Ancient Egypt / Late Period / 26th Dynasty /
Other spellings: Necho; Nekau
He is Neko 2 since his grandfather, Neko, also was king, although only local ruler of Sais 672-664 BCE. Yet, Neko 1 is not listed as neither king nor ruler of Egypt.
We know little about his actual reign home in Egypt, it is in his foreign wars that he has left traces in history. It is quite possible that his many foreign projects allowed him little time to deal with this. He is told to have began the construction of a canal between the Nile and the Red Sea.
The first great war that Neko is remembered for was against Assyria. In 609 his army was first stopped at Megiddo by the Judean king Josiah. The Judeans were beaten and Neko could march on with his army on to Carcehmish. Here he defeated the Assyrian army, and their lands came under his control.
Only 4 years after this successful campaign did he lead his army on to the Chaldeans (Babylonia) and their king Nebuchadnezzar 2. But this time resistance was far stronger, and the Chaldeans drove the Egyptians back, and continued to march into the former Assyrian territories, and even towards the lands of the Nile. Neko died not long after this.
The third event was that Neko sent out an expedition that circumnavigated the entire continent of Africa. Only derived from one source, the Greek historian Herodotus, that, many historians see this as credible.
Neko was succeeded by his son, Psametik 2.
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