People > Necho II

Necho II

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Necho II, also known as Nekau II or Neku, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who reigned during the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Saite Period. Here's an overview of Necho II and his reign:

  1. Background: Necho II ascended to the throne around 610 BCE, succeeding his father Psamtik I. He was a member of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, which saw a revival of Egyptian power and influence after a period of Assyrian domination.

  2. Military Campaigns: Necho II is best known for his military campaigns in the Near East. He sought to expand Egypt's territory and influence by intervening in the ongoing power struggles among the major regional powers. One of his most significant campaigns was his attempt to assist the Assyrians against the rising Babylonian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar II. However, his forces were defeated by the Babylonians at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, leading to the loss of Egyptian territory in the Levant.

  3. Canal Construction: Like his father, Necho II was involved in major infrastructure projects aimed at enhancing Egypt's economic and strategic position. He undertook the ambitious project of connecting the Nile River to the Red Sea through the construction of a canal, known as the "Canal of the Pharaohs" or the "Necho Canal." This canal facilitated trade between Egypt and its eastern neighbors and allowed for easier navigation between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

  4. Relations with Judah: Necho II's reign is also notable for his interactions with the kingdom of Judah. According to the biblical account, he played a role in the succession struggles in Judah and installed Jehoiakim as a puppet king. However, his involvement in Judah's affairs ultimately led to conflict with the emerging Babylonian Empire, which culminated in the Babylonian conquest of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.

  5. Succession: Necho II was succeeded by his son Psamtik III, who ruled briefly before the Persian conquest of Egypt in 525 BCE. The end of Necho II's reign marked the beginning of the end for the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty and the Saite Period.

  6. Legacy: Necho II's reign represents a period of military expansion and infrastructure development in ancient Egypt. Although his military campaigns ultimately ended in defeat, his efforts to expand Egypt's influence in the Near East and his contributions to canal construction left a lasting impact on Egyptian history.

In summary, Necho II was a prominent pharaoh of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty who sought to strengthen Egypt's position in the Near East through military campaigns and infrastructure projects. While his reign was marked by both successes and setbacks, he played a significant role in shaping the history of ancient Egypt during the late seventh and early sixth centuries BCE.

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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