Necho I

Last updated

Menkheperre Necho I (Egyptian: Nekau, [1] Greek: Νεχώς Α' or Νεχώ Α', Akkadian: Nikuu [6] or Nikû [7] ) (? – 664 BCE near Memphis) was a ruler of the Ancient Egyptian city of Sais. He was the first securely attested local Saite king of the 26th Dynasty of Egypt who reigned for 8 years (672–664 BCE) according to Manetho's Aegyptiaca . Egypt was reunified by his son Psamtik I.

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.

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

Akkadian language extinct Semitic language

Akkadian is an extinct East Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia from the 30th century BC until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the eighth century BC.

Contents

Biography

In 672 BCE Necho became ruler of Sais, assuming the pharaonic titulary, and a year later the Assyrians led by Esarhaddon invaded Egypt. Necho became one of Esarhaddon's vassals, and the latter confirmed Necho's office and his possessions, as well as giving him new territories, possibly including the city of Memphis. [8]

The royal titulary or royal protocol is the standard naming convention taken by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It symbolises worldly power and holy might and also acts as a sort of mission statement for the reign of a monarch.

Neo-Assyrian Empire Historical state in Mesopotamia

The Neo-Assyrian Empire was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and became the largest empire of the world up until that time. The Assyrians perfected early techniques of imperial rule, many of which became standard in later empires, and was, according to many historians, the first real empire in history. The Assyrians were the first to be armed with iron weapons, and their troops employed advanced, effective military tactics.

Esarhaddon King of Assyria

Esarhaddon was a king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the West Semitic queen Naqi'a (Zakitu), Sennacherib's second wife.

In 669 BCE, king Taharqa of the 25th Dynasty was advancing from the south toward the Nile Delta principalities which were formally under Assyrian control; once he was aware of that, Esarhaddon prepared himself to return to Egypt to repel the invader, but he died suddenly. Esarhaddon's death led to a political crisis in the Neo-Assyrian Empire but at the end his son Ashurbanipal managed to become the new undisputed monarch. The counter-offensive planned by his father took place in 667/666 BCE. [9] [10]

Taharqa Egyptian Pharaoh

Taharqa, also spelled Taharka or Taharqo, was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt and qore (king) of the Kingdom of Kush.

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.

Ashurbanipal Assyrian ruler

Ashurbanipal, also spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 668 BC to c. 627 BC, the son of Esarhaddon and the last strong ruler of the empire, which is usually dated between 934 and 609 BC. He is famed for amassing a significant collection of cuneiform documents for his royal palace at Nineveh. This collection, known as the Library of Ashurbanipal, is now in the British Museum, which also holds the famous Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal set of Assyrian palace reliefs.

Taharqa was defeated and driven back to Thebes, but Ashurbanipal found that the fleeing king and some of the rulers of Lower Egypt – named Pekrur of Pishaptu (Per-Sopdu), Sharruludari of Ṣinu (maybe Pelusium) and Nikuu (Necho I) – were plotting against him. The Assyrian king captured the conspirators, killed part of the population of the cities they governed, and deported the prisoners to Nineveh. [11]

Thebes, Egypt Ancient Egyptian city

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city of ancient Egypt during its heyday. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Pelusium Place in Egypt

Pelusium was an important city in the eastern extremes of Egypt's Nile Delta, 30 km to the southeast of the modern Port Said. It became a Roman provincial capital and Metropolitan archbishopric and remained a multiple Catholic titular see.

Unexpectedly, Necho was pardoned by the Assyrian king, and was reinstated at Sais with his previous possessions as well as many new territories as a gift, while his son Psamtik (called Nabusezibanni in Akkadian) was made mayor of Athribis. [12] [6] It has been suggested that with his magnanimity Ashurbanipal hoped to rely on the loyalty of an Egyptian ally in the event of another offensive led by the 25th Dynasty pharaohs, and perhaps to inspire and strengthen a rivalry between the two families (i.e., Kushites and Saites) because of shared interests. [12] According to historical records, Necho I was slain in 664 BCE near Memphis while defending his realms from a new Kushite offensive led by Taharqa's successor Tantamani [12] [6] [13] while Psamtik fled to Nineveh under Ashurbanipal's aegis. This Nubian invasion into the Egyptian Delta was subsequently (664/663 BCE) repelled by the Assyrians who proceeded to advance south into Upper Egypt and performed the infamous sack of Thebes. [14]

Athribis City in Lower Egypt

Athribis was an ancient city in Lower Egypt. It is located in present-day Tell Atrib, just northeast of Benha on the hill of Kom Sidi Yusuf. The town lies around 40 km north of Cairo, on the eastern bank of the Damietta branch of the Nile. It was mainly occupied during the Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine eras.

Kingdom of Kush ancient African kingdom

The Kingdom of Kush or Kush was an ancient kingdom in Nubia, located at the Sudanese and southern Egyptian Nile Valley.

Tantamani Egyptian pharaoh

Tantamani, Tanutamun or Tanwetamani (Egyptian) or Tementhes (Greek) was a Pharaoh of Egypt and the Kingdom of Kush located in Northern Sudan and a member of the Nubian or Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt. His prenomen or royal name was Bakare which means "Glorious is the Soul of Re."

With the Nile Delta secured once again, Psamtik I was appointed with his dead father's offices and territories. Later, he ultimately was successful in reuniting Egypt under his sole control. [15]

Family

Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt made claims regarding Necho I: studying a papyrus from Tebtunis, he stated that Necho I was the son of a king named Tefnakht, presumably Tefnakht II. [5] Ryholt also put in discussion the existence of Nekauba who was the purported predecessor of Necho I and possibly his brother; Ryholt suggested that the few, dubious documents regarding Nekauba should be attributed to the later Necho II instead, and that Necho I was the direct successor of Tefnakht II. [2]

French historian Christian Settipani believes that Necho married Istemabet, and they were the parents of Psamtik I. [4]

According to British Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen, it is possible that princess Ta-khered-en-ta-ihet-[weret] was Necho's daughter, given in a politically arranged marriage to the local ruler of Herakleopolis, Pediese. [16]

A now-lost limestone lintel from Luxor depicted a chantress of Amun named Meresamun along with a Saite form of Osiris and the Divine Adoratrice of Amun Shepenupet II; Meresamun is called "royal daughter of the lord of the Two lands, Nec[...]", the latter name written within a royal cartouche. It appears likely that Meresamun's royal father was no other than Necho I who sent his daughter to the Precinct of Amun-Re in Karnak, thus marking the beginning of the Saite influence in the city of Thebes. [17]

Attestations

Kneeling statuette of a king Necho. It may depict either Necho I or II. Brooklyn Museum (acc.no. 71.11) Necho-KnellingStatue BrooklynMuseum c.jpg
Kneeling statuette of a king Necho. It may depict either Necho I or II. Brooklyn Museum (acc.no. 71.11)

Necho I is primarily known from Assyrian documents but a few Egyptian objects are known too. A glazed pottery statuette of Horus which contains his cartouches and a dedication to the goddess Neith of Sais [8] [19] is now exhibited at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (UC 14869). [1] The aforementioned, long–lost lintel of Meresamun was once photographed in an antiquities market at Luxor. [17] A bronze kneeling statuette of a king Necho is housed at the Brooklyn Museum (acc.no. 71.11), but it is impossible to determine if it actually depicts Necho I or rather Necho II instead. [18] He is also mentioned in several demotic stories. [7]
Necho I's Year 2 is attested on a privately held donation stela that was first published by Olivier Perdu. The stela records a large land donation to the Osirian triad (Osiris, Isis, and Horus) of Per-Hebyt (modern Behbeit el-Hagar near Sebennytos) by the "priest of Isis Mistress of Hebyt, Great Chief... son of Iuput, Akanosh." [20]

Related Research Articles

The 7th century BC began the first day of 700 BC and ended the last day of 601 BC.

This article concerns the period 669 BC – 660 BC.

The year 664 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. In the Roman Empire, it was known as year 90 Ab urbe condita. The denomination 664 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

The year 668 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. In the Roman Empire, it was known as year 86 Ab urbe condita. The denomination 668 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Piye ancient Kushite king and Egyptian pharaoh

Piye was an ancient Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, modern-day Sudan.

Psamtik I Pharaoh

Wahibre Psamtik I, known by the Greeks as Psammeticus or Psammetichus, who ruled 664–610 BC, was the first of three kings of that name of the Saite, or Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt. Historical references for what the Greeks referred to as the Dodecarchy, a loose confederation of twelve Egyptian territories, based on the traditional nomes, and the rise of Psamtik I in power, establishing the Saitic Dynasty, are recorded in Herodotus's Histories, Book II: 151–157. From cuneiform texts, it was discovered that twenty local princelings were appointed by Esarhaddon and confirmed by Ashurbanipal to govern Egypt.

Psamtik II Egyptian pharaoh

Psamtik II was a king of the Saite-based Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt. His prenomen, Nefer-Ib-Re, means "Beautiful [is the] Heart [of] Re." He was the son of Necho II.

Third Intermediate Period of Egypt period of Ancient Egypt (1069-664 BCE)

The Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt began with the death of Pharaoh Ramesses XI in 1070 BC, which ended the New Kingdom, and was eventually followed by the Late Period. Various points are offered as the beginning for the latter era, though it is most often regarded as dating from the foundation of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty by Psamtik I in 664 BC, following the expulsion of the Nubian Kushite rulers of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty by the Assyrians under King Assurbanipal.

Napata city

Napata was a city-state of ancient Nubia on the west bank of the Nile at the site of modern Karima, Sudan.

Tefnakht Egyptian Pharaoh

Shepsesre Tefnakht was a prince of Sais and founder of the relatively short Twenty-fourth dynasty of Egypt; he rose to become a Chief of the Ma in his home city. He is thought to have reigned roughly 732 BCE to 725 BCE, or 7 years. Tefnakht I first began his career as the "Great Chief of the West" and Prince of Sais and was a late contemporary of the last ruler of the 22nd dynasty: Shoshenq V. Tefnakht I was actually the second ruler of Sais; he was preceded by Osorkon C, who is attested by several documents mentioning him as this city's Chief of the Ma and Army Leader, according to Kenneth Kitchen, while his predecessor as Great Chief of the West was a man named Ankhhor. A recently discovered statue, dedicated by Tefnakht I to Amun-Re, reveals important details about his personal origins. The statue's text states that Tefnakht was the son of a certain Gemnefsutkapu and the grandson of Basa, a priest of Amun near Sais. Consequently, Tefnakht was not actually descended from either lines of Chiefs of the Ma and of the Libu as traditionally believed but rather came from a family of priests, and his ancestors being more likely Egyptians rather than Libyans.

Almost nothing is known of Nekauba or Nechepsos as he is also called except that he is listed as one of the early kings of the 26th Saite Dynasty in Manetho's Epitome and is assigned a reign of six years. However, his status as king is not confirmed by any contemporary documents and he may well be an invention of later Saite rulers to legitimise their kingship. Manetho writes that Nekauba is supposed to have succeeded Stephinates the founder of the 26th Dynasty—perhaps Tefnakht II—and was, in turn, followed by the well known Necho I, father of Psamtik I. Nekauba would have reigned as a local Saite king under the Nubian Dynasty between 678 BC to 672 BC if he did have an independent reign. If not, he would merely have been a local mayor of Sais who served in office for this period of time prior to the accession of king Necho I.

Tefnakht II ancient Egyptian sovereign (0800-0688)

Tefnakht II or Stephinates, was an ancient Egyptian ruler of the city of Sais during the early 7th century BC. He is recognized as an early member of the so-called "Proto-Saite Dynasty", which directly preceded the 26th Dynasty of Egypt.

Shepenupet II Ancient Egyptian princess and priestess, Gods Wife of Amun

Shepenupet II was an Ancient Egyptian princess of the 25th Dynasty who served as the high priestess, the Divine Adoratrice of Amun, from around 700 BC to 650 BC. She was the daughter of the first Kushite pharaoh Piye and sister of Piye's successors, Shabaka and Taharqa.

The Twenty-fourth Dynasty of Egypt, is usually classified as the fourth Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Third Intermediate Period.

Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt Ethiopian period of Ancient Egypt

The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, was the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt that occurred after the Nubian invasion.

Mentuemhat Ancient Egyptian prophet

Mentuemhat was a Theban official from ancient Egypt who lived during the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt and Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt. He was the Fourth Priest of Amun in Thebes.

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.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Nekau I". Digital Egypt for Universities. University College London. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  2. 1 2 Ryholt (2011a)
  3. 1 2 von Beckerath (1999), pp. 212–213
  4. 1 2 Settipani (1991) , pp. 153, 160, 161–162
  5. 1 2 Ryholt (2011b) , pp. 123–127
  6. 1 2 3 Lloyd (2001) , pp. 504–505
  7. 1 2 Ryholt (2004) , p. 486
  8. 1 2 Kitchen (1996) , § 117
  9. Kitchen (1996) , § 353
  10. Picchi (1997) , p. 49
  11. Picchi (1997) , pp. 48–52
  12. 1 2 3 Picchi (1997) , p. 52
  13. Kitchen (1996) , §§ 117, 354
  14. Kitchen (1996) , § 354
  15. Spalinger (2001) , p. 74
  16. Kitchen (1996) , §§ 201, 363
  17. 1 2 Coulon & Payraudeau (2015) , pp. 21–31
  18. 1 2 "Kneeling Statuette of King Necho". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  19. Petrie (1917) , pl. LIV, 25.5
  20. Perdu (2002) , pp. 1215–1244

Bibliography