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Psammetichus I

Psammetichus I. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.Psammetichus I (Louvre) Psammetichus I: pharaoh of the Saite dynasty, ruler of Egypt from 664 to 610.

Egyptian names: Wahibra Psamtik I

Successor of: Necho I / Aššurbanipal


Main deeds:

  • 666: Aššurbanipal makes Necho I viceroy of Memphis and Sais; Psammetichus is heir apparent
  • 664: Death of the Kushite king Taharqo; his son Tanwetamani attacks Lower Egypt but is repelled near Memphis by Necho, who is killed in action; Psammetichus flees to Assyria, receives support and returns; he pursues Tanutamun and sacks Thebes; Upper Egypt is left to a local strong man named Montuemhat
  • c.658?: Coalition with Gyges of Lydia
  • Psammetichus employs Greek and Carian mercenaries and achieves military supremacy over the other rulers in Lower Egypt and the Libyan tribes in the west
  • 656: Psammetichus' daughter Nitocris is adopted as "god's wife of Amun" in Thebes by the current priestesses with that name, a lady named Shepenwepet II and a sister of the Kushite king Taharqa named Amenirdis II; she is received and recognized by Montuemhat and Ibi; as a result, Psammetichus can unify Egypt
  • 651-648: Civil war in Assyria; Egypt slips out of Assyrian control; forts are built at Pelusiac and Damietta branches of the Nile, Elephantine, and Marea; according to Herodotus (Histories, 2.157) Psammetichus devoted twenty nine-years to the siege of Ashdod in Palestine and warded off a Scythian invasion (1.103-105)
  • c.620: Psammetichus founds Naucratis, a Greek port of trade in the western Delta (Herodotus calls it "the camps")
  • 616: Egyptian troops support the Assyrians (Fall of Nineveh Chronicle)
  • 612: The Assyrian capital Nineveh captured by the Babylonians and Medes
  • 610: Death; Psammetichus is succeeded by his son Necho II


  • Temples of the creator deities Atum and Neith in Sais (Herodotus, Histories, 2.169-170, 175)
  • Temple of Banebdjedet at Mendes
  • Temples of Buto, Ptah, the Apis, and the Osiris-Apis at Memphis (the latter is a predecessor of the Serapeum in Saqqara)
  • Forts at Tell el-Kedua, Daphnae, Tell el-Balamun
  • Retaining walls for the sacred lake of Tanis
  • A temple at Hermopolis Parva
  • A chapel for Osiris at Karnak (dedicated by Nitocris)
Succeeded by: Necho II, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

This brief article has been written to offer background information to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 11 March 2007
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