Egyptian Dynasties > Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt

Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt

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Background

The Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt, also written as the 26th Dynasty or Dynasty XXVI, was the last ethnic Egyptian ruled dynasty and was also known as the Saite Period due to the capital where the dynasty was centered around in Sais. The 26th Dynasty lasted from 664 BCE to 525 BCE and the ascension of the 26th Dynasty from the previous 25th Dynasty was due in part to the assistance of the Mesopotamian super-power Assyria. With the military assistance of the Assyrians the Egyptians were able to drive the Kushite Kingdom out of Egypt and back into Nubia.

This dynasty traced its origins to 24th Dynasty. Psamtik I was probably a descendant 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 Psamtik and his successors attempted to reassert Egyptian power in the Near East, but were driven back by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II. With the help of Greek mercenaries, Apries was able to hold back Babylonian attempts to conquer Egypt, but the Persians did conquer Egypt, and their king Cambyses II carried Psamtik III to Susa in chains.

26th Dynasty Kings

Late Period of Egypt

Egyptian Dynasties

Egyptian Dynasties List

Sources

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