Who were the Hyksos?

Manetho, the Egyptian historian, who lived in the Ptolemaic era, is the main source of information on the invasion of the Hyksos. Some pieces of information dealing with the invasion are preserved by Josephus, Eusebius and Sestus Giulius Africanus. Josephus, has preserved a large part of the second book of the Egypt of Manetho.

Quote in a passage:

“Tutimaeus.” In his reign, I do not know why, a stroke of God’s discontent broke upon us “,” A people of ignoble origins coming from the east, whose coming was unexpected, had the audacity to invade the country, who dominated with strength without difficulty and without even needing to fight “

Where did the Hyksos come from? Some believe they were Mitannians, of the Aryan race, others the Scythians. Others for a long time assumed they were the Israelites. In the remains of Egyptian literature the Hyksos are called “Amu”. The Hyksos erabo a violent people. As far as is known, no historical or artistic monument was erected during their rule, no literary work survived their rule in Egypt. Only complaints like those contained in Ipuwer’s Papyrus.



This papyrus bears the testimony of invaders who agitated and terrified the land of Egypt. These invaders came from Asia as he quotes the Papyrus of Ipuwer. The Hyksos government in Egypt lasted throughout the period between the Middle and the New Kingdom. Manetho gives us information that after the Hyksos invaded the country, they established a dynasty of pharaohs Hyksos, the first of these kings was called Salitis or Salatis and resided in Menphis. There, east of the Delta, Salitis covered a place called Avaris, a perfect strategic point from which to control both Egypt and Syria.

The king is called Apophis of Manetho, he seems to have ruled for sixty one years. The first six re-pastors are considered the first Hyksos Dynasty of pharaohs. The Hyksos government was cruel. This people did not know piety and proof of this can even be found in the tombs.

A digger describes the contents of a tomb as follows:


“A pile of bones piled together, most of them were of animals, but among them I found pieces of human jaw and kneecap”

avaris_alsoegyiptom_fovarosa_volt_1295645_5146The Hyksos rule was not only in Egypt because they were found in various beetles or official seals with the names of King Apop and King Khian. An Apop inscription says that “his father Seth, lord of Avaris, had placed all foreign countries under his feet.” At Avaris there was the Seth shrine, which the Hyksos worshiped, and until the time of the Ramesses, was considered by the Egyptians to be the personification of dark power.

The last dynasty of the Hyksos, the seventeenth Egyptian Dynasty, according to Manetho, was the dynasty of “shepherds and the Theban king“, indicating that in Thebes there were principles of nationality subordinated to the pharaohs Hyksos. The last of these pharaohs was Apop II, he too was an important king. Of the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt it speaks of the tablet of Carnarvon that records the participation of the vassal pharaoh Kamose, son of Sekhnenre, in the action against the Hyksos, with the help of some foreign troops.




Another Egyptian monument also contains a description of the final act: the story of the expulsion of the Hyksos is engraved on the wall of the tomb of a high officer of Ahmose, a vassal pharaoh of one of the names and probably brother of Kamose. In the inscription of Ahmose he narrates the sieges and battles in which the officer took part.

A detail of the Avaris siege is preserved in another written document a long time later. Manetho tells the story of Egypt that the Hyksons were allowed to leave that place.

“They had to evacuate all of Egypt and go where they would not be disturbed, under these conditions no less than 240,000 people, entire families with their possessions, left Egypt and went through the desert to Syria. of the Assyrians, who at the time were masters of Asia, built a city in the country now called Judea, capable of accommodating their ample company, and gave it the name of Jerusalem. “

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