People > Pedubast I

Pedubast I

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Pedubast I, also known as Pedubastis or Padibastet, was a pharaoh of the 23rd Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling approximately from 828 to 803 BCE. His reign occurred during the Third Intermediate Period, a time characterized by political fragmentation and the division of Egypt into various competing power centers. Pedubast I established his rule in Thebes and was a contemporary of Osorkon III and Takelot III of the 22nd Dynasty, leading to a period of parallel rule and rival dynasties. Here is an overview of Pedubast I and his reign:


  1. 23rd Dynasty:

    • The 23rd Dynasty was part of the Third Intermediate Period (circa 1069–664 BCE), a time of political instability and regional divisions following the decline of the New Kingdom.
    • The dynasty was based in Thebes and was one of several competing dynasties and power centers, including the 22nd Dynasty based in Tanis and Bubastis.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Details about Pedubast I's lineage are sparse, but he likely belonged to a prominent family in Upper Egypt. His rise to power was facilitated by the support of key Theban elites and the influential priesthood of Amun.

Reign of Pedubast I

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Pedubast I came to power in Thebes during a time of political fragmentation. He declared himself pharaoh in opposition to the rulers of the 22nd Dynasty, asserting his control over Upper Egypt.
    • His ascension was likely supported by the powerful Amun priesthood, which played a significant role in Theban politics.
  2. Political Context:

    • Pedubast I's reign was marked by rivalry with the 22nd Dynasty, particularly with Osorkon III and Takelot III, who also claimed authority over parts of Egypt.
    • The period saw parallel rule and frequent conflicts between the competing dynasties, contributing to the overall instability of the Third Intermediate Period.
  3. Religious and Administrative Actions:

    • As ruler of Thebes, Pedubast I had strong ties to the Amun priesthood. He supported traditional religious practices and made significant offerings to the temples of Amun, reinforcing his legitimacy.
    • He likely engaged in building and restoration projects in Thebes and other religious centers, although specific records of his contributions are limited.

Challenges and Rivalries

  1. Rivalry with the 22nd Dynasty:

    • Pedubast I's reign involved continuous rivalry with the 22nd Dynasty rulers, who maintained control over Lower Egypt and parts of Upper Egypt.
    • The power struggle between Pedubast I and Osorkon III/Takelot III often led to military conflicts and shifting alliances.
  2. Fragmentation and Regionalism:

    • The political fragmentation of Egypt during Pedubast I's reign was a significant challenge. Various local rulers and regional elites held substantial power, making it difficult to maintain centralized control.
    • Despite his efforts, Pedubast I's authority was limited to Thebes and its surrounding areas, with other regions controlled by rival factions.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Pedubast I's reign is significant for its role in the complex political landscape of the Third Intermediate Period. His assertion of power in Thebes represents the ongoing struggle for dominance between competing dynasties.
    • His reign highlights the influence of the Amun priesthood in Theban politics and the importance of religious legitimacy in maintaining authority.
  2. Cultural and Religious Impact:

    • Pedubast I's support for traditional religious practices and his relationship with the Amun priesthood helped preserve the cultural and religious heritage of Thebes during a time of political upheaval.
    • The legacy of his reign is intertwined with the broader efforts of Theban rulers to maintain religious and cultural continuity amidst political fragmentation.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Evidence of Pedubast I's reign is primarily found in inscriptions and reliefs in Thebes. His contributions to temple restoration and construction, while less documented, reflect his commitment to upholding religious traditions.
    • The archaeological record of the Third Intermediate Period is fragmentary, and much of what is known about Pedubast I comes from later historical sources and limited contemporary inscriptions.


Pedubast I, who ruled from approximately 828 to 803 BCE, was a pharaoh of the 23rd Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period. His reign was marked by political fragmentation, rivalry with the 22nd Dynasty, and the assertion of power in Thebes with the support of the Amun priesthood. Despite the challenges of maintaining authority in a divided Egypt, Pedubast I contributed to the religious and cultural continuity of Thebes. His reign reflects the complex dynamics of power and religion in ancient Egypt during a time of significant instability.

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