Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Late Period


525 - 332 BC

Dynasty 27: (First Persian Period)

Cambyses II
Darius I
Artaxerxes I
Darius II
Artaxerxes II
seal of Darius I hunting lions

The Persians, led by Cambyses II took over Egypt after their conquest in 525 BC. Writings tell of outrages performed by Cambyses, such as the stabbing of the sacred Apis bull at the Serapeum and the urning of the embalmed body of Ahmose II. He however returned to Persia and ruled from Susa. His successor Darius I took more control over the internal affairs of Egypt and built a temple at the Khargah Oasis and repaired other temples around the country. He completed the canal begun by Necho. While he was fighting against the Greeks at Marathon, the Egyptians took the opportunity to revolt but they were defeated by Darius's successor, Xerxes. The Egyptians tried to revolt again and assassinated Xerxes, who was succeeded by Artaxerxes I, who again put down the revolution and ruled in relative peace for 30 years. Revolution began again during the rule of Darius II, even though he had tried to subdue the people with building works, but the Egyptians, helped by Greek mercenaries, took advantage of family problems within the royal household. This reulted in a form of independence throughout the rest of Darius II's reign and that of his successor Artaxerxes II.

Dynasty 28:


After the death of Darius II, Amytrtaeus, prince of Sais, declared himself king.He managed to assert his authority as far south as Aswan, but little else is known about him.

Dynasty 29:


Nefaarud I
ushabti figure of Nepherites I
(Nepherites I)
ushabti figure of Achoris (Achoris)
Nefaarud I moved his Delta capital from Sais to Mendes. He maintained the cult of the Apis bull and there is also evidence of building work during his rule. After his death, his son and a usurper struggled for power but both were overcome by another.... Hakor undertook much rebuilding work. He also made a treaty with Greece but this only lasted 3 years. He kept the Persians at bay using Greek soldiers . He named his son as successor but he was ousted by Nectanebo I

Dynasty 30:



basalt relief of Nectanebo I making offering
(Nectanebo I)

gold coin from the reign of Teos

tiny statue of Nectanebo II with Horus

(Nectanebo II)

Nectanebo repelled an invasion on Egypt by a combined Persian and Greek army using the Nile inundation to their advantage. During his 18 year reign he restored many temples and built a kiosk in his name on the Island of Philae. Teos succeeded his father Nectanebo but was unpopular in Egypt because of heavy taxes collected to pay for his army to march against Persia. While he was away his grandson was made king. Grandson of Teos Nectanebo II returned to the old Egyptian religion and temples were rebuilt. He stood against a Persian advance with the help of Greek mercenaries. However the Greeks fighting on the Persians side were stronger and a defeated Nectanebo was pushed back to Nubia.
Nectanebo II was the last native Egyptian Pharaoh.

Dynasty 31: (Second Persian Period)


Artaxerxes III
Darius III
silver coin with head of Artaxerxes III
Following the fall of Nectanebo II The country was ruled by Artaxerxes III. The Persians robbed the temples and taxed the people. When Artaxerxes was recalled to Persia the coutry was ruled by a young successor, Arses, but he only survived 2 years before being murdered by his successor Darius III. Not much evidence survives about Darius III but he is known to have struck some coins with his name on them. He opened the gates of Egypt to Alexander the Grat in 323 BC and was transferred to high office in Babylon.


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