Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt

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Egypt
Province of Achaemenid Empire

343 BC–332 BC

Flag of Achaemenid Egypt (Second Egyptian Satrapy / satrapy VI)

Standard of Cyrus the Great

Historical era Achaemenid era
 -  Conquests of Artaxerxes III 343 BC
 -  Conquests of Alexander the Great 332 BC

The Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt also known as the Second Egyptian Satrapy was effectively a short-living province of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 343 BC to 332 BC.

After an interval of independence, during which three indigenous dynasties reigned (the 28th, 29th, and 30th dynasty), Artaxerxes III (358–338 BC) reconquered the Nile valley for a brief second period (343–332 BC), which is called the Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt.

History[edit]

It is not known who served as satrap after Artaxerxes III, but under Darius III (336–330 BC) there was Sabaces, who fought and died at Issus and was succeeded by Mazaces. Egyptians also fought at Issus, for example, the nobleman Somtutefnekhet of Heracleopolis, who described on the "Naples stele" how he escaped during the battle against the Greeks and how Arsaphes, the god of his city, protected him and allowed him to return home.

In 332 BC Mazaces handed over the country to Alexander the Great without a fight. The Achaemenid empire had ended, and for a while Egypt was a satrapy in Alexander's empire. Later the Ptolemies and the Romans successively ruled the Nile valley.

Demographics[edit]

Egyptian Man in a Persian Costume, ca. 343-332 B.C.E., 71.139, Brooklyn Museum

Occasionally Egyptians wore foreign costumes and jewelry. The taste for non-Egyptian fashion arose during periods of extensive trade or diplomatic contact with distant courts, or when Egypt was controlled by a foreign power. The Persians, who twice invaded the Nile Valley from their Iranian homeland, dominated Egypt during Dynasty 27 (525–404 B.C.) and Dynasty 31 (342–332 B.C.). This statue to the left dates to the later period of Persian rule in Egypt.

The long skirt shown wrapped around this statue's body and tucked in at the upper edge of the garment is typically Persian. The necklace, called a torque, is decorated with images of ibexes, symbols in ancient Persia of agility and sexual prowess. The depiction of this official in Persian dress may have been a demonstration of loyalty to the new rulers.

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