Egyptian Warfare > Battle of Pelusium (343 BCE)

Battle of Pelusium (343 BCE)

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


The Battle of Pelusium in 343 BCE was a significant military engagement between the forces of the Persian Empire, led by Artaxerxes III, and the rebellious satrap (governor) of Egypt, Nectanebo II. This battle marked a crucial moment in the struggle for control over Egypt during the period of Persian rule. Here's an overview of the Battle of Pelusium in 343 BCE:

  1. Background:

    • In the aftermath of the chaotic and turbulent events following the death of the Persian king Artaxerxes II, Egypt had been ruled by a series of Persian-appointed satraps.
    • Nectanebo II, a member of the native Egyptian ruling class, had risen to power as the satrap of Egypt but had later rebelled against Persian rule, establishing himself as an independent pharaoh.
  2. Persian Invasion:

    • In response to Nectanebo II's rebellion and the threat it posed to Persian control over Egypt, Artaxerxes III, the Persian king, launched a military campaign to reconquer Egypt and suppress the rebellion.
    • Artaxerxes III assembled a formidable army, consisting of Persian troops and mercenaries from various parts of the empire, including Greek mercenaries.
  3. Battle of Pelusium:

    • The Battle of Pelusium took place near the city of Pelusium, located in the eastern Nile Delta region of Egypt.
    • The city of Pelusium was strategically important due to its location at the eastern entrance to the Nile Delta, guarding access to Egypt from the eastern frontier.
    • Nectanebo II and his Egyptian forces, although outnumbered and lacking in resources compared to the Persian army, made a stand at Pelusium, hoping to defend Egypt's independence and sovereignty.
  4. Tactics and Outcome:

    • The details of the battle and the tactics employed by both sides are not well-documented, but it is likely that the Persian army utilized its numerical superiority and superior military organization to overwhelm Nectanebo II's forces.
    • Despite the valiant efforts of the Egyptian defenders, the Persian army succeeded in defeating Nectanebo II's army and capturing the city of Pelusium.
  5. Consequences:

    • The defeat at the Battle of Pelusium marked the end of Nectanebo II's reign and the restoration of Persian control over Egypt.
    • Artaxerxes III reestablished Persian administration in Egypt, appointing a new satrap to govern the province and asserting Persian authority over the region.
    • The reconquest of Egypt by Artaxerxes III represented a significant victory for the Persian Empire, reaffirming its power and influence in the eastern Mediterranean region.

In summary, the Battle of Pelusium in 343 BCE was a decisive engagement in the Persian reconquest of Egypt, leading to the defeat of the rebellious satrap Nectanebo II and the restoration of Persian control over Egypt. This battle marked a crucial moment in the struggle for dominance in the eastern Mediterranean region during the fourth century BCE.


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