|Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt|
|Satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire|
|343 BC–332 BC|
Western part of the Achaemenid Empire, with the territories of Egypt.
• 343–338 BC
|Artaxerxes III (first)|
• 336–332 BC
|Darius III (last)|
|Historical era||Achaemenid era|
• Conquests of Artaxerxes III
• Conquests of Alexander the Great
The Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXXI, alternatively 31st Dynasty or Dynasty 31), also known as the Second Egyptian Satrapy, was effectively a 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.
The period of the 31st Dynasty was the second occasion in which Persian pharaohs ruled Egypt, hence the term "Second Egyptian Satrapy". Before the 31st Dynasty was founded, Egypt had enjoyed a brief period of independence, during which three indigenous dynasties reigned (the 28th, 29th, and 30th dynasties). The period before this is referred to as the "First Egyptian Satrapy" or the 27th Dynasty (525–404 BC).
In around 351 BC, Artaxerxes embarked on a campaign to recover Egypt, which had revolted under his father, Artaxerxes II. At the same time a rebellion had broken out in Asia Minor, which, being supported by Thebes, threatened to become serious.Levying a vast army, Artaxerxes marched into Egypt, and engaged Nectanebo II. After a year of fighting the Egyptian Pharaoh, Nectanebo inflicted a crushing defeat on the Persians with the support of mercenaries led by the Greek generals Diophantus and Lamius. Artaxerxes was compelled to retreat and postpone his plans to reconquer Egypt.
In 343 BC, Artaxerxes, in addition to his 330,000 Persians, had now a force of 14,000 Greeks furnished by the Greek cities of Asia Minor: 4,000 under Mentor, consisting of the troops which he had brought to the aid of Tennes from Egypt; 3,000 sent by Argos; and 1000 from Thebes. He divided these troops into three bodies, and placed at the head of each a Persian and a Greek. The Greek commanders were Lacrates of Thebes, Mentor of Rhodes and Nicostratus of Argos while the Persians were led by Rhossaces, Aristazanes, and Bagoas, the chief of the eunuchs. Nectanebo II resisted with an army of 100,000 of whom 20,000 were Greek mercenaries. Nectanebo II occupied the Nile and its various branches with his large navy. The character of the country, intersected by numerous canals, and full of strongly fortified towns, was in his favour and Nectanebo II might have been expected to offer a prolonged, if not even a successful, resistance. But he lacked good generals, and over-confident in his own powers of command, he found himself out-manoeuvered by the Greek mercenary generals. His forces were eventually defeated by the combined Persian armies at the Battle of Pelusium (343 BC).
After his defeat, Nectanebo hastily fled to Memphis, leaving the fortified towns to be defended by their garrisons. These garrisons consisted of partly Greek and partly Egyptian troops, between whom jealousies and suspicions were easily sown by the Persian leaders. As a result, the Persians were able to rapidly defeat numerous towns across Lower Egypt and were advancing upon Memphis when Nectanebo decided to quit the country and flee southwards to Ethiopia.The Persian army then completely routed the Egyptians and occupied the Lower Delta of the Nile. Following Nectanebo's flight to Ethiopia, all of Egypt submitted to Artaxerxes. The Jews in Egypt were sent either to Babylon or to the south coast of the Caspian Sea, the same location where the Jews of Phoenicia had earlier been sent.
After this victory over the Egyptians, Artaxerxes had the city walls destroyed, started a reign of terror, and set about looting all the temples. Persia gained a significant amount of wealth from this looting. Artaxerxes also imposed high taxes and attempted to weaken Egypt enough that it could never revolt against Persia again. During the 10 years that Persia controlled Egypt, believers in the native religion were persecuted and sacred books were stolen. Before he returned to Persia, he appointed Pherendares as satrap of Egypt. With the wealth gained from his reconquest of Egypt, Artaxerxes was able to amply reward his mercenaries. He then returned to his capital, having successfully completed his invasion and occupation of Egypt.
It is not known who served as satrap after Artaxerxes III, but Pherendates II was an early satrap of Egypt. Under Darius III (336–330 BC) there was Sabaces, who fought and died at Issus and was succeeded by Mazaces. Egyptians also fought at Issus, for example, the nobleman Somtutefnekhet of Heracleopolis, who described on the "Naples stele" how he escaped during the battle against the Greeks and how Arsaphes, the god of his city, protected him and allowed him to return home.
In 332 BC, Mazaces handed over the country to Alexander the Great without a fight. The Achaemenid empire had ended, and for a while Egypt was a satrapy in Alexander's empire. Later the Ptolemies and the Romans successively ruled the Nile valley.
Occasionally Egyptians wore foreign costumes and jewelry. The taste for non-Egyptian fashion arose during periods of extensive trade or diplomatic contact with distant courts, or when Egypt was controlled by a foreign power. The Persians, who twice invaded the Nile Valley from their Iranian homeland, dominated Egypt during Dynasty 27 (525–404 BC) and Dynasty 31 (342–332 BC). This statue to the left dates to the later period of Persian rule in Egypt.
According to the Brooklyn Museum, "the long skirt shown wrapped around this statue's body and tucked in at the upper edge of the garment is typically Persian. The necklace, called a torque, is decorated with images of ibexes, symbols in ancient Persia of agility and sexual prowess. The depiction of this official in Persian dress may have been a demonstration of loyalty to the new rulers."
|Name of Pharaoh||Image||Reign||Throne Name||Comments|
|Artaxerxes III||343–338 BC||Placed Egypt under Persian rule for a second time|
|Artaxerxes IV||338–336 BC||Only reigned in Lower Egypt|
|Khababash||338–335 BC||Senen-setepu-ni-ptah||Led a revolt against Persian rule in Upper Egypt, declared himself Pharaoh|
|Darius III||336–332 BC||Upper Egypt returned to Persian control in 335 BC|
|Periods and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
All years are BC
|Name of satrap||Rule||Reigning monarch||Comments|
|Pherendates II||c.343–before 333 BC||Artaxerxes III|
|Sabaces||† 333 BC||Darius III||Killed in the battle of Issus|
|Mazaces||c.333–332 BC||Darius III|
This article concerns the period 349 BC – 340 BC.
This article concerns the period 389 BC – 380 BC.
Year 343 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Corvus and Arvina. The denomination 343 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.
Artaxerxes II Mnemon was the King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.
Artabazos was a Persian general in the army of Xerxes I, and later satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia under the Achaemenid dynasty, founder of the Pharnacid dynasty of satraps. He was the son of Pharnaces, who was the younger brother of Hystaspes, father of Darius I. Artabazos was therefore a first cousin of the great Achaemenid ruler Darius I.
Pharnabazus II was a Persian soldier and statesman, and Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. He was the son of Pharnaces II of Phrygia and grandson of Pharnabazus I, and great-grandson of Artabazus I. He and his male ancestors, forming the Pharnacid dynasty, had governed the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia from its headquarters at Dascylium since 478 BC. He married Apama, daughter of Artaxerxes II of Persia, and their son Artabazus was likewise a satrap of Phrygia. His grand-daughter Barsine married Alexander the Great.
Ochus, better known by his dynastic name of Artaxerxes III was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 358 to 338 BC. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and his mother was Stateira.
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 Egyptian chief, Inarus, against the satrap Achaemenes of Achaemenid Egypt.
Nectanebo II, ruled in 360–342 BC was the third and last pharaoh of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt as well as the last native ruler of ancient Egypt.
The Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the fifth Dynasty of the Late Period of ancient Egypt. It was founded after the overthrow of Nepherites II in 380 BC by Nectanebo I, and was disestablished upon the invasion of Egypt by the Achaemenid emperor Artaxerxes III in 343 BC. This is the final native dynasty of ancient Egypt; after the deposition of Nectanebo II, Egypt fell under foreign domination.
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.
Kheperkare Nakhtnebef, better known by his hellenized name Nectanebo I, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, founder of the last native dynasty of Egypt, the XXXth.
Djedhor, better known as Teos or Tachos, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 30th Dynasty.
Mazaeus, Mazday or Mazaios was a Persian noble and satrap of Cilicia and later satrap of Babylon for the Achaemenid Empire, a satrapy which he retained under Alexander the Great.
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 the Battle of Pelusium and the Achaemenid conquest of Egypt, and his subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt. It 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.
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. It is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for its multicultural policy, 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.
The Battle of Pelusium in 343 was fought between the Persians, with their Greek mercenaries, and the Egyptians with their Greek mercenaries. It took place at the stronghold of Pelusium, on the coast at the far eastern side of the Nile Delta. Overall, Artaxerxes III commanded the Persians, and Nectanebo II commanded the Egyptians. The Greek troops with Egyptians inside the fortress were commanded by Philophron. The first attack was by Theban troops under Lacrates. The battle allowed Persia to conquer Egypt, ending the last period of native rule in Ancient Egypt.
Tennes was a King of Sidon under the Achaemenid Empire. His predecessor was Abdashtart I, the son of Baalshillem II, who ruled the Phoenician city-state of Sidon from, having been associated in power by his father since the 380s. It remains uncertain whether his known heir and successor, Tennes, was his son or some other close relative.
Mazaces, also Mazakes, was the last Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt during the late reign of Darius III of the 31st Dynasty of Egypt.
Belesys was a satrap of Syria for the Achaemenid Empire in the 4th century BCE.