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New! Detailed Egyptian History since 60,000 years ago till Modern Egypt.


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Egypt History from 60,000 years B.C.






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History of Egypt Since 60,000 B.C till Now!

Like other peoples of antiquity, the Egyptians had no exact system of chronology, events being usually dated according to the years of king’s reign. For this purpose the priest maintained long lists of kings, several fragments of which have survived. The Abydos king list gives the names of 76 kings, from Menes to Sethos I; the Tablet of Karnak lists 32 kings, from Menes to Tuthmosis III; the Tablet of Saqqara lists 47, from Merbapen (Enezib?) to Ramesses II; the Turin Papyrus, written in hieratic script in the 19th Dynasty and preserved in fragmentary form, gives the names of 17 kings of the Pre-Dynastic and earliest Dynastic period; and the Palermo Stone, probably dating from the 5th Dynasty, of which only five small fragments survive, mentions eight kings of the 1st Dynasty and nine of the 2nd.

Lists of this kind provided the basis for the “History of Egypt” written by Manetho of Sebennytus (now Samannud), a priest of Heliopolis in the reigns of Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus who complied the three volumes of his history for Ptolemy II about 300 B.C. Since Manetho, as a priest, had access to all the writings and documents preserved in the temples the information he gives is likely to be reliable. The “History” itself is unfortunately lost, but extracts from it are preserved in the writings of Josephus (A.D. 37/38-c. 100), Julius Africanus (c. A.D. 200) and Eusebius (c. A.D. 340), who, 600 years after Manetho’s death, still depended on the material he assembled in writing their owns works.

It was Manetho who first arranged all the rulers of Egypt from the first king, Menes, to Alexander the Great in thirty dynasties broadly corresponding to the various ruling houses which successively (or at certain periods simultaneously) held sway in Egypt. This arrangement is still generally accepted; but in addition the dynasties are now grouped together in a number of kingdoms (Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom) and periods. In view of the gaps in our sources it is usually not possible to give exact dates for the dynasties up to the time of Psammetichus I: before the 2nd millennium, therefore, the dates given are subject to margin of error of several decades or even centuries. Nor is the identity of the early kings of the 1st Dynasty clear beyond doubt, since all the Pharaohs had several names, which sometimes makes it difficult to establish their chronological relationships.

An important contribution to exact dating is made by the so-called Sothic dates, obtained from events recorded as having coincided with the heliacal rising of Sirius (Sothis). Such dates are, however, available only from the beginning of the Middle Kingdom.    

Much information on Egyptian history can be gleaned from the accounts by Herodotus (c. 490-420 B.C.) and Strabo (c. 63 B.C.-c. A.D. 25) of their visits to Egypt. They can be regarded as reliable sources, however, only so far as they record the writers’ own observations.

Prehistoric period (before 60,000 to c. 3000 B.C.). –The Prehistoric period is still largely obscure. Later traditions held that during this period the country was ruled by gods and demigods. It can at any rate be taken as certain that there was no unified State and that Egypt was broken up into numerous tribal territories at very different stages of cultural development.

Before 60,000 B.C.

Palaeolithic period: finds of crudely worked stone tools in gravel-beds at Luxor bear witness to human settlement in the Nile Valley almost 2 million years ago.

After 7000 B.C.

Neolithic period: adoption of a settled way of life (villages, agriculture, stockrearin).

Circa 5000 B.C.

Fayyum A culture: weaving, basket-making and pottery in simple forms. Fayyum B culture: agriculture and pottery unknown. Traces of Neolithic village settlements an the edges of the Delta. Burials in retracted position in Upper Egypt.

After 4000 B.C

Badarian culture in Nubia.

Circa 3600 B.C.

The Naqada I culture (Amratian) spreads: white-painted burnished pottery, stone cosmetic palettes and small amulets found as grave goods.

Circa 3200 B.C.

The Naqada II culture (Gerzean) extends to the whole to the whole of Egypt. Decorated pottery (“Egyptian fanience”) and finely worked stone vessels. Metalworking introduced from the Near East.

Early period (c. 3000- c. 2640 B.C.). –In the middle of the 4th millennium B.C. there is a rapid development of crafts, architecture and, later, writing. It is established that important culture impulses came from Mesopotamia; but whether how far there were also influences from another advanced culture is less clear. According to the Egyptian tradition-which has found some confirmation in archaeological evidence- a foreign people which sacrificed to Horus and is now seen as a “master race” moved into the Delta and the Nile Valley, bringing with them their culture and a highly developed State structure. This people seems to have formed the aristocracy out of which grew the later Egyptian kingdom. There thus emerged within a few centuries two highly developed monarchies, lower Egypt and Upper Egypt.

Lower Egypt comprised the whole of the Delta region, with Buto as its capital and the Red Crown as the symbol of royal authority. UPPER EGYPT extended up the Nile Valley from Memphis (Cairo) to the first Cataract at Aswan. The capital was Hieraconpolis, the symbol of royalty the White Crown. Each of the states was divided into provinces, originally no doubt independent principalities.

This division left its mark on the whole of subsequent Egyptian history. Thus when the two kingdoms were united the symbol for the new unified kingdom consisted of the two plants which had previously been the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt, the louts and the papyrus. The king was styled “king of Upper and lower Egypt” – a title still borne by the last of the kings- or “Lord of the Two Lands”, and wore the double crown, which was a combination of the White Crown of Upper Egypt and the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. At the base of the walls of the temple the nomes of the South were represented on one side, the nomes of the North on the other. And the administration of the country almost always took account of the division, which in any event was matched by the geographical diversity of the two territories.

Circa 3000-2640  The country is united and consolidated after a period of military conflict. How this unification came about is not known, but it was undoubtedly initiated from Upper Egypt; it is ascribed to the legendary king Menes. – The rules of the first two dynasties had their capital at This or Thinis (Abyodos) in Upper Egypt, and accordingly are known as the Thinites.

The Egyptian calendar, based on the solar year of 365 days, is in use from the early period. The year begins in mid July with the onset of the Nile flood.          

Old Kigdom (c. 2640-c. 2160, 3rd-6th Dynasties).- This period sees the building of the pyramids (the symbol of supreme power, both royal and divine) and flowering of art. Djoser (Zoser) establishes the capital at Memphis (Cairo). An official caste endowed with hereditary landed property which is exempt from taxes develops in the course of generations into a dominant feudal force which brings about the fall of the kingdom at the end of the 6th Dynasty.

3rd Dynasty

Circa 2640-2575 Djoser (Zoser) transfers the capital to Memphis and builds the Step Pyramid of Saqqara as his tomb. The earliest mastabas date from this period.

4th Dynasty

Circa 2575-2465 Sneferu builds the Pyramid of Meidum. Cheops (Khufu), Chephern (Khafre) and Mycerinus (Menkaure) build the three great Pyramids of Giza. Redjedef builds his pyramid at Abu Roash.

 5th Dynasty

Circa 2465-2325 Userkaf founds the 5th Dynasty. Most of the kings build their pyramids at Abusir, where sun-temples are also erected in honor of the sun god Re.

Circa  2455-2443 Sahure carries on wars with the Libyans and Asiatics.

Circa 2416-2392 Niuserre builds the Sun Temple of Abu Gurab.

Circa 2355 Unas (Onnos), last king of the 5th Dynasty, builds his pyramid at Saqqqara, the interior walls of which bear the earliest funerary reliefs and inscriptions. After his death internal dissensions appear to have broken out, bringing a new dynasty to power.

6th Dynasty

Circa 2325-2160 The power of the kings declines as the small local principalities increasingly recover their independence. Egypt has far-reaching trading relations with the Upper Nile, the land of Punt (Somali coast) and Syria.

Teti (Othoes), Phiops (Pepi) I, Merenre (Methusuphis) and Phiops (Pepi) II build their pyramids at Saqqara.

First Intermedite Period (c. 2134-c. 2040; 7th-10th Dynasties). –Insecurity and dynastic strife weaken the kingdom, which falls at the end of the 6th Dynasty. The descendants of that dynasty may possibly have continued to reign at Memphis as the 7th and 8th Dynasties, but a new race of kings (9th and 10th Dynasties) establish themselves at Heracleopolis, and may for a time have gained control of the whole of Egypt. At the court of Heracleopolis, particularly during the reign of king Khety (Achtoes) there is a flowering of literature, but the art of the period is degenerate and provincial.

Middle Kingdom (c.2040-c. 1650; 11th-14th Dynasties). –The 11th Dynasty, established by energetic Theban princes, marks the beginning of a period of prosperity and cultural flowering during which the country extends to broadly its present extent.

11th Dynasty

Circa 2040-1991 A race of Theban princes extend their power beyond their own province and gradually gain control of the whole of Egypt. Most of them bear the name of Antef or Mentuhotep (Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep at Deir el-Bahri).

12th Dynasty

Circa 1991-1785 A prosperous period which sees much building. Remains of the structures erected by the kings of this dynasty are to be seen in almost every Egyptian town of any size. Flowering of art and literature.

1991-1962 Amenemhet (Ammenemes)/ restores peace and rules over the whole of Egypt. His tomb is the Northern Pyramid at lisht.

1971-1928 Sesostris (Senwosert)/ conquers Nubia. His tomb is the Southern Pyramid at Lisht.

1929-1895 Amenemhet (Ammenmes)// builds his pyramid at Dahshur.

1897-1878 Sesostris (Senworest) //. Pyramid at El-Lahun.

1878-1841 Sesostris (Senworest) III, the Sesostris famed among the Greeks, consolidates his hold on Nubia. Pyramid at Dahshur.

1844-1797 Amenmhet (Ammenemes) III builds the Pyramid and the Great Temple of Hawara, known as the Labyrinth.

1798-1790 Anenemhet (Ammenemes) IV.

1789-1786 Queen Sobkneferu.

Second Intermediate Period (c. 1785-c. 1650; 13th and 14th Dynasties). –Under the kings of this dynasty, mostly named Sobkhotep, the kingdom declines as a result of domestic dissensions. Many kings succeed one another, most of them reigning only for a brief period. While descendants of the old Theban kings may still have ruled in the south, a new race establishes itself in the western Delta as the 14th dynasty, with its capital at Xois. –Nubia becomes an independent State (capital Kerma).

Hyksos period (c. 1650-c. 1551; 15th and 16th Dynasties). – The Hyksos (“Princes of the Foreign Lands”, in the past erroneously translated “Shepherd kings”), a people of mixed Hurrian and Semitic origin, advance into Egypt from the north-east, conquer the whole country and rule over it for a century. Few remains of this period survive, but it is evident that the Hyksos largely assimilated Egyptian culture. They introduce the horse-drawn chariot into the Nile Valley, and the scarab becomes a popular symbol of good fortune. During this period Theban princes (17th Dynasty;tombs at Dra Abu el-Naga) rule in the south, at first as vassals of the Hyksos.

Circa 1560 Seqenenre and his sons Kamose and Ahmose lead a rebellion against the Hyksos king Apophis (Apopi) /. (Seqenbre’s mummy was found at Deir el-Bahri; his wife was Queen Ahotep.)

Circa 1552 Kamose defeats the Hyksos.

Circa 1551 Ahmose (Amosis) captures Avaris, the chief Hyksos stronghold in the eastern Delta, and expels the intruders. Egypt is reunited. (The Biblical story of the Exodus may possibly relate to the expulsion of the Hyksos.)

NEW KINGDOM (c. 1551-712; 18th-24th Dynasties). –Under the New Kingdom, with its capital at Thebes, Egypt becomes a Great Power. At first the culture of the New Kingdom differs little from that of the Middle Kingdom, but after the conquests of the Tuthmosis III, when Egypt had close relations with western Asia, there are fundamental changes in Egyptians life and art. Enormous wealth flows into the country in the form of tribute from subject lands, especially into the capital. Splendid new buildings replace the older ones that had fallen into disrepair.

1555-1528 Amenophis (Amenhotep) /. He and his mother Nefertari are later regarded as guardian deities of the Theban necropolis.

1528-1510 Tuthmosis (Dhutmose)/ conquers Upper Nubia. He is the first Pharaoh to have his tomb constructed in the Valley of the Kings.

1510-1490 Tuthmosis (Dhutmose)//. After his death there is conflict for the succession. 

1490-1468 Hatshepsut, daughter of Tuthmosis I and wife of her stepbrother Tuthmosis II, assumes the Regency on behalf of her stepson Tuthmosis III and eventually rules as Queen in her own right. Her mortuary temple is at Deir el-Bahri.

1490-1436 After Hatshepsut’s death Tuthmosis (Dhutmose) III becomes sole ruler. One of the greatest of Egyptian kings, he conquers Syria and establishes Egyptian influence in western Asia. Temples at Thebes, Amada, Buhen, etc.; tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1438-1412 Amenophis (Amenhotep) II. Temple at karnak; tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1412-1402 Tuthosis (Dhtmose) IV. He has the sand cleared from the Sphinx of Giza. Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1402-1364 Amenophis (Amenhotep)III, known to the Greeks as Memnon, establishes relations with the kings of Bbylon, Assyria, Mitanni (on the Upper Euphrates), etc., evidence of which is provided by the clay tablets found at Tell el-Amarna. Temples in Nubia and at Luxor, Medinet Habu, etc. his tomb and that of his wife Tiy are in the Valley of the Kings.

1364-1347 Amenophis (Amenhotep) IV replaces the old religion by the worship of a single deity, the Sun. the new movement is directed primarily against Amun and his fellow Theban gods, who under the New kingdom had overshadowed all other deities, and their figures and names are erased from temples and other monuments. Since the King’s name includes the name of Amun he changes it to Akhenaten (“the solar disc is content”). The capital is moved from Thebes to Tell el-Amarna, where a new art style (the”Amarna style”) develops. After the King’s death (tomb in the Valley of the kings) there is a troubled period during which the new religion is abolished. Akhenaten’s wife was Nefertiti.

1347-1338 Tutankhamun, Akhenaten’s youthful son-in-law, moves the capital back to Memphis. The discovery in 1922 of his intact tomb in the Valley of the kings was one of the graet archaeological sensations of modern times.

1339-1335 Ay, perhaps Nefertit’s father, succeds Tutankhamun after his early death.

19th Dynasty

1306-1186 Egypt recovers its strength and in the reigns of Sethos I and Ramsses II reasserts itself as a world Power.

1333-1306 Horemheb (Harmais), Supreme Comunder of the Army and Governor of the kingdom under Amenophis IV and his successors, restores internal peace. Campaign against Nubia. Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1306-1304 Ramesses I. Tomb in the Valley of the kings.

1304-1290 Sthos (Seti) I wages wars against the liyans, the Syrians and the Hittites, a powerful people who during the 18th Dynasty had advanced from Asia Minor into northern Syria and threatened Egyptian possession in Syria and Palestine. Large temples at karnak, Qurna and Abydos. Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1290-1224 Ramesses II, the most celebrated of the Egyptian kings, wages a long-drawn-out war with the Hitties (1285, Battle of Qadesh, near the present-day Syrian town of Homs). A peace treaty is signed in the 21st year of the king’s reign, leaving Palestine proper in Egyptian hands, while northern Syria is required to pay tribute to the Hitties. During his 67 years’ reign Ramesses develops extraordinary activity as a builder: approximately half the surviving tmples date from his time, and his name is found on almost every ancient Egyptian site. Among the major temples of his reign are at Abu Simble, Krnak, Luxor, the Rmesseum, Abydos, Memphis and Bubastis. Tomb in the Valley of the Kings. –Ramesses II has often been identified, but without any valid grounds, with the Pharaoh who oppressed the Israelites (Exodus 1:11).

1224-1214 Merneptah (Menephthes), Ramesses II’s only surviving son, makes war on the Libyans and the Mediterranean peoples allied with them, and on the Ethiopains. Mortuary temple in Thebes, tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1214-1186 The reigns of Sethos II (1214-1208) and Merneptah Siptah (1208-1202) are followed by a period of anarchy and decline.

20th Dynasty

1186-1070  A brief period of relative (but deceptive) tranquility.

1186-1184 Sethnakhte restores peace and order. Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1184-1153 Ramesses III defeats the Libyans in two great battles repels an invasion by barbarian peoples (Philistines, etc.), on land and see, coming from Asia Minor. The 21 years of this reign seem a time of tranquility during which great buildings such as the Temple of Medinet Habu are erected; but there are also accounts of increasing unrest and poverty. The king presents lavish gifts to the gods, particularly (like his predecessors) to Amun of Thebes. In consequence the High Priest of Amun gradually becomes the most powerful figure in the country. Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1153-1070  After the murder of Ramesses III his succesors Ramesses IV-XI fall increasingly under the influence of the priests of Amun, and finally, after the death of Ramesses XI, the High Priest Herihor briefly occupies the throne.

21st (Tanite) Dynasty

1070-945 After the break-up of the kingdom a new dynasty arises in Tanis which contracting marriage alliances with the Tanite Royal House Pinudjem (Psusennes) VI, priest-king of Thebes, becomes King of the whole of Egypt, while his sons obtain the influential and Iucrative dignity of high Priests of Thebes. Nubia becomes independent, and Egypt loses control of Palestine.  

22nd Dynasty

945-722  Kings of Libyan origin, whose ancestors, belonging to the Meshwesh tribe, had come to Egypt as mercenary chieftains, settled in the eastern Delta and grew in power as the monarchy declined. Bubastis becomes the capital, and Thebes declines still further in importance. Princes of the Royal House become High Priests of Amun.

Circa 940 Sesonchis (Seshonq) I, the shishak of the Old Testament, overthrows’ the Tanites. In the fifth year of the reign of king Rehoboam of Judah (924) he captures Jerusalem and plunders the Temple of Solomon, commemorating his victory by the erection of a temple at EL-Hiba. –Under his successors Osorkon, Takelothis and Sesonchis II the kingdom declines and breaks up into small principalities.

23rd Dynasty

808-715  The capital of this dynasty is at Tanis. The Kings of Ethiopia make themselves masters of Upper Egypt.

Circa 730 Tefnakhte, Prince of Sais and Memphis, attempts to gain control of the lower Nile Valley but is defeated by the Ethiopian King Piankhi, who also conquers Memphis.

24th Daynasty

715-712 Bocchoris (Bekenrenef), Tafnakhte’s son and successor, establishes sovereignty over Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt is in the hands of Ethiopian rulers. Sabakon (Shabaka) of Kush, son of Kashta, overthrows Bocchoris and has him burned to death. The whole of Egypt falls for a time into Ethiopian hands.

Late period (712-332; 25th-31st Dynasties).-In spite of continual wars and period of subjection to Persia this is a time of cultural flowering and prosperity. Egypt loses its independence for many centuries, but its new rulers like to present themselves as the legitimate successors to the earlier Pharaohs and are concerned to preserve the great Egyptian cultural heritage.

25th Dynasty

712-664 Ethiopian kings.

712-700 Sabakon (Shabaka) supports the small Syrian Statets against Assyria.

700-688 Sebichos (Shebitku).

688-663 Taharqa, the Tirhaka of the Old Testament, also supports the Syrian and Palestinian princes against the Assyrians, but is defeated about 670 by the Assyrian King Esahaddon, who also captures Memphis, and is compelled to feel to Ethiopia. Both Upper and Lower Egypt become subject to the Assyrians; the petty kings of Egypt (Necho of Sais, etc.) retain possession of their cities as Assyrian vassals. Several unsuccessful attempts to expel the Assyrians.

663 Tanutamun, Shabka’s son, attempts to recover Egypt. At first successful, he is later defeated by the Assyrians and driven back into Upper Egypt. Prince Psammentichus os Sais, Necho’s son, takes advantage of the absence of the main Assyrian forces, which are tied down in Babylon and Elam, to shake off the Assyrian yoke, with the help of king Gyges of Lydia. The occupying forces are expelled, the power of the small independent principalities is curbed and Egypt is again united. Ethiopia is now finally separated from Egypt.

26th Dynasty

663-525 Egypt enjoys another period of prosperity. Trade begins to flourish as a result of the relations now established with Greece, and there is a fresh flowring of the arts. Even under the Ethiopian kings there had been a return to the models of the classical period of Egyptian art, the Old and Middle Kingdoms, and occasionally also the 18th Dynasty; and the Old Kingdom was now also imitated in other fields- in literature, the orthography of inscriptions and even the titles of officials.

663-609 Psammetichus I.

609-593 Necho. While the Assyrian Empire is fighting for its existence with Babylonia and Media  he conquers Syria (Battle of Megiddo, in which king Josiah of Judah is killed), but is defeated by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Carchemish and loses his possessions in Syria and Palestine. –The construction of a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea is begun, but is abandoned in obedience to an oracle.

593-588 Psammetichus II. War with Ethiopia.

588-569 Apries (Wahibre), the Hophrah of the Old Testament, seeks to recover Syria, but cannot prevent the Capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (587). Military rising in Libya: Apries’s general Amasis is declared King and he himself is deposed.

569-525 Amasis (Ahmose) consolidates his position by marrying a daughter of Psammetichus II. After a campaign by Nebuchadnezzar against Egypt he abandons Egyptian claims to territory in Syria. Naucratis is ceded to the Greeks, and soon becomes the Country’s principal trading town. Friendship with Polycrates of Samos.

525 Psammetichus III is defeated by the Persian King Cambyses at Pelusium. Egypt becomes a Persian province.

27th (Persian) Dynasty

525-338 The Persian kings present themselves as successors to the native rulers; there is no interference with the ancient religion.

525-521 Cambyes. Unsuccessful expedition to the oases in the Libyan Desert; campaign against Ethiopia.

521-486 Darius I seeks to promote the strength and prosperity of Egypt. He completes the canal from the Nile to the Red Sea, sends a strong garrison to the Kharga Oasis and builds a Temple of Amun (Ammon) there. After the Battle of Marathon (490) the Egyptians temporarily expel the Persians.

486-465 Xerxes I recovers Egypt and appoints his brother Achaemenes satrap (provincial governor).

456-425 Artaxerxes I.

463 Egypt again rebels against Persian rule. Inarus, Prince of Marea (on Lake Mareotis), defeats Achaemenes with Athenian help, but is himself defeated and crucified by the Persian General Megabyzus et the island of Prosopitis in the Delta.

After 449 Herdotus visits Egypt.

424-404 Darius II. Decline of Persian power.

404-338 In the reigns of Artaxerxes II (404-362) and Artaxerxes III (362-338) Egypt briefly recovers independence under native rulers (Manetho’s 28th-30th Dynasties).

28th Dynasty

404-399 Amyrataeus of Sais maintains his authority only for a brief period. Various dynasts contend for power in Lower Egypt.

29th Dynasty

399-379 A dynasty from Mendes, which relies mainly on Greek mercenaries for support.

398-393 Nepherites (Nefaurud) I.

392-380 Achoris (Hagor) beats off a Persian attack in a three years’ war.

379 Psammuthis (Pshenmut). –Nepherites II reigns only for a few months.

30th Dynasty

378-341 last native dynasty.

378-361 Nectanebo (Nekhtenbef) I of Sebennytus, a powerful ruler in whose reign large temples are again built (Philae, Medinet Habu; gateway at karnak).

31st Dynasty

341-332 Egypt is ruled by foreign dynasts. –Artaxerxes III again conquers Egypt for Persia. Nectanebo flees to Ethiopia; the temples are plundered.

341 King Khabash, perhaps belonging to an Ethiopian dynasty, briefly recovers the whole of Egypt.

332 Alexander the Great occupies the whole of Egypt.

Greek rule (332-30 B.c). –Under the Ptolemies the lower Nile Valley is once again, for three centuries, the seat of a flourishing kingdom. At first governed by gifted rulers, it is later reduced by internal dissension and struggles for power to political importance, and finally becomes a dependency of Rome. The Ptolemies, like the Persians, present themselves as legitimate heirs to the Pharaohs and respect Egyptian religion and customs.

332-323 Alexander the Great fosters the ancient religion, and in 331 travels to the Temple of Zeus Ammon in the Siwa Oasis, where he is greeted by the priests as the son of Ammon and confirmed as king of Egypt. He founds Alexandria, which soon becomes a great center of commerce and Greek culture. After Alexander’s death the Macedonian Empire falls apart.

322-285 Egypt becomes the satrapy of Ptolemy I Soter(“Saviour”), son of Lagus. At first he acts as Regent for Philip Arrhidaeus, Alexander II, his son, and later for Alexander alone. After Alexander’s death (311) he assumes the royal title (305). Foundation of the Alexandrian Museum and of the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in Upper Egypt.

285-247 Ptolemy II Philadelphus (“Sister-lover”). Married first to Arsinoe I, daughter of Lysimachus, and then to his sister Arsioe II. Arsinoe II (D. 270) becomes the protective goddess of the Fayyum, which is named the Arsinoite nome in her honor. In the reigns of Philadelphus and his successors great elephant-hunts are held on the Somali coast, and the elephants captured are taken back to Egypt to be trained for military use.

247-222 Ptolemy III Euergets (“Benefactor”) I, whose wife is Berenice of Cyrene, makes a short lived conquest of the Seleucid kingdom in Asia Minor. The external power of Egypt is now at its peak. –An unsuccessful attempt is made by the priests to reform the calendar by intercalating an extra day every four years.

222-204 Ptolemy IV Philopator(“father-lover”). –He and his successors start the kingdom on the road to ruin by their mismanagement. He defeats Antiochus III (the Great) of Syria, who had threatened the Egyptian frontier, in the Battle of Raphia (217), but the concludes a dishonorable peace. His wife is Arsinoe III, his sister. –Two native Pharaohs, Harmachis and Anchmachis, rule at Thebes (205-184).

204-182 Ptolemy IV Epiphanes (“famous”) comes to the throne at the age of five under the guardianship of Agathocles and Agathocles’ mother Oenanthe. A rebellion in Alexandria compels Agathocles and Oenanthe to resign their office; and Agathocles and Oenanthe to resign their office; and Antiochus the Great of Syria and Philip V of Macedon take advantage of Egypt’s domestic troubles to invade its outlying provinces. Egypt offers the guardianship of  Epiphanes to the Roman Senate, which cedes Coelesyria and Palestine to Antiochus, while Egypt remains independent. Epiphanies marries Cleopatra, daughter of Antoichus. The affairs of the country fall into increasing confusion; one rebellion succeeds another, and anarchy prevails.

181 Epiphanes is poisoned.

181-146 Ptolemy VI Philometor (“Mother-Lover”), at first under the guardianship of his mother Cleopatra. He allows Onians to build a Jewish temple in Leontopolis(Tell el-Yahudiya).

171 Battle of Pelusium. Philometor is taken prisoner by Antiochus IV of Syria and Memphis is captured. His younger brother Ptolemy VII Physcon (“Pot-Belly”), who at first also bears the name of the Philometor, is Proclaimed King by the People of Alexandria.

170-163 Philometor and Physcon, now reconciled, rule jointly, together with their sister Cleopatra, Philometr’s wife.

163 The brothers again quarrel. Philometor, exiled by his younger brother, flees to Rome. He is brought back under Roman protection and thereafter rules alone, while Physcon becomes king of Cyrene.

146 Philometor dies and is succeeded by his son Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator, who reigns only a few months.

146-117 Ptolemy VII Euergetes II Physcon becomes sole ruler. He marries his brother’s widow and later his niece Cleopatre III.

130 Euergetes II is expelled in a revolution and flees to Cyprus. He is replaced by Cleopatra, with the names of Philometor Soteira. He murders his son Memphis, who had put forward a rival claim to the throne.

127-117 Euergetes II recovers the throne.

From 117 Joint rule by Euergetes’ widow Cleopatra Cocce and her son Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyrus.

106 Soter II is expelled and replaced as co-ruler by his brother Ptolemy X Alexander I.

88 Alexander is deposed by a rebellion and is killed in a naval battle. Soter II is recalled to the throne. –Rising in Thebes, which is taken after a long siege.

81 After Soter II’s death Ptolemy XI Alexander II marries Cleopatra Berenice III and rules jointly with her.

80 Alexander has Cleopatra murdered and is then killed by the people of Alexandria.

81-51 Ptolemy XI Neos Dionysos , popularly known as Auletes (the “Fute-player”), ascends the throne and is formally recognized by Rome. In 59 he is temporarily expelled by his daughter Berenice (who marries Archelaus, putative son of king Mithridates VI of  Pontus) but is restored by the Romans in 55. the Temple of Edfu is completed and the Temple of  Dendera begun.

51-47 Cleoptra VII and Ptolemy XIII Philopator Philadelphus, daughter and son of Neos Dionysos, rule jointly under the protection of the Roman Senate. Pompey is appointed guardian.

48 Ptolemy banishes his sister Cleopatra. After his defeat in the Battle of  Pharsalus (47) Pompey seeks refuge in Egypt, but, on the instigation of Ptolemy, is killed when he lands at Pelusium. –Caesar comes to Alexandria, takes the part of the banished Cleopatra and defeats Ptolemy, who is drowned in the Nile.

47 Caesar, now Dictator, appoints Cleopatra’s 11-year-old brother Ptolemy XIV Philopator co-ruler.

45 Ptolemy XIV is murdered on Cleopatra’s instigation and Ptolemy XV Caesar (Caesarion), her son by Caesar, is appointed co-ruler.

44 Caesar is murdered.

41 Antony, intending to call Cleopatra to account for the help given by her general Allienus, contrary to her wishes, to Brutus and Cassius in the Battle of Philippi, is captivated by her beauty and intelligence and spends years with her living a life of pleasure and indulgence. He is finally declared by the Senate an enemy of the Roman people.

31 Octavian marches against Antony, defeats him in the Battle of Actium and takes Alexandria. Antony commits suicide in 30 B.C. and Cleopatra also takes her own life (traditionally by the bite of an asp).

30 Egypt is now a Roman province directly subject to the Emperor and governed by a Prefect appointed by him.

Roman rule (30 B.C.-A.D. 395). –Like the Ptolemies, the Roman emperors present themselves to the Egyptian people as successors to the Pharaohs and maintain the appearance of an Egyptian national State.-Christian reached Egypt at an early stage and spreads rapidly.

30/29 The first Roman Governor, Cornelius Gallus, represses a rebellion in Upper Egypt and fights the Ethiopians. Having fallen into disfavor with the Emperor, he is recalled in 27/26 and commits suicide. –Reformed calendar introduced by Augustus.

 27 B.C. Octavian becomes Emperor under the name of Augusts.

24 B.C. Ethiopian invasion of Egypt under Queen Candace.-Strabo visits Egypt.

A.D. 19 Gemanicus, the Emperor’s heir, visits Egypt.

37-41 Caligula. Violent disturbances in Alexandria caused by strife between Greeks and Jews.

41-54 Claudis. The building of the vestibule of the temple at Esna and a Temple at Philae is begun during his rign.

54-68 Nero. Egypt is now a center of the trade between India and Rome.

64 The Apostle Paul is martyred in Rome.

68-69 Galba, Otho and Vitelliu.

69-79 Vespasian is proclaimed Emperor in Alexandria.

79 Titus (vespasian’s son). He sets out from Alexandria on his expedition against Plestine, which ends in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70.

81-96 Domitian promotes the cult of Isis and Sarapis in Rome.

96-98  Nerva.

98-117 Trajan. Reopening of the canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, now called the Amnis Traianus (Trajan’s River).

117-138 Hadrian. He visits Egypt in 130. His friend Antinous is drowned in the Nile and he founds the town of Antinoupolis in his honor.

138-161 Antoninus Pius.

Circa 150 The astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy is active in Alexandria.

161-180 Mrcus Aurelius (ruling jointly with Lucius Verus until 169).

172/173 Rebellion by the Bucoli, cowherds living in the marshes east of Alexandria, quelled by Avidius Cassius.

175 Avidius Cassius is proclaimed Emperor by the legions in Egypt but is murdered in Syria.

176 Marcus Aurelius visits Alexandria.

180-192 Commodus.

Circa 190 Pantarnus, first known head of the theological school in Alexandria; succeeded by Clement (c. 200) and Origen (from 203).

193-211 Septimius Severus.

204 Edict prohibiting Roman citizens from becoming Christians.many Christian communities in the Delta.

211-217 Caracalla visitis Egypt. Massacre in Alexandria.

212 Constitutio Antonina: Roman citizenship granted to inhabitants of Roman provinces.

217-218 Macrinus murders Caracalla and is recognized as Emperor by the Egyptians. After his death there are contests for the succession in Alexandria.

249-251 Decius. Persecution of Christians in 250 in the time of Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria.

253-260 Valerian. Persecution of Christians.

260-268 Gallienus. Christians are granted a measure of toleration. Plague in Egypt.

260 Macrianus, recognized as Emperor by the Egyptian, is killed in lllyria in a battle with Gallienus’s general Domitian.

265 Aemilianus (Alexander) is proclaimed Emperor by troops in Alexandria and recognized by the people, but is defeated and put to death by the Roman legions.

268 Lower Egypt is occupied by the army of Queen Zenobia of Palmyra and part of Upper Egypt by the Blemmyes.

268-270 Claudius II.

270-275 Aurelian.

270 Egypt is reunited with the Empire by the Roman general Probus.

Circa 271 Antony (c. 251-356), a Copt from Coma in Middle Egypt, becomes a hermit in the desert.

276-282 Probus is proclaimed Emperor in Alexandria.

278 Successful campaign against the Blemmyes.

284-305 Diocletian.

292 Rebellion in Upper Egypt.

294 Rising in Alexandria. Diocletian captures the city (295).

303 Persecution of Christians.

305-313 Maximinus. Beginning of the Arian controversy.

Circa 320 Pachomius founds the first monastery at Tabennese.

324-337 Constantine the Great, the first Emperor favorable to the Christians. Reorganization of Egyptian administration: the country becomes a “diocese” and is divided into six provinces-Egypt, Augustamnica. Heptanomis (later called Arcadia), the Thebaid, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.

325 Council of Nicaea. The doctrine of Arius of Alexandria,who held that Christ was created by God before time or the world was and was thus of like nature with God (homoousios) as the Father, is declared alone valid.

328 Athanasius Archbishop of Alexandria.

330 Byzantium (Nova Roma,Constantinopolis) becomes capital of the Emptire and a new center of Greek culture and learning.- Communities of ascetics are established in the Scetic and Nitrian desert.

337-361 Constantius favors Arianism. Athanasius is several times banished from Alexandria.

346 Death of ST Pachomius.

Circa 350 Earliest Coptic translations of the Bible.

361-363 Julian the Apostate.

373 Athanasius dies, having seen the triumph of his cause in the closing years of his life.

379-395 Theodosius I, the Great. Cgristianity becomes the State religion of the Empire. Persecution of Arians and pagans. Destruction of the Serapeum.

395 Division of the Roman Empire: Arcadius Emperor in the East, Honorius in the West.

Byzantine rule (395-638).-Christianity brings fundamental changes in art and intellectual life.

395-450 Aradius. Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria, a fierce advocate of the doctrine that God must be conceived in human form, vigorously pursues the opponents of this doctrine.-Shenute (d. 466), founder of the Egyptian Coptic Church, is Abbot of the White Monastery, Sohag, from about 383.-Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo in North Africa from 395.

408-450 Theodosius II.

412 Theophilus dies and is succeeded as Patriarch by Cyril.

415 The pagan philosopher Hypatia is stoned to death in Alexandria.

431 At the Third Ecumenical Council, held at Ephesus, Patriarch Cyril defends the view-which is opposed by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople since 428 –that the Virgin is the Mother of God (Theotokos).

444 Death of Cyril; he is succeeded by Dioscurus (until 451).

449 At the “Robber Council” of Ephesus Patriarch Dioscurus secures a declaration in favor of the doctrine of Monophysitism, which holds that before his incarnation Christ possessed two natures, human and divine, but that his human nature was afterwards absorbed into his divine nature.

450-457 Marcian. Wars with Nubians and Blemmyes.

451 At the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held at Chalcedon, the Monophysite doctrine is condemned and the doctrine that Christ’s two natures remain unmixed and unchanged, but also indistinguishable and inseparable, is formally promulgated. The Egyptians stands by the Monophysite doctrine.

474-491 Zeno.

491-518 Anastasius.

502 Famine in Egypt.

527-565 Justinian. New administrative measures.

610-641 Heraclius.

619 the Persians under Chosroes II invade Egypt. Alexandria is captured. Chosroes rules with mildness and toleration.

622 Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) flees from Mecca to Medina: the Hegira, the starting-point of Muslim chronology.

626 The Persians are expelled by Heraclius.

632 Death of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). He is succeeded by Abu Bekr as first Caliph.

634 Beginning of the Arab conquest of Syria. Abu Bekr dies; Omar becomes second Caliph.

636 Decisive Arab victory over the Byzantines at the River Yarmuk; fall of Damascus.

637 Arab victory over the Persians at El-Qadisya; fall of Cyesiphon. End of the Sassanid Empire.

638 Fall of Jerusalem. Omar in Syria.

Egypt as a province of the Caliphate (640-968).-Arab rule brings with it the conversion of the country to Islam. The Copts at first enjoy freedom of worship, but towards the end of the 8th century are subject to increased cultural and religious oppression.

640 Amr ibn el-As, Caliph Omar’s general, takes Pelusium and defeats Byzantine forces at Heliopolis.

641 The fortified town of  Babylon is given up to the Arabs after the intervention of Patriarch Cyrus (Muqauqis).

642 Fustat founded as a military base and seat of government. Alexandria is captured.

644-656 Othman. He is overthrown by a rebellion originating in Egypt.

645-646 Alexandria is occupied by a Byzantine fleet but is recovered by Amr. Egypt is now firmly in Arab hands, providing a base for naval campaigns against Byzantium and the conquest of North Africa.

656-661 Civil war fought between Caliph Ali, Mohammed’s son-in-low, and Muawia, founder of the Omayyad dynasty. Egypt is at first held by Ali but in 658 falls to the Omayyads.


658-750 Abrilliant Arab dynasty with Damascus as capital. Arab tribes settle in the Nile Valley, and the system of government is based on Aab models. Many Copts embrace Islam. Egypt is ruled by governors, many of them Omayyad princes.

744-750 Merwan II, last of the Omayyads, flees to Egypt and is murdered there (buried at Abusir el-Melek). The Omayyads are exterminated, with the exception of Abd el-Rahman, who flees to Spain and founds an independent Caliphate in Cordoba (756).


750-868 This new dynasty, which had risen to power on Iranian soil and with Persian assistance, transfers the capital and seat of Government of the Caliphate from Syria to Iraq. Foundation of Baghdad. The Caliphate is now at its peak. Egypt is ruled by frequently changing governors. The Copts are oppressed; frequent revolts.

813-833 Mamun, son of Harun el-Rashid, comes to Egypt and breaks the resistance of the Copts and rebellious Bedouin tribes. The fusion of Arabs and Copts begins, and Arabic becomes the language of fellahin.

Under Mamun’s successors the Caliphate begins to decline; the Government becomes dependent on a guard of Turkish slaves, while the provinces make themselves independent.


868-905 Egypt enjoys a brief period of independence.

868-883 Ahmed ibn Tulun, Governor of Egypt, sets up as an independent Sultan and extends his authority by successful wars beyond into Mesopotamia. There is great building activity during his reign and that of his son Khumaraweih.

883-895 Khumaraweih and his successors are unable to maintain Egyptian independence.


905-935 Egypt is once again governed from Baghdad.

925 An attack by the Fatimid (Shiite) caliphs of Kairouan is repelled.


935-969 The Turkish Governor of Egypt, Mohammed el-Ikhshid (935-946), seizes the throne and founds a short-lived dynasty.

966-968 Mohamed el-Ikshid’s successors are dependent on an Abyssinian eunuch named Kafur, who later usurps the throne and recognizes the suzerainty of the Abbasids. Syria and Plaestine are dependencies of Egypt, and there is brilliant Court in Old Cairo. On Kafur’s death Mohammed el-Ikshid grandson Ahmed, a minor, succeeds to the throne, and the Fatimids take advantage of this moment of Weakness to conquer Egypt.

Egypt under independent rulers (969-1517).-Having gained possession of Egypt,the Fatimids set up their capital at Cairo. They are followed by the Ayyubids, who have to contend with the armies of the Crusades. Thereafter Egypt is ruled for two and a half centuries by the Mamelukes, with two dynasties and a long succession of sultans.


969-1171 The Fatimids, rulers of a kingdom in the western part of North Africa founded in 909 on the basis of Shiite religious movement, trace their descent from Mohamed’s daughter Fatima.

969 Gohar conquers Egypt for the Fatimid ruler El-Muizz and founds the new capital of Cairo.

970 Foundation of the El-Azhar Mosque.

937 El-Muizz comes to Cairo and resides there until his death in 975. He also conquers Syria.

975-996 El-Aziz, El-Muizz’s son, notable for his tolerance and love of learning. Egypt flourishes under his rule.

996-1021 El-Hakim, El-Aziz’s son by a Christian mother, is a religious fanatic, a man of capricious despotic impulses and capable of great cruelty. He later declares himself to be reincarnate of Ali and claims divine veneration. He disappears during one of his nightly rides in the Moqattam Hills-probably assassinated at the instigation of his sister Sitt el-Mulk. The Druses, a sect founded by El-Darazi, believe that he withdrew from the world because of its sinfulness and will one day reappear as Messiah.

1021-36 El-Zahir, El-Hakim’s crule and effeminate son, comes to the throne at the age of 16.Until 1024 his aunt Sitt el-Mulk acts as Regent.

1036-94 El-Mustansir, a weak and indolent ruler.

1047-77 Christodulus, Coptic Patrisrch. The seat of the Patriarchate is moved from Alexandria to Cairo.

1065 The country is ravaged for seven years by plague and famine as a result of the absence of the Nile flood. Palestine and Syria are overrun by the Seljuks, pressing fowrwaed forward from the east. Rebellions of Turkish and Berber mercenaries. The palace and library are plundered.

1074-94 Badr el-Gamali, Mustansir’s Armenian Vizier, restores order order in the capital and rules the country well, with almost absolute power. Building of the stone walls and gates of Cairo and the Giyushi Mosque.

1094 El-Afdal, Gamali’s son, becomes Vizier to the young Caliph.

1094-1101 El-Mustalir’s son, captures Jerusalem and the Syrian costal towns (1096-96), but loses them to them to the armies of the first Crusade.

1099 King Baldwin of Jerusalem makes an unsuccessful attack on Egypt.

1101-59 Under a succession of incapable caliphs the Fatimid kingdom declines. The vizers, El-Aefdal (murdered 1121) and his successors, are the real rulers of the country.

1160-71 El-Adid, last of the Fatimids. The office of vizier is contested by Shawar and Durgham. Shawar is exiled and seeks refuge with Nur el-Din, ruler of northen Syria (with his capital at Damamascus from 1154), who restores him to his Vizierate with the help of Kurdish mercenaries commanded by Shirkuh and Saladin.

1164 Shawar falls out with the kurds and appeals for help to Amalric I, king of Jerusalem, who comes to Egypt and expels the Kurds. He drives back another Kurdish army which attacks Egypt in 1167.

1168 Amalric himself seeks to obtain possession of Egypt, whereupon Shawar appeals to Nur el-Din for help and sets fire to Fustst (November  1168).

1169 On a third campaign in Egypt Shirkuh and Saladin compel Amalric to withdraw and gain control of the country. Shawar is killed and replaced as Vizier by Shirkuh.

1169-93 After Shirkuh’s death he is succeed ed by Saladin (salah el Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub), who at first rulers in the name of the incapable Caliph and after his death becomes absolute ruler.


1171-1250 The reign of Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, is the most brilliant period in the medieval history of Cairo, although the Sultan lives for only eight years in the city and spends the rest of his time campaigning in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia. He begins the building of the Citadel and the town walls. The Shiite doctrines introduced into Egypt by the Fatimids are extirpated. Syria is conquered.

1200-18 Malik el-Adil, Saladin’s brother, briefly preserves the unity of the Empire (which was split up on Saladin’s death).

1211 Adil’s wife, El-Shemsa, builds the Imam el-Shafii Mosque in Cairo. After Adil’s death the Empire falls apart: Egypt passes to his son.

1218-38 Malik el-Kamil, his son, is a shrewd and capable ruler.

1218 Damietta is taken by the army of the Fifth Crusade but is given up in 1221.

1229 The Emperor Frederick II arrives in Palestine with a Crusading army. Kamil concludes a treaty with him under which he is granted possession of Jerusalem and the coastal towns for a period of ten years.

1238-40 El-Kamil is succeeded by his son El-Adil II.

1240-50 El-Salih Ayyub, brother of El-Adil II, who builds a castle on the island of Roda.

1249 Louis IX (St Louis) of France, on the Sixth Crusade, takes Damietta, but a year later is defeated and taken prisoner at El-Mansura by Turanshah ( who had succeeded his father El-Salih). During the negotiations for Louis’s release Turanshah is murdered by his bodyguard, the Mamelukes. One of the Mameluke leaders, Aibek, succeds to the throne after a brief interrebnum of rule by a woman, and founds a new Mameluke Dynasty.

Bahrite Mamelukes

1250-1382 The Mamelukes were slaves (mamluk, “white slave”) purchased by thesultans and trained to serve as their bodyguard or elite troops in their army. They are known as the Bahrite Mamelukes because their barracks were on the island of Roda in the Nile(bahr,”river”). In only 132 years of rule there are no fewer than 25 Bahrite sultans, some of whom reign several times.

1260-77 Baibars I, one of the ablest members of this dynasty, destroys remnants of the kingdom of Jerusalem in four campaigns. He brings to Cairo a scion of the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who had been driven into exile by the capture of Baghdad and the execution of the last Caliph, El-Mustasim, by Hulagu’s Mongols, and installs him and his successors as nominal rulers (1261-1517). Building of the El-Zahir Mosque (1269).

1279-90 Qalaun (El-Mansur Qalaun) succeeds to the throne, displacing Baibars’s son, who is a minor. He holds off the Mongols and establishes relations with the Emperor Rudolf of Habsburg and other rulers. Much building in Cairo: emergence of a distinctively Egyptian style of Islamic architecture.

1290-93 El-Ashraf Kalil captures Acre, the last Christian stronghold in Palestine (1291).

1293-1340 Mohammed el-Nasir (Mohammed ibn Qalaun) succeesds his elder brother Khalil at the age of nine, but is compelled by internal dissensions to flee to Syria. From 1296 Egypt is ruled by El-Mansur Lagin. With the aid of the Syrian emirs El- Nasir regains his throne in 1298, but in 1309 flees to the castle of Kerak (to the east of the Dead Sea) in order to escape from the influence of two emirs who hold the real power, Baibars and Sallar. Baibars II is chosen as Sultan, but when El-Nasir returns in 1310 he makes his submission and is killed. Thereafter El-Nasir returns in 1310 he makes his submission and is killed. Thereafter El-Nasir occupies the throne until his death. Mistrustful, vindictive and greedy, he behaves with the utmost capriciousness, lavishing gifts on his emirs or having them beheaded. The only one who retains his favor was Ismail Abulfida, an Ayyubid, also noted as a historian, who died as prince of Hama (Syria) in 1331. El-Nasir shows himself liberal to the mass of the people and indulgent to the priesthood. In order to provide the enormous sums required to maintain his Court and finance his building program he appoints Christians – who have a reputation for competence and astuteness –to his departments of finance and customs.

1302 Cairo destroyed by an earthquake.

1347-61 El-Nasir succeeded by his sixth son Hasan, who is still under age. The emirs and Mamelukes are free to rule the country at their pleasure, and take advantage of a plague in 1348-49 which carries off whole families to confiscate property thus left ownerless. Hasan is deposed in 1351 by Salih, recovers his throne in 1354, but is assassinated in 1361. The Sultan Hasan Mosque in Cairo is one of the great masterpieces of Islamic architecture in Egypt. –Later sultans are increasingly dependent on the emirs.

Circassian Mamelukes

1382-1517 A Circassian slave named Barquq sets aside the six-year-old Haggi, El-Nassir’s great grandson, seizes the throne and founds a new dynasty.

1382-99 Brquq’s reign is briefly interrupted in 1389/90, when he is displaced by the emirs. He wages successful wars against the Mongols of Tamerlane and the Ottomans under Bayezid.

1399-1412 Farag, Barquq’s son, has barely ascended the throne at the age of 13 when Egypt is again threatened by the Ottomans and soon afterwards by the Mongols. He advances victoriously as far as Damascus, but is obliged to return to Cairo by dissensions among his emirs. After the Mongol victory over the Turks at Angora in 1402 Farag enters into negotiations with Tamerlane. The emirs rebel against his rule, led by Sheikh El-Mahmudi, later Sultan El-Muayyad. Farag is finally besieged by the rebels in Damascus, taken prisoner and executed.

1412-21 Sheikh El-Muayyad conducts victorious campaigns in Syria, aided by the military skill of his son Ibrahim. He re-enacts and rigorously enforces the laws promulgated by Omar el-Mutawakkil (847-861), El-Hakim and El-Nasir prescribing the clothes to be worn by Christians and Jews. He not only lays down colors (for Christians dark blue clothing, a black turban and a wooden cross weighing 5 pounds hung from the neck; for Jews yellow clothing, a black turban and a black ball round the neck) but also regulates the length of the sleeves and the turban, in order to ensure that the cut as well as the colors of their garments are different from the clothes worn by Muslims.

1422-38 El-Ashraf Bars Bey ascends the throne, after governing for some time on behalf of an underage Sultan. Successful campaigns against Cyprus and the Mongols.

1468-96 Qait Bey, one of the last independent Mameluks sultans. Both as a general and a diplomat he maintains his position against the Turks (Sultans Mohamed II and Bayezid II), and inflicts considerable losses on them; but the refractory Mamelukes hamper his efforts and finally compel him to abdicate in favor of his 14-year-old son Mohamed.

1501-16 El-Ghuri (Qansuh el-Ghuri), a former slave of Qait Bey’s, becomes Sultan at the age of over 60, but still possesses sufficient energy to keep the unruly emirs in check. By imposing high taxes and debasing the coinage he dose further damage to Egyptian trade with India at a time when it is already endangered by the Portuguese discovery of the route round the Cape of Good Hope. Instigated by the Venetians, he sends a fleet against the Portuguese in India and wins a naval victory over Francisco d’Almeida, son of the Viceroy, at Chaul (south of Bombay); but his ships are compelled in 1509 to withdraw to Arabia. He is killed in a battle with the army of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I at Dabiq (north of Aleppo) in Syria.

1517 Tuman Bey is deposed by Sultan Selim I and Cairo is taken by storm. Egypt becomes a Turkish pashalik. Selim has Mutawakkil (III), last scion of the Abbasid dynasty, to be brought to Constantinople, from which he returns to Cairo after the Sultan’s death. According to a tradition of somewhat doubtful authenticity, Selim compels Mutawakkil to convey to him his status as Caliph, the temporal head of all Muslim believers – an act on which the Ottoman sultans’ claim to the Caliphate is based.

Turkish rule (1517-1882).-The authority of the Ottoman sultans soon declines, and with it that of their governors. The Egyptian pashas (governors) are required, before introducing any measure, to obtain the consent of 24 Mameluke leaders, the beys collect the taxes, command the militia and merely pay tribute to the pasha.

1768-73 Ali Bey, originally a slave, rises to the dignity of Sultan. He conquers Syria, but during his absence his son-in-law Mohammed Bey Abu Dahab seizes power in Egypt.

1798 Napoleon Bonaparte appears off Alexandria, hoping to destroy British trade in the Mediterranean and British power in India. He takes Alexandria by storm and defeats the Mameluke army in the Battle of the Pyramids; but soon after wards his fleet is destroyed by Nelson in the Battle of the Nile, fought in Abuqir Bay.

1799 Napoleon conquers Middle and Upper Egypt and inflicts an annihilating defeat on the Turks at Abuqir. He then returns from Alexandria to France.

1800 Genral Kleber defeats the Turks at Matariya, but is assassinated in Cairo.

1801 The French are compelled by British force to surrender in Cairo and Alexandria, and evacuate Egypt.

Mohammed (Mehemet) Ali and his successors

1805-82 The period of the French withdrawal saw the rise to prominence of Mohammed (Mehemet) Ali, the ablest ruler that the East had produced for a long time. Born at Kavala in Macedonia in 1769 (the same year as Napoleon), he was the son of Albanian parents. At first made his living as a coffee-dealer; then, during the fighting between Turks and Mamelukes, the new Governor, Kusruf Pasha, put him in command of an Albanian Corps. In this position Mohammed Ali, under the Appearance of impartiality, maneuvered with great adroitness for the destruction of both sides and for his own establishment as ruler of Egypt.

1805 After the expulsion of the Turkish governor Mohammed Ali proclaims himself Pasha and takes possession of the Citadel of Cairo.

1807 With the support of the Mamelukes he defeats the British forces which had occupied Alexandria and Rosetta and compels them to withdraw.

1811 On the occasion of banquet to which 480 Mameluke Leaders had been invited Mohammed Ali has them treacherously massacred by his Albanian troops. The way is now clear for him to rule with almost absolute power. –A campaign against the Wahhabis who had seized control of Arabia, undertaken on behalf of the Turkish Government, is successfully carried through by Mohamed Ali’s son Tusun and, from 181 by his son (or adoptive son?) Ibrahim Pasha, a military commander of outstanding quality.

1819 After fierce fighting the resistance of the Wahhabis collapses. Mohammed Ali turns his attention to military reforms. He employs his lawless Albanians in Nubia and the Sudan and raises an army of fellahin, which fights in Greece, under Ibrahim’s command, during the Greek War of Independence (1824-27).

1827 In the Battle of Navarino the whole Turkish and Egyptian fleet is annihilated. –Mohammed Ali seeks to increase the strength and resources of Egypt by encouraging agricultural improvement and promoting the development of industry.

1832 After the Russian victories over Turkey in 1828-29 Mohammed Ali decides that the time has come to shake off Turkish suzerainty. Ibrahim advances into Syria and within a year is master of Asia Minor. Following intervention by the European Powers, however, the Treaty of Kutahya is concluded, in terms favorable to the Turkish Government.

1839 The Turkish Government makes another attempt to enforce its authority on Mohammed Ali, who has now gained control of south-western Arabia. Ibrahim inflicts an annihilating defeat on the Turkish Army at Nisibin, to the west of Euphrates. After the death of Sultan Mahmud II the entire Turkish fleet, under Ahmed Pasha, the Turkish High Admiral, goes over to Mohammed Ali. Again, however, the European Powers intervene, and Ibrahim is defeated in Lebanon by a British and Austrian expeditionary force. A fleet appears off Alexandria and compels Mohammed Ali to sumit.

1841 A”firman of investiture” issued by the Sultan grants hereditary sovereignty over Egypt to Mohammed Ali’s family in accordance with the Turkish law of succession. Egypt is required in future to pay tribute to the Sultan, but the Pasha is granted the right to conclude non-political treaties and to appoint all Egyptian officials and officers up to the rank of colonel.

1848 Ibrahim Pasha governs on behalf of Mohammd Ali, who has fallen into a state of imbecility, but dies in the course of the year.

1849-54 After Mohamed Ali’s death he succeeded by his grandson Abbas I, who is opposed to all European innovations but maintains strict discipline among his officials.

1854-63 Said, Mohammed Ali’s fourth son, takes over the Government. He introduces a more equitable system of taxation, abolishes monopolies, builds railways and enthusiastically supports the construction of the Suez Canal.

1863-79 Ismail, Ibrahim Pasha’s French-educated son, carries through many innovations, including factories, canals, locks, bridges, railways, the telegraph and a postal system. The Suez Canal is opened in 1869.

1873 Ismail, who since 1867 has had the status of Khedive or Viceroy, gains political for Egypt, although the tribute remains in force, and indeed is increased. His military successes extend the frontier of Egypt to the borders of Abyssinia, and his nominal authority reaches as far as the 2nd parallel of northen latitude. Huge public works and other enterprises result in an astronomical increase in the National Debt.

1897 Ismail, is compelled to abdicate. He dies in Istanbul in 1895.

1881 Under Ismail’s son Taufiq the national finances and administration are brought under control. A nationalist revolt against increasing European influence is led by the Minister of War, Arabi Bey, with the slogan “Egypt for the Egyptian”.

1882 British and French forces land at Alexandria in order to protect European and occupy the city. Arabi is exiled to Ceylon. Thereafter British influence is predominant in Egypt.

Egypt under British administration (1882-1922).-The conflict between nationalist and Islamic aspirations on the one hand and British commercial interests on the other leads to political tensions which are reflected in repeated unrest, bloodshed and military action.

1883 Sir Evelyn Baring (later Lord Cromer), British Diplomatic Agent and Consul-General, reorganizes the country.-The Sudanese, led by Mohammed Ahmed, the so-called “Mahdi”, shake off Egyptian control of their country, defeating two Egyptian forces under British officers, Hicks Pahsa and Baker Pasha.

1884 General Gordon (who had been Governor of the Sudan in 1877-79) advances to Khartoum with inadequate forces and is besieged there by the Mahdi’s troops. The town is taken and Gordon is killed; the relieving force led by General Wolseley arrives too late.

1885 The British authorities now devote their attention to developing and improving the administration of Egypt proper. Negotiations undertaken by Turkey to end the British occupation produce no result.- Agreement with France on the unconditional neutrality of the Suez Canal.

1892 Abbas II Hilmi, Taufiq’s son, becomes Khedive. His independence of action is limited by the British presence.

1896 General Kitchener (from 1902 Viscount Kitchener of Khartoum) sets out from Wadi Halfa with a British and Egyptian army to recover the Sudan, annihilatesa Mahdist army and takes Omdurman.

1899Establishment of an Anglo-Egyptian Condominium in the Sudan, under a British Governor whose appointment must be confirmed by the Khedive.-In Egypt itself many forms are carried through by the British authorities. The development of agriculture is promoted by the building of light railways and extension of the irrigation system.

1902 The Aswan Dam is completed.

1904 Anglo-French agreement on the maintenance of the status quo in Egypt.-There is an upsurge of anti-European feeling.

1907 Lord Cromer is succeeded by Sir Eldon Gorst.

1911 Field-Marshal lord Kitchener (from 1914 Earl Kitchener of Khartoum) succeeds Sir Eldon Gorst as Governor; with increased powers, and serves until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

1914 First World War: Egypt declares war on the Central Powers, and Alexandria becomes a British naval base. Egypt is declared a British Protectorate; Abbas II Hilmi, who is pro-Turkish, is deposed, and his uncle Husein Kamil is appointed Sultan of Egypt.

Bitain appoints a high Commissioner to Egypt.

1915-17 Attacks by the Senussi, under the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed Shrief, on the western frontiers of Egypt; Sollum and Bahariya, Farafra and Dakhla oases are temporarily occupied. Turkish attacks on the Suez Canal in 1915 and 1916 are repelled.

1917 British advance into Palestine, supported by the new railway line from El-Qantara to El-Husein kamil dies and is succeeded as Sultan by his bother Ahmed Fuad.

1918 Armistice with Turkey.-In Europe, armistice between the Allies and Germany.

1919 Egyptian nationalists, led by Saad Zaghlul pasha, son of a peasant in the Delta, demand full independence. The arrest and deportation to Malta of Zaghlul Pasha and three of his supporters in March is followed by serious disturbances. General Allenby is appointed Special High Commissioner and restores order. Zaghlul Pasha returns to Egypt.

1922 the British Protectorate comes to an end and Egypt is declared independent. Britain retains responsibility for the maintenance of communications with the British Empire, the defence of Egypt against foreign attack, the protection of European interests and the settlement of the problem of the Sudan. Sultan Ahmed Fuad becomes king under the title of Fuad I.

Kingdom of Egypt (1922-52). –After more than 400 years of foreign rule Egypt is now free to manage its own internal and external affairs as a largely autonomous State, no longer subject to alien tutelage or tribute.

1922 (April 19) Promulgation of Constitution: the kingdom of Egypt a hereditary constitutional monarchy.

1923 The first General Election under the new constitution produces a strong nationalist majority. Zaghlul Pasha becomes Prime Minister. New national flag (green, with a white crescent and three stars).

1924 Opening of first Egyptian Parliament.

1927 Death of Zaghlul pasha.

1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty ending the British military presence in Egypt, except in the Canal Zone. –Accession of king Farouk, at first under a Regency.

1937 Egypt becomes a member of the league of Nations. Under the Convention of Montreux the privileges of foreigners in Egypt are abolished.

1939 Under its defence agreement with Britain Egypt enters the Second World War on the side of the Allies and becomes theater of war (El-Alamein).

1942 Britain compels King Farouk, who is of Pro-German leanings, to appoint a pro-British Government. Nationalist feeling grows.

1948 Egypt intervenes in the war in Palestine and suffers considerable losses.

1949 Nasser (Gamal Abd el-Nasir), organizes resistance to the monarchy in the officer corps.

1951-52 Increasing economic difficulties enhance the prestige of the army.

Egypt as a republic (since 1952).-Economic and social reforms are carried through in an attempt to solve the country’s domestic problems, but the old authoritarian style of government is still retained.

1952 General Mohammed Neguib seizes power. King Farouk, whose extravagant life-style has been bitterly criticized, abdicates and goes into exile in Italy. The country is governed by a Revolutionary Council consisting of members of the “league of Free Officers”, which introduces a land reform designed to destroy the power of the nobility and the large landowners.

1954 Proclamation of a republic. Colonel Nasser becomes Prime Minister and excludes the radical Communist and clerical forces from power.

1955 As a non-aligned country Egypt distance itself from the Western Powers and seeks to improve relations with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

1956 Colonel Nasser is elected President of Egypt.-When the Western Powers withdraw their offer of assistance towards the construction of the Aswan High Dam Nasser responds by nationalizing the Suez canal Company.

1956 October 19-November 6 Suez crisis: Britain and France intervene in the conflict between Egypt and Israel. Cease-fire agreed, providing for a United Nations peace-keeping force and a guarantee of free passage through the Suez Canal.

1958 Syria and Egypt combine to form the United Arab Republic (UAR), which is later joined by the Yemen.

1960-65 First five year Plan on the Soviet model: nationalization of banking and industry. Nasser’s ‘Arab Socialism” claims to offer a model for the whole Islamic World.-The Soviet Union undertakes to provide financial and technical help for the construction of the High Dam (on which work begins in January 1960).

1961 Syria secedes from the United Arab Republic.

1964 Under a tempory constitution Egypt becomes a “Democratic Socialist State”, with Islam as the national religion. The single Government party is the Arab Socialist Union.

1965-67 Nasser seeks to distract attention from the country’s increasing economic difficulties by Muslim/nationalist and anti-Israeli policies.

1967 The Six Day War (June 5-10) ends in a devastating military defeat, the loss of the Sinai Peninsula and the closing of the Suez Canal. The loss of revenue from the Canal dues and the Sinai oilfields is an almost overwhelming blow to the Egyptian economy.

1970 Nasser dies suddenly and is succeeded by his deputy, Mohammed Anwar el-Sadat.-Completion of the Aswan High Dam.

1971 Sadat seeks to overcome Egypt’s economic difficulties by a rapprochement with the West. He excludes Soviet influence from every field in the country’s life but concludes a Treaty of Friendship with the Soviet Union.-A new construction is approved by National Referendum: Egypt is now the Arab Republic of Egypt, a socialist and Democratic State.

1972 Expulsion of 17’000 Soviet military advisers.

1973 The military advantages gained by Egypt in the Yom Kippur War, which brgins with a surprise attack on Israel, strengthens Sadat’s positions and provide a basis for peace negotiations with Israel.

1974 A National Referendum approves the new policy of rapprochement with the West and a gradual liberalization of the economy.

1976 Egypt terminates the Treaty of Friendship with the Soviet Union.

1977 The ban on political parties is lifted. –Increases in the price of basic foodstuffs and everyday necessities lead to violent disturbances; demonstrations an strikes are prohibited.

November 19-20,1977 President Sadat’s historic journey to Jerusalem as the first sign of a desire for reconciliation.

1978 A National Referendum approves President Sadat’s style of leadership and shows that the over-whelming majority of the population agree with the idea (bitterly opposed in the rest of the Arab World) of making peace with Israel.

1979 (March 19-20) Peace treaty with Israel on the basis of the agreements reached at Camp David (Maryland,USA). The treaty, negotiated through the mediation of US President Crter, provides for the phased return to Egypt of Israel-occupied territory (with the exception of the Gaza Strip), the process to be completed by 1982.

1980 Foundation of the Council of the League of Arab and Islamic Peoples- a response to the expulsion of Egypt from the Arab league because of its policy of reconciliation with Israel. An amendment to the Constitution making it possible for President Sadat to be elected President for life (in place of the previous provision allowing two six-year terms) is approved in a Referendum. Some nationalized undertakings are returned to the private sector.

Resumption of diplomatic relations and normalization of trade with Israel.

1981 On October 6, during a military parade on the anniversary of Egypt’s victory over Israel in the Yom Kippur War, President Sadat is assassinated. He is succeeded by Air Marshal Hosni Mubarak, Vice-President since 1974, who promises to follow the political course set by President Sadat. A state of emergency is declared, to last for a year.

1982 At the beginning of the year President Mubarak appoints his deputy Fuad Mohieddin as Prime Minister. Mubarak meets President Numeiri of the Sudan at Aswan (January).

The last strip of land (s strip up to 600 m wide near Taba on the Red Sea) is returned to Egypt by Israel (25 April). Extension of the state of emergency until October 1983. huge trial of 300 members of the El-Dshihad (Holy War) movement on suspicion of implication in the murder of Sadat and of an attempted coup (December).

1983 Renewal of trade relations with Jordan which have been broken off in 1979 (April).

First meeting of the Parliament of the Nile under the chairmanship of Mubarak and Numeiri (May).

1987 Early Parliamentary elections (April). On September 27 the first section of the Cairo underground railway (subway) comes into operation. In the presidential elections of October 5 Hosni Mubarak receives 95% of votes cast.

1988 The Egyptian novelist Nagib Mahfus (Naguib Mahfouz; born December 11, 1911 in Cairo) receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1889 Egypt accepted back into the Arab League. October 16 Mubarak meets the Libyan Muammar AL Gaddafi in Mersa Matruh.

The harvest of President Mubarak's years of regime is bright and varied. Egypt's modern history will register it in its front pages. Since October 14 1981 President Mubarak shouldered the responsibility to lead Egypt in critical circumstances sailing amidst the waves of regional and international changes feeling the responsibility, while foreseeing the wide horizons of Egypt and its great people's future.

At 1981-2007, the wheel of development moved in all walks of construction and reform to raise the standards of living.



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