Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt

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837 BC–728 BC
CapitalThebes, Herakleopolis
Common languagesEgyptian language
Ancient Egyptian Religion
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Historical eraClassical antiquity
• Established
837 BC
• Disestablished
728 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt
Twenty-fourth Dynasty of Egypt

The Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXIII, alternatively 23rd Dynasty or Dynasty 23) is usually classified as the third dynasty of the ancient Egyptian Third Intermediate Period. This dynasty consisted of a number of Meshwesh ancient Libyan (Berber) kings, who ruled either as pharaohs or independent kings of parts of Upper Egypt from 880 BC to 720 BC, and pharaohs from 837 BC to 728 BC.


There is much debate surrounding this dynasty, which may have been situated at Herakleopolis Magna, Hermopolis Magna, and Thebes. Monuments from their reign show that they controlled Upper Egypt in parallel with the Twenty-second dynasty, shortly before the death of Osorkon II.

Pharaohs and Kings of the 23rd Dynasty[edit]

Pharaoh / King Image Throne Name / Prenomen Reign Consort(s) Comments
Harsiese A
Sarcophage Harsiesis.JPG
Hedjkheperre Setpenamun 880 – 860 BC Isetweret I Independent King of Thebes; Ruled during Takelot I's and Osorkon II's reigns
Takelot II
Karnak Ptah 08.jpg
Hedjkheperre Setpenre 840 – 815 BC Karomama D
Tabeketenasket A
Contemporary with the Twenty-Second Dynasty king Shoshenq III, who controlled Lower Egypt.
Pedubast I
Torso of Pedubast I by Michael Martin.jpg
Usermaatre Setpenamun 829 – 804 BC Involved in a prolonged civil war with king Takelot II/Crown Prince Osorkon B.
Iuput I 829 – 804 BC co-regent
Shoshenq VI Usermaatre Meryamun 804 – 798 BC Succeeded Pedubast I at Thebes and ruled Upper Egypt for 6 years.
Osorkon III
Osorkon III.jpg
Usermaatre Setpenamun 798 – 769 BC Tentsai A
Involved in a civil war against Pedubast I and Shoshenq VI.
Takelot III
Karnak Takelot III.jpg
Usermaatre Setepenamun 774 – 759 BC Kakat
Osorkon III's eldest son, junior coregent and successor.
Rudamun Egypte louvre 054.jpg Usermaatre Setepenamun 759 – 755 BC Tadi[...] The younger brother and successor of Takelot III. A poorly attested king.
Ini Menkheperre 755 – 750 BC Only controlled Thebes during his reign.

Further reading[edit]

  • J.P. Elias, "A Northern Member of the 'Theban' Twenty-Third Dynasty", Discussions in Egyptology 31 (1995), 57-67.
  • J. Goldberg, "The 23rd Dynasty Problem Revisited: Where, When and Who?", Discussions in Egyptology 29 (1994), 55-85.
  • H. Jacquet Gordon, "Deux graffiti d'époque libyenne sur le toit du Temple de Khonsu à Karnak" in Hommages à la memoire de Serge Sauneron, 1927-1976 (Cairo: 1979), pp. 169–74.
  • K.A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (c.1100–650 BC), 3rd ed., Warminster: 1996.