List of Dynasties of Ancient Egypt

Related articles: Egypt Egypt
, Arab. Misr, biblical Mizraim, officially Arab Republic of Egypt, republic (2005 est. pop. 77,506,000), 386,659 sq mi (1,001,449 sq km), NE Africa and SW Asia.
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, pharaoh pharaoh
[Heb., from Egyptian,=the great house], title of the kings of ancient Egypt. Of the pharaohs in the Bible, Shishak is Sheshonk I, Neco or Necoh is Necho, and Hophra is Apries.
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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt

Old Kingdom (or Old Empire)
Dynasty Years Famous Rulers
I 3110–2884 B.C. MenesMenes
, fl. 3200 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the first dynasty, the first Egyptian ruler for whom there are historical records. According to tradition, he seems to have united the southern and northern kingdoms and to have settled on a new capital, later known as Memphis.
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II 2884–2780 B.C.  
III 2780–2680 B.C. SnefruSnefru
, fl. c.2780 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, last king of the III dynasty; predecessor of Khufu. Snefru began commerce across the open sea with Phoenicia, for the cedar logs of Lebanon, and built ships nearly 170 ft (50 m) long for use on the Nile.
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IV 2680–2565 B.C. KhufuKhufu
or Cheops
, fl. c.2680 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, founder of the IV dynasty. He was king for 23 years and was famous as the builder of the greatest pyramid at Giza.
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 (Cheops), KhafreKhafre
or Chephren
, fl. 2565 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the IV dynasty, and builder of the second pyramid at Giza. His face is perhaps that represented on the Great Sphinx. An obscure king, Dedefre, may have come between Khufu and Khafre in the dynasty.
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, MenkaureMenkaure
or Mycerinus
, fl. 2525? B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the IV dynasty; successor of Khafre. He built the third pyramid at Giza.
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. Age of the great pyramids.
V 2565–2420 B.C.  
VI 2420–2258 B.C. Pepi IPepi I
, fl. c.2300 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the VI dynasty. He was responsible for the rise of the official Uni. He was succeeded by his sons Merenre, who reigned for less than decade, and Pepi II.
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, Pepi IIPepi II
, d. c.2185 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the VI dynasty. His reign (c.2275–c.2185 B.C.) is the longest recorded in history. It was successful because the powerful southern lords at Elephantine organized the Egyptian caravan trade route, which enabled expeditions
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First Intermediate Period
VII, VIII 2258–2225 B.C. An obscure period.
IX, X 2225–2134 B.C. Capital at Heracleopolis.
XI 2134–c.2000 B.C. Capital at Thebes.

Middle Kingdom (or Middle Empire)
XII 2000–1786 B.C. Amenemhet IAmenemhet I
, d. 1970 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, founder of the XII dynasty. The son of a powerful Theban family, he seized the kingship c.2000 B.C. The XII dynasty ushered in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt; the subsequent dynasty of pharaohs named Amenemhet or Sesostris
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, Sesostris ISesostris I
, d. 1926 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, 2d ruler of the XII dynasty; son and successor of Amenemhet I. He was coregent with his father from 1980 B.C.; from 1971 to 1926 he was sole ruler. His reign was notable for successful campaigns in Nubia.
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, Amenemhet IIAmenemhet II
, d. 1903 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XII dynasty; son and successor of Sesostris I. He was coregent with his father (1938–1935 B.C.), then sole ruler (1935–1906 B.C.), finally coregent with his son and successor, Sesostris II.
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, Sesostris IISesostris II
, d. 1878 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XII dynasty. He was the son of Amenemhet II, first his coregent (1900 B.C.), then his successor (1897–1878). His son Sesostris III succeeded him. d. 1840 B.C., succeeded (1878 B.C.) his father Sesostris II.
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, Sesostris IIISesostris III
, d. 1840 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XII dynasty. He succeeded (1878 B.C.) his father Sesostris II. He fixed the southern boundary of Egypt above the Second Cataract of the Nile not far from Wadi Halfa and curbed the power of the Egyptian nobles.
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, Amenemhet IIIAmenemhet III
, d. 1801 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XII dynasty. He was the son and successor of Sesostris III, with whom he had been coregent. He extended the irrigation system. Thousands of acres in the Faiyûm were reclaimed. Amenemhet IV, his son, succeeded him.
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, Amenemhet IVAmenemhet IV
, d. 1792 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XII dynasty; the son and successor of Amenemhet III. Under Amenemhet IV, the power of the dynasty declined, and his successor, a woman, Sebenekfrure, was last of her family.
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Second Intermediate Period
XIII–XVII 1786–1570 B.C. The HyksosHyksos
[Egyptian,=rulers of foreign lands], invaders of ancient Egypt, now substantiated as the XV–XVIII dynasties. They were a northwestern Semitic (Canaanite or Amorite) people who entered Egypt sometime between 1720 and 1710 B.C.
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. An obscure period.

New Kingdom (or New Empire)
XVIII 1570–c.1342 B.C. Amenhotep IAmenhotep I
or Amenophis I
, fl. 1570 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty; son and successor of Amasis I. His chief exploits were military. He pushed southward into Nubia and reestablished Egypt's boundary at the Second Cataract of the Nile, as previously
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, Thutmose IThutmose I
or Thothmes I
, d. 1495 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, third ruler of the XVIII dynasty; successor of Amenhotep I. He became king c.1525. In a great campaign he subjugated the valley of the Nile up to the Third Cataract (below the present Dongola).
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, HatshepsutHatshepsut
, d. 1458 B.C., ruler of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty; eldest daughter of Thutmose I. She managed to rule Egypt by relegating her husband (and younger half-brother), Thutmose II, to the background during his brief reign.
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 (with Thutmose IIThutmose II
or Thothmes II
, reigned c.1495–1490 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, fourth ruler of the XVIII dynasty and the son and successor of Thutmose I. Unlike Hatshepsut, his half-sister whom he married, Thutmose II did not have a royal mother.
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 initially), Thutmose IIIThutmose III
or Thothmes III
, d. 1436 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty; the successor of Thutmose II. After the death of Thutmose II, his wife Hatshepsut became regent for Thutmose III and relegated him to an inferior position for 22 years while she
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, Amenhotep IIAmenhotep II
or Amenophis II
, d. c.1420 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty; son and successor of Thutmose III. Amenhotep II succeeded (1448 B.C.) as coregent and later ruled alone for 26 years.
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, Thutmose IVThutmose IV
or Thothmes IV
, reigned c.1406–1398 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty, son and successor of Amenhotep II. He invaded Asia and Nubia, and formed alliances with independent kings neighboring his Syrian tributaries.
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, Amenhotep IIIAmenhotep III
or Amenophis III
, d. c.1372 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty. He succeeded his father, Thutmose IV, c.1411 B.C. His reign marks the culmination and the start of the decline of the XVIII dynasty.
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, Amenhotep IV (IkhnatonIkhnaton
or Akhenaton
[Egyptian,=Aton is satisfied], d. c.1354 B.C., king of ancient Egypt (c.1372–1354 B.C.), of the XVIII dynasty; son and successor of Amenhotep III. His name at his accession was Amenhotep IV, but he changed it to honor the god Aton.
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), TutankhamenTutankhamen
or Tutenkhamon
, fl. c.1350 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty. He was the son-in-law of Ikhnaton and succeeded to the throne after a brief reign by Ikhnaton's successor.
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XIX c.1342–1200 B.C. HoremhebHoremheb
or Harmhab
, d. c.1303 B.C., king of ancient Egypt (c.1342 B.C.–c.1303 B.C.), founder of the XIX dynasty. A powerful noble under Ikhnaton, he seems to have been an army commander under the successors of that ruler, most notably under Tutankhamen.
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, Ramses IRamses I
, Rameses I,
or Ramesses I
, d. c.1314 B.C., succeeded Horemheb, the true founder of the XIX dynasty. He died after only one year as king. His son and successor was Seti I.
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, Seti ISeti I
, d. 1290 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty; son and successor of Ramses I. He succeeded to the throne c.1302 B.C. Invading Palestine and Syria, Seti I reduced them again to tributary status, and defeated the Libyans.
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, Ramses IIRamses II
, Rameses II,
or Ramesses II
, d. 1225 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty. The son of Seti I, Ramses was not the heir to the throne but usurped it from his brother. He reigned for 67 years (1292–1225 B.C.).
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, MerneptahMerneptah
, d. c.1215 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty; son and successor of Ramses II. He succeeded (1224 B.C.) to the throne when he was already advanced in years. He quelled a revolt in Syria and repulsed a Libyan invasion of the western delta of the Nile.
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, Seti IISeti II
, d. 1205 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty. He was one of the kings who reigned briefly after Merneptah, and seems to have ruled for about four years. After his reign anarchy set in for a few years until the accession of Ramses III.
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XX 1200–1085 B.C. Ramses IIIRamses III
, Rameses III,
or Ramesses III
, d. 1167 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, 2d ruler of the XX dynasty. He ended the period of anarchy that followed Merneptah rule and reigned c.1198–1167 B.C.
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 with TiyTiy,
fl. 1167 B.C., queen of ancient Egypt, wife of Ramses III. To gain the throne for her son, Pentewere, she led a palace conspiracy to displace her aging husband. At the last minute the plot was discovered, and 32 important courtiers were executed for complicity.
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. New Kingdom declines.
XXI 1085–945 B.C. Tanite dynasty (capital at Tanis).
XXII 945–745 B.C. Sheshonk ISheshonk I
or Shoshenk I
, d. c.929 or 924 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, founder of the XXII (Libyan) dynasty. Originally a commander of mercenaries at Heracleopolis, he assumed (c.950 B.C.) royal authority when the weak dynasty at Tanis died out.
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. Libyan dynasty (capital at Bubastis).
XXIII 745–718 B.C. Nubian dynasty with invasion of PiankhiPiankhi
, king of ancient Nubia (c.741–c.715 B.C.). After subduing Upper Egypt, he defeated (c.721 B.C.) Tefnakhte, lord of Saïs, who had just completed the conquest of Lower Egypt. Piankhi was also victorious at Memphis. He returned (c.718 B.C.
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 (capital at Bubastis).
XXIV 718–712 B.C. Saïte dynasty (capital at Saïs).
XXV 712–663 B.C. TaharkaTaharka
or Tirhakah
, d. 663 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, last ruler of the XXV dynasty; son of Piankhi. Before he was king, he led the Egyptians against Sennacherib, who disastrously defeated him. Seizing (688 B.C.
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. Assyrian invasions begin foreign domination.
XXVI 663–525 B.C. PsamtikPsamtik
, Lat. Psammetichus, d. 609 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, founder of the XXVI dynasty. When his father, Necho, lord of Saïs under the Assyrians, was defeated and killed (663 B.C.
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, NechoNecho
, 609–593 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, 2d ruler of the XXVI dynasty, the son and successor of Psamtik and grandson of Necho, lord of Saïs. Necho took advantage of the confusion that followed the fall of Nineveh (612) to invade Palestine and Syria, both of which
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, ApriesApries
, king of ancient Egypt (588–569 B.C.), of the XXVI dynasty; successor of Psamtik II. Apries sought to recover Syria and Palestine. He attacked Tyre and Sidon but failed (586 B.C.) to relieve the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
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, Amasis IIAmasis II,
d. 525 B.C., king of ancient Egypt (569–525 B.C.), of the XXVI dynasty. In a military revolt he dethroned Apries. He erected temples and other buildings at Memphis and Saïs and encouraged Greek merchants and artisans to settle at Naucratis.
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 (capital at Saïs).
XXVII 525–405 B.C. The AchaemenidsAchaemenids
, dynasty of ancient Persia. They were descended presumably from one Achaemenes, a minor ruler in a mountainous district of SW Iran. His successors, when Elam declined, spread their power westward.
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 of Persia in control. CambysesCambyses
, two kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Cambyses I was king (c.600 B.C.) of Ansham, ruling as a vassal of Media. According to Herodotus he married the daughter of the Median king Astyages; some scholars dispute this. Cambyses' son was Cyrus the Great.
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 II to Darius IIDarius II,
d. 404 B.C., king of ancient Persia (423?–404 B.C.); son of Artaxerxes I and a concubine, hence sometimes called Darius Nothus [Darius the bastard]. His rule was not popular or successful, and he spent most of his reign in quelling revolts in Syria, Lydia (413),
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. Egypt revolts.
XXVIII–XXX 405–332 B.C. NekhtnebfNekhtnebf
or Nekhtnebef
, Gr. Nectanebo I, d. 361 B.C., king of ancient Egypt (379–361 B.C.), founder of the XXX dynasty. By the gallant defense of the fortresses of the Nile delta and then of Memphis, he saved his country from the Persian invasion of
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, NekhtharhebNekhtharheb
, Gr. Nectanebo II, reigned 359–343, king of ancient Egypt, of the XXX dynasty. With the support of Agesilaus II of Sparta, he overthrew Djedhor (or Tachos) while the pharoah was invading Syria.
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. Last native dynasties, ending with conquest by Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great
or Alexander III,
356–323 B.C., king of Macedon, conqueror of much of Asia. Youth and Kingship

The son of Philip II of Macedon and Olympias, he had Aristotle as his tutor and was given a classical education.
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. Capital at Saïs, then at Mendes, then at Sebennytos.
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