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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-fifth Dynasty originated in Kush at the city-state of Napata, whence they invaded and took control of Egypt under Piye (spelled Piankhi in older works). Manetho does not mention either the first king Piye, or the last king Tanutamun, although inscriptions exist to attest to the existence of both. This dynasty is often considered part of the Third Intermediate Period.

The following chronology follows recent research by Dan'el Kahn[1] which argues that Shabaka was king of Egypt by 705 BC. This is based on evidence from an inscription of the Assyrian king Sargon II, which was found in modern day Northwestern Iran and dated to 706 BC. This inscription calls Shabaka the king of Melunha, and states that he sent back to Assyria a rebel named Iamanni in handcuffs. Kahn's arguments have been widely accepted by many Egyptologists including Rolf Krauss, and Aidan Dodson[2] among others at the SCIEM 2000 (Synchronisation of Civilisations of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C.) project with the notable exception of Kenneth Kitchen and Manfred Bietak at present.

Proto-Twenty-fifth Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Alara ca. 780-760 BC Earliest known Kushite king; considered the dynasty's founder. Established Napata as the religious capital of Kush and unified all of Upper Nubia, thereby paving the way for his successors to expand northwards into Egypt. Alara did not declare himself pharaoh, however, since he never controlled any region of Egypt.
Twenty-fifth Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Nimaatre Kashta ca. 760-746 BC Declared himself pharaoh and expanded his kingdom's influence into Upper Egypt.[3]
Usermaatre Piye 746-714 BC (32 years) Conquered Middle and most of Lower Egypt in his Year 20; full reign at least 24 years and possibly 30+ years.
Djedkare Shabataka 714-705 BC (9 years) Believed to be Shabaka's successor until the 2010s.
Neferkare Shabaka 705-690 BC (15 years) Believed to be Shabataka's predecessor until the 2010s.
Khuinefertemre Taharqa 690-664 BC (26 years) Known to have ruled for 26 years.
Bakare Tanutamun 664-653 BC (11 years) Lost control of Upper Egypt in 656 BC when Psamtik I extended his authority into Thebes that year.

Starting from the reign of Taharqa onwards, the kings of this dynasty were driven back into Nubia, at first by the Assyrians, then by the kings of the 26th Dynasty. Their successors came to settle in Nubia, where they established a kingdom at Napata (656 BCE - 590 BCE) then later at Meroë (590 BC - 4th century AD).




  1. "The Inscription of Sargon II at Tang-i Var and the Chronology of Dynasty 25," Orientalia 70 (2001), pp.1-18
  2. Journal of Egyptian Archeology 82(2002), p. 182 n. 24.
  3. The New Encyclopædia Britannica: Micropædia, Vol.8, 15th edition, 2003, p. 817.

External links[]

Preceded by:
22nd, 23rd and 24th Dynasties
Third Intermediate Period
25th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
26th Dynasty