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5. Beyond the Broken Reed: Kushite Intervention and the Limits of l’histoire événementielle

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Chapter Summary

This chapter proposes that Kushite foreign policy was motivated primarily by commercial interest in prestige goods that were obtained as tribute from Levantine client states, particularly "Asiatic copper", and cedar, whose import served to bolster the 25th Dynasty's standing in the fragmented political landscape of Egypt. It analyses that this policy originated as an extension of the 25th Dynasty's strategies of rule in northeast Africa and was most likely reinforced by their evolving awareness of the Assyrian threat abroad. At the level of historiography, what the interpretation of Kushite foreign policy illustrates most clearly are the methodological limits of l'histoire événementielle, not the unique validity of a single historical theory. The historian attempting to explain Kushite inaction, extradition, coalition, and intervention is best served by a synthesis of short- and long-term perspectives, one that places events and individual agency against a backdrop of continuity and tradition.

Keywords: Assyrian threat; Kushite foreign policy; l'histoire événementielle; Levantine client states



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