Psamtek ‘the Great’
Reunification of Egypt
in Egypt of the Saite pharaohs, 664–525 BC
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On coming to the throne of the Kingdom of the West, Psamtek began the process of reunifying Egypt. The Assyrians left in unidentified circumstances and Psamtek began to bolster his military forces by recruiting foreign mercenaries. Economically the fledgling Saite state was quite weak, and Psamtek sought to improve his economic base by establishing trading relations, particularly with the Aegeans and the Phoenicians. He expanded his power throughout the Delta, seemingly by mainly diplomatic means. In Middle Egypt Psamtek strengthened his alliances with the major power, the rulers of the Herakleopolitan kingdom who eventually recognised him as king. In the south of the country he achieved his greatest success, with the adoption of his eldest daughter, Princess Nitiqret, as heir to the powerful position of God’s Wife of Amun. In doing so he was able to return the Thebaid to Egyptian central royal authority. Within a period of about nine years Psamtek had imposed his will throughout Egypt but overall consolidation of his power and full reintegration of the state of Egypt was some time away.

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