Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ancient Egypt: The Latest Chronology

Recognizing, as Christians and churches, the importance of maintaining a historical memory, we do well to be as clear as possible about place and time. With those two coordinates, we can place people and events in a meaningful context.

Keeping clear about years and chronologies gets easier the closer we come to our own time. Getting any meaningful clarity at all grows more difficult the farther we reach back into ancient history.
Different chronologies exist for ancient times. One used on the "History" page is by James Ussher (1658). Ussher's chronology remains our best guide to the information we may glean from the Bible.

A credible alternative chronology for ancient Egypt is provided by Ian Shaw as editor of The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000; pp. 480-3). Listed below are highlights, with the exception of Narmer, taken straight from that book.

As indicated above, the farther back in history we go, the sharper the divergence between the chronologies of Ussher and Shaw. In good Chalcedonian fashion, however, we're not going to separate the two chronologies or mix them together. Instead, we will affirm the distinct integrity of both. 

Predynastic Period (ca 5300-3000 BC)
Narmer (Herodotus: Menes) (d. ca 3000)

Early Dynastic Period (ca 3000-2686)
1st-2nd dynasties

Old Kingdom (2686-2125 BC)
3rd-8th dynasties

3rd Dynasty (2686-2613)
Djoser (2667-2648)

4th Dynasty (2613-2494)
Khufu (Cheops) (2589-66)
Khafra (Chephren) (2558-2532)
Menkaura (Mycerinus) (2532-2503)
Pyramids of Giza

First Intermediate Period (2160-2055)
9th-10th dynasties

Middle Kingdom (2055-1650)
11th-14th dynasties

Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550)
15th Dynasty: Hyksos (1650-1550)
16th-17th dynasties (1650-1550, Thebes)

New Kingdom (1550-1069)
18th Dynasty (1550-1295)
Ahmose (1550-1525)
Amenhotep 1st ((1525-1504)
Thutmose 1st (1504-1492)
Thutmose 2nd (1492-1479)
Thutmose 3rd (1479-1425)
Queen Hatshepsut (1473-1458)
Amenhotep 2nd (1427-1400)
Thutmose 4th (1400-1390)
Amenhotep 3rd (1390-1352)
Amenhotep 4th/Akhenaten (1352-1336)
Neferneferuaten [Nefertiti] (1338-1336)
Tutankhamun (1336-1327)
Ay (1327-1323)
Horemheb (1323-1295)

19th Dynasty (1295-1186)
Rameses 1st (1295-1294)
Sety 1st (1294-1279)
Rameses 2nd (1279-1213)
Merenptah (1213-1203)

20th Dynasty (1186-1069)

Third Intermediate Period (1069-664)
21st Dynasty (1069-945)
22nd Dynasty (945-715)
Sheshonq 1st (945-924): destroys fortified cities of Judah following split of Israel and Judah
23rd-25th dynasties (818-656)
Late Period (664-332)
26th Dynasty (664-525)
Nekau 2nd (Neco) (610-595)
     Against Josiah (609)

27th Dynasty (1st Persian Period) (525-404)
Cambyses (525-22)
Darius 1st (522-486)
Xerxes 1st (486-465)
Artaxerxes 1st (465-424)
Darius 2nd (424-405)
Artaxerxes 2nd (405-359)

28th Dynasty (404-399)
Amyrtaios (404-399)

29th Dynasty (399-380)
30th Dynasty (380-343)
Nectanebo 2nd (360-343): last native Egyptian pharaoh

Artaxerxes 3rd (343-338)
Arses (338-336)
Darius 3rd (336-332)

Ptolemaic Period (332-30)
Macedonian Dynasty (332-305)
Alexander (“the Great”) (332-323)

Ptolemaic Dynasty
Ptolemy 1st Soter 1st (305-285)
Ptolemy 2nd Philadelphus (285-246)
Ptolemy 3rd Euergetes 1st (246-221)
Ptolemy 4th Philopater (221-205)
Cleopatra 7th Philopater (51-30)

Roman Period (30 BC-AD 395)
Augustus (30 BC-14 AD)
Constantine 1st (306-337)
Theodosius (379-395)

Byzantine (Coptic, Christian) Period (>395)