Psamtik [key], Lat. Psammetichus, d. 609 b.c., king of ancient Egypt, founder of the XXVI dynasty. When his father, Necho, lord of Saïs under the Assyrians, was defeated and killed (663 b.c.), by the Nubian Tanutamon, Psamtik fled to his overlord, Assurbanipal, who reinstated (661) him at Saïs as viceroy of Lower Egypt. While Assurbanipal was busy in Babylonia and other regions, Psamtik shook off his Assyrian allegiance and became master of all Egypt. During his long and eminently prosperous reign, he encouraged the settlement (especially at Naucratis) of Greek soldiers and traders, who for the first time became important in Egypt. His incursion into Palestine was stopped by the Scythians. His son was the pharaoh Necho.
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