Menkheperre Necho I 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 according to Manetho's Aegyptiaca. Egypt was reunified by his son Psamtik I. In 672 BCE Necho became ruler of Sais, assuming the pharaonic titulary, a year the Assyrians led by Esarhaddon invaded Egypt. Necho became one of Esarhaddon's vassals, the latter confirmed Necho's office and his possessions, as well as giving him new territories including the city of Memphis. 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. 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. 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, Sharruludari of Ṣinu and Nikuu – were plotting against him.
The Assyrian king captured the conspirators, killed part of the population of the cities they governed, deported the prisoners to Nineveh. Unexpectedly, Necho was pardoned by the Assyrian king, was reinstated at Sais with his previous possessions as well as many new territories as a gift, while his son Psamtik was made mayor of Athribis, 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, to inspire and strengthen a rivalry between the two families because of shared interests. 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 while Psamtik fled to Nineveh under Ashurbanipal's aegis; this Nubian invasion into the Egyptian Delta was subsequently repelled by the Assyrians who proceeded to advance south into Upper Egypt and performed the infamous sack of Thebes.
With the Nile Delta secured once again, Psamtik I was appointed with his dead father's offices and territories. He was successful in reuniting Egypt under his sole control. 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 Tefnakht II. Ryholt put in discussion the existence of Nekauba, the purported predecessor of Necho I and his brother. French historian Christian Settipani believes that Necho married Istemabet, they were the parents of Psamtik I. According to British Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen, it is possible that princess Ta-khered-en-ta-ihet- was Necho's daughter, given in a politically arranged marriage to the local ruler of Herakleopolis, Pediese. 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, it appears 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.
Necho I is 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 is now exhibited at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology; the aforementioned, long–lost lintel of Meresamun was once photographed in an antiquities market at Luxor. A bronze kneeling statuette of a king Necho is housed at the Brooklyn Museum, but it is impossible to determine if it depicts Necho I or rather Necho II instead, he is mentioned in several demotic stories. Necho I's Year 2 is attested on a held donation stela, first published by Olivier Perdu; the stela records a large land donation to the Osirian triad of Per-Hebyt by the "priest of Isis Mistress of Hebyt, Great Chief... son of Iuput, Akanosh." Media related to Necho I at Wikimedia Commons
Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver to Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt is between the Cataracts of the Nile above modern-day Aswan, downriver to the area of El-Ayait, which places modern-day Cairo in Lower Egypt; the northern part of Upper Egypt, between Sohag and El-Ayait, is known as Middle Egypt. In Arabic, inhabitants of Upper Egypt are known as Sa'idis and they speak Sai'idi Egyptian Arabic. In ancient Egypt, Upper Egypt was known as tꜣ šmꜣw "the Land of Reeds" or "the Sedgeland" It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes; the first nome was where modern-day Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih just to the south of Cairo. The main city of prehistoric Upper Egypt was Nekhen, whose patron deity was the vulture goddess Nekhbet. By about 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. Shortly after 3600 BC, Egyptian society began to increase in complexity.
A new and distinctive pottery, related to the Levantine ceramics, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time; the Mesopotamian process of sun-drying adobe and architectural principles—including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect—became popular during this time. Concurrent with these cultural advances, a process of unification of the societies and towns of the upper Nile River, or Upper Egypt, occurred. At the same time the societies of the Nile Delta, or Lower Egypt underwent a unification process. Warfare between Upper and Lower Egypt occurred often. During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies on the Delta and merged both the Kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt under his single rule. For most of pharaonic Egypt's history, Thebes was the administrative center of Upper Egypt. After its devastation by the Assyrians, its importance declined. Under the Ptolemies, Ptolemais Hermiou took over the role of Upper Egypt's capital city.
Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown Hedjet, its symbols were the flowering lotus and the sedge. In the 11th century, large numbers of pastoralists, known as Hilalians, fled Upper Egypt and moved westward into Libya and as far as Tunis, it is believed that degraded grazing conditions in Upper Egypt, associated with the beginning of the Medieval Warm Period, were the root cause of the migration. In the 20th-century Egypt, the title Prince of the Sa'id was used by the heir apparent to the Egyptian throne. Although the Kingdom of Egypt was abolished after the Egyptian revolution of 1952, the title continues to be used by Muhammad Ali, Prince of the Sa'id; the following list may not be complete: Sa'idi people Upper and Lower Egypt Geography of Egypt Edel, Elmar Zu den Inschriften auf den Jahreszeitenreliefs der "Weltkammer" aus dem Sonnenheiligtum des Niuserre Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, OCLC 309958651, in German. Media related to Upper Egypt at Wikimedia Commons
Amun is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty, Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu. After the rebellion of Thebes against the Hyksos and with the rule of Ahmose I, Amun acquired national importance, expressed in his fusion with the Sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra or Amun-Re. Amun-Ra retained chief importance in the Egyptian pantheon throughout the New Kingdom. Amun-Ra in this period held the position of transcendental, self-created creator deity "par excellence", his position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other gods became manifestations of him. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most recorded of the Egyptian gods; as the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra came to be worshipped outside Egypt, according to the testimony of ancient Greek historiographers in Libya and Nubia. As Zeus Ammon, he came to be identified with Zeus in Greece.
Amun and Amaunet are mentioned in the Old Egyptian Pyramid Texts. The name Amun meant something like "the hidden one" or "invisible". Amun rose to the position of tutelary deity of Thebes after the end of the First Intermediate Period, under the 11th dynasty; as the patron of Thebes, his spouse was Mut. In Thebes, Amun as father, Mut as mother and the Moon god Khonsu formed a divine family or "Theban Triad"; the history of Amun as the patron god of Thebes begins in the 20th century BC, with the construction of the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak under Senusret I. The city of Thebes does not appear to have been of great significance before the 11th dynasty. Major construction work in the Precinct of Amun-Re took place during the 18th dynasty when Thebes became the capital of the unified ancient Egypt. Construction of the Hypostyle Hall may have begun during the 18th dynasty, though most building was undertaken under Seti I and Ramesses II. Merenptah commemorated his victories over the Sea Peoples on the walls of the Cachette Court, the start of the processional route to the Luxor Temple.
This Great Inscription shows the king's campaigns and eventual return with items of potential value and prisoners. Next to this inscription is the Victory Stela, a copy of the more famous Israel Stela found in the funerary complex of Merenptah on the west bank of the Nile in Thebes. Merenptah's son Seti II added two small obelisks in front of the Second Pylon, a triple bark-shrine to the north of the processional avenue in the same area; this was constructed with a chapel to Amun flanked by those of Mut and Khonsu. The last major change to the Precinct of Amun-Re's layout was the addition of the first pylon and the massive enclosure walls that surrounded the whole Precinct, both constructed by Nectanebo I; when the army of the founder of the Eighteenth dynasty expelled the Hyksos rulers from Egypt, the victor's city of origin, became the most important city in Egypt, the capital of a new dynasty. The local patron deity of Thebes, therefore became nationally important; the pharaohs of that new dynasty attributed all their successful enterprises to Amun, they lavished much of their wealth and captured spoil on the construction of temples dedicated to Amun.
The victory accomplished by pharaohs who worshipped Amun against the "foreign rulers", brought him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the rights of justice for the poor. By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at, those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans' village at Deir el-Medina record: who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him, wretched.. You are the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor. Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive; the Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger. His breath comes back to us in mercy... May your kꜣ be kind. Subsequently, when Egypt conquered Kush, they identified the chief deity of the Kushites as Amun; this Kush deity was depicted as ram-headed, more a woolly ram with curved horns. Amun thus became associated with the ram arising from the aged appearance of the Kush ram deity.
A solar deity in the form of a ram can be traced to the pre-literate Kerma culture in Nubia, contemporary to the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The name of Nubian Amun was Amani, attested in numerous personal names such as Tanwetamani and Amanitore. Since rams were considered a symbol of virility, Amun became thought of as a fertility deity, so started to absorb the identity of Min, becoming Amun-Min; this association with virility led to Amun-Min gaining the epithet Kamutef, meaning "Bull of his mother", in which form he was found depicted on the walls of Karnak and with a scourge, as Min was. As the cult of Amun grew in importance, Amun became identified with the chief deity, worshipped in other areas during that period, the sun god Ra; this identification led with Amun becoming Amun-Ra. In the Hymn to Amun-Ra he is described as Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of m
Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters. Cursive hieroglyphs were used for religious literature on papyrus and wood; the hieratic and demotic Egyptian scripts were derived from hieroglyphic writing, as was the Proto-Siniatic script that evolved into the Phoenician alphabet. Through the Phoenician alphabet's major child systems, the Greek and Aramaic scripts, the Egyptian hieroglyphic script is ancestral to the majority of scripts in modern use, most prominently the Latin and Cyrillic scripts and the Arabic script and Brahmic family of scripts; the use of hieroglyphic writing arose from proto-literate symbol systems in the Early Bronze Age, around the 32nd century BC, with the first decipherable sentence written in the Egyptian language dating to the Second Dynasty. Egyptian hieroglyphs developed into a mature writing system used for monumental inscription in the classical language of the Middle Kingdom period.
The use of this writing system continued through the New Kingdom and Late Period, on into the Persian and Ptolemaic periods. Late survivals of hieroglyphic use are found well into the Roman period, extending into the 4th century AD. With the final closing of pagan temples in the 5th century, knowledge of hieroglyphic writing was lost. Although attempts were made, the script remained undeciphered throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern period; the decipherment of hieroglyphic writing would only be accomplished in the 1820s by Jean-François Champollion, with the help of the Rosetta Stone. The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek adjective ἱερογλυφικός, a compound of ἱερός and γλύφω; the glyphs themselves since the Ptolemaic period were called τὰ ἱερογλυφικὰ "the sacred engraved letters", the Greek counterpart to the Egyptian expression of mdw.w-nṯr "god's words". Greek ἱερογλυφός meant "a carver of hieroglyphs". In English, hieroglyph as a noun is recorded from 1590 short for nominalised hieroglyphic, from adjectival use.
Hieroglyphs may have emerged from the preliterate artistic traditions of Egypt. For example, symbols on Gerzean pottery from c. 4000 BC have been argued to resemble hieroglyphic writing. Proto-hieroglyphic symbol systems develop in the second half of the 4th millennium BC, such as the clay labels of a Predynastic ruler called "Scorpion I" recovered at Abydos in 1998 or the Narmer Palette; the first full sentence written in mature hieroglyphs so far discovered was found on a seal impression found in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen at Umm el-Qa'ab, which dates from the Second Dynasty. There are around 800 hieroglyphs dating back to the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom Eras. By the Greco-Roman period, there are more than 5,000. Geoffrey Sampson stated that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, invented under the influence of the latter", that it is "probable that the general idea of expressing words of a language in writing was brought to Egypt from Sumerian Mesopotamia".
There are many instances of early Egypt-Mesopotamia relations, but given the lack of direct evidence for the transfer of writing, "no definitive determination has been made as to the origin of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt". Instead, it is pointed out and held that "the evidence for such direct influence remains flimsy” and that “a credible argument can be made for the independent development of writing in Egypt..." Since the 1990s, the discoveries of glyphs at Abydos, dated to between 3400 and 3200 BCE, may challenge the classical notion according to which the Mesopotamian symbol system predates the Egyptian one, although Egyptian writing does make a sudden apparition at that time, while on the contrary Mesopotamia has an evolutionnary history of sign usage in tokens dating back to circa 8000 BCE. Hieroglyphs consist of three kinds of glyphs: phonetic glyphs, including single-consonant characters that function like an alphabet; as writing developed and became more widespread among the Egyptian people, simplified glyph forms developed, resulting in the hieratic and demotic scripts.
These variants were more suited than hieroglyphs for use on papyrus. Hieroglyphic writing was not, eclipsed, but existed alongside the other forms in monumental and other formal writing; the Rosetta Stone contains three parallel scripts – hieroglyphic and Greek. Hieroglyphs continued to be used under Persian rule, after Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt, during the ensuing Ptolemaic and Roman periods, it appears that the misleading quality of comments from Greek and Roman writers about hieroglyphs came about, at least in part, as a response to the changed political situation. Some believed that hieroglyphs may have functioned as a way to distinguish'true Egyptians' from some of the foreign conquerors. Another reason may be the refusal to tackle a foreign culture on its own terms, which characterized Greco-Roman approaches to Egyptian culture generally. Having learned that hieroglyphs were sacred writing, Greco-Roman authors imagined the complex but rational system as an allegorical magical, system transmitting secre
Ashurbanipal 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, 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 holds the famous Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal set of Assyrian palace reliefs. In the Hebrew Bible he is called Asenappar. Roman historian Justinus identified him as Sardanapalus, although the fictional Sardanapalus is depicted as the last king of Assyria and an ineffectual and debauched character, whereas three further kings succeeded Ashurbanipal, in fact an educated, efficient capable and ambitious warrior king. Ashurbanipal was born toward the end of a 1,500-year period of Assyrian ascendancy, his father, the youngest son of Sennacherib, had become heir when the crown prince, Ashur-nadin-shumi, was deposed by rebels from his position as a vassal for Babylon.
Esarhaddon was the son not of Sennacherib's queen, Tashmetum-sharrat, but of the "palace woman" Zakutu, "the pure", known by her native name, Naqi'a. There are some suggestions Zakutu may have been an Israelite or Aramean concubine, while others point to her family origins being in the northern Assyrian city of Harran; the only queen known for Esarhaddon was Ashur-hamat, who died in 672 BC. Ashurbanipal grew up in the small palace called Bit Reduti, built by his grandfather Sennacherib when he was crown prince in the northern quadrant of Nineveh. In 694 BC, Sennacherib had completed the "Palace Without Rival" at the southwest corner of the acropolis, obliterating most of the older structures; the "House of Succession" had become the palace of the crown prince. In this house, Ashurbanipal's grandfather was assassinated by uncles identified only from the biblical account as Adrammelech and Sharezer. From this conspiracy, Esarhaddon emerged as king in 681 BC, he proceeded to rebuild as his residence the Bit Masharti.
The "House of Succession" was left including Ashurbanipal. The names of five brothers and one sister are known. Sin-iddin-apli, the intended crown prince, died prior to 672 BC. Not having been expected to become heir to the throne, Ashurbanipal was trained in scholarly pursuits as well as the usual horsemanship, chariotry, soldiery and royal decorum. In a unique autobiographical statement, Ashurbanipal specified his youthful scholarly pursuits as having included oil divination and reading and writing. Ashurbanipal succeeded his father Esarhaddon as king of Assyria and ruler of the Assyrian Empire in 668 BC. Esarhaddon had prepared for the accession of his son by imposing a vassal treaty upon his Persian and Parthian subjects, ensuring that they accepted Ashurbanipal's dominance in advance, he had rebuilt Babylon and set up another of his sons Shamash-shum-ukin to rule there, subject to his brother Ashurbanipal in Nineveh. Despite being a popular king among his subjects, he was known for his cruelty to his enemies.
Some pictures depict him putting a dog chain through the jaw of a defeated Arab king and making him live in a dog kennel. Many paintings of the period exhibit his brutality. Ashurbanipal inherited from Esarhaddon not only the throne of the empire but the ongoing war in Egypt with Kush/Nubia. Ashurbanipal ended Egyptian interference in the Near East, destroyed the Kushite Empire, drove the Kushites/Nubians from Egypt, conquered Egypt and Libya. However, the Nubians still had ambitions to resurrect their empire. Ashurbanipal sent an army against them in 667 BC that defeated the Nubian king Taharqa, near Memphis, while Ashurbanipal stayed at his capital in Nineveh. At the same time, some Egyptian vassals rebelled and were defeated. All of the vanquished leaders save one were sent to Nineveh. Only Necho I, the native Egyptian Prince of Sais, convinced the Assyrians of his loyalty and was sent back to become the Assyrian puppet Pharaoh of Egypt. After the death of Taharqa in 664 BC his nephew and successor Tantamani invaded Upper Egypt and took control of Thebes.
In Memphis, he defeated Necho may have died in the battle. Ashurbanipal sent another army and again it succeeded in defeating the Kushites/Nubians. Tantamani was routed and driven back to his homeland in Nubia and was never again to threaten Assyria or Egypt; the Assyrians took much booty home with them. How Assyrian rule in Egypt ended is not certain, but at some point, Necho's son Psammetichus I gained independence while wisely keeping his relations with Assyria friendly. An Assyrian royal inscription tells how the Lydian king Gyges received dreams from the Assyrian god Ashur; the dreams told him. After Gyges sent his ambassadors to accept Assyrian vassalage, he defeated his Cimmerian enemies, but when he supported the rebellion of the Egyptian rebels his country was overrun by the Cilicians. Assyria was by master of the largest empire the world had
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo