|CONFLICTS AND BATTLES OF THE HUMANITY|
||AFRICA / North Africa / EGYPT
Ancient Egypt, a kingdom with the threatened unit
On the defensive
To the 4th millenium, the first attempts at unit between High Egypt and Low Egypt are on the initiative of the Delta, but remain short. But 3 principalities of the South are at the origin of the unification of Egypt: This, Nagada and Hierakonpolis. Towards -3100, the "King-Scorpion" Narmer or Menes or Horusaha, sovereign of High Egypt, triumphs over that of Low Egypt, after one century of conflicts.
Egypt is unified by the king of the South,
probably the first sovereign of Egypt. His capital is This. At that
time Egypt is unaware of bronze and the wheel, and his technology is
late on Sumerians.
However the first kingdom worthy of this name which is set up, is
and it is able to build monuments. The sovereigns reside at This. Since
the 1st dynasty, kings are interested in the south border and Aha and
Djer decide military expeditions beyond the 1st cataract. A victory of
Djer is confirmed by the inscription of Wadi Halfa and an Egyptian
troop reached the 2nd cataract.
Palette of Narmer
Towards - 2690, by chasing the authors of raids in the Delta, the soldiers of the Pharaoh Smerkhet discover the mines of Turquoise of the Sinai. The Egyptians will exploit them during a millennium. The capital is transferred to Memphis, more in the North, by the Pharaoh Djoser, under the third dynasty, to watch the borders of Syria and the roads leading to the Sinai and also, while approaching the sea, to increase the business connections with the peoples of the islands of the Mediterranee and Syrian ports notably Byblos. This Pharaon organizes military forwardings towards the Sinai, to control the copper mines and Nubia. To be with the shelter of the plunderers of the South, Neterkhet-Djoser, colonizes the country upstream of first cataract, over a length of approximately 24 kilometers and organizes it defensively.
Towards -2600, the Pharaoh Snefrou undertakes victorious campaigns against Nubians (skilful with the arc), the Libyans and the Bedouins of the Sinai, to supply great works (pyramids and temples). In XXIIIe century, Low Nubie is conquered until the 3rd cataract. Under Pepi 1st a campaign against the Bedouins is programmed who carry out raids in the Delta and threaten the exploitation of the mines of the Sinai. Ouni, a senior official, joins together a force of several thousands of combatants coming from all the areas of Egypt. He combines a frontal attack by the terrestrial way on the enemy posted on the heights of the South of Palestine, with an landing on the backs of the enemy. Encircling succeeds. A new campaign is described by Ouni which has as a result to control the sources of provisioning of Low Nubia.
Having reached the Mediterranean, then the Red Sea, the Egyptians do not build a fleet of war before the XVIIth century and only of transport of troops used on the Nile. Egypt remain a "river" civilization.
Below the vizier (Prime Minister), two chancellors, carrying the title of head of the soldiers and director of the stores of army, are the general intendants.
In the West, the oasis of Siwa, is protected from the incursions from the Libyans.
In the South, a governor is named to keep the control of the area. Herkhouf is one of them. It leads personally several forwardings in the Nubia and until country named Yam. One needed 3 000 asses to bring back the booty to the court of Pepi II.
An exceptional modification of the climate transformed the arable lands into desert. The famine caused a serious crisis political, religious and social, between -2200 and -2100, Egypt divides. Under 6th dynasty, the local senior officials are transformed themselves into a feudal nobility. They insert in their heritage not only their loads, but also the ground and farmers. Opposite, the Pharaohs are weak and regularize by charters this state of affair. The decline is irremediable. The social revolution ruins the royal authority and the political unit of Egypt. The feudal regime established itself in provinces. The princes of Heracleopolis on medium Egypt, usurp the crown and make from their city, a royal capital. The local senior officials plunder in the Treasury and the cities fight between them.
The Bedouins raids are numerous in the Delta. Pharaohs coexist in Memphis, Heracleopolis and Thebes. Nubians benefit from this decline to advance to the first cataract and to infiltrate even in the area thebaine. After long civil wars, Mentouhoteb II, king of Thebes, fight Heracleopolitains and their allies, the monarchs of Siout, and reunify Egypt towards -2040.
IMPERIAL EGYPT AND FIRST INVASIONS
Medium Empire (towards -2125 -1550)
The safety of the country is consolidated in North East by the Wall of the Prince, built in -1976 against the Bedouins by Amenemhat Ist who is victorious of Nubians in the south of the first cataract. During his reign, his son Sesostris is associated as Co-regent. It leads the campaigns in Canaan and Low Nubia which it annexes. He founds a strengthened city with Kerma beyond the 3rd cataract.
Sesostris II must push back a significant group of tribes of Canaan, repulsed of their country by newcomers.
Under the reign of Sesostris III (-1878 -1843), true conqueror, the true first Egyptian army, is formed to replace the militia of the Nomes and nubians gendarmes. She is immediately used against Nubia. For the transport of his troops, the Pharaoh gets to dig a navigable channel across the rocks of the cataract of Aswan. At the limit of its borders, upstream of the second cataract, he builds two forts one opposite the other, in Semneh and Koummeh, and installs there a strong garrison. Of this base, pushing towards the South, it makes countryside against the country of Koush (High Nubia). The high valley of the Nile is annexed until Semna, in the south of the 2nd cataract, under the protection of 14 fortresses. He undertakes a forwarding in Palestine. Pharaoh goes himself to Asia and beats his foes.
In Byblos and on the Syrian coast, the
domination of the Egyptian Pharaos is attested. Bydos, controlled by
local kings, is in a state of vassalage. The Egyptians sovereigns
organize there a naval base.
The Hyksos kingdom (towards -1720 -1570)
Since last Pharaohs of the 13nd dynasty, Egypt decline: anarchy, civil wars and permanent rivalry for the throne. North East Delta is occupied by Palestinians came by waves successives and forced back by Hittites and Mitannians. The last Egyptian sovereigns cannot prevent the infiltration of Hyksos, Semitic nomads of the Eastern desert, allied with Phoenicians and Canaanites. Hyksos, populates shepherds, are among the first to have developed an original tactic of combat combining the use of the arc and the horse. Hyksos harass the Egyptian guard, leaving the place with a second wave and so on. The Egyptian infantrymen, after having wiped the first load, undergo the second, then the following one... The arrows of Hyksos have bronze points. Their arcs are very short and very tended, which makes it possible to arm and shoot in little time. Egypt of North and the average valley of the Nile are submerged. Towards -1720, a Hyksos kingdom is founded in the North, whose strengthened capital is Avaris in the Eastern delta. It is probably about an empire including Syria and Palestine. To this contact, the Egyptians discover the horses, the chariots of war, the composite arcs, the daggers and the axes of iron.
Amenophis III on its chariot
The Hyksos sovereigns, proclaim Pharaos (XVth and XVIth dynasty), extend their power until the Medium Egypt, reaching Memphis towards -1670 and even try to be allied with Nubians to reduce Thebains. Egypt is divided into 3. From the Delta to Medium Egypt, domination is Hyksos, Hight Egypt is relatively independent and Nubia is released and forms a state. This foreign domination causes a thebain reaction and a feeling of identity among Egyptians. Sobeknakht, governor of the South, must muster a powerful army to stop an invasion of Koushites and he pursues them until the South of Nubia where it gains the victory.
The fight begins between the king Apopi III of Avaris and
I prince of Thebes, as of the end of XVIIth century. After a baited
Hyksos are definitively rejected out of the borders of Egypt. Seqenenre
dies on the battle field. His son Kamose, shouldered by an army of
Nubians continues the fight and takes again in Hyksos the Egypt
Ahmosis seizes Memphis and drives back them in the Delta. He conquers
and pursues the enemy in Palestine, there invests the town of
base and new capital of Hyksos, which he besieges during three years
and drives out Hyksos. He restores and strengthens the borders and
a new army, formed around the chariot of Hyksos. He attaches Nubia to
Egypt and conduct a campaign against the country of revolted Kouch.
Hyksos are crushed
by Ahmosis with the battle of Tanis in - 1550. Egypt is reunified.
New Empire (toward -1550 - 1069)
Egypt is vulnerable. Pharaoh knows that it is to better attack to defend oneself and that the military campaigns are as many shows of force. Buffer states must protect the borders and a new caste, the soldiers, appears.
Between -1546/-1524, Syria is invaded, Euphrate is reached under Amenophis 1 er which seeks to subject the Asian ones rather than to defend the border. The resistance of the natives is supported by the kingdom of Mitanni.
Tuthmosis III, "Egyptian Napoleon" directs 17 campaigns in Palestine and Syria, fight against Mitanni and the coalition of Western Syria led by princes of Kadesh. Each annexation is accompanied by fortifications and permanent garrison. Tuthmosis III gains a victory in Karkemish, he is victorious into -1479 into Megiddo against syro-palestinian coalition, in -1474, Kadesh is taken, and Phoenicia is occupied. Its army reaches Euphrate and invades Mitanni (-1472). In the south, a forwarding against the country of Koush, pushes back the border until the 4th cataract. The defense of Syria mobilizes the Pharaoh of -1471 until his death.
Under its reign, Egypt reaches its greater size. The incursions of Blemmyes, nomadic warriors come from the mountains between Red Sea and valley nubian of the Nile, are periodic.
Egypt organizes its conquests like an empire
Southern face towards Nubia
At the beginning of the reign of Amenophis II, Syria rebells against Egypt but in 3 years of countryside, the Egyptian army crushes all resistance and fights against Mitanni (towards -1450 -1425).
Except two small rebellions in Nubie, Amenophis III's reign is
peaceful. The Asian possessions are held firmly and the diplomacy
reinforce the Egyptian influence. Hittites progress to the East, with
the detriment of Egypt.
Amenophis III on his chariot
Towards -1379 -1362, the religious revolution of Amenophis IV, famous Akhenaton, weakens Egyptian monarchy: this Pharaoh lets Hittites crush Mitanni and drive out the Egyptians of Syria and Palestine.
The chief of the cavalry, Horemheb turns the page of the religious crisis, reconquers Palestine and becomes Pharaoh. He rectifies the situation of Egypt opposite to powerful the Hittite empire after Suppiluliuma.
Ramesses II mastering his enemies
Sethi 1st is a warlike king. Already, he controls Egypt when his father Ramesses 1st begin a campaign against Fenkhou (Phoenicians). It conducts a campaign in Palestine and he beats Hittites and Shasou (Bedouins) revolted. He advances in Syria but this empietement on the zone controlled by Hittites, involves a fast reaction of those which recover Amourou and Kadesh. It concludes with them a peace from short duration. The Egyptian authority is restored in Palestine. A revolt in Nubie is pacified and ends in the foundation of new strengthened cities : Aksha and Amara. An attempt at Libyan invasion is pushed back.
At the beginning of its long reign, Ramesses II beats the
Chardanes pirates whom he incorporates in his army. Towards - 1275, Ramesses II gains an undecided victory with
Kadesh, against Muwatalli, the king of Hittites. Egypt ist in war
still 17 years, for subduing revolts in Palestine and Nubia and
benefitting from the quarrels of succession at Hittites. But a new
danger appears, the sovereign of Assyria invades Mitanni and carries
his border on Euphrate. Hattusili III, king hittite more reconciling,
obtains the first peace treaty of the history towards - 1260. Egypt
know peace during forty years.
Ramesses II fighting (Abu Simbel)
Egypt on the defensive
Towards -1210, attacked by the East, North and the West, Merneptah pushes back with difficulty a coalition of Libyans and the Aegean ones with the battle of Per Yer.
Towards -1180, Ramesses III rejects the Libyans and Philistins, eliminates by a decisive naval battle, the known first of the history, the threat of the People of the Sea but cannot be maintained in Syria.
Towards -1070, under the reign of Ramesses XI, the clergy of Amon seizes the power in High Egypt. Decline, under Ramesses XII, Egypt is divided into two. Nubia covers its independence.
Towards -927, Sheshonq (Shishak) 1st, founder of XXIIth dynasty (Libyan), seizes the power in North and stabilizes the central authority. It restores the Egyptian domination on Palestine, takes Jerusalem and plunders the Solomon's Temple. It is about a head of mercenaries, Libyan, egyptianized. This dynasty does not succeed in gathering North and the South, nor to dominate the clergy or military feudality.
Towards -730, Tefnakht, prince of Sais, control the Delta, melt XXIVth dynasty, want to reunify Egypt and run up against the nubian prince Piankhi who takes Memphis and rejects it towards North. Nubians turn over in the high valley of the Nile Bocchoris, succeeds Tefnakht and, towards -720, the Egyptian armies are beaten in Raphia by Sargon Assyrian, which stops in El Arich. The Egyptian princes incite the Palestinian kings with the revolt against Assyrians by promising a military support.
In - 715, after one period of civil war, the country is invaded
reunified by Shabaka, king of Kouch under XXVth dynasty (known as
Ethiopian or kushite). Shabataka, his
successor, supports the sovereigns of Phoenicia and Palestine
in revolt against Assyria. The brother of the Pharaoh, Taharqua,
orders the Egyptian army sent against Sennacherib, the assyrian king.
But he is withdrawn when the troops assyrians go against him.
Sennacherib returns at his place invited to restore the situation in
Babylon. Taharqua, become Pharaoh (- 690/-664), pushes back a first
attack assyrienne towards - 674, then undergoes two invasions.
In - 671, Assarhaddon, king of Assyrie, conquers the Delta and takes Memphis. In - 666, Assurbanipal, its successor, represses a revolt of the Egyptians and its army is victorious in Memphis of the troops of Taharqua, it subjects Egypt by taking and plundering Thebes. The lst Pharaoh of the dynasty, Tanoutamon flees in Napata.
Psammetique 1st (-664/-610) releases, using Greek mercenaries, Egypt of Assyriens towards -655 and High Egypt of "Ethiopian" and reunifies the country.
Nechao II, combined of Assyriens, develops the Egyptian fleet
the Greeks and tries to take again the town of Harran to Medes and
but fails. It returns to Palestine, after the fall of Assyrians, takes
again the expansion in Syria, beats in - 609 in Megiddo, the ally of
Josias, king of Juda, who finds death then subjects Palestine and
Karkemish is occupied. It advances until Euphrate, but Babylon does not
let it make and it is overcome in - 605, in Karkemish by
wire of Nabopolassar, the king of Babylon. The Egyptian domination
Towards (- 594/- 588) Psammetique II fact countryside in Nubia
a return of Kouchites which will not go up any more towards the low
The new Pharaoh Apries supports Jerusalem and Phoenicia against
II and prevents it from taking Tyr, which it supplies by his fleet. It
tries an unhappy forwarding against the Greek colony of Cyrene. It
aligning its Greek mercenaries in this countryside and the Egyptian
are crushed in Irasa. The revolt which follows door to the capacity its
General who becomes Pharaoh: Amasis is regarded as a king phihellene.
of Croesus, it spares Perses and occupies Cyprus towards - 565.
Towards - 525, Psammetique III is beaten in Peluse by Cambyses, king of Persia and Memphis is taken.
Egypt becomes a province of the empire
The persian defeat of Marathon in -490, pushes Egypt to be raised against the empire into -486. Xerxes brutally reduces the revolt towards -484.
Towards - 454, a new revolt supported by an Athenian fleet is repressed and this burned fleet.
In - 410, prince of Sais, Amyrtee takes the head of the revolt
Perses and melts XXVIIIth dynasty. Towards -400, an alliance is tied
between the of XXIXth dynasty and the Greeks. An invasion perse, in
-351, is pushed back by Nectabo II, the last local Pharaoh. In 343 the
offensive of Artaxerxes III, king of Perse reconquers low Egypt and
into -341, all the country.
A new revolt during the regn of Arses give full powers to last egyptian
dynast Chabasch about - 338 - 335. Then Darius III supervises again
Egypt of Lagides
With the death of Alexandre -323, one of his officers, Ptolemy, Lagos, receives Egypt, is combined in other Diadoques against Perdiccas which is assassinated whereas it invaded Egypt. Alexandria becomes the capital of Egypt. Towards -320, Antigone, one of Diadoques, conquer Syria. In -312, the victory of Gaza at the sides of other Diadoques restores Syria in Egypt.
In -310, the war begins again between Antigone and the coalition of Diadoques. In -306, the fleet of Ptolemies is crushed in Salamine of Cyprus.
After the battle of Ipsos and the death of Antigone, in -301, the Egyptian domination is restored on Palestine and Cyprus and extends on Cyrenaïque. Ptolemy II Philadelphe victoriously carries out the 1st war of Syria against Antiochos first, which gives up Milet to him, Cilicie Western and Phoenicia towards -272. At that time, it is combined with Rome. It continues the research of maritime hegemony.
2nd war of Syria (-259, -253). Egypt east several times overcome, particularly in Cos towards -265, by Antiochos II and Antigone Ier Gonatas king of Macedonia. Peace is concluded into -253 by the abandonment from Cilicie and Pamphylie and the marriage from Berenice, girl of Ptolemy II with Antiochos II.
Ptolemy III Evergete (-246, -221)"Main of the Mediterranean and the Sea of the Indies", it is under its reign that the maritime empire Lagide is most powerful: of Cyrenaique in Thrace and the Black Sea.
3rd war of Syria (-246, -241) or war of Laodice of the name of the first woman repudiated of Antiochos II which made kill Berenice, queen of Syria and sister of Ptolemy III. This last occupies all Syria and unloads in Delos and in Thrace. In -244, Seleucos II takes again Antioche, Ephese, Milet and Samos. Peace affirm the maximum expansion of Egypt of Lagides which preserves, in -241 a great part of Syria of which the large wearing of war of Seleucie of Pierie, Cilicy, Pamphyly, Cyprus, the Decay, Ionie, a piece of Thrace and islands of the north of the Aegean Sea.
At the second century BC, the royal family quarrels and the disorganization of the administration cause the decline of Lagides.
4th war of Syria (-219, -217) Ptolemy IV is driven out of Tyr and Galileo, but its great victory of Raffia in -217 keeps Syria to him. The Romain Senate exerts the supervision of the young king Ptolemy V Epiphane (-205, -181), five years old.
5th war of Syria (-200, -195) Antiochos III gains over Ptolemy V the victory of Panion into -200, with the sources of the Jordan, and conquers all Syria and Palestin to Jerusalem. All the outposts in Minor Asia are lost. Many indigenous revolts are solved using Greek mercenaries.
Ptolemy VI Philometor (-181, -145). Antiochos IV invades Egypt into -170 and captures the Pharaoh, but must be withdrawn on the order of Rome (-168). Benefitting from dynastic disorders in Syria, Ptolemy VI is combined with his son-in-law Demetrios II to drive out Alexandre Balas and gains the victory of Oronte close to Antioche, where he dies into -145.
Ptolemy XIII (-51, -47), brother and husband of Cleopatra VII, refuse the decision of Jules Cesar who imposes the return of the queen on the throne. It is beaten and killed by the Romans into -47 in Alexandria (fire of the library).
In -31, in Actium, in the current gulf of Arta in Greece, the Egyptian fleet, left by Cleopatre which saves its treasure, then by Marc Antoine which follows her, is beaten by the Roman fleet which captures the demoralized enemies. With the death of Cleopatre VII, it is the end of the ptolemaic dynasty.
Egypt dominated by the Empire
In -30, Egypt becomes imperial province until 395. Egypt takes part of the Byzantin Empire. In 619, it is occupied by Persia of Chrosoes II Heraclius, emperor of the East, takes again Egypt into 628.
From 640 to 642, it is the conquest by the Arab General Amr ibn al As al-Sahmi which builds, to pacify the country, a camp city in Fustat near the future city of Cairo.The maritime incursions of the byzantins weakened the old Alexandria capital which is taken into 643.
Egypt, simple province of the empire of Omeyyades and first
waits until its governors create an autonomous principality. They are
(868-905), and Ikhshidides (905-969) In 967, Fatimides sign a peace
with Byzantins and in 969, Jawhar, the head of the army, enters to
and melts Cairo.
This state Shiite will last two centuries.