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Necho II

Portrait of a pharaoh of the Saite dynasty. Allard Piersonmuseum, Amsterdam (Netherlands). Photo Jona Lendering.
Portrait of a pharaoh of the Saite dynasty (Allard Piersonmuseum, Amsterdam)
Necho II: pharaoh of the Saite dynasty, ruler of Egypt from 610 to 595.

Egyptian names: Wehemibra Nekau

Successor of: Psammetichus I


Main deeds:

  • 610: Accession; Necho inherits a war against Babylonia, in which Egypt supports Assyria
  • 609: Intervention in Palestine; meeting with king Josiah of Judah in Megiddo (according to 2 Kings 23.29); or battle against Josiah (according to 2 Chronicles 35.20-24); Judah and the Phoenician towns become Egyptian tributaries
  • Necho builds his HQs at Riblah on the Orontes, supporting the Assyrian king Aššur-Uballit II (Fall of Nineveh Chronicle)
  • War in Syria (Late years of Nabopolassar chronicle)
  • 605: Nebuchadnezzar defeats Necho near Karchemiš (Early Years of Nebuchadnezzar chronicle)
  • 601: Babylonian attack on Egypt repelled
  • 597: Loss of Judah; Jerusalem is captured by the Babylonians
  • 595: Death of Necho II; he is succeeded by his son Psammetichus II
  • Without known date: first circumnavigation of Africa (HerodotusHistories, 4.42)
  • Necho's names are sometimes erazed from his monuments, which may signify that his foreign policy was seen as a failure; his successor refrained from foreign interventions


  • According to Herodotus, Histories, 2.158, Necho started to build a canal between the Nile and the Red Sea (finished by Darius I the Great)
  • An ancient Hyksos fortress at Pithom was rebuilt
  • Continued building activity at the temple of Neith in Sais
Succeeded by: Psammetichus II

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Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 2 May 2010
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other