Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt – the Nubians

As you might imagine, my favourite episode of Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt has to do with the 25th dynasty. The Nubians, the Kushites, the Sudanese, call them what you will, the 25th dynasty is the focus of Nefertiti Overdrive. More specifically, the fall of the 25th dynasty is the focus.

Dr. Brier considers the whole dynasty great because, for a brief moment, they brought Egypt back from the brink. It had been in decline since Rameses the Great. By the time of the Kushite invasion, Egypt had already seen a 200-year period in which it was ruled by Libyans, then it fell apart, leading to a factional struggle for control among a collection of petty princes.

Then the Kushites swept in and made everything better.

Maybe not, but the 25th dynasty restored Egypt to its former glory. And they did not impose a foreign religion or culture. The Kushites had their differences, but they admired and copied Egyptian culture and worshipped Egyptian gods. And yet they were foreign occupiers who didn’t last as long as the Libyans thanks to the coming of the Assyrians to back up a rival from the town of Sais.

In Nefertiti Overdrive, after the initial adventure, there is a discussion of possible story hooks and characters the player characters might encounter. In that discussion, one possibility is that the Saite dynast – the prince whom the Assyrians backed to remove the Kushites – was a patriot who was trying to liberate Egypt from foreign rule. In history, the 26th dynasty did turn on the Assyrians after accepting their help in removing the Kushites. Maybe the Saite dynast was a patriot, but in removing the Kushites, he removed the last great dynasty that would rule Egypt as Egyptians, even were they foreign. The next major dynasty is the coming of the Greeks, and the end of an Egypt ruled by Egyptians.



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