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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
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Protodynastic Period
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Old Kingdom
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First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
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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
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Hellenistic Period
Argead Dynasty
Ptolemaic Dynasty

The Saite or Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt was the last native dynasty to rule History of Ancient Egypt before the Persian conquest (although others followed), and had its capital at Sais. It is part of the Late Period.

This dynasty traced its origins to the Twenty-fourth Dynasty. Psamtik I was the great-grandson of Bakenrenef, and following the Assyrians invasions during the reigns of Taharqa and Tantamani, he was recognized as sole king over all of Egypt. While the Assyrian Empire was preoccupied with revolts and civil war over control of the throne, Psammetichus threw off his ties to the Assyrians, and formed alliances with Gyges, king of Lydia, and recruited mercenaries from Caria and Greece to resist Assyrian attacks.

With the sack of Nineveh in 612 BC and the fall of the Assyrian Empire, both Psammetichus and his successors attempted to reassert Egyptian power in the Near East, but were driven back by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II. With the help of Greek mercenaries, Wahibre was able to hold back Babylonian attempts to conquer Egypt, but it was the Persians who conquered Egypt, and their king Cambyses II carried Psamtik III to Susa in chains.

The Proto-Twenty-sixth Dynasty consists of three kings who ruled the Nile Delta from Sais and probably descended from the Twenty-fourth Dynasty. They founded the Twenty-sixth Dynasty when Psamtik I unified Egypt by pushing the Nubian Twenty-fifth Dynasty back into Nubia.

Sextus Julius Africanus states in his often accurate version of Manetho's Epitome that this dynasty was comprised of a total of 9 kings beginning with a Stephinates (Tefnakhte II) and ending with Psammetichus III (Psamtik III). Africanus also correctly notes that Psammetichus I and Necho I (Nekau I) ruled Egypt for 54 and 8 years respectively.

Proto-Twenty-sixth Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Menibre/Iribre Tefnakhte II 685–678 BC (7 years) Manetho's Stephinates. Father of Nekau I, may have been a descendant of the Twenty-fourth Dynasty.
Menibre/Iribre Nekauba 678–672 BC (6 years) Manetho's Nechepsos. His existence has been questioned.
Menkheperre Nekau I 672–664 BC (8 years) Father of Psamtik I, was killed by an invading Kushite force in 664 BC under Tantamani.
Twenty-sixth Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Wahibre Psamtik I 664-610 BC (54 years) Reunified Egypt. Son of Nekau I and father of Nekau II.
Wehemibre Nekau II 610-595 BC (15 years)
Neferibre Psamtik II 595-589 BC (6 years)
Haaibre Wahibre 589-570 BC (19 years) Also known as Manetho's Waphres or Herodotus' Apries. Fled Egypt after Ahmose III (who was a general at the time) declared himself pharaoh following a civil war.
Khnemibre Ahmose III 570-526 BC (44 years) The last great ruler of Egypt before the Persian conquest. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, he was of common origins.
Ankhkaenre Psamtik III 526-525 BC (6 months) Son of Ahmose III. Ruled for about six months before being defeated by the Persians in the Battle of Pelusium and subsequently executed for attempting to revolt.


Psamtik IIIAhmose IIIWahibrePsamtik IINekau IIPsamtik I

See also[]

Preceded by:
25th Dynasty
Late Period
26th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
27th Dynasty