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Amyrtaeus (hellenization of the original Egyptian name Amenirdisu) of Sais is the only Pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt [1] and is thought to be related to the royal family of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664–525 BC). He ended the first Persian occupation of Egypt (i.e. the Twenty-seventh Dynasty: 525–404 BC) and reigned from 404 BC to 399 BC. [2] Amyrtaeus' successful insurrection inaugurated Egypt's last significant phase of independence under native sovereigns, which lasted for about 60 years until the Battle of Pelusium in 343 BC. [3]

Hellenization historical spread of ancient Greek culture

Hellenization or Hellenism is the historical spread of ancient Greek culture, religion, and, to a lesser extent, language over foreign peoples conquered by Greeks or brought into their sphere of influence, particularly during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. The result of Hellenization was that elements of Greek origin combined in various forms and degrees with local elements, and these Greek influences spread from the Mediterranean basin as far east as modern-day Pakistan. In modern times, Hellenization has been associated with the adoption of modern Greek culture and the ethnic and cultural homogenization of Greece.

Egyptian language Language spoken in ancient Egypt, branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages

The Egyptian language was spoken in ancient Egypt and was a branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily long time, from the Old Egyptian stage. Its earliest known complete written sentence has been dated to about 2690 BC, which makes it one of the oldest recorded languages known, along with Sumerian.

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.



Sources and identity

Sextus Julius Africanus (Chronographiai) calls him "Amyrteos", [4] while Eusebius of Caesarea ( Chronicon ) calls him "Amirtaios" [1] — both of them recording that he reigned for 6 years. An ancient Egyptian prophetic text, the Demotic Chronicle (3rd/2nd century BC [5] ), states:

Sextus Julius Africanus was a Christian traveler and historian of the late second and early third centuries. He is important chiefly because of his influence on Eusebius, on all the later writers of Church history among the Church Fathers, and on the whole Greek school of chroniclers.

Eusebius Greek church historian

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely learned Christian of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who ruled between 306 and 337 AD.

<i>Chronicon</i> (Eusebius) The ancient chronological tables compiled by Eusebius

The Chronicon or Chronicle was a work in two books by Eusebius of Caesarea. It seems to have been compiled in the early 4th century. It contained a world chronicle from Abraham until the vicennalia of Constantine I in A.D. 325. Book 1 contained sets of extracts from earlier writers; book 2 contained a technically innovative list of dates and events in tabular format.

The first ruler who came after the foreigners who are the Medes [Persians] was Pharaoh Amenirdais [Amyrtaios].

from the Demotic Chronicle [6]

Amyrtaeus was probably the grandson of the Amyrtaeus of Sais who, with the Libyan chief, Inaros II (himself a grandson of Pharaoh Psamtik III), led a rebellion between 465 BC and 463 BC against the Satrap of Artaxerxes I. [1] He is known from Aramaic and ancient Greek sources, and is mentioned in the Demotic Chronicle. A "virtually unknown ruler", [2] he is not known to have left any monuments, [7] and his name in Egyptian is only reconstructed from demotic notices: no hieroglyphic writing of his names has been found. [1] [8]

Ancient Libya region west of the Nile Valley

The Latin name Libya referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to the Atlantic Mountains according to Diodorus. Its people were ancestors of the modern Libyan. They occupied the area for thousands of years before the beginning of human records in ancient Egypt. Climate changes affected the locations of the settlements.

Inaros II

Inaros (II), also known as Inarus, was an Egyptian rebel ruler who was the son of a Libyan prince named Psamtik, presumably of the old Saite line, and grandson of Psamtik III. In 460 BC, he revolted against the Persians with the help of his Athenian allies under Admiral Charitimides, and defeated the Persian army commanded by satrap Achaemenes in 460 BCE. The Persians retreated to Memphis, but the Athenians were finally defeated in 454 BC by the Persian army led by Megabyzus, satrap of Syria, and Artabazus, satrap of Phrygia, after a two-year siege. Inaros was captured and carried away to Susa where he was reportedly crucified in 454 BC.

Psamtik III Egyptian pharaoh

Psamtik III was the last Pharaoh of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt from 526 BC to 525 BC. Most of what is known about his reign and life was documented by the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC. Herodotus states that Psamtik had ruled Egypt for only six months before he was confronted by a Persian invasion of his country led by King Cambyses II of Persia. Psamtik was subsequently defeated at the Battle of Pelusium, and fled to Memphis where he was captured. The deposed pharaoh was carried off to Susa in chains, and later committed suicide.

Daric of Artaxerxes II, against whom Amyrtaeus rebelled. Cabinet des Medailles, Paris. Double daric 330-300 obverse CdM Paris.jpg
Daric of Artaxerxes II, against whom Amyrtaeus rebelled. Cabinet des Médailles, Paris.

Coup and reign

Before assuming the throne of Egypt, Amyrtaeus had revolted against the Persian King Darius II (423–404 BC) as early as 411 BC, leading a guerrilla action in the western Nile Delta around his home city of Sais. [2]

A coronation was an extremely important ritual in early and ancient Egyptian history, concerning the change of power and rulership between two succeeding pharaohs. The accession to the throne was celebrated in several ceremonies, rites and feasts.

Darius II King of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404

Darius II Ochus, also Darius II Nothus, was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 or 405 BC.

Nile Delta Delta produced by the Nile River at its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea

The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Lower Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.

Following the death of Darius, Amyrtaeus declared himself king in 404 BC. [2] According to Isocrates, Artaxerxes II assembled an army in Phoenicia under the command of Abrocomas to retake Egypt shortly after coming to the Persian throne, but political problems with his brother Cyrus the Younger prevented this from taking place, allowing the Egyptians sufficient time to throw off Achaemenid rule. While the rule of Amyrtaeus in the western Delta was established by 404 BC, Artaxerxes II continued to be recognized as king at Elephantine as late as 401 BC, but Aramaic papyri from the site refer to Regnal Year 5 of Amyrtaeus in September 400 BC. [9] [10] The Elephantine papyri also demonstrate that between 404 and 400 BC (or even 398 BC) Upper Egypt remained under Persian control, while the forces of Amyrtaeus dominated the Delta.

Isocrates ancient Athenian rhetorician

Isocrates, an ancient Greek rhetorician, was one of the ten Attic orators. Among the most influential Greek rhetoricians of his time, Isocrates made many contributions to rhetoric and education through his teaching and written works.

Phoenicia Ancient Semitic civilization

Phoenicia was a thalassocratic, ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization that originated in the Levant, specifically Lebanon, in the west of the Fertile Crescent. Scholars generally agree that it was centered on the coastal areas of modern day Lebanon and included parts of what are now northern Israel and southern Syria reaching as far north as Arwad, but there is some dispute as to how far south it went, the furthest suggested area being Ashkelon. Its colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Carthage in North Africa, and even the Atlantic Ocean, such as Cádiz in Spain. The civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC.

Abrocomas 4th-century BC Iranian satrap

Abrocomas was satrap of Syria for the Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II Mnemon. He may also have been satrap of Paphlagonia, with its capital at Sinope, according to the reading of some of the coinage of Sinope: the Aramaic reading "ˈbrkmw" has been identified as the name rendered in Greek as "Abrocomas", but this is not universally accepted.

Androsphinx of Pharaoh Nepherites I. Louvre, Paris. Louvre 032007 15.jpg
Androsphinx of Pharaoh Nepherites I. Louvre, Paris.

In 1st century BC, the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote in his Bibliotheca historica (XIV, 35.3–5) that a King named Psamtik — which seems to be identified with Amyrtaeus, [1] perhaps being "Psamtik" his lost regnal name [7] — murdered the Greek admiral Tamos who had taken refuge in Egypt after the defeat of the rebel Cyrus. [11] If the information was correct, Amyrtaeus would seem to have acted in this way to ingratiate himself with Artaxerxes II. [1] It is likely that King Amyrtaeus concluded an alliance with Sparta implying that Egypt was provided with military aid by Sparta in exchange for grain. [7]

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Historian person who studies and writes about the past

A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.

Diodorus Siculus Greek historiographer

Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was an ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BCE. It is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Europe. The second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning 'library', acknowledges that he was drawing on the work of many other authors.

Fall and death

Amyrtaeus was defeated in open battle by his successor, Nepherites I of Mendes [12] and executed at Memphis, an event which the Aramaic papyrus Brooklyn 13 implies occurred in October 399 BC. [11] Nepherites I then transferred the capital to Mendes (Lower Egypt). [1] There is no further information available regarding Amyrtaeus' rule, fall and death. Nepherites I reigned until 393 BC, being succeeded by his designated heir, his son Hakor.

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Cambyses II son of Cyrus the Great

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Ahasuerus name of one or more kings of Persia in the Hebrew Bible (Esther, Ezra, Daniel), cognate to the Greek form Xerxes or Artaxerxes

Ahasuerus is a name used several times in the Hebrew Bible, as well as related legends and Apocrypha. This name is applied in the Hebrew Scriptures to three rulers. The same name is also applied uncertainly to a Babylonian official noted in the Book of Tobit.

Artaxerxes I of Persia Fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid Empire

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Artaxerxes II of Persia King of Persia from 404 to 358 BC

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The Elephantine Papyri consist of 175 documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan, which yielded hundreds of papyri in Hieratic and Demotic Egyptian, Aramaic, Koine Greek, Latin and Coptic, spanning a period of 1000 years. The documents include letters and legal contracts from family and other archives, and are thus an invaluable source of knowledge for scholars of varied disciplines such as epistolography, law, society, religion, language and onomastics. They are a collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts dating from the 5th century BCE. They come from a Jewish community at Elephantine, then called ꜣbw. The dry soil of Upper Egypt preserved documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan.

Apries Egyptian pharaoh

Apries is the name by which Herodotus and Diodorus designate Wahibre Haaibre, a pharaoh of Egypt, the fourth king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt. He was equated with the Waphres of Manetho, who correctly records that he reigned for 19 years. Apries is also called Hophra in Jeremiah 44:30.

The Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the third dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Late Period. The 28th Dynasty lasted from 404 BC to 398 BC and it includes only one Pharaoh, Amyrtaeus (Amenirdis), also known as Psamtik V or Psammetichus V. Amyrtaeus was probably the grandson of the Amyrtaeus of Sais, who is known to have carried on a rebellion in 465–463 BC with the Libyan chief, Inarus, against the satrap Achaemenes of Achaemenid Egypt.

Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt

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Late Period of ancient Egypt time period of Ancient Egypt

The Late Period of ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period in the 26th Saite Dynasty founded by Psamtik I, but includes the time of Achaemenid Persian rule over Egypt after the conquest by Cambyses II in 525 BC as well. The Late Period existed from 664 BC until 332 BC, following a period of foreign rule by the Nubian 25th dynasty and beginning with a short period of Neo-Assyrian suzerainty, with Psamtik I initially ruling as their vassal. The period ended with the conquests of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great and establishment of the Ptolemaic dynasty by his general Ptolemy I Soter, one of the Hellenistic diadochi from Macedon in northern Greece. With the Macedonian Greek conquest in the latter half of the 4th century BC, the age of Hellenistic Egypt began.

Nectanebo I Egyptian pharaoh

Kheperkare Nakhtnebef, better known by his hellenized name Nectanebo I, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, founder of the last native dynasty of Egypt, the thirtieth.

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Hakor Egyptian Pharaoh

Hakor or Hagar, also known by the hellenized forms Achoris or Hakoris, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 29th Dynasty. His reign marks the apex of this feeble and short-lived dynasty, having ruled for 13 years – more than half of its entire duration.

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Nepherites I Egyptian pharaoh

Nefaarud I or Nayfaurud I, better known with his hellenised name Nepherites I, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the founder of the 29th Dynasty in 399 BC.

Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt dynasty and satrap in 5th and 6th centuries BC

The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the First Egyptian Satrapy was effectively a province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 525 BC and 404 BC. It was founded by Cambyses II, the King of Persia, after his conquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the rebellion and crowning of Amyrtaeus as Pharaoh. A second period of Achaemenid rule in Egypt occurred under the Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt.

Johanan, son of Joiada, was the fifth high priest after the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem by the Jews who had returned from the Babylonian captivity. His reign is estimated to have been from c. 410–371 BCE; he was succeeded by his son Jaddua. The Bible gives no details about his life. Johanan lived during the reigns of king Darius II of Persia and his son Artaxerxes II, whose Achaemenid Empire included Judah as a province.

Arsames (satrap of Egypt)

Arsames was an Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt during the 5th century BC, at the time of the 27th Dynasty of Egypt.

The Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt was the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC. The dynasty's reign is also called the Saite Period after the city of Sais, where its pharaohs had their capital, and marks the beginning of the Late Period of ancient Egypt.

Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt

The Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Second Egyptian Satrapy, was effectively a short-lived province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 343 BC to 332 BC. It was founded by Artaxerxes III, the King of Persia, after his reconquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cimmino 2003, p. 385.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Clayton 1999, p. 202.
  3. Lloyd 2003, p. 377.
  4. Africanus, Sextus Julius; Staff, Iulius Africanus (2007). Chronographiae: The Extant Fragments. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN   9783110194937.
  5. "DEMOTIC CHRONICLE – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  6. Demotic Chronicle [ permanent dead link ]
  7. 1 2 3 "Amyrtaeus - Livius". Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  8. Clayton 1999, pp. 201, 203.
  9. Sachau, Eduard (1909). "Ein altaramareischer Papyrus aus der Zeit der aegyptischen Koenigs Amyrtaeus", in Florilegium: ou, Recueil de travaux d'érudition dédiés à monsieur le marquis Melchior de Vogüé à l'occasion du quatre-vingtième anniversaire de sa naissance, 18 octobre 1909. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. pp. 529-538.
  10. Cowley, Arthur (1923). Aramaic papyri of the fifth century B.C. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 129–131.
  11. 1 2 Kuhrt, Amélie (2013-04-15). The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period. Routledge. ISBN   9781136017025.
  12. Cimmino 2003, p. 388.


Preceded by
Darius II
Pharaoh of Egypt Succeeded by
Nepherites I