Daphnae in the Biblical and Christian Egyptian Tradition at the End of Apries' Reign (Late 570s - Early 560s ВС)

Ladynin Ivan A.

The basis of the paper is formed by the following sources: (1) the statements of the Bible and the early medieval Egyptian Christian tradition (the Chronicle of John, bishop of Nikiou, and the Romance ofCambyses), which highlight the role of Daphnae in the late 7th - first half of the 6th centuries ВС, including the episode of a Babylonian invasion into Egypt; (2) the statements of the Egyptian and classical tradition on the end of Apries' reign (the Elephantine Stele of Pharaoh Amasis, the narratives by Herodotus, Diodorus and Athenaeus). Summing up these data, one might come to the following conclusions. Daphnae was a military outpost inhabited by Mediterranean mercenaries inside the region of the so-called ZxpaxoneSa ('military camps': Herod. 11.154) since at least late 7th century B.C. This town became an important residence of Apries, probably, still at the beginning of his reign (by at least in the late 580s, when a part of former military nobility of Judah found its refuge there: Jer. 43:7-9). When general Amasis started his coup d'etat (late 571) and got hold of the major part of the Delta (by the end of 570), Daphnae (or probably the entire region of ZxpaxoneSa) remained Apries' stronghold ('island' of the Elephantine Stele, cols. 2, 13; upuPutU-Yaman of the cuneiform fragment Nbk 329, rev. 16-17, dealing with the Babylonian invasion into Egypt), which was even able to get support from outside Egypt (the Mediterranean area). By 567 ВС Apries tried to regain his control over Egypt from this base (the Elephantine Stele, col. 14); at the same time Egypt was invaded by Nebukednezzar II who thought it prudent to support Amasis against Apries. Daphnae were attacked by the Babylonians and later by Amasis, and Apries was killed there (see the second part of the Elephantine Stela, and the statements of the Egyptian Christian tradition; cf. Ez. 30:18; the classical tradition favourable to Amasis surpressed this information).