After the death of his father, Neko I, in battle with the invading Kushite (Nubian) king, Tantamani, Psamtek I could exploit the crushing of the Kush by his Assyrian overlord, Ashurbanipal, by establishing an independent foothold in Lower Egypt based on the city of Sais. In the opening years of his reign, Psamtek consolidated his grip on Lower Egypt with campaigns against the Chiefs of Ma and Libyan marauders from the west. To bolster his fighting capability, Psamtek made extensive use of Greek and Carian mercenaries and, to mitigate the Assyrian threat, formed an alliance with the Lydian king, Gyges. At the close of the period depicted, Psamtek confirmed his status as primary power in Egypt by sending a battle fleet to Thebes in Upper Egypt to secure his daughter, Nitocris, as successor.
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