|Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt|
Mudrāya (Old Persian)
|Province of the Achaemenid Empire|
|525 BC–404 BC|
Western part of the Achaemenid Empire, with the territories of Egypt.
• 525-522 BC
|Cambyses II (first)|
• 423-404 BC
|Darius II (last)|
|Historical era||Achaemenid era|
• Rebellion of Amyrtaeus
|Periods and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
All years are BC
The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXVII, alternatively 27th Dynasty or Dynasty 27), also known as the First Egyptian Satrapy (Old Persian : Mudrāya ), 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 (525 BC) 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 (343–332 BC).
The last pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty, Psamtik III, was defeated by Cambyses II at the battle of Pelusium in the eastern Nile delta in May of 525 BC. Cambyses was crowned Pharaoh of Egypt in the summer of that year at the latest, beginning the first period of Persian rule over Egypt (known as the 27th Dynasty). Egypt was then joined with Cyprus and Phoenicia to form the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, with Aryandes as the local satrap (provincial governor).
As Pharaoh of Egypt, Cambyses' reign saw the fiscal resources of traditional Egyptian temples diminished considerably. One decree, written on papyrus in demotic script ordered a limitation on resources to all Egyptian temples, excluding Memphis, Heliopolis and Wenkhem (near Abusir). Cambyses left Egypt sometime in early 522 BC, dying en route to Persia, and was nominally succeeded briefly by his younger brother Bardiya, although contemporary historians suggest Bardiya was actually Gaumata, an impostor, and that the real Bardiya had been murdered some years before by Cambyses, ostensibly out of jealousy. Darius I, suspecting this impersonation, led a coup against "Bardiya" in September of that year, overthrowing him and being crowned as King and Pharaoh the next morning.
As the new Persian King, Darius spent much of his time quelling rebellions throughout his empire. Sometime in late 522 BC or early 521 BC a local Egyptian prince led a rebellion and declared himself Pharaoh Petubastis III. The main cause of this rebellion is uncertain, but the Ancient Greek military historian Polyaenus states that it was oppressive taxation imposed by the satrap Aryandes. Polyaenus further writes that Darius himself marched to Egypt, arriving during a period of mourning for the death of the sacred Herald of Ptah bull. Darius made a proclamation that he would award a sum of one hundred talents to the man who could produce the next Herald, impressing the Egyptians with his piety such that they flocked en masse to his side, ending the rebellion.
Darius took a greater interest in Egyptian internal affairs than Cambyses. He reportedly codified the laws of Egypt, and notably completed the excavation of a canal system at Suez, allowing passage from the Bitter Lakes to the Red Sea, much preferable to the arduous desert land route. This feat allowed Darius to import skilled Egyptian laborers and artisans to construct his palaces in Persia. The result of this was a minor brain drain in Egypt, due to the loss of these skilled individuals, creating a demonstrable lowering of quality in Egyptian architecture and art from this period. Nevertheless, Darius was more devoted to supporting Egyptian temples than Cambyses, earning himself a reputation for religious tolerance in the region. In 497 BC, during a visit by Darius to Egypt, Aryandes was executed for treason, most likely for attempting to issue his own coinage, a visible attempt to distance Egypt from the rest of the Persian Empire.Darius died in 486 BC, and was succeeded by Xerxes I.
Upon the accession of Xerxes, Egypt again rebelled, this time possibly under Psamtik IV, although different sources dispute that detail. Xerxes quickly quelled the rebellion, installing his brother Achaemenes as satrap. Xerxes ended the privileged status of Egypt held under Darius, and increased supply requirements from the country, probably to fund his invasion of Greece. Furthermore, Xerxes promoted the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda at the expense of traditional Egyptian deities, and permanently stopped the funding of Egyptian monuments. Xerxes was murdered in 465 BC by Artabanus, beginning a dynastic struggle that ended with Artaxerxes I being crowned the next King and Pharaoh.
In 460 BC another major Egyptian rebellion took place, led by a Libyan chief named Inaros II, substantially assisted by the Athenians of Greece.Inaros defeated an army led by Achaemenes, killing the satrap in the process, and took Memphis, eventually exerting control over large parts of Egypt. Inaros and his Athenian allies were finally defeated by a Persian army led by general Megabyzus in 454 BC and consequently sent into retreat. Megabyzus promised Inaros no harm would come of him or his followers if he surrendered and submitted to Persian authority, terms Inaros agreed to. Nevertheless, Artaxerxes eventually had Inaros executed, although exactly how and when is a matter of dispute. Artaxerxes died in 424 BC.
Artaxerxes successor, Xerxes II only ruled for forty-five days, being murdered by his brother Sogdianus. Sogdianus was consequently murdered by his brother Ochus, who became Darius II.Darius II ruled from 423 BC to 404 BC, and nearing the end of his reign a rebellion led by Amyrtaeus took place, potentially beginning as early as 411 BC. In 405 BC Amyrtaeus, with the help of Cretan mercenaries expelled the Persians from Memphis, declaring himself Pharaoh the next year and ending the 27th Dynasty. Darius II's successor, Artaxerxes II made attempts to begin an expedition to retake Egypt, but due to political difficulty with his brother Cyrus the Younger, abandoned the effort. Artaxerxes II was still recognized as the rightful Pharaoh in some parts of Egypt as late as 401 BC, although his sluggish response to the situation allowed Egypt to solidify its independence.
During the period of independent rule three indigenous dynasties reigned: the 28th, 29th, and 30th Dynasty. Artaxerxes III (358 BC) reconquered the Nile valley for a brief second period (343 BC), which is called the 31st Dynasty of Egypt.
The Achaemenid rule over Egypt had been often viewed as either weak or oppressive. H. P. Colburn (2019) analyses suggest Achaemenid legacy there was significant and the Egyptians had a wide variety of experiences in this period.
The pharaohs of the 27th Dynasty ruled for approximately one hundred and twenty one years, from 525 BC to 404 BC. Rulers with violet background were native Egyptian pharaohs who rebelled against the Achaemenid rule.
|Name of Pharaoh||Image||Reign||Throne Name||Comments|
|Cambyses II||525-522 BC||Mesutire||Defeated Psamtik III at the Battle of Pelusium in 525 BC|
|Bardiya/ Gaumata||522 BC||Possible impostor|
|Petubastis III||522/521-520 BC||Seheruibre||Rebelled against the Achaemenid Pharaohs|
|Darius I the Great||522-486 BC||Stutre|
|Psamtik IV||480s BC||Proposed rebel against the Achaemenid Pharaohs|
|Xerxes I the Great||486-465 BC|
|Artabanus||465–464 BC||Assassinated Xerxes I, later killed by Artaxerxes I|
|Artaxerxes I||465-424 BC|
|Xerxes II||425-424 BC||Claimant to throne|
|Sogdianus||424-423 BC||Claimant to throne|
|Darius II||423-404 BC||Last Pharaoh of the 27th Dynasty|
|Name of satrap||Rule||Reigning monarch||Comments|
|Cambyses II, Darius I||Deposed following a revolt in 522 BC, later restored in 518 BC then deposed again by Darius I|
|Pherendates||c.496–c.486 BC||Darius I||Possibly killed during a revolt|
|Achaemenes||c.486–459 BC||Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I||A brother of Xerxes I, later killed by the rebel Inaros II|
|Arsames||c.454–c.406 BC||Artaxerxes I, Xerxes II, Artaxerxes II||Longest ruling satrap of Egypt|
Xerxes I, commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. He was the son and successor of Darius the Great and his mother was Atossa, a daughter of Cyrus the Great, the first Achaemenid king. Like his father, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.
Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 530 to 522 BC. He was the son and successor of Cyrus the Great and his mother was Cassandane.
Darius I, commonly known as Darius the Great, was the third Persian King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE. He ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, parts of the Caucasus, parts of the Balkans, most of the Black Sea coastal regions, Central Asia, as far as the Indus Valley in the far east and portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, and coastal Sudan.
Artaxerxes I was the fifth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, from 465 to 424 BC. He was the third son of Xerxes I.
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.
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.
Achaemenes was an Achaemenid general and satrap of ancient Egypt during the early 5th century BC, at the time of the 27th Dynasty of 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.
Amyrtaeus or Amyrtaios 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.
The Orontid dynasty, also known by their native name Eruandid or Yervanduni, was a hereditary Armenian dynasty and the rulers of the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Urartu (Ararat). The Orontids established their supremacy over Armenia around the time of the Scythian and Median invasion in the 6th century BC.
The Achaemenid dynasty was an ancient Persian royal house. They were the ruling dynasty of Achaemenid Empire from about 700 to 330 BC.
The Satrapy of Lydia, known as Sparda in Old Persian, was an administrative province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Empire, located in the ancient kingdom of Lydia, with Sardis as its capital.
Libya was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire according to King Darius I of Persia Naqshe Rustam and King Xerxes I of Persia' Daiva inscription. It is also mentioned as being part of the 6th district by Herodotus, which also included Cyrene, a Greek colony in Libya. When King Cambyses II of Persia conquered Egypt, the king of Cyrene, Arcesilaus III, sided with Persia. When he was killed trying to maintain power, Queen Pheretima invited the Persians to take Cyrene. The satrap of Egypt, Aryandes, accepted, sending an army under two Persians to support Pheretime. The expedition lasted nearly a year and resulted in the subjugation of the Libyans; the Persians penetrated as far west as the Euhesperides (Benghazi). A puppet king, Battus IV, was installed, and Libya was made into a Persian satrapy. It is possible that Cyrene gained independence with the rebellion of Egypt in 404 BCE, but ultimately, Achaemenid control of the region was lost after Alexander's conquests.
Seheruibre Padibastet better known by his Hellenised name Petubastis III was a native ancient Egyptian ruler, c. 522 – 520 BC, who revolted against Persian rule.
Aryandes was the first Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt between the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, during the early 27th Dynasty 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 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 11 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 Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt, 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 Achaemenid conquest of Egypt took place in 525 BCE, leading to the foundation of the Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the "First Egyptian Satrapy". Egypt thus became a province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire until 404 BCE. The conquest was led by Cambyses II, the King of Persia, who defeated the Egyptians at the Battle of Pelusium, and crowned himself as Pharaoh of Egypt. Achaemenid rule 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.