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Thutmose III

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Thutmose III, often referred to as the "Napoleon of Egypt," was one of the most successful and renowned pharaohs of ancient Egypt. He ruled during the 18th Dynasty, which is part of the New Kingdom period, and his reign is typically dated from 1479 to 1425 BCE. Thutmose III is celebrated for his military achievements, extensive building projects, and administrative innovations. Here is an overview of Thutmose III and his reign:


  1. Early Life and Co-Regency:
    • Thutmose III was the son of Thutmose II and a lesser wife named Iset. Upon the death of his father, he ascended to the throne as a young child.
    • His stepmother, Hatshepsut, initially served as his regent and later declared herself pharaoh, effectively ruling as co-regent. Thutmose III was kept in the background during Hatshepsut’s reign, serving mainly as a military leader.

Reign of Thutmose III

  1. Sole Rule:

    • After Hatshepsut’s death around 1458 BCE, Thutmose III assumed full control of the throne. He undertook measures to consolidate his power, including the removal of many of Hatshepsut's monuments and inscriptions.
  2. Military Campaigns:

    • Thutmose III is best known for his military prowess and conducted at least 17 campaigns in the Levant, Nubia, and Syria, extending Egypt’s influence and securing its borders.
    • Battle of Megiddo (circa 1457 BCE): One of his most famous campaigns, Thutmose III achieved a decisive victory at Megiddo, which established Egyptian dominance over Canaan and secured the loyalty of local princes.
    • His military strategy and innovative tactics are well-documented, including the use of chariots, a strong infantry, and effective logistics.
  3. Empire Expansion:

    • Under Thutmose III, Egypt’s empire reached its greatest territorial extent, stretching from the Euphrates River in the north to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in Nubia.
    • He secured wealth and tribute from conquered territories, which fueled Egypt's economy and funded extensive building projects.
  4. Administrative Reforms:

    • Thutmose III reorganized the administration of the empire, appointing loyal officials and establishing efficient tax and tribute systems.
    • He also fostered the integration of diverse cultures within the empire, promoting trade and diplomatic relations with neighboring states.

Cultural and Religious Contributions

  1. Building Projects:

    • Thutmose III embarked on extensive building projects across Egypt, including the expansion of the Temple of Amun at Karnak, where he built the famous Festival Hall (Akh-Menu) and erected numerous obelisks.
    • His constructions also included temples, statues, and monuments throughout Egypt and Nubia, many of which were dedicated to the gods and aimed to legitimize his rule.
  2. Religious Innovations:

    • He promoted the worship of Amun, the chief deity of Thebes, and contributed significantly to the wealth and influence of the Amun priesthood.
    • Thutmose III's reign saw the continuation and enhancement of religious festivals and ceremonies, reinforcing the connection between the pharaoh and the divine.


  1. Historical Impact:

    • Thutmose III’s reign is considered one of the pinnacles of ancient Egyptian power and cultural achievement. His successful military campaigns and administrative reforms solidified Egypt's status as a dominant regional power.
    • He left a legacy as a great warrior-pharaoh and an effective administrator, whose policies ensured the prosperity and stability of Egypt for generations.
  2. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Numerous inscriptions, reliefs, and monuments from Thutmose III’s reign provide detailed accounts of his military campaigns and achievements. The Annals of Thutmose III at Karnak are particularly significant, documenting his victories and conquests.
    • His well-preserved mummy was discovered in the Deir el-Bahari cache, providing valuable insights into his physical appearance and burial practices.
  3. Cultural Contributions:

    • Thutmose III’s patronage of the arts and architecture contributed to the flourishing of Egyptian culture during the New Kingdom. His constructions and artistic commissions set standards for subsequent pharaohs.


Thutmose III was a formidable pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, renowned for his military conquests, administrative reforms, and cultural contributions. His successful campaigns extended Egypt’s influence and secured its borders, while his building projects and religious innovations reinforced his legacy as a great ruler. Thutmose III’s reign marked a high point in ancient Egyptian history, characterized by prosperity, stability, and cultural flourishing.

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