Black History Month!!! Pharoah Piye (d. 721 BC)
Piye (once transliterated as Piankhi; d. 721 BC) was a Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt who ruled Egypt from 753/752 BCE to c.722 BCE according to the most recent academic research by Rolf Krauss and David Warburton. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, modern day Sudan. His predecessor as king of Kush, Kashta, almost certainly exercised a strong degree of influence over Thebes prior to Piye's accession since Kashta managed to have his daughter, Amenirdis I, adopted as the Heiress to the serving God's Wife of Amun, Shepenupet I, prior to the end of his reign.
As ruler of Nubia and Upper Egypt, Piye took advantage of the squabbling of Egypt's rulers by expanding Nubia's power beyond Thebes into Lower Egypt. In reaction to this, Tefnakht of Sais formed a coalition between the local kings of the Delta Region and enticed Piye's nominal ally—king Nimlot of Hermopolis—to defect to his side. Tefnakht then sent his coalition army south and besieged Herakleopolis where its king Peftjaubast and the local Nubian commanders appealed to Piye for help. Piye reacted quickly to this crisis in his Year 20 by assembling an army to invade Middle and Lower Egypt and visited Thebes in time for the great Opet Festival which proves he effectively controlled Upper Egypt by this time. His military feats are chronicled in the Victory stela at Gebel Barkal.
Piye viewed his campaign as a Holy War, commanding his soldiers to cleanse themselves ritually before beginning battle. He himself offered sacrifices to the great god Amun.
Piye then marched north and achieved complete victory at Herakleopolis, conquering the cities of Hermopolis and Memphis among others, and received the submission of the kings of the Nile Delta including Iuput II of Leontopolis, Osorkon IV of Tanis and his former ally Nimlot at Hermopolis. Hermopolis fell to the Nubian king after a siege lasting five months. Tefnakht took refuge in an island in the Delta and formally conceded defeat in a letter to the Nubian king but refused to personally pay homage to the Kushite ruler. Satisfied with his triumph, Piye proceeded to sail south to Thebes and returned to his homeland in Nubia never to return to Egypt. Despite Piye's successful campaign into the Delta, his authority only extended northward from Thebes up to the western desert oases and Herakleopolis where Peftjaubastet ruled as a Nubian vassal king. The local kings of Lower Egypt especially Tefnakht were essentially free to do what they wanted without Piye's oversight. It was Shabaka, Piye's successor, who later rectified this unsatisfactory situation by attacking Sais and defeating Tefnakht's successor Bakenranef at Sais, in his second regnal year.