Σέθωσις Α' ο Ανορθωτής
| της Αιγύπτου
|19η Δυναστεία XIX|
Seti I fought a series of wars in western Asia, Libya and Nubia in the first decade of his reign. The main source for Seti’s military activities are his battle scenes on the north exterior wall of the Karnak Hypostyle Hall, along with several royal stelas with inscriptions mentioning battles in Canaan and Nubia.
In his first regnal year, he led his armies along the “Horus Military road,” the coastal road that led from the Egyptian city of Tjaru (Zarw/Sile) in the northeast corner of the Egyptian Nile Delta along the northern coast of the Sinai peninsula ending in the town of “Canaan” in the modern Gaza strip. The Ways of Horus consisted of a series of military forts, each with a well, that are depicted in detail in the king’s war scenes on the north wall of the Karnak Hypostyle Hall.
While crossing the Sinai, the king’s army fought local Bedouins called the Shasu.
In Canaan, he received the tribute of some of the city states he visited.
Others, including Beth-Shan and Yenoam, had to be captured but were easily defeated. The attack on Yenoam is illustrated in his war scenes, while other battles, such as the defeat of Beth-Shan, were not shown because the king himself did not participate, sending a division of his army instead.
The year one campaign continued into Lebanon where the king received the submission of its chiefs who were compelled to cut down valuable cedar wood themselves as tribute.
At some unknown point in his reign, Seti I defeated Libyan tribesmen who had invaded Egypt's western border. Although defeated, the Libyans would pose an ever increasing threat to Egypt during the reigns of Merenptah and Ramesses III. The Egyptian army also put down a minor “rebellion” in Nubia in the 8th year of Seti I. Seti himself did not participate in it although his crown prince, the future Ramesses II, may have.
The greatest achievement of Seti I's foreign policy was the capture of the Syrian town of Kadesh (Πολιορκία της Καδύτου) and neighboring territory of Amurru from the Hittite Empire.
Egypt had not held Kadesh since the time of Akhenaten. Tutankhamun and Horemheb had failed to recapture the city from the Hittites.
Seti I was successful in defeating a Hittite army that tried to defend the town. (1η Μάχη της Καδύτου)
He entered the city in triumph together with his son Ramesses II and erected a victory stela at the site.
Kadesh, however, soon reverted to Hittite control because the Egyptians did not or could not maintain a permanent military occupation of Kadesh and Amurru which were close to the Hittite homelands.
It is unlikely that Seti I made a peace treaty with the Hittites or voluntarily returned Kadesh and Amurru to them but he may have reached an informal understanding with the Hittite king Muwatalli on the precise boundaries of the Egyptian and Hittite Empires.
Five years after Seti I's death, however, his son Ramesses II resumed hostilities and made a failed attempt to recapture Kadesh. Kadesh was henceforth effectively held by the Hittites even though Ramesses temporarily occupied the city in his 8th year.
The traditional view of Seti I's wars was that he restored the Egyptian empire after it had been lost in the time of Akhenaten.
This was based on the chaotic picture of Egyptian-controlled Syria and Palestine seen in the Amarna letters, a cache of diplomatic correspondence from the time of Akhenaten found at Akhenaten’s capital at el-Amarna in Middle Egypt.
Recent scholarship, however, indicates that the empire was not lost at this time, except for its northern border provinces of Kadesh and Amurru in Syria and Lebanon.
While evidence for the military activities of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Horemheb is fragmentary or ambiguous, Seti I has left us an impressive war monument that glorifies his achievement, along with a number of texts, all of which tend to magnify his personal achievements on the battlefield.
- 19η Δυναστεία (XIX)
- Ηγεμόνες Αρχαίας Αιγύπτου
- Ηγεμόνες Αιγύπτου
- Αρχαία Αίγυπτος
- Αιγυπτιακή Αυτοκρατορία
- Αιγύπτιοι Θεοί
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