Persia and Egypt: The Historical Context

Stephen Ruzicka

in Trouble in the West

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199766628
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932719 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Early Empires

Persia and Egypt: The Historical Context

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The Persian-Egyptian conflict was actually one phase of continuous conflict between successive Near Eastern imperial powers and Egypt, which contested for control of the Levant (Syria-Palestine). This began ca. 1500 bc, when Egypt extended its authority over much of the Levant. Conflict was almost continuous in the ninth–sixth centuries, when the Assyrians mounted repeated campaigns and ultimately incorporated the Levant into the Assyrian Empire, instigating Egyptian military and diplomatic opposition, which led to Assyrian conquest of Egypt and installation of a native client king and the beginning of the 26th or Saite Dynasty. Saite kings opposed Babylonian takeover of the Levant and prompted numerous Babylonian campaigns through the 560s. Once the Persians took over the Babylonian Empire in 539, they inherited their predecessors’ Egyptian problem, making a Persian attempt to conquer Egypt inevitable.

Keywords: Syria-Palestine; Egyptian Empire; Assyrian Empire; Babylonian Empire; Saite Dynasty

Chapter.  5611 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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