20 Facts About Amasis II


Amasis II or Ahmose II was a pharaoh of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt, the successor of Apries at Sais.


Amasis II was the last great ruler of Egypt before the Persian conquest.


Amasis II was originally an officer in the Egyptian army.


Amasis II took part in a general campaign of Pharaoh Psamtik II in 592 BC in Nubia.


Amasis II then married Khedebneithirbinet II, one of the daughters of his predecessor Apries, in order to legitimise his kingship.


Some information is known about the family origins of Amasis II: his mother was a certain Tashereniset, as a bust of her, today located in the British Museum, shows.


Amasis II was referenced on monuments of the 30th Dynasty and apparently had a special significance in his time.


Amasis II seems to have complied by forcing an Egyptian physician into mandatory labor, causing him to leave his family behind in Egypt and move to Persia in forced exile.


Amasis II died before Cambyses reached him, but his heir and son Psamtik III was defeated by the Persians.


Herodotus describes how, just like his predecessor, Amasis II relied on Greek mercenaries and councilmen.


Amasis II sent one of his eunuchs to capture Phanes, but the eunuch was bested by the wise councilman and Phanes fled to Persia, meeting up with Cambyses and providing advice for his invasion of Egypt.


Amasis II brought Egypt into closer contact with Greece than ever before.


Herodotus relates that under his prudent administration, Egypt reached a new level of wealth; Amasis II adorned the temples of Lower Egypt especially with splendid monolithic shrines and other monuments.


Amasis II assigned the commercial colony of Naucratis on the Canopic branch of the Nile to the Greeks, and when the temple of Delphi was burnt, he contributed 1,000 talents to the rebuilding.


Amasis II married a Greek princess named Ladice daughter of King Battus III and made alliances with Polycrates of Samos and Croesus of Lydia.


Herodotus, who visited Egypt less than a century after Amasis II's death, writes that:.


Amasis II's kingdom consisted probably of Egypt only, as far as the First Cataract, but to this he added Cyprus, and his influence was great in Cyrene, Libya.


However, Amasis II was later faced with a more formidable enemy with the rise of Persia under Cyrus who ascended to the throne in 559 BCE; his final years were preoccupied by the threat of the impending Persian onslaught against Egypt.


Amasis II reacted by cultivating closer ties with the Greek states to counter the future Persian invasion into Egypt but died in 526 BCE shortly before the Persians attacked.


Amasis II was buried at the royal necropolis of Sais, and while his tomb has not been rediscovered, Herodotus describes it for us:.