People > Amenemope


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Amenemope, also known as Usermaatre Amenemope, was a pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling from approximately 993 to 984 BCE. His reign occurred during the Third Intermediate Period, a time characterized by political fragmentation and the division of power between the northern and southern regions of Egypt. Amenemope is notable for his efforts to maintain stability and continuity within his realm. Here is an overview of Amenemope and his reign:


  1. 21st Dynasty:

    • The 21st Dynasty, often referred to as the Tanite Dynasty, was based in the city of Tanis in the Nile Delta. This period followed the New Kingdom and was marked by a decline in centralized power and the rise of regional authorities.
    • The dynasty coexisted with the powerful High Priests of Amun in Thebes, who held significant influence over Upper Egypt.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Amenemope was the son of Psusennes I, one of the most prominent pharaohs of the 21st Dynasty, and Queen Mutnedjmet. He succeeded his father on the throne.
    • His mother, Mutnedjmet, was a daughter of a high-ranking official, adding to the royal family's prestige.

Reign of Amenemope

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Amenemope ascended to the throne around 993 BCE, following the death of his father, Psusennes I. His reign lasted for approximately nine years.
    • His accession marked the continuation of the line established by his father, maintaining the dynasty's control over the northern region of Egypt.
  2. Political Context:

    • During Amenemope’s reign, Egypt remained divided, with the Tanite rulers controlling the north and the High Priests of Amun exerting significant power in the south.
    • Amenemope's rule was characterized by efforts to maintain stability and manage the delicate balance of power between these regions.
  3. Administrative and Religious Activities:

    • Amenemope continued the administrative practices of his predecessors, focusing on effective governance and maintaining the loyalty of regional authorities.
    • He supported traditional religious practices and made offerings to the gods, particularly Amun, to legitimize his rule and reinforce the importance of religious institutions.

Achievements and Contributions

  1. Building Projects:

    • While Amenemope’s reign did not see the construction of grand monuments like those of earlier periods, he did contribute to the maintenance and restoration of existing structures.
    • He likely continued work on projects initiated by his father, Psusennes I, including the completion of temples and other religious buildings in Tanis.
  2. Cultural and Artistic Contributions:

    • Amenemope’s reign is noted for the continuation of artistic traditions that flourished during the 21st Dynasty. Artifacts from his reign, including statues and inscriptions, reflect the craftsmanship of the period.
    • His support for religious and cultural activities helped preserve the heritage of ancient Egypt during a time of political fragmentation.

Challenges and Stability

  1. Internal Stability:

    • Amenemope's reign was relatively stable, with no major recorded conflicts or upheavals. His ability to maintain stability suggests effective administration and the support of key regional leaders.
    • The peaceful nature of his reign allowed for the continuation of cultural and religious practices without significant disruption.
  2. Relations with Thebes:

    • Amenemope managed to maintain a cooperative relationship with the High Priests of Amun in Thebes. This cooperation was crucial for the stability of Egypt, as the priesthood held considerable power and influence.
    • The balance of power between Tanis and Thebes was delicately maintained, preventing significant internal conflict.

Death and Succession

  1. Death:

    • Amenemope died around 984 BCE. The circumstances of his death are not well-documented, but his reign ended without major upheaval.
  2. Succession:

    • He was succeeded by Osorkon the Elder (Osorkon I), who continued the policies of his predecessors and maintained the stability of the 21st Dynasty.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Amenemope's reign is significant for its role in maintaining the stability and continuity of the 21st Dynasty during a period of political fragmentation.
    • His efforts to preserve the administrative and religious traditions of his predecessors helped ensure the stability of northern Egypt.
  2. Cultural Impact:

    • Although his reign was not marked by grand architectural achievements, Amenemope's support for traditional religious practices and cultural activities contributed to the preservation of Egypt’s heritage.
    • His reign reflects the resilience of Egyptian society and culture during a time of significant political challenges.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Artifacts and inscriptions from Amenemope’s reign provide valuable insights into the administrative and religious practices of the 21st Dynasty.
    • His contributions to temple maintenance and restoration reflect the ongoing importance of religious institutions in ancient Egyptian society.


Amenemope, who ruled from approximately 993 to 984 BCE, was a pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty known for his efforts to maintain stability and continuity in northern Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period. His reign was characterized by effective administration, support for traditional religious practices, and the preservation of cultural heritage. Despite the political fragmentation of the time, Amenemope successfully maintained the balance of power and ensured the stability of his realm. His legacy includes his contributions to the stability of the 21st Dynasty and the continuation of Egypt’s cultural and religious traditions during a challenging period in its history.

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