Thutmose III

Who was Thutmose III?

Thutmose III was a pharaoh of Egypt who ruled from 1479-1425 BC. He was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty, and the son of pharaoh Thutmose II.

Born to Thutmose’s secondary wife, Iset, Thutmose III was an exception among pharaohs. Most successors to the throne were children of the pharaoh’s primary wife; it’s very unusual for a child of the secondary wife to have been chosen, even if they were the first one born!

Thutmose II died when his son was just three years old, meaning that young Thutmose III was immediately crowned the new pharaoh following his burial. However, because Thutmose III was so young at the time, his aunt Hatshepsut ruled in his place; and eventually, became so powerful that she took the throne for herself.

Usually, when somebody other than the official successor became the ruler of Egypt, their reign was short and quickly overthrown; but this wasn’t the case with Queen Hatshepsut. Egypt prospered under her wise rule, and Thutmose III himself gained a lot of valuable experience as a member of the army. He learned about warfare, combat, and how to be a good commander – all of which were skills he’d need once he became pharaoh!

After 22 years of rule, Queen Hatshepsut passed away, and Thutmose III finally ascended the throne. But almost as soon as he took over from his late step-mother, some military crises broke out in Egyptian territories.

What was Thutmose III best known for?

Like many Egyptian pharaohs, Thutmose III was best known for the military successes of his empire and the grand structures built during his reign – it’s believed that he had over 50 temples built during his reign, and many other structures he ordered still stand as the ruins of Thebes. Additionally, some of the obelisks Thutmose III ordered have been re-erected in modern times, in the cities of New York, London and Paris. This matching set of obelisks has been nicknamed “The Needles of Cleopatra.”

Not long after taking the throne, Thutmose III was forced to put his years of military experience to the test as he fended off an attack from territories to the east. Using his status as a famous general, he led the charge at the Battle of Megiddo, one of the most well-known Egyptian conflicts in history. His army experienced a decisive victory in this battle, and the rebels who fought against him were brought smoothly back under Egypt’s control. This battle – and the reputation it gave him – was one of Thutmose III’s greatest achievements, and the fame gained from it aided him greatly in the following years. The fact that there’s no record of him ever having lost a battle only further heightened the respect people held for him.

What was Thutmose III’s legacy?

Thutmose III is known as one of Egypt’s greatest pharaohs. During his 54-year reign, he greatly expanded the Egyptian empire, and developed its army to a height that had never before been reached. In his personal life, he was both a capable warrior and strategic genius; no opposing army survived long against his forces. Because the lands and people he conquered were generally treated well, his reign was known as a time of peace and prosperity for many, despite how often his armies were forced to fight.

Before his death, Thutmose III also ensured that the next pharaoh would be properly trained in the art of rule, an education he was deprived due to the death of his father. In the later years of his life, he appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as co-regent. Amenhotep’s children would go on to continue the policies of expansion that Thutmose III himself began. Thutmose III died around 1425 BC, and was buried alongside his ancestors in the Valley of the Kings.

Facts about Thutmose III:

  • Thutmose III was a pharaoh of Egypt who ruled from 1479-1425 BC. He was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty, and the son of pharaoh Thutmose II.
  • Thutmose II died when his son was just three years old; but because his successor, Thutmose III was so young at the time, his aunt Hatshepsut ruled over Egypt in his place.
  • During his teenage years, Thutmose III gained valuable experience as a member of the army. He learned about warfare, combat, and how to be a good commander – all of which were skills he’d need once he became pharaoh!
  • After 22 years of rule, Queen Hatshepsut passed away, and Thutmose III officially took over as pharaoh.
  • His military skills were put immediately to test in the ‘Battle of Megiddo’, a conflict which cemented his status as a powerful pharaoh.
  • Like many of his predecessors, Thutmose III was best known for the military successes of his empire, as well as for the grand structures built during his reign.
  • Some of the obelisks built during Thutmose’s reign have been re-erected in modern times, in the cities of New York, London and Paris. This matching set of obelisks has been nicknamed “The Needles of Cleopatra.”
  • Before his death, Thutmose III appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as co-regent so that he’d be given a proper education before ever coming to power.
  • Thutmose III died around 1425 BC, and was buried alongside his ancestors in the Valley of the Kings.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What were the years of Thutmose III’s rule?
  • 1479-1425 BC.
  1. What age was Thutmose III when his father died?
  • 3
  1. How did Thutmose III spend his teenage years?
  • He joined the army, and fought as both a soldier and commander.
  1. What was the name of the famous battle fought shortly after Thutmose III’s ascension to the throne, and who was it fought against?
  • The Battle of Megiddo, fought against the kings and armies of rebelling territories to the east of Egypt.
  1. What name has been given to the three obelisks reconstructed in modern times, first designed and erected during Thutmose III’s reign?
  • The Needles of Cleopatra. (Even though they have nothing to do with Cleopatra herself, they were still given that name by historians!)