Thursday, 25 April 2013

"Then his majesty prevailed against them at the head of his army" - Pharaoh Thutmose III fought the Battle of Megiddo


"His majesty went forth in a chariot of electrum, arrayed in his weapons of war, like Horus, the Smiter, lord of power; like Montu of Thebes, while his father, Amon, strengthened his arms. The southern wing of this army of his majesty was on a hill south of the brook of Kina, the norther wing was at the northwest of Megiddo, while his majesty was in their center, with Amon as the protection of his members, the valor of his limbs. Then his majesty prevailed against them at the head of his army, and when they saw his majesty prevailing against them they fled headlong to Megiddo in fear, abandoning their horses and their chariots of gold and silver." (Tjaneni, "An Account of the Battle of Megiddo", 15th century BCE)

25 April 157 BCE - Today, 3.470 years ago, in the 21st Shemu (season of the harvest) of Pharaoh Thutmose III, the king fought the Battle of Megiddo against the Syrian princes of the region.





Cashing in on the funds available after the economic upturn Egypt took during the reign of his mother Hatshepsut, Thutmose III marched into the Levantinian petty states to show the locals that there was a new king reigning in Thebes. The Syrian petty states had already seceded from Egyptian dominace, allied themselves and were probably threatenting to invade... or not, in any case, Thutmose III saw it fit to strike before things in the Near East deteriorated even more.

When the Prince (or king) of Megiddo and his allies were brought to bay near his ancestral seat and defeated by Thutmose, he could flee into his walled city, but finally had to capitulate after a couple of months of siege. What followed was an annual expedition of Egyptian troops into Syria to at least collect tributes or crush local resistance, marking the beginning of the New Kingdom's imperialistic policy in the region - thus, the local princes disappear from the annals, leaving only the Mitanni as tangible political entity further North.

The Battle of Megiddo is the first engagement that is handed down to future generations with relatively accurate reports of force levels, body count and the weapons used, among them the composite bow, a feared weapon that would play a decisive role in many engagements until the arrival of reliable firearms more than 3.000 years later.





More on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Megiddo_%2815th_century_BC%29