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Dynasty 23

3rd Intermediate Period - Egypt Through Time - What is Ancient Egypt?

Brief History

This 23rd Dynasty ran in Middle and Upper Egypt almost parallel with the 22nd Dynasty of Lower Egypt who had their Capital City at Tanis, after the rule of Pharaoh Osorkon II of the 22nd Dynasty of Lower Egypt. These Rulers could trace their heritage back to Libya and the Berber Kings before they settled in Lower Egypt during the rule of 20th Dynasty Pharaoh Ramses III.

These Pharaohs of this 23rd Dynasty were not the same as the previous Rulers of the Middle and Upper parts of Egypt who had gained their power and wealth from being High Priest of Amun at Karnak Temple in Thebes. To learn about these Theban High Priest Rulers, click here. Despite their power declining the High Priests of Amun in Thebes should never be underestimated and they continued to marry themselves and their families into other powerful Royal and Noble families.

The second Ruler of this 23rd Dynasty was Pharaoh Takelot II. In Regnal Year 11 a coup started against his rule under Pedubast I in Thebes, which was quelled by Pharaoh’s son, Osorkon B who then named himself High Priest of Amun. By Regnal Year 15 a second incident happened which turned in to a Revolt. High Priest of Amun Osorkon B and his troops could not quell the opposing forces under Pedubast I and had to flee Thebes. This second conflict went on for over 25 years and Pharaoh Takelot II had died before it was settled. Osorkon B now took on the Throne as Pharaoh Osorkon III.

Pharaoh Takelot III took over from his father and gave his role as High priest of Amun to his sister, Princess Shepenwepet I, and eventually gave up his rule of the Capital City to his nephew in law, Peftjauawybast. This further diluted the 23rd Dynasty’s power and soon Pharaoh Rudamon, Pharaoh Shoshenq VII and Pharaoh Ini only controlled Thebes and other members of the Royal Family were the new powers in the Middle Kingdom. The Nubians were slowly easing power towards themselves in Upper Egypt, and this signalled the end of this 23rd Theban and Heracleopolis Era.

Capital City: Heracleopolis Magna

The Capital for the 23rd Dynasty, 837 – 728 BC

The Capital Cities

of the

23rd Dynasty

Religious Capital City: Thebes

Religious Capital for the 23rd Dynasty



To discover more about the 23rd Dynasties direct opponents at Tanis in their 22nd Dynasty, click here

Pharaoh Harsiese A

Son of Shoshenq C, a High Priest of Amun of Karnak Temple in Thebes. He was buried inside Pharaoh Ramses III’s Mortuary Temple, Medinet Habu at Thebes
Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Takelot I and Pharaoh Osorkon II

Pharaoh Takelot II

Son of Nimlot C, High Priest of Amun, and Grandson of Pharaoh Osorkon II in Tanis. Pharaoh married his sister, Queen Karomama Merymut II and among their children was Osorkon B, the High Priest of Amun at Thebes and later Pharaoh Osorkon III, after he finally defeated the revolts which went on in Thebes for over a quarter of a century
Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq III

Sometime Pharaoh and Coup Leader Pharaoh Pedubast I & Regent Iuput I

No details about their heritage or marriages and children. They were involved in the Coup and Revolt against Pharaoh Takelot II and Pharaoh Osorkon III
Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq III

Pharaoh Shoshenq VI

No details about their heritage or marriages and children  Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq III

Pharaoh Osorkon III

Son of Pharaoh Takelot II and Queen Karomama Merymut II. He fought on his father’s behalf as Osorkon B against Pharaoh and Coup Leader Pharaoh Pedubast I and Regent Iuput I. He installed his son as reigning Pharaoh in Thebes and they co-reigned together for quite some time  Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq IV, Pharaoh Pami and Pharaoh Shoshenq V

Pharaoh Takelot III

Son of Queen Tentsai and Pharaoh Osorkon III who he co-reigned with for some time
Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq V

Pharaoh Rudamun

Younger brother to Pharaoh Takelot III   Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq V

Pharaoh Shoshenq VII

This King is lost to us in the veil of time and currently we do not know whether he reigned for 5 or anything up to 25 years

Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Shoshenq V, Pharaoh Pedubast II and Pharaoh Osorkon IV

Pharaoh Ini

The power of these Middle and Upper Egyptian Kings had floundered and Pharaoh Ini only controlled Thebes

Tanite Contemporary: Pharaoh Osorkon IV


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