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Thutmose III

Thutmose III might be responsible for the mysterious disappearance of Hatshepsut, but he was still a great ruler. He has been called the Napoleon of ancient Egypt. After taking the throne he had Hatshepsut's name cut from the temple walls and tried to erase her name from history. Thutmose never lost a battle. Thutmose III was a national hero and he was respected throughout Egyptian history. Besides being a military genius he is well known for his many buildings. He set up several obelisks. One, which is mistakenly called Cleopatra's Needle, can be seen on the Embankment in London. Another one is in Central Park in New York, one in Rome and another in Istanbul.

Thutmose III was only an infant when he became Pharaoh at his father's death, and his father's wife -- Hatshepsut, who was not his mother -- made all executive decisions through his childhood. She grew so accustomed to power that she yielded virtually no authority to Thutmose III until at least his late teen years. He is believed to have held no ultimate authority until her death, after which Thutmose ordered her name removed from all monuments and records, and statues in her honor destroyed.

He is remembered for putting down several rebellions among his people, and for a series of battles to assert Egypt's authority and expand its borders. Inscriptions from his time -- probably somewhat exaggerated -- claim that Egyptian armies took more than 350 cities during his reign. His armies were said to scatter his foes "as if by spirits" at the Battle at Megiddo (Armageddon). He took Syria, defeated the Mitannians, and advanced south along the Nile River into the Sudan.

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