Osorkon IV.

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Osorkon IV.
Throne name
Hiero Ca1.svg
xpr C12A U21
Hiero Ca2.svg
Aa-cheper-Re Setep-en-Amun
(Aa-cheper-Ra Setep-en-Amun)
ˁ3-ḫpr-Rˁ Stp-n-Jmn
Great in form, a Re , chosen by Amun
Proper name
Hiero Ca1.svg
i mn
wA Aa17
i r
Hiero Ca2.svg
MeriAmun Osorkon
(Meri Amun Osorkon)
Mrj Jmn Wsrkn
Loved by Amun, Osorkon

Osorkon IV was a pharaoh (king) in ancient Egypt . According to Jürgen von Beckerath , who connects him with the king "Osorcho" of the Manetho tradition , he was the second pharaoh of the (Lower Egyptian) 23rd dynasty . His reign is around 732 / 30–722 BC. BC. He was possibly the son and successor of Sheschonq V and Queen Tadi-Bastet . Other Egyptologists see Petubastis II as a possible successor to Sheschonq V.

Osorkon IV is considered by some only as a "powerless shadow pharaoh" in the area of Tanis and Bubastis in the eastern delta . However, a document identified in 2011 for Osorkon IV from Memphis (see below) now indicates that he was recognized there at least at the beginning of his reign. According to the Triumph Stele of Pije, he seems to have been the most respected of the Libyan rulers of his time after Nimlot ("Namert D"), the "King" of Hermopolis .


The Pharaoh Osorkon IV was believed to be able to assign the throne name "Great in shape, a Re, chosen of Amun" until 2011 (see picture above right). However, recent French excavations in Tanis under the direction of Philippe Brissaud have brought to light two relief blocks of a pharaoh Osorkon (u) User-Maat-Re, identified by inscriptions , which are in an archaic (antiquated) style - probably based on the model of the Memphite reliefs of Djoser ( 3rd Dynasty , around 2700 BC) - which is typical for the final phase of the Libyan period in Tanis. Similar reliefs of King Gemenef-Chonsu-bak had already been discovered by Pierre Montet in Tanis. The newly found relief blocks suggest that the throne name of Osorkon IV was not “great in form, a Re, chosen by Amun”, but User-Maat-Re , ie a powerful one in the manner of the Maat des Re . The king Osorkon with the throne name Great in shape, a Re, chosen of Amun is now generally identified with the Libyan ruler Osorkon "the Elder" (alias Osochor ) from the 21st dynasty, whose throne name was previously unknown. Due to the throne name User-Maat-Re , which is preserved on an archaic king statuette from Memphis, which consists of glass-like Egyptian faience, Osorkon IV can now also be assigned a round picture.


Osorkon IV probably ascended the throne shortly before the conquest of Egypt by Pije in Memphis , which is indicated by the existence of his Memphite statuette. But from there he was soon ousted by Tefnachte von Sais. During the time of Osorkon IV, several kings ruled in parts of Egypt at the same time. The following are documented as contemporaries: King Auput II , King Pef-tjau-em-awi-Bastet , King Nimlot (Namert D), local ruler of Hermopolis , the kings Tefnachte and Bokchoris of the 24th dynasty in the western Nile delta and the kings Pije and Schabaka from the 25th dynasty , originally from Kush or Nubia .

Osorkon IV, Auput II, Pef-tjau-em-awi-Bastet and Nimlot as well as numerous subordinate princes of the Libyans in Egypt submitted to the Cushite Pije following his victorious campaign in Egypt. Tefnacht von Sais , the prince of the western delta, took this as an opportunity to raise himself to Pharaoh. Thus the 24th dynasty appeared. According to the book “2. Kings 17.4 ”of the Bible probably sent in the year 725 BC. King Hoschea of Israel messengers "to So, the king of Egypt". Hoshea asked him for help against the Assyrians . According to Kenneth A. Kitchen , this "King of Egypt" was O so rkon IV. It is conceivable, but less likely, that it should read: "To Sa is, (to) the King of Egypt". Then Tefnachten would be meant. In the end it could be shown, however, that the name "So" is a read-out form that could go back to an old Hebrew Sgr, which is correct in the Septuagint with Segor. Thus Osorkon IV should certainly be addressed as King So in 2 Kings 17, 4. The help requested after 2 Kings 17: 4 came too late. King Sargon II of Assyria conquered probably 722 BC. BC Samaria and put down a Syrian revolt . He subjugated Palestine as far as Gaza . An Egyptian auxiliary force could not prevent the fall of Gaza and its king Hanun . Sargon II met against 716 BC. BC to Wadi el-Arish on the land bridge to Palestine. After transcription of the cuneiform Egyptian king sent called Schilkannu him 12 horses. 712 BC Iamani, prince of Ashdod , rose against the Assyrians. However, the uprising failed and Iamani of Ashdod fled to Egypt. He was then extradited by the Cushitic Pharaoh Shabaka , who had now assumed supremacy in Egypt.

supporting documents

The most important testimony to Osorkon IV are his mentions and his depiction on the so-called triumph stele of Pije Osorkon IV. Is shown here in the first place among the Libyan dynasts of the Delta area who submitted to the Pije belly and was probably the most important in this group viewed by rulers. In the past, a relief block in Leiden naming a king Osorkon enthroned on the throne of Geb and a seal in Leiden were taken as evidence of Osorkon IV. In addition, he was assigned a golden cult object, a so-called Aegis (or "Usech") in the Louvre . In the light of the reliefs from Tanis found by Brissaud (see above), of these objects only the aegis in the Louvre for Osorkon IV., Who also mentions the name of Queen Tadi-Bastet, who is either the wife or the Mother of the king was. The above-mentioned relief and the seal in the Museum of Leiden are now considered evidence of Osorkon the Elder. The already mentioned statuette torso of the king "Usermaatre" (= Osorkon IV.), Which is kept in the London Petrie Museum , has been added to the evidence . This sculpture fragment corresponds in material (glassy Egyptian faience or "glassy faience"), size and style of a similar statuette, also found in Memphis, which, according to its inscription, represents Sheschonq V, who was probably the predecessor of Osorkon IV.


Individual references / comments

  1. largely hieroglyphs and inscription after Jürgen von Beckerath : Handbuch der Ägyptischen Könignames (= Münchner Ägyptologische Studien . Vol. 49). 2nd, improved and expanded edition, von Zabern, Mainz 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6 , p. 201.
  2. The Triumphal Stele of Pije (747 - 716 BC) , on www.sennefer.at, accessed on October 9, 2018
  3. ^ Translation based on Winfried Barta
  4. does not belong to any established dynasty, documented in Leontopolis and Imet in the eastern delta
  5. Heir of the Upper Egyptian branch line of the 22nd Dynasty, in Herakleopolis
  6. the capital of the Principality of West Delta
  7. Christoffer Theis: Contributions to the Vocabulary of the Old Testament: The Connection of the Name סוֹא with Greek Σηγωρ in 2 Kings 17, 4. In: Biblica Volume 101, 202, pp. 107-113.
  8. after Kenneth A. Kitchen by Osorkon IV.?
  9. = Osorkon IV.?
  10. Triumph stele of Pije . On: sennefer.at ; accessed on February 24, 2015.
  11. Osorchor, 21 Dynasty
  12. ^ University College London (UCL) inventory number 13128.

Web links

Commons : Osorkon IV.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Petubastis II or Scheschonq V ? Pharaoh of Lower Egypt
23rd Dynasty