Late Dynastic Period

  • Created by: Pinksoda
  • Created on: 13-12-18 13:04

Dynasties and time period

  • Dynasties 28-30
  • 404-343BCE
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Focus on preventing reconquest by Persian Empire

Dynasties 28-29 = frequent rulers shift. 30 = stable only outside pressure

Continuation of Late Egyptian trends - e.g. animal cults/of Osiris, the importance of Mammisi.

Alliances with Greece = Hellenism - e.g. Greek education of Manetho

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Dynasty 28

Ruler = Amyrtaios II. 404/3-398/7

Leader of rebels who fought against Persians (inspired Roman numeral digits) with Inaros - mid-5th Century

Traditional dynastic names of anti-Persian leaders (e.g. Psammetichus, Inaros' father) - suggests descendants from earlier Libyan royal houses.

454BCE - Inaros defeated - led to guerilla autonomy retaining contacts with Athenian supporters in W. Delta. Base for revolt of Amyrtaios II.

Revolt victorious. Started 405 BCE in Lower Egypt, by 400BCE rebels held Elephantine where local Jewish garrison produced latest Egyptian documents dated with years of Artaxerxes

Only King according to Manetho. No works or 2 demotic ostraca dated to Psammetichus (name given to him by Diodorus)

Executed Tamos, satrap of Ionia (who had fled to Egypt) - shows reluctance to irritate Persians by housing enemies.

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Dynasty 29, ruler 1

Nephrites I -398/7 -392/1

Opponent of Amyrtaios II 

As part of preventing Persian reconquest, sided with Sparta. Rejected a military alliance with Asia Minor but did send military support.

After reign, power claimed by unknown son and Psammetichus?

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Dynasty 29, ruler 2

Psammetichus I -392/1

Debate over whether Psammetichus' reign took place in the middle of this reign. Overall, Hakoris, a minor son of Nephrites I prevailed.

Hakoris - 392/1 -379/8

Longest period of stability. 

Actively sought allies to fight against Persia. 380s BCE treaties with Euragoras of Cyprus & Athens.

Egyptians hired Athenian general Chabrias. Contacts with Athens ineffective  by Peace of Antalcidas (Greek Poleis could not overtly side with Persian enemies)

Mid 380s BCE - Artaxerxes II wars against Cyrus (defeated 380) and Egypt (defended itself for 3 years

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Dynasty 29, ruler 3

Nephrites II  - 379

Feud recurred after Hakoris' death, short reign 

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Dynasty 30, ruler 1

Nectanebo I - 379/8 - 361/0

Name based on Greek form found in 'Romance of Alexander' - actually applied to Last Egyptian King Nectanebo II. Manetho distinguished between rulers - sequence of names established after Demotic Chronicle discovery.

Chronology - Nectanebo I reigned for 18 years - Persian invasion in year 16 (Nectanebo's dream). Some (Depuydt) redate to later - Argues that discounting Nectanebo's dream not reasonable.

King - native of Sebennytos and commander of army 

Possibly Nephrites I's son, however Meulenare argues he was singled out by deities for kingship from multitude. Also, stela saying activies during time of trouble at Hermopolis (under Nephrites II) reason for kingship. Prophesised by Nekhemtawy - temple features in building activities.

373BCE Egypt stood alone yet repulsed Persians. Failed despite 200k Asiatic warriors and 20k Greek - decline in Persian power.

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Dynasty 30, ruler 2

Teos - 361/0 - 359/8

Coregent with Nectanebo I in 365BCE

Took offensive against Persia near end of brief reign - miltary actions in Syria while nephew Nectanebo was besieging Phoenicia. Planned to seize entire East. Med. 

Belief Persians could be defeated not irrational. Isocrates = Empire rotten. Teos had 8k Egyptian troops, 10k elite Greek mercernaies and Athenian general Chabrias and Spartan King Agesilaus (more than Alexander at start)

Chabrias advice to put economy of Egypt under strict control - income of temples to 10% regular size, consfiscating precious metal, 10% tax on revenues. Caused indignation

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Dynasty 30, ruler 3

Nectanebo II - 359/8 - 342/1

Teo's campaign failed when nephew Nectanebo mutinied - declared King. Chabrias wanted to be loyal but Agesilaus = ally of Egypt not just Teos. Teos fled to Persia.

Another claimant appeared at Mendes , oppressed by Nectanebo II & Agesilaus.

Persians tried to invade 351/0 and succeeded in 343BCE. 340s Egyptians trying to support anti-Persian uprising in Phoenician cities - spread to Cicilia, Cyprus and Judah. Artaxerxes III still invaded 343BCE.

Nectanebo likely fled southwards during invasion

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Social History

Royal power = military/political authority. Ritual function mostly in priesthood, though King beneficient donor to temples. 

Closely connected to Greeks - started minting own coins to pay them. Traded in Naucratis. 

However little impact as not in circulation in Egypt itself, natural economy.

Economic growth under Nectanebo II wanted 3 admin planners at Memphis, Hermopolis Magma and Hermonthis instead of just 1.

Teo's actions motivated by miltary need. Resistance to him from Military/Priesthood (Egyptian society split into corporations in 1st milennium BCE). 

Rulers not able to overcome decentralisation of Egyptian society

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Religion and Ideology

Excessive temple building at Abydos, Thebes and Memphis - climax in reign of Nectanebo II.

Great expenditures covered by incomes of temples - reform of NEctanebo I - growth of state income leading to architectural boom under Nectanebo II

Integration of royal cult with local cults of sacred animals (had special rearing places and cemeteries included Serapeum st Saqqara enlarged bt Nectanebo I and II)

Processional avenues and enclosure walls created to delineate and to expand sacred space of temples.

Naoi installation to parallel Egypt's mythological history/ to build a theological rampart against Egyptian foes on Eastern border. Demiurge established temple shrines and installed in gods at moment of creators. To signify recreation on universe

Mammissi = special birth houses

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Religious attitudes towards the Kings

4th Cent BCE - Demotic Chronicle shows Priesthood attitudes - Kings easily deposed if decline from moral standard law. King = similar to human nature - temptations. Giving in to these meant loss of sacrality.

Nectanebo II in front of giant falcon Horus statue. Protection of King through a god, but also objects of worship. 

Sculpture group (Tanis) to emphasise embodiment of divinity in him unceasing, shows if relationship not stressed then would cease.

Demotic Chronicle denounced this - asks if King's office (sword) should stay with him - reply of a mightier sword may rise (god's wrath against his arrogance)

Legitimate royal depended on god's embodiment within him, would leave if he violated accepted standard of behaviour

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