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XXVIth Dynasty 664 - 525
( Sais )

to XXVII dynasty

First three (four) rulers of this dynasty are separated by K. Kitchen as protosaite Dynasty XXV. The real capital was at Memphis, but we speak of a Saite Period to characterize the regime and the culture of the era ruled by kings of XXVI Dynasty. It was a period of peace and economic prosperity, and of artistic accomplishments in which innovation was slipped into an archaizing mold. This Saite renaissance saw Egypt take its place in a new international alliance, which included not only recruitment of Greek and Carian hoplites, Jewish auxiliaries, and Phoenician ship-owners but also maritime activity and exchanges with Greek cities. Confrontation with the Kushites and the Babylonians led to a lengthy combat in which the kings were unable to establish a lasting dominion in Asia. Thanks to their incommensurably superior military force, the Persians would defeat this house of Sais, but the first of these pharaohs from Iran, who were proclaimed sons of Neith, would maintain religious forms and resources inherited from the Saites.
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a

715 - 695

 

Ammeris

  • Ammeris (Man)

Manetho ascribes to this ruler 12 years and mentions that his successor was Stephinates. There is assumed that Ammeris, Manetho’s Ammeris the Nubian, was Kushite regent constituted by Shabaka after Bokchoris dismissal.

b

695 - 688

 

Stephinates

  • Stephinates (Man)

According to Manetho he succeeded Ammeris the Nubian. The prototype of Greek name of Stephinates might be Egyptian name Tefnakht. Presumably he was a local vassal under dynasty XXV and according to W. Helck, might have been the son of Bokchoris.

c

695 - 688

 

Nekaub

  • Nechepsos (Man)

Manetho’s Nechepsos. Ruler who was supposed to reign 6 years but in K. Kitchens opinion he ruled 16 years. Recognized as local regent of Sais in times preceding reign of the proper dynasty XXVI.

0

672 - 664

Nekau I 

  • ... ...
  • ... ...
  • ... ...
  • mn-xpr-ra (?)
  • nk(A)w , nk(A)w-b(A) (?) , Nechao (Man) , Nechepsos (Man)
 mn-xpr-ra Menkheperre (Established Is The Form Of Re)
 nk(A)w Nekau

Son of a prince of Sais, Bokchoris. He was one of the princes of the Delta loyal to Assiria. He gave even an Assirian name to his own son, Psametik.

 1

664 - 610

Psametik I

  • Hr aA-ib
  • nb-a
  • qnw
  • wAH-ib-ra
  • psmtk , p(A)-s(I)-n-mtk , Psammetichos (Man)
 wAH-ib-ra Wahibre  (Constant Is The Heart Of Re)
 psmtk Psametik (colloquially: The Vine Merchant Of Metjek ; Husband Of [the god] Metjek)
   

Son of Nekau I the prince of Sais. He ruled in Athribis under Assyrian name Nebushezibanni. After retreat of Assyrians he overtook rule and with support from Ionian and Karyan mercenaries gained principality over princes of Delta. He reached with them as far as to Palestine and laid siege to Ashdod. He managed to annex Central Egypt which was administered by regents of Heracleopolis -  Padiiset and Sematauiefankh. In 656 he overtook a rule also at Thebes and thank to diplomatic efforts gained for his daughter Nitocris a title of divine adoratrice of Amun which de facto gave him rule over Upper Egypt. Recently it has been assumed that Nitocris became the divine adorer of Amun greatly thanks to Sematauiefankh, the prince of Heracleopolis who gave military support to Psametik. Military activity of Psametik in later years focused mainly in Libya and Asia. In response to increasing power of Media and Babylon Psametik supported Assyria which was close to its downfall in battles in 616 and 610 BC. Building activity of this ruler is known from extending Serapeum in year 52 of his rule and numerous monuments mainly in the Delta. He died after long reign and was buried at Sais.

2

610 - 594
610-595 (Dodson, von Beckerath)

Nekau II

  • Hr siA-ib
  • mAa-xrw
  • mri-nTrw
  • wHm-ib-ra nswt-bit wHm-ib-ra
  • nk(A)w , nk(A)w sA-ra , nqw , Nekos (Man)
wH-ib-ra Wahibre

wHm-ib-ra Wahemibre (Carrying Out The Wish Of Re Forever)
 nk(A)w Nekau

Faience ushabti. Leiden MuseumSon of Psametik I and queen Mehitenusekhet. He supported Assyrians against Babylonia. In consequence of Syrian expedition commanded personally by Nekau in 609 BC king of Juda, Josiash had been defeated under Meggido. In his place Nekau put his son Joakhaz and subsequently – Joiakim, thus restoring Egyptian supremacy over Palestine. After being defeated by Babylonian army in renowned battle at Karkemish in 605 BC, army of Nekau II retreated to Egypt and it was only sudden death of Nabopolassar, the father of Nabukhodonosor, which saved Egypt from attack. In 601 BC Nekau repelled Babylanian attack and according to Herodotus, captured Gaza while pursuing the enemy. He created Egyptian fleet, built in his order by Corinthian craftsmen. He started building a canal to connect eastern arm of Nile (north of Bubastis) with Red Sea. The works had been completed under Darius the Great. It is believed that he organized trade expedition which for the firs time in history circumnavigated Africa. This event has been questioned as historical fact and scarabs of Brussels documenting it have been probably modern forgery. Nakau II died in May 594 BC leaving the throne to his son, Psametik II.

 3

595 - 589

 

Psametik II

  • Hr mnx-ib , mnx-ib nfr-ib-ra
  • wsr-a
  • snfr-tAwi
  • nfr-ib-ra , snfr-tAwi nfr-ib-ra
  • psmtk , nb-pHti-ra psmtk , Psammuthis (Man) , Psammis (Man)
 nfr-ib-ra Neferibre (Beautiful Is The Heart Of Re)
 psmtk Psametik (colloquially: The Vine Merchant Of Metjek ; Husband Of [the god] Metjek)

Son of Nekau II and queen Khedebnetiretbinet. During short time of his reign he had lead expedition against Nubians as documented in stele inscriptions and by Herodotus. Results of this expedition are not clear to us. It is known that in one of the battles great number of Nubians was brought to death and 4200 of others were captured. It is not known whether the capital at Napata was conquered. Of Psametik period of rule survived numerous artifacts, he was decorating buildings with tiny architectonic accents, lot of edifices he erected himself, lot of them just usurped.  He died in his way back from Phoenicia.

4

589 - 570

Apries

  • Hr wAH-ib
  • nb-xpS
  • swAA-tAwi , sA-ptH mri.f
  • xaa-ib-ra
  • wAH-ib-ra , Uaphres (Man) , Apries (Man)
 xaa-ib-ra Khaaibre (Jubilant Is The Heart Of Re Forever)
 wAH-ib-ra Wahibre  (Constant Is The Heart Of Re)
   

Son of Psametik II. Energetic and brave ruler.  He warred with Phoenites, captured Sydon and for 13 years laid siege to Thyr. He supported Jewish uprising against Babylon which ended up with a conflict with Nabuchodonozor. In 586 BC Jerusalem had been captured by Babylonians. Under Apries the Jewish community on Elephantine arose. Due to revolt in his army in 569 BC he lost his function, captured by Amasis, next handed over to populace and strangled. Another version tells that Aproes was brought to death in march 22, 569 BC during the battle of Amasis army with Nabuchodonozor, where he supported probably Babylonians. According to Herodotus, Apries was buried by Amasis in the temple-tombs at Sais.

 5

570 - 526
  

Amasis

  • Hr smn-mAat
  • sA-nt spd-tAwi
  • sA-nt-spd-tAwi , stp-nTrw
  • Xnm-ib-ra
  • jaH-msi(w) , (sA-nt , sA-wsiri) , Amosis (Man) 
 Xnm-ib-ra Henemibre (He Who Embraces The Heart Of Re)
 jaH-msi(w) sA-nt  Iahmesi  Sineith  (The Moon Was Born ; Son of Neith)
   

Possibly related to Apries, father of Psametik III, husband of Tanetkheta. As a minister of Apries he usurped the rule. He repulsed Babylonian attack and captured part of Cyprus. Made alliance with Kresus, the king of Lydia, and with Policrates of Samos. He married Ladice, a Greek from Cyrene. He favored Greeks, granted city of Naucratis to Greek merchants as well as privileges which allowed immense growth of economy of this polis. He also allowed other Greek settlements and worshipping places in the s Delta to be founded. One of the documents gives evidence that in year 41 of Amazis’ rule an expedition to Nubia took place. He extended Temple of Neith at Sais, erected Sanctuary of Isis (Herodotus) at Memphis, built temples at Abydos and Mendes, nilometer in the Temple of Sep and many other structures in Baharija oasis and at Heliopolis. He was buried in temple complex at Sais. Amasis has been regarded as one of the six greatest Egyptians legislators  and honored by Greeks with the title of one of the Seven Sages.
 

 6

526 - 525

Psametik III

  • ... ...
  • ... ...
  • ... ...
  • anx-kA-n-ra , anx-kA-ra
  • psmtk , Psammecherites (Man) , Psammenitos (Man) 
 anx-kA-ra Ankhkare (Re Gives Life To The Soul)
 psmtk Psametik (colloquially: The Vine Merchant Of Metjek ; Husband Of [the god] Metjek)

Son of Amasis. Ruled merely several months. Betrayed by one of his allies, Phanes of Halicarnas, he was defeated at Pelusium by Persians and forced to retreat to Memphis. The city capitulated after long siege. Now and again Psametik was trying to incite rebellions, but was finally executed by Cambyzes.

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