World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Taharqa

Taharqa was a pharaoh of the Ancient Egyptian 25th dynasty and king of the Kingdom of Kush, which was located in Northern Sudan.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Ruling period 2
  • Reign 3
  • Biblical references 4
  • Assyrian invasion of Egypt 5
  • Death 6
  • Depictions 7
  • Image gallery 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12

Early life

Taharqa was the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt. Taharqa was also the cousin and successor of Shebitku.[3] The successful campaigns of Piye and Shabaka paved the way for a prosperous reign by Taharqa.

Ruling period

Taharqa's reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC.[4] Evidence for the dates of his reign is derived from the Serapeum stela, catalog number 192. This stela records that an Apis bull born and installed (fourth month of Peret, day 9) in Year 26 of Taharqa died in Year 20 of Psammetichus I (4th month of Shomu, day 20), having lived 21 years. This would give Taharqa a reign of 26 years and a fraction, in 690-664 B.C.[5] Taharqa explicitly states in Kawa Stela V, line 15, that he succeeded Shebitku with this statement: "I received the Crown in Memphis after the Falcon (i.e., Shebitku) flew to heaven."[6]

Reign

Although Taharqa's reign was filled with conflict with the Assyrians, it was also a prosperous renaissance period in Egypt and Kush. When Taharqa was about 20 years old, he participated in a historic battle with the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib at Eltekeh. At Hezekiah's request, Taharqa and the Egyptian/Kushite army managed to stall the Assyrian advance on Jerusalem. Sennacherib abandoned the siege and returned home. Thus, Taharqa saved Jerusalem and Hebrew society from destruction, a pivotal point in world and Hebrew history.

The might of Taharqa's military forces was established at Eltekeh, leading to a period of peace in Egypt. During this period of peace and prosperity, the empire flourished. In the sixth year of Taharqa's reign, prosperity was also aided by abundant rainfall and a large harvest. Taharqa took full advantage of the lull in fighting and abundant harvest. He restored existing temples, built new ones, and built the largest pyramid in the Napatan region. Particularly impressive were his additions to the Temple at Karnak, new temple at Kawa, and temple at Jebel Barkal.[7][8][9][10][11]

Biblical references

Scholars have identified Taharqa with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia (Kush), who waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9).

The events in the Biblical account are believed to have taken place in 701 BC, whereas Taharqa came to the throne some ten years later. A number of explanations have been proposed: one being that the title of king in the Biblical text refers to his future royal title, when at the time of this account he was likely only a military commander.

Herodotus, the Greek historian who wrote his Histories ca. 450 BC, speaks of a divinely-appointed disaster destroying an army of Sennacherib, which was defeated by Sethos after praying to the gods. The gods sent "a multitude of field-mice, which devoured all the quivers and bowstrings of the enemy, and ate the thongs by which they managed their shields."[12] This is commemorated in "a stone statue of Sethos, with a mouse in his hand, and an inscription to this effect 'Look on me, and learn to reverence the gods'."

According to Francis Llewellyn Griffith, an attractive hypothesis is to identify the Pharaoh as Taharqa before his succession, and Sethos as his Memphitic priestly title, "supposing that he was then governor of Lower Egypt and high-priest of Ptah, and that in his office of governor he prepared to move on the defensive against a threatened attack by Sennacherib. While Taharqa was still in the neighbourhood of Pelusium, some unexpected disaster may have befallen the Assyrian host on the borders of Palestine and arrested their march on Egypt."[13]

The two snakes in the crown of pharaoh Taharqa show that he was the king of both the lands of Egypt and Nubia.

Assyrian invasion of Egypt

It was during his reign that Egypt's enemy Necho I as king at Sais. Upon Esarhaddon's return to Assyria he erected a stele alongside the previous Egyptian and Assyrian Commemorative stela of Nahr el-Kalb, as well as a victory stele at Zincirli Höyük, showing Taharqa's young son Ushankhuru in bondage.

Upon the Assyrian king's departure, however, Taharqa intrigued in the affairs of Lower Egypt, and fanned numerous revolts. Esarhaddon died en route to Egypt, and it was left to his son and heir Ashurbanipal to once again invade Egypt. Ashurbanipal defeated Taharqa, who afterwards fled to Thebes.

Death

Taharqa died in the city of Thebes [14] in 664 BC and was succeeded by his appointed successor Tantamani, a son of Shabaka. Taharqa was buried at Nuri - North Sudan .[15]

Depictions

Taharqa was described by the Ancient Greek historian Strabo as having "Advanced as far as Europe",[16] and (citing Megasthenes), even as far as the Pillars of Hercules in Spain.[17]

In biblical depictions, he is the saviour of the Hebrew people, as they are being besieged by Sennacherib (Isaiah 37:8-9, & 2 Kings 19:8-9). In modern times, the Sudanese people consider Piye and Taharqa as historical figures and regard them more than the other pharaohs from the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt.

Actor Will Smith is developing a film entitled The Last Pharaoh, which he plans to produce and star as Taharqa. Carl Franklin contributed to the script.[18] Randall Wallace was hired to rewrite in September 2008.[19]

Image gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p.190. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0
  2. ^ Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004) ISBN 0-500-05128-3, pp.234-6
  3. ^ Toby Wilkinson, The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2005. p.237
  4. ^ K.A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC), 3rd edition, 1996, Aris & Phillips Ltd,pp.380-391
  5. ^ Kitchen, p.161
  6. ^ Kitchen, p.167
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ F.L. Griffith, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis: The Sethon of Herodotus and the Demotic Tales of Khamuas (1900), p. 11
  14. ^ Historical Prism inscription of Ashurbanipal I by Arthur Carl Piepkorn page 36. Published by University of Chicago Press [1]
  15. ^ Why did Taharqa build his tomb at Nuri? Conference of Nubian Studies
  16. ^
  17. ^ Snowden, Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983, p.52
  18. ^
  19. ^

Further reading

  • Robert Morkot, The Black Pharaohs: Egypt's Nubian Rulers, The Rubicon Press, 2000. ISBN 0-948695-23-4

External links

  • King Taharqa's photo gallery
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.