Amasis II

Amasis II

Pharaoh Infobox
Name=Amasis II

Caption=A fragmentary statue head of Amasis II
Reign=570–526 BC
Dynasty=26th dynasty
Successor=Psamtik III
He Who Embraces the Heart of Re Forever [Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p195. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0]
The Moon is Born, Son of Neith [Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p195. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0]
Died=526 BC
Alt=Ahmose II|

Amasis II (also Ahmose II) was a pharaoh (570 BC - 526 BC) of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt, the successor of Apries. His capital was at Sais. He was the last great ruler of Egypt before the Persian conquest.

Most of our information about him is derived from Herodotus (2.161ff) and can only be imperfectly verified by monumental evidence. According to the Greek historian, he was of common origins. A revolt of the native soldiers gave him his opportunity. These troops, returning home from a disastrous expedition to Cyrene, suspected that they had been betrayed in order that Apries, the reigning king, might rule more absolutely by means of his mercenaries, and their friends in Egypt fully sympathized with them. Amasis, sent to meet them and quell the revolt, was proclaimed king by the rebels, and Apries, who had now to rely entirely on his mercenaries, was defeated and taken prisoner in the ensuing conflict at Memphis; the usurper treated the captive prince with great leniency, but was eventually persuaded to give him up to the people, by whom he was strangled and buried in his ancestral tomb at Sais. An inscription confirms the struggle between the native Egyptian and the foreign soldiery, and proves that Apries was killed and honourably buried in the third year of Amasis. Amasis then married Chedebnitjerbone II, one of the daughters of his predecessor Apries, in order to better legitimise his kingship.

Egypt's wealth

Although Amasis thus appears first as champion of the disparaged native, he had the good sense to cultivate the friendship of the Greek world, and brought Egypt into closer touch with it than ever before. Herodotus relates that under his prudent administration, Egypt reached a new level of wealth; Amasis adorned the temples of Lower Egypt especially with splendid monolithic shrines and other monuments (his activity here is proved by existing remains). Amasis assigned the commercial colony of Naucratis on the Canopic branch of the Nile to the Greeks, and when the temple of Delphi was burnt, he contributed 1,000 talents to the rebuilding. He also married a Greek princess named Ladice daughter of King Battus III (see Battus) and made alliances with Polycrates of Samos and Croesus of Lydia.

Under Amasis or Ahmose II, Egypt's agricultural based economy reached its zenith. Herodotus who visted Egypt less than a century after Amasis II's death writes that:

His kingdom consisted probably of Egypt only, as far as the First Cataract, but to this he added Cyprus, and his influence was great in Cyrene. In his fourth year (c.567 BC), Amasis was able to defeat a Babylonian invasion of Egypt Nebuchadrezzar II; henceforth, the Babylonians experienced sufficient difficulties controlling their empire that they were forced to abandon future attacks against Amasis. [Alan B. Lloyd, 'The Late Period' in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (ed. Ian Shaw), Oxford Univ. Press 2002 paperback, pp.381-82] However, Amasis was later faced with a more formidable enemy with the rise of Persia under Cyrus who ascended to the throne in 559 BC; his final years were preoccupied by the threat of the impending Persian onslaught against Egypt. [Ibid., p.382] With great strategic skill, Cyrus had destroyed Lydia in 546 BC and finally defeated the Babylonians in 538 BC which left Amasis with no major Near Eastern allies to counter Persia's increasing military might. [Ibid., p.382] Amasis reacted by cultivated closer ties with the Greek states to counter the future Persian invasion into Egypt but was fortunate to have died in 526 BC shortly before the Persians attacked. [Ibid., p.382] The final assault instead fell upon his son Psamtik III, whom the Persians defeated in 525 BC after a reign of only six months. [The New Encyclopaedia Brittanica: Micropaedia, Vol.9 15th edition, 2003. p.756]

Tomb and desecration

Amasis II died in 526 BC. He was buried at the royal necropolis of Sais, and while his tomb was never discovered, Herodotus describes it for us:

Herodotus also relates the desecration of Ahmose II/Amasis' mummy when the Persian king Cambyses conquered Egypt and thus ended the 26th Saite dynasty:

=Gallery of


*W. M. Flinders Petrie, "History", vol. iii.
*James Henry Breasted, "History and Historical Documents", vol. iv. p. 509
*Gaston Maspero, "Les Empires"
* "Nos ancêtres de l'Antiquité", 1991, Christian Settipani, p. 161

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amasis — ist der Name eines griechischen Töpfers, siehe Amasis (Töpfer) eines nach dem Töpfer mit einem Notnamen benannter Vasenmaler, siehe Amasis Maler eines ägyptischen Pharaos, siehe Amasis (Pharao) eines Asteroiden des Hauptgürtels, siehe (4161)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMASIS II — ex gregario milite, Aprie ut Herodot. Pardamide, ut Athen. l. 15. Rege occisô, Rex Aegypti celebris. Turbatis enim Babyloniorum, sub quorum fide a Nabuchodonosori rempore Aegypti Reges fuerant, rebus et inclinatâ corum fortunâ, Aegyptus… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Amasis — Amasis,   ägyptisch Ahmose [ax ], ägyptischer König (570 526 v. Chr.) der 26. Dynastie. Sein Name wird nach Herodot zur Unterscheidung von Amosis, der ägyptisch auch Ahmose heißt, als Amasis wiedergegeben. Von Apries zur Niederwerfung eines… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Amāsis — Amāsis, 1) A. I., König von Ägypten, aus der Sagenzeit; 2) A. II. wurde 570 v. Chr. nach einer Niederlage der Ägyptier durch Kyrenäer an der Stelle des Apries von dem Heere zum König von Ägypten gewählt; er war ein Freund der Griechen, nahm… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Amásis — (Amosis, ägypt. Ahmose), 1) König von Ägypten um 1575 v. Chr., residierte in Theben, entriß den Hyksos das untere Ägypten wieder, eroberte ihre letzte Feste Avaris und stellte die Macht des Reiches her. 2) König von Ägypten 569–526 v. Chr.,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Amasis — Amāsis, s. Amosis …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Amasis — Amasis, vorletzter König von Aegypten, s. Aegypten …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Amasis — (568 526 av. J. C.) cinquième pharaon de la XXVIe dynastie égyptienne. Il détrôna Apriès après la bataille de Momemphis. Il entreprit de vastes réformes sociales et rétablit la maîtrise maritime de l égypte …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • AMASIS I — qui et Ammosis vel Amos Pharao, Aegypti Rex, A. M. 2312. Euseb. Vide infra Amosis …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • AMASIS — inferioris Aegypti Rex X. post Amenemem: regnavit ann. I. successore Acesephthre, quem vide …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Amasis — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ahmès et Amasis (homonymie). Articles de la série Pharaon Classements …   Wikipédia en Français

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