Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt

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The Twenty-third Dynasty of ancient Egypt was a separate regime of Meshwesh Libyan kings, who ruled ancient Egypt. This dynasty is often considered part of the Third Intermediate Period.


There is much debate surrounding this dynasty, which may have been situated at Herakleopolis Magna, Hermopolis Magna, and Thebes but monuments from their reign show that they controlled Upper Egypt in parallel with the Twenty-second dynasty of Egypt shortly before the death of Osorkon II. In the History of Egypt, the known rulers, for the Twenty-third Dynasty, are as follows:

Twenty-Third Dynasty
Pharaoh Praenomen Reign (BCE) Consort(s) Comments
Harsiese A Hedjkheperre-Setpenamun 880 – 860 BC Isetweret I Independent king at Thebes; Ruled during Takelot I's and Osorkon II's reigns
Takelot II Hedjkheperre-Setpenre 840 – 815 BC Karomama D
Tabeketenasket A
Contemporary with the Twenty-Second Dynasty king Shoshenq III, who controlled Lower Egypt.
Pedubast I Usermaatre-Setpenamun 829 – 804 BC Involved in a prolonged civil war with king Takelot II/Crown Prince Osorkon B.
Iuput I  ?? 829 – 804 BC co-regent
Shoshenq VI Usermaatre-Meryamun 804 – 798 BC Succeeded Pedubast I at Thebes and ruled Upper Egypt for 6 years.
Osorkon III Usermaatre-Setpenamun 798 – 769 BC Tentsai A
Involved in a civil war against Pedubast I and Shoshenq VI.
Takelot III Usermaatre 774 – 759 BC Kakat
Osorkon III's eldest son, junior coregent and successor.
Rudamun Usermaatre-Setpenamun 759 – 755 BC Tadi[...] The younger brother and successor of Takelot III. A poorly attested king.
Ini Menkheperre 755 – 750 BC Only controlled Thebes during his reign.
Peftjauawybast Neferkare 754 – 720 BC Irbastwedjanefu
Tashereniset I
Rudamun's son-in-law, only controlled Herakleopolis during his reign.

Further reading

  • J.P. Elias, "A Northern Member of the 'Theban' Twenty-Third Dynasty", Discussions in Egyptology 31 (1995), 57-67.
  • J. Goldberg, "The 23rd Dynasty Problem Revisited: Where, When and Who?", Discussions in Egyptology 29 (1994), 55-85.
  • H. Jacquet Gordon, "Deux graffiti d'époque libyenne sur le toit du Temple de Khonsu à Karnak" in Hommages à la memoire de Serge Sauneron, 1927-1976 (Cairo: 1979), pp. 169–74.
  • K.A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (c.1100–650 BC), 3rd ed., Warminster: 1996.