yunteo tribe of Asia was defeated. Which posed a great danger to Egypt under the leadership of King Den (1st Dynasty).
The first King of the Old Kingdom was Djoser (sometime between 2691 and 2625 BC) of the Third Dynasty, who ordered the construction of a pyramid (the Step Pyramid) in Memphis' necropolis, Saqqara. An important person during the reign of Djoser was his vizier, Imhotep.
The Old Kingdom and its royal power reached a zenith under the Fourth Dynasty (2613–2494 BC), which began with Sneferu (2613–2589 BC). After Djoser, Pharaoh Snefru was the next great pyramid builder. Snefru commissioned the building of not one, but three pyramids. The first is called the Meidum Pyramid, named for its location in Egypt. Using more stones than any other Pharaoh, he built the three pyramids: a now collapsed pyramid in Meidum, the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur, and the Red Pyramid, at North Dahshur. However, the full development of the pyramid style of building was reached not at Saqqara, but during the building of 'The Great Pyramids' at Giza.
Khafra was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He was the son of Khufu and the throne successor of Djedefre. According to the ancient historian Manetho, Khafra was followed by king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidence, he was instead followed by king Menkaure. Khafra was the builder of the second-largest pyramid of Giza. The view held by modern Egyptology at large continues to be that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC for Khafra. Not much is known about Khafra, except the historical reports of Herodotus, writing 2,000 years after his life, who describes him as a cruel and heretical ruler who kept the Egyptian temples closed after Khufu had sealed them. The latter built the second pyramid and (in traditional thinking) the Great Sphinx of Giza.
During the Sixth Dynasty (2345–2181 BC) the power of the pharaoh gradually weakened in favor of powerful nomarchs (regional governors). These no longer belonged to the royal family and their charge became hereditary, thus creating local dynasties largely independent from the central authority of the Pharaoh. However, Nile flood control was still the subject of very large works, including especially the canal to Lake Moeris around 2300 BC, which was likely also the source of water to the Giza pyramid complex centuries earlier. Internal disorders set in during the incredibly long reign of Pepi II (2278–2184 BC) towards the end of the dynasty. His death, certainly well past that of his intended heirs, might have created succession struggles. The country slipped into civil wars mere decades after the close of Pepi II's reign.
The Seventh and Eighth Dynasties are often overlooked because very little is known about the rulers of these two periods. Manetho, a historian, and a priest from the Ptolemaic era, describes 70 kings who ruled for 70 days. This is almost certainly an exaggeration meant to describe the disorganization of the kingship during this time period. The Seventh Dynasty may have been an oligarchy comprising powerful officials of the Sixth Dynasty based in Memphis who attempted to retain control of the country. The Eighth dynasty rulers, claiming to be the descendants of the Sixth Dynasty kings, also ruled from Memphis. Little is known about these two dynasties since very little textual or architectural evidence survives to describe the period. However, a few artifacts have been found, including scarabs that have been attributed to king Neferkare II of the Seventh Dynasty, as well as a green jasper cylinder of Syrian influence which has been credited to the Eighth Dynasty. Also, a small pyramid believed to have been constructed by King Ibi of the Eighth Dynasty has been identified at Saqqara. Several kings, such as Iytjenu, are only attested once and their position remains unknown.
Sometime after the obscure reign of the Seventh and Eighth Dynasty kings a group of rulers arose in Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt. These kings comprise the Ninth and Tenth Dynasties, each with nineteen listed rulers. The Heracleopolitan kings are conjectured to have overwhelmed the weak Memphite rulers to create the Ninth Dynasty, but there is virtually no archaeology elucidating the transition, which seems to have involved a drastic reduction in population in the Nile Valley.
The founder of the Ninth Dynasty, Akhthoes or Akhtoy, is often described as an evil and violent ruler, most notably in Manetho's writing. Possibly the same as Wahkare Khety I, Akhthoes was described as a king who caused much harm to the inhabitants of Egypt, was seized with madness, and was eventually killed by a crocodile. This may have been a fanciful tale, but Wahkare is listed as a king in the Turin Canon. Kheti I was succeeded by Kheti II, also known as Meryibre. Little is certain of his reign, but a few artifacts bearing his name survive. It may have been his successor, Kheti III, who would bring some degree of order to the Delta, though the power and influence of these Ninth Dynasty kings were seemingly insignificant compared to the Old Kingdom pharaohs.
It has been suggested that an invasion of Upper Egypt occurred contemporaneously with the founding of the Heracleopolitan kingdom, which would establish the Theban line of kings, constituting the Eleventh and Twelfth Dynasties. This line of kings is believed to have been descendants of Intef, who was the nomarch of Thebes, often called the "keeper of the Door of the South". He is credited for organizing Upper Egypt into an independent ruling body in the south, although he himself did not appear to have tried to claim the title of king.
However, Intef the Elder successors in the Eleventh and Twelfth Dynasties would later do so for him. One of them, Intef II, begins the assault on the north, particularly at Abydos. By around 2060 BC, Intef II had defeated the governor of Nekhen, allowing further expansion south, toward Elephantine. His successor, Intef III, completed the conquest of Abydos, moving into Middle Egypt against the Heracleopolitan kings.
The first three kings of the Eleventh Dynasty (all named Intef) were, therefore, also the last three kings of the First Intermediate Period and would be succeeded by a line of kings who were all called Mentuhotep. Mentuhotep II, also known as Nebhepetra, would eventually defeat the Heracleopolitan kings around 2033 BC and unify the country to continue the Eleventh Dynasty, bringing Egypt into the Middle Kingdom.
Mentuhotep III reigned for only twelve years, during which he continued consolidating Theban rule over the whole of Egypt, building a series of forts in the eastern Delta region to secure Egypt against threats from Asia. He also sent the first expedition to Punt during the Middle Kingdom, by means of ships constructed at the end of Wadi Hammamat, on the Red Sea.
Amenemhat I, who may have been vizier to the last king of Dynasty XI, Mentuhotep IV. His armies campaigned south as far as the Second Cataract of the Nile and into southern Canaan. He also re-established diplomatic relations with the Canaanite state of Byblos and Hellenic rulers in the Aegean Sea. He was the father of Senusret I.
Mentuhotep III was succeeded by Mentuhotep IV, whose name, significantly, is omitted from all ancient Egyptian king lists. The Turin Papyrus claims that after Mentuhotep III came "seven kingless years". Despite this absence, his reign is attested from a few inscriptions in Wadi Hammamat that record expeditions to the Red Sea coast and to quarry stone for the royal monuments. The leader of this expedition was his vizier Amenemhat, who is widely assumed to be the future pharaoh Amenemhet I, the first king of the Twelfth Dynasty.
Senusret's successor Amenemhat III reaffirmed his predecessor's foreign policy. However, after Amenemhat, the energies of this dynasty were largely spent, and the growing troubles of government were left to the dynasty's last ruler, Sobekneferu, to resolve. Amenemhat was remembered for the mortuary temple at Hawara that he built, known to Herodotus, Diodorus, and Strabo as the "Labyrinth". Additionally, under his reign, the marshy Fayyum was first exploited. Sobekneferu a daughter of Amenemhat III, was left with the unresolved governmental issues that are noted as arising during her father's reign when she succeeded Amenemhat IV, thought to be her brother, half brother, or stepbrother. Upon his death, she became the heir to the throne because her older sister, Neferuptah, who would have been the next in line to rule, died at an early age. Sobekneferu was the last king of the twelfth dynasty. There is no record of her having an heir. She also had a relatively short reign and the next dynasty began with a shift in succession, possibly to unrelated heirs of Amenemhat IV.
The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when Egypt once again fell into disarray between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom. This period is best known as the time the Hyksos made their appearance in Egypt, the reigns of its kings comprising the Fifteenth Dynasty.
The 15th Dynasty of Egypt was the first Hyksos dynasty. It ruled from Avaris but did not control the entire land. The Hyksos preferred to stay in northern Egypt since they infiltrated from the northeast. The names and order of their kings is uncertain. The Turin King list indicates that there were six Hyksos kings, with an obscure Khamudi listed as the final king of the 15th Dynasty.
The 13th Dynasty proved unable to hold on to the entire territory of Egypt however, and a provincial ruling family of Western Asian descent in Avaris, located in the marshes of the eastern Nile Delta, broke away from the central authority to form the 14th Dynasty. Allowing the Hyksos to invade the country, creating the 15th Dynasty.
The Sixteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XVI) was a dynasty of pharaohs that ruled the Theban region in Upper Egypt for 70 years. The continuing war against the 15th Dynasty dominated the short-lived 16th Dynasty. The armies of the 15th Dynasty, winning town after town from their southern enemies, continually encroached on the 16th Dynasty territory, eventually threatening and then conquering Thebes itself. In his study of the Second Intermediate Period, the Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has suggested that Dedumose I sued for a truce in the latter years of the dynasty, but one of his predecessors, Nebiryraw I, may have been more successful and seems to have enjoyed a period of peace in his reign. Famine, which had plagued Upper Egypt during the late 13th Dynasty and the 14th Dynasty, also blighted the 16th Dynasty, most evidently during and after the reign of Neferhotep III.
The Abydos Dynasty may have been a short-lived local dynasty ruling over part of Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in Ancient Egypt and was contemporary with the 15th and 16th Dynasties, approximately from 1650 to 1600 BC. The existence of an Abydos Dynasty was first proposed by Detlef Franke and later elaborated on by Egyptologist Kim Ryholt in 1997. The existence of the dynasty may have been vindicated in January 2014, when the tomb of the previously unknown pharaoh Seneb Kay was discovered in Abydos. The dynasty tentatively includes four rulers: Wepwawetemsaf, Pantjeny, Snaaib, and Seneb Kay. The royal necropolis of the Abydos Dynasty was found in the southern part of Abydos, in an area called Anubis Mountain in ancient times. The rulers of the Abydos Dynasty placed their burial ground adjacent to the tombs of the Middle Kingdom rulers. By 1600 BC, the Hyksos had successfully moved south in central Egypt, eliminating the Abydos Dynasty and directly threatening the Sixteenth Dynasty. The latter was to prove unable to resist and Thebes fell to the Hyksos for a very short period c. 1580 BC.
The Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVII, alternatively 17th Dynasty or Dynasty 17) is classified as the third dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. The 17th Dynasty dates approximately from 1580 to 1550 BC. Its mainly Theban rulers are contemporary with the Hyksos of the Fifteenth Dynasty and Succeeded the Sixteenth Dynasty, which was also based in Thebes.
The Seventeenth Dynasty was to prove the salvation of Egypt and would eventually lead the war of liberation that drove the Hyksos back into Asia. The two last kings of this dynasty were Seqenenre Tao and Kamose, those were killed in battles with the Hyksos.
Dynasty XVIII was founded by Ahmose I, the brother or son of Kamose, the last ruler of the 17th Dynasty. Ahmose finished the campaign to expel the Hyksos rulers. His reign is seen as the end of the Second Intermediate Period and the start of the New Kingdom. Ahmose's consort, Queen Ahmose-Nefertari was "arguably the most venerated woman in Egyptian history, and the grandmother of the 18th Dynasty." She was deified after she died. Ahmose was succeeded by his son, Amenhotep I, whose reign was relatively uneventful.
Amenhotep I probably left no male heir and the next pharaoh, Thutmose I, seems to have been related to the royal family through marriage. During his reign the borders of Egypt's empire reached their greatest expanse, extending in the north to Carchemish on the Euphrates and in the south up to Kurgus beyond the fourth cataract of the Nile.
Thutmose I was succeeded by Thutmose II and his queen, Hatshepsut, who was the daughter of Thutmose I. After her husband's death and a period of regency for her minor stepson (who would later become pharaoh as Thutmose III) Hatshepsut became pharaoh in her own right and ruled for over twenty years.
The Battle of Megiddo (fought 15th century BC) was fought between Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large rebellious coalition of Canaanite vassal states led by the king of Kadesh. It is the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail. Megiddo is also the first recorded use of the composite bow and the first body count.
Amenhotep III's reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity, artistic splendor, and international power, as attested by over 250 statues (more than any other pharaoh) and 200 large stone scarabs discovered from Syria to Nubia. Amenhotep III undertook large scale building programs, the extent of which can only be compared with those of the much longer reign of Ramesses II during Dynasty XIX. Amenhotep III's consort was the Great Royal wife Tiye, for whom he built an artificial lake, as described on eleven scarabs.
Amenhotep III may have shared the throne for up to twelve years with his son Amenhotep IV. There is much debate about this proposed co-regency, with different experts considering that there was a lengthy co-regency, a short one, or none at all. In the fifth year of his reign, Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten ("Effective for the Aten") and moved his capital to Amarna, which he named Akhetaten.
Later Egyptians considered this "Amarna Period" an unfortunate aberration. The events following Akhenaten's death are unclear. Individuals named Smenkhkare (Reign Period 1335–1334 BC) and Neferneferuaten (Reign Period 1334–1332 BC) are known but their relative placement and role in history is still much debated; Neferneferuaten was likely Akhetaten's Great Royal Wife Nefertiti's regnal name as pharaoh.
Tutankhamun eventually took the throne but died young. Tutankhamun, formerly Tutankhaten, was Akhenaten's son. As pharaoh, he instigated policies to restore Egypt to its old religion and moved the capital away from Akhetaten. Ay may have married the widowed Great Royal Wife and young half-sister of Tutankhamun, Ankhesenamun, in order to obtain power; she did not live long afterward. Ay then married Tey, who was originally Nefertiti's wet-nurse. Ay's reign was short. His successor was Horemheb, a general during Tutankhamun's reign whom the pharaoh may have intended as his successor in the event that he had no surviving children, which came to pass.
The last two members of the Eighteenth Dynasty—Ay and Horemheb—became rulers from the ranks of officials in the royal court, although Ay might also have been the maternal uncle of Akhenaten as a fellow descendant of Yuya and Tjuyu. Ay may have married the widowed Great Royal Wife and young half-sister of Tutankhamun, Ankhesenamun, in order to obtain power; she did not live long afterward. Ay then married Tey, who was originally Nefertiti's wet-nurse. Ay's reign was short. His successor was Horemheb, a general during Tutankhamun's reign whom the pharaoh may have intended as his successor in the event that he had no surviving children, which came to pass. Horemheb may have taken the throne away from Ay in a coup d'état. Although Ay's son or stepson Nakhtmin was named as his father/stepfather's Crown Prince, Nakhtmin seems to have died during the reign of Ay, leaving the opportunity for Horemheb to claim the throne next.
Ramesses II sought to recover territories in the Levant that had been held by the 18th Dynasty. His campaigns of reconquest culminated in the Battle of Kadesh, where he led Egyptian armies against those of the Hittite king Muwatalli II. Ramesses II constructed many large monuments, including the archaeological complex of Abu Simbel, and the Mortuary temple known as the Ramesseum. He built on a monumental scale to ensure that his legacy would survive the ravages of time. Ramesses used art as a means of propaganda for his victories over foreigners, which are depicted on numerous temple reliefs. Ramesses II erected more colossal statues of himself than any other pharaoh, and also usurped many existing statues by inscribing his own cartouche on them.
The Battle of Kadesh or Battle of Qadesh took place between the forces of the New Kingdom of Egypt under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River, just upstream of Lake Homs near the modern Lebanon–Syria border. The battle is generally dated to 1274 BC from the Egyptian chronology and is the earliest battle in recorded history for which details of tactics and formations are known. It is believed to have been the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving between 5,000 and 6,000 chariots in total. Ramesses signed the earliest recorded peace treaty with Urhi-Teshub's successor, Hattusili III, and with that act Egypt-Hittite relations improved significantly. Ramesses II even married two Hittite princesses, the first after his second Sed Festival.
This dynasty declined as infighting for the throne between the heirs of Merneptah increased. Amenmesse (Reign Period 1201–1198 BC ) apparently usurped the throne from Merneptah's son and successor, Seti II (Reign Period 1203–1197 BC), but he ruled Egypt for only four years. After his death, Seti regained power and destroyed most of Amenmesse's monuments. Seti was served at court by Chancellor Bay, who was originally just a 'royal scribe' but quickly became one of the most powerful men in Egypt, gaining the unprecedented privilege of constructing his own tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV17). Both Bay and Seti's chief wife, Twosret, had a sinister reputation in Ancient Egyptian folklore.
The last "great" pharaoh from the New Kingdom is widely considered Ramesses III, the son of Setnakhte who reigned three decades after the time of Ramesses II. During his reign, he fought off the invasions of the Sea Peoples in Egypt and tolerated their settlement in Canaan. A conspiracy was hatched to kill him, but it failed. He was later murdered.
The Battle of the Delta was a sea battle between Egypt and the Sea Peoples, circa 1175 BCE when the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses III repulsed a major sea invasion. The conflict occurred somewhere at the shores of the eastern Nile Delta and partly on the borders of the Egyptian Empire in Syria, although their precise locations are unknown. This major conflict is recorded on the temple walls of the mortuary temple of pharaoh Ramesses III at Medinet Habu.
Rameses III's death was followed by years of bickering among his heirs. Three of his sons ascended the throne successively as Ramesses IV, Rameses VI, and Rameses VIII. Egypt was increasingly beset by droughts, below-normal flooding of the Nile, famine, civil unrest, and corruption of officials. The power of the last pharaoh of the dynasty, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the de facto rulers of Upper Egypt, and Smendes controlled Lower Egypt in the north, even before Rameses XI's death. Smendes eventually founded the twenty-first dynasty at Tanis.
After the death of Ramesses XI, his successor Smendes ruled from the city of Tanis in the north, while the High Priests of Amun at Thebes had the effective rule of the south of the country, whilst still nominally recognizing Smendes as a king. After the reign of Ramesses III, a long, slow decline of royal power in Egypt followed. The pharaohs of the Twenty-first Dynasty ruled from Tanis (Sharkia in Present Days), but were mostly active only in Lower Egypt, which they controlled. This dynasty is described as 'Tanite' because its political capital was based at Tanis. Meanwhile, the High Priests of Amun at Thebes effectively ruled Middle and Upper Egypt in all but name. The later Egyptian Priest Manetho of Sebennytos states in his Epitome on Egyptian royal history that "the 21st Dynasty of Egypt lasted for 130 years".
The Battle of Bitter Lakes was a part of the military campaign of Shoshenq I into Asia in 925 BCE where he conquered many cities and towns. The location of the conflict was at Bitter Lakes, that we can identify with the lakes to the north by the frontier channel that was developed in part to guard the eastern border of Lower Egypt, although it is not certain that the channel reached that far south. The fortresses at the boundary served as checkpoints for Asiatics who attempted to enter Egypt. This would also serve to block the attacks such as this one mentioned in a stele of Shoshenq I in Karnak.
Shoshenq I brought stability to the country for well over a century, but after the reign of Osorkon II, particularly, the country had effectively split into two states, with Shoshenq III of the Twenty-second Dynasty controlling Lower Egypt by while Takelot II (Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt founder) and his son Osorkon (the future Osorkon III) ruled Middle and Upper Egypt.
Piye established the Twenty-fifth Dynasty and appointed the defeated rulers as his provincial governors. He was succeeded first by his brother, Shabaka, and then by his two sons Shebitku and Taharqa. Pharaohs of the dynasty, among them Taharqa, built or restored temples and monuments throughout the Nile valley, including at Memphis, Karnak, Kawa, and Jebel Barkal. The 25th Dynasty ended with its rulers retreating to their spiritual homeland at Napata. It was there (at El-Kurru and Nuri) that all 25th Dynasty pharaohs were buried under the first pyramids to be constructed in the Nile valley in hundreds of years. The Dynasty ruled for 90 years.
The Nubian kingdom to the south took full advantage of this division and the ensuing political instability. Prior to Piye's Year 20 campaign into Egypt, the previous Nubian ruler – Kashta – had already extended his kingdom's influence into Thebes when he compelled Shepenupet, the serving Divine Adoratrice of Amun and Takelot III's sister, to adopt his own daughter Amenirdis, to be her successor. Then, 20 years later, around 732 BC his successor, Piye, marched north and defeated the combined might of several native Egyptian rulers: Peftjaubast, Osorkon IV of Tanis, Iuput II of Leontopolis, and Tefnakht of Sais. This Dynasty was a short life-time dynasty, while Tefnakht I ruled from (732-725 BC), then Bakenranef (725-720 BC).
Osorkon IV (last king in the twenty-second dynasty) was not always listed as a true member of the XXII Dynasty, but succeeded Shoshenq V at Tanis, and ruled from 730–716 BC. While Ini (last king XXIII Dynasty), Only controlled Thebes during his reign, and ruled from 755 – 750 BC.
In 663 BC, Tantamani launched a full-scale invasion of Lower Egypt, taking Memphis in April of this year, killing Necho I of Sais in the process as Necho had remained loyal to Ashurbanipal. Tantamani barely had the time to receive the submission of some Delta kinglets and expel the remaining Assyrians that a large army led by Ashurbanipal and Necho's son Psamtik I came back. Tantamani was defeated north of Memphis and Thebes was thoroughly sacked shortly after.
The international prestige of Egypt had declined considerably by this time. The country's international allies had fallen firmly into the sphere of influence of Assyria and from about 700 BC the question became when, not if, there would be a war between the two states as Esarhaddon had realized that conquest of Lower Egypt was necessary to protect Assyrians interests in the Levant. In 664 BC the Assyrians delivered a mortal blow, sacking Thebes and Memphis. Following these events, and starting with Atlanersa, no Kushite ruler would ever rule over Egypt again.
This Battle of Megiddo is recorded as having taken place in 609 BC when Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt led his army to Carchemish (northern Syria) to join with his allies, the fading Neo-Assyrian Empire, against the surging Neo-Babylonian Empire. This required passing through territory controlled by the Kingdom of Judah. The Judaean king Josiah refused to let the Egyptians pass. The Judaean forces battled the Egyptians at Megiddo, resulting in Josiah's death and his kingdom becoming a vassal state of Egypt. The battle is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, the Greek 1 Esdras, and the writings of Josephus.
In the year 608 BC. After the alliance with the Assyrians, the Egyptian forces reached the Euphrates in northern Iraq, and they fought the Babylonians for three consecutive years. In the year 605 BC. The Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar II, son of Nabopolassar, defeated the Egyptian army at Carchemish. In the year 604 BC. The extension of the Babylonians control over the bulk of Syria's part and Palestine. Remained Syria and Palestine rebel against Babylonian rule with the support of Egypt, King Nebuchadnezzar decided to wage a war against Egypt, and already equipped with a large army to attack Egypt went out the king of Egypt Necho II on the Egyptian head of the army to meet the Babylonians years 601 BC in the place known today in the Gaza Strip and a fierce and deadly war inflicted heavy losses on both sides, and the battle ended in the defeat of the Babylonians.
The First Achaemenid Period (525–404 BC) began with the Battle of Pelusium, which saw Egypt conquered by the expansive Achaemenid Empire under Cambyses, and Egypt becomes a satrapy. The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt consists of the Persian emperors - including Cambyses, Xerxes I, and Darius the Great - who ruled Egypt as Pharaohs till Darius II.
Unfortunately for this dynasty (the 26th), a new power was growing in the Near East – the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. Pharaoh Psamtik III had succeeded his father Ahmose II for only 6 months before he had to face the Persian Empire at Pelusium. The Persians had already taken Babylon and Egypt was no match for them. Psamtik III was defeated and briefly escaped to Memphis, before he was ultimately imprisoned and, later, executed at Susa, the capital of the Persian king Cambyses, who now assumed the formal title of Pharaoh.
As early as 411 BC, Amyrtaeus, a native Egyptian, revolted against Darius II, the Achaemenid Persian King, and the last Pharaoh of the 27th Dynasty. Amyrtaeus succeeded in expelling the Persians from Memphis in 405 BC with assistance from Cretan mercenaries, and in 404 BC, following the death of Darius, proclaimed himself Pharaoh of Egypt. The Twenty-Eighth Dynasty consisted of a single king, Amyrtaeus only, prince of Sais, this dynasty reigned for six years, from 404 BC–398 BC.
Nefaarud I founded the 29th Dynasty (according to an account preserved in a papyrus in the Brooklyn Museum) by defeating Amyrtaeus in open battle and later putting him to death at Memphis. Nefaarud then made Mendes his capital. On Nefaarud's death, two rival factions fought for the throne: one behind his son Muthis, and the other supporting a usurper Psammuthes; although Psammuthes was successful, he only managed to reign for a year. Psammuthes was overthrown by Hakor, who claimed to be the grandson of Nefaarud I. He successfully resisted Persian attempts to reconquer Egypt, drawing support from Athens (until the Peace of Antalcidas in 387 BC), and from the rebel king of Cyprus, Evagoras. Although his son Nefaarud II became king on his death, the younger Nefaarud was unable to keep hold of his inheritance, who had been disposed in 380 BC.
In 365 BC, Nectanebo made his son, Teos, co-king and heir, and until his death, in 363 BC father and son reigned together. After his father's death, Teos invaded the Persian territories of modern Syria and Israel and was beginning to meet with some successes when he lost his throne due to the machinations of his own brother Tjahapimu. Tjahepimu took advantage of Teos' unpopularity within Egypt by declaring his son—and Teos' nephew, Nectanebo II—king. The Egyptian army rallied around Nectanebo which forced Teos to flee to the court of the king of Persia.
The Battle of Pelusium in 343 was fought between the Persians, with their Greek mercenaries, and the Egyptians with their Greek mercenaries. It took place at the stronghold of Pelusium, on the coast at the far eastern side of the Nile Delta. Overall, Artaxerxes III commanded the Persians, and Nectanebo II commanded the Egyptians. The Greek troops with Egyptians inside the fortress were commanded by Philophron. The first attack was by Theban troops under Lacrates. The battle allowed Persia to conquer Egypt, ending the last period of native rule in Ancient Egypt.
The last native ruler of ancient Egypt, his deposition marked the end of Egyptian hegemony until 1952. Nectanebo II (360-343 BC), however, was a very competent pharaoh, perhaps the most energetic of the dynasty, as he engaged in building and repairing monuments on a scale exceeding that of his grandfather's and boosted the economy. Nectanebo II was overthrown by Artaxerxes III around 343 BC and fled to Nubia; his subsequent fate is lost to history, although some believe he died shortly after.
The Second Achaemenid Period saw the re-inclusion of Egypt as a satrapy of the Persian Empire under the rule of the Thirty-First Dynasty, (343–332 BC) which consisted of three Persian emperors who ruled as Pharaoh - Artaxerxes III (343–338 BC), Artaxerxes IV (338–336 BC), and Darius III (336–332 BC) - interrupted by the revolt of the non-Achaemenid Khababash (338–335 BC).
Persian rule in Egypt ended with the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by Alexander the Great, who accepted the surrender of the Persian satrap of Egypt Mazaces in 332 BC, and marking the beginning of Hellenistic rule in Egypt, which stabilized after Alexander's death into the Ptolemaic Kingdom.