Egypt History – The Middle Kingdom

Egypt History - The Middle Kingdom

The middle kingdom (Dynasties IX-XVII, 2238-1575 BC). – Of the kings of the 9th and 10th dynasty only the names remain. With military virtue and political art, the princes of Heracleopolis overpowered their competitors; Aġtój I (‘Αχϑόης) imposes his supremacy on almost the whole country, gaining a reputation as a violent and madman. Feudal families such as Asyūṭ were won over to the cause; others remained irreducible. One in the fourth name of Upper Egypt, near Ermonti, had raised identical claims to the throne; and, after a long guerrilla war, Mentḥótpe IV (2054-2008 BC, dynasty XI) managed to reunite Egypt under a single scepter. Asians and Nubians were beaten; expeditions to quarries and mines attest to the reborn life of the town. But the new dynasty did not enjoy the fruit of its exploits for long; a minister called Amenemḥê’e seized power (XII dynasty). He was a glorious prince (1996-1970); under his guidance they recovered the long-desired prosperity and tranquility. Nomarchs ceased to be true states within the state; in large part, then, they were chosen from among the faithful. The internal administration was renewed. Abroad, the Nubian tribes suffered various defeats; fortresses along the eastern desert made it impossible for the Semitic nomads to infiltrate the underground. His son Zenwq̂śre I (1976-1932) continued the same expansion policy. Beyond the Libyan oases he was master of Nubia up to the second cataract and also established a system of fortresses here. The gold mines were exclusively worked for the Egyptian treasury. Under the pharaohs Amenemḥê ‘ and II (1934-1899) and Zenwq̂śre II (1902-1884) also Pwêne (Somalia) and Sinai were continuously frequented by the Egyptians. Zenwq̂śre III (1883-1846) deserves the merit of having given solidity to the Nubian conquest; he built the forts of which the remains remain in Kummah and Semnah, he regulated the access of the natives on this side from the frontier. Also in Palestine he held high the national prestige and probably Sichem (? Egyptian Skmm) was taken. His son, Amenemḥê’e III (1845-1797), enjoyed a long and peaceful reign; to him, from his first name called Lamares, is attributed the basin of the Fayyūm, the Moeris Lake. This pharaonic family that had given back to Egypt so much prosperity and so much glory died out after the brief appearance of a queen, Śebknofrewrîe (1787-1784). Especially in the last two hundred years the Middle Kingdom appears to be the time of suffered gains; and it is very probable that the ruling class did not manage to assimilate well, through the bureaucracy and the militia, all the elements that came from below. The race for power begins; the town remains at the mercy of the first occupant and the baseness of its origins can be seen from the same royal names. This internal collapse opens the doors to external enemies. To the south, the Cushites of Napata revive the struggling conquests of Nubia; emigrants from the Syro-Arabian desert settle in the eastern Delta, in Avaris, and make raids. These are the Hyksos (v.) Of Manetone, Ḥeq’ew – ḫ e ‘ ś ôwe “Princes of the Mountains”, as their name sounds.

The renaissance (dynasties XXVI-XXX, 663-332 BC). – According to microedu, in 667 some Delta princes had recognized Assyrian supremacy. Sais’s, Neko, had been made viceroy and his son Psammêtek, governor of Athasce. The latter, his father having perished in the last insurrection, had happened to him in the office. With the help of mercenaries dear and Greeks, Psammêtek I soon felt free ruler of the whole country and defeated the local lords. Brilliant mind and skilled statesman, his main concerns were to increase the national economy and guarantee it with the force of arms. Three entrenched camps, at Daphnae, Marea and Elefantina, closed the doors of the house. To pervade Egypt with new thrills of life, the wonderful memories of the past were recalled; the city of Sais was made a worthy seat of the sovereigns. With the’ foreign trade, favored, intensified. Thus this military-mercantile aristocracy was able to create an envied prosperity for the country. Also in Syria Psammêtek resumed the duel with the Assyrians; but a Scythian raid called him back to his homeland (663-610). Nekô, who succeeded him (609-595), built a fleet on the Mediterranean and one on the Red Sea and resumed Asian expansion. He beat Josiah at Megiddo, reconquered Syria; a Babylonian army moved against him in 605 and defeated him at Karkemiš on the Euphrates. Back in Egypt, he was tempted by the enterprise of joining the Nile with the Red Sea, but he was not very successful. They also attributed to him the circumnavigation of Africa. Psammêtek II (594-589) turned to Nubia. Apriês (589-570, v.) And Amasis (570-526, v.), If they benefited the internal development of Egypt, they no longer regained military dominance. When Amasis died, his son Psammêtek III (525), abandoned by the Cypriot and Samî allies, was alone in supporting the impetus of all Asia that Cambyses directed against him. He was beaten in Pelusio, he sustained himself in Menfi for ten days; after which he had to give up and we don’t know how it ended. Settled in Egypt, the Persians considered themselves as successors of the pharaohs and assumed the protocol (dynasty XXVII); Darius I (521-486) ​​was counted among the great legislators of the country. But the natives were ill adapted to being a satrapy (the VI) of the great empire. When Darius died, a rebellion broke out and it took Xerxes I a few years to tame it (482). Inaro, prince of Marea, availing himself of Libyan and Athenian aid, tried his luck again in 463, but, after an initial success, he had to shut himself up in Prosopis, where he endured 18 months of siege (458-456). Other attempts, such as that of Elephantine in 410, were frustrated. Amyrtaios (v.) Succeeded in proclaiming independence (XXVIII Saitic dynasty, 404-399). His successors (XXIX dynasty from Mendes), Nepherites I (398-393) and Hagor (Achoris, 392-380), juggling skillfully, kept the country free. A Persian attack was repelled between 385 and 383. But with Psammuthis and Nepherites II (379) internal agitations for the crown reappeared. A prince of Sebennito, Naḫtenbôwef (Nectanebo) was brought to the throne (dynasty XXX, 378-361) and he too stood up to the Persians (373). Teḥo (Tachos), perhaps his son (360-359), an ally of the Spartans (he had Agesilao and Cabria at his service) even attacked his enemies; but betrayed, he had to take refuge in Sidon and from there to Persia. He was succeeded by his nephew, Naḫtḥareḥbê (Nectanabis) who had to put down the rebellion of a pretender in 360. Having come to grips with Artaxerxes III Oco already in 351, he was defeated in 342 after a fierce fight against Pelusio and withdrew to Nubia. Ten years later, Alexander of Macedon conquered Egypt, almost defenseless, and opened the second great period of its history.

Egypt History - The Middle Kingdom