- c.1417-c.720 BC.
The Meshwesh first appear in Egyptian records in the reign of *Amenophis III, but they are mentioned most frequently in connection with the *Libyans and *Sea-peoples in the battles against the Ramesside kings.Hunger seems to have forced them, with their neighbours the *Libyans, to attempt to invade and settle in the Delta during the reign of *Ramesses II. When *Merneptah ruled, they joined the *Libyans and a coalition of *Sea-peoples to attack the Delta, but were repulsed by the Egyptians, and in Year 5 of *Ramesses III's reign they formed part of a *Libyan coalition which attacked Egypt, apparently in objection to pharaoh's choice of their new leader. Utterly defeated again, in Year 11 they nevertheless led a much larger coalition against Egypt, which gained some initial success but was finally crushed. On this occasion, their chief, Mesher, was taken prisoner and his father's appeals for mercy met with no response.Descendants of the prisoners captured in these battles and those who voluntarily settled in Egypt later on were eventually rewarded with land there, in return for military service for Egypt. They became so numerous that by c.950 BC, the 'Chiefs of the Meshwesh' were able to become the kings of Egypt, establishing the Twenty-second Dynasty (c.945-730 BC).BIBL. Kitchen, K.A. 3rdInt; Wainwright, G.A. The Meshwesh. JEA 48 (1962) pp. 89 ff.; Holscher, W. Libyer undAgypter. Gluckstadt: 1937.Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. EdwART. 2011.
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