Egyptian Dynasties > Twenty-First Dynasty of Egypt

Twenty-First Dynasty of Egypt

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


See the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt.

The Twenty-First Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Third Intermediate Period, was a complex and dynamic period in ancient Egyptian history characterized by political fragmentation, foreign invasions, and cultural change. Here's an overview:

  1. Duration and Context: The Twenty-First Dynasty lasted from approximately 1069 BCE to 945 BCE, following the end of the New Kingdom period and preceding the Twenty-Second Dynasty. It was a time of transition and uncertainty, marked by the decline of central authority and the emergence of regional power struggles.

  2. Rulers: The Twenty-First Dynasty was founded by Smendes, who established his capital at Tanis in the eastern Nile Delta. Smendes and his successors, including Psusennes I and Osorkon I, ruled over Lower Egypt as kings, while Upper Egypt was often ruled by competing dynasties or local rulers.

  3. Political Fragmentation: The Twenty-First Dynasty was characterized by political fragmentation and the division of Egypt into competing power centers. While the kings of the dynasty nominally ruled over Lower Egypt from Tanis, their authority was often challenged by rival factions and local rulers in Upper Egypt and other regions.

  4. Foreign Invasions: The Twenty-First Dynasty saw a series of foreign invasions and incursions, particularly by the Libyans and Nubians. These invasions further weakened central authority and contributed to the fragmentation of Egypt into smaller, semi-autonomous states.

  5. Cultural and Religious Developments: Despite the political turmoil, the Twenty-First Dynasty witnessed cultural and religious continuity with earlier periods of Egyptian history. The traditional religious practices, temple construction, and artistic styles continued, albeit with regional variations and influences from foreign cultures.

  6. Decline and End of the Dynasty: The Twenty-First Dynasty came to an end with the conquest of Egypt by the Meshwesh, a Libyan tribe, and the subsequent establishment of the Twenty-Second Dynasty. The Meshwesh rulers, particularly Shoshenq I, reunified Egypt under their control and initiated a new era of stability known as the Libyan or Bubastite Period.

  7. Legacy: The Twenty-First Dynasty represents a period of political fragmentation and decline in ancient Egyptian history. Its rulers struggled to maintain centralized authority in the face of internal strife and foreign invasions, leading to a weakening of Egypt's power and influence in the region. However, the cultural and religious traditions established during this period would continue to shape Egyptian identity in the centuries to come.

In summary, the Twenty-First Dynasty of Egypt was a time of political instability and fragmentation, marked by foreign invasions and regional power struggles. Despite these challenges, the cultural and religious traditions of ancient Egypt persisted, laying the foundation for future developments in Egyptian history.

King NameHorus-NameReignConsort
Smendes (Nesbanebdjed I)Hedjkheperre-Setepenre1077-1051 BCTentamun
AmenemnisuNeferkare-Heqawaset1051-1047 BCE
Pinedjem IKheperkare-Setepenamun1062-1039 BCEHenuttawy
Isetemkheb A
Psusennes I (Pasebkhanut I)Akheperre-Setepenamun1047-1001 BCMutnedjemet
AmenemopeUsermaetre-Setepenamun1001-992 BC
Osorkon the ElderAkheperre-Setepenre992-986 BC
SiamunNetjerkheperre-Meryamun986-967 BC
Psusennes II (Pasebkhanut I)Tyetkheperure-Setepenre967-943 BC

Third Intermediate Period of Egypt



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