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Establishment of the 28th Dynasty of Egypt
Part of Guardians
Date 460-457 B.C.
Location Africa
Result Egyptian Victory
  • Egyptian Independence
  • Consolidation of the 28th Dynasty
Belligerents
Egyptian Rebels

Athenian Hegemony


Psammuthes' Forces

Standard of Cyrus the Great (Achaemenid Empire) Achaemenid Dynasty

Inaros' Forces
Amenirdisu's Forces

Commanders and leaders
Inaros

Psammuthes

Standard of Cyrus the Great (Achaemenid Empire) Artaxerxes

Inaros
Amenirdisu

The Establishment of the Twenty-Eighth Dynasty of Egypt refers to a series of tensions and armed conflicts that involved the separation of Egypt from the Achaemenid Persian Empire and the centralization of the newly independent country under a new dynasty. The struggles ultimately resulted in the first natively governed Egypt since the Persian conquest in 525 B.C.

The Egyptian population had never really accepted their Persian governors, and when the Achaemenid Empire suffered dynastic struggles and general instability, they rose in revolt. A nobleman of Libyan descent, Inaros, rallied the Egyptians behind him in order to drive out the Persians. He reached out to the Athenians, the masters of the eastern Mediterranean, for assistance. The Athenians, seeking to weaken Persian imperial power and eventually seize Egypt for their own designs, happily agreed to help Inaros and his forces. With three hundred Athenian ships and the accompanying expedition to assist them, the Egyptians were easily able to push the Persians back into Judea.

While Inaros was able to drive out the Persians, he was not very popular with the Egyptian populace and political leadership, as he was seen as a Libyan ruler replacing a Persian one. Two other claimants claimed the throne, Amenirdisu and Psammuthes, and raised their forces to challenge Inaros. In 459 B.C., outside of Sais, Inaros' center of power, Psammuthes defeated both Inaros and Amenirdisu at the Battle of the Three Pharaohs, driving the former out to Libya and killing the latter in battle. Psammuthes would begin to centralize his power in the city of Memphis, which he designated as his own capital. 

Psammuthes spent most of his early reign preparing for more conflict, as he knew that the Persians and Inaros would return to try their hand at subjugating Egypt once more. Persian efforts were largely distracted and unsuccessful as the Achaemenid dynasty tried to recentralize after a period of disorder. Inaros gathered strength and support in Libya and led an army into Egypt in 457 B.C., expecting a quick return to power. After a series of pitched battles, it became apparent that victory was neither quick nor guaranteed, and his army mutineed, turning Inaros over to Psammuthes who had him executed. After this Psammuthes continued to consolidate his power over Egypt, firmly establishing the 28th Dynasty. 

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