Merneptah mĕrnĕp´tä [key], d. c.1215 BC, king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty; son and successor of Ramses II. He succeeded (1224 BC) to the throne when he was already advanced in years. He quelled a revolt in Syria and repulsed a Libyan invasion of the western delta of the Nile. The first recorded mention of the name of Israel was found in an inscription on a stele of Merneptah exulting in a victory. His reign was apparently the beginning of the decline of Egypt. After his death a period of palace intrigues began. Seti II was one of the kings who reigned briefly after Merneptah.
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