April 23, 2012

Ancient Egyptian 23rd Dynasty 818-712 BC

The 23rd Dynasty
In Sheshonq III's Year 8 (c. 818 BC) he had to contend with a breakaway in the central Delta, at Leontopolis, where a prince named Pedibastet proclaimed a new dynasty, the 23rd, with himself as the founding king. Although members of the Tanite royal house held posts at Thebes, the priests of Amun were, as ever, politically very aware and at least two sons of the new dynasty joined them. Pedibastet reigned for 25 years and was succeeded by Sheshonq IV (793-787) and then Osorkon III (787-759).

Osorkon I
For 14 years, Osorkon III at Leontopolis, and Sheshonq III at Tanis, reigned concurrently, but in 773 Sheshonq III died leaving Osorkon III to continue his reign in the central Delta for another 15 years. Osorkon designated his son Takelot as ruler of Herakleopolis while he was also Chief Priest. Around 765 BC Takelot became coregent with his father, but his sole reign as Takelot III after the death of Osorkon six years later lasted only about two years. Meantime at Tanis an obscure king called Pami occupied the throne for six years (773-767) before being succeeded by his son, Sheshonq V, with his son, Osorkon IV, in turn becoming king and officially the last ruler of the 22nd Dynasty.

The coincidence of Dynasties 22 (Tanis) and 23 (Leontopolis) is extremely confusing, especially since not all the relationships between the many rulers, let alone their dates, are clear. At one point, a commander of Herakleopolis named Peftjauabastet married Takelot Ill's niece, who was also the daughter of Rudamon (Takelot's brother). Rudamon enjoyed a brief reign after Takelot, to be succeeded by Iuput, and there arose a situation where three men - Iuput (Leontopolis), Peftjauabastet (Herakleopolis) and Nimlot (Hermopolis) - were all simultaneously claiming to be 'kings'. They merely held sway over small areas of Egypt and it was the growing danger from Nubia that led them to band together for the common good, although in the end it availed them nothing .

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