Time Line of Ancient Egypt


B.C. 5000 (?)-Egypt divided among petty kings. 4600 (?)-A prince of the hawk clan becomes king of all upper Egypt. 4500 (?)-Menes, king of upper Egypt, unites lower Egypt with his domains and becomes the first "Pharaoh of Egypt." He founds Memphis and builds a canal to regulate the Nile. 4400 (?)-Den, the fourth king, annexes Sinai to his kingdom, and begins commercial intercourse with Asia. 3998-The chronology becomes fairly accurate and the history reliable with the accession of Sneferu, founder of the fourth dynasty of kings. 3969-Khufu, or Cheops, builds the great pyramid. 3845-Men-kau-ra, last king of the great fourth dynasty, rules in peace during an era of art and literature, the golden age of ancient Egypt. 3721-The priest Pharaohs of the fifth dynasty supersede the former military kings. 3580-The most ancient recovered manuscript which is clearly dated, the "proverbs of Ptah-hotep." 3503-Teta, a vigorous warrior of Memphis, founds the sixth dynasty. 3347-Men-ka-ra, or Nitokris, a queen, rules Egypt in days of trouble, closing the sixth dynasty. 3300-2800-The "Dark Ages" of Egypt; foreign tribes ravage the land from Asia; a wall is built across the isthmus of Suez to hold them back. 2778-Amenemhat I., founder of the twelfth dynasty, reorganizes Egypt and makes Thebes his capital. 2660-Usertesen III. conquers Ethiopia. 2098-Invasion of the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, from Asia. They establish a fortified camp at Avaris and rule Egypt for over four centuries. 1700-The children of Israel are welcomed into Egypt by the Hyksos. 1635-Aahmes, "the liberator," expels the Hyksos and founds the eighteenth dynasty, the "modern age" of Egypt. 1530-Thothmes III., the greatest military ruler of the dynasty, ravages western Asia in fifteen campaigns and receives tribute from Babylon and Assyria. 1520-He wins the great battle of Megiddo, subduing the Hittites. 1420-Amenhotep IV. rejects the Egyptian faith for Asiatic sun-worship and founds a new capital. 1370-Horemheb, the "restorer," reestablishes the old religion. 1365-Rameses I. begins the famous nineteenth dynasty. 1355-Seti I. builds a canal connecting the Nile with the Red Sea. 1345-1285-Long reign of Rameses II., the Great, the oppressor of the Hebrews. 1340-Victory of Rameses over the Hittites at Kadesh. 1280-Mer-en-ptah II. repels a great Libyan invasion. 1276 (or possibly as early as 1325)-Exodus of the Hebrews under Moses. 1220-Rameses III. conducts a war against the Libyans; the power of Egypt slowly crumbles; the "Libyan guard" of the Pharaohs becomes all-powerful. 945-Shashanq, commander of the Libyan guard, becomes Pharaoh; the Egyptians are in dire want. 925-Shashanq plunders Jerusalem. 800-The Ethiopians begin to invade Egypt; which has broken into several independent little states. 727-Piankhi of Ethiopia subdues all the little Egyptian rulers, and is hailed as Pharaoh. 704-Tirhakah, an Ethiopian Pharaoh, aids Hezekiah of Judah against the Assyrians. 702-Tirhakah is defeated, but the Assyrian army perishes. 670-Esarhaddon of Assyria conquers Egypt. 668-Tirhakah regains Egypt. 664-The Ethiopian-Assyrian wars end with the defeat of the Ethiopian Tanut-amen. The Assyrians are summoned home by Scythian invasions, and the various Egyptian princes unite in a confederacy. 655-Psammetichus conquers the other princes by using Greek mercenaries, and founds the twenty-sixth dynasty; the Egyptian soldiers desert the country and migrate to Ethiopia. 608-Necho II. defeats Josiah, King of Judah, at Megiddo. 605-Necho is defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at Karchemish. 570-Aahmes II. leads a revolt against the Greek mercenaries, thrice defeats them, and reestablishes the supremacy of the native Egyptians. 554-Solon, the Greek law-giver, visited Egypt. 525-Cambyses the Persian conquers Egypt. 524-His armies perish in the desert. 517-His successor Darius visits Egypt and appeases the people. 488-A rebellion, the Persians expelled. 485-Xerxes reconquers Egypt. 418-Herodotus, the Greek historian, visits Egypt and writes our earliest book about it. 405-The Persians again expelled, and the independent native Pharaohs rule for over sixty years. 340-Persian supremacy reestablished.

B.C.332-Alexander the Great drives out the Persians and is hailed in Egypt as a deliverer; he founds Alexandria. 323-After the death of Alexander his general, Ptolemy Lagos, establishes the Greek-Egyptian kingdom of the Ptolemies; he founds the Alexandrian library. 320-He seizes Palestine and establishes a celebrated Jewish colony in Alexandria. 283-Ptolemy Philadelphos succeeds to the throne, reopens the canal to the Red Sea and makes Egypt a rich trading country. 198-Antiochus the Great of Syria defeats the Egyptians and takes Palestine from them. 193-Ptolemy Epiphanes appeals to Rome for aid against Syria. 171-Antiochus partly conquers Egypt. 169-He withdraws at Rome's command. 128-A pestilence destroys 800,000 of the population. 82-Capture and destruction of Thebes, which had revolted. 81-Reign and death of Ptolemy XII., who makes a will giving Egypt to the Romans. 59-Ptolemy XIII. bribes the Romans to acknowledge him king. 51-Death of Ptolemy XIII., who leaves his kingdom to Ptolemy XIV. and Cleopatra. 49-Ptolemy expels Cleopatra, and civil war follows. 48-Julius Caesar, assisting Cleopatra, besieges and burns Alexandria. 47-Ptolemy XIV. is defeated by Caesar and drowned while crossing the Nile; the Egyptian throne shared by Cleopatra and her younger brother, Ptolemy XV. 44-Cleopatra poisons her brother. 41-Mark Anthony summons Cleopatra to trial for her brother's murder; he is so overcome by her beauty that he follows her into Egypt. 36-Anthony confers Phoenicia, Cyrene, and Cyprus on Cleopatra. 35-Anthony confers all Asia, from the Mediterranean to the Indus, on Cleopatra. 31-The battle of Actium. 30-Invasion and subjugation of Egypt by Octavius, and suicide of Anthony and Cleopatra; Egypt becomes a Roman province.

A.D.24-The country is invaded by 30,000 Ethiopian subjects of Queen Candace, who are repulsed by the Romans. 171-The Egyptians revolt against the Roman government. 215-Caracalla visits Egypt and massacres the youth of Alexandria for having ridiculed him. 269-Egypt is invaded by Zenobia, queen of Palmyra. 272-Firmus makes Upper Egypt independent of Rome. 273-Aurelian regains possession. 288-Upper Egypt rebels under Achilleus. 292-The Emperor Diocletian besieges and takes Coptos and Busiris. 297-Siege and capture of Alexandria by Diocletian, who suppresses the rebellion of Achilleus; the Egyptian coinage ceases. 365-An inundation and earthquake destroys many of the inhabitants. 389-Theodosius prohibits pagan worship, in consequence of which a number of famous Egyptian temples are destroyed. 618-Egypt is conquered by Chosroes II., king of Persia. 639-The Mahometans invade Egypt. 642-They capture Alexandria and establish the Mahometan empire. 1250-The Christian Crusaders invade Egypt and are repulsed. 1266-The Mameluke soldiers seize possession of the government and appoint sultans of their own. 1517-Defeat of the Mamelukes by Sultan Selim I., who adds Egypt to the Turkish empire. 1770-Ali Bey, a Mameluke, rules Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. 1798-Egypt is invaded by the French, under Napoleon Bonaparte. 1801-Expulsion of the French by the English and Turks. 1806-Mehemet Ali made Pasha. 1807-The English defeated in an attempt to occupy Rosetta. 1811-Massacre of the Mamelukes at Cairo by Mehemet Ali. 1814-The Turkish army in Egypt is remodelled. 1820-Alexandria connected with the Nile by the Mahmoud canal. 1829-The first Egyptian newspaper published. 1831-Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, revolts from Turkey and invades Syria. 1834-Egypt visited by cholera. 1835-The plague ravages the country. 1839-Mehemet Ali again revolts, and claims hereditary possession of Egypt and Syria. 1840-The Egyptians defeated by the British at Beyrout, and the dispute with Turkey settled. 1848-Death of Mehemet Ali and his son Ibrahim. 1854-Said Pasha succeeds his brother Abbas. 1860-Work begun on the Suez Canal. 1863-Death of the Viceroy Said Pasha, who is succeeded by his nephew, Ismail Pasha. 1867-Firman of the Sultan of Turkey granting to Ismail Pasha the title of Khedive, or king. 1869-Opening of the Suez Canal. 1873-Firman of the Sultan of Turkey granting to the Khedive the right of maintaining armies and concluding treaties with foreign Powers. 1874-Extraordinary rise of the Nile, causing great damage; occupation of the kingdom of the Soudan by Egyptian troops. 1875-Annexation of all the Soudan to Egypt by decree of the Khedive; opening of an International Court of Appeal at Alexandria.

1875-England secures financial control of the Suez Canal. 1875-77-War with Abyssinia. 1877-Peace terms with Abyssinia accepted. 1879-Ismail deposed and his son Tewfik becomes Khedive. 1881-Decree for abolition of slavery; insurrection in the Soudan; British pacific interference. 1882-Rebellion under Arabi Pasha; Alexandria bombarded by the British. The Mahdi holds all the country south of Khartoum. His followers exterminate an Egyptian army. 1883-A second Egyptian army under Colonel Hicks wiped out by the Mahdi. 1884-The Khedive asks a loan of pounds8,000,000 to meet war expenses; conference of six great powers on Egyptian affairs meets, but adjourns without result; Egypt under England's command abandons the Soudan to the Mahdi, who besieges General Gordon in Khartoum. Lord Wolseley fights his way up the Nile with an English army to rescue Gordon. 1885-Gordon slain; Wolseley's expedition abandoned. Egypt loses the Soudan. 1889-Forced labor of the peasantry abolished. 1892-Tewfik dies and is succeeded by his son Abbas. 1894-The first Egyptian exhibition of art and industry opened at Alexandria. 1896-England and Egypt begin a joint reoccupation of the Soudan. 1898-The Mahdists, led by his successor the Khalifa, completely defeated at Omdurman. 1899-The Khalifa slain and the last opposition extinguished. The Soudan belongs to England and Egypt. France had occupied Fashoda on the upper Nile, but abandons her claim to the region. 1902-Completion of the great dam at Assouan for regulating the Nile. 1906-"National" troubles in Egypt because of the demand for independence. 1907-Lord Cromer resigns after over twenty years as head of the English government in Egypt. Sir Eldon Gorst, his chief assistant, succeeds him. 1910-The Egyptian native prime minister, Boutros Pasha, assassinated; England adopts more vigorous repressive measures; decay of the "National" party. Ex-president Roosevelt approves England's Egyptian policy in a noted speech in England. 1913-At Lord Kitchener's urgence England undertakes to finance the development of the Soudan.

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