Joshua J. Mark
published on 02 September 2009
Xois (as the Greeks called it) was a vast ancient city located on a marshy island in the center of the Nile Delta of Egypt, modern-day Sakha. Known as Khasut or Khaset to the Egyptians, the island city is sometimes identified with No-Amon (traditionally a name ascribed to Thebes) mentioned in the Biblical Book of Nahum where the Prophet Nahum warns the city of Nineveh of her pride and her coming destruction (Nahum 3:8, “Art thou better than populous No, that was situated among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea.”)
The nobles of Xois founded the 14th Dynasty and ruled contemporaneously with the Hyksos Dynasty (the mysterious semitic rulers of Egypt) who, it seems, conquered them for a time. The Egyptian historian Manetheo (3rd century BCE) listed 76 Xoite kings (72 of the names confirmed by the famous Turin King List papyrus, thought to have been prepared under Pharaoh Ramesses II). Xois was a center of worship of the god Amon-Ra and was well known for the production of fine wine.
The city was one of the sites of the great defense of Egypt by Pharaoh Ramesses III, in the eighth year of his reign, against the so-called Sea Peoples and the Libyans. Ramesses III lined the shores with archers who fired upon the ships as they tried to land troops. Although Ramesses was victorious, so costly was this war with the Sea Peoples that the royal treasury was depleted and this, along with a mysterious drought, lead to the first known labor strike in history (in the 29th year of the reign of Ramesses III) when expected provisions were not supplied to the elite tomb builders at modern-day Deir el Medina.
Xois enjoyed prosperity as a center of worship until the coming of Christianity, after which it steadily declined.
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c. 3414 BCE - c. 3100 BCE
1650 BCE - 1550 BCEXois serves as capital of the 14th Dynasty.