God Horus Protecting King Nectanebo II

Period: Late Period

Dynasty: Dynasty 30

Reign: reign of Nectanebo II

Date: 360–343 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt; Said to be from Memphite Region, Heliopolis (Iunu; On), Tomb of a Mnevis bull

Medium: Meta-Greywacke

Dimensions: h. 72 cm (28 3/8 in); w. 20 cm (7 7/8 in); d. 46.5 cm (18 5/16 in)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1934

Accession Number: 34.2.1


Nectanebo II was the last native king of Egypt. Caught in a delicate balance between the naval power of the Greeks and the Persian empire, and dependent on Greek mercenaries, he managed to defeat the Persians once, but on their second invasion in 343 B.C., he was forced to flee, perhaps to Nubia. Despite this, he was much honored by his Hellenistic successors, particularly Alexander the Great, and cults were established to worship him in the Ptolemaic Period.

Despite the difficult and uncertain times, Nectanebo II's reign was marked by an artistic and literary revival. This figure of the king, dominated by the massive falcon wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, is a continued expression of the protection of the king by the god Horus.