), a king of Ethiopia, who invaded Egypt in the reign of the blind king Anysis, whom he dethroned and drove into the marshes. The Ethiopian conqueror then reigned over Egypt for 50 years, but at length quitted the country in consequence of a dream, whereupon Anysis regained his kingdom.
This is the account which Herodotus received from the priests (2.137-140; comp. Diod. 1.65
); but it appears from Manetho, that there were three Ethiopian kings who reigned over Egypt, named Sabacon, Sebichus,
and who form the twenty-fifth dynasty of that writer.
According to his account Sabacon reigned eight years, Sebichus fourteen, and Taractus eighteen; or, according to the conjecture of Bunsen, twentyeight ; their collective reigns being thus 40 or 50 years.
The account of Manetho, which is in itself more probable than that of Herodotus, is also confirmed by the fact that Taracus is mentioned by Isaiah (37.9), under the name of Tirhakah.
The time at which this dynasty of Ethiopian kings governed Egypt has occasioned some dispute, in consequence of the statement of llerodotus (2.140), that it was more than 700 years from the time of Anysis to that of Amyrtaeus. Now as Amyrtaeus reigned over Egypt about B. C. 455, it would follow from this account that the invasion of the Ethiopians took place about B. C. 1150.
But this high date is not only in opposition to the statements of all other writers, but is at variance with the narrative of Herodotus himself, who says that Psammitichus fled into Syria when his father Necho was put to death by Sabacon (2.152), and who represents Sabacon as followed in close succession by Sethon, Sethon by the Dodecarchia and Psammitichus, the latter of whom began to reign about B. C. 671.
There is, therefore, probably some corruption in the numbers in the passage of Herodotus.
There can be little doubt that the Ethiopian dynasty reigned over Egypt in the latter half of the eighth century before the Christian era. They Are mentioned in the Jewish records. The So,
king of Egypt, with whom Hosea, king of Israel, made an alliance about B. C. 722 (2 Kings, 17.4), was in all probability the same as the second king of the dynasty, Sebichus; 1
and the Tirhakah, king of the Ethiopians, who was preparing to make war against Sennacherib, in B. C. 711 (Is. 37.9), is evidently the same as the Taracus of Manetho, as has been already remarked. Herodotus speaks of Sethon as king of Egypt at the time of Sennacherib's invasion [SETHON]; but it is evident that the Ethiopian dynasty must have ruled at least over Upper Egypt at this time, for we can hardly refer the statement of Isaiah to an Ethiopian king at Meroe.
The name of Sabacon is not found on monuments, as Lepsius has shown, though the contrary is stated by most modern writers. We find, however, on monuments, the name of Shebek
Shebek is the Sebichus of Manetho, and Bunsen has conjectured, with some probability, that the two first kings of the dynasty both bore this name, and that Manetho only gave the name of Sabacon to the first, as it was so well known through the history of Herodotus. Sabacon and Sebichus, however, bear so great a resemblance to one another, that they are probably merely different forms of the same name. (Bunsen, Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgeschichte,
vol. iii. pp. 137, 138.)