Egyptian Civilization periods Assignment

Egyptian Civilization periods Assignment Words: 17536
Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Period Details Dates Comments
Predynastic Faiyum A Culture 6000 BC The drying up of the Sahara forced people around the desert oases to settle along the Nile. Neolithic settlements dating from around 6000 BC can be found all over Egypt. Weaving was first seen in Egypt in this period.
Tasian Culture 5000 BC? Neolithic culture, on east bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt, known from sites in Deir Tasa.
Badarian Culture 4500 BC At the Badari site near Deir Tasa. Probably also a Tasian culture, differentiated by the fact that they had copper (chalcolithic, rather than purely neolithic). Studies on human remains show that these people might have an admixture of sub-saharan (black) and north African heritage. The pottery resembles pottery found from cultures in the Sudan.
Amratian Culture 4500 BC – 3500 BC Also known as Naqada I. From the site at El-Amra, about 120 km south of Badari. Similar to Badarian, but more advanced. Mud brick buildings.
Gerzean Culture 3500 BC – 3200 BC Also known as Naqada II. From the site at Gerza. Develops further the Amratian culture. Pottery becomes more complex, with animal motifs. Burial customs became more complex, with elaborate tombs and ceremonial objects placed in them. The first “god” figures appear, depicted in much the same way as in later Pharonic cultures. Trade with Mesopotamia seems to be significant, and there is a Mesopotamian influence on art.
Protodynastic Dynasty 0 3200 BC – 3000 BC Also known as Naqada III, or sometimes, Dynasty 0. This was the period when Egypt underwent the process of political unification. Small city states arose, which warred and merged with each other over centuries until Upper Egypt (the south) had 3 major states: Thinis, Naqada and Nekhen. Less is known about the political makeup of Lower Egypt, but they may have shared Naqada’s Cult of Set, rather than Thinis and Nekhen’s Cult of Horus. Some scholars think that a group of Thinis nobles ended up ruling all of Egypt from their capital at Abydos (Dynasty 0), and Narmer was the last king of this dynasty (3100-3050 BC).
Early Dynastic Period 1st (capital at Thinis) Hor-Aha 3050 BC Also known as Menes. Son of Narmer. Earlier accounts said he was the legendary Menes who united all Egypt, and is therefore the founder of the first dynasty. Today, we think Egypt was really united by his dad Narmer, the last king of dynasty 0. Became king at 30, died at 62.
Djer Ruled for 41 years. Probably fought wars against the Libyans.
Djet Not much known about him. May have died young.
Merneith Djet’s wife and the mother of Den. May have ruled as regent for her son after Djet died. Some theorize she may have been a daughter of Djer and therefore perhaps sister or half-sister to her husband Djet.
Den May have inherited the throne when a child, and his mother ruled as regent for him. Probably ruled for about 20 years on his own. He fought the Bedouin in the Sinai (damn, those guys have been around forever).
Anedjib Short reign, around 10 years. Probably inherited throne when he was quite old, since his dad Den lasted a long time. Period of conflict between Upper/Lower Egypt.
Semerkhet ~2950 BC Ruled for 8-9 years. May have been a usurper to the throne, since he deliberately scrubbed Anedjib’s name from numerous artifacts.
Qa’a ? – 2890 BC Last king of the 1st dynasty. Ruled 26 years, fairly prosperous.
2nd (capital moved to Memphis) Hotepsekhemwy ~2845 BC First king of 2nd dynasty. May have been Qa’a’s son, but more likely his son-in-law. Some say there were actually another couple short-lived kings between Qa’a and him. This was likely when the capital was moved from Thinis to Memphis.
Peribsen These are in dispute, as they do not match Manetho’s list. They may even have been the same person. Egyptian kings had a lot of names.
Khasekhemwy ? – 2686 BC Built a lot of stuff.
Old Kingdom 3rd Djoser ~2686 BC There is dispute whether Djoser was the first king of the 3rd dynasty, or if it was Sanakhte (also known as Nekba). I’m picking this guy. He was the king who employed Imhotep to build the first step pyramid at Saqqara. Ruled for 29 years. The best evidence that he succeeded Khasekhemwy was that seals in Khasekhemwy’s tomb only bear the name Djoser, indicating that Djoser buried him. He may have been Khasekhemwy’s son. He dispatched several military expeditions to the Sinai to control the population there, and mined copper and turquoise from the Sinai.
Sekhemkhet Ruled for a short time, 6-7 years. His pyramid was incomplete, but looks like it might have been designed by Imhotep as well, and may have ended up being bigger than Djoser’s if completed.
Sanakhte Also known as Nebka. Probably married the daughter of Khasekhemwy. Some dispute about whether he was first king of the 3rd dynasty, or if it was Djoser.
Khaba 2603 BC – 2599 BC Ruled for 4 short years.
Huni Last kind of 3rd dynasty. May have been an old man when he became king, if he’s the same Huni mentioned as a high official in the court of Djoser.
4th (golden age of pyramids) Sneferu ~2575 BC Founder of the 4th dynasty. Probably son of Huni, who married Huni’s daughter (his sister) Hetepheres. A theory goes that his Hetepheres was the daughter of the queen, while Sneferu’s mom was one of Huni’s concubines, so he may have inherited the throne through his wife/half-sister. He built 3 pyramids, maybe 4. He had more stone moved than any other Pharaoh, including his son Khufu.
Khufu 2551 BC – 2528 BC Also known as Cheops, built the great pyramid. Later known as a cruel king, unlike his dad Sneferu who was much loved.
Djedefra Son of Khufu. Husband of Hetepheres II, daughter of Khufu and his sister or half-sister. Ruled about 11 years. Some speculate that this guy built the Sphinx, in the image of his dad Khufu.
Khafra Ruled about 25 years. Built the second largest pyramid on Giza. Some people think he built the Sphinx too.
Menkaura Ruled about 12 years. Herodotus says he was one of Khufu’s sons. Other histories say he was the son of Khafra. Built the 3rd of the pyramids on Giza.
Shepseskaf Son of Menkaura. May have been the last of the 4th dynasty, because the next king is disputed. Ruled for 4-6 years. Broke with the tradition of building huge tombs, and built a much smaller mastaba for himself. Probably was too busy completing work on his dad’s pyramid.
Djedefptah May or may not have existed. Most chronologies end the 4th dynasty with old Shep.
5th Userkaf 2498 BC – 2491 BC Founder of 5th dynasty. Antecedents unknown, but chances are he was the grandson of Djedefre, who was son of Khufu. He started the tradition of building sun temples, including the pyramid of Userkaf complex at Saqqara.
Sahure 2490 BC – 2472 BC Possibly son of Userkaf. His mother was Khentkaus I.
Neferirkare 2471 BC – 2467 BC Neferirkare Kakai was the brother of Sahure. Probably usurped throne which should have gone to Sahure’s son. Described as being an unusually kind and gentle kind of guy.
Shepseskare 2467 BC – 2460 BC Shepseskare Isi was possibly a younger son of Sahure. Very short rule, some say even as short as a few months.
Neferefre 2460 BC – 2453 BC Son of Neferirkare Kakai through his wife Khentkaus II. Also short lived reign. His mummy shows he probably died at age 22-23.
Nyuserre Ini 2453 BC – 2422 BC Younger brother of Neferefre. Some mention of military campaigns to Libya and Asia in his reign.
Menkauhor Kaiu 2422 BC – 2414 BC Last Pharaoh to build a sun temple.
Djedkare Isesi 2414 BC – 2375 BC Didn’t build a sun temple but did build himself a pyramid. Shows that the cult of Ra was in decline and Horus was taking over.
Unas 2375 BC – 2345 BC Probably had no sons.
6th Teti 2345 BC – 2333 BC Teti founded the 6th dynasty. Married Iput, the daughter of Unas. During Teti’s reign high officials were beginning to build funerary monuments that rivaled that of the Pharaoh. This is considered a sign that wealth was being transferred from the central court to the officials, a slow process that culminate in the end to the Old Kingdom.
Userkare 2333 BC – 2332 BC Second king of the Sixth Dynasty. He is generally seen as one of the leaders who opposed his predecessor, Teti’s royal line and was most likely an usurper to the throne. Some say he murdered Teti.
Pepi I Meryre 2332 BC – 2283 BC Pepi was the son of Teti and Iput. He needed the support of powerful individuals in Upper Egypt in order to put down an usurper named Userkare who had murdered his father and win back his rightful throne. Growing power of nobility. Fought in Lebanon and the Somalian coast.
Merenre 2283 BC – 2278 BC Merenre Nemtyemsaf I was the fourth king. Son of Pepi I. He also began a process of royal consolidation, appointing Weni as the first governor of all of Upper Egypt and expanding the power of several other governors.
Pepi II 2278 BC – 2184 BC Son of Merenre. He succeeded to the throne at age six, after the premature death of his father, and is generally thought to have ruled for 94 years, the longest reign of any Pharaoh (disputed). His reign marked a sharp decline of the Old Kingdom. While the power of the nomarchs grew, the power of pharaoh dissolved. With no dominant central power, local nobles began raiding each other’s territories.
Merenre II 2184 BC Merenre Nemtyemsaef II was briefly Pharaoh of Egypt, likely succeeding his long-lived father Pepi II Neferkare.
Nitiqret 2184 BC – 2183 BC Also known as Neitiqerty Siptah. Obscure successor to Merenre.
First Intermediate Period: tomb robbing period 7th Netjerkare ~2134 BC Given that five names of the kings from this period have Pepi II’s throne name Neferkare in their own names, they may have been descendants of the Sixth Dynasty, who were trying to hold on to some sort of power. Some of the acts of the final four Eighth Dynasty kings are recorded in their decrees to Shemay, a vizier during this period, however only Qakare Ibi can connected to any monumental construction. His pyramid has been found at Saqarra near Pepi II and continues to have the pyramid texts written on the walls. However many kings there actually were, it is clear that during this time period a breakdown of the central authority of Egypt was underway. The rulers of these dynasties were based in Memphis; with the exception of the final Eighth Dynasty kings, all that is known of most of these rulers is their names. This group of kings was eventually overthrown by a rival group, the Ninth Dynasty, based in Herakleopolis Magna.
Neferkare II
N. Neby
D. Shemai
N. Khendu
N. Tereru
8th N. Pepiseneb
Neferkamin Anu
Qakare Ibi
Neferkaure II
9th Neferkare The Ninth Dynasty was founded at Herakleopolis Magna by Meryibra, and the Tenth Dynasty continued there. This was a time Egypt was not unified. There is some overlap between these and the local dynasties that will be noticed.
10th Neb. Akhtoy
Mer. Akhtoy
11th Intef This dynasty traces its origins to a nomarch of Thebes, “Intef the Great, son of Iku”, who is mentioned in a number of contemporary inscriptions. However, his immediate successor Mentuhotep I is considered the first king of this dynasty.
Mentuhotep 2134 BC – ?
Intef I ? – 2118 BC
Middle Kingdom Intef II 2118 BC – 2069 BC An inscription carved during the reign of Wahankh Intef II shows that he was the first of this dynasty to claim to rule over the whole of Egypt, a claim which brought the Thebeans into conflict with the rulers of Herakleopolis Magna, the Tenth Dynasty.
Intef III 2069 BC – 2061 BC
Mentuhotep II 2061 BC – 2010 BC Warfare continued intermittently between the Thebean and Heracleapolitan dynasts until the 14th regnal year of Nebhetepra Mentuhotep II, when the Herakleopolitans were defeated, and this dynasty could begin to consolidate their rule. The rulers of the Eleventh Dynasty reasserted Egypt’s influence over her neighbors in Africa and the Near East. Mentuhotep II sent renewed expeditions to Phoenicia to obtain cedar.
Mentuhotep III 2010 BC – 1998 BC
Mentuhotep IV 1998 BC – 1991 BC The reign of its last king, and thus the end of this dynasty, is something of a mystery. Contemporary records refer to “seven empty years” following the death of Mentuhotep III, which correspond to the reign of Nebtawyra Mentuhotep IV. Modern scholars identify his vizier Amenemhat with Amenemhat I, the first king of the Twelfth Dynasty, as part of a theory that Amenemhat became king as part of a palace coup.
12th Amenemhat I 1991 BC – 1962 BC This dynasty was founded by Amenemhat I, who may had been vizier to the last pharaoh of the Eleventh Dynasty, Mentuhotep IV. His armies campaigned south as far as the Second Cataract of the Nile and into the Near East, and he reestablished diplomatic relations with Byblos and the rulers in the Aegean Sea. Amenemhat I moved the capital from Thebes to Itjtawy. Amenemhat I was the first king of Egypt who is known to have had a coregency with his son, Senusret I.
Senusret I 1971 BC – 1926 BC He was one of the most powerful kings of this dynasty. He was the son of Amenemhat I and his wife Nefertitanen. His own wife and sister was Neferu. She was also the mother of the successor Amenemhat II. He continued his father’s aggressive expansionist policies against Nubia by initiating two expeditions into this region in his 10th and 18th years, organized an expedition to an oasis in the Libyan desert, established diplomatic relations with some rulers of towns in Syria and Canaan. Towards the end of his own life, he appointed his son Amenemhat II as his junior coregent.
Amenemhat II 1929 BC – 1895 BC The most important monument of his reign are the fragments of an annal stone found at Memphis, reused in the New Kingdom. It reports events of the first years of his reign. Donations to various temples are mentioned as well as a campaign to Southern Palestine and the destruction of two cities. The coming of Nubians to bring tribute is also reported. Amenemhat II established a coregency with his son Senusret II in his 33rd Regnal Year when he was aged in order to secure the continuity of the royal succession.
Senusret II 1897 BC – 1878 BC Senusret II took a great deal of interest in the Faiyum oasis region and began work on an extensive irrigation system from the Bahr Yusuf through to Lake Moeris by means the construction of a dyke at El-Lahun and the addition of a network of drainage canals.
Senusret III 1878 BC – 1839 BC He was a Great Pharaoh of the twelfth Dynasty and is supposed to be the most powerful Egyptian ruler of this time. He carried out at least 4 major campaigns deep into Nubia.
Amenemhat III 1860 BC – 1814 BC He is regarded as the greatest monarch of the Middle Kingdom. He may have had a long coregency (of 20 years) with his father, Sesostris III. Egyptologist David Rohl, in his book “Pharaoh’s and Kings”, proposes an alternate chronology for the Old Testament which has found little acceptance among archaeologists. Dr. Rohl believes that Joseph, son of Jacob, was the vizier during the reign of Pharoah Amenemhat III.
Amenemhat IV 1815 BC – 1806 BC His short reign was relatively peaceful and uneventful; several dated expeditions were recorded at the mines Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai. It was after his death that the gradual decline of the Middle Kingdom is thought to have begun.
Sobekneferu 1806 BC – 1802 BC Some scholars believe she was the daughter of Pharaoh Amenemhat III; Manetho states she was the sister of Amenemhat IV. She is the first known female ruler of Egypt, though Nitocris may have ruled in the Sixth Dynasty. Amenemhat IV most likely died without a male heir. Consequently, Amenemhat III’s daughter Sobekneferu assumed the throne. According to the Turin Canon, she ruled for 3 years, 10 months and 24 days. The end of her reign concluded Egypt’s Twelfth dynasty and inaugurated the Thirteenth dynasty.
13th Wegaf 1790 BC – 1786 BC Khutawyre Wegaf was an Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty and he is known from several sources, including a stelae and statues. There is a general known from a scarab with the same name (Wegaf) who is perhaps identical with this king.
Intef IV ~1770 BC
Hor Auyibre ~1770 BC Hor was an Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty. He appears in the Turin King List as Aut-ib-Rê. He most likely reigned only for a short time, not long enough to prepare a pyramid, which was in this dynasty still the common burial place for kings.
Sobekhotep II ~1760 BC He is known from several monuments, including a statue, several Nile level records in Nubia and from building works at Madamud and Luxor. The Nile level records provide a year date ‘four’, showing that he reigned at least three years.
Khendjer ~1747 BC
Sobekhotep III ~1745 BC With Sobekhotep III started the core group of Thirteenth Dynasty kings. The following kings are all known from a high number of objects. These kings produced many seals and there are many private monuments datable to these reigns. Egypt was at this point again relatively stable.
Neferhotep I 1741 BC – 1730 BC Neferhotep I came from a military family. His grandfather Nehy held the title ‘officer of a town regiment’. Nehy was married to a woman called Senebtysy. Nothing is known about her, other than that she held the common title ‘lady of the house’. Their only known son was a person called Haankhef.
Sobekhotep IV 1730 BC – 1720 BC Sobekhotep IV was one of the most powerful Egyptian kings of the 13th Dynasty. He was the son of the ‘god’s father’ Haankhef and of the ‘king’s mother’ Kemi. His brother, Neferhotep I, was his predecessor on the throne.
Ay Merneferre ~1720 BC He is mainly known from his many scarab seals. However, the pyramidion of his tomb–which is inscribed with his name–was discovered at Avaris which suggests that the Hyksos kings looted his pyramid tomb of its treasures. He is the last significant Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty known from objects found in Lower and Upper Egypt which indicates that Egypt was still united during his reign.
Neferhotep II
14th Nehesi ~1720 BC The only king from this dynasty who is attested in contemporary sources.
76 kings 1720 BC – 1665 BC Perhaps as many as 76 kings who ruled in Xois in the Delta. The other kings names are recorded in subsequent Egyptian lists. Reliable dates cannot be established for them. Was Dynasty XIV a catch-all for a number of small Delta principalities?
Second Intermediate Period (Hyksos Invasion) 15th Salitis ~1648 BC The Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt was the first Hyksos Dynasty, ruling from Avaris, without control of the entire land. The Hyksos preferred to stay in northern Egypt since they infiltrated from the north-east (they were from northern Syria). The southern part of Egypt was simultaneously ruled by the 17th dynasty, from Thebes.
Sakir-Har The obscure Hyksos king Sakir-Har was discovered in a recently excavated door jamb from Tell el-Dab’a. His titulary (Horus, Nebti and Golden Falcon names) appear on door jamb Cairo TD-8316. The door jamb confirms the identity of Sakir-Har as one of the first 3 kings of the Fifteenth dynasty of Egypt. His immediate successor would have been the powerful Hyksos ruler Khyan if he was the third Hyksos king of this dynasty but his precise position within this dynasty has not yet been established.
Khyan 1610 BC – 1580 BC Ruled 30-40 years
Apepi I 1580 BC – 1540 BC Apepi was dominant over most of Egypt during the early portion of his reign, and traded peacefully with the Theban 17th Dynasty. While he may have exerted suzerainty over Upper Egypt during the beginning of his reign, the 17th Dynasty eventually assumed control over this region, and the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt no more than 15 years after his death.
Apepi II 1550 BC – 1540 BC maybe the same guy as above under a different name
Khamudi 1540 BC – 1534 BC Khamudi was the last pharaoh of the Hyksos Fifteenth dynasty of Egypt who came to power around the tenth year of Ahmose I, and was defeated by his 16th year.
16th Anat-her The Sixteenth Dynasty of Egypt covers a period of time when Egypt was split into a set of small Hyksos-ruled kingdoms. It is mainly Theban rulers contemporary with the Fifteenth Dynasty. The 16th dynasty is one of the shadowiest in Egyptian history and probably does not represent actual rulers of Egypt proper. Most likely he was a princeling under the authority of the 15th dynasty at Avaris.
User-anat Hyksos vassals in Lower and Middle Egypt concurrent with Dynasties XV and XVII. All contemporary attestations are on scarabs; none can be dated precisely. Some bear Egyptian names; many have clearly Semitic names.
Pepi III
Nikare II
Jacob-Baal Jacob-Baal is an unknown pharaoh of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Some intend to link him with the Patriarch Jacob, since the Hyksos and the Hebrews might have been the same people coming to Egypt.
17th Rahotep The Seventeenth Dynasty covers a period of time when Egypt was split into a set of small Hyksos-ruled kingdoms. It is mainly Theban rulers contemporary with the Fifteenth Dynasties and Sixteenth Dynasties.
Sobekemsaf I
Antef VI He ruled from Thebes, and was probably buried in a tomb in the necropolis. His royal coffin was discovered in the 19th Century AD and found to preserve an inscription which reveals that this king’s brother Nebkheperre Antef VII buried – and thus succeeded – him. [1] Both Antef VI and Antef VII were sons of a king called Sobekemsaf, probably Sobekemsaf I based on an inscription from a door jamb from a 17th Dynasty temple at Gebel Antef.
Antef VII
Sobekemsaf II 1566 BC – 1559 BC
Tao I 1559 BC – 1558 BC
Tao 2 1558 BC – 1554 BC He is credited with starting the opening moves in the war of liberation against the Hyksos and was probably the son and successor to Senaktenre Tao I the Elder and Queen Tetisheri. Seqenenre Tao II participated in active diplomatic posturing, which consisted of more than simply exchanging insults with the Asiatic ruler in the North. He seems to have led military skirmishes against the Hyksos, and judging from the vicious head wound on his mummy in the Cairo Museum, may have died during one of them.
Kamose 1554 BC – 1549 BC Kamose was the last king of the Theban Seventeenth Dynasty. He was probably the son of Sekenenra Tao II and the brother of Ahmose I, founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty. His reign is important for the decisive military initiatives he took against the Hyksos, who had come to rule much of Ancient Egypt.
New Kingdom (Egyptian Empire) 18th Ahmose I 1550 BC – 1525 BC He was a member of the Theban royal house, the son of Tao II Seqenenre and brother of the last pharaoh of the 17th dynasty, Kamose. When he was seven his father was killed, and when he was about ten his brother died of unknown causes, after reigning only three years. Ahmose I assumed the throne after the death of his brother. During his reign he completed the conquest and expulsion of the Hyksos from the delta region, restored Theban rule over the whole of Egypt and successfully reasserted Egyptian power in its formerly subject territories of Nubia and Canaan. He then reorganized the administration of the country, reopened quarries, mines and trade routes and began massive construction projects of a type that had not been undertaken since the time of the Middle Kingdom. This building program culminated in the construction of the last pyramid built by native Egyptian rulers.
Amenhotep I 1525 BC – 1504 BC He inherited the kingdom formed by his father’s military conquests and maintained dominance over Nubia and the Nile Delta, but probably did not attempt to keep power in Syrio-Palestine.
Thutmose I 1504 BC – 1492 BC During his reign, he campaigned deep into the Levant and Nubia, pushing the borders of Egypt even further than ever before.
Thutmose II 1492 BC – 1479 BC Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a minor wife, Mutnofret. He was, therefore, a lesser son of Thutmose I who chose to marry his fully royal half-sister, Hatshepsut, in order to secure his kingship. While he successfully put down rebellions in Nubia and the Levant and defeated a group of nomadic Bedouins, these campaign were specifically carried out by the king’s Generals, and not by Thutmose II himself. This is often interpreted as evidence that Thutmose II was still a minor at his accession. Thutmose II fathered Neferure with Hatshepsut, but also managed to father a male heir, Thutmose III, by a lesser wife named Isis before his death. Some archaeologists believe that Hatshepsut was the real power behind the throne during Thutmose II’s rule because of the similar domestic and foreign policies which were later pursued under her reign and because of her claim that she was her father’s intended heir.
Thutmose III 1479 BC – 1425 BC During the first 22 years of Thutmose’s reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut. While she is shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. After her death and his subsequent gain of power over his kingdom, he created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen; no less than seventeen campaigns were conducted, and he conquered from Niy in north Syria to the fourth cataract of the Nile in Nubia. After his years of campaigning were over, he established himself as a great builder pharaoh as well. Thutmose III was responsible for building over fifty temples in Egypt and building massive additions to Egypt’s chief temple at Karnak. Widely considered a military genius by historians, he was an active expansionist ruler, sometimes called Egypt’s greatest conqueror or “the Napoleon of Egypt.” He is recorded to have captured 350 cities during his rule and conquered much of the Near East from the Euphrates to Nubia during seventeen known military campaigns. He was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates[citation needed], doing so during his campaign against Mitanni. His campaign records were transcribed onto the walls of the temple of Amun at Karnak, and are now transcribed into Urkunden IV. He is consistently regarded as one of the greatest of Egypt’s warrior pharaohs, who transformed Egypt into an international superpower by creating an empire that stretched from southern Syria through to Canaan and Nubia.
Hatshepsut 1472 BC – 1457 BC She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful female pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. In comparison with other female pharaohs, her reign was long and prosperous. She was successful in warfare early in her reign, but is generally considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a long peaceful era. She re-established trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt.
Amenhotep II 1427 BC – 1400 BC Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III, and held it by means of a few military campaigns in Syria; however, he fought much less than his father, and his reign saw the effective cessation of hostilities between Egypt and Mitanni, the major kingdoms vying for power in Syria.
Thutmose IV 1401 BC – 1391 BC Thutmose IV was born to Amenhotep II and Tiaa but was not actually the crown prince and Amenhotep II’s chosen successor to the throne. Some scholars speculate that Thutmose ousted his older brother in order to usurp power and then commissioned the Dream Stele in order to justify his unexpected kingship. Thutmose’s most celebrated accomplishment was the restoration of the Sphinx at Giza and subsequent commission of the Dream Stele. Thutmose IV’s rule is significant because he was the New Kingdom pharaoh who established peaceful relations with Mitanni and married a Mitannian princess to seal this new alliance.
Amenhotep III 1391 BC – 1353 BC Amenhotep III was the son of Thutmose IV by Mutemwia, a minor wife of Amenhotep’s father. His lengthy reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity, and artistic splendor when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and international power.
Akhenaten 1353 BC – 1336 BC He is especially noted for attempting to compel the Egyptian population in the monotheistic worship of Aten. Akhenaten’s chief wife was Nefertiti, made world-famous by the discovery of her exquisitely molded and painted bust, now displayed in the Altes Museum of Berlin, and among the most recognized works of art surviving from the ancient world. Initially, Akhenaten presented Aten as a variant of the familiar supreme deity Amun-Ra (itself the result of an earlier rise to prominence of the cult of Amun, resulting in Amun becoming merged with the sun god Ra), in an attempt to put his ideas in a familiar Egyptian religious context. However, by Year 9 of his reign Akhenaten declared that Aten was not merely the supreme god, but the only god, and that he, Akhenaten, was the only intermediary between Aten and his people. He ordered the defacing of Amun’s temples throughout Egypt, and in a number of instances inscriptions of the plural ‘gods’ were also removed. With Akhenaten’s death, the Aten cult he had founded gradually fell out of favor.
Smenkhkare Smenkhkare is one of the most mysterious figures in Egyptian history. Tutankhamun’s reign began immediately after either Smenkhkare or Neferneferuaten’s death. Some scholars have speculated that Smenkhkare, rather than Akhenaten, was the parent of Tutankhamun.
Neferneferuaten Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten is believed to have been a woman who reigned as pharaoh toward the end of the Amarna era during the Eighteenth Dynasty. The royal succession of this period is very unclear. Smenkhkare’s co-regent or great royal wife or Neferneferuaten Tasherit, perhaps, the fourth daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Tutankhamun 1341 BC – 1323 BC King Tut. Tutankhamun was only 9 years old when he became pharaoh. He died 9 years later, at age 18. During Tutankhamun’s reign, Akhenaten’s Amarna revolution (Atenism) was being reversed. In Year 3 of Tutankhamun’s reign (1331 BC), when he was still a boy at the age eleven and probably under the influence of two older advisors (Akhenaten’s vizier Ay and perhaps Nefertiti), the ban on the old pantheon of deities and their temples was lifted, the traditional privileges were restored to their priesthoods, and the capital was moved back to Thebes. The young pharaoh adopted the name Tutankhamun, changing it from his birth name Tutankhaten. King Tutankhamun restored all of the traditional deities and restored order to the chaos that his relative had caused. Many temples devoted to Amun-Ra were built.
Kheperkheprure 1324 BC – 1320 BC He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period, although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and was the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun’s reign. During the reign of Tutankhamun he almost certainly was one of the major figures responsible for returning the country to the worship of the late Egyptian pantheon of deities after the experiment with monotheism under Akhenaten that abandoned the earlier tradition. Tutankhamun’s untimely death at the age of 18 or 19, together with his failure to produce an heir, left a power vacuum that his Grand Vizier Ay was quick to fill. The Commander of the Army, Horemheb, had actually been designated as the “idnw” or “Deputy of the Lord of the Two Lands” under Tutankhamun and was presumed to be the boy king’s heir apparent and successor. It appears that Horemheb was outmaneuvered to the throne by Ay who married Ankhesenamun, the widow of Tutanhkamun, in order to legitimize his claim to the throne.
Horemheb 1320 BC – 1292 BC It appears that one of Horemheb’s undertakings as Pharaoh was to eliminate all references to the monotheistic experiment, a process that included expunging the name of his immediate predecessors—especially Ay—from the historical record. Horemheb desecrated Ay’s burial and had most of Ay’s royal cartouches in his WV23 Tomb Wall paintings erased while his sarcophagus was smashed into numerous fragments. He was a commoner.
19th Rameses I 1292 BC – 1290 BC Since Horemheb remained childless, he appointed his Vizier, Paramesse as his chosen successor before his death both to reward Paramesse’s loyalty and because the latter had both a son and grandson to secure Egypt’s royal succession. Paramesse employed the name Rameses I upon assuming power and founded the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. Rameses I was of non-royal birth, being born into a noble military family from the Nile delta region, perhaps near the former Hyksos capital of Avaris, or from Tanis. He was a career soldier, originally the chief of the archers (a position he inherited from his father, Seti, a lower rank army officer), and ultimately General of the Lord of the Two Lands.
Seti I 1290 BC – 1279 BC Son of Rameses I and Queen Sitre, and the father of Rameses II. Seti I fought a series of wars in Western Asia, Libya and Nubia in the first decade of his reign. The greatest achievement of Seti I’s foreign policy was the capture of the Syrian town of Kadesh and neighboring territory of Amurru from the Hittite Empire. Kadesh had been lost to Egypt since the time of Akhenaten. Tutankhamun and Horemheb had both failed to recapture the city from the Hittites. Seti I was successful here and defeated a Hittite army that tried to defend it. Kadesh, however, soon reverted to Hittite control because the Egyptians did not or could not maintain a permanent military occupation of Kadesh and Amurru which were close to the Hittite homelands.
Rameses II 1279 BC – 1213 BC He is often regarded as Egypt’s greatest and most powerful pharaoh. He is believed by some to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus, following a tradition at least as old as Eusebius’ works, published in late antiquity. This theory is nowadays disputed. In his second year, Rameses II decisively defeated the Shardana or Sherden sea pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast by attacking cargo-laden vessels traveling the sea routes to Egypt. Briefly re-occupied Kadesh, but eventually lost it again to the Hittites, losing Syria to them. In the year 1255 BC Rameses and his queen Nefertari had traveled into Nubia to inaugurate a new temple, a wonder of the ancient world, this was the great Abu Simbel.
Merneptah 1213 BC – 1203 BC He was the thirteenth son of Rameses II and only came to power because all his older brothers had predeceased him, by which time he was almost sixty years old. This was the guy who defended Egypt against the sea peoples, who were wreaking havoc elsewhere throughout the Mediterranean. Merneptah had to carry out several military campaigns during his reign, mainly fighting against the Libyans, who—with the assistance of the Sea Peoples—were threatening Egypt from the West. In the fifth year of his reign, Merneptah led a victorious six-hour battle in his fifth regnal year against a combined Libyan and Sea People force at the city of Perire, probably located on the western edge of the Delta. His account of this campaign against the Sea Peoples and Libu is described in prose on a wall beside the sixth pylon at Karnak and in poetic form in the Merneptah Stele, widely known as the Israel Stele, which makes reference to the supposed utter destruction of Israel during campaign in his 6th year in Canaan: “Israel has been wiped out…its seed is no more.” This is the first recognized ancient Egyptian record of the existence of Israel–“not as a country or city, but as a tribe” or people.
Amenmesse 1202 BC – 1199 BC It is likely that he was not Merneptah’s intended heir; the traditional view is that Amenmesse usurped the throne from Seti-Merneptah, Merneptah’s son and Crown Prince who should have been next in line to the royal succession.
Seti II 1203 BC – 1197 BC Seti II’s reign at Thebes was interrupted by the rise of king Amenmesse in Upper Egypt. Prior to his fifth year, however, Amenmesse was finally defeated by his rival, Seti II who was the legitimate successor to the throne since he was Merneptah’s son.
Siptah 1197 BC – 1191 BC The son of an obscure Queen named Sutailja, of Asiatic origin. His father’s identity is currently unknown. Both Seti II and Amenmesse have been suggested. He was not the crown prince, but succeeded to the throne as a child after the death of Seti II.
Twosret 1191 BC – 1190 BC Queen Twosret was the last known female king of Egypt of a local indigenous dynasty and the final Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty. She was the senior wife of Seti II. Twosret’s reign ended in a civil war which is documented in the Elephantine stela of her successor Setnakhte who became the founder of the Twentieth dynasty. It is not known if she was overthrown by Setnakhte or whether she died peacefully in her short reign; if the latter is the case, then a struggle must have ensued among various factions at court for the throne in which Setnakhte emerged victorious.
20th Setnakhte 1190 BC – 1186 BC It is likely that Setnakhte was an usurper who seized the throne according to Settipani, although he may well have enjoyed a Ramesside origin since one of Rameses II’s children bore his name. While Setnakhte’s reign was still comparatively brief, it was just long enough for him to stabilize the political situation in Egypt and to establish his son, Rameses III, as his successor to the throne of Egypt.
Rameses III 1186 BC – 1155 BC Usimare Rameses III was the second Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty and is considered to be the last great New Kingdom king to wield any substantial authority over Egypt. During his long tenure in the midst of the surrounding political chaos of the Greek Dark Ages, Egypt was beset by foreign invaders (including the so-called Sea Peoples and the Libyans) and experienced the beginnings of increasing economic difficulties and internal strife which would eventually lead to the collapse of the Twentieth Dynasty. In Year 8 of his reign, the Sea Peoples, including Peleset, Denyen, Shardana, Weshwesh of the sea, and Tjekker, invaded Egypt by land and sea. Rameses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles. He claims that he incorporated them as subject peoples and settled them in Southern Canaan, although there is evidence that they forced their way into Canaan. Rameses III, unable to admit defeat, claimed that it was his idea in the first place. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states in this region such as Philistia after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire. The heavy cost of these battles slowly exhausted Egypt’s treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia.
Rameses IV 1155 BC – 1149 BC Mostly built some monuments.
Rameses V 1149 BC – 1145 BC His reign was characterized by the continued growth of the power of the priesthood of Amun, which controlled much of the temple land in the country and state finances at the expense of Pharaoh. A period of domestic instability also afflicted his reign since Turin Papyrus Cat. 2044 states that the workmen of Deir el-Medina periodically stopped work on Rameses V’s KV9 tomb in this king’s first regnal year out of fear of “the enemy”, presumably Libyan raiding parties, who had reached the town of Per-Nebyt and “burnt its people.” Another incursion by these raiders into Thebes is recorded a few days later.[2] This shows that the Egyptian state was having difficulties ensuring the security of its own elite tomb workers, let alone the general populace, during this troubled time.
Rameses VI 1145 BC – 1137 BC Egypt’s political and economic decline continued unabated during Rameses VI’s reign; he is the last king of Egypt’s New Kingdom whose name is attested in Canaan.
Rameses VII 1137 BC – 1130 BC
Rameses VIII 1130 BC – 1129 BC
Rameses IX 1129 BC – 1111 BC Many tomb robbing scandals in his time.
Rameses X 1111 BC – 1107 BC Rameses X is a poorly documented king. All that is really known about his kingship is that the general insecurity and wave of tomb robberies which had become prevalent under his predecessors continued to grow under his reign.
Rameses XI 1107 BC – 1077 BC Ra messes XI’s reign was characterized by the gradual disintegration of the Egyptian state. Civil conflict was already evident around the beginning of his reign when High Priest of Amon, Amenhotep, was ousted from office by the king with the aid of Nubian soldiers under command of Pinehesy, Viceroy of Nubia, for overstepping his authority with Ra messes XI. Tomb robbing was prevalent all over Thebes as Egypt’s fortunes declined and her Asiatic empire was lost.As the chaos and insecurity continued, Ra messes was forced to inaugurate a triumvirate in his Regnal Year 19, with Herihor ruling Thebes and Upper Egypt and Smendes controlling Lower Egypt. Herihor had risen from the ranks of the Egyptian military to restore a degree of order, and became the new high Priest of Amun. This period was officially called the Era of the Renaissance or Whm Mswt by Egyptians. Herihor amassed power and titles at the expense of Pinehesy, Viceroy of Nubia, whom he had expelled from Thebes. This rivalry soon developed into full-fledged civil war under Herihor’s successor. At Thebes, Herihor usurped royal power without actually deposing Ra messes, and he effectively became the defacto ruler of Upper Egypt because his authority superseded the king’s. Herihor died around Year 6 of the Whm Mswt (Year 24 of Ra messes XI) and was succeeded as High Priest by Piankh. Piankh initiated one or two unsuccessful campaigns into Nubia to wrest control of this gold-producing region from Pinehesy’s hands, but his efforts were ultimately fruitless as Nubia slipped permanently out of Egypt’s grasp. This watershed event worsened Egypt’s woes, because she had now lost control of all her imperial possessions and was denied access to a regular supply of Nubian gold.
Third Intermediate Period 21st Smendes 1077 BC – 1051 BC After the reign of Ra messes III, a long, slow decline of royal power in Egypt followed. The pharaohs of the Twenty-First Dynasty ruled from Tanis, but were mostly active only in Lower Egypt which they controlled. While Smendes’ precise origins remain a mystery, he is thought to have been a powerful governor in Lower Egypt during the Renaissance era of Ra messes XI and his base of power was Tanis. Smendes ruled over a divided Egypt and only effectively controlled Lower Egypt during his reign while Middle and Upper Egypt was effectively under the suzerainty of the High Priests of Amun such as Pinedjem I, Masaharta and Menkheperre.
Amenemnisu 1051 BC – 1047 BC
Psusennes I 1047 BC – 1001 BC
Amenemope 1001 BC – 992 BC
Osorkon 992 BC – 986 BC Osorkon the Elder was the son of Shoshenq, the Great Chief of the Ma by the latter’s wife Mehtenweskhet who is given the prestigious title of King’s Mother in a document. The Meshwesh (often abbreviated in ancient Egyptian as Ma) were an ancient Libyan (i.e., Berber) tribe from Cyrenaica. During the 19th and 20th Dynasties, the Meshwesh were in almost constant conflict with the Egyptian state. In the late 21st Dynasty, increasing numbers of Meswesh Libyans began to settle in the Western Delta region of Egypt. They would ultimately take control of the country during the late 21st Dynasty first under king Osorkon the Elder. After an interregnum of 38 years, during which the native Egyptian kings Siamun and Psusennes II assumed the throne, they ruled Egypt throughout the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties. Osorkon the Elder’s reign is significant because it foreshadows the coming the Libyan Twenty-second dynasty.
Siamun 986 BC – 967 BC Under Siamun, Egypt embarked upon an active foreign policy and he is most probably the Pharaoh who formed an alliance with the new ruler of Israel, King Solomon against the Philistines. Solomon, the son of David, had just assumed power around 971 or 970 BCE which was certainly around the middle of Siamun’s reign. As part of the arrangements within this Egyptian-Israelite alliance, the Egyptian king attacked and laid waste the Philistine city of Gezer in part to safeguard Egypt’s commercial ties with Phoenicia–something which the Philistines were threatening–and also to take advantage of the Philistines’ momentary weakness after King David’s series of Biblical wars against their state. Solomon, for his part, was then permitted to permanently secure his kingdom’s southern borders by occupying Gezer, which henceforth, remained a part of Ancient Israel. The alliance was consecrated by a royal marriage between Solomon and a daughter of the Egyptian king.
Psusennes II 967 BC – 943 BC
22nd Shoshenq I 943 BC – 922 BC The kings of the Twenty-Second Dynasty of Egypt were a series of Meshwesh Libyans. Shoshenq I was the son of Nimlot A, Great Chief of the Ma, and his wife Tentshepeh A, a daughter of a Great Chief of the Ma herself. The majority of archaeologists and Egyptologists believe he is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as Shishak, though this identification has been questioned by adherents of the so-called New Chronology. Prior to his reign, Shoshenq I had been the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Army, and chief advisor to his predecessor Psusennes II, as well as the father-in-law of Psusennes’ daughter Maatkare. He also held his father’s title of Great Chief of the Ma or Meshwesh. He pursued an aggressive foreign policy in the adjacent territories of the Middle East, towards the end of his reign. Unfortunately there is no mention of either an attack nor tribute from Jerusalem, which has led some to suggest that Sheshonk was not the Biblical Shishak. However, portions of the temple reliefs are damaged and the section mentioning Jerusalem may have been lost in this lacunae. The fragment of a stela bearing his cartouche from Megiddo has been interpreted as a monument which Shoshenq erected there to commemorate his victory. Some of these conquered cities include Ancient Israelite fortresses such as Megiddo, Taanach and Shehchem which speaks to the speed and power of the Pharaoh’s forces as they fought and pillaged their way through Israel and perhaps threatened Jerusalem.
Osorkon I 922 BC – 887 BC Osorkon I’s reign in Egypt was peaceful and uneventful; however, both his son and grandson, Takelot I and Osorkon II respectively, later encountered difficulties controlling Thebes and Upper Egypt within their own reigns since they had to deal with a rival king: Harsiese A.
Takelot I 887 BC – 874 BC
Shoshenq II 874 BC – 872 BC
Harsiese A 880 BC – 860 BC King Hedjkheperre Setepenamun Harsiese or Harsiese A, is viewed to be both a “High Priest of Amun” and the son of the High Priest of Amun Shoshenq C. The archaeological evidence does suggest that he was indeed Shoshenq C’s son. He was an independent king at Thebes who ruled during Takelot I’s and Osorkon II’s reigns.
Osorkon II 872 BC – 837 BC Osorkon feared the serious challenge posed by Harsiese’s kingship to his authority, but, when Harsiese conveniently died in 860 BC, Osorkon II ensured that this problem would not recur by appointing his own son Nimlot C as the High Priest of Amun at Thebes. The growing power of Assyria meant the latter’s increased meddling in the affairs of Israel and Syria – territories well within Egypt’s sphere of influence. In 853 BC, Osorkon’s forces, in a coalition with those of Israel and Byblos, fought the army of Shalmaneser III at the Battle of Qarqar to a standstill thereby halting Assyrian expansion in Canaan, for a brief while.
Shoshenq III 837 BC – 798 BC
Shoshenq IV 798 BC – 785 BC
Pami 785 BC – 778 BC
Shoshenq V 778 BC – 740 BC Shoshenq V is believed to have died around 740 BC after a reign lasting 38 years. With his death, the Libyan 22nd Dynasty kingdom in the Egyptian Delta disintegrated into various city states under the control of numerous local kinglets such as Tefnakht of Sais and Buto, Osorkon IV of Bubastis and Iuput II of Leontopolis.
Osorkon IV 740 BC – 720 BC Osorkon IV was the a ruler of Lower Egypt who was not a member of the Twenty-second dynasty of Egypt. His parentage is unknown but he is attested as the ruler of Tanis–and thereby one of Shoshenq V’s successors in Lower Egypt–after the end of the 22nd Dynasty. His reign was never recognized at Memphis where documents were dated to the reign of 24th Saite dynasty king Bakenranef. During his time, Egypt was ruled concurrently by four dynasties – 22nd, 23rd, 24th and the 25th.
23rd Takelot II 840 BC – 815 BC There is much debate surrounding this dynasty, which may have been situated at Herakleopolis Magna, Hermopolis Magna, and Thebes but monuments from their reign show that they controlled Upper Egypt in parallel with the Twenty-second dynasty of Egypt shortly before the death of Osorkon II. Takelot II ruled a separate kingdom that embraced Middle and Upper Egypt, distinct from the Tanite Twenty-second Dynasty who only controlled Lower Egypt. Takelot F, the son and successor of the High Priest of Amun Nimlot C, served for a period of time under Osorkon II as a High Priest of Amun before he proclaimed himself as king Takelot II in the final three regnal years of Osorkon II. In Year 11 of Takelot II, an insurrection began under Pedubast I whose followers challenged this king’s authority at Thebes. Takelot reacted by dispatching his son, Osorkon B, to sail southwards to Thebes and quell the uprising. Osorkon B succeeded in retaining control of the city and then proclaimed himself as the new High Priest of Amun. Some of the rebel’s bodies were deliberately burned by Osorkon to permanently deny their souls any hope of an afterlife. However, just four years later, in year 15 of Takelot II, a second major revolt broke out and this time Osorkon B’s forces were expelled from Thebes by Pedubast I. This caused a prolonged period of turmoil and instability in Upper Egypt as a prolonged struggle broke out between the competing factions of Takelot II/Osorkon B and Pedubast I/Shoshenq VI for control of Thebes. This conflict would last for 27 long years – from Year 15 to Year 25 of Takelot II and then from Year 22 to Year 39 of Shoshenq III when Osorkon B finally defeated his enemies and conquered this great city. Osorkon B proclaimed himself as king Osorkon III sometime after his victory.
Pedubast I 829 BC – 804 BC Pedubastis I or Pedubast I (c. 829 BC–804 BC) was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Pedubast is recorded as being of Libyan ancestry and ruled Egypt for 25 years according to Manetho. He first became king at Thebes in Year 8 of Shoshenq III and his highest dated Year is his 23rd Year according to Nile Level Text No. 29. This Year is equivalent to Year 31 of Shoshenq III. He was the main opponent to Takelot II and later, Osorkon B, of the Twenty-Third Dynasty Libyan kings of Upper Egypt at Thebes. His accession to power plunged Thebes into a protracted civil war which lasted for three decades between these two competing factions.
Shoshenq VI 804 BC – 798 BC
Osorkon III Involved in a civil war which lasted for 27 long years against Pedubast I and Shoshenq VI. He was the well know High Priest Osorkon B, son of Takelot II.
Takelot III
Rudamun Rudamun was the final pharaoh of the Twenty-third dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Soon after Rudamun’s death, his kingdom quickly fragmented into several minor city states under the control of various local kings such as Peftjaubast of Herakleopolis, Nimlot at Hermopolis, and Ini at Thebes.
Ini Menkheperre Ini or Iny Si-Ese Meryamun was probably Rudamun’s successor at Thebes but was not a member of his predecessor’s 23rd Dynasty. Unlike the 23rd dynasty rulers, he was a local king who ruled only at Thebes for at least 4-5 years after the death of Rudamun.
24th Tefnajhte I The Twenty-Fourth Dynasty was a short-lived group of pharaohs who had their capital at Sais in the western Nile Delta. Tefnakhte I formed an alliance of the Delta kinglets, with whose support he attempted to conquer Upper Egypt. It is unclear, however, if he ever formally adopted an official royal title, unlike his successor Bakenranef.
Bakenranef 725 BC – 720 BC Tefnkahte’s successor, Bakenranef, definitely assumed the throne of Sais and took the royal name Wahkare. His authority was recognized in much of the Delta including Memphis where several Year 5 and Year 6 Serapeum stelas from his reign have been found. This Dynasty came to a sudden end when Shabaka, the second king of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, attacked Sais, captured Bakenrenef and burned him alive.
25th Alara 780 BC – 760 BC The twenty-fifth dynasty originated in Kush (Nubia) presently in north Sudan at the city-state of Napata, whence they invaded and took control of Egypt under Piye (spelled Piankhi in older works). Alara was regarded as the founder of the Napatan royal dynasty by his 25th Dynasty Nubian successors. He unified all of Upper Nubia from Meroe to the Third Cataract and is believed to be attested at the Temple of Amun at Kawa. Alara also established Napata as the religious capital of Nubia.
Kashta While he ruled Nubia from Napata, which is 400 km north of Khartoum, the modern capital of Sudan, he also exercised a strong degree of influence–though not control–over Upper Egypt by managing to install his daughter, Amenirdis I, as the God’s Wife of Amun in Thebes.
Piye 752 BC – 721 BC As the next ruler of Nubia, Piye took advantage of the squabbling of Egypt’s rulers by expanding Nubia’s power beyond Thebes into central Egypt. In reaction against the growing Kushite influence in Upper Egypt, Tefnakht of Sais formed a coalition between the local kings of the Delta Region and enticed Piye’s nominal ally—king Nimlot of Hermopolis—to defect to his side. Tefnakht then sent his coalition army south and besieged Herakleopolis where its king Peftjaubast and the local Nubian commanders appealed to Piye for help. Piye reacted quickly to this crisis in his Year 20 by assembling an army to invade Middle and Lower Egypt and visited Thebes in time for the great Opet Festival which proves he effectively controlled Upper Egypt by this time. His military feats are chronicled in the Victory stela at Gebel Barkal. Piye then marched north and achieved complete victory at Herakleopolis in 2000, conquering the cities of Hermopolis and Memphis among others, and received the submission of the kings of the Nile Delta including Iuput II of Leontopolis, Osorkon IV of Tanis and his former ally Nimlot at Hermopolis. Hermopolis fell to the Nubian king after a siege lasting five months. Tefnakht took refuge in an island in the Delta and formally conceded defeat in a letter to the Nubian king but refused to personally pay homage to the Kushite ruler. Satisfied with his triumph, Piye proceeded to sail south to Thebes and returned to his homeland in Nubia never to return to Egypt.
Shabaka 721 BC – 707 BC Shabaka’s reign is significant because he consolidated the Nubian Kingdom’s control over all of Egypt from Nubia down to the Delta region. It also saw an enormous amount of building work undertaken throughout Egypt, especially at the city of Thebes. Shabaka succeeded in preserving Egypt’s independence from outside foreign powers especially the Assyrian empire under Sargon II.
Shebitku 707 BC – 690 BC During Shebitku’s reign, there was initially a policy of conciliation with Assyria which was marked by the formal extradition of Iamanni back into Sargon II’s hands. After Sargon II’s death, however, Shebitku appears to have adopted a different policy by actively resisting any new Assyrian expansion into Canaan under Sennacherib, Sargon’s successor. The Nubian army traveled along with Taharqa presumably to fight the Assyrians at the Battle of Eltekh in 701 BC. Another stela records that when Jerusalem was under attack by the Assyrians, the king of Kush marched against Sennacherib. Shebitku joined in the resistance against Sennacherib and an Egyptian army was sent to Palestine, led by Shebitku’s brother, Prince Taharqa.
Taharqa 690 BC – 664 BC Scholars have identified him with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, who waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9) and drove him from his intention of destroying Jerusalem and deporting its inhabitants—a critical action that, according to Henry T. Aubin, has shaped the Western world. For at this time, the Bible had not yet been written, nor had the concept of YWEH been fully defined. The events in the Biblical account are believed to have taken place in 701 BC, whereas Taharqa came to the throne some ten years later. A number of explanations have been proposed: one being that the title of king in the Biblical text refers to his future royal title, when at the time of this account he was likely only a military commander. It was during his reign that Egypt’s enemy Assyria at last invaded Egypt. Esarhaddon led several campaigns against Taharqa, which he recorded on several monuments. His first attack in 677 BC, aimed to pacify Arab tribes around the Dead Sea, led him as far as the Brook of Egypt. Esarhaddon then proceeded to invade Egypt proper in Taharqa’s 17th regnal year, after Esarhaddon had settled a revolt at Ashkelon. Taharqa defeated the Assyrians on that occasion. Three years later in 671 BC the Assyrian king captured and sacked Memphis, where he captured numerous members of the royal family. Taharqa fled to the south, and Esarhaddon reorganized the political structure in the north, establishing Necho I of the 26th dynasty as king at Sais. Upon the Assyrian king’s departure, however, Taharqa intrigued in the affairs of Lower Egypt, and fanned numerous revolts. Esarhaddon died before he could return to Egypt, and it was left to his heir Assurbanipal to once again invade Egypt. Assurbanipal defeated Taharqa, who afterwards fled first to Thebes, then up the Nile into his native homeland—Nubia. Taharqa died there in 664 BC and was succeeded by his appointed successor Tantamani, a son of Shabaka. Taharqa was buried at Nuri.
Tantamani 664 BC – 656 BC He was the son of King Shabaka and the nephew of his predecessor Taharqa. Once the Assyrians had appointed Necho I as king and left Egypt, Tantamani marched down the Nile from Nubia and reoccupied all of Egypt including Memphis. Necho I, the Assyrians’ representative, was killed in Tantamani’s campaign. In reaction, the Assyrians returned to Egypt in force, defeated Tantamani’s army in the Delta and advanced as far as south as Thebes, which they sacked. The Assyrian reconquest effectively ended Nubian control over Egypt although Tantamani’s authority was still recognized in Upper Egypt until his 8th Year in 656 BC when Psamtik I’s navy peacefully took control of Thebes and effectively unified all of Egypt.
26th Necho I 672 BC – 664 BC The Saite or Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt was the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest (although others followed), and had its capital at Sais. Necho I (sometimes Nekau) was the Prince or Governor of the Egyptian city of Sais. He was the first attested local Saite king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt who reigned for 8 years, according to Manetho’s Epitome.
Psammetichus I 664 BC – 610 BC This dynasty traced its origins to the Twenty-Fourth Dynasty. Psammetichus I was the great-grandson of Bakenrenef, and following the Assyrians invasions during the reigns of Taharqa and Tantamani, he was recognized as sole king over all of Egypt. Psamtik was the son of Necho I who died in 664 BC. After his father’s death, Psamtik managed to both unite all of Egypt and free her from Assyrian control. Psamtik I reunified Egypt in his 9th Year when he dispatched a powerful naval fleet in March 656 BC to Thebes and compelled the existing God’s Wife of Amun at Thebes to adopt his daughter Nitocris I as her Heiress in the so-called Adoption Stela. Psamtik’s success destroyed the last vestiges of the Nubian Dynasty’s control over Upper Egypt under Tantamani since Thebes now accepted his authority. Psamtik I proved to be a great Pharaoh of Egypt who won Egypt’s independence from the Assyrian Empire and restored Egypt’s prosperity through his long 54 Year reign. Psamtik proceeded to establish intimate relations with the Greeks. He also encouraged many Greek settlers to establish colonies in Egypt and serve in the services of his army.
Necho II 610 BC – 595 BC The son of Psammetichus I by his Great Royal Wife Mehtenweskhet. Upon his ascension, Necho was faced with the chaos created by the raids of the Cimmerians and the Scythians, who had not only ravaged Asia west of the Euphrates, but had also helped the Babylonians shatter the Assyrian Empire. That once mighty empire was now reduced to the troops, officials, and nobles who had gathered around a general holding out at Harran, who had taken the throne name of Ashur-uballit II. Nekau attempted to assist this remnant immediately upon his coronation, but the force he sent proved to be too small, and the combined armies were forced to retreat west across the Euphrates. In the spring of 609 BC, Necho personally led a sizable force to help the Assyrians. Josiah of Judah sided with the Babylonians and attempted to block his advance at Megiddo, where a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was killed (2 Kings 23:29, 2 Chronicles 35:20-24). Necho continued forward, joined forces with Ashur-uballit and together they crossed the Euphrates and laid siege to Harran. Although Necho became the first pharaoh to cross the Euphrates since Thutmose III, he failed to capture Harran, and retreated back to northern Syria. At this point Ashur-uballit vanishes from history, and the Assyrian Empire collapsed. Leaving a sizable force behind, Necho returned to Egypt. On his return march, he found that the Judeans had selected Jehoahaz to succeed his father Josiah, whom Necho deposed and replaced with Jehoiakim. He brought Jehoahaz back to Egypt as his prisoner, where Jehoahaz ended his days (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Chronicles 36:1-4).
Psammetichus II 595 BC – 589 BC Psammetichus marched into the Kingdom of Judah, Philistia, and Phoenicia in about 592 BC in response to moves made by Babylon, and attempted to generate anti-Babylonian sentiment among their leaders.
Apries 589 BC – 570 BC Apries inherited the throne from his father, the undistinguished Psammetichus II, and continued his poor military record. Unsuccessful attempts to intervene in the Kingdom of Judah were followed by a mutiny of soldiers at Aswan. An attempt to protect Libya from incursions by Greek forces was also unsuccessful and the returning troops squabbled with the existing order. Apries was killed in 568 BC in a conflict with his eventual successor Amasis II, a former general who had declared himself pharaoh and married his daughter Chedebnitjerbone II.
Amasis II 570 BC – 526 BC According to Herodotus, he was of common origins. He cultivated the friendship of the Greek world, and brought Egypt into closer touch with it than ever before. Herodotus relates that under his prudent administration Egypt reached the highest pitch of prosperity; he adorned the temples of Lower Egypt especially with splendid monolithic shrines and other monuments (his activity here is proved by remains still existing). His kingdom consisted probably of Egypt only, as far as the First Cataract, but to this he added Cyprus, and his influence was great in Cyrene. At the beginning of his long reign, before the death of Apries, he appears to have sustained an attack by Nebuchadrezzar II (568 BC). Cyrus left Egypt unmolested; but the last years of Amasis were disturbed by the threatened invasion of Cambyses and by the rupture of the alliance with Polycrates of Samos. The blow fell upon his son Psametik III, whom the Persian deprived of his kingdom after a reign of only six months.
Psamm. III 526 BC – 525 BC Psametik ruled no more than six months. The young and inexperienced pharaoh probably did all he could to defend his country from invasion, but Egypt was no match for the Persians. After the enemy, led by Cambyses, had crossed Sinai and the desert with the aid of the Arabs, a bloody battle was fought near Pelusium, a city on Egypt’s eastern frontier, in the spring of 525 BC. Being defeated at the battle of Pelusium, after he was betrayed by one of his allies, Phanes of Halicarnas, Psametik fled to Memphis. The Persians captured the city after long siege, and caught Psametik shortly after its fall. Upon the fall of the city, Cambyses ordered the public execution of two thousand of the principal citizens, including (it is said) a son of the fallen king.
First Persian Conquest 27th Various Satraps 525 BC – 404 BC The last pharaoh of the Twenty-Sixth dynasty, Psammetichus III, was defeated by Cambyses II of Persia in the battle of Pelusium in the eastern Nile delta in 525 BC, Egypt was then joined with Cyprus and Phoenicia in the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire.
Late Period 28th Amyrtaeus 404 BC – 398 BC The Twenty-Eighth Dynasty of Egypt had one ruler, Amyrtaeus, who was a descendant of the Saite kings of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, and led a successful revolt against the Persians on the death of Darius II. Previous to assuming the throne of Egypt, Amyrtaeus had revolted against Darius II as early as 411 BCE, leading a guerrilla action in the western Nile Delta around his home city of Sais. Following the death of Darius, Amyrtaeus declared himself king in 404 BCE. According to Isocrates, Artaxerxes assembled an army in Phoenicia under the command of Abrocomas to retake Egypt shortly after coming to the Persian throne, but political problems with his brother Cyrus the Younger prevented this from taking place, allowing the Egyptians sufficient time to throw off Achaemenid rule. Amyrtaeus was defeated in open war by his successor, Nepherites I of Mendes, and executed at Memphis, an event which the Aramaic papyrus Brooklyn 13 implies occurred in October 399 BCE.
29th Nepherites I 398 BC – 393 BC King Nepherites I, or Nefaarud I, founded the Twenty-ninth dynasty of Egypt by defeating Amyrtaeus in open battle, and later executing him at Memphis. Nepherites was a native of Mendes, where he also made his capital and burial place.
Psammuthes 393 BC Psammuthes was an Egyptian Pharaoh of the Twenty-ninth dynasty during 393 BC. Upon the death of Nepherites I, two rival factions fought for the throne: one supported Muthis son of Nefaarud, and the other supported an usurper named Psammuthes. Both men were, however, overcome by an unrelated man named Hakor.
Hakor 393 BC – 380 BC Hakor overthrew his predecessor Psammuthes and falsely proclaimed himself to be the grandson of Nepherites I, founder of the 29th Dynasty, on his monuments in order to legitimize his kingship. While Hakor ruled Egypt for only 13 years, his reign is important for the enormous amount of buildings which he constructed and for his extensive restoration work on the monuments of his royal antecedents.
Nepherites II 380 BC He was the last pharaoh of the twenty-ninth dynasty. He was deposed and probably killed by Nectanebo I within the same year.
30th Nectanebo I 380 BC – 362 BC The Thirtieth Dynasty of ancient Egypt followed Nectanebo I’s deposition of Nefaarud II, the son of Hakor. This dynasty is often considered part of the Late Period. Nectanebo I had gained control of all of Egypt by November of 380 BC, but spent much of his reign defending his kingdom from Persian reconquest with the occasional help of Sparta or Athens. is also known as a great builder who erected many monuments and temples throughout his long and stable 18 year reign. Nectanebo I restored numerous dilapidated temples throughout Egypt.
Teos 362 BC – 360 BC He was overthrown by Nectanebo II with the aid of Agesilaus II of Sparta and was forced to flee to Persia by way of Arabia. The Persian king Artaxerxes II gave him refuge, and Teos lived in Persian exile until his death.
Nectanebo II 360 BC – 343 BC Nectanebo was placed on the Egyptian throne by Spartan king Agesilaus II, who helped him overthrow Teos and fight off a rival pretender. After a reign of 17 years, he was defeated by the Persian king Artaxerxes III, and fled first to Memphis and then into Upper Egypt, and finally into exile in Nubia, where he vanishes from history. With Nectanebo’s flight, all organized resistance to the Persians collapsed, and Egypt once again was reduced to a satrapy of the Persian Empire. Nectanebo has been considered the last pharaoh of Egypt, and his flight marked the end of Egypt as an independent entity.
Second Persian Conquest 31st Various Satraps 343 BC – 332 BC It is not known who served as satrap after Artaxerxes III, but under Darius III (336–330 BC) there was Sabaces, who fought and died at Issus and was succeeded by Mazaces.
Greco-Roman Period Alexander 332 BC – 323 BC Alexander’s army crossed the Cilician Gates, met and defeated the main Persian army under the command of Darius III at the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. Darius was forced to leave the battle and left behind his wife, his two daughters, his mother Sisygambis, and much of his personal treasure. Mazaces ceded Egypt to Alexander without a fight. In 332–331 BC, Alexander was welcomed as a liberator in Egypt and was pronounced the son of Zeus by Egyptian priests of the god Amun at the Oracle of the god at the Siwa Oasis in the Libyan desert. Henceforth, Alexander referred to the god Zeus-Ammon as his true father, and subsequent currency featuring his head with ram horns was proof of this widespread belief. He founded Alexandria in Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic dynasty after his death.
Ptolemaic Dynasty Ptolemy 323 BC – 305 BC 305 BC – 282 BC Ptolemy, a somatophylax, one of the seven bodyguards who served as Alexander the Great’s generals and deputies , was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander’s death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as “Soter” (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy’s family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC. By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to pre-empt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took great pains in getting his hands on the body of Alexander the Great, placing it temporarily in Memphis. Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Perdiccas appears to have suspected Ptolemy of aiming for the throne himself, and maybe decided that Ptolemy was his most dangerous rival. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes for spying on behalf of Perdiccas — this removed the chief check on his authority, and allowed Ptolemy to obtain the huge sum that Cleomenes had accumulated. In 321, Perdiccas invaded Egypt. Ptolemy decided to defend the Nile, and Perdiccas’s attempt to force it ended in fiasco, with the loss of 2000 men. This was a fatal blow to Perdiccas’ reputation, and he was murdered in his tent by two of his subordinates. Ptolemy was offered the regency in place of Perdiccas; but he declined. Ptolemy was consistent in his policy of securing a power base, while never succumbing to the temptation of risking all to succeed Alexander.
Ptolemy II 284 BC – 246 BC Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice. Egypt was involved in several wars during his reign. Magas of Cyrene opened war on his half-brother (274 BC), and the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter, desiring Coele-Syria with Judea, attacked soon after in the First Syrian War. Two or three years of war followed. Egypt’s victories solidified the kingdom’s position as the undisputed naval power of the eastern Mediterranean; the Ptolemaic sphere of power extended over the Cyclades to Samothrace, and the harbors and coast towns of Cilicia Trachea, Pamphylia, Lycia and Caria. Ptolemy’s first wife, Arsinoë I, daughter of Lysimachus, was the mother of his legitimate children. After her repudiation he married his full-sister Arsinoë II, the widow of Lysimachus, by an Egyptian custom abhorrent to Greek morality; probably for political reasons in complying with the custom. Ptolemy is recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra in India, probably to Emperor Ashoka.
Ptolemy III 246 BC – 222 BC Ptolemy III Euergetes was the eldest son of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his first wife Arsinoe I. He is most noted for his invasions of the northern kingdom of Syria which he commenced upon the murder of his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus; during this war, the Third Syrian War, he occupied Antioch and -as a recent cuneiform discovery proves- even reached Babylon. Ptolemy III was also the ruler who promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint.
Ptolemy IV 222 BC – 204 BC Ptolemy IV Philopator son of Ptolemy III and Berenice II of Egypt was the fourth Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic Egypt. Under the reign of Ptolemy IV, the decline of the Ptolemaic kingdom began. His reign was inaugurated by the murder of his mother, and he was always under the dominion of favorites, male and female, who indulged his vices and conducted the government as they pleased. Self-interest led his ministers to make serious preparations to meet the attacks of Antiochus III the Great on Coele-Syria including Judea, and the great Egyptian victory of Raphia (217), where Ptolemy himself was present, secured the northern borders of the kingdom for the remainder of his reign. The arming of Egyptians in this campaign had a disturbing effect upon the native population of Egypt, leading to the secession of Upper Egypt under pharaohs Harmachis (also known as Hugronaphor) and Ankmachis, (also known as Chaonnophris) thus creating a kingdom that occupied much of the country and lasted nearly twenty years. He married (about 220 BC) his sister Arsinoë III, but continued to be ruled by his mistress Agathoclea, sister of Agathocles. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes purported events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria.
Ptolemy V 204 BC – 180 BC Ptolemy V Epiphanes was only a small boy when his father, Ptolemy Philopator, died. The two leading favorites of Philopator, Agathocles and Sosibius, fearing that Arsinoe would secure the regency had her murdered before she heard of her husband’s death so securing the regency for themselves. In 202 BCE however Tlepolemus, the general in charge of Pelusium put himself at the head of a revolt. Once Epiphanes was in the hands of Tlepolemus he was persuaded to give a sign that the killers of his mother should be killed. According to Bevan the child king’s consent was given more from fear than anything else and Agathocles along with several of his supporters being killed by the Alexandrian mob. Antiochus III the Great and Philip V of Macedon made a pact to divide the Ptolemaic possessions overseas. Philip seized several islands and places in Caria and Thrace, whilst the Battle of Panium (198 BCE) definitely transferred Coele-Syria, including Judea, from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids. He is responsible for the Rosetta Stone.
Ptolemy VI 180 BC – 145 BC Ptolemy VI Philometor succeeded in 180 at the age of about 6 and ruled jointly with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her death in 176 BC. The following year he married his sister, Cleopatra II. In 170 BC, Antiochus IV began the sixth Syrian War and invaded Egypt twice. He was crowned as its king in 168, but abandoned his claim on the orders of the Roman Senate. From 169-164 Egypt was ruled by a triumvirate consisting of Ptolemy, his sister-queen and his younger brother known as Ptolemy VIII Physcon, but in 164 he was driven out by his brother and went to Rome to seek support, which he received from Cato. He was restored the following year by the intervention of the Alexandrians and ruled uneasily, cruelly suppressing frequent rebellions.
Ptolemy VIII 169 BC – 163 BC Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II nicknamed Physcon (“Potbelly” or “Bladder”) for his obesity, was a king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. His complicated career started in 170 BC, when Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Egypt, captured his brother Ptolemy VI Philometor and let him continue as a puppet monarch. Then Alexandria chose Ptolemy Euergetes as king. After Antiochus left (169 BC), Euergetes agreed to joint rule with his older brother Ptolemy VI Philometor and Cleopatra II. This arrangement led to continuous intrigues, lasting until October 164 BC, when Philometor went to Rome to gain support from the Senate, who were a little helpful, but Physcon’s sole rule was not popular, and in May 163 BC the two brothers agreed to a partition that left Physcon in charge of Cyrenaica. His history is continued below as it involves successive rulers.
Cleopatra II 169 BC – 164 BC Cleopatra II was the daughter of Ptolemy V and Cleopatra I. Following the death of their mother (175 BC), she was married to her brother in 173 BC, Ptolemy VI. They and their brother, Ptolemy VIII, were co-rulers of Egypt from 171 BC to 164 BC. She became regent for her son Ptolemy VII on her husband’s death in 145 BC, and married her other brother, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II “Physcon” the next year, whereupon Physcon slew his nephew/stepson and made himself king. In 142 BC he took her younger daughter, his niece, Cleopatra III, as wife without divorcing his sister and made his new wife joint ruler. Cleopatra II led a rebellion against Physcon in 131 BC, and successfully drove him and Cleopatra III out of Egypt. She then proclaimed Physcon’s twelve-year-old son, Ptolemy Memphitis, as King, and herself as coregent (though she technically was the sole ruler at this point). However, Physcon managed to have Memphitis killed and sent the pieces of his body to Cleopatra, and she remained sole ruler of Egypt. She offered the throne to Demetrius II of Syria, but he was assassinated by Physcon, and Cleopatra left for Syria in 127 BC. Physcon then returned to Egypt and reclaimed the throne. A public reconciliation of Cleopatra and Physcon was declared in 124 BC. After this she ruled jointly with her brother and daughter until 116 BC when Ptolemy died, leaving the kingdom to Cleopatra III. She herself died shortly after.
Cleopatra III 142 BC – 101 BC She was born in 161 BC to Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II of Egypt. Ptolemy VII Neos Philopater was her brother. After the death of her father, her brother became the King of Egypt, and her mother was regent. In an attempt to gain control of Cleopatra II, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II “Physcon” married her. Physcon later had Philopater killed, thus taking the throne for himself. He then discarded Cleopatra II and married Cleopatra III in 142 BC, making her Queen and joint ruler. His reign after that was peaceful, but he was very despotic. She bore Physcon these children: Ptolemy IX Philometor Soter II Lathyros, Ptolemy X Alexander I, Cleopatra IV, Cleopatra V Tryphaena, and Cleopatra Selene. When he died, he left the throne to Cleopatra and whichever son she wished. If it were up to her, she would have chosen her younger son Alexander, but the Alexandrians forced her to bring Lathyros from Cyprus, of which he was governor, to co-rule, becoming Ptolemy IX. The younger son Alexander was then sent to Cyprus to fill Lathyros’s former position. Eventually, by accusing Lathyros of trying to murder her, she successfully deposed him and brought Alexander back to Egypt, becoming Ptolemy X. However, she eventually tired of Alexander and brought back Lathyros. Again, she grew tired of Lathyros as well, and Alexander was brought back. Tiring of his mother’s intrigue, Alexander had her assassinated in 101 BC. Yay, the inbred Ptolemys.
Ptolemy IX 116 BC — 81 BC Ptolemy IX Soter II or Lathyros (“chickpea”) was king of Egypt three times, from 116 BC to 110 BC, 109 BC to 107 BC and 88 BC to 81 BC, with intervening periods ruled by his brother, Ptolemy X Alexander. At first he was chosen by his mother Cleopatra III to be her co-regent (his father Ptolemy VIII wished that she would rule with one of her sons), though she was more forced to choose him by the Alexandrians. He married his sister Cleopatra IV, but his mother pushed her out and replaced her with his younger sister Cleopatra Selene. Later, she claimed that he tried to kill her, and successfully deposed him, putting her favorite son Alexander on the throne as co-regent with her. However, she later grew tired of the now Ptolemy X and deposed him, putting Ptolemy IX back on the throne. She was soon murdered by Ptolemy X, who took the throne again. He was then killed in battle, and Ptolemy IX reigned until his own death.
Ptolemy X 110 BC — 88 BC Ptolemy X Alexander I was King of Egypt from 110 BC to 109 BC and 107 BC till 88 BC. He was the son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra III. In 110 BC he became King with his mother as co-regent, after his mother had deposed his brother Ptolemy IX Lathyros. However, in 109 BC he was deposed by Ptolemy IX. In 107 BC he became King again, and again with his mother as co-regent. In 101 BC he had his mother killed, and ruled either alone or with his niece/wife, Berenice III. When he died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died, Ptolemy X’s wife Berenice III took over the throne for six months.
Berenice III 101 BC — 80 BC Berenice III sometimes called Cleopatra Berenice, ruled as queen of Egypt from 81 to 80 BC, and possibly from 101 to 88 BC jointly with her uncle/husband Ptolemy X Alexander. She was the first woman to rule Egypt alone in 1100 years, the last being Queen Twosret in 1185 BC. She was born in 120 BC, the daughter of Ptolemy IX Lathyros and Cleopatra Selene. She married Alexander in 101 BC, after he took the throne from Lathyros and had his mother (and her grandmother) Cleopatra III killed. When Lathyros reclaimed the throne, Berenice lost her own rule. However, when Lathyros died, Berenice took over the throne and ruled for six months, during which time she gained the love of the people. She was forced to marry her stepson Ptolemy XI Alexander II in 80 BC. He had her killed 19 days later, an unwise decision, since it moved the people to revolt and kill him a few days later.
Ptolemy XI 80 BC Ptolemy XI Alexander II ruled Egypt for a few days in 80 BC. Ptolemy XI was born to Ptolemy X Alexander and either Cleopatra Selene or Berenice III. Ptolemy IX Lathryos died in 81 BC or 80 BC, leaving no legitimate heir, and so Cleopatra Berenice (another name of Berenice III) ruled alone for a time. However, Rome’s Sulla wanted a pro-Roman ruler on the throne, and sent the young son of Ptolemy X to Egypt, displaying Ptolemy Alexander’s will in Rome as justification for this obvious intervention. The will also required Ptolemy XI to marry Cleopatra Berenice, who was his stepmother (or possibly his natural mother – the ancient sources are unclear). However, nineteen days after the marriage, Ptolemy murdered his bride for unknown reasons, an unwise move since Berenice was very popular; Ptolemy was immediately lynched by the citizens of Alexandria.
Ptolemy XII 80 BC — 51 BC Ptolemy Neos Dionysos Theos Philopator Theos Philadelphos was son of Ptolemy IX Soter II. His mother is unknown. He was king of Egypt from 80 BC to 58 BC and from 55 BC until his death in 51 BC. When Ptolemy XI died (was lynched by the mob) without a male heir, the only available male descendents of the Ptolemy I lineage were the illegitimate sons of Ptolemy IX by an unknown Alexandrian Greek concubine. The boys were living in exile in Sinope, at the court of Mithridates VI, King of Pontus. The eldest of the boys was proclaimed king as Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos and married his sister, Tryphaena. At first, Ptolemy XII was coregent with his sister Cleopatra VI Tryphaina and his wife Cleopatra V Tryphaena, but the former mysteriously disappears from the records in 69 BC. During his reign, Ptolemy XII tried to secure his own fate and the fate of his dynasty by means of a pro-Roman policy. At the height of his success in 59 BC, after paying substantial bribes to Julius Caesar and Pompey, a formal alliance was formed (foedera) and his name was inscribed into the list of friends and allies of the people of Rome (amici et socii populi Romani). However in 58 BC after he failed to comment on the Roman conquest of Cyprus, a territory ruled by his brother, he was forced to flee to Rome. His daughter Berenice IV became his successor. From Rome he prosecuted his restitution, finding favor with his old ally Pompey but meeting some opposition with certain members of the Senate. Dio Cassius reports that a group of 100 men were sent as envoys from Egypt to make their case to the Romans against Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy had most of these killed before they reached Rome. He finally recovered his throne by paying Aulus Gabinius 10,000 talents to invade Egypt in 55 BC. Berenice was executed. From then on he reigned until he fell ill in 51 BC.
Cleopatra V 58 BC – 57 BC Cleopatra V of Egypt was the mother of Cleopatra VII, by her husband and brother Ptolemy XII of Egypt, and was possibly the mother of Cleopatra VI of Egypt and Berenice IV of Egypt. She co-ruled Egypt with her daughter Berenice IV for a year before her death, then her daughter reigned alone in Egypt.
Berenice IV 58 BC – 55 BC Berenice IV was the daughter of Ptolemy XII of Egypt and probably Cleopatra V of Egypt Tryphaena, sister of Cleopatra VI Tryphaena of Egypt, and the famous Cleopatra VII (loved by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony). Berenice loved fashions, parties, and jewels. She was quite lazy and fearful, especially of the peasants, slaves and any form of lower social class. She spoke only her native tongue, was poorly educated due to her lack of work ethic, and ignored the peasants, making her a poor leader. Despite her flaws, she was a kind and loving person towards her friends and family, and was also very beautiful. In 58 BC, Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VII fled to Rome in search of political and military aid against Berenice’s elder sister Tryphaena, who had become far too powerful. After Tryphaena’s death in 57 BC Bernice became the sole ruler of Egypt due to her father’s absence, and with him and Cleopatra absent she had no worry about being overthrown or overpowered and executed. As a lone woman ruling Egypt, she was expected to marry and have a man as a co-regent. When she did not, her consuls forced her to marry Seleucus Kybiosaktes, but she had him strangled and remained as sole ruler. The public feared the Ptolemic reign would fail to continue due to Berenice’s foolishness. It is also believed she cared far too much for fashion and luxuries, leading to rising expenses. She later married Archelaus, but he was not co-regent. Archelaus had been appointed to the priesthood at Comana at Cappadocia by Pompey, and claimed to be a son of Mithridates VI. Strabo instead says his father was Archelaus, a general of Mithridates VI in the First Mithridatic War who defected to the Romans. The reign of Berenice ended in 55 BC when her father retook the throne with the aid of the Romans led by Aulus Gabinius, and had Berenice beheaded, ordering her head to be brought to him on a tray while Cleopatra secretly watched. Archelaus, who according to Strabo had previously had a friendly relationship with Gabinius, died in battle against the forces of Gabinius.
Cleopatra VII 51BC – 30 BC Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was a Hellenistic co-ruler of Egypt with her father (Ptolemy XII Auletes) and later with her brothers/husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. She later became the supreme ruler of Egypt, as Pharaoh, consummated a liaison with Gaius Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne, and, after Caesar’s assassination, aligned with Mark Antony, with whom she produced twins. In all, Cleopatra had four children, one by Caesar (Caesarion) and three by Antony (Cleopatra Selene II, Alexander Helios, and Ptolemy Philadelphus). Her unions with her brothers produced no children. It is possible that they were never consummated; in any case, they were not close. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era in the eastern Mediterranean. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, ruled in name only before Augustus had him executed). A Greek by descent, language and culture, Cleopatra is reputed to have been the first member of her family in their 300-year reign in Egypt to have learned the Egyptian language. In 58 BC Cleopatra’s older sister, Berenice IV seized power from her father. With the assistance of the Roman governor of Syria, Aulus Gabinius, Ptolemy XII overturned his eldest daughter in 55 BC and had her executed. Cleopatra’s other older sister Tryphaena took over shortly after that. She was killed as well, which left Cleopatra with her husband and younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, joint heirs to the throne. Ptolemy XII died in March 51 BC, making the 17-year-old Cleopatra and her brother, the 12-year-old Ptolemy XIII joint monarchs. The first three years of their reign were difficult, due to economic difficulties, famine, deficient floods of the Nile, and political conflicts. Although Cleopatra was married to her young brother, she quickly showed indications that she had no intentions of sharing power with him. In August 51 BC, relations between the sovereigns completely broke down. Cleopatra dropped Ptolemy’s name from official documents and her face appeared alone on coins, which went against Ptolemaic tradition of female rulers being subordinate to male co-rulers. This resulted in a cabal of courtiers, led by the eunuch Pothinus, removing Cleopatra from power and making Ptolemy sole ruler in circa 48 BC (or possibly earlier, as a decree exists from 51 BC with Ptolemy’s name alone). She tried to raise a rebellion around Pelusium, but she was soon forced to flee Egypt with her only surviving sister, Arsinoë. While Cleopatra was in exile, Pompey became embroiled in the Roman civil war. In the autumn of 48 BC, Pompey fled from the forces of Julius Caesar to Alexandria, seeking sanctuary. Ptolemy, only fifteen years old at that time, had set up a throne for himself on the harbor from where he watched as on September 28, 48 BC Pompey was murdered by one of his former officers, now in Ptolemaic service. He was beheaded in front of his wife and children, who were on the ship he had just disembarked from. Ptolemy is thought to have ordered the death as a way of pleasing Julius Caesar and thus become an ally of Rome, to which Egypt was in debt. This was a catastrophic miscalculation on Ptolemy’s part. When Caesar arrived in Egypt two days later, Ptolemy presented him with Pompey’s severed head. Caesar was enraged. This was probably due to the fact that, although he was Caesar’s political enemy, Pompey was a Consul of Rome and the widower of Caesar’s only legitimate daughter, Julia (who died in childbirth with their son). Caesar seized the Egyptian capital and imposed himself as arbiter between the rival claims of Ptolemy and Cleopatra. Eager to take advantage of Julius Caesar’s anger with Ptolemy, Queen Cleopatra returned to the palace rolled into a Persian carpet and had it presented to Caesar by her servants: when it was unrolled, Cleopatra tumbled out. It is believed that Caesar was charmed by the gesture, and she became his mistress. Nine months after their first meeting, Cleopatra gave birth to their baby. It was at this point that Caesar abandoned his plans to annex Egypt, instead backing Cleopatra’s claim to the throne. After a short civil war, Ptolemy XIII was drowned in the Nile and Caesar restored Cleopatra to her throne, with another younger brother Ptolemy XIV as new co-ruler. On 23 June 47 BC Cleopatra gave birth to a child, Ptolemy Caesar (nicknamed “Caesarion” which means “little Caesar”). Cleopatra claimed Caesar was the father and wished him to name the boy his heir, but Caesar refused, choosing his grand-nephew Octavian instead. Cleopatra and Caesarion visited Rome between 47 BC and 44 BC and were probably present when Caesar was assassinated on 15 March 44 BC. Before or just after the assassination she returned to Egypt. When Ptolemy XIV died due to deteriorating health, Cleopatra made Caesarion her co-regent and successor. To safeguard herself and Caesarion she also had her sister Arsinoe killed, a common practice of the times. In 42 BC, Mark Antony, one of the triumvirs who ruled Rome in the power vacuum following Caesar’s death, summoned Cleopatra to meet him in Tarsus to answer questions about her loyalty. Cleopatra arrived in great state, and so charmed Antony that he chose to spend the winter of 41 BC–40 BC with her in Alexandria. On 25 December 40 BC she gave birth to two children Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II. Following the Battle of Actium, Octavian invaded Egypt. As he approached Alexandria, Antony’s armies deserted to Octavian on August 12, 30 BC. Cleopatra’s son by Caesar, Caesarion, was proclaimed pharaoh by the Egyptians, but Octavian had already won. Caesarion was captured and executed, his fate reportedly sealed by Octavian’s famous phrase: “Two Caesars are one too many.” This ended not just the Hellenistic line of Egyptian pharaohs, but the line of all Egyptian pharaohs. The three children of Cleopatra and Antony were spared and taken back to Rome where they were taken care of by Antony’s wife, Octavia Minor, who was also Octavian’s sister.

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Egyptian Civilization periods Assignment. (2018, Sep 03). Retrieved January 30, 2023, from