Page images
PDF
EPUB

reigns of these kings were uneventful. During the reign of Thekeleth II. a rebellion broke out among the peoples to the south and north of Egypt, and it is stated that on the 25th of Mesori, in the fifteenth year of his reign, an eclipse of the moon took place. Shashang III. made great gifts to the temple of Amen-Rā at Thebes. He reigned fifty-two years; and an Apis bull which had been born in his twenty-eighth year, died in the second year of the reign of his successor Pamái. During the reign of Shashanq IV. three Apis bulls Death of died, the last in the thirty-seventh year of his reign.

Apis bulls.

B.C.

THE TWENTY-THIRD DYNASTY, Of the history of Petā-Bast, its first king, nothing is 766 known from Egyptian monuments, and for the events of the reign of his successor, Usarken III., we have to rely upon the information supplied by a stele recording the invasion Conquest and conquest of Egypt by Piānchi, king of Ethiopia. When of Egypt

by Pianchi the kings of Egypt sent to that country in the VIth dynasty, the Ethio.

pian. no opposition was offered by the natives to their felling trees, but in the XIIth dynasty the Egyptians found it necessary to guard against them at the first cataract by lightly-armed, swift soldiers. From the XIIth to the XXth dynasty Egypt maintained her authority over Ethiopia, and her kings built magnificent temples there, and ruled the country by a staff of officers under the direction of the “Prince of Cush." In the unsettled times which followed the death of Rameses II., the Ethiopians saw that the power of Egypt to maintain her supremacy abroad was becoming less and less. For many years they paid their customary tribute to his feeble successors, but at the same time they looked forward to a time Defection when they could cast off the yoke of Egypt. They had of Ethio

pians. adopted Egyptian civilization, the hieroglyphic form of writing, and the language and religion of Egypt; they seem to have wished to make a second Egypt in Ethiopia. When during the reigns of the kings of the XXIst and XXIInd dynasties they saw that the power of Egypt continued to decrease, they boldly resolved to found a kingdom of their Ethiopians

found a own, and they chose Napata, now called Gebel Barkal, as the

kingdom. site of their capital. Brugsch thinks (Egypt under the

Pharaohs, 2nd ed., 1881, Vol. II., p. 235) that the founder of the kingdom was one of the descendants of Her-Heru, the priest-king of the XXIst dynasty, and he points out that many of them bore the name of Piānchi. Early in the eighth century before Christ Pi-ānchi was king of Napata, and his rule probably extended at least as far north as Thebes. In the twenty-first year of his reign news was brought to him that Tafnecht, prince of Saïs and Memphis, had revolted, that a league formed chiefly of governors of towns had placed

him at its head, and that all Lower Egypt was in his hands. Piānchi's Piānchi at once sent troops against the rebels, and on their expedition to Egypt. way down the Nile they met a number of soldiers belonging

to the army of Tafnecht, and these they defeated. The Ethiopian troops seem not to have been unvaryingly successful, for it was necessary for Piānchi himself to come to Thebes; thence he marched to Hermopolis, which surrendered after a three days' siege. Nimrod, who had defended it, delivered up to Piānchi his wives, palace, horses and everything he had. Piānchi set out once more for the north, and every city opened its gates to him until he reached Memphis. Here he met with strong opposition, for Tafnecht had brought several thousands of soldiers into the city, and

every part of the wall was guarded by them. Piānchi, Capture of however, brought his boats up to the very walls of the city, Thebes,

and after a vigorous assault captured it; there was a mighty Memphis and Sais. slaughter, and it would seem that some thousands of men were slain.

The rebel princes came in one by one, and tendered their submission to the Ethiopian, and thus Piānchi became master of Egypt. At Memphis, Heliopolis and Thebes he offered sacrifices to the great gods of Egypt, and no acts of wanton destruction of cities or buildings are recorded of him.

B.C.

733 Bocchoris burnt alive.

THE TWENTY-FOURTII DYNASTY. This dynasty is represented by a single king called Baken-ren-f (Bocchoris), who reigned but a very few years; many legends concerning him are extant in classical writers, but the Egyptian monuments scarcely mention him. According to Manetho he was burnt alive by Sabaco the first king of the XXVth dynasty.

THE TWENTY-FIFTH DYNASTY.

The kings of this dynasty were Ethiopians, who following up the success of Piânchi, made themselves masters of all Egypt. The first king, Shabaka, is known from the Egyptian inscriptions to have beautified the temple of Karnak, and his name is found on many buildings there to which he made additions or repairs. He is best known as being the king of Egypt to whom Hoshea (2 Kings xvii. 4), having ceased to send his customary tribute to the king of Assyria, went for help. Some think that Shabaka (Hebrew Rip, which Schrader would point syo) was not king of all Egypt, because Sargon, king of Assyria (B.C. 721–705) styles him simply shiltauna, “prince.” Sabaco seems to have been known in Nineveh, for among the ruins of the palaces at Kouyunjik were found two impressions from his seal or scarab, in which he appears wearing the crown of Lower Egypt Y ; in his right hand he holds a stick or club, and he is in the act of slaughtering enemies. His cartouche stands above, together with his titles and the legend recording the speech of some god, “I give to thee all foreign lands.””

Sabaco was succeeded by his son Shabataka, concerning whom the Egyptian inscriptions tell us very little. During the reign of this king Sargon of Assyria died, and was succeeded by Sennacherib, who within a few years set out to suppress the rebellion which had broken out in Syria and Phoenicia. The prince of Ekron, Padi, who had been set upon the throne by Sargon, was seized by a crowd of rebels, who had obtained help from Hezekiah, king of Judah, and made prisoner; Hezekiah himself likewise appealed to the Egyptian king for assistance. Sennacherib marched on Judaea, and at Altekeh he met the allied forces of Jews and Egyptians. The battle was short and decisive, the Assyrians were victorious, and Sennacherib having wasted the country with fire, and destroyed the towns, captured and plundered Jerusalem, where Hezekiah had shut himself up “like a bird in a cage.” Padi was restored to the throne of Ekron, and

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

* See Schrader, Die Keilinschristen und das Alte Testament, 1883, p. 269. * A full description of these fragments is given in the chapter on scarabs.

Hezekiah, king of Judah, provokes the wrath of the Assyrians.

Defeat of Hezekiah and capture of Jerusalem.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Judaea became an Assyrian province. Sennacherib, hearing
of the advance of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, determined to
march on the Delta, and it was during this march that an
epidemic broke out among his troops, and a catastrophe
destroyed nearly all of them ; he returned to Nineveh without
having performed upon Hezekiah the vengeance which he
had threatened. The ultimate failure of his expedition
probably caused his sons to despise him, and shortly after-
wards two of them, Adrammelech and Sharezer, smote him
with the sword, and he died (2 Kings xix. 37). Shabataka
reigned twelve years, and was put to death by Tirhakah, who
succeeded him.
Taharqa, or Tirhakah TTETF, shortly after his accession
to the throne, made an offensive and defensive alliance with
the Phoenicians under Baal king of Tyre, and probably also
with the people of Cyprus; Hezekiah king of Judah also
joined in the league. Esarhaddon, son of Sennacherib,
marched to Palestine by way of Beyrūt, where on his return
to Assyria he set up a memorial slab at the head of the Nahr
el-Kelb side by side with those of Rameses II. Without
difficulties other than those caused by thirst and heat his
army marched into Egypt, and Tirhakah having fled,
Memphis fell into the hands of the Assyrian king. From
Memphis he marched to Thebes, and having plundered the
city, and placed the rule of the whole country under twenty
governors, some Assyrian, some Egyptian, he returned to
Assyria laden with spoil. On the death of Esarhaddon, after
a reign of thirteen years (B.C. 681–668), Tirhakah returned
to Egypt and entered Memphis boldly; he drove out the
Assyrians that were there, and openly attended the burial of
an Apis bull in the twenty-fourth year of his reign. As soon
as the news of the return of Tirhakah to Egypt reached
Assurbanipal, the son of Esarhaddon, in Nineveh, he set out
with his army for Egypt; he came up with the Egyptian
troops at Karbanit, and completely defeated them, and
Tirhakah, who had remained in Memphis, was obliged to flee
to Thebes; when Assurbanipal followed him thither, he fled
into Nubia. When the Assyrian king had reappointed
governors over the chief towns of Egypt, and established

garrisons there, he returned to Nineveh.
Niku, governor of Memphis, headed a rebellion against the

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Soon after this Assyrian rule, but he was promptly sent to Nineveh in chains ; Assurbanipal so far forgave him, that when he heard of new successes of Tirhakah in Egypt, he sent Nikû back to his country to rule over all Egypt under the direction of Assyria ; soon after his arrival Tirhakah died. Tirhakah Tirhakah’s built a large temple at Gebel Barkal, and restored temples in Nubia. and other buildings at Thebes.

Rut-Amen, son of Sabaco (?), succeeded Tirhakah, and in consequence of a dream, set out to regain for Ethiopia the rule over Egypt. Without very much difficulty he captured Thebes, and advanced on Memphis, where he was opposed by the Assyrian governor ; in the fight which ensued RutAmen (the Urdamanah of Assurbanipal's inscriptions) was victorious, and again Memphis fell into the hands of the Ethiopians

again Ethiopians. Once more Assurbanipal marched to Egypt, capture where he defeated Ruţ-Amen's army, and advanced on Memphis. Thebes, whither the rebel king had fled. Having arrived there, the sack and pillage of the city by the Assyrians followed. A stele found at Gebel Barkal relates that Nut-Amen, a king “Stele of of Ethiopia, had a dream, in consequence of which he set out Dream.” to regain the rule over Egypt, and that having gained authority over Thebes and Memphis and the Delta, he returned to Ethiopia ; in the Nut-Àmen of this stele, and the Urdamanah of the cuneiform inscriptions, we have probably one and the same king.

[ocr errors]

the

B.C. 666

t

THE TWENTY-SIXTH DYNASTY. Psammetichus I., the first king of this dynasty, was the son of a governor (Nikû ?) of Memphis and Saïs in Lower Egypt, and had been associated with Nut-Ámen in the rule of the country. When the Ethiopian king retired to his own land, Psammetichus became king of Egypt. He married Shep-en-apt, a daughter of Pianchi, and thus secured himself from any attack by the Ethiopians; and by the help of the Ionian and Carian soldiers whom Gyges king of Lydia sent to him, he was able to overcome the Assyrian governors who, one after another, made war upon him, and resisted his

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »