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Seqenenre Tao II

Tao II is known by the name of Seqenenre, which means "He Who Strikes like Re." He was a ruler of Egypt during the second intermediate period. He was one of the last pharaohs to rule in the seventeenth dynasty.

Tao II is believed to have been the son of Queen Tetisheri and Sanakhtenre Tao.  When he came to power, there was a lot of unrest in Thebes, and Hyksos were in control of Avaris. Tao II worked very hard to make Thebes regain its power and make push Hyksos back. His powers and loyalty towards his lands and people can be seen in the biographies of one of his soldiers, Ahmose.

Tao II must have reigned somewhere around 1545 B.C., during the last phase of the Hyksos dynasty. The Hyksos were conquerors from the West who ruled over Egypt for the larger part of the seventeenth century. Tao II was up to date with one of the last great Hyksos kings named Apophis.

Seqenenre Tao II's Note

The Hyksos king even sent Tao II an official delegation with a cheeky remark, which read as follows:

“Give orders that the hippopotamus-pool which is in the flowing spring of the city be abandoned; for they (the voices of the hippos) do not allow deep sleep to come to me either by day or by night, but their noise is in mine ear.”

While complaining about the noise that the hippopotamus made, he was actually complaining about the increasing powers of Tao. Tao, on the other hand, seems to have replied to this comment by attacking the king.

The Death of Seqenenre Tao II

Tao II is said to have died during the war with the Hyksos, suffering a series of vicious injuries. He was stabbed in the ear, then had his nose and cheek smashed with a mace. Finally, he was smacked above the right eye with an ax. But some Egyptologists say that the injuries had started recovering before the king died, and he must have lost his life when he hastily returned to the battle or was killed when he tried to recover.

The war with Hyksos did not end with the death of the pharaoh. In fact, Anhotep I, the sister and wife of Tao II, continued the battle along with her soldiers until their son Kamose attained the right age. In fact, it was the second son of the pharaoh, Ahmose I, who succeeded in driving out the Hyksos from Egypt.

After analyzing his head injuries, some scholars even suggest that he was killed while he was sleeping. All of the findings and analysis of his mummy suggest that the king died under extreme circumstances. Seqenenre Tao II is among the last of the original line of Egyptian Pharaohs who were forced to live in exile in Thebes, the king only of Upper Egypt, while the Hyksos invaders were controlling Lower Egypt.

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