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Defeat authority. A decisive battle took place at Memphis ; the of the Assyrians. Assyrians were utterly routed, and Psammetichus found
himself firmly seated on the throne of Egypt. A permanent settlement was assigned by him to the Ionians and Carians, and his favour to these foreign soldiers so exasperated the Egyptian troops, that 200,000 are said to have forsaken Egypt and settled in Nubia. Psammetichus appears to have decided that it was useless to attempt to make great conquests of remote countries, as did the kings of old, but set to work to consolidate his kingdom, and to defend its borders. He was a devout worshipper of the gods, and he repaired and rebuilt many of the decayed buildings at Heliopolis, Mendes, Memphis, Abydos and Thebes. He lived at his birthplace,
Sars, and made it the capital of his kingdom. He was a wise Revival of patron of the arts and sciences, and during his rule the great arts and sciences,
renaissance of art took place. The statues and wall paintings and liter- of the first empire were diligently copied, many new copies ature Lourishes. of ancient religious works were made, and the smallest and
greatest monuments of this period, as well as objects of ornament, are characterized by a high finish and elaboration of
detail, which was the peculiar product of this time. 612 Necho II., son of Psammetichus I. and Shepenapt, continued
the policy of his father, and added a considerable number of foreign troops to his army; he gave the Greeks every facility to enter and settle in Egypt, and he assisted the commercial
enterprise of the day as much as possible. With the view of Necho's joining the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, he dug a canal Canal.
from a place near Pithom, a little above Bubastis, on the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, which passing first through the plain, flowed through a valley between the spurs of the Muḥattam hills, in a southerly direction, until it emptied itself into the Arabian Gulf. It was an indirect connecting of the Mediteranean with the Red Sea by means of the Nile, and did not correspond with the Suez Canal, except in the reach from the Bitter Lakes to Suez, in which it followed a somewhat similar course. About 120,000 men perished during the work, and when an oracle announced that he was only working for the good of foreigners, Necho desisted from his under
· Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte, p. 626.
taking. Necho also sent Phænician seamen to sail round
Josiah. king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had ; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers."! Necho went on his way to Carchemish, but did not go any farther into Mesopotamia. On his return he marched to Jerusalem and deposed Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, whom the Jews had set up as king in the place of his father, and made Eliakim (Jehoiakim), another son of Josiah, king in his stead ; he also imposed a tax of one hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.” Soon after Necho had returned to Egypt he heard that a Babylonian army was marching into western Asia, and he again set out for Carchemish, where it was encamped. On his arrival there he found that the Babylonian forces were commanded by Nebuchadnezzar II., and in the battle which Nebuchadfollowed the Egyptian king was utterly defeated; his troops, invades
nezzar II. Libyans, Ethiopians, and Egyptians, were slain by thousands, Egypt. and Nebuchadnezzar marched through Palestine to the borders of Egypt. Necho reigned sixteen years, and was buried at
1 2 Chron, xxxv. 21-24.
2 2 Chron. xxxvi. 1-4.
Sars; he was succeeded by his son Psammetichus II., whose
Apries, in Egyptian Uah-ab-Rā, Heb. von (Jeremiah
resist him was destroyed. The Babylonians marched to Capture of besiege Jerusalem during his reign, and Nebuchadnezzar Jerusalem. having already had Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, kings of Judah,
brought to him in fetters at Babylon, determined to punish
drew upon him the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar. After a siege Fall of of thirteen years, Tyre fell into the hands of the Babylonian 'Tyre.
king, who thus became master of Phænicia and Egypt, for
troops returned to Egypt a rebellion broke out among them,
soldiers agreeing in this, king he became, Apries then sent
Apries Nebuchadnezzar II. is said to have invaded Egypt, and to have sailed up as far as Aswân.
Amāsis II. became sole king of Egypt after the death of Apries, and as he had married Anch-nes-nefer-ab-Rā, daughter of Psammetichus II. and of Nit-áqert, a sister of Apries, the Egyptians regarded him as, more or less, a legal successor to the throne. He continued the policy of his predecessors towards foreigners, and gave the Greeks many valuable trading Greeks privileges ; in his reign Naucratis became a very important admitted city, and the centre of Greek influence in Egypt. In addition and rise of to Anch-nes-nefer-åb-Rā he married Ladike, said to be Naucratis, the daughter either of Critoboulos or Battus or Arcesilaus the Cyrenian ; according to Herodotus he was the first king of Egypt who conquered Cyprus. The same historian says (III. I) that Cambyses, king of Persia, made war upon him because, having demanded from Amāsis his daughter to wife, the Egyptian king sent to him Nitetis, the daughter of Apries, as his own daughter; when the damsel declared who she was, Cambyses was greatly enraged, and determined to invade Egypt. During his long reign of forty-five years Amāsis repaired and added to the temples in many parts of Egypt, and he worked the mines in the valley of Hammâ mât. He did not live to see the invasion of the Persians, but he left the country in such a flourishing condition that it formed very rich spoil for them.
Psammetichus III., together with his army, formed of Greek and Egyptian troops, marched against the Persians and did battle with them at Pelusium, but he was utterly routed, and the conquering host took possession of Egypt, Egyptians and marched on to Memphis, whither the remainder of the defeated by
Cambyses. Egyptian army had fled for protection. The reign of Psammetichus lasted but a few months, and he was taken captive to Persia, where he suffered a miserable death.
THE TWENTY-SEVENTH DYNASTY. Cambyses, the first king of the Persian dynasty, seems to have been of a revengeful disposition, for, according to legend, when he arrived at Saïs he is said to have ordered the mummy of Amāsis to be dragged from its tomb, and having caused it
Desecra. to be illtreated had it burned. Tradition, in general, states
that this king caused many barbarous acts to be performed by
the Nubians and the people of the Oasis proving disastrous,
preserved in the Vatican. This officer, called Ut'a-Heru-en-
the offerings according to what the kings before him had
caused by his own dagger while mounting his horse.
of Cambyses, set to work to improve the condition of the
Cyrene, and because of his cruelty and misgovernment. Darius
and completed the canal to join the Red Sea and the Medigood govern- terranean which Necho had begun. The course of this canal Darius.
can still be traced by the inscriptions in hieroglyphics, and in
Persian, Median, and Assyrian cuneiform, which cover the
re-established the school of scribes in Egypt, and spared no