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“Fiction” and “Reality”

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Chapter Summary

Herodotus opens the chapter of the Histories with a remark about Sesostrisas the only Egyptian king to rule Aithiopia. In reality, Sesostris' originals, Senusret I and Senusret III, were not the only Egyptian kings to rule parts or the whole of Nubia. In the history of Egypt to the reign of Amasis there are two passages dealing with the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, 2.137+139 and 2.152. To escape from Sabacos' army, King Anysis fled "into the marshes" where he lived on the island of Elbo. As promised him by an oracle that he received in Aithiopia before he had launched his Egyptian campaign, Sabacos reigned for fifty years over Egypt. Into his account of the customs of the Egyptians, Herodotus inserts a digression about the relations between the Egyptians, the Aithiopians, and the Ammonians. The Aithiopian passages discussed in this chapter are inserted in the account of the Libyan tribes.

Keywords: Aithiopia; Egypt; Herodotus; Nubia; Sesostris; Twenty-Fifth Dynasty



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