Ancient Egypt - The 28th & 29th Dynasties


In 405 BC, during the reign of Darius II, Amyrtaeus came to power in Egypt, took advantage of the murderous internal family problems of the Persians, and founded the 28th Dynasty. With the assistance of Cretan mercenaries, he expelled the Persians from Memphis and caught the attention of Artaxerxes II, who began building an expedition to retake Egypt. The Egyptians were spared when he had to refocus his army on his brother, Cyrus the Younger, and abandoned the effort. Nefaarud I founded the 29th Dynasty by defeating Amyrtaeus in open battle, and later putting him to death in Memphis. He then changed the Egyptian capital to Mendes.



The 29th Dynasty was one of the shortest in Egyptian history, 28th being the shortest after Nefaarud I killed the first and only king. Although this dynasty struggled to redeem the past and make Egypt a great power again, it never had the resources to succeed. Nefaarud engaged in a number of building projects in Lower Egypt, but nothing was as impressive as past pharaohs. He was succeeded by Psammuthes, about whom little is known. He was succeeded by Achoris.

Achoris achieved what his predecessors had failed to accomplish in building projects and additions to the Temple of Amun at Karnak. He constructed the chapel for the Sacred Barque of Amun-Ra, near the First Pylon.


In 385 BC, the Persians attacked Egypt but were held back after three years of fighting. In 381 BC, Persia decided to concentrate on Cyprus. Achoris send aid, money, and 50 triremes (apparently without crew though) to Evagoras I in order to contribute to his resistance against Artaxerxes II. But when Evagoras I himself came to Egypt to beg for more aid a year later, Achoris saw no need to continue supporting him and sent him on his way with only some money. Evagoras I would surrender to the Persians soon after.

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