People - Ancient Egypt: Taharqa
LATE KINGDOM 25th Dynasty (690-664) 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.
Taharqa in Tour Egypt
Taharqa was the brother of Shebitku and was the third king of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Shebitku died and Taharqa was
crowned. Taharqa is responsible for building done both in Nubia as well as Egypt. He built the colonnade in the first
court of the temple of Amun at Karnak. There is one column that stands twenty-one meters high and is still standing.
During his reign, the Assyrians threatened Egypt once again. The Assyrians were successful in one invasion in which
they captured Memphis, wounded Taharqa and stole his family and property. Taharqa survived the attack. It is thought
that Taharqa died in 664 BC and was buried in his pyramid at Nuri near Napata.
Taharqa in Wikipedia
Taharqa was a pharaoh of Egypt and the Kingdom of Kush and a member of the Nubian or Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt. His reign can be dated
from 690 BC to 664 BC. He was the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt; Taharqa was also the younger
brother and successor of Shebitku.
Evidence for the dates of his reign are derived from the Serapeum stela Cat. 192 "which records that an Apis bull who was born and
installed (4th month of Peret, day 9) in Year 26 of Taharqa died in Year 20 of Psammetichus I (4th month of Shomu, day 20) having lived 21
years. This would give Taharqa a reign of 26 years and a fraction, in 690-664 B.C." Taharqa was the brother of Shebitku, the previous
pharaoh of Egypt. Taharqa explicitly states in Kawa Stela V, line 15 that he succeeded Shebitku with this statement: "I received the Crown
in Memphis after the Falcon (ie: Shebitku) flew to heaven."
Biblical references -
Scholars have identified him with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, who waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah
(2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9) and drove him from his intention of destroying Jerusalem and deporting its inhabitants—a critical action that,
according to Henry T. Aubin, has shaped the Western world.
The events in the Biblical account are believed to have taken place in 701 BC, whereas Taharqa came to the throne some ten years later. A
number of explanations have been proposed: one being that the title of king in the Biblical text refers to his future royal title, when at
the time of this account he was likely only a military commander.
Assyrian invasion of Egypt -
It was during his reign that Egypt's enemy Assyria at last invaded Egypt. Esarhaddon led several campaigns against Taharqa, which he
recorded on several monuments. His first attack in 677 BC, aimed to pacify Arab tribes around the Dead Sea, led him as far as the Brook of
Egypt. Esarhaddon then proceeded to invade Egypt proper in Taharqa's 17th regnal year, after Esarhaddon had settled a revolt at Ashkelon.
Taharqa defeated the Assyrians on that occasion. Three years later in 671 BC the Assyrian king captured and sacked Memphis, where he
captured numerous members of the royal family. Taharqa fled to the south, and Esarhaddon reorganized the political structure in the north,
establishing Necho I of the 26th dynasty as king at Sais. Upon Esarhaddon's return to Assyria he erected a victory stele, showing
Taharqa's young Prince Ushankhuru in bondage.
Upon the Assyrian king's departure, however, Taharqa intrigued in the affairs of Lower Egypt, and fanned numerous revolts. Esarhaddon died
enroute to Egypt, and it was left to his son and heir Ashurbanipal to once again invade Egypt. Ashurbanipal defeated Taharqa, who
afterwards fled first to Thebes, then up the Nile into his native homeland—Nubia. Taharqa died there in 664 BC and was succeeded by his
appointed successor Tantamani, a son of Shabaka. Taharqa was buried at Nuri.
Taharqa was described by the ancient Greek historian Strabo as being counted among the greatest military tacticians of the ancient
Will Smith is developing a film entitled The Last Pharaoh, which he will produce and star as Taharqa. Carl Franklin contributed to the
script. Randall Wallace was hired to rewrite in September 2008.
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