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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Middle Kingdom
11th 12th
Second Intermediate Period
13th 14th 15th 16th 17th
Abydos Dynasty
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Hellenistic Period
Argead Dynasty
Ptolemaic Dynasty

The Twenty-third Dynasty of ancient Egypt was a separate regime of Meshwesh Libyan Pharaohs, who ruled Upper Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period. Their seat of power was situated at Thebes.

Monuments from their kingship show that they controlled Upper Egypt in parallel with the Twenty-second Dynasty. The 23rd dynasty was founded by Takelot II, shortly before the death of Osorkon II. However, an earlier Theban rival king, Horsaiset, already established himself early during the reign of Osorkon II, foreshadowing the diverging 23rd dynasty.

Proto Twenty-Third Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Hedjkheperre-Setepenamun Horsaiset 868-860 BC (8 years) An independent king at Thebes who ruled during the reign of Osorkon II.
Twenty-Third Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Hedjkheperre-Setepenre Takelot II 840-814 BC (26 years) Previously thought to be a 22nd Dynasty pharaoh, he is now known to be the founder of the 23rd Dynasty.
Usermaatre-Setepenamun Padibastet I 829-804 BC (25 years) A rival king who seized Thebes from Takelot II. Allied with Iuput I in Lower Egypt.
Usermaatre-Meryamun Shoshenq VI 804-798 BC (6 years) Successor of Padibastet I. He was defeated and expelled from power by the High Priest Osorkon III in Year 39 of Shoshenq III.
Usermaatre-Setepenamun Osorkon III 796-768 BC (28 years) Son of Takelot II; recovered Thebes, then proclaimed himself king after the death of Shoshenq III.
Usermaatre-Setepenamun Takelot III 773-760 BC (13 years) Co-regent with his father Osorkon III for the first five years of his reign.
Usermaatre-Setepenamun Rudamun 760-757 BC (3 years) Younger son of Osorkon III and brother of Takelot III.
Hedjkheperre-Setepenre Shoshenq VII (?) 757-752 BC (at least 4 years?) Nomen unreadable, probably identical to Takelot II instead.


Shoshenq VIIRudamunTakelot IIIOsorkon IIIShoshenq VIPadibastet ITakelot IIHorsaiset (pharaoh)


  • Beckerath, J. von, 2003: Das Verhältnis der 22. Dynastie gegenüber der 23. Dynastie. In: Nicole Cloth: Es werde niedergelegt als Schriftstück – Festschrift für Hartwig Altenmüller zum 65. Geburtstag. Buske, Hamburg.

Further reading[]

  • H. Jacquet Gordon, "Deux graffiti d'époque libyenne sur le toit du Temple de Khonsu à Karnak" in Hommages à la memoire de Serge Sauneron, 1927-1976 (Cairo: 1979), pp.169-74.
  • K.A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (c.1100--650 BC), 3rd ed., Warminster: 1996.
Preceded by:
22nd Dynasty
Third Intermediate Period
23rd Dynasty
Succeeded by:
25th Dynasty