People - Ancient Egypt: Nectanebo I
LATE KINGDOM 30th Dynasty (380-362) 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.
Nectanebo I in Tour Egypt
NECTANEBO I, THE FIRST RULER OF EGYPT'S
30TH AND LAST NATIVE EGYPTIAN DYNASTY
BY JIMMY DUNN --
Nectanebo I (Nakhtnebef) of Sebennytos (modern Sammanud) founded the 30th Dynasty, the last dynasty to be ruled by native
Egyptians, late in Egypt's Pharaonic Period. His birth name was Nakhtnebef, meaning "strong in his Lord", while his throne
name was Kheper-Ka-re, meaning "The Soul of Re Abides". Nectanebo was actually the name given to him by the Greeks.
The line of 29th Dynasty pharaohs of Egypt hailed from Mendes and Nakhtnebef had been a general under the last of these
rulers, known as Nepherites II. In fact, he had suppressed a revolt under the Nepherites II's predecessor, Hakoris. However,
he later turned on his royal masters, bringing an abrupt end to the reign of Nepherites II and Egypt's 29th Dynasty.
Nectanebo I was the son of General Djedhor, perhaps a descendent of Nepherites I. He was probably a close associate of the
Athenian general, Khabrias (Chabrias), who had commanded the Greek mercenaries that formed the core of Hakoris' army in the
later part of that king's reign Khabrias probably helped Nectanebo in his rise to power, though he was later recalled to
Athens in the winder of 380/379 BC. It is known that Nectanebo I married a lady with the Greek name Ptolemais, and it is not
unlikely that she was a daughter of Khabrias. We also know that he was married a woman named Udjashu, who provided him with a
son and heir, Teos (Djedhor).
Near the beginning of his reign a combined Persian and Greek force entered Egypt from the western (Mendes) side of the Delta,
bypassing the strongly fortified but common access through the eastern Delta fortress of Pelusium. They arrived by both land
and sea, with the sea fleet consisting almost entirely of Greeks. These forces were sent by the Persian, Artaxerxes II, who's
family had once ruled Egypt, under the leadership of the Athenian Iphicrates and the Persian Pharnabazes in 373 BC in order to
forcefully return Egypt to the Persian fold. Fortunately for Nectanebo I, after being defeated at first, the strange allies
delayed their march on Memphis because of their mistrust in each other. Iphicrates wanted to march directly on Memphis, while
Pharnabazes, fearing the Greeks were planning to capture Egypt for themselves, insisted on waiting for the main body of
Persian troops to arrive by land. That gave Nectanebo I time to regroup and launch a successful counter attack, forcing the
invading forces out of Egypt. Local conditions played a large part in his success. The inundation of the Nile gave the
Egyptians the advantage in a flooded landscape they knew very well.
Afterwards, Nectanebo I seems to have suffered few other problems. In this late period just before the Second Persian Period
and then afterwards, the Macadonian takeover of Egypt, Nectanebo I achieved much during a stable, 18 year reign.
Nectanebo was consciously archaistic in his titulary, using the same prenomen as Senusret I of the 12th Dynasty. However, his
building and artisitic activity moved away from classic Egyptian proportions and towards those associated with monuments of
the Greek dominated Egypt. He restored dilapidated temples throughout the land. He awarded new endowments and tax exemptions
to a number of religious institutions. He was responsible for erecting the First Pylon in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, and in
particular, he erected the oldest standing section of the Temple Complex at Philae, that would later blossom into one of the
most sacred and delightful sites during the Greek Period.
During his reign, there was also a growth in the popularity of the cults of sacred animals, reflected in new construction at
Hermopolis Magna, Mendes (Tell el-Rub'a) and Saft el-Hinna. We also know of a mamissi that was built during the time of
Nectanebo I at the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, and his building work is also attested by a Kiosk at El-Kab, at the Osiris
Temple at Abydos, several temples in the area of Memphis and Saqqara, at the Khonsu-Neferhotep I Temple at Tanis, a temple in
the area of Qantir, the Neith Temple at Sais, relief blocks found at Munagat el-Kuba, restorations at Tell el-Balamun and
enlargement of the temple of Hibis in the Kharga Oasis.
He was also responsible for a number of sculptures that found their way to the Hellenistic capital of Alexandria, and later to
Rome, where they formed the basis of some of the earliest assessments of Ancient Egyptian Art.
Toward the end of his reign, an attempt was made to renew old alliances between Egypt and the Hellenic powers of Athens and
Sparta, with the view of opposing the next assault on the part of the Persians, who were certainly not ready to abandon what
they regarded to be their rebellious province of Egypt.
Prior to his death, Nactanebo I established his successor, Teos, as a co-regent. Nectanebo I was probably buried at
Sebannytos, but no definite site as been unearthed. A few of his shabtis figures are known, while the broken remains of his
sarcophagus have been recovered from reuse in various buildings in Cairo, showing it to by stylistically similar to 18th
Nectanebo I in Wikipedia
Nectanabo (or more properly Nekhtnebef) was a pharaoh of the Thirtieth dynasty of Egypt.
In 380 BC, Nectanebo deposed and killed Nefaarud II, starting the last dynasty of Egyptian kings. He seems to have spent
much of his reign defending his kingdom from Persian reconquest with the occasional help of troops from Athens or Sparta.
He is also known as a great builder who erected many monuments and temples throughout his long and stable 18 year reign.
Nectanebo I restored numerous dilapidated temples throughout Egypt and erected a small kiosk on the sacred island of
Philae which would become one of the most important religious cites in Ancient Egypt. This was the first phase of the
temple of Isis at Philae; he also built at Elkab, Memphis and the Delta sites of Saft el-Hinna and Tanis. He also
significantly erected a stela before a pylon of Ramesses II at Hermopolis. He also built the first pylon in the temple
of Karnak. From about 365 BC, Nectanebo was a co-regent with his son Teos, who succeeded him. He died in 362 BC and was
succeeded by Teos on the throne.
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