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[[File: Darius.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Relief of Persian King Darius I from Persepolis]]
After the New Kingdom collapsed, Egypt was once more thrust into another intermediate period. When it finally emerged from the political disunity in the middle of the seventy century, the once great Egypt would see itself under the yoke of a succession of various foreign rulers – the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and finally the Romans all ruled over the Nile Valley. Despite losing her independence, pharaonic culture continued well into the Christian era and in fact many of the foreign rulers initiated ambitious building programs in Egypt. The construction of a canal linking the Mediterranean and Red seas was apparently important to many of these rulers despite their disparate backgrounds. According to Herodotus, Strabo, and the first century BC Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, Twenty Sixth Dynasty King Nekau II (reigned 610-595 BC), the son of Psamtek I (ruled 664-610 BC) (“Psammitichus” in Greek) , was the first monarch of the Late Period to revamp the idea of a canal linking the East to the West. According to Diodorus, Nekau II’s canal followed a more diagonal path, beginning near Bubastis on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile River in the north and then zigzagging south until it emptied into the Red Sea.
“The water is supplied from the Nile, and the canal leaves the river at a point a little south of Bubastis and runs past the Arabian town of Patumus, and then on to the Arabian gulf. The first part of its course is along the Arabian side of the Egyptian plain, a little to the northward of the chain of hills by Memphis, where the stone-quarries are; it skirts the base of these hills from west to east, and then enters a narrow gorge, after which it trends in a southerly direction until it enters the Arabian gulf. The shortest distance from the Mediterranean, or Northern Sea, to the Southern Sea - or Indian Ocean- namely, from Mt Casius between Egypt and Syria to the Arabian Gulf, is just a thousand stades. This is the most direct route - by the canal, which does not keep at all a straight course, the journey is much longer.” <ref> Diodorus Siculus. <i>The Library of History.</i> Translated by C.H. Oldfather. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004), Book I, 33</ref>