The Eighth Campaign of Thutmose III Revisited

Abstract

One of the most decisive rivalries in the history of the Ancient Near East during the Late Bronze Age was between Egypt and Mitanni. Starting around the beginning of the fifteenth century B.C.E. this rivalry reached its pinnacle during the reign of Thutmose III (1490-1436 B.C.E). Among the military campaigns he directed towards the Levant, his eighth campaign, in year 33 of his reign, has been perceived in scholarly study of this conflict as the highest point. Owing to an exceptional variety of written sources which had been dedicated to its commemoration, as well as the implementation of some unprecedented tactical military moves in the course of this campaign, it won its grandeur, second only to the Megiddo campaign. This paper aims at reanalyzing and reinterpreting the sources concerning the eighth campaign. Further investigations into the sources from the time of Thutmose III and a reconsideration of former views about the significance of this campaign bring us to an alternative conclusion: the eighth campaign was mainly a symbolic display of power, with no more than a demonstrative consequence. The actual confrontation between the parties would take place two years after the eighth campaign.

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Mizrachy, Y., (2012) “The Eighth Campaign of Thutmose III Revisited”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 4(2), p.24-52. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v04i2_mizrachy

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Yosef Mizrachy (University of Haifa)

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