His leadership and military conquests puts Alexander the Great to shame, his administrative abilities makes Washington D.C. look like a middle school student council, and his innovative ability were light years ahead of any other thinker for centuries following his reign.
One of the most brilliant and successful military rulers ever to live, Thutmose III never lost a battle (unlike Napoleon and Alexander the Great). As an accomplished horseman, archer, and athlete, he personally led his troops at the head of battle formations.
This is the story of Thutmose III – One of the greatest Nesew (Kings) in Black history.
Note: The people of Kemet did not refer to their Kings as Pharaohs. The word Pharaoh comes from the Greek language and was used by the Greeks and Hebrews to refer to the Kings of Egypt. Nesew is used as the proper representation in this – and all – articles that we write.
Thutmose III Accomplishments And Rise to Power
I have given you power and victory over all the nations
You have conquered the rebel hordes as I commanded,
The Earth in its length and breadth, the peoples of the west and
Of the east are your subjects
No one was subjected to your majesty without myself having been
Your guide, so that you would succeed.
All the peoples come, bringing tribute to you on their backs, bowing
Before you as I have ordained. – Karnak Stela Paying Homage To Thutmose III
Thutmose III was the son of Thutmose II by a secondary wife, Iset. His two main names transliterate as mn-ḫpr-rˁ ḏḥwty-ms and are normally realised as Menkheperra Djehutymes – “Eternal are the manifestations of Ra, Born of Thoth”.
At the time of the death of his father – Thutmose II – Thutmose III was too young to rule, so Hatshepsut (Thutmose II’s wife) became his regent, and declared herself to be the Nesew.
Thutmosis III had little power over the empire while Hatshepsut exercised her power as the ruler of Kemet. When he reached a suitable age and demonstrated the capability, she appointed him to head her armies. There, he proved himself to be a talented horseman, archer, athlete, and strategist.
For the most part, the states that paid tribute to Kemet during the reign of Hatshepsut were cooperative and peaceful, and there were no record of wars during her rule. She would become the longest-reigning female Nesewt in Kemet
However, when Hatshepsut died on the tenth day of the sixth month of Thutmose III’s twenty first year, the king of Kadesh advanced his army to Megiddo in an act of war.
This would be Thutmose III’s first test as Nesew.
The War at Megiddo
As is often the case when a new king comes to the throne subject nations are inclined to test his resolve. The King of Kadesh was joined in his defiance with the Mesopotamians and the Syrians, who declared themselves free of Egypt as soon as Hatshepsut died.
Thutmose didn’t waste a moment, and immediately advanced his army to the border city of Gaza, which had remained loyal to Egypt.
These events are all well documented because Thutmose’s private secretary, Tjaneni, kept a journal that was later copied and engraved onto the walls of the temple of Karnak seen above.
Thutmose understood the value of logistics and lines of supply, the necessity of rapid movement and sudden surprise attack; Megiddo was his first objective because it was a key point and had to be taken at all costs.
There were two routes to Megiddo: a long, easy and level road around the hills, which the enemy expected Thutmose to take, and a route which was narrow, difficult and cut through the hills – a tactic that Hannibal would repeat later in history.
His generals advised the new Nesew to take the easy road through the hills, saying “horse must follow behind horse and man behind man also, and our vanguard will be engaged while our rearguard is at Aaruna without fighting”.
But Thutmose’s reply to this was “As I live, as I am the beloved of Ra and praised by my father Amon, I will go on the narrow road. Let those who will, go on the roads you have mentioned; and let anyone who will, follow my Majesty” Now, when the soldiers heard this bold speech they shouted with one accord: “We follow thy Majesty whithersoever thy Majesty goes”.
Thutmose led his men on foot through the hills “horse behind horse and man behind man, his Majesty showing the way by his own footsteps”. It took about twelve hours for the front of the formation to reach the valley on the other side and another seven hours before the last troops emerged. Thutmose himself waited at the head of the pass until each and every man was safely through.
The sudden and unexpected appearance of Egyptians in their rear forced the allies to make a hasty re-deployment of their troops. The King of Megiddo had slowly built up a coalition of defiant nations.
By the time Thutmose had moved on Megiddo, 300 enemy kings leading massive armies stood in his way.
Thutmose was fearless, even in the face of 300 allied crowns, but he was far from stupid.
On April 16, 1457 BC, the Battle of Megiddo began. The forces of Thutmose III quickly defeated a large Canaanite coalition under King of Kadesh. In response, the enemy forces fortified themselves behind the walls of Megiddo.
Rather than attacking, he ordered his army to dig a moat around Megiddo and surround the area with a fortification consisting of a strong fence made of stakes driven into the ground. The king gave orders to let nobody through except those who surrendered at the gate.
For seven months, the kings and their armies were starved, harassed and held hostage in the walls of Megiddo. Thutmose’s strategy worked, and the vanquished kings sent out their sons and daughters to sue for peace.
“All those things with which they had come to fight against my Majesty, now they brought them as tribute to my Majesty, while they themselves stood upon their walls giving praise to my Majesty, and begging that the Breath of Life be given to their nostrils”
Those who surrendered made an oath of allegiance to their King, Thutmose III: “We will not again do evil against Menkheper Ra our good Lord, in our lifetime, for we have seen his might, and he has deigned to give us breath.”
This single campaign made Thutmose a legend, and drastically changed the political situation in the ancient Near East. By taking Megiddo, Thutmose gained control of all of northern Canaan, and the Syrian princes were obligated to send tribute and their own sons as hostages to Egypt.
Beyond the Euphrates, the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Hittite kings all gave Thutmose tribute when he recorded it on the walls of Karnak.
The Heights of the Kemetic Empire
After Meggido, Thutmose III conducted sixteen campaigns in Palestine, Syria and Nubia and his treatment of the conquered was always humane.
During his fifth military campaign against Syria, Thutmose brilliantly used Naval power to secretly move his troops around the area to strike at the enemy where they least expected it.
This made Thutmose III the first military leader in history to effectively leverage Naval power in battle.
Once the rebellions were crushed, Thutmose III found that by taking family members of these key people to Egypt as hostages, he could drastically increase their loyalty to him.
According to Cheikh Anta Diop, by the 18th Dynasty under Thutmose III had effectively conquered the whole eastern Mediterranean and all of western Asia.
“In total, 110 foreign states were conquered and integrated into the Egyptian Empire. In one year, according to Thutmose III’s Hymn of Triumph, the Egyptian treasury collected 3,500 kilos of gold, of which 9/10ths came from the tribute paid by vassals. Western Asia was divided into administrative districts placed under the authority of Egyptian governors, charged with collecting the tributes, or annual taxes, that all these defeated states had to pay to the Egyptian treasury.
In some towns, the conquered princes were purely and simply replaced by Egyptian Generals, and the administration was direct. These conquered states kept small territorial guards trained by the Egyptian officers. But the defense of the territory at large rested on the Egyptian Army itself, so much so that the Phonecian towns would protest when they felt the Egyptian troops in charge of their defense were insufficient. Egyptian garrisons were stationed at strategic points, important towns and ports. Fourteen hundred years before Rome, Egypt created the first centralized empire in the world.”
He goes on to describe the achievements made by Thutmose III’s administration:
“Royal messengers went through different regions of the empire delivering messages from the Nesew. The generals were in charge of regularly making inspection tours in the conquered territory. A royal postal service circulates over roads created by the Egyptian administration, staked out with military stations and water tanks for resupply. The king maintained personal relations with his vassals and each year made inspection trips throughout the whole empire: the children of vassal princes were taken as “hostages” and educated Egyptian style, at the court of the Egyptian emperor, in order to teach them Egyptian manners and tastes and to assimilate them to Pharaonic culture and civilization.
The power of the Nesew over the vassals was absolute. The vassal had to be obedient and faithful and had to execute orders, whatever they might be. He had to respect the nesew as God, because, according to the diplomatic formulary imposed on the vassal, the Nesew is his King, his Sun, at whose feet he bows seven times and seven times.”
The above is an excerpt From Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology.
Thutmose III’s impact upon Kemetic culture changed the game up. He was a national hero who was revered long after his time. Indeed his name was held in awe even to the last days of Kemetic history.
Besides his military achievements he carried out more than 50 major construction projects at Karnak, including a number of obelisks. Two of these obelisks can be found on the Embankment in London and in Central Park in New York. Even today, Thutmose III has left his mark on the most powerful nations on the planet.
Thutmose III died on Year 54, III Peret day 30 of his reign after ruling Kemet for 53 years, 10 months, and 26 days. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings, along with Ahmose I, Amenhotep I, Thutmose I, Thutmose II, Ramesses I, Seti I, Ramesses II, and Ramesses IX, as well as the twenty-first dynasty Nesew Pinedjem I, Pinedjem II, and Siamun.
Pharaoh of the Exodus – Thutmose III in the Bible
You may have recognized some of the cities above from the Bible. The length of Thutmose III’s reign is known to the day thanks to information found in the tomb of the court official Amenemheb. Amenemheb records Thutmose III’s death to his Master’s fifty-fourth regnal year, on the thirtieth day of the third month of Peret.
The day of Thutmose III’s accession is known to be I Shemu day 4, and astronomical observations can be used to establish the exact dates of the beginning and end of the King’s reign from April 24, 1479 BC to March 11, 1425 BC respectively. According to 1 Kings 6:1 the exodus took place in 1448 BC. That is, 477 years before Solomon became King in 971 b.C. This would make Thutmose III the Nesew during the exodus.
Thutmose III is a part of your legacy that should be studied, adopted, taught, and remembered. We Black men and women today are the descendants of the most brilliant and successful warriors, administrators, and Emperors in the history of mankind. Its time to start acting like it.
Q: Was Thutmose III married?
A: Yes. His Great Royal Wife’s name was Satiah.
Q: How did Thutmose III die?
A: Most likely due to old age.
Q: How tall was Thutmose III?
A: Between 5’3″ and 5’5″. We are unsure because his mummy was missing its feet when found.
Q: What Is Thutmose III Best Known For?
A: Using diplomacy and military strategy to expand Kemet to its largest area of conquest up to his rule.