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Egyptian pharaoh from 609 to 595 B.C.
Necho II continued the policies of his father, Psamtik I and encouraged the growth of foreign trade, relying chiefly on the services of Greek merchants and mercenaries and of Phoenician shipowners. According to Herodotus, Phoenician seamen completed the first circumnavigation of Africa, a journey lasting three years, on Necho’s orders. During his reign, a canal was constructed linking the Nile with the Red Sea. Necho II subjugated Syria and the Kingdom of Judah but after the defeat at Carchemish in 605 was driven out of these lands by King Nebuchadnezzar II.