Biography of King of Egipto Nekao II o Nekau II (610-595 a.C.)
[N-k (a) w] Second King of the twenty-sixth Egyptian dynasty, son and successor of Psammético I, who had probably had it of his wife Mehetemueskhet. Already in the second year of his reign, Nekao II, whose name of Coronation was that of Uhemibre, he/she was involved in the Affairs of Mesopotamia to come to the aid of the Assyrian Ashur-uballit II, in fight against Babylon, where such a King had been expelled. However, Egyptian troops sent in aid of the Assyrian king were insufficient to resist the attack of the Babylonians, so it had to go back in the year 610 B.c. Very shortly after, Nekao II returned to gather a larger army personally directed towards the Euphrates. The King of Juda, Josias, who feared the union of Egyptians and Assyrians, tried to stop him in Megiddo, but was killed by the Egyptian King. Supported this issue, Egyptian troops continued towards the Euphrates and in the company of the Assyrians came to Kharran (609 BC), city already destroyed by the Babylonians and that they could not take, despite some military victories. Nekao II did not return to Egypt, but as Lord of Syria and Palestine settled in Riblah, near the Orontes. There he/she received the news of the new appointment of Jehoahaz as King of Judah, appointment which was not agreeable. After prisoner to the new King, appointed instead Joaquim, at the time that imposed a heavy tribute to Jerusalem. In 605 BC, the Babylonians inflicted you a severe defeat on Carchemish: the winner was Prince Nabucodonosor II, son of Nabopolassar, who snatched the Egyptian territories of Syria and Palestine. Only the death of his father prevented Nabucodonosor II, who conquered all of the Egyptian delta on a first attempt. Displaced from Asia, Nekao II could not come in aid of the Prince of Ascalon, and even in 601 BC could barely stop to Nabucodonosor II in the Egyptian eastern border. After that, the Egyptian King embarked on a large-scale maritime policy, building fleets for the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, in addition to trying to unite two oceans through a channel through the Uadi Tumilat, work in which 120,000 Egyptians perished, according to Herodotus, and could not see finished because of an Oracle. This naval policy, also planned with a view to their struggles against Babylon, opened new commercial markets (Tell el-Maskuta) and new routes, including the first circumnavigation to Africa, made with help of Phoenician, and from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
Nekao II maintained good relations with Greece, both religious (dedications in the local sanctuaries) and economic (Ionian mercenaries, pujanza of Naucratis). Nekao II performed the funeral of an Apis (595 BC, may), but died shortly afterwards, leaving a son, Psammetico, who succeeded him on the throne (as Psammético II) and three daughters.