The Decline of Ancient Egypt: a Closer Look Into the Late Period

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The Decline of Ancient Egypt: A Closer Look into the Late Period

Ancient Egypt was a civilization which was concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is today the country of Egypt. The beginnings of Ancient Egypt can be traced back to around 3150 BC when upper and lower Egypt were unified by the first Pharaoh. Historians divide the history of Egypt into a series of stable Kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom from 2700 BC 2200 BC, the Middle Kingdom from 2100 BC until 1800 BC and the New Kingdom from 1500 BCE -1000 BC. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power during the New Kingdom, in the Ramesside dynasty, after which it entered a period of slow decline. This period of decline is referred as the Late Period from 664 BC until 332 BC. During this period there were six dynasties, from the 26th to the 31st. However, only four of these dynasties were ruled by Egyptian pharaohs. The 26th and 31st dynasties were ruled by Persian conquers. The 31st dynasty would mark the end of Egyptian rule. The Twenty-sixth Dynasty was founded by Psammethichus I; he ruled from 664 to 525 B.C. The dynasty ended when a Persian invasion force under Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, dethroned the last pharaoh. Cambyses established himself as pharaoh and made some attempts to identify his regime with the Egyptian religious hierarchy. His rule is considered the 27th dynasty. Under his rule Egypt was solely a source of revenue for the Persian empire. After internal unrest in Persia, Darius I (r. 521 - 486) succeeded Cambyses. His reign was a renewed prosperity for Egyptians. He had the desire to reconcile with the people by respecting their religions. Following the death of Persian king, Daris II, a local Egyptian chief named Amyrtaeus started a rebellion against the Persians and succeeded. He is believed to be descended from the Saite kings of the 26th dynasty. No monuments have been identified from this...
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