The Nubian Dynasty

The Temple of Deboud was built in the 4th Century before Christ. This temple was ceded to Spain in gratitude for the work of the archaeological mision that collaborated to rescue the temples of the Nubia Valley,which were about to be flooded by the reservoir of Aswan. The temple of Deboud offers an excelent view of the “Casa de Campo” park, with theGuadarrama mountain range to the bottom, as well as the gardens of the Western Park. The temple of Deboud is located on top of the ruines of the old fortress of the mountain. 

 { Twenty-Fifth Dynasty 747 - 656 B C }
The Nubian or 25th Dynasty heralded better times for the Egyptian nation. The Nubians, led by their King Piankhy, had conquered them in roughly 712 B.C. The conquerors were a southern people who were greatly influenced by Egyptian culture and their royal house would rule over Egypt for a half century.
King Piankhy's successor Shabaqo made short work of the other local monarchs and Memphis was once again named the capitol. Taharqo, who succeeded Shabaqo, revived the art of building. Pharaoh Taharqo made the worst of it when King Esarheddon and his Assyrians attacked the nation. When these invaders stood before Memphis in 671 B.C., Taharqo fled to the south. The Nubian Dynasty continued to reign over the kingdom for several years. Taharqo returned, but failed to offer any resistance during a subsequent Assyrian attack. Thebes was subjugated and plundered in 664 B.C. The Nubian kings were forced aside in favor of a new world power.
With the crumbling of the Assyrian empire thoughts in Egypt turned to independence. It was the turn of Psamtek I to create a dynasty from his court-capital in the Delta. In order to strengthen his control in Upper Egypt he appointed his daughter NITOKRIS as the high priestess of Amun in Thebes. Under the tutelage of this new dynasty Egypt underwent a wondrous time in which the religious life experienced an upsurge and the ancient arts flourished once again. Institutions and traditions were again based on those that dated from earlier prosperous periods.
The temples were bestowed with extravagant riches and the worship of sacred animals, as manifestations of influential gods, assumed proportions never known before. Another phenomena that reached unprecedented heights was the influx of foreigners into Egypt: Israelites, Assyrians, Greeks and Libyans to include others.
Psamtek ruled for almost 54 years and was succeeded by his son, Nekau, who was just as enamored with construction projects as his father but, due to his short reign, failed to achieve as much as his predecessor. He ordered the construction of a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea but this was apparently never completed. Nekau was saddled with pressing international problems; the powerful kingdom of the MEDEN in Persia was beginning to flourish. These strange dominating forces continued for some time.
Nubia had ceased to be an Egyptian possession or dependency. When priest-kings of Thebes were attacked by the Libyans, many of the priesthood took refuge in Nubia. The temple at Napata became a sort of Thebes in exile. For two centuries of Libyan domination the tradition of the Amun-Ra cult was maintained. Egyptian language stayed the official language of the government and the Nubians took pride that they were still Egyptians.
The Nubian king, Piankhy, launched an invasion of Egypt from the south, transporting his army down the Nile in a huge flotilla of boats. They encountered Tefnakht, the local prince or governor of SAIS, at Thebes and defeated him there, then fought their way on down-river, taking Hermopolis, Memphis and finally overrunning the Delta. The Egyptians made submission to Piankhy, and Tefnakht on his surrender was treated honorably by the Nubian king. Then, his conquest complete, Piankhy and his army abandoned Egypt and returned up the Nile to their distant capital, No attempt was made to leave an administration. The last king of the Libyan Dynasty, Osorkon, reoccupied Thebes and set up his own rule again. Tefnakht resumed his control of Memphis and the Delta.
Piankhy’s son and successor, Shabaka (ruled 716-702BC), invaded Egypt, brought the Libyan Dynasty and the twenty-fourth dynasty to an end, and set up his capital at Thebes. During his reign temples were renovated throughout the country. He made a treaty with the Assyrians, avoiding war on that front.
His successor was Shabitku (ruled 702-690BC), during whose reign confrontation with the Assyria could not be avoided, and an alliance was made with the kingdom of Judah. His uncle, Taharqa, led an army into Palestine, where Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was besieging Jerusalem. At this time the Assyrians were struck by a mysterious plague, and war was again delayed.
In 690BC, Taharqa had Shabitku murdered and assumed the throne himself. He moved his capital to Tanis, in the eastern Delta, from which forward position he hoped to mount an empire-building campaign into Near east. Taharqa was an efficient administrator and planner. Military governors were installed at Thebes and Napata.
In 671BC the Assyrian king Esarhaddon finally launched a direct attack on Egypt. Whilst Taharqa awaited him in the Delta, the Assyrian marched directly on Memphis, capturing the city and cutting the Egyptians’ lines of communication. Taharqa’s family was captured by the Assyrians and the Pharaoh himself fled back to Nubia.
Esarhaddon, by now had captured a great deal of the Middle East, and did not remain in Egypt. Thus, Taharqa returned and retook Memphis. His possession was only for a few years before Esarhaddon’s successor, Assurbanipal, came with a vast force and captured Memphis and Thebes. Taharqa died in 664BC and was followed by Tantamani (ruled 664-656BC).
He invaded Egypt from Napata in order to drive out the Assyrians, but Assurbanipal forced him back into Nubia. The Nubian Dynasty was at an end.


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