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Taharqa

From Academic Kids

Taharqa (also spelled Tirhakah, Taharka, Manetho's Tarakos) was king of Egypt, and a member of the Nubian or 25th dynasty, whose reign is usually dated 690 BC to 664 BC. He was also the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who previously conquered Egypt.

Kenneth Kitchen's The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1973: 380-391) tells a lot about Taharqa, confirming his highest regnal date as 26 years. He was brother of Shebitku or Sebaq-tawy, the previous king of Egypt. Scholars have identified him with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, who waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9). (Nubia is frequently called Ethiopia in the Bible.) 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 is that the title of king in the biblical text refers to his later title, when at the time of this account he was likely only a military commander.

Taharqa indulged in rebuilding the temple at Kawa, across the Nile from present-day Dongola, which became a major center for the Nubian kings. He built at a number of other sites in Nubia, as well as performing restoration work at the temple of Karnak.

It was during his reign that Egypt's enemy Assyria, at last invaded Egypt. Esarhaddon led several campaigns against Taharqa, which he recorded on several monuments. His first attack in 677 BC, aimed to pacify Arab tribes around the Dead Sea, led him as far as the Brook of Egypt. Esarhaddon invaded Egypt proper in Taharqa's 17th regnal year, after Esarhaddon had settled a revolt at Ashkelon. Taharqa defeated the Assyrians on that occasion, but three years later (671 BC) the Assyrian king captured and sacked Memphis, where he captured numerous members of the royal family. Taharqa fled to the south, and Esarhaddon reorganized the political scene in the north, establishing Necho I of the 26th dynasty as king at Sais.

Upon the Assyrian king's departure, however, Taharqa intrigued in the affairs of Lower Egypt, and fanned numerous revolts. Esarhaddon died before he could return to Egypt, and it was left to his heir Assurbanipal to once again invade Egypt. Ashurbanipal defeated Taharqa, who afterwards fled first to Thebes, then up the Nile into Nubia. After appointing Tantamani, the son of Shabako, his successor, he died in exile.

Preceded by:
Shebitku
Pharaoh of Egypt
Twenty-fifth Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Tantamani
nl:Taharqa
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