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34    Ike Political Abroach to the Classical World
The first Tuthmosis set the boundary of this new empire as
far as Naharain, the land between the two rivers Orontes and
Euphrates. Governors were" put in charge of the conquered
territories in Syria and Palestine, and Egyptian influence soon
spread over the Near East. This egyptianizing process con-
tinued even when a firm political control was not maintained.
After the peaceful reign of Queen Hatshepsut, who being a
woman could not, or would not, lead her forces to war, her
energetic nephew Tuthmosis III set out to win back the empire
of his grandfather. In the plain of Armageddon, one of the
great battlegrounds of history, a coalition of Syrians lay in wait
for him. Against the advice of the more prudent of his counsel-
lors, he decided on a bold course that was justified by success.
Defiling from a narrow pass through the hills, the Egyptian
army surprised the enemy and defeated them. The city was
taken after a short siege, dramatically described by the annalist.
In a series of seventeen campaigns, Tuthmosis pushed his boun-
dary up to the Taurus mountains and to the Euphrates. It is
even possible that he conquered Assyria; at any rate, he
received tribute, or diplomatic presents, from both Baby-
lonia and Assyria; all Hither Asia seemed to wait upon Egypt's
Foreigners now came in ever-increasing numbers to the cities
of the Nile; foreign motives of design, foreign gods were the
fashion. Ambassadors from Asia arrived with their caravans, to
be entertained at the Egyptian court; merchants brought luxury
articles, scents and embroideries, inlays and precious stones.
The dockyards were kept busy. Boats sailed to the Phoenician
coast to bring back timber for more boats. Through the port
of Ugarit a flourishing trade was carried on with Crete. Cretan
merchants even formed a colony there, as perhaps elsewhere
along the coast. Some of the tribute-bearing 'Keftiu3 who are
depicted in Egyptian tombs may be Cretans from Crete, while
others bringing objects of Syrian design may be Cretan colon-