(ca. 672-332 B.C.)

The first king of Dynasty 30, Nectanebo I (380-362 B.C.), managed to repel a Persian attack shortly after he ascended the throne. The remaining years of his reign were fairly peaceful and were marked by an ambitious program of temple construction, which was continued on an even grander scale by Nectanebo II (360-343 B.C.). The latter king managed to hold off another Persian attack in 351 B.C., but in 343 B.C. a third attack succeeded, and Egypt fell once again to the Persians, who were defeated in turn by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.

Egyptian Period

Earlier historians saw it as Egyptian Period of decline, but it was in fact very mixed. During the Late Period, Egypt alternated between native rule and domination by Persia. Psammetichus I (Twenty-sixth Dynasty) used Greek mercenaries to seize power in the vacuum left by the withdrawal of both Assyria and the Kushite kings from Egypt.

Throughout the Late Period, Egypt made a largely successful effort to maintain an effective centralized state, which, except for the two Egyptian Period of Persian occupation (Twenty-seventh and Thirty-first dynasties), was based on earlier indigenous models. Late Period Egypt, however, displayed certain destabilizing features, such as the emergence of regionally based power centers.

Tombs were laid out like temples and decoration borrowed Old Kingdom themes and conventions. Although some aspects of statuary were archaizing, new ideas were also introduced, such as a more naturalistic depiction of the individual.

After the fall of Assyria in 612 B.C., the major foreign threat to Egypt came from the Babylonians. Although Babylonia had invaded Egypt in 568 B.C. during a brief civil war, both countries formed a mutual alliance in 547 B.C. against the rising threat of a third power, the Persian empire-but to no avail. The Persians conquered Babylonia in 539 B.C. and Egypt in 525 B.C., bringing an end to the Senate dynasty and native control of Egypt.

Cambyses established himself as pharaoh and appears to have made some attempts to identify his regime with the Egyptian religious hierarchy. Egypt became a Persian province serving chiefly as a source of revenue for the far-flung Persian (Achaemenid) Empire.

Nectanebo II was the last native Pharaoh of Egypt and the Persians again took control with Artaxerxes III 343 – 338 B.C. who established the 31st dynasty which ended when the country was surrendered to Alexander the Great who set up the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Greco-Roman Period (Egyptian Period) of Egyptian history.