Nepherites I

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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.

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.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

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.




It is believed that Nepherites was a general from the deltaic city of Mendes who, in the autumn of 399 BC, rose against pharaoh Amyrtaeus, defeated him in open battle, [2] and then executed him at Memphis. [3] Nepherites then crowned himself pharaoh at Memphis and possibly also at Sais, before shifting the capital from Sais to his hometown Mendes. [4] The fact that Nepherites I chose the same Horus name of Psamtik I and the Golden Horus name of Amasis II – both relevant rulers of the earlier 26th Dynasty - is thought to demonstrate that he wanted to associate his rule with an earlier 'golden age' of Egyptian history. [5]

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.

Mendes Place in Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt

Mendes, the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian city of Djedet, also known in Ancient Egypt as Per-Banebdjedet and Anpet, is known today as Tell El-Ruba.

Amyrtaeus Egyptian Pharaoh

Amyrtaeus of Sais is the only Pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt and is thought to be related to the royal family of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. He ended the first Persian occupation of Egypt and reigned from 404 BC to 399 BC. 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.


According to Manetho, Nepherites I ruled for six years, although his highest archaeologically attested date is his regnal year 4. [4]

Manetho Egyptian historian and priest from Ancient Egypt

Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC, during the Hellenistic period. He authored the Aegyptiaca in Greek, a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It is unclear if he wrote his work during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but no later than that of Ptolemy III Euergetes.

Evidence of Nepherites' building work has been found in a number of locations across the country. In Lower Egypt, he is attested at Thmuis, Tell Roba, Buto (where a statue of him has been found [6] ), Memphis, Saqqara (where an Apis burial took place in his regnal year 2) and his capital and hometown Mendes. In Middle and Upper Egypt, he ordered a chapel at Akoris while at Akhmim, near Sohag, there is evidence of the worship of a statue of him which was placed inside a naos . He also added some buildings at Karnak such as a storeroom and a shrine meant to house a sacred bark. [5] [4] A basalt sphinx with his name is now located in the Louvre, but it was known to have been brought to Europe as early as the 16th century, having adorned a fountain at the Villa Borghese, Rome. [7]

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.

Thmuis Place in Egypt

Thmuis is a city in Lower Egypt, located on the canal east of the Nile, between its Tanitic and Mendesian branches.

Buto Archaeological site in Egypt

Buto, Butus, or Butosus, now Tell El Fara'in, near the villages of Ibtu and Kom Butu and the city of Desouk, are names later given to an ancient city located 95 km east of Alexandria in the Nile Delta of Egypt. What in Classical times the Greeks called, Buto, stood about midway between the Taly (Bolbitine) and Thermuthiac (Sebennytic) branches of the Nile, a few kilometers north of the east-west Butic River and on the southern shore of the Butic Lake.

In foreign affairs, he resumed the policy of Egyptian intervention in the Middle East. As reported by Diodorus Siculus, in 396 BC he supported the Spartan king Agesilaus in his war against the Persians; the Spartans had conquered Cyprus and Rhodes and were attempting to extend their influence further east. Nepherites supplied the Spartans with 500,000 measures of grain and material for 100 triremes. However, the cargo reached Rhodes just after the Persians managed to retake the island, so it was entirely seized by the philo-Persian admiral Conon of Athens. [8] [9]

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.

Sparta city-state in ancient Greece

Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Death and succession

A shabti of Nepherites I Ushebti Nepherites-IMG 6344-black.jpg
A shabti of Nepherites I

Nepherites I died during the winter of 394/393 BC after six years of reign. [4] The Demotic Chronicle simply states that "his son" was allowed to succeed him, without providing any name. Nowadays it is generally believed that Nepherites' son was Hakor, who ruled after him for only a year before being overthrown by an apparently unrelated claimant, Psammuthes; Hakor, however, was able to retake the throne the following year. [10]

The Demotic Chronicle is an ancient Egyptian prophetic text. The work is intended to provide a chronicle of the 28th, 29th and 30th dynasties – thus the independence interval between the two Persian dominations. Rather than providing historical events occurred during the reigns of the pharaohs of the aforementioned period, the Demotic Chronicle judges these rulers on the basis of their behaviour, explaining the length and prosperity of their reigns as an expression of divine will. The Chronicle also emphasizes the misrule of the "Medes" and of the Ptolemies, and prophesies the coming of a native hero who will ascend to the throne and restore an era of order and justice upon Egypt.

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.

Psammuthes or Psammuthis, was a pharaoh of the Twenty-ninth Dynasty of Egypt during 392/1 BC.

Possible tomb

A tomb believed to be that of Nepherites was discovered by a joint team from the University of Toronto and the University of Washington in 1992-93. [11] Possible ownership of the tomb was identified by the presence of a shabti bearing the name of Nepherites I; however, definitive proof has not been found. [12] Although still containing funerary objects and a large limestone sarcophagus, the tomb was believed to have been destroyed by the Persians in 343 BC. [11] Ceramic vessels containing fish specimens and fish-covered stelae have been found on the site of Nepherites's funerary complex. The presence of the fish, often interpreted as votive offerings, could be an indication that the site was previously occupied by a temple of the fish-goddess Hatmehyt. [13]

See also

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Memphis, Egypt Ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, Egypt

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

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Khafra was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He was the son of Khufu and the throne successor of Djedefre. According to the ancient historian Manetho, Khafra was followed by king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidence he was instead followed by king Menkaure. Khafra was the builder of the second largest pyramid of Giza. The view held by modern Egyptology at large continues to be that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC for Khafra. Not much known is known about Khafra, except from the historical reports of Herodotus, writing 2,000 years after his life, who describes him as a cruel and heretical ruler who kept the Egyptian temples closed after Khufu had sealed them.

Menes Founder of Manethos 1st dynasty and unifier of Egypt

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History of ancient Egypt aspect of history

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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.

Nepherites II or Nefaarud II was the last pharaoh of the feeble and short-lived Twenty-ninth Dynasty, the penultimate native dynasty of Egypt.

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Nepherites I
Born: ? Died: 393 BC
Preceded by
Pharaoh of Egypt
399393 BC
Succeeded by