Egyptian Dynasties Late Period 747 – 30 BC
Twentieth Fifth Dynasty 780 – 656 BC
The native princes of Kush (Nubia- modern Sudan) conquered a degenerate Egypt and established themselves as the twenty-fifth dynasty. They restored Egypt to its ancient customs, had old texts recopied, built religious buildings at Thebes and revived the custom of pyramid burials. Taharka supported Palestine’s resistance against King Sennacherib of Assyria, but Sennacherib’s son, Esarhaddon, defeated Taharka’s army. Memphis was captured, along with its royal harem. On Esarhaddon’s withdrawal from Egypt, Taharka returned from his refuge in Upper Egypt and massacred the Assyrian garrisons. He held control over Egypt until he was defeated by Esarhaddon’s son, Ashurbanipal, after which he fled south to Nubia, where he died and was buried in a large pyramid at Nuri.
- Piy 747-716
- Shabako 716-702
- Shabatka 702-690
- Taharka 690-664
- Tantarnani 644-656
Twentysixth Dynasty 664–525 BC
Psamtek I reunited Egypt, freed it from the Assyrians, and began the Saite dynasty. He reformed Egypt’s government and removed the last vestiges of the Kushite rule.
Psamtek and Amose II carried out numerous building programs, including an enterprising scheme by Neko II to link the Red Sea and the Nile by canal. Neko II defeated the army of Josiah of Judah but was later defeated by the Babylonian armies of Nebuchadnezzar.
- Neko I 672-664
- Psamtek 1 644-610
- Neko II 610-595
- Psamtek II 595-589
- Apries 589-570
- Amose II 570-526
- Psamtek III 526-525
Twenty Seventh Dynasty 525 – 404 BC
Cambyses II, king of Persia, conquered Egypt. He received assistance from Polycrates of Samos, a Greek ally of Egypt. He was also helped by the Arabs, who provided water for his army to cross the Sinai Desert. Cambyses won the Battle of Pelusium (525 BC), in the Nile Delta, then captured Heliopolis and Memphis. After these defeats Egyptian resistance collapsed.
In 518 BC Darius I visited Egypt, which he listed as a rebel country, perhaps because of the insubordination of its governor Aryandes whom he put to death.
- Persian rulers of Egypt
- Cambyses 525-522
- Darius I 522-486
- Xerxes 486-465
- ArtaxerxesI 465-424
- Darius II 424-405
- Artaxerxes II 405-359
Twenty Eighth Dynasty 404 – 399BC
For nearly a decade Amyrtacus led a rebellion against Persian rule. Upon the death of Darius II he declared himself king and once again established a native monarchy in Egypt. Little is known about him except that his capital was at Sais in the Delta and he managed to assert his authority as far south as the old Egyptian border at Aswan. He was the sole king of the twenty-eighth dynasty.
- Amyrtacus 404-399
Twenty Ninth Dynasty 399 – 380 BC
Egypt was now free of foreign rule and there was a period of consolidation and restoration. After the death of Nepherites I there was a power struggle in which Hakor came out on top. During his fourteen-year rule, he carried out a great deal of building work. In 389 BC, he concluded a treaty with Athens against the Persians and with the help of Greek mercenaries repelled several attacks by the Persians.
- Nepherites I 399-393
- Hakor 393-380
- Nepherites II 380
Thirtieth Dynasty 380 – 343 BC
Nectanebo I reigned for eighteen years, and during this time Egypt was invaded by an army of Persians and Greeks. At first they were successful in overwhelming the Egyptians, but Nectanebo launched a counter attack and defeated them.
His son Takos, with the support of Greek mercenaries, moved against the Persians in an attempt to gain Syria. Unfortunately, he made himself unpopular when he raised taxes to pay for this adventure.
- Nectanebo I 380-362
- Takos 362-360
- Nectanebo II 360-343
Thirty First Dynasty 343 – 332 BC
Artaxerxes’ first attempt to conquer Egypt, which had been independent since 404 BC, ended in failure. He tried again a few years later and defeated Nectanebo II at Pelusium in the Nile delta. The walls of Egypt’s cities were destroyed, its temples were plundered, and Artaxerxes was said to have killed the Apis bull with his own hands. Darius III was the last king of the Persian Empire.
Second Persian Period
- Artaxerxes III 343-338
- Arses 338-336
- Darius III 336-332
Alexander of Macedon (Alexander the Great) 332–323 BC
In November 332 BC Alexander entered Egypt and the people welcomed him as their deliverer from the Persians. At Memphis he made a sacrifice to Apis, the sacred Egyptian bull, and was crowned with the traditional double crown of the pharaohs. He founded the city of Alexandria, near the western arm of the Nile.
Ptolemaic Period 305 – 30BC
Ptolemy I distinguished himself as a trustworthy troop commander under Alexander and during the council at Babylon, that followed Alexander’s death, he proposed that the provinces of the huge empire be divided among the generals. He became governor of Egypt then its king and secured Egypt’s borders against external enemies. He won over the Egyptians by restoring their temples, which had been destroyed by the Persians and made gifts to the Egyptian gods as well as to the Egyptian nobility and priesthood. He also founded the Museum (Mouseion), a common workplace for scholars and artists, and established the famous library at Alexandria. Ptolemy II constructed the famous lighthouse on the island of Pharos, off Alexandria, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The last pharaoh was a woman – the famous Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator. Her attempts to maintain Egypt’s independence and renew its glory were doomed. All the great civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world were now submitting to the indisputable power of Rome.
- Ptolemy I 305-285 (Soter I) General of Alexander
- Ptolemy II 285-246 (Philadelphus)
- Ptolemy III 246-221 (Euergetes I)
- Ptolemy IV 221-205 (Philopator)
- Ptolemy V 205-180 (Epiphanes)
- Ptolemy VI 180-145 (Philometor)
- Ptolemy VII 145 (Neos Philopator)
- Ptolemy VIII 170-116 (Euergetes II)
- Ptolemy IX 116-107 (Soter II)
- Ptolemy X 107-88 (Alexander I)
- Ptolemy XI 80 (Alexander II)
- Ptolemy XII 80-51 (Neos Dionysos)
- Cleopatra VII 51-30 (Philopator)
- Ptolemy XV 44-30 (Caesarion)