People > Amasis II

Amasis II

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Amasis II, also known as Ahmose II, was a pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling from approximately 570 to 526 BCE. His reign is marked by significant internal reforms, extensive building projects, and active foreign policy, making him one of the notable rulers of the Late Period. Here is an overview of Amasis II and his reign:


  1. 26th Dynasty (Saite Period):

    • The 26th Dynasty, also known as the Saite Dynasty, was a period of Egyptian resurgence and independence following the decline of Assyrian power and the withdrawal of foreign influences.
    • The dynasty was founded by Psamtik I, and it saw a revival of Egyptian culture, economy, and military power.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Amasis II was born into a non-royal family. He rose to prominence as a military officer under the pharaoh Apries.
    • Following a revolt against Apries, Amasis was declared king by the Egyptian army, leading to a period of civil war and his eventual consolidation of power.

Reign of Amasis II

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Amasis II came to power around 570 BCE after overthrowing Apries. He legitimized his rule through military success and strategic marriages, solidifying his position as pharaoh.
    • His throne name was Khnemibre, meaning "He who embraces Ra."
  2. Internal Reforms and Administration:

    • Amasis II implemented numerous reforms to strengthen the administration and economy of Egypt. He focused on improving agricultural productivity, reorganizing the bureaucracy, and promoting trade.
    • He standardized the legal system and improved tax collection, ensuring efficient governance and stability within the kingdom.

Achievements and Contributions

  1. Building Projects:

    • Amasis II undertook extensive building projects throughout Egypt, reflecting his dedication to revitalizing the country’s infrastructure and religious institutions.
    • Notable constructions include the expansion of the Temple of Neith in Sais, his hometown and the capital of the 26th Dynasty, and contributions to the temples of Karnak and Luxor.
    • He also commissioned the construction of monuments and public buildings, including the construction of a grand portico at the temple complex of Ptah in Memphis.
  2. Foreign Policy and Trade:

    • Amasis II pursued an active foreign policy, fostering alliances and trade relations with various Mediterranean powers, including Greece, Lydia, and Cyprus.
    • He granted the Greeks a trading post at Naucratis in the Nile Delta, which became a significant hub for Greek-Egyptian commerce and cultural exchange.
    • His diplomatic efforts helped secure Egypt’s borders and promote economic prosperity through extensive trade networks.
  3. Military Campaigns:

    • Although Amasis II is better known for his diplomatic and economic achievements, he also conducted military campaigns to secure Egypt's borders and maintain its influence in the region.
    • He successfully repelled invasions and maintained a strong military presence to deter potential threats from neighboring powers, including the expanding Persian Empire.

Cultural and Religious Contributions

  1. Promotion of Religion and Culture:

    • Amasis II was a patron of the arts and religious institutions. He supported the priesthood and funded the construction and renovation of temples dedicated to various deities, including Amun, Neith, and Ptah.
    • He promoted the revival of traditional Egyptian culture and religious practices, fostering a sense of national identity and continuity with Egypt’s illustrious past.
  2. Cultural Exchange:

    • Amasis II’s reign saw increased cultural exchange with Greece, facilitated by the establishment of Naucratis and the presence of Greek mercenaries and traders in Egypt.
    • This interaction influenced both Egyptian and Greek art, architecture, and intellectual life, contributing to a vibrant cultural milieu.

Death and Succession

  1. Death:

    • Amasis II died around 526 BCE, after a long and prosperous reign of approximately 44 years. His death marked the end of a period of relative stability and prosperity for Egypt.
  2. Succession:

    • He was succeeded by his son, Psamtik III, who faced the immediate threat of the Persian Empire. Psamtik III's reign was short-lived, as he was defeated by the Persian king Cambyses II, leading to the incorporation of Egypt into the Achaemenid Empire.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Amasis II is remembered as one of the most effective and influential pharaohs of the Late Period. His internal reforms, building projects, and diplomatic efforts significantly strengthened Egypt’s economy, culture, and international standing.
    • His reign represents a final flourishing of native Egyptian rule before the Persian conquest and the subsequent periods of foreign domination.
  2. Cultural Impact:

    • The cultural revival and extensive building projects initiated by Amasis II left a lasting impact on Egypt’s architectural and artistic heritage.
    • His efforts to foster Greek-Egyptian relations contributed to the cultural and intellectual exchanges that enriched both civilizations.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Numerous monuments, inscriptions, and artifacts from Amasis II’s reign provide valuable insights into his policies, achievements, and the socio-political context of his time.
    • The discovery of Naucratis and other archaeological sites associated with his reign highlights the significance of his contributions to trade and cultural exchange.


Amasis II, ruling from approximately 570 to 526 BCE, was a pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty known for his internal reforms, extensive building projects, and active foreign policy. His reign was marked by economic prosperity, cultural revival, and significant diplomatic and trade relations with Mediterranean powers. Amasis II’s efforts to strengthen Egypt’s administration, promote traditional culture, and foster international ties left a lasting legacy, making him one of the most notable rulers of the Late Period. His reign ended with his death, followed by the short and challenging reign of his son, Psamtik III, which concluded with the Persian conquest of Egypt.

Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt (Saites)

Royal TitleNameReignDynasty
MencheperreNecho I672-664 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
WahibraPsamtik I (Psammetichus I)664-610 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
WehemibraNecho II610-595 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
NeferibraPsamtik II (Psammetichus II)595-589 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
Ha'a'ibraWahibra (Apries)589-567 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
ChenibraAmose-si-Neith (Amasis II)570-526 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
AnchkaenraPsamtik III (Psammetichus III)526-525 BCESaite Dynasty (26th)
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