People - Ancient Egypt: Shebaka
LATE KINGDOM 25th Dynasty (712-698) The Nubians fall under the Assyrians invasion. The Greeks help re-establish order. A renaissance
in the arts of the 25th Dynasty shows a return to the Old Kingdom style.
Shabaka in Wikipedia
Shabaka (Shabataka) or Shabaka Neferkare, 'Beautiful is the Soul of Re', was a Kushite pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt,
between (721 BC; 707/706 BC).
Shabaka is thought to be the son of King Kashta and Pebatjma, although a text from the time of Taharqa could be interpreted to mean
that Shabaka was a brother of Taharqa and hence a son of Piye.
Shabaka's Queen Consort was Qalhata, according to Assyrian records, a sister of Taharqa. Shabaka and Qalhata were the parents of King
Tantamani and most likely the parents of King Shebitku as well.
It is possible that Queen Tabakenamun was a wife of Shabaka. She is thought to be a wife of Taharqa by others.
Shabaka's son Haremakhet became High Priest of Amun and is known from a a statue and a fragment of a statue found in Karnak. A
lady named Mesbat is mentioned on the sarcophagus of Haremakhet and may be his mother.
Shabaka is the father of at least two more children, but the identity of their mother is not known. Piankharty later becomes the wife
of her (half-)brother Tamtamani. She is depicted on the Dream Stela with him. Isetemkheb H likely married Tantamani as well. She was
buried in Abydos, Egypt.
He succeeded his brother Piye on the throne, and adopted the throne name of the 6th-dynasty ruler Pepi II. Shabaka's reign was
initially dated from 716 BC to 702 BC by Kenneth Kitchen. However, new evidence indicates that Shabaka died around 707 or 706 BC
because Sargon II (722-705 BC) of Assyria states in an official inscription at Tang-i Var (in Northwest Iran)--which is datable to
706 BC—that it was Shebitku, Shabaka's successor, who extradited Iamanni of Ashdod to him as king of Egypt. This view has been
accepted by many Egyptologists today such as Aidan Dodson, Rolf Krauss, David Aston, and Karl Jansen-Winkeln among others because
there is no concrete evidence for coregencies or internal political/regional divisions in the Nubian kingdom during the Twenty-fifth
Dynasty. All contemporary records suggest that the Nubian Pharaohs ruled Egypt with only a single king on the throne, while Taharqa
states explicitly on one of his Kawa stelas that he assumed power only after the death of his brother, Shebitku.
Shabaka's reign is significant because he consolidated the Nubian Kingdom's control over all of Egypt from Nubia down to the Delta
region. It also saw an enormous amount of building work undertaken throughout Egypt, especially at the city of Thebes. In Karnak he
erected a pink granite statue of himself wearing the twin crowns of Egypt. Shabaka succeeded in preserving Egypt's independence from
outside foreign powers especially the Assyrian empire under Sargon II. The most famous relic from Shabaka's reign is the Shabaka
stone which records several Old Kingdom documents that the king ordered preserved. Despite being relative newcomers to Egypt,
Shabaka and his family were immensely interested in Egypt's past and the art of the period reflects their tastes which harked back to
earlier periods. Shabaka would grant refuge to king Iamanni of Ashdod after the latter fled to Egypt following the suppression of his
revolt by Assyria in 712 BC.
Shabaka is assumed to have died in his 15th regnal year based on BM cube statue 24429, which is dated to Year 15, II Shemu day 11 of
Shabaka's reign. From the evidence of the Tang-i Var inscription, Shabaka was already dead by 707 or 706 BC. He was buried in
a pyramid at el-Kurru and was succeeded by his nephew Shebitku, Piye's son, following the Kushite tradition of succession from
brother to brother, to son of the first brother. Shebitku would eventually be succeeded by Tantamuni—a son of Shabaka.
Shebaka in Tour Egypt
SHABAKA (SHABAQO, SHEBAKA), EGYPT'S SECOND NUBIAN RULER
By Jimmy Dunn --
Piye (Piankhi), the great king of Nubia who became king of Egypt, was succeeded upon his death by Shabaka (Shabaqo,
Shebaka) who became the second ruler of Egypt's 25th Dynasty. There is some controversy surrounding the dates for his
accession to the throne. Most scholars believe that this occurred in 715 BC. However, some specialists such as Robert G.
Morkot believe the correct date to be shortly after 712 BC. We have been left with considerable information on Shabaka's
wives and children. His major wife seems to have been Queen Tabakenamun, who was a king's daughter and a king's sister.
She held the religious offices of Priestess of Hathor, Mistress of Tepihu (Aophroditopolis), Priestess of Hathor of Iunyt
(Dendera) and Priestess of Neit. It is thought that her royal titles suggest that she was a sister/wife of the king, but
her priestly offices may indicate that she was the daughter of one of the Libyan kings.
Another wife was Mesbat, who may have been the mother of the High Priest of Amun, Harenmakhet, as evidenced by her name
on his sarcophagus. A third wife was queen Qalhata, who became the mother of Tantamani. Therefore, she is depicted on the
"Dream Stela". She was very possibly the sister of Taharqo, and hence a daughter of Piye. Therefore Tantamani was
probably one of Shabaka's youngest sons, and some scholars believe that besides Tantamani and Harenmakhet, Shabaka may
have also been the father of his immediate successor, Shebitku, though other scholars maintain that he was actually
Piye's son. It has long been thought that Shabaka was the younger brother of Piye, although there is really no direct
evidence of such. This was at variance with Egyptian customs, though otherwise Piye displayed considerably respect for
ancient Egyptian traditions. In fact, Shabaka continued the revival of old Egyptian traditions just as Piye before him.
He even had old temple records researched in order to learn more about ancient customs.
One important relic of this is the Shabaka Stone, a slab of basalt now in the British Museum. Though much worn due to its
later use as a millstone, on its deeply scored face it recounts that it is a copy taken from an ancient, worm-eaten
papyrus discovered at Memphis and recounting the Memphite theology of the creator gods.
Though Piye changed his own titulary a number of times during his reign, Shabaka attempted to model himself upon the Old
Kingdom pharaohs. His throne name was Neferkare, a name that had been used by Pepi II and many of his successors. Also in
Old Kingdom style, his Horus, Two Ladies and Holden Horus names were the same, Sebaq-tawy, probably meaning "He who
blesses the Two Lands".
In fact, Shabaka set about establishing himself in Egypt with his residence at Memphis. He seems to have followed the
Libyan tradition of placing a son as High Priest of Amun, though he did not apparently install any daughter as the future
God's Wife of Amun. Within the Saite territory, a stela of Shabaka's 4th year from Sau and other of his 6th year from the
twin towns of Pe and Dep (Buto) depict the king before the city's patron deities. As in the reign of Piye, the Saites
were the main opposition to Shabaka's rule in Egypt. Bakenranef, the last king of Egypt's Third Intermediate Period and
the 24th Dynasty, had at leas been acknowledged in Memphis, and expanded his control across the Delta to Tanis.
Apparently having ensured that his position in Kush was stable, and undoubtedly with Thebes in his hands, we believe that
Shabaka must have marched northwards. However, while it would seem that Shabaka ended up with the whole of Egypt, the
events surrounding his actions against the Saites has been a matter of controversy, for no clear contemporary records
survive. Yet is it clear that the Nubians controlled all of Egypt from about 710 or 709 BC.
The overall control that was exerted by Shabaka south of the 24th Dynasty territory in the northern Delta is indicated by
the vast array of building work that he undertook during his reign. This work was mostly performed at Thebes, on both
banks of the Nile River and largely directed to the cult of Amun, but he also built at other cult centers such as Memphis
(Ptah), Abydos (Osiris), Dendera (Hathor), Esna (Khnum) and Edfu (Horus). He was the first in many years to build on both
sides of the Nile at Thebes. On the west bank, he enlarged the 18th Dynasty temple at Medinet Habu. On the east bank he
worked at at Luxor and at Karnak, he built a structure called the "Treasury of Shabaka" between the Akh-menu and the
northern enclosure wall of the Iput-isut. He also enlarged the entrance to the temple of Ptah, and it was probably
Shabaka who directed building work near the future Kiosk of Taharqa, beside the sacred lake and in the precinct of Montu.
Upon Shabaka's death in about 702 BC, after a fairly lengthy reign, Shabaka was buried, like Piye, in a steep-sided
pyramid at el-Kurru in Nubia. He was succeeded by Shebitku, who was either his, or Piye's son.
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