The reassertion of Egyptian sovereignty under the last indigenous dynasties:
Dynasties 28 to 30

Main menu Main Index and Search Page History List of Dynasties Cultural chronology Mythology Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt Glossary of ancient Egyptian terms Herodotus on the pharaohs Ancient Egyptian texts Apologia and Bibliography

28th Dynasty
Amyrtaios (404-399)

29th Dynasty
Nepherites (Nefaarud I) (399-393)
Achoris (Hakor) (393-380)

30th Dynasty
Nectanebo I (Nakhtnebef) (380-362)
Takhos (Djedhor,Teos) (362-360)
Nectanebo II (Nekhtharehbe) (360-343)


The last national dynasties:
Dynasties XXVIII to XXX

The eastern Mediterranean during the 4th century BCE     While Cyrus the Younger and Artaxerxes II were fighting over the Persian throne, Amyrtaios (404-399) organized a revolt in the marshes which spread to the whole delta. While they were fighting for their independence, Egyptian troops fought for Artaxerxes II at Cunaxa in Babylonia, where Cyrus the Younger fell. In 401 Amyrtaios' rule was recognized in Upper Egypt as well.

    Mention is also made of other contemporaneous kings, Amonher, Mutrud and Psammetic. The situation in Egypt remained unclear during much of the 4th century. The kings of Mendes formed the XXIX dynasty, Nepherites I ruling from 399 to 393, followed by Achoris (Hakor, 393-380), Psamuthes (380) and Nepherites II (379). They erected statues at Karnak, Heliopolis, Memphis and Bubastis and had good working relationships with the priesthood.

    Nepherites and Achoris resumed the traditional interventionist policies in Palestine. By creating a fleet at great expense and diplomatic moves such as forming an alliance with the Spartans under Evagoras, who had just conquered Cyprus, Rhodes and were holding Tyre at least for a few months, they hoped to extend their influence in the Middle East. Nepherites sent 500,000 measures of corn (wheat) and the equipment for one hundred triremes to Evagoras to enable the Greeks to wrest the control of the seas from the Persians. Achoris continued sending corn to his ally and fifty Egyptian triremes reinforced the Spartan fleet. After Artaxerxes, with a fleet of 300 ships, had reconquered Cyprus and Tyre, Evagoras took refuge in Egypt. When Achoris couldn't give him any further assistance he made his peace with the Persians.
    The Spartan Antalkidas conducted the negotiations with Artaxerxes and by 386 Egypt was facing the Persians on her own. Pharnabazos, supported by the Cappadocian satrap Datames, was ordered to subdue the Egyptians and the pharaoh wae forced to hire Greek mercenaries under Konon, Timotheos, Iphikrates, the Athenian Chabrias, and the Spartan king Agesilas, who hired himself privately out to the highest bidder. Achoris deployed them in Asia Minor, where the Pisidians were holding out against the Persian armies.

Nectanebo I
Nectanebo I
Stater 379-374 BCE. Struck by Pharnabazos     In 379 Nectanebo I (Nakhtnebef) usurped the throne. He lost the support of Chabrias, who was recalled to Athens in order to strengthen a temporary state of peace between the Athenians and the Persians. The satrap Pharnabazos prepared for war by striking large amounts of coins at Tarsus. The first Persian attack was halted by the fortresses in the delta. Pharnabazos gathered an army of 200,000 Asiatics and 20,000 Greeks in Acre (Northern Palestine) and put the Athenian Iphikrates in charge. By going around the fortress of Pelusium they arrived at Memphis (in 374), where the Greeks and Persians fell out, giving Nectanebo time to reinforce the garrison. The rising Nile forced the attackers to evacuate Egypt. Pharnabazos was succeeded by the satrap of Cappadocia, Datames.
    This setback was a signal for a general uprising in Asia. The "revolt of the satraps" kept Artaxerxes occupied during the next fifteen years. Nectanebo used this period of quiet to start great construction projects at Bubastis, Edfu, Karnak, Abydos and Memphis. Still, the king reserved the majority of the taxes for the defense of the country. He administered the wealth of the temples himself, which led the chroniclers to reproach him of having forgotten the gods the moment he thought of attaining the kingship, i.e. the moment of the issuing of the decree of Naukratis, which gave the temple of Neith the right to the taxes raised by the treasury.

    Takhos (Djedhor), Nectanebo's son, continued a vigorous foreign policy during his two year reign. The Athenian Chabrias returned with his mercenaries in 360 BCE, as did the Spartan king Agesilas with 10,000 soldiers. 80,000 Egyptians are recruited and 200 triremes manned. Takhos himself reserved for himself the position of supreme commander. He followed Chabrias' advice to finance his army by confiscating the temple goods. 90% of the temples' income was diverted, some temples were closed and the personnel of the others reduced. Taxes were raised to a maximum and drachmas struck in order to pay the Greeks, who wouldn't accept any other remuneration.
    These measures rendered him extremely unpopular. When Takhos had reached Phoenicia his brother, whom he had appointed regent, led a revolt against him. Nekhtharehbe (Nectanebo II) was recalled from Syria and offered the crown. Agesilas supported the new pharaoh, Chabrias remained faithful to Takhos, but was called back to Athens. Takhos crossed Syria into Mesopotamia and received a pardon from Artaxerxes II and troops for a planned reconquest of Egypt, but the Persian king's death in 358 put an end to his hopes.

    Nectanebo II (359-343) put down a popular revolt with the assistance of Agesilas. Shortly after, the Spartan, aged 84, left the service of the pharaoh to return to his hometown rewarded with 250 talents. He died at Kyrene and his embalmed corpse was buried with royal honours at Sparta. In 351 a Persian attack was repulsed with the help of the Athenian Diophantes and the Spartan Lamias. The Phoenician revolt following this Persian debacle was supported by Nectanebo. He sent Tennes, king of Sidon, 4000 Greek mercenaries. But Tennes under pressure from the Persians, betrayed his city and delivered it into the hands of Artaxerxes III who had it burned (344).
The Persians prepared a great army of 300,000 foot soldiers, 30,000 cavalry and a navy of 300 triremes and 500 transport ships. Nectanebo managed to recruit 20,000 Greek mercenaries, 20,000 Libyans and 60,000 Egyptians. His naval strategy was based on the defense of the mouths of the Nile. The passage of the Sinai desert and the marshes of Lake Serbonis cost Artaxerxes dearly, but the Persian navy entered the eastern branches of the Nile and took Bubastis behind the Egyptiam line of defense. Nectanebo, from his residence in Memphis, saw them aproaching and fled to Ethiopia.
    Much of Nectanebo's reign was peaceful and there was a final flowering of the local Egyptian arts. Statues were erected at Abydos and Bubastis, a granite temple was built at Horbeit in the Delta and bas-reliefs were carved at Karnak with a purity of style comparable to that of the Saite renaissance.

    Artaxerxes razed fortifications, desecrated temples and plundered the treasury. He appointed Pherendares as satrap of Egypt and returned to Babylon laden with treasures.


 -History Index Page
-Dynasty List
-Main Index and Search Page


Links(Open a new window)
These are just suggestions for further study. I do not assume any responsibility for the content or availability of these websites.


-Nectanebo I
-Nectanebo II by Jona Lendering

Feedback: Please report broken links, mistakes - factual or otherwise, etc. to me. Thanks.