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The Second transition Period


 The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos

In about 1650 BC, with the power of the pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom weakening, Asian immigrants and settlers living in the eastern delta region in the town of Zwan took control of the area and forced the central government to retreat to Thebes, where the pharaoh was treated as a vassal and paid tribute. The Hyksos ("foreign rulers" or "shepherd kings") imitated Egyptian models of government and government, proclaiming themselves pharaohs, thus incorporating Egyptian elements into the Bronze Age culture.

The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos
 The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos

After their withdrawal, the Theban kings found themselves trapped between the Hyksos from the north and the Hyksos' ally, the Kingdom of Kush from the south. 

Nearly 100 years after the Hyksos took control of the rule, which was characterized by laxity and cultural inactivity, the forces of Thebes were able to gather enough strength to challenge the Hyksos for a conflict that lasted for 30 years, before the year 1555 BC. 

From the defeat of the Nubians in Kush, but the credit for the final elimination of the Hyksos in Egypt is due to the successor of Camus, Pharaoh Ahmose I. In the era of the modern state that followed, militarism became a major priority for the pharaohs, who sought to expand Egypt's borders and secure complete hegemony for it in the Near East.



Modern state

The pharaohs of the new kingdom established a period of unprecedented prosperity by securing its borders and strengthening diplomatic relations with its neighbors. Military campaigns launched under the leadership of Thutmose I and his grandson Thutmose III extended the influence of the pharaohs in Syria and Nubia, consolidating loyalty and opening access to sensitive imports such as bronze and wood. And the kings and pharaohs of the modern state began a large-scale building campaign to promote the god Amun, whose worship increased and was based in the Karnak temple. They also built monuments to glorify their own accomplishments, whether real or imagined. Such propaganda was used by the female Queen Hatshepsut to legitimize her claim to the throne. Its successful era was marked by trade expeditions to Punt, an elegant mortuary temple, as well as a pair of massive obelisks and a temple at Karnak. Despite her accomplishments, Hatshepsut's stepson, Thutmose III, sought to erase her legacy before the end of Hekma, which may have been motivated by revenge for usurping his throne.

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Around 1350 BC, the stability of the new state was threatened when Amenhotep IV came to the throne, who instituted a series of chaotic and radical reforms. By changing his name to Akhenaten (meaning the servant of the Aten), Amenhotep IV promoted the sun god Aten as the supreme deity, and as one without partner, and united the worship of all gods in the worship of Aten, where he suppressed and prevented the worship of gods other than Aten, and attacked the authority and power of the priestly institution at that time. 

In addition to moving the capital to the new city of Akhenaten (currently Tell el-Amarna), he did not care about foreign affairs and devoted himself to his new religion and artistic style. After his death, the cult of Aten was quickly abandoned, and Tutankhamun, Khapro-Rai, and Horemheb erased all details of Akhenaten's heresy, or as it is known as the Amarna period.

When RAMSESII took the throne, also known as Ramses the Great, in about 1279 BC, he worked on building more temples, erecting more statues and obelisks, in addition to having more children than any pharaoh in history. And he led boldly in the Battle of Kadesh against the Hittites, which, after fierce fighting that lasted for more than 15 years, resulted in the first and oldest peace treaty known in history, and that was in the year 1258 BC. 

The wealth of Egypt and its economic and social development made Egypt and its land an attractive land for invasion from foreign powers, especially the Libyans and the Sea Peoples. The army was able at first to repel and deter these invasions, but with the increase and intensification of the invasions, Egypt lost control of the lands of Syria and Palestine. 

The impact of external threats increased with the exacerbation of internal problems such as corruption, cemetery robbery and civil unrest. The high priests of the Temple of Amun in Thebes amassed vast tracts of land and wealth, and their increasing power led to the splintering of the country during the Third Intermediate Period (the Third Decay).