Osorkon II

Usermaatre Setepenamun Osorkon II was the ruling pharaoh in the time of 872-837 BC in Egypt. The main place where Osorkon II ruled was from Tanis, which for the 22nd dynasty was the capital for Egypt.

Osorkon II, was the son of Takelot and queen Kapas and ruled for about thirty years; although, the exact measurement isn’t sure due to the fact that there are several pieces of information that could lead to different conclusions. But most scholars agree that Osorkon II ruled for at least this amount of time.


During the time in which Osorkon II ruled, it was a time of building for the Egyptians. For example, the Pharaoh Osorkon II added to the temple of Bastet and Bubastis in which he had it decorated both with scenes and images of one of his wives Queen Karomama. Besides adding to both temples, Osorkon II built moments in Thebes, Memphis, Tanis and Leon Topolis. One of the major monuments that Osorkon built was Temple J at Karnak.

Osorkon II had several obstacles with maintaining power even before his rule came into play. His first obstacle was his cousin King Harsiese A who at the time controlled Thebes and the western Oasis of Egypt. This presented a problem for him for a while; however, this problem soon resolved itself because King Harsiese died in 860 BC. After his cousin’s death, Osorkon II named his son Nimlot C as the high priest of Thebes. Naming his son as the high priest of Thebes, ensured that he would rule a united Egypt without anyone trying to go against his rule or over power him in anyway.

The other problem that Osorkon II encountered during his reign was in Assyria. Here he ended up having to lead a battle, which he fought until it came to a standstill. The problem with Assyria occurred when they tried to meddle and take over parts of Israel and this area was widely in Egypt’s control during that time. Osorkon II had success with an aggressive approach to the Assyrian conflict, because he was able to halt the expansion of their territory in Cannan during his reign.

As far as his family life goes, there is evidence that he outlived Nimlot C as it was Nimlot’s son depicted as the high priest of Thebes in some of Osorkon’s temples. This evidence goes to solidify that Osorkon II reigned longer than previously thought by archaeologists and this provides a telling story in itself. It also appears that this pharaoh had at least three wives; Queen Karomama who was probably the main wife, Djedmutesakh IV who was Amun Nimlot C’s (high priest) mother, and also Isetemkheb whose daughter was Tjesbastperu. These are the wives associated to Osorkon II during his lifetime; although he may have had minor wives that we haven’t yet discovered.

It appears that with Queen Karomama he may have had at least 5 children; 2 males and 3 females. The Princesses were Karomama C, Tashakheper, and a third one which name is unclear. The Princes were Hornakht and Shoshenq D – both high priests in their own right.

Osorkon II passed into the afterlife around 837 BC in which he was then buried in tomb NRT I; the first at Tanis. It appears that after his death, Osorkon’s child and then later his great grandchildren, kept their reigns going quite well and prosperous after his death; at least for awhile.

On successors after Osorkon II’s death, there is some argument that it was not Takelot II that succeeded this Pharaoh, but rather that it was Shoshenq III. The reasoning behind this is that there are not any monuments found in Lower Egypt on walls, stelas, or documents pertaining to that time. Whichever way it happened, after Shoshenq III came into power, it was only a short amount of time before he had lost control of Middle and Upper Egypt. This occurred in his eighth year of reign.

History currently dictates, however, that Osorkon II led a successful Egypt throughout his reign and provided a great environment for his children and grandchildren with High Priest accolades to their names. Osorkon II will be greatly remembered as one of the great pharaohs in Egypt.