Amenemhet III, also spelled Amenemhat III (c. 1860-1814 BC), was a pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from ca.1860 BC to ca.1814 BC, the latest known date being found in a papyrus dated to Regnal Year 46, I Akhet 22 of his rule. He is regarded as the greatest monarch of the Middle Kingdom. He may have had a long coregency (of 20 years) with his father, Senusret III.
Towards the end of his reign he instituted a coregency with his successor Amenemhet IV, as recorded in a now damaged rock inscription at Konosso in Nubia, which equates Year 1 of Amenemhet IV to either Year 46, 47 or 48 of his reign. His daughter, Sobekneferu, later succeeded Amenemhat IV, as the last ruler of the 12th Dynasty. Amenemhat III's throne name, Nimaatre, means "Belonging to the Justice of Re."
He built a first pyramid at Dahshur (the so-called "Black Pyramid") but there were building problems and this was abandoned. Around Year 15 of his reign the king decided to build a new pyramid at Hawara.The pyramid at Dahshur was used as burial ground for several royal women.
His mortuary temple at Hawara (near the Fayum), is accompanied by a pyramid and was known to Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus as the "Labyrinth."Strabo praised it as a wonder of the world. The king's pyramid at Hawara contained some of the most complex security features of any found in Egypt and is perhaps the only one to come close to the sort of tricks Hollywood associates with such structures. Nevertheless, the king's burial was robbed in antiquity. His daughter, Neferuptah, was buried in a separate pyramid (discovered in 1956) 2 km southwest of the king's.
The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is thought to have been originally composed during Amenemhat's time.
* Lamares, Ameres (According to Manetho)
Statue of Hatshepsut on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hatshepsut is the former Imperator of her time.
Hatshepsut meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies,(1508 BC - 1458 BC) was the second pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.
Although poor records of her reign are documented in diverse ancient sources, Hatshepsut was described by early modern scholars as only having served as a co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 B.C., during years seven to twenty-one of the reign previously identified as that of Thutmose III.Today it is generally recognized that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh and the length of her reign usually is given as twenty-two years, since she was assigned a reign of twenty-one years and nine months by the third-century B.C. historian, Manetho, who had access to many records that now are lost. Her death is known to have occurred in 1458 B.C., which implies that she became pharaoh circa 1479 B.C.
Comparison with other female rulers
Although it was uncommon for Egypt to be ruled by a woman, the situation was not unprecedented. As a regent Hatshepsut was preceded by Merneith of the first dynasty, who was buried with the full honors of a pharaoh and may have ruled in her own right. Nimaethap of the third dynasty may have been the dowager of Khasekhemwy, but certainly acted as regent for her son, Djoser, and may have reigned as pharaoh in her own right. Queen Sobekneferu of the Twelfth Dynasty is known to have assumed formal power as ruler of "Upper and Lower Egypt" three centuries earlier than Hatshepsut. Ahhotep I, lauded as a warrior queen, may have been a regent between the reigns of two of her sons, Kamose and Ahmose I, at the end of the seventeenth dynasty and the beginning of Hatshepsut's own eighteenth dynasty. Amenhotep I, also preceding Hatshepsut in the eighteenth dynasty, probably came to power while a young child and his mother, Ahmose-Nefertari, is thought to have been a regent for him. Other women whose possible reigns as pharaohs are under study include Akhenaten's possible female co-regent/successor (usually identified as either Nefertiti or Meritaten) and Twosret. Among the later, non-indigenous Egyptian dynasties, the most notable example of another woman who became pharaoh was Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
In comparison with other female pharaohs, Hatshepsut's reign was long and prosperous. She was successful in warfare early in her reign, but generally is considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a long peaceful era. She re-established trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled Hatshepsut to initiate building projects that raised the calibre of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a standard, comparable to classical architecture, that would not be rivaled by any other culture for a thousand years.
Family and early life
Queen Aahmes, Pharaoh Thutmose I, and daughter Neferure, the mother, father, and elder sister of Hatshepsut (note her youthful sidelock)
Hatshepsut was the elder daughter of Thutmose I and Queen Aahmes, the first king and queen of the Thutmoside clan of the eighteenth dynasty. Thutmose I and Ahmose are known to have had only one other child, a daughter, Akhbetneferu (Neferubity), who died as a youth. Thutmose I also had a lover named Munofret, and produced several half-brothers to Hatshepsut: Wadjmose, Amenose, Thutmose II, and possibly Ramose, through that secondary union. Both Wadjmose and Amenose were prepared to succeed their father, but neither lived beyond adolescence.
Upon the death of her father in 1493 B.C., Hatshepsut married her half-brother, Thutmose II, who ruled Egypt for thirteen years. As his consort she assumed the title of Great Royal Wife. Royal women played a pivotal role in the religion of ancient Egypt, where religion was inexorably interwoven with the roles of the rulers, and in Hatshepsut's time she officiated as a priestess with the title of god's Wife, a sacred role occupied by royal women during the eighteenth Dynasty.
Hatshepsut had one daughter with Thutmose ll, Neferure. Some scholars hold that Hatshepsut and Thutmose II groomed Neferure as the heir apparent, commissioning official portraits of their daughter wearing the false beard of royalty and the sidelock of youth as seen in remaining sculptures, reliefs, and drawings. There are many images of her with her nurse and tutors in museums.
When Thutmose II died, he left behind only one son, a young Thutmose III to succeed him. The latter was born to Isis, a lesser wife of Thutmose II. Due to the relative youth of Thutmose III, he was not eligible to assume the expected tasks of a pharaoh. Instead, Hatshepsut became the regent of Egypt, assuming the responsibilities of state, and was recognized by the leadership in the temple. At this time, her daughter, Neferure, took over the roles Hatshepsut had played as queen in official and religious ceremonies. This political arrangement is detailed in the tomb autobiography of Ineni, a high official at court:
“ He (Thutmose II) went forth to heaven in triumph, having mingled with the gods; His son stood in his place as king of the Two Lands, having become ruler upon the throne of the one who begat him. His (Thutmose II's) sister the Divine Consort, Hatshepsut settled the affairs of the Two Lands by reason of her plans. Egypt was made to labour with bowed head for her, the excellent seed of the god (Thutmose I), which came forth from him.”
Thus, while Thutmose III was designated as a co-regent of Egypt, the royal court recognised Hatshepsut as pharaoh until she died. It is believed by some that Neferure predeceased her mother, as representations of her disappear prior to the end of Hatshepsut's reign.
Thutmose III ruled as pharaoh for more than thirty years after the death of Hatshepsut. The relationship between Neferure and Amenemhat (Thutmose III's son) is debated among authors, but since Neferure is depicted in her mother's funeral temple, there are those who believe that Neferure still was alive in the first few years of the rule by Thutmose III, and that Amenemhat was her child, and therefor the heir to the throne of Thutmose III until he died. He also might have murdered Queen Hatshepsut!
Hatshepsut was given a reign of about twenty-two years by ancient authors. Josephus writes that she reigned for twenty-one years and nine months, while Africanus states her reign lasted twenty-two years, both of whom were quoting Manetho. At this point in the histories, records of the reign of Hatshepsut end, since the first major foreign campaign of Tuthmosis III was dated to his twenty-second year, which also would have been Hatshepsut's twenty-second year as pharaoh. Dating the beginning of her reign is more difficult, however. Her father's reign began in either 1506 or 1526 BC according to the low and high chronologies, respectively. The length of the reigns of Tuthmosis I and Tuthmosis II, however, cannot be determined with absolute certainty. With short reigns, Hatshepsut would have ascended the throne fourteen years after the coronation of Tuthmosis I, her father. Longer reigns would put her ascension twenty-five years after Tuthmosis I's coronation. Thus, Hatshepsut could have assumed power as early as 1512 BC, or, as late as 1479 BC.
The earliest attestation of Hatshepsut as pharaoh occurs in the tomb of Senenmut's parents where a collection of grave goods contained a single pottery jar or amphorae from the tomb's chamber—which was stamped with the date Year 7. Another jar from the same tomb—which was discovered in situ by a 1935-1936 Metropolitan Museum of Art expedition on a hillside near Thebes—was stamped with the seal of the 'God's Wife Hatshepsut' while two jars bore the seal of ' The Good Goddess Maatkare. ' The dating of the amphorae, "sealed into the tomb's burial chamber by the debris from Senenmut's own tomb," is undisputed which means that Hatshepsut was acknowledged as the king of Egypt by Year 7 of her reign. She Wanted to rule like a male, not wanting to be outdone by the previous male pharaohs. She demanded to be called king, and HIS majesty.
Trade with other countries was re-established; here trees transported by ship from Punt are shown being moved ashore for planting in Egypt - relief from Hatshepsut mortuary temple.
Djeser-Djeseru is the main building of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri. Designed by Senemut, her vizier, the building is an example of perfect symmetry that predates the Parthenon, and it was the first complex built on the site she chose, which would become the Valley of the Kings.
Hatshepsut established the trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, thereby building the wealth of the eighteenth dynasty.
She oversaw the preparations and funding for a mission to the Land of Punt. The expedition set out in her name with five ships, each measuring 70 feet (21 m) long bearing several sails and accommodating 210 men that included sailors and 30 rowers. Many trade goods were bought in Punt, notably myrrh.
Most notably, however, the Egyptians returned from the voyage bearing thirty-one live frankincense trees, the roots of which were carefully kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage. This was the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees. It is reported that Hatshepsut had these trees planted in the courts of her Deir el Bahri mortuary temple complex. Egyptians also returned with living Puntites (people of Punt). This trading expedition to Punt was roughly during Hatshepsut's nineteenth year of reign.
She had the expedition commemorated in relief at Deir el-Bahri, which also is famous for its realistic depiction of the Queen of the Land of Punt, Queen Iti, who appears to have had a genetic trait called steatopygia. Hatshepsut also sent raiding expeditions to Byblos and Sinai shortly after the Punt expedition. Very little is known about these expeditions. Although many Egyptologists have claimed that her foreign policy was mainly peaceful, there is evidence that Hatshepsut led successful military campaigns in Nubia, the Levant, and Syria early in her career.
Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, that were grander and more numerous than those of any of her Middle Kingdom predecessors. Later pharaohs attempted to claim some of her projects as theirs.
She employed the great architect Ineni, who also had worked for her father, her husband, and for the royal steward Senemut. During her reign, so much statuary was produced that almost every major museum in the world has Hatshepsut statuary among their collections; for instance, the Hatshepsut Room in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated solely to some of these pieces.
Following the tradition of most pharaohs, Hatshepsut had monuments constructed at the Temple of Karnak. She also restored the original Precinct of Mut, the ancient great goddess of Egypt, at Karnak that had been ravaged by the foreign rulers during the Hyksos occupation. She had twin obelisks, at the time the tallest in the world, erected at the entrance to the temple. One still stands, as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk on Earth; the other has broken in two and toppled.
Another project, Karnak's Red Chapel, or Chapelle Rouge, was intended as a barque shrine and originally, may have stood between her two obelisks. She later ordered the construction of two more obelisks to celebrate her sixteenth year as pharaoh; one of the obelisks broke during construction, and thus, a third was constructed to replace it. The broken obelisk was left at its quarrying site in Aswan, where it still remains. Known as The Unfinished Obelisk, it demonstrates how obelisks were quarried.
The red chapel of Hatshepsut - Karnak
The Temple of Pakhet was built by Hatshepsut at Beni Hasan in the Minya Governorate south of Al Minya. The name, Pakhet was a synthesis that occurred by combining Bast and Sekhmet, who were similar lioness war goddesses, in an area that bordered the north and south division of their cults. The cavernous underground temple, cut into the rock cliffs on the eastern side of the Nile, was admired and called the Speos Artemidos by the Greeks during their occupation of Egypt, known as the Ptolemaic Dynasty. They saw the goddess as a parallel to their hunter goddess Artemis. The temple is thought to have been built alongside much more ancient ones that have not survived. This temple has an architrave with a long dedicatory text bearing Hatshepsut's famous denunciation of the Hyksos that has been translated by James P. Allen. They had occupied Egypt and cast it into a cultural decline that persisted until a revival brought about by her policies and innovations. This temple was altered later and some of its inside decorations were usurped by Seti I, in the nineteenth dynasty, attempting to have his name replace that of Hatshepsut.
Following the tradition of many pharaohs, the masterpiece of Hatshepsut's building projects was her mortuary temple. She built hers in a complex at Deir el-Bahri. It was designed and implemented by Senemut at a site on the West Bank of the Nile River near the entrance to what now is called the Valley of the Kings because of all the pharaohs who later chose to associate their complexes with the grandeur of hers. Her buildings were the first grand ones planned for that location. The focal point was the Djeser-Djeseru or "the Sublime of Sublimes", a colonnaded structure of perfect harmony nearly one thousand years before the Parthenon was built. Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of terraces that once were graced with lush gardens. Djeser-Djeseru is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it. Djeser-Djeseru and the other buildings of Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahri complex are considered to be significant advances in architecture. Another one of her great accomplishments is the Hatshepsut needle (also known as the granite obelisks).
Hyperbole is common, virtually, to all royal inscriptions of Egyptian history. While all ancient leaders used it to laud their achievements, Hatshepsut has been called the most accomplished pharaoh at promoting her accomplishments. This may have resulted from the extensive building executed during her time as pharaoh, in comparison to many others. It afforded her with many opportunities to laud herself, but it also reflects the wealth that her policies and administration brought to Egypt, enabling her to finance such projects. Aggrandizement of their achievements was traditional when pharaohs built temples and their tombs.
Women had a high status in ancient Egypt and enjoyed the legal right to own, inherit, or will property. A woman becoming pharaoh was rare, however, only Khentkaues, Sobekneferu, and possibly Nitocris preceded her in known records as ruling solely in their own name. The latter's existence is disputed and is likely a mis-translation of a male king. Twosret, a female king and the last pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty, may have been the only woman to succeed her among the indigenous rulers. In Egyptian history, there was no word for a "queen regnant" and by the time of her reign, pharaoh had become the name for the ruler. Hatshepsut is not unique, however, in taking the title of king. Sobekneferu, ruling six dynasties prior to Hatshepsut, also did so when she ruled Egypt. Hatshepsut had been well trained in her duties as the daughter of the pharaoh. During her father's reign she held the powerful office of God's Wife. She had taken a strong role as queen to her husband and was well experienced in the administration of her kingdom by the time she became pharaoh. There is no indication of challenges to her leadership and, until her death, her co-regent remained in a secondary role, quite amicably heading her powerful army—which would have given him the power necessary to overthrow a usurper of his rightful place, if that had been the case.
Hatshepsut assumed all of the regalia and symbols of the pharaonic office in official representations: the Khat head cloth, topped with the uraeus, the traditional false beard, and shendyt kilt. Many existing statues alternatively show her in typically feminine attire as well as those that depict her in the royal ceremonial attire. Statues portraying Sobekneferu also combine elements of traditional male and female iconography and, by tradition, may have served as inspiration for these works commissioned by Hatshepsut. After this period of transition ended, however, most formal depictions of Hatshepsut as pharaoh showed her in the royal attire, with all of the pharaonic regalia.
At her mortuary temple, in Osirian statues that regaled the transportation of the pharaoh to the world of the dead, the symbols of the pharaoh as Osiris were the reason for the attire and they were much more important to be displayed traditionally, her breasts are obscured behind her crossed arms holding the regal staffs of the two kingdoms she ruled. This became a pointed concern among writers who sought reasons for the generic style of the shrouded statues and led to misinterpretations. Understanding of the religious symbolism was required to interpret the statues correctly. Interpretations by these early scholars varied and often, were baseless conjectures of their own contemporary values. The possible reasons for her breasts not being emphasized in the most formal statues, were debated among some early Egyptologists, who failed to take into account the fact that many women and goddesses portrayed in ancient Egyptian art often lack delineation of breasts, and that the physical aspect of the gender of pharaohs was never stressed the art. With few exceptions, subjects were idealized.
Osirian statues of Hatshepsut at her tomb, one stood at each pillar of the extensive structure, note the mummification shroud enclosing the lower body and legs as well as the crook and flail associated with Osiris - Deir el-Bahri
The Hawk of the Pharaoh, Hatshepsut - Temple at Luxor.
Modern scholars, however, have theorized that by assuming the typical symbols of pharaonic power, Hatshepsut was asserting her claim to be the sovereign rather than a "King's Great Wife" or queen consort. The gender of pharaohs was never stressed in official depictions; even the men were depicted with the highly-stylized false beard associated with their position in the society.
Moreover, the Osirian statues of Hatshepsut—as with other pharaohs—depict the dead pharaoh as Osiris, with the body and regalia of that deity. All of the statues of Hatshepsut at her tomb follow that tradition. The promise of resurrection after death was a tenet of the cult of Osiris. Since many statues of Hatshepsut depicted in this fashion have been put on display in museums and those images have been widely published, viewers who lack an understanding of the religious significance of these depictions have been misled.
Most of the official statues commissioned of Hatshepsut show her less symbolically and more naturally, as a woman in typical dresses of the nobility of her day. Notably, even after assuming the formal regalia, Hatshepsut still described herself as a beautiful woman, often as the most beautiful of women, and although she assumed almost all of her father's titles, she declined to take the title "The Strong Bull" (the full title being, The Strong Bull of his Mother), which tied the pharaoh to the goddesses Isis, the throne, and Hathor, (the cow who gave birth to and protected the pharaohs)—by being her son sitting on her throne—an unnecessary title for her, since Hatshepsut became allied with the goddesses, herself, which no male pharaoh could. Rather than the strong bull, Hatshepsut, having served as a very successful warrior during the early portion of her reign as pharaoh, associated herself with the lioness image of Sekhmet, the major war deity in the Egyptian pantheon.
Religious concepts were tied into all of these symbols and titles. By the time of Hatshepsut's reign, the merger of some aspects of these two goddesses provided that they would both have given birth to, and were the protectors of, the pharaohs. They became interchangeable at times. Hatshepsut also traced her lineage to Mut, a primal mother goddess of the Egyptian pantheon, which gave her another ancestor who was a deity as well as her father and grandfathers, pharaohs who would have become deified upon death.
While Hatshepsut was depicted in official art wearing regalia of a pharaoh, such as the false beard that male pharaohs also wore, it is most unlikely that she ever wore such ceremonial decorations, just as it is unlikely that the male pharaohs did. Statues such as those at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, depicting her seated wearing a tight-fitting dress and the nemes crown, are thought to be a more accurate representation of how she would have presented herself at court.
As a notable exception, only one male pharaoh abandoned the rigid symbolic depiction that had become the style of the most official artwork representing the ruler, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten) of the same eighteenth dynasty, whose wife, Nefertiti, also may have ruled in her own right following the death of her husband.
One of the most famous examples of the legends about Hatshepsut is a myth about her birth. In this myth, Amun goes to Ahmose in the form of Thutmose I and awakens her with pleasant odors. At this point Amun places the ankh, a symbol of life, to Ahmose's nose, and Hatshepsut is conceived by Ahmose. Khnum, the god who forms the bodies of human children, is then instructed to create a body and ka, or corporal presence/life force, for Hatshepsut. Heket, the goddess of life and fertility, and Khnum then lead Ahmose along to a lioness bed where she gives birth to Hatshepsut. Reliefs depicting each step in these events are at Karnak and in her mortuary temple.
The Oracle of Amun proclaimed that it was the will of Amun that Hatshepsut be pharaoh, further strengthening her position. She reiterated Amun's support by having these proclamations by the god Amun carved on her monuments:
“ Welcome my sweet daughter, my favorite, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the Pharaoh, taking possession of the Two Lands.”
Hatshepsut claimed that she was her father's intended heir and that he made her the heir apparent of Egypt. Almost all scholars today view this as historical revisionism, or prolepsis, on Hatshepsut's part since it was Thutmose II—a son of Thutmose I by Mutnofret—who was her father's heir. Moreover, Thutmose I could not have foreseen that his daughter Hatshepsut would outlive his son within his own lifetime. Thutmose II soon married Hatshepsut and the latter became both his senior royal wife and the most powerful woman at court. Biographer Evelyn Wells, however, accepts Hatshepsut's claim that she was her father's intended successor. Once she became pharaoh herself, Hatshepsut supported her assertion that she was her father's designated successor with inscriptions on the walls of her mortuary temple:
“ Then his majesty said to them: "This daughter of mine, Khnumetamun Hatshepsut—may she live!—I have appointed as my successor upon my throne... she shall direct the people in every sphere of the palace; it is she indeed who shall lead you. Obey her words, unite yourselves at her command." The royal nobles, the dignitaries, and the leaders of the people heard this proclamation of the promotion of his daughter, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare—may she live eternally.”
American humorist Will Cuppy wrote an essay on Hatshepsut which was published after his death in the book The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. Regarding one of her wall inscriptions, he wrote,
“ For a general notion of Hatshepsut's appearance at a certain stage of her career, we are indebted to one of those wall inscriptions. It states that "to look upon her was more beautiful than anything; her splendor and her form were divine." Some have thought it odd that the female Pharaoh should have been so bold, fiftyish as she was. Not at all. She was merely saying how things were about thirty-five years back, before she had married Thutmose II and slugged it out with Thutmose III. "She was a maiden, beautiful and blooming", the hieroglyphics run, and we have no reason to doubt it. Surely there is no harm in telling the world how one looked in 1515 B.C.”
Death, burial and mummy
Hatshepsut died as she was approaching, what we would consider middle age given typical contemporary lifespans, in her twenty-second regnal year.The precise date of Hatshepsut's death—and the time when Thutmose III became pharaoh of Egypt—is considered to be Year 22, II Peret day 10 of their joint rule, as recorded on a single stela erected at Armant or January 16, 1458 BC. This information validates the basic reliability of Manetho's kinglist records since Thutmose III and Hatshepsut's known accession date was I Shemu day 4. (ie: Hatshepsut died 9 months into her 22nd year as Manetho writes in his Epitome for a reign of 21 years and 9 months) No mention of the cause of her death has survived. If the recent identification of her mummy (see below) is correct, however, computed tomography would indicate that she died of blood infection while she was in her fifties. It also would suggest that she had arthritis, bad teeth, and probably had diabetes.
Hatshepsut had begun construction of a tomb when she was the Great Royal Wife of Thutmose II, but the scale of this was not suitable for a pharaoh, so when she ascended the throne, preparation for another burial started. For this KV20, originally quarried for her father Thutmose I and probably the first royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings, was extended with a new burial chamber. Hatshepsut also refurbished the burial of her father and prepared for a double internment of both Thutmose I and herself within KV20. It is therefore likely that when she died (no later than the twenty-second year of her reign), she was interred in this tomb along with her father. However, during the reign of Thutmose III, a new tomb (KV38) together with new burial equipment was provided for Thutmose I, who was therefore removed from his original tomb and re-interred elsewhere. At the same time Hatshepsut's mummy might have been moved into the tomb of her wet nurse, Sitre-Re, in KV60. It is possible that Amenhotep II, son to Thutmose III by a secondary wife, was the one motivating these actions in an attempt to assure his own succession. Besides what was recovered from KV20 during Howard Carter's clearance of the tomb in 1903, other funerary furniture belonging to Hatshepsut has been found elsewhere, including a lioness "throne" (bedstead is a better description), a senet game board with carved lioness-headed, red-jasper game pieces bearing her pharaonic title, a signet ring, and a partial shabti figurine bearing her name. In the Royal Mummy Cache at DB320 an ivory canopic coffer was found that was inscribed with the name of Hatshepsut and contained a mummified liver or spleen and a tooth. However, there was a royal lady of the twenty-first dynasty of the same name, and this could belong to her instead.
Identification of mummy
For a long time the canopic remains found in DB320 was believed to be all that remained of Hatshepsut's mummy. An unidentified female mummy—found with Hatshepsut's wet nurse, Sitre In, one of whose arms was posed in the traditional burial style of pharaohs—led to the theory that this unidentified mummy in KV60 might be Hatshepsut.
In March 2006, Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, claimed to have located the mummy of Hatshepsut, which was misplaced on the third floor of the Cairo Museum. In June 2007, it was announced that Egyptologists believed they had identified Hatshepsut's mummy in the Valley of the Kings. Conclusive evidence includes the possession of a molar with one root that fit the mummy's jaw; the row of teeth in the jaw had a missing tooth which had had only one root as well. This molar was found inside a small wooden box inscribed with Hatshepsut's name and cartouche; the CT scan by Hawass' revealed that this tooth had been removed from the mummy's mouth: it fit exactly into the corresponding empty socket in the mummy's jawbone. Further evidence supporting this identification includes the results of a DNA comparison with the mummy of Ahmose Nefertari, Hatshepsut's great-grandmother and the matriarch of the eighteenth dynasty. Egyptologists not involved in the project, however, have reserved acceptance of the findings until further testing is undertaken.
The CT scans of the mummy believed to be Hatshepsut suggest she was about fifty years old when she died from a ruptured abscess after removal of a tooth. Although this was the cause, it is quite possible she would not have lived much longer; there are signs in her mummy of metastatic bone cancer, as well as possible liver cancer and diabetes mellitus.
Toward the end of the reign of Thutmose III and into the reign of his son, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from certain historical and pharaonic records. This elimination was carried out in the most literal way possible. Her cartouches and images were chiselled off some stone walls, leaving very obvious Hatshepsut-shaped gaps in the artwork.
At the Deir el-Bahri temple, Hatshepsut's numerous statues were torn down and in many cases, smashed or disfigured before being buried in a pit. At Karnak, there even was an attempt to wall up her obelisks. While it is clear that much of this rewriting of Hatshepsut's history occurred only during the close of Thutmose III's reign, it is not clear why it happened, other than the typical pattern of self-promotion that existed among the pharaohs and their administrators, or perhaps saving money by not building new monuments for the burial of Thutmose III and instead, using the grand structures built by Hatshepsut.
Amenhotep II, who became a co-regent of Thutmose III before his death, however, would have had a motive because his position in the royal lineage was not so strong to assure his elevation to pharaoh. He is suspected by some as being the defacer during the end of the reign of a very old pharaoh. He is documented, further, as having usurped many of Hatshepsut's accomplishments during his own reign. His reign is marked with attempts to break the royal lineage as well, not recording the names of his queens and eliminating the powerful titles and official roles of royal women such as, God's Wife of Amun.
For many years, presuming that it was Thutmouse III acting out of resentment once he became pharaoh, early modern Egyptologists presumed that the erasures were similar to the Roman damnatio memoriae. This appeared to make sense when thinking that Thutmose might have been an unwilling co-regent for years. This assessment of the situation probably is too simplistic, however. It is highly unlikely that the determined and focused Thutmose—not only Egypt's most successful general, but an acclaimed athlete, author, historian, botanist, and architect—would have brooded for two decades of his own reign before attempting to avenge himself on his stepmother and aunt. According to renowned Egyptologist Donald Redford:
“ Here and there, in the dark recesses of a shrine or tomb where no plebeian eye could see, the queen's cartouche and figure were left intact ... which never vulgar eye would again behold, still conveyed for the king the warmth and awe of a divine presence. ”
These two statues once resembled each other, however, the symbols of her pharaonic power: the Uraeus, Double Crown, and traditional false beard have been stripped from the left image; many images portraying Hatshepsut were destroyed or vandalized within decades of her death, possibly by Amenhotep II at the end of the reign of Thutmose III, while he was his co-regent, in order to assure his own rise to pharaoh and then, to claim many of her accomplishments as his.
Dual stela of Hatshepsut (centre left) in the blue Khepresh crown offering wine to the deity Amun and Thutmose III behind her in the hedjet white crown, standing near Wosret - Vatican Museum.
The erasures were sporadic and haphazard, with only the more visible and accessible images of Hatshepsut being removed; had it been more complete, we would not now have so many images of Hatshepsut. Thutmose III may have died before these changes were finished and it may be that he never intended a total obliteration of her memory. In fact, we have no evidence to support the assumption that Thutmose hated or resented Hatshepsut during her lifetime. Had that been true, as head of the army, in a position given to him by Hatshepsut (who was clearly not worried about her co-regent's loyalty), he surely could have led a successful coup, but he made no attempt to challenge her authority during her reign and, her accomplishments and images remained featured on all of the public buildings she built for twenty years after her death.
Writers such as Joyce Tyldesley hypothesized that it is possible that Thutmose III, lacking any sinister motivation, decided toward the end of his life, to relegate Hatshepsut to her expected place as the regent—which was the traditional role of powerful women in Egypt's court as the example of Queen Ahhotep attests—rather than king. By eliminating the more obvious traces of Hatshepsut's monuments as pharaoh and reducing her status to that of his co-regent, Thutmose III could claim that the royal succession ran directly from Thutmose II to Thutmose III without any interference from his aunt.
The deliberate erasures or mutilations of the numerous public celebrations of her accomplishments, but not the rarely seen ones, would be all that was necessary to obscure Hatshepsut's accomplishments. Moreover, by the latter half of Thutmose III's reign, the more prominent high officials who had served Hatshepsut would have died, thereby eliminating the powerful religious and bureaucratic resistance to a change in direction in a highly stratified culture. Hatshepsut's highest official and closest supporter, Senenmut seems either to have retired abruptly or died around Years 16 and 20 of Hatshepsut's reign and, was never interred in either of his carefully prepared tombs. According to Tyldesley, the enigma of Senenmut's sudden disappearance "teased Egyptologists for decades" given the lack of solid archaeological or textual evidence" and permitted "the vivid imagination of Senenmut-scholars to run wild" resulting in a variety of strongly held solutions "some of which would do credit to any fictional murder/mystery plot." Newer court officials, appointed by Thutmose III, also would have had an interest in promoting the many achievements of their master in order to assure the continued success of their own families.
Tyldesley also put forth a hypothesis about Hatshepsut suggesting that Thutmose III's erasures and defacement of Hatshepsut's monuments were a cold but rational attempt on Thutmose's part to extinguish the memory of an "unconventional female king whose reign might possibly be interpreted by future generations as a grave offence against Ma'at, and whose unorthodox coregency" could "cast serious doubt upon the legitimacy of his own right to rule. Hatshepsut's crime need not be anything more than the fact that she was a woman." He asserted that Thutmose III may have considered the possibility that the example of a successful female king in Egyptian history could set a dangerous precedent since it demonstrated that a woman was as capable at governing Egypt as a traditional male king. This event could, theoretically, persuade "future generations of potentially strong female kings" to not "remain content with their traditional lot as wife, sister and eventual mother of a king" instead and assume the crown. While Queen Sobekneferu of Egypt's Middle Kingdom had enjoyed a short c.4 year reign, she ruled "at the very end of a fading [12th dynasty] Dynasty, and from the very start of her reign the odds had been stacked against her. She was, therefore, acceptable to conservative Egyptians as a patriotic 'Warrior Queen' who had failed" to rejuvenate Egypt's fortunes—a result which underlined what Tyldesley described as the traditional Egyptian view that a woman was incapable of holding the throne in her own right,; hence, few Egyptians would desire to repeat the experiment of a female monarch.
In contrast, Hatshepsut's glorious reign was a completely different case: she demonstrated that women were as capable as men of ruling the two lands since she successfully presided over a prosperous Egypt for more than two decades. If Thutmose III's intent here was to forestall the possibility of a woman assuming the throne, he failed since Twosret and Neferneferuaten (possibly), a female co-regent or successor of Akhenaten, assumed the throne during the New Kingdom after his reign. Unlike Hatshepsut, however, these later rulers enjoyed only brief and short-lived reigns.
The erasure of Hatshepsut's name, whatever the reason or the person ordering it, almost caused her to disappear from Egypt's archaeological and written records. When nineteenth-century Egyptologists started to interpret the texts on the Deir el-Bahri temple walls (which were illustrated with two seemingly male kings) their translations made no sense. Jean-Francois Champollion, the French decoder of hieroglyphs, was not alone in feeling confused by the obvious conflict between words and pictures:
Hieroglyphs showing Thutmose III on the left and Hatshepsut on the right, she having the trappings of the greater role - Red Chapel, Karnak
“ If I felt somewhat surprised at seeing here, as elsewhere throughout the temple, the renowned Moeris [Thutmose III], adorned with all the insignia of royalty, giving place to this Amenenthe [Hatshepsut], for whose name we may search the royal lists in vain, still more astonished was I to find upon reading the inscriptions that wherever they referred to this bearded king in the usual dress of the Pharaohs, nouns and verbs were in the feminine, as though a queen were in question. I found the same peculiarity everywhere... ”
The 2006 discovery of a foundation deposit including nine golden cartouches bearing the names of both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in Karnak may shed additional light on the eventual attempt by Thutmose III and his son Amenhotep II to erase Hatshepsut from the historical record and the correct nature of their relationships and her role as pharaoh.
Records of her reign, documented in diverse ancient sources, failed to generate much research about this pharaoh by early modern Egyptologists and Hatshepsut went from being one of the most obscure leaders of Egypt at the beginning of the twentieth century—to one of its most famous, by the century's end. Archaeological discoveries of the early twentieth century provided information that had been missing from those records and, technical advances later in the century, enabled better identifications to make contemporary historical records more complete. In the twenty-first century, DNA analysis confirmed the identity of her remains and her genetic relationship to those of her great-grandmother.
Thutmose III is the past incarnation in Egypt of our great master known today as the Illustious Master K.H. or Kut-hu-mi Lalsing or Bodyul in Tibet. He is known among our advanced initiates as Kai-Ra-Aum-Me-Tha, the beloved Hierophant of the Rose Cross of the world.
Thutmose III (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis III and meaning Son of Thoth) was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While she is shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. He served as the head of her armies.
After her death and his later rise to being the pharaoh of the kingdom, he created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen; no fewer than seventeen campaigns were conducted, and he conquered from Niy in north Syria to the fourth waterfall of the Nile in Nubia. Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost fifty-four years, and his reign is usually dated from April 24, 1479 BCE to March 11, 1425 BCE; however, this includes the twenty-two years he was co-regent to Hatshepsut--his stepmother and aunt. During the last two years of his reign he became a coregent again, with his son, Amenhotep II, who would succeed him. When he died he was buried in the Valley of the Kings as were the rest of the kings from this period in Egypt.
Thutmose III was the son of Thutmose II by a secondary wife, Iset. Because he was the pharaoh's only son, he would have become the first in line for the throne when Thutmosis II died. However, because he was not the son of his father's royal queen, his "degree" of royalty was less than ideal. To bolster his qualifications, he may have married a daughter of Thutmose II and Hatshepsut. It has been suggested that the daughter in question may have been Merytre-Hatshepsut, however, she is now proven not to have been a daughter of Hatshepsut's.
Regardless of this, when Thutmosis II died Thutmosis III was too young to rule, so Hatshepsut became his regent, soon his coregent, and shortly thereafter, she was declared to be the pharaoh. Thutmosis III had little power over the empire while Hatshepsut exercised the formal titulary of kingship, complete with a royal prenomen—Maatkare. Her rule was quite prosperous and marked by great advancements. When he reached a suitable age and demonstrated the capability, she appointed him to head her armies. After the death of Hatshepsut, Thutmosis III ruled Egypt on his own for thirty years, until the last two years of his reign, when his son became a coregent for two years. He died in his fifty-fourth regnal year.
Thutmosis III had two known wives: Satiah and Merytre-Hatshepsut. Satiah bore him his firstborn son, Amenemhat, but the child predeceased his father. His successor, the crown prince and future king Amenhotep II, was born to Merytre-Hatshepsut.
Statue of Thutmosis III at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Dates and Length of Reign
Thutmose III reigned from 1479 BCE to 1425 BCE according to the Low Chronology of Ancient Egypt. This has been the conventional Egyptian chronology in academic circles since the 1960s,though in some circles the older dates 1504 BC to 1450 BC are preferred from the High Chronology of Egypt.These dates, just as all the dates of the Eighteenth Dynasty, are open to dispute because of uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding the recording of a Heliacal Rise of Sothis in the reign of Amenhotep I. A papyrus from Amenhotep I's reign records this astronomical observation which, theoretically, could be used to perfectly correlate the Egyptian chronology with the modern calendar; however, to do this the latitude where the observation was taken must also be known. This document has no note of the place of observation, but it can safely be assumed that it was taken in either a Delta city such as Memphis or Heliopolis, or in Thebes. These two latitudes give dates twenty years apart, the High and Low chronologies, respectively.
The length of Thutmose III's reign is known to the day thanks to information found in the tomb of the court official Amenemheb.Amenemheb records Thutmose III's death to his master's fifty-fourth regnal year,on the thirtieth day of the third month of Peret.The day of Thutmose III's accession is known to be I Shemu day 4, and astronomical observations can be used to establish the exact dates of the beginning and end of the king's reign (assuming the low chronology) from April 24 1479 BC to March 11 1425 BC respectively.
Thutmose's military campaigns
Widely considered a military genius by historians, Thutmose III made 16 raids in 20 years. He was an active expansionist ruler, sometimes called Egypt's greatest conqueror or "the Napoleon of Egypt." He is recorded to have captured 350 cities during his rule and conquered much of the Near East from the Euphrates to Nubia during seventeen known military campaigns. He was the first Pharaoh after Thutmose I to cross the Euphrates, doing so during his campaign against Mitanni. His campaign records were transcribed onto the walls of the temple of Amun at Karnak, and are now transcribed into Urkunden IV. He is consistently regarded as one of the greatest of Egypt's warrior pharaohs, who transformed Egypt into an international superpower by creating an empire that stretched from southern Syria through to Canaan and Nubia. In most of his campaigns his enemies were defeated town by town, until being beaten into submission. The preferred tactic was to subdue a much weaker city or state one at a time resulting in surrender of each fraction until complete domination was achieved.
Much is known about Thutmosis "the warrior", not only because of his military achievements, but also because of his royal scribe and army commander, Thanuny, who wrote about his conquests and reign. The prime reason why Thutmosis was able to conquer such a large number of lands, is because of the revolution and improvement in army weapons. He encountered only little resistance from neighbouring kingdoms, allowing him to expand his realm of influence easily. His army also had carried boats on dry land.
When Hatshepsut died on the tenth day of the sixth month of Thutmose III's twenty second year—according to information from a single stela from Armant--the king of Kadesh advanced his army to Megiddo.Thutmose III mustered his own army and departed Egypt, passing through the border fortress of Tjaru (Sile) on the twenty-fifth day of the eighth month.Thutmose marched his troops through the coastal plain as far as Jamnia, then inland to Yehem, a small city near Megiddo, which he reached in the middle of the ninth month of the same year. The ensuing Battle of Megiddo probably was the largest battle in any of Thutmose's seventeen campaigns. A ridge of mountains jutting inland from Mount Carmel stood between Thutmose and Megiddo, and he had three potential routes to take. The northern route and the southern route, both of which went around the mountain, were judged by his council of war to be the safest, but Thutmose, in an act of great bravery (or so he boasts, but such self praise is normal in Egyptian texts), accused the council of cowardice and took a dangerous route through a mountain pass which he alleged was only wide enough for the army to pass "horse after horse and man after man."
Despite the laudatory nature of Thutmose's annals, such a pass does indeed exist (although it is not quite so narrow as Thutmose indicates) and taking it was a brilliant strategic move, since when his army emerged from the pass they were situated on the plain of Esdraelon, directly between the rear of the Canaanite forces and Megiddo itself. For some reason, the Canaanite forces did not attack him as his army emerged, and his army routed them decisively. The size of the two forces is difficult to determine, but if, as Redford suggests, the amount of time it took to move the army through the pass may be used to determine the size of the Egyptian force, and if the number of sheep and goats captured may be used to determine the size of the Canaanite force, then both armies were around 10,000 men. However most scholars do believe that the Egyptian army was more numerous. According to Thutmose III's Hall of Annals in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, the battle occurred on "Year 23, I Shemu [day] 21, the exact day of the feast of the new moon" – a lunar date. This date corresponds to May 9, 1457 BC based on Thutmose III's accession in 1479 BC. After victory in battle, however, his troops stopped to plunder the enemy and the enemy was able to escape into Megiddo.. Thutmose was forced to besiege the city instead, but he finally succeeded in conquering it after a siege of seven or eight months (see Siege of Megiddo).
This campaign drastically changed the political situation in the ancient Near East. By taking Megiddo, Thutmose gained control of all of northern Canaan, and the Syrian princes were obligated to send tribute and their own sons as hostages to Egypt. Beyond the Euphrates, the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Hittite kings all gave Thutmose gifts, which he alleged to be "tribute" when he recorded it on the walls of Karnak. The only noticeable absence is Mitanni, which would bear the brunt of the following Egyptian campaigns into Asia.
Tours of Canaan and Syria
Thutmose III smiting his enemies. Relief on the seventh pylon in Karnak
Thutmose's second, third, and fourth campaigns appear to have been nothing more than tours of Syria and Canaan to collect tribute.Traditionally, the material directly after the text of the first campaign has been considered to be the second campaign. This text records tribute from the area which the Egyptians called Retenu, (roughly equivalent to Canaan), and it was also at this time that Assyria paid a second "tribute" to Thutmose III. However, it is probable that these texts come from Thutmose's fortieth year or later, and thus have nothing to do with the second campaign at all. If so, then so far, no records of this campaign have been found at all..This survey is dated to Thutmose's twenty-fifth year. No record remains of Thutmose's fourth campaign whatsoever, but at some point in time a fort was built in lower Lebanon and timber was cut for construction of a processional barque, and this probably fits best during this time frame.
Conquest of Syria
The fifth, sixth, and seventh campaigns of Thutmose III were directed against the Phoenician cities in Syria and against Kadesh on the Orontes. In Thutmose's twenty-ninth year, he began his fifth campaign wherein he first took an unknown city (the name falls in a lacuna) which had been garrisoned by Tunip. He then moved inland and took the city and territory around Ardata; unlike previous plundering raids, however, Thutmose III subsequently garrisoned the area known as Djahy, which is probably a reference to southern Syria. This subsequently permitted him to ship supplies and troops between Syria and Egypt. Although there is no direct evidence for it, it is for this reason that some have supposed that Thutmose's sixth campaign, in his thirtieth year, commenced with a naval transportation of troops directly into to Byblos, bypassing Canaan entirely. After the troops arrived in Syria by whatever means, they proceeded into the Jordan river valley and moved north from there, pillaging Kadesh's lands. Turning west again, Thutmose took Simyra and quelled a rebellion in Ardata, which apparently had rebelled once again. To stop such rebellions, Thutmose began taking hostages from the cities in Syria. The cities in Syria were not guided by the popular sentiment of the people so much as they were by the small number of nobles who were aligned to Mitanni: a king and a small number of foreign Maryannu. Thutmose III found that by taking family members of these key people to Egypt as hostages, he could drastically increase their loyalty to him.However, Syria did rebel yet again in Thutmose's thirty-first year, and he returned to Syria for his seventh campaign, took the port city of Ullaza and the smaller Phoenician ports, and took even more measures to prevent further rebellions. All the excess grain which was produced in Syria was stored in the harbors he had recently conquered, and was used for the support of the military and civilian Egyptian presence ruling Syria. This furthermore left the cities in Syria desperately impoverished, and with their economies in ruins, they had no means of funding a rebellion.
Attack on Mitanni
After Thutmose III had taken control of the Syrian cities, the obvious target for his eighth campaign was the state of Mitanni, a Hurrian country with an Indo-Aryan ruling class. However, to reach Mitanni, he had to cross the Euphrates river. Therefore, Thutmose III enacted the following strategy. He sailed directly to Byblos and then made boats which he took with him over land on what appeared to otherwise be just another tour of Syria, and he proceeded with the usual raiding and pillaging as he moved north through the lands he had already taken. However, here he continued north through the territory belonging to the still unconquered cities of Aleppo and Carchemish, and then quickly crossed the Euphrates in his boats, taking the Mitannian king entirely by surprise. It appears that Mitanni was not expecting an invasion, so they had no army of any kind ready to defend against Thutmose, although their ships on the Euphrates did try to defend against the Egyptian crossing. Thutmose III then went freely from city to city and pillaged them while the nobles hid in caves (or at least this is the typically ignoble way Egyptian records chose to record it).During this period of no opposition, Thutmose put up a second stele commemorating his crossing of the Euphrates, next to the one his grandfather Thutmose I had put up several decades earlier.Eventually a militia was raised to fight the invaders, but it fared very poorly. Thutmose III then returned to Syria by way of Niy, where he records that he engaged in an elephant hunt. He then collected tribute from foreign powers and returned to Egypt in victory.
Tours of Syria
Thutmose III returned to Syria for his ninth campaign in his thirty-fourth year, but this appears to have been just a raid of the area called Nukhashshe, a region populated by semi-nomadic people. The plunder recorded is minimal, so it was probably just a minor raid.Records from his tenth campaign indicate much more fighting, however. By Thutmose's thirty-fifth year, the king of Mitanni had raised a large army and engaged the Egyptians around Aleppo.As usual for any Egyptian king, Thutmose boasted a total crushing victory, but this statement is suspect. Specifically, it is doubted that Thutmose accomplished any great victory here due to the very small amount of plunder taken. Specifically, Thutmose's annals at Karnak indicate he only took a total of ten prisoners of war. He may simply have fought the Mitannians to a stalemate,yet he did receive tribute from the Hittites after that campaign, which seems to indicate the outcome of the battle was in Thutmose's favor.
The next two campaigns are lost. His eleventh is presumed to have happened in his thirty-sixth regnal year, and his twelfth is presumed to have happened in his thirty-seventh, since his thirteenth is mentioned at Karnak as happening in his thirty-eighth regnal year. Part of the tribute list for his twelfth campaign remains immediately before his thirteenth begins, and the contents recorded (specifically wild game and certain minerals of uncertain identification) might indicate that it took place on the steppe around Nukhashashe, but this remains mere speculation.
In his thirteenth campaign Thutmose returned to Nukhashashe for a very minor campaign. The next year, his thirty-ninth year, he mounted his fourteenth campaign against the Shasu. The location of this campaign is impossible to determine definitely, since the Shasu were nomads who could have lived anywhere from Lebanon to the Transjordan, to Edom. After this point, the numbers given by Thutmose's scribes to his campaigns all fall in lacunae, so campaigns can only be counted by date. In his fortieth year, tribute was collected from foreign powers, but it is unknown if this was considered a campaign (i.e. if the king went with it or if it was led by an official). Only the tribute list remains from Thutmose's next campaign in the annals, and nothing may be deduced about it, except that it probably was another raid to the frontiers around Niy. His final Asian campaign is better documented, however. Sometime before Thutmose's forty-second year, Mitanni apparently began spreading revolt among all the major cities in Syria. Thutmose moved his troops by land up the coastal road and put down rebellions in the Arka plain and moved on Tunip. After taking Tunip, his attention turned to Kadesh again. He engaged and destroyed three surrounding Mitannian garrisons and returned to Egypt in victory. However, his victory in this final campaign was neither complete, nor permanent, since he did not take Kadesh,and Tunip could not have remained aligned to him for very long, certainly not beyond his own death.
Thutmose took one last campaign in his fiftieth regnal year, very late in his life. He attacked Nubia, but only went so far as the fourth cataract of the Nile. Although no king of Egypt had ever penetrated so far as he did with an army, previous kings' campaigns had spread Egyptian culture that far already, and the earliest Egyptian document found at Gebel Barkal, in fact, comes from three years before Thutmose's campaign.
Thutmose III was a great builder pharaoh and constructed over fifty temples, although some of these are now lost and only mentioned in written records.He also commissioned the building of many tombs for nobles, which were made with greater craftsmanship than ever before. His reign was also a period of great stylistic changes in the sculpture, paintings, and reliefs associated with construction, much of it beginning during the reign of Hatshepsut.
Glass making advanced during the reign of Thutmose III and this cup bears his name
Thutmose's architects and artisans showed great continuity with the formal style of previous kings, but several developments set him apart from his predecessors. Although he followed the traditional relief styles for most of his reign, after his forty-second year, he began having himself depicted wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt and a šndyt-kilt, an unprecedented style. Architecturally, his use of pillars also was unprecedented. He built Egypt's only known set of heraldic pillars, two large columns standing alone instead of being part of a set supporting the roof.His jubilee hall was also revolutionary, and is arguably the earliest known building created in the basilica style.Thutmose's artisans achieved new heights of skill in painting, and tombs from his reign were the earliest to be entirely painted, instead of painted reliefs. Finally, although not directly pertaining to his monuments, it appears that Thutmose's artisans finally had learned how to use the skill of glass making—developed in the early eighteenth dynasty—to create drinking vessels by the core-formed method.
Thutmose dedicated far more attention to Karnak than any other site. In the Iput-isut, the temple proper in the center, he rebuilt the hypostyle hall of his grandfather Thutmose I, dismantled the red chapel of Hatshepsut, built Pylon VI, a shrine for the bark of Amun in its place, and built an antechamber in front of it, the ceiling of which was supported by his heraldic pillars. He built a temenos wall around the central chapel containing smaller chapels, along with workshops and storerooms. East of the main sanctuary, he built a jubilee hall in which to celebrate his Sed festival. The main hall was built in basilica style, with rows of pillars supporting the ceiling on each side of the aisle. The central two rows were higher than the others to create windows where the ceiling was split. Two of the smaller rooms in this temple contained the reliefs of the survey of the plants and animals of Canaan which he took in his third campaign.
Thutmose's tekhen waty, today standing in Rome as the Lateran obelisk. The move from Egypt to Rome was initiated by Constantine the Great (Roman Emperor, 324-337) in 326, though he died before it could be shipped out of Alexandria. His son, the Emperor Constantius II completed the transfer in 357. An account of the shipment was written by contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus.
East of the Iput-Isut, he erected another temple to Aten where he was depicted as being supported by Amun. It was inside this temple that Thutmose planned on erecting his tekhen waty, or "unique obelisk."The tekhen waty was designed to stand alone, instead as part of a pair, and is the tallest obelisk ever successfully cut. It was not, however, erected until Thutmose IV raised it, thirty five years later. It was later moved to Rome and is known as the Lateran Obelisk.
Another Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I re-erected another obelisk from the Temple of Karnak in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, in 390 CE. Thus, two obelisks of Tuthmosis III's Karnak temple stand in Papal Rome and in Caesaropapist Constantinople, the two main historical capitals of the Roman Empire.
Thutmose also undertook building projects to the south of the main temple, between the sanctuary of Amun and the temple of Mut. Immediately to the south of the main temple, he built the seventh pylon on the north-south road which entered the temple between the fourth and fifth pylons. It was built for use during his jubilee, and was covered with scenes of defeated enemies. He set royal colossi on both sides of the pylon, and put two more obelisks on the south face in front of the gateway. The eastern one's base remains in place, but the western one was transported to hippodrome in Constantinople. farther south, alone the road, he put up pylon VIII which Hatshepsut had begun. East of the road, he dug a sacred lake of 250 by 400 feet, and then placed another alabaster bark shrine near it.
Obelisk of Thutmosis III, at the base showing showing Theodosius the Great (Roman Emperor, 379-395). The obelisk is located in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. In 390, Theodosius had the obelisk cut into three pieces and brought to Constantinople. Only the top section survives, and it stands today where he placed it, on a marble pedestal.
A scene from the Amduat on the walls of the tomb of Thutmose III, KV34, in the Valley of the Kings
Thutmose's tomb, discovered by Victor Loret in 1898, is in the Valley of the Kings. It uses a plan which is typical of eighteenth dynasty tombs, with a sharp turn at the vestibule preceding the burial chamber. Two stairways and two corridors provide access to the vestibule which is preceded by a quadrangular shaft, or "well". The vestibule is decorated with the full story of the Book of Amduat, the first tomb to do so in its entirety. The burial chamber, which is supported by two pillars, is oval-shaped and its ceiling decorated with stars, symbolizing the cave of the deity Sokar. In the middle lies a large red quartzite sarcophagus in the shape of a cartouche. On the two pillars in the middle of the chamber there are passages from the Litanies of Re, a text that celebrates the later sun deity, who is identified with the pharaoh at this time. On the other pillar is a unique image depicting Thutmosis III being suckled by the goddess Isis in the guise of the tree.
Thutmose III's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, (KV34), is the first one in which Egyptologists found the complete Amduat, an important New Kingdom funerary text. The wall decorations are executed in a simple, "diagrammatic" way, imitating the manner of the cursive script one might expect to see on a funerary papyrus rather than the more typically lavish wall decorations seen on most other royal tomb walls. The colouring is similarly muted, executed in simple black figures accompanied by text on a cream background with highlights in red and pink. The decorations depict the pharaoh aiding the deities in defeating Apep, the serpent of chaos, thereby helping to ensure the daily rebirth of the sun as well as the pharaoh's own resurrection.
Defacing of Hatshepsut's monuments
Until recently, a general theory has been that after the death of her husband Thutmose II, Hatshepsut 'usurped' the throne from Thutmose III. Although Thutmose III was a co-regent during this time, early historians have speculated that Thutmose III never forgave his stepmother for denying him access to the throne for the first two decades of his reign. However, in recent times this theory has been revised after questions arose as to why Hatshepsut would have allowed a resentful heir to control armies, which it is known he did. This view is supported further by the fact that no strong evidence has been found to show Thutmose III sought to claim the throne. He kept Hatshepsut's religious and administrative leaders. Added to this is the fact that the monuments of Hatshepsut were not damaged until at least twenty years after her death in the late reign of Thutmose III when he was quite elderly and in another coregency—with his son who would become Amenhotep II—who is known to have attempted to identify her works as his own.
After her death, many of Hatshepsut's monuments and depictions were subsequently defaced or destroyed, including those in her famous mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri. Traditionally, these have been interpreted by early modern scholars to be evidence of acts of damnatio memoriae (condemning a person by erasure from recorded existence) by Thutmose III. However, recent research by scholars such as Charles Nims and Peter Dorman, has re-examined these erasures and found that the acts of erasure which could be dated, only began sometime during year forty-six or forty-seven of Thutmose's reign (c. 1433/2 BC). Another often overlooked fact is that Hatshepsut was not the only one who received this treatment. The monuments of her chief steward Senenmut, who was closely associated with her rule, were similarly defaced where they were found.All of this evidence casts serious doubt upon the popular theory that Thutmose III ordered the destruction in a fit of vengeful rage shortly after his accession.
Currently, the purposeful destruction of the memory of Hatshepsut is seen as a measure designed to ensure a smooth succession for the son of Thutmose III, the future Amenhotep II, as opposed to any of the surviving relatives of Hatshepsut who may have had an equal, or better, claim to the throne. It also may be likely that this measure could not have been taken earlier—until the passing of powerful religious and administrative officials who had served under both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III had occurred.Later, Amenhotep II even claimed that he had built the items he defaced.
Death and burial
According to the American Egyptologist, Peter Der Manuelian, a statement in the tomb biography of an official named Amenemheb establishes that Thutmose III died on Year 54, III Peret day 30 of his reign after ruling Egypt for 53 years, 10 months, and 26 days. (Urk. 180.15) Thutmose III, hence, died just one month and four days shy of the start of his fifty-fourth regnal year. When the co-regencies with Hatshepsut and Amenhotep II are deducted, he ruled alone as pharaoh for just over thirty of those years.
Mummified head of Thutmose III
Thutmose III's mummy was discovered in the Deir el-Bahri Cache above the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in 1881. He was interred along with those of other eighteenth and nineteenth dynasty leaders Ahmose I, Amenhotep I, Thutmose I, Thutmose II, Ramesses I, Seti I, Ramesses II, and Ramesses IX, as well as the twenty-first dynasty pharaohs Pinedjem I, Pinedjem II, and Siamun.
While it is popularly thought that his mummy originally was unwrapped by Gaston Maspero in 1886, it was in fact first unwrapped by Émile Brugsch, the Egyptologist who supervised the evacuation of the mummies from the Deir el-Bahri Cache five years previously in 1881, soon after its arrival in the Boulak Museum. This was while Maspero was away in France, and the Director General of the Egyptian Antiquities Service ordered the mummy re-wrapped. So when it was "officially" unwrapped by Maspero in 1886, he almost certainly knew it was in relatively poor condition.
The mummy had been damaged extensively in antiquity by tomb robbers, and its wrappings subsequently cut into and torn by the Rassul family who had rediscovered the tomb and its contents only a few years before. Maspero's description of the body provides an idea as to the magnitude of the damage done to the body:
His mummy was not securely hidden away, for towards the close of the 20th dynasty it was torn out of the coffin by robbers, who stripped it and rifled it of the jewels with which it was covered, injuring it in their haste to carry away the spoil. It was subsequently re-interred, and has remained undisturbed until the present day; but before re-burial some renovation of the wrappings was necessary, and as portions of the body had become loose, the restorers, in order to give the mummy the necessary firmness, compressed it between four oar-shaped slips of wood, painted white, and placed, three inside the wrappings and one outside, under the bands which confined the winding-sheet.
Of the face, which was undamaged, Maspero's says the following:
Happily the face, which had been plastered over with pitch at the time of embalming, did not suffer at all from this rough treatment, and appeared intact when the protecting mask was removed. Its appearance does not answer to our ideal of the conqueror. His statues, though not representing him as a type of manly beauty, yet give him refined, intelligent features, but a comparison with the mummy shows that the artists have idealised their model. The forehead is abnormally low, the eyes deeply sunk, the jaw heavy, the lips thick, and the cheek-bones extremely prominent; the whole recalling the physiognomy of Thûtmosis II, though with a greater show of energy.
Maspero was so disheartened at the state of the mummy, and the prospect that all of the other mummies were similarly damaged (as it turned out, few were in so poor a state), that he would not unwrap another for several years.
Unlike many other examples from the Deir el-Bahri Cache, the wooden mummiform coffin that contained the body was original to the pharaoh, though any gilding or decoration it might have had had been hacked off in antiquity.
In his examination of the mummy, the anatomist Grafton Elliot Smith stated the height of Thutmose III's mummy to be 1.615m (5 ft. 3.58in.) This has led people to believe that Thutmose was a short man, but Smith measured the height of a body whose feet were absent, so he was undoubtedly taller than the figure given by Smith. The mummy of Thutmose III now resides in the Royal Mummies Hall of the Cairo Museum, catalog number 61068.
Even the Master Saralden revealed in his writings "Though the Order had no definite name, Thutmose saw that it had very definite principles, rules, and modes of procedure, all of which have come down to us today without material change." At the close of his reign as pharaoh, in 1447 BC, there were 39 fraters and sorors in the council, and the meetings, which had become regular and systematic, were held in a hall of the Temple at Karnak, outside of which Thutmosis III erected 2 obelisks bearing a record of his achievements. Thutmose signed most of the decrees of the council with his own cartouche and it became the seal of the Order, "In testimony of the great work of our teacher (Master) to be forever a mark of honor and loyalty." As was customary with these rulers, when any event of national importance occurred, Thutmose issued a scarab bearing his cartouche on one side, which has a special meaning to all mystics. One original scarab, which was used for hundreds of years of Egypt by various officials to impress the Seal of hte mystic fraternity in wax all official documents was given tot he Grand Lodge of America with other jewels and papers of na official nature. It is considered one of the rarest antiquities in Egypt now in America."
Ancient Egyptian cartouche of Thutmose III, Karnak, Egypt.
Statue of Akhenaten in the early Amarna style.
Akhenaten often also spelled Echnaton, Akhnaton, or rarely Ikhnaton; meaning Effective spirit of Aten) was known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV (sometimes given its Greek form, Amenophis IV, and meaning Amun is Satisfied). A Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, he ruled for 17 years and died in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. He is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monotheistic; but henotheism would be a more accurate description, since he ranked the Aten above other gods but did not deny their existence. Indeed, an early inscription likens them to stars as compared with the sun, and later official language avoids calling the Aten a god, as if to create for the solar deity a status above mere gods.
Akhenaten tried to bring about a departure from traditional religion, but in the end it would not be accepted. After his death, traditional religious practice was gradually restored, and when some dozen years later rulers without clear rights of succession from the Eighteenth Dynasty founded a new dynasty, they discredited Akhenaten and his immediate successors, referring to Akhenaten himself as 'the enemy' in archival records. He was all but lost from history until the discovery, in the 19th century, of Amarna, the site of Akhetaten, the city he built for the Aten. Early excavations at Amarna by Flinders Petrie sparked interest in the enigmatic pharaoh, which increased with the discovery in the Valley of the Kings, at Luxor, of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, who may have been his son. Akhenaten remains an interesting figure, as does his Queen, Nefertiti. Their modern interest comes partly from his connection with Tutankhamun, partly from the unique style and high quality of the pictorial arts he patronized, and partly from ongoing interest in—and, all too often, less than verifiable claims about—the religion he attempted to establish.
The future Akhenaten was a younger son of Amenhotep III and his Chief Queen Tiye, his elder brother Crown Prince Thutmose having died when both were children. Thus, Akhenaten's early education might have prepared him for the priesthood like his maternal uncle Anen; at any rate, in an inscription dating to his early reign he emphasized his familiarity with ancient temple documents.
Amenhotep IV succeeded his father after Amenhotep III's death at the end of his 38-year reign, or possibly after a coregency lasting one to two years. Suggested dates for Akhenaten's reign (subject to the debates surrounding Egyptian chronology) are from 1353 BC-1336 BC or 1351 BC–1334 BC. Akhenaten's chief wife was Nefertiti, made famous to the modern world by her exquisitely sculpted and painted bust, now displayed in the Altes Museum of Berlin, and among the most recognised works of art surviving from the ancient world.
After four years of reign, Akhenaten began building a new city to serve as the seat of the Aten and a governmental capital of Egypt. Its buildings were decorated in a startling new style which was intended to express the tenets of the new worship. Aten was the sungod.
Some recent debate has focused on the extent (if any) to which Akhenaten forced his religious reforms on his people. Certainly, as time drew on, he revised the names of the Aten, and other religious language, to increasingly exclude references to other gods; at some point, also, he embarked on the wide-scale erasure of traditional gods' names, especially those of Amun. Some of his court changed their names to remove them from the patronage of other gods and place them under that of Aten (or Ra, with whom Akhenaten equated the Aten). Yet, even at Amarna itself, some courtiers kept such names as Ahmose ("child of the moon god," the owner of tomb 3), and the sculptor's workshop where the famous Nefertiti bust, and other works of royal portraiture, were found, is associated with an artist known to have been called Tuthmose ("child of Thoth"). An overwhelmingly large number of faience amulets at Amarna also show that talismans of the household-and-childbirth gods Bes and Taweret, the eye of Horus, and amulets of other traditional deities, were openly worn by its citizens. Indeed, a cache of royal jewelry found buried near the Amarna royal tombs (now in the National Museum of Scotland) includes a finger ring referring to Mut, the wife of Amun. Such evidence suggests that though Akhenaten shifted funding away from traditional temples, his policies were fairly tolerant until some point, perhaps a particular event as yet unknown, toward the end of the reign.
Following Akhenaten's death, change was gradual at first. Within a decade a comprehensive political, religious and artistic reformation began promoting a return of Egyptian life to the norms it had followed during his father's reign. Much of the art and building infrastructure created during Akhenaten's reign was defaced or destroyed in the period following his death, particularly during the reigns of Horemheb and the early Nineteenth Dynasty kings. Stone building blocks from Akhenaten's construction projects were later used as foundation stones for subsequent rulers' temples and tombs. Akhenaten's Brother also had a part of which was the projects he had been doing.
Pharaoh and family depictions
Talatat blocks from Akhenaten's Aten temple in Karnak
Styles of art that flourished during this short period are markedly different from other Egyptian art. In some cases, representations are more naturalistic, especially in depictions of animals and plants, of commoners, and in a sense of action and movement—for both nonroyal and royal people. However, depictions of members of the court, especially members of the royal family, are extremely stylized, with elongated heads protruding stomachs, heavy hips, thin arms and legs, and exaggerated facial features. Questions also remain whether the beauty of Nefertiti is portraiture or idealism. Significantly, and for the only time in the history of Egyptian royal art, Akhenaten's family are shown taking part in decidedly naturalistic activities, showing affection for each other, and being caught in mid-action (in traditional art, a pharaoh's divine nature was expressed by repose, even immobility). The depictions of action may correspond to the emphasis on the active creative and nurturing emphasized of the Aten in the "Great Hymn to the Aten" and elsewhere. Nefertiti also appears, both beside the king and alone (or with her daughters), in actions usually reserved for a Pharaoh, suggesting that she enjoyed unusual status for a queen. Early artistic representations of her tend to be indistinguishable from her husband's except by her regalia, but soon after the move to the new capital, Nefertiti begins to be depicted with features specific to her. Why Akhenaten had himself represented in the bizarre, strikingly androgynous way he did, remains a vigorously debated question. Religious reasons have been suggested, such as to emulate the creative nature of the Aten, who is called in Amarna tomb texts, "mother and father" of all that is. Or, it has been suggested, Akhenaten's (and his family's) portraiture exaggerates his distinctive physical traits. Until Akhenaten's mummy is positively identified, such theories remain speculative. Some scholars do identify Mummy 61074, found in KV55, an unfinished tomb in the Valley of the Kings, as Akhenaten's. If so—or if the KV 55 mummy is that of his close relative, Smenkhkare—its measurements tend to support the theory that Akhenaten's depictions exaggerate his actual appearance. Though the "mummy" consists only in disarticulated bones, the skull is long and has a prominent chin and the limbs are light and long. However, in 2007, Zahi Hawass and a team of researchers made CT Scan images of the KV 55 mummy. They have concluded that the elongated skull, cheek bones, cleft palate, and impacted wisdom tooth suggest that the mummy is the father of Tutankhamun, also commonly known as Akhenaten.
Family and relations
Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their children
Amenhotep IV was married to Nefertiti at the very beginning of his reign, and the couple had six known daughters. Two possible sons of Akhenaten by other women have also been identified, Smenkhkare who succeeded him on the throne, and Tutankhamun. Their mothers are unknown. A secondary wife of Akhenaten named Kiya is known; some have theorized that she gained her importance as the mother of one or both of these male heirs. This is a list of Akhenaten's children (known and theoretical) with suggested years of birth:
* Smenkhkare– year 35 or 36 of Amenhotep III's reign
* Meritaten – year 1.
* Meketaten – year 3, possibly earlier.
* Ankhesenpaaten, later Queen of Tutankhamun – year 4.
* Neferneferuaten Tasherit – year 8.
* Neferneferure – year 9.
* Setepenre – year 9.
* Tutankhaten–year 8 or 9 – renamed Tutankhamun later.
His known consorts were:
* Nefertiti, his Great Royal Wife.
* Kiya, a lesser Royal Wife.
It has also been suggested that, like his father Amunhotep III, Akhenaten may have taken some of his daughters as consorts:
* Meritaten, recorded as Great Royal Wife late in his reign, though it is more likely that she got this title due to her marriage to Smenkhkare, Akhenaten's co-regent;
* Meketaten, Akhenaten's second daughter. The reason for this suggestion is Meketaten's death due to childbirth in, or after, the fourteenth year of Akhenaten's reign, though nowhere does she have the title or cartouche of a queen.
* Ankhesenpaaten, his third daughter, also on tenuous evidence. In his final year or after his death, Ankhesenpaaten married Akhenaten's successor Tutankhamun.
Inscriptions refer to a daughter of Meritaten, Meritaten-ta-sherit and may record a daughter for Ankhesenpaaten, Ankhesenpaaten-ta-sherit, though the latter depends on a questionable reading of a single fragmentary inscription. The texts in question all once belonged to Kiya and were re-inscribed for the princesses later. The daughter (or, perhaps, hoped-for future daughter) might have replaced Kiya's daughter in those scenes.
Two other lovers have been suggested, but are not widely accepted:
* Smenkhkare, Akhenaten's successor and/or co-ruler for the last years of his reign. Rather than a lover, however, Smenkhkare is likely to have been a half-brother or a son to Akhenaten. Some have even suggested that Smenkhkare was actually an alias of Nefertiti or Kiya, and therefore one of Akhenaten's wives (see below).
* Tiye, his mother. Twelve years after the death of Amenhotep III, she is still mentioned in inscriptions as Queen and beloved of the King, but kings' mothers often were. The few supporters of this theory (notably Immanuel Velikovsky) consider Akhenaten to be the historical model of legendary King Oedipus of Thebes, Greece and Tiye the model for his mother/wife Jocasta.
Akhenaten's international relations
Important evidence about Akhenaten's reign and foreign policy has been provided by the discovery of the Amarna Letters, a cache of diplomatic correspondence discovered in modern times at el-Amarna, the modern designation of the Akhetaten site. This correspondence comprises a priceless collection of incoming messages on clay tablets, sent to Akhetaten from various subject rulers through Egyptian military outposts, and from the foreign rulers (recognized as "Great Kings") of the Armeno-Aryan kingdom of Mitanni,Babylon, Assyria and Hatti. The governors and kings of Egypt's subject domains also wrote frequently to plead for gold from Pharaoh, and also complained of being snubbed and cheated by him.
Early on in his reign, Akhenaten fell out with the king of Mitanni, Tushratta, who had been courting favor with his father against the Hittites. Tushratta complains in numerous letters that Akhenaten had sent him gold plated statues rather than statues made of solid gold; the statues formed part of the bride price which Tushratta received for letting his daughter Tadukhepa be married to Amenhotep III and then Akhenaten. Amarna letter EA 27 preserves a complaint by Tushratta to Akhenaten about the situation:
"I...asked your father, Mimmureya, for statues of solid cast gold, one of myself and a second statue, a statue of Tadu-Heba (Tadukhepa), my daughter, and your father said, "Don't talk of giving statues just of solid cast gold. I will give you ones made also of lapis lazuli. I will give you, too, along with the statues, much additional gold and (other) goods beyond measure." Every one of my messengers that were staying in Egypt saw the gold for the statues with their own eyes. Your father himself recast the statues in the presence of my messengers, and he made them entirely of pure gold....He showed much additional gold, which was beyond measure and which he was sending to me. He said to my messengers, "See with your own eyes, here the statues, there much gold and goods beyond measure, which I am sending to my brother." And my messengers did see with their own eyes! But my brother (ie: Akhenaten) has not sent the solid (gold) statues that your father was going to send. You have sent plated ones of wood. Nor have you sent me the goods that your father was going to send me, but you have reduced (them) greatly. Yet there is nothing I know of in which I have failed my brother. Any day that I hear the greetings of my brother, that day I make a festive occasion...May my brother send me much gold. At the kimru feast...with many goods may my brother honor me. In my brother's country gold is as plentiful as dust. May my brother cause me no distress. May he send me much gold in order that my brother with the gold and many goods, may honor me".
While Akhenaten was certainly not a close friend of Tushratta, he was evidently concerned at the expanding power of the Hittite Empire under its powerful ruler Suppiluliuma I. A successful Hittite attack on Mitanni and its ruler Tushratta would have disrupted the entire international balance of power in the Ancient Middle East at a time when Egypt had made peace with Mitanni; this would cause some of Egypt's vassals to switch their allegiances to the Hittites, as time would prove. A group of Egypt's allies who attempted to rebel against the Hittites were captured, and wrote letters begging Akhenaten for troops, but he did not respond to most of their pleas. Evidence suggests that the troubles on the northern frontier led to difficulties in Canaan, particularly in a struggle for power between Labaya of Shechem and Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem, which required the Pharaoh to intervene in the area by dispatching Medjay troops northwards. Akhenaten pointedly refused to save his vassal Rib-Hadda of Byblos whose kingdom was being besieged by the expanding state of Amurru under Abdi-Ashirta and later Aziru, son of Abdi-Ashirta, despite Rib-Hadda's numerous pleas for help from the pharaoh. Rib-Hadda wrote a total of 60 letters to Akhenaten pleading for aid from the pharaoh. Akhenaten wearied of Rib-Hadda's constant correspondences and once told Rib-Hadda: "You are the one that writes to me more than all the (other) mayors" or Egyptian vassals in EA 124.What Rib-Hadda did not comprehend was that the Egyptian king would not organize and dispatch an entire army north just to preserve the political status quo of several minor city states on the fringes of Egypt's Asiatic Empire. Rib-Hadda would pay the ultimate price; his exile from Byblos due to a coup led by his brother Ilirabih is mentioned in one letter. When Rib-Hadda appealed in vain for aid to Akhenaten and then turned to Aziru, his sworn enemy to place him back on the throne of his city, Aziru promptly had him dispatched to the king of Sidon where Rib-Hadda was almost certainly executed.
William L. Moran notes that the Amarna corpus of 380+ letters counters the conventional view that Akhenaten neglected Egypt's foreign territories in favour of his internal reforms. There are several letters from Egyptian vassals notifying Pharaoh that the king's instructions have been followed:
To the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky: Message of Yapahu, the ruler of Gazru, your servant, the dirt at your feet. I indeed prostrate myself at the feet of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun...7 times and 7 times, on the stomach and on the back. I am indeed guarding the place of the king, my lord, the Sun of the sky, where I am, and all the things the king, my lord, has written me, I am indeed carrying out--everything! Who am I, a dog, and what is my house...and what is anything I have, that the orders of the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, should not obey constantly. (EA 378)
When the loyal but unfortunate Rib-Hadda was killed at the instigation of Aziru, Akhenaten sent an angry letter to Aziru containing a barely veiled accusation of outright treachery on the latter's part. Akhenaten wrote:
Say to Aziru, ruler of Amurru: Thus the king, your lord (ie: Akhenaten), saying: The ruler of Gubla (ie: Byblos), whose brother had cast him away at the gate, said to you, "Take me and get me into the city. There is much silver, and I will give it to you. Indeed there is an abundance of everything, but not with me here." Thus did the ruler (Rib-Hadda) speak to you. Did you not write to the king, my lord saying, "I am your servant like all the previous mayors (ie: vassals) in his city"? Yet you acted delinquently by taking the mayor whose brother had cast him away at the gate, from his city.
Head of Akhenaten
He (Rib-Hadda) was residing in Sidon and, following your own judgment, you gave him to (some) mayors. Were you ignorant of the treacherousness of the men? If you really are the king's servant, why did you not denounce him before the king, your lord, saying, "This mayor has written to me saying, 'Take me to yourself and get me into my city'"? And if you did act loyally, still all the things you wrote were not true. In fact, the king has reflected on them as follows, "Everything you have said is not friendly." Now the king has heard as follows, "You are at peace with the ruler of Qidsa. (Kadesh) The two of you take food and strong drink together." And it is true. Why do you act so? Why are you at peace with a ruler whom the king is fighting? And even if you did act loyally, you considered your own judgment, and his judgment did not count. You have paid no attention to the things that you did earlier. What happened to you among them that you are not on the side of the king, your lord? Consider the people that are training you for their own advantage. They want to throw you into the fire....If for any reason whatsoever you prefer to do evil, and if you plot evil, treacherous things, then you, together with your entire family, shall die by the axe of the king. So perform your service for the king, your lord, and you will live. You yourself know that the king does not fail when he rages against all of Canaan. And when you wrote saying, 'May the king, my Lord, give me leave this year, and then I will go next year to the king, my Lord. (ie: to Egypt) If this is impossible, I will send my son in my place'--the king, your Lord, let you off this year in accordance with what you said. Come yourself, or send your son [now], and you will see the king at whose sight all lands live."(EA 162)
This letter shows that Akhenaten paid close attention to the affairs of his vassals in Canaan and Syria. Akhenaten commanded Aziru to come to Egypt and proceeded to detain him there for at least one year. In the end, Akhenaten was forced to release Aziru back to his homeland when the Hittites advanced southwards into Amki thereby threatening Egypt's series of Asiatic vassal states including Amurru. Sometime after his return to Amurru, Aziru defected to the Hittite side with his kingdom. While it is known from an Amarna letter by Rib-Hadda that the Hittites "seized all the countries that were vassals of the king of Mitanni"(EA 75) Akhenaten managed to preserve Egypt's control over the core of her Near Eastern Empire which consisted of present day Palestine as well as the Phoenician coast while avoiding conflict with the increasingly powerful Hittite Empire of Suppiluliuma I. Only the Egyptian border province of Amurru in Syria around the Orontes river was permanently lost to the Hittites when its ruler Aziru defected to the Hittites. Finally, contrary to the conventional view of a ruler who neglected Egypt's international relations, Akhenaten is known to have initiated at least one campaign into Nubia in his regnal Year 12, where his campaign is mentioned in Amada stela CG 41806 and on a separate companion stela at Buhen.
Death, burial and succession
Plaster portrait study of a pharaoh, Ahkenaten or a coregent or successor. Discovered within the workshop of the royal sculptor Thutmose at Amarna, now part of the Ägyptisches Museum collection in Berlin.
The last dated appearance of Akhenaten and the Amarna family is in the tomb of Meryre II, and dates from second month, year 12 of his reign. After this the historical record is unclear, and only with the succession of Tutankhamun is somewhat clarified.
Akhenaten planned to relocate Egyptian burials on the East side of the Nile (sunrise) rather than on the West side (sunset), in the Royal Wadi in Akhetaten. His body was probably removed after the court returned to Thebes, and reburied somewhere in the Valley of the Kings—perhaps in tomb KV55 which contained numerous Amarna era objects including a royal funerary mask which had been deliberately destroyed. His sarcophagus was destroyed but has since been reconstructed and now sits outside in the Cairo Museum.
There is much controversy around whether Amenhotep IV succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, Amenhotep III, or whether there was a coregency (lasting as long as 12 years according to some Egyptologists). Current literature by Eric Cline, Nicholas Reeves, Peter Dorman and other scholars comes out strongly against the establishment of a long coregency between the 2 rulers and in favour of either no coregency or a brief one lasting 1 to 2 years, at the most. Other literature by Donald Redford, William Murnane, Alan Gardiner and more recently by Lawrence Berman in 1998 contests the view of any coregency whatsoever between Akhenaten and his father.
Similarly, although it is accepted that Akhenaten himself died in Year 17 of his reign, the question of whether Smenkhkare became co-regent perhaps 2 or 3 years earlier or enjoyed a brief independent reign is unclear. If Smenkhkare outlived Akhenaten, and became sole Pharaoh, he likely ruled Egypt for less than a year. The next successor was Neferneferuaten, a female Pharaoh who reigned in Egypt for 2 years and 1 month. She was, in turn, probably succeeded by Tutankhaten (later, Tutankhamun), with the country being administered by the chief vizier, and future Pharaoh, Ay. Tutankhamun is believed to be a younger brother of Smenkhkare and a son of Akhenaten, and possibly Kiya although one scholar has suggested that Tutankhamun may have been a son of Smenkhkare instead. It has also been suggested that after the death of Akhenaten, Nefertiti reigned with the name of Neferneferuaten but other scholars believe that this female ruler was rather Meritaten. The so-called Coregency Stela, found in a tomb in Amarna possibly shows his queen Nefertiti as his coregent, ruling alongside him, but this is not certain as the names have been removed and recarved to show Ankhesenpaaten and Neferneferuaten.
With Akhenaten's death, the Aten cult he had founded gradually fell out of favor.Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun in Year 2 of his reign (1332 BC) and abandoned the city of Akhetaten, which eventually fell into ruin. His successors Ay and Horemheb disassembled temples Akhenaten had built, including the temple at Thebes, using them as a source of easily available building materials and decorations for their own temples.
Finally, Akhenaten, Neferneferuaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay were excised from the official lists of Pharaohs, which instead reported that Amenhotep III was immediately succeeded by Horemheb. This is thought to be part of an attempt by Horemheb to delete all trace of Atenism and the pharaohs associated with it from the historical record. Akhenaten's name never appeared on any of the king lists compiled by later Pharaohs and it was not until the late 19th century that his identity was re-discovered and the surviving traces of his reign were unearthed by archaeologists.
The Implementation of Atenism
In the early years of his reign, Amenhotep IV lived at Thebes with Nefertiti and his 6 daughters. Initially, he permitted worship of Egypt's traditional deities to continue but near the Temple of Karnak (Amun-Ra's great cult center), he erected several massive buildings including temples to the Aten. These buildings at Thebes were later dismantled by his successors and used as infill for new constructions in the Temple of Karnak; when they were later dismantled by archaeologists, some 36,000 decorated blocks from the original Aton building here were revealed which preserve many elements of the original relief scenes and inscriptions.
Akhenaten depicted as a sphinx at Amarna.
The relationship between Amenhotep IV and the priests of Amun-Re gradually deteriorated. In Year 5 of his reign, Amenhotep IV took decisive steps to establish the Aten as the exclusive, monotheistic god of Egypt: the pharaoh "disbanded the priesthoods of all the other gods...and diverted the income from these [other] cults to support the Aten. To emphasize his complete allegiance to the Aten, the king officially changed his name from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten or 'Servant of the Aten.' Akhenaten's fifth year also marked the beginning of construction on his new capital, Akhetaten or 'Horizon of Aten', at the site known today as Amarna. Very soon afterwards, he centralized Egyptian religious practices in Akhetaten, though construction of the city seems to have continued for several more years. In honor of Aten, Akhenaten also oversaw the construction of some of the most massive temple complexes in ancient Egypt. In these new temples, Aten was worshipped in the open sunlight, rather than in dark temple enclosures, as had been the previous custom. Akhenaten is also believed to have composed the Great Hymn to the Aten.
Initially, Akhenaten presented Aten as a variant of the familiar supreme deity Amun-Re (itself the result of an earlier rise to prominence of the cult of Amun, resulting in Amun becoming merged with the sun god Ra), in an attempt to put his ideas in a familiar Egyptian religious context. However, by Year 9 of his reign, Akhenaten declared that Aten was not merely the supreme god, but the only god, and that he, Akhenaten, was the only intermediary between Aten and his people. He ordered the defacing of Amun's temples throughout Egypt and, in a number of instances, inscriptions of the plural 'gods' were also removed.
Aten's name is also written differently after Year 9, to emphasize the radicalism of the new regime, which included a ban on images, with the exception of a rayed solar disc, in which the rays (commonly depicted ending in hands) appear to represent the unseen spirit of Aten, who by then was evidently considered not merely a sun god, but rather a universal deity. Representations of the Aten were always accompanied with a sort of "hieroglyphic footnote", stating that the representation of the sun as All-encompassing Creator was to be taken as just that: a representation of something that, by its very nature as some time transcending creation, cannot be fully or adequately represented by any one part of that creation.
Akhenaten's status as a religious revolutionary has led to much speculation, ranging from bona fide scholarly hypotheses to the non-academic fringe theories.
Akhenaten and Judeo-Christian monotheism
The idea of Akhenaten as the pioneer of a monotheistic religion that later became Judaism has been considered by various scholars. One of the first to mention this was Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in his book Moses and Monotheism. Freud argued that Moses had been an Atenist priest forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to achieve. Following his book, the concept entered popular consciousness and serious research.
Other scholars and mainstream Egyptologists point out that there are direct connections between early Judaism and other Semitic religious traditions. They also state that two of the three principal Judaic terms for God, Yahweh, Elohim (meaning roughly "the lofty one", morphologically plural), and Adonai (meaning "our lord", also morphologically plural) have no connection to Aten. Freud commented on the connection between Adonai, the Egyptian Aten and the Syrian divine name of Adonis as a primeval unity of language between the factions; in this he was following the argument of Egyptologist Arthur Weigall, but the argument was groundless as 'Aten' and 'Adonai' are not, in fact, linguistically related.
Akhenaten appears in history almost two-centuries prior to the first archaeological and written evidence for Judaism and Israelite culture is found in the Levant. Abundant visual imagery of the Aten disk was central to Atenism, which celebrated the natural world, while such imagery is not a feature of early Israelite culture. Although pottery found throughout Judea dated to the end of the 8th century BC has seals resembling a winged sun disk burned on their handles, presumedly thought to be the royal seal of the Judean Kingdom.
Ahmed Osman has claimed that Akhenaten's maternal grandfather Yuya was the same person as the Biblical Joseph. Yuya held the title "Overseer of the Cattle of Min at Akhmin" during his life.
He likely belonged to the local nobility of Akhmim. Egyptologists hold this view because Yuya had strong connections to the city of Akhmin in Upper Egypt. This makes it unlikely that he was a foreigner since most Asiatic settlers tended to cloister around the Nile Delta region of Lower Egypt. Some Egyptologists, however, give him a Mitannian (Armenian) origin. It is widely accepted that there are strong similarities between Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten and the Biblical Psalm 104, though this form is found widespread in ancient Near Eastern hymnology both before and after the period and whether this implies a direct influence or a common literary convention remains in dispute.
Others have likened some aspects of Akhenaten's relationship with the Aten to the relationship, in Christian tradition, of Jesus Christ with God - particularly in interpretations that emphasise a more monotheistic interpretation of Atenism than henotheistic. Donald B. Redford has noted that some have viewed Akhenaten as a harbinger of Jesus. "After all, Akhenaten did call himself the son of the sole god: “Thine only son that came forth from thy body.”" James Henry Breasted likened him to JesusArthur Weigall saw him as a failed precursor of Christ and Thomas Mann saw him "as right on the way and yet not the right one for the way".
Redford argued that while Akhenaten called himself the son of the Sun-Disc and acted as the chief mediator between god and creation, it must be noted that kings for thousands of years before Akhenaten’s time had claimed the same relationship and priestly role. However Akhenaton's case may be different through the emphasis placed on the heavenly father and son relationship. Akhenaten described himself as “thy son who came forth from thy limbs,” “thy child,” “the eternal son that came forth from the Sun-Disc,” and “thine only son that came forth from thy body”. The close relationship between father and son is such that only the king truly knows the heart of “his father,” and in return his father listen's to his son’s prayers. He is his father’s image on earth and as Akhenaten is king on earth his father is king in heaven. As high priest, prophet, king and divine he claimed the central position in the new religious system. Since only he knew his father’s mind and will, Akhenaten alone could interpret that will for all mankind with true teaching coming only from him.
Before much of the archaeological evidence from Thebes and from Tell el-Amarna became available, wishful thinking sometimes turned Akhenaten into a humane teacher of the true God, a mentor of Moses, a Christlike figure, a philosopher before his time. But these imaginary creatures are now fading away one by one as the historical reality gradually emerges. There is little or no evidence to support the notion that Akhenaten was a progenitor of the full-blown monotheism that we find in the Bible. The monotheism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament had its own separate development—one that began more than half a millenium after the pharoah’s death.
The rather strange and eccentric portrayals of Akhenaten, with a sagging stomach, thick thighs, larger breasts, and long, thin face — so different from the athletic norm in the portrayal of Pharaohs — has led certain Egyptologists to suppose that Akhenaten suffered some kind of genetic abnormality. Various illnesses have been put forward. On the basis of his longer jaw and his feminine appearance, Cyril Aldred suggested he may be suffering from Froelich's Syndrome. However, this is unlikely because this disorder results in sterility and Akhenaten is believed to have fathered numerous children — at least six daughters by Nefertiti, and possibly his successor Tutankhamen by a minor wife.
Another suggestion by Burridge is that Akhenaten may have suffered from Marfan's Syndrome. Marfan's syndrome, unlike Froelich's, does not result in any lack of intelligence or sterility. It is associated with a sunken chest, long curved spider-like fingers (arachnodactyly), occasional congenital heart difficuties, a high curved or slightly cleft palate, and a highly curved cornea or dislocated lens of the eye, with the requirement for bright light to see well. Marfan's sufferers tend towards being taller than average, with a long, thin face, and elongated skull, overgrown ribs, a funnel or pigeon chest, and larger pelvis, with enlarged thighs and spindly calves. Marfan's syndrome is a dominant characteristic, and sufferers have a 50% chance of passing it on to their children. All of these symptoms appear in depictions of Akhenaten and of his children. Recent CT scans of Tutankhamun report a cleft palate and a fairly long head, as well as an abnormal curvature of the spine and fusion of the upper vertebrae, a condition associated with scoliosis, all conditions associated with Marfan's syndrome.
However, Dominic Montserrat in Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt argues that "there is now a broad consensus among Egyptologists that the exaggerated forms of Akhenaten's physical portrayal… are not to be read literally" Montserrat and others argue that the body-shape relates to some form of religious symbolism. Because the god Aten was referred to as "the mother and father of all humankind" it has been suggested that Akhenaten was made to look androgynous in artwork as a symbol of the androgyny of the god. This required "a symbolic gathering of all the attributes of the creator god into the physical body of the king himself", which will "display on earth the Aten's multiple life-giving functions". Akhenaten did refer to himself as "The Unique One of Re," and he may have used his control of artistic expression to distance himself from the common people, though such a radical departure from the idealised traditional representation of the image of the Pharaoh would be truly extraordinary. It should be observed that representations of other persons than Akhenaten in the 'Amarna style' are equally unflattering — for example, a carving of his father Amenhotep III as a languid, overweight figure; Nefertiti is shown in some statues as well past her prime, with a severe face and a stomach swollen by repeated pregnancies.
Another claim was made by Immanuel Velikovsky, who hypothesized an incestuous relationship with his mother, Tiye. Velikovsky also posited that Akhenaten had elephantiasis, producing enlarged legs. Based on this, he identified Akhenaten as the history behind the Oedipus myth, Oedipus being Greek for "swollen feet," and moved the setting from the Greek Thebes to the Egyptian Thebes. As part of his argument, Velikovsky uses the fact that Akhenaten viciously carried out a campaign to erase the name of his father, which he argues could have developed into Oedipus killing his father. This point seems to be disproved, however, in that Akhenaten in fact mummified and buried his father in the honorable traditional Egyptian fashion prior to beginning his monotheistic revolution.
In the same 1960 work, Oedipus and Akhnaton, Velikovsky not only saw Akhenaten as the origin of Oedipus, but also identified him with a Pharaoh mentioned only in Herodotus, "Anysis of the city of the same name" — Akhenaten of Akhetaten. Like Oedipus, Anysis was blinded, deposed and exiled. Some scholars have argued that Akhenaten went blind at the end of his life and was supported by his wife Nefertiti.
Akhenaten has been called by historian James Henry Breasted "the first individual in history", as well as the first monotheist, first scientist, and first romantic. As early as 1899 Flinders Petrie declared that,
If this were a new religion, invented to satisfy our modern scientific conceptions, we could not find a flaw in the correctness of this view of the energy of the solar system. How much Akhenaten understood, we cannot say, but he certainly bounded forward in his views and symbolism to a position which we cannot logically improve upon at the present day. Not a rag of superstition or of falsity can be found clinging to this new worship evolved out of the old Aton of Heliopolis, the sole Lord of the universe.
H.R. Hall even claimed that the pharaoh was the "first example of the scientific mind".
On the contrary, Nicholas Reeves in his book Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet portrays a totally different image of Pharaoh, seeing his religious reformations as mere attempts for centralizing power and solidify his role as "divine monarch".
There has also been interest in the identity of the Pharaoh Smenkhkare who was the immediate successor to Akhenaten. In particular descriptions on a small box seemed to refer to Smenkhkare beloved of Akhenaten.
This gave rise to the idea that Akhenaten might have been bisexual. This theory seems to originate from objects found in the tomb of Tutankhamen in the 1920s. The Egyptologist Percy Newberry then linked this to one of the stele exhibited in the Berlin Museum which pictured two rulers, naked and seated together – the older caressing the younger and the shoulder offering support. He identified these with the rulers Akhenaten and Smenkhkare. Coinciding with the disappearance of Nefertiti’s name from all records towards the end of Akhenaten’s reign.
In the 1970s John Harris identified the figure pictured alongside Akhenaten as Nefertiti, arguing that she may have actually been elevated to co-regent and perhaps even succeeded temporarily as an independent ruler; changing her name to Smenkhkare.
Egyptologists like Nicholas Reeves contend that Smenkhkare was the same person as Neferneferuaten who ruled together with Akhenaten as co-regents for the final one or two years of Akhenaten's reign. On several monuments, the two are shown seated side-by-side.
Some others believe Smenkhkare was likely to have been a half-brother or a son to Akhenaten.
From the writings of Master Saralden: Akhnaton (Amenhotep IV) not only built his Temple in the form of a cross, but he added the cross and the rose as symbols and further adopted the Crux Ansata*, in a special coloring, as the symbol to be worn by all teachers (Masters). In fact, the last year of his life was spent in evolving a wonderful system of symbols used to this day, to express every phase and meaning of hte Rosicrucian sciences, arts, and philosophies, and while some of these have become known to the uninitiated through the researches of Egyptologists, many remain secret and all are understandable only to the initiated.**
*The crux ansata is one of the earliest forms of a cross. It is an oval resting on a tau cross, or letter T. It was a symbol of life.
**The sciences and arts at the time, or the rituals, were not known as Rosicrucian. They descended to subsequently become a part of the present Rosicrucian traditions and rites.
As a ruler, our Master failed to check the desire for war. He foresaw the result of the approaching crisis and, sad at his neglect of political matters in his enthusiasm for the spiritual, he weakened his health and was finally forced to take to his bed in the month of July, 1350 B.C. Instead of using his mighty knowledge to regain his health it appears from his last dictated writings that his constant wish was to be spiritualized, that he might be raised up to that plane from which God's symbol shone down upon him. He fasted-- practically starving himself-- refused the services of the physician in the Order, and prayed constantly. Then, on July 24, late in the afternoon, with his right hand upstretched to God pleading to be taken into the nous he was seen by his Fratres and Sorores of the Order watching there, to be actually raised for a moment and then to drop back in "sweet repose with a smle of illumination upon his countenance."
Thus, passed to the beyond our Great Master, who did so much and left so much for our organization.
He may have neglected Egypt politically, but she will always remember her young Pharoah whose twenty-eight years left her art and architecture, her sciences and philosophies so greatly changed and improved. His reign was like unto the Renaissance of France, and even the hieroglyphs and arts show a vast imrovement based upon the principles of Truth. At the time of his crowning he took the title of "Amenhotep, King, Living in Truth," which was the Rosicrucian phrase o
f fidelity as it is today, and he passed onward to the other life in truth.
Perhaps the most summary of all testimonies to Amenhotep IV found outside of the Rosicrucuan literature, is that paid by James Breasted, Professor of Egyptology, University of Chicago, who says in his History of Egypt: "The modern world has yet adequately to value, or even acquaint itself with this man, who in an age so remote and under conditions so adverse, became the world's first individual."
Here is a very beautiful and moving poem of our great Master Akhnaton in adoration to the one true God whose symbol is the sun. It is a very sacred prayer of his pure heart and illumined consciousness.
Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky,
O living Aton, Beginning of life!
When thou rises in the Eastern horizon,
Thou fillest every land with thy beauty.
Thou art beautiful, great, glittering, high above every land,
Thy rays Re, and thou carriest them all away captive;
Thou bundest them by thy love.
Though thou art far away, thy rays are upon earth;
Though thou art on high, thy footprints are the day.
When thou settest in the western horizon of the sky,
The earth is in darkness like the deadl
They sleep in their chambers;
Their heads are wrapped up.
Their nostrils are stopped,
And none seeth the other,
While all their things are stolen
Which are under their heads,
And they know it not.
Every lion cometh forth from his den,
All serpents, they sting.
The world is in silence,
He that made them resteth in his horizon.
Bright is the earth when thou risest in the horizon.
When thou shinest as Aton by day
Thou drivest away the darkness.
When thou sendest forth thy rays,
The Two Lands (Egypt) are in daily festivity,
Awake and standing upon their feet
When thou hast raised them up.
Their limbs bathed, they take their clothing,
Their arms uplifted in adoration to thy dawnin.
(Then) in all the world they do their work.
All cattle rest upon their pasturage,
THe trees and the plants flourish,
The birds flutter in tehir marshes,
THeir wings uplifted in adoration to thee.
All the sheep dance upon their feet,
All winged things fly,
They live when thou hast shone upon them.
The barques sail up-stream and down-stream alike.
Every highway is open because thou dawnest.
The fish in the river leap up before thee.
Thy rays are in the midst of the great green sea.
Creator of the germ in woman,
Maker of seed in man,
Giving life to the son in the body of his mother,
Soothing him that he may not weep,
Nurse (even) in the womb,
Giver of breath to anumate every one that he maketh!
When he cometh forth from the body... on the day of his birth,
Thou openest his mouth in speech,
Thou suppliest his necessitites.
When the fledging in the egg chirps in the shell,
Thou givest him breath therein to preserve him alive.
When thou hast brought him together
To (the point of) bursting it in the egg,
He cometh forth from the egg
To chirp with all his might.
He goeth about upon his two feet
When he hath come forth therefrom.
How manifold are thy works!
They are hidden from before (us),
O sole God, whose powers no other possesseth.
Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart
While thou wast alone:
Men, all cattle large and small.
All that are upon the earth,
That go about upon their feet;
(All) that are on hight,
That fly with their wings.
The foreign countries, Syria and Kush,
The land of Egypt;
Thou settest evey man into his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities.
Every one has his possessions,
And his days are reckoned.
Their tongues are diverse in speech,
Their forms likewise and their skins are distinguised.
(For) thou makest different the strangers.
Thou makes the Nile in the Nether World,
Thou bringest it as thou desirest,
To preserve alive the people.
For thou hast made them for thyself,
The lord of them all, resting among them;
Thou lord of every land, who rises for them,
Thou Sun of day, great in majesty.
All the distant countries,
Thou makest (aslo) their life,
Thou hast set a Nile in the sky;
When it falleth for them,
It maketh waves upon the mountains,
Like the great green sea,
Watering the fields in their towns.
How excellent are thy designs, O lord of eternity!
There is a Nile in the sky for the stranges
And for the cattle of every country that go upon their feet.
(But) the Nile, it cometh from the Nether World for Egypt.
Thy rays nourish every garden;
When thou risest they live,
They grow by thee.
Thou makest the seasons
In order to create all thy work:
Winter to bring them coolness,
And heat that they may taste thee.
Thou didst make the distant sku to rise therein,
In order to behold all that thou hast made,
Thou alone, shining in thy form as living Aton,
Dawning, glittering, going afar and returning,
Thou makest millions of forms
Through thyself alone;
Cities, towns, and tribes, and highways and rivers.
All eyes see thee before them,
For thou art Aton of the day over the earth.
Thou art in my heart,
There is no other that knoweth thee
Save thy son Ikhnaton.
Thou hast made him wise
In thy designs and in thy might.
THe world is in thy hand,
Even as thou hast made them.
When thou hast risen they live,
When thou settest, they die;
For thou art lenght of life of thyself,
Men live through thee,
While (their) eyes are upon thy beauty
Until thou settest.
All labour is put away
When thou settest in the west.
Thou didst establish the world,
And raise them up for thy son,
Who came forth from thy limbs,
The King of Upper and Lower Egypt,
Living in Truth, Lord of the Two Lands,
Nefer-khepru-Re, Wan-Re (Ilhnaton),
Son of Re, living in Truth, lord of diadems,
Ikhnaton, whose life is long;
(And for) the chief royal wife, his beloved,
Mistress of the Two Lands, Nefer-nefru-Aton, Nofretete
Living and flourishing for ever and ever.
--Translated by J.H. Breasted, in Development of Religion and Though in Ancient Egypt, Chicago, 1912, pp. 324-328..
After the time of Akhnaton and Hermes Trismegistus, the teachings of the Rose Cross spread to the Hebraic land through Moses and his sister Maria Hebraeae and later to other countries. And here are the lists of those who either were initiated, became disciples and Masters of our Order.
Solon, c. 639-c. 559 B.C.
Anaximander of Miletus, 611- 547 B.C.
Pythagoras, 570 B.C.- 495 B.C.
Anaximenes of Miletus, 520 B.C.
Heraclitus of Ephesus, 520 B.C.
Parmenides, 515 B.C.
Empedocles of Agrigentum, 500 B.C.
Democritus of Thrace, 460 B.C.
Socrates of Athens, 470-399 B.C.
Euclides of Megara, 450? - 374 B.C.
Plato of Athens, 427-347 B.C.
Aristotle of Thrace, 384-322 B.C. (Read De Anima and the Metaphysica)
Epicurus of Athens, 342-270 B.C.
Metrodorus, Hermarchus, Colotes, Leonteus and his wife Themista, and Leontium-- all pupils of Epicrus in his R.C. Lodge in Athens, 306-301 B.C.
Philo of Alexandria, 110 B.C.
Antiochus of Ascalon, 100 B.C.
Cicero, 106-43 B.C.
Nigidius Figulus, 70 B.C.
Seneca, 54 B.C.- A.D. 39
Plotinus, A.D. 205- 270
The Christian Period
Charlemagne, king of the Franks, 742-814.
Al-Farabi, 870- 950, compiler of encyclopedia of R.C. Science and Arts.
Avicenna of Bokhara, Persia, 980- 1037.
Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, defender of the Albigenses, 1156-1222.
Albertus Magnus, German scholastic, 1193- 1280. (De Alchimia)
Jean de Meung of France, 13th century. (Roman de la Rose)
Roger Bacon of England, 1214- 1294. (Opus Majus)
Thomas Aquinas, Italian theologian, 1225- 1274.
Arnold of Villanova of Catalonia, 1235-1312. (Rosarium Philosophorum)
Raymond Lully of Spain, 1235-1315. (Anima artis transmutationis or Clavicula)
Dante Alighieri, 1265- 1321. (Divine Comedy)
Nicholas Flamel of France, 1330- 1418. (Exposition of the Hieroglyphical Figures)
Thomas Norton, 15th century. (Ordinall of Alchemy)
Johannes Trithemius, 1462-1516.
Pico della Mirandola, Italian humanist, 1463-1494. (Oration on the Dignity of Man)
Cornelius Heinrich Agrippa, German physician, theologian, and writer, 1468-1535. (De occulta philosophia)
Sir George Ripley, c. 1490. (Twelve Gates)
Paracelsus, Swiss alchemist and physician, 1493-1541
Dr. John Dee, English mathematician and astrologer, 1527- 1608. (Hieroglyphic Monad)
Simon Studion, 1543- 1605. (Naometria)
Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher, 1548-1600. (Concerning the cause, principle, and one)
Johann Arndt, German theologian, 1555-1621. (Zweytes Silentium Dei)
Heinrich Khunrath, 1560- 1605. He established the first R.C. library in Germany.
Sir Francis Bacon, past Imperator of the Order, 1561- 1626. (New Atlantis)
Michael Maier, Grand Master of the R.C. Order in Germany, 1568- 1622. (Themis Aurea)
Robert Fludd, Englush physician and Rosicrucian apologist, 1574- 1637. (Tractatus Apologeticus)
Jacob Boehme, German theosophist and mystic, 1575- 1624. (Three Principles and Mysterium Mangum)
Dr. William Harvey, 1578- 1657.
Johann Valentin Andrea, 1586- 1654.
Rene Descartes, French scientist and philosopher, 1596- 1650. (Discours de la Methode and Meditationes de Proma Philosophia)
Benedictus Figulus, c.1608.
Thomas Vaughan, a Welshman, who wrote under the name of Eugenius Philalethes, 1622-1665. He translated the early R.C. papers into English. (Euphrates: or The Waters of the East and Lumen de Lumine)
Jane Leade, English mystic, 1623-1704.
Robert Boyle, British physicist, chemist, and natural philosopher, 1627- 1691.
John Heydon, a Master in teh English R.C. Order, 1629- 1667. (English Physitians Guide: of A Holy Guide)
Baruch, Spinoza, 1632- 1677.
Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, 1632- 1723. He designed and rebuilt St. Paul's Cathedral after the Great Fire in London of 17666.
Johannes Kelpius, 1673- 1708, Grand Master of the R.C. Order in its first cycle in America in 1694.
Conrad Beissel, 1690- 1768.
Benjamin Franklin, 1706- 1790. American statesman, scientist, and philosopher, he was associated with the Rosicrucians of Pennsylvania during the Order's first active cycle in America.
Peter Miller, 1710- 1796.
Martinez de Pasquales, Portugese mystic, 1715-1779. He founded a society of mystics later led by Marquis Louis Claude de Saint-Martin.
Count Alessandro Cagliostro of Sicily, 1743- 1795. Became a Master and established many R.C. lodges in Europe. (Rituel de la Maconnerie Egyptienne)
Thomas Jefferson, 1743- 1826. Statesman, scientist, philosopher, and third President of the U.S.
Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, 1743- 1803. This French mystic and philosopher carried on the work of Martinez de Pasquales. His society became known as the Martinists.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet and mystic, 1749- 1832. (Die Geheimnisse)
John O'Donnell, 1749- 1805.
Karl von Eckartshausen, 1752- 1803. (Cloud on the Sanctuary)
William Blake, English artist, poet, and mystic, 1757- 1827.
Dr. John Dalton, English chemist and physicist, who arranged the table of atomic weights, 1766- 1844.
Marshal Michel Ney, 1769- 1815.
Michael Faraday, English chemist and physicist, 1791- 1867.
Honore de Balzac, French mystic and writer, 1799- 1850. (Louis Lambert)
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, English mystic and writer, 1803- 1873. (Zanoni)
Eugene Sue, French novelist, 1804- 1857. (Wandering Jew)
Giuseppe Mazzini, 1805- 1872.
Anton Rubinistein, Russian Jewish pianist and composer, 1829- 1894.
Dr. Franz Hartmann, 1839- 1912.
Julius Friedrich Sachse, historian of the Rosicrucian movement in America, 1842- 1910.
Claude Debussy, French composer, 1862- 1918.
Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883-1939) - founder and former Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.
Emile Dantinne, Belgian philosopher and esotericist, 1884- 1969.
Ralph Maxwell Lewis (1904 - January 1987), the son of Harvey Spencer Lewis, was the Imperator of Rosicrucian organisation Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) from 1939 to 1987. In Fédération Universelle des Ordres et Sociétés Initiatiques, FUDOSI, he was known with the nomen mysticum Sar Validivar. He received his initiation in Martinism during the second convention of FUDOSI in September 1936. He is the author of a number of books regarding mysticism, most of them are available from the AMORC. Lewis built new buildings for the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in 1966.
Nicholas Roerich, Russian-born mystic, artist, and philosopher, 1874- 1947.
Francois Jollivet Castelot, d.1937.
Sar Josephine Peladan
During the same period, Sar Josephine Peladan (1858—1918), popularly known as Sar Marduk, led the revival of Rosicrucianism in France and in Belgium. He worked together with his Belgian disciple, Emille Dantinne (1884—1969), also known as Sar Hieronymus. Both later became Imperators, one in France and the other in Belgium.
Sar Peladan, an accomplished writer and Adept, was a person of striking appearance and versatile character. He had penetrating eyes, unruly hair and beard, and he had the habit of wearing a variety of outlandish costumes. He wrote many remarkable novels on occultism and eroticism. But despite his controversial ways, he continued to maintain a strong adherence to the Catholic faith. In fact, it was his wish to reintroduce occultism into the folds of Catholicism.
Sar Peladan was initiated by his brother and his parents who were also secret Rosicrucian initiates. Later, he broke away from the Order Kabbalistique de la Rose Croix (Cabalistic Order of the Rosy Cross), and established his own Rosicrucian movement called the Order of the Temple and the Grail and of the Catholic Rose Cross.
Sar Hieronymus (Emille Dantinne) became a member of this movement, which he later headed and reorganized to form the Ordo Aureae and Rosae Crucis. Under Dantinne, the Rosicrucian movement was refashioned to conform to the original tradition. It had three distinct divisions, namely:
Rose-Croix Universitaire (composed of nine degrees)
Rose-Croix Universelle (also composed of nine degrees)
Rose-Croix Interioure (the Inner Order, which had four degrees)
Member, then leader, of several esoteric societies based in Belgium such as 'La Rose+Croix Universitaire' and 'L'Ordre d'Hermès Tétramégiste', he founded in 1936 the F.U.D.O.S.I., or 'Fédération Universelle Des Ordres et Sociétés Initiatiques' (Universal Federation of Initiatic Orders and Societies). By that time he had adopted the esoteric name of Sâr Hieronymus.
The main Esoteric Order in the F.U.D.O.S.I. was the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis also known as A.M.O.R.C., to which Dantinne belonged since the days of his friendship with Grand Master Joséphin Péladan.Dantinne was never a member of AMORC. Neither was Josephin Peladan. The latter was the founder and Grand Master of the Ordre Rose+Croix Catholique. Dantinne was an enthusiatic disciple of Peladan and inherited the mantle of Imperator of the OR+CC when Peladan died, changing its name to the Ordre Rose+Croix Universelle. Dantinne spoke several languages, among which Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Latin and Ancient Greek. He also was an accomplished writer. During his lifetime he published over 30 titles concerning topics such as foreign languages, local history, metaphysics, occultism etc.