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Thutmose III

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Thutmose III (also written as Tuthmosis III; called Manahpi(r)ya in the Amarna letters) (d. 1426 BC), was Pharaoh of Egypt in the Eighteenth Dynasty. He ruled 1479 BC - 1426 BC, according to the Middle Chronology of Ancient Egypt.

Granite statue of Pharaoh Thutmose III
Granite statue of Pharaoh Thutmose III

Thutmose III was the son of Pharaoh Thutmose II and Isis, a minor wife. When Thutmose II died in 1458 BC, Thutmose III became ruler. However, he shared power from the beginning of his reign with Hatshepsut, his father's wife, who acted as regent and eventually as the dominant co-ruler. For approximately 22 years Thutmose III had little power over the empire. He married Hatshepsut's youngest daughter, Meritre, with whom he had a son named Ahmose II. With the death of Hatshepsut, Thutmose III ruled by himself until his death in 1427 BC or 1426 BC (some sources list his death ranging from 1425 BC to 1430 BC).

Upon his accession to the throne, Thutmose took the praenomen Menkeperre, which is represented in Amarna letters as Manahpi(r)ya. His praenomen and nomen in Egyptian hieroglyphs can be seen to the left. These are technically transliterated as mn-ḫpr-r dḥwty-ms, which is usually realised to Menkheperre Djehutymes, meaning "Establisher of the form of Ra, Thoth bore him". Due to the influence of Greek transcriptions, Djehutymes is rendered as Thutmose, Thutmoses or Thutmosis.

Thutmose's military campaigns

He was an active expansionist ruler, sometimes referred to as the Napoleon of Egypt, because he was recorded to have captured 350 cities during his rule, conquering much of the Near East, from the Euphrates to Nubia. He was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates, during his campaign against Hanilgalbat.

Thutmose III made a total of 17 known military campaigns. He defeated a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh in Battle of Megiddo. After victory in battle he conquered Megiddo after a siege of 7 or 8 months (see Siege of Megiddo).

Death and burial

Thutmose III's tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV34 ) is the first in which we find the complete Amduat, an important New Kingdom Ancient Egyptian funerary text.

Further reading

  • Redford, Donald B., The Wars in Syria and Palestine of Thutmose III, [Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 16], Leiden: Brill, 2003. ISBN 9004129898

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