Twenty-Seventh Dynasty

   Posted by: Keith Payne   in

Twenty-Seventh Dynasty

The First Persian Dynasty

525 to 404 BC

Period Seat of Power Factions Dating System
Late Kingdom Period Pasargadae, Persepolis, Ecbatana, Babylon Saite, Babylonian/Persian Digital Egypt


After defeating Psamtik III at Memphis and seizing control of the kingdom, Cambyses II becomes the first Persian king and founder of Egypt’s Twenty-Seventh Dynasty, also called the First Persian Period (or Dynasty).  Egypt is largely ruled by local vassals during this period who pay tribute to the Persian throne, although there are a number of native holdouts who continue to claim the title of King of Egypt.

Cambyses supported some Egyptian religions and traditions while oppressing others.  He ruled from Egypt for a few years but had to return to Persia to put down a civil war.  Darius I was more even handed in his treatment of Egyptian traditions, but ruled indirectly by vassals who were subject to constant uprisings by the Egyptians.  Xerxes I managed to reign in some of the revolts that were commonplace toward the end of Darius I, but his reign ended when he was murdered by his heir, also called Darius, who was then killed by his brother, Artaxerxes I, who assumed the throne.  Some accounts have Xerxes I being murdered by his uncle, who then convinced Artaxerxes I that his brother Darius was responsible.

Artaxerxes I faced a major revolt in Egypt led by Amyrtaeus (Amenirdis I), a Saite noble thought to be related to the kings of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, and Inaros, also a nobleman of the Libyan line and a grandson of Psamtik III.  Their rebellion failed, but Artaxerxes I was killed in one of the battles.  Both Xerxes II and Sogdianus only ruled for a matter of weeks before being executed as a result of infighting. 

Under Darius II Amyrtaeus II (Amenirdis II), the grandson of the Amyrtaeus who helped Inaros lead a revolt against Artaxerxes I, begins a series of uprisings.  On the death of Darius II Amyteaus II declares himself the King of Egypt.  Artaxerxes II, the new King of Persia, has too many problems at home to resist him, thus ending the Twenty-Seventh Dynasty.

Name of Ruler Years of Reign Capitol
Cambyses 525 to 522 BC Pasargadae
Darius I 522 to 486 BC Persepolis/Ecbatana
Xerxes I 486 to 465 BC Persepolis/Ecbatana
Artaxerxes I 465 to 424 BC Babylon
Xerxes II 424 to 423 BC Babylon
Sogdianus 423 to 405 BC Babylon
Darius II 405 to 404 BC Babylon
Artaxerxes II 404 BC Persepolis/Ecbatana