Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt
- Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt
The Saite or Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt was the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest (although others followed), and had its capital at Sais. It is part of the Late Period.
This dynasty traced its origins to the Twenty-Fourth Dynasty. Psammetichus I was the great-grandson of Bakenrenef, and following the Assyrians invasions during the reigns of Taharqa and Tantamani, he was recognized as sole king over all of Egypt. While the Assyrian Empire was preoccupied with revolts and civil war over control of the throne, Psammetichus threw off his ties to the Assyrians, and formed alliances with Gyges, king of Lydia, and recruited mercenaries from Caria and Greece to resist Assyrian attacks.
With the sack of Nineveh in 612 BC and the fall of the Assyrian Empire, both Psammetichus and his successors attempted to reassert Egyptian power in the Near East, but were driven back by the Babylonians under Nebuchadrezzar II. With the help of Greek mercenaries, Apries was able to hold back Babylonian attempts to conquer Egypt, but it was the Persians who conquered Egypt, and their king Cambyses II carried Psammetichus III to Susa in chains.
Sextus Julius Africanus states in his often accurate version of Manetho's Epitome that this dynasty was composed of a total of 9 kings beginning with a Stephinates (Tefnakht II) and ending with Psammetichus III. Africanus also correctly notes that Psammetichus I and Necho I ruled Egypt for 54 and 8 years respectively.
*Twenty-sixth Dynasty Timeline
*Twenty-sixth Dynasty Family Tree
*History of Ancient Egypt
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