sábado, 23 de enero de 2010

Amenofis III

Amenofis III

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Archivo:AmenhotepIII.jpg
Busto de Amenhotep III en el museo egipcio de Berlín

Nebmaatra Amenhotep,[1] Amenhotep III,[2] o Amenofis III,[3] fue un importante faraón de la dinastía XVIII de Egipto que gobernó de c. 1390/1 a 1353/2 a. C.[4] También es conocido como Imenhotep III, Amenophis III, Memnon, y otros nombres helenizados.[5] La transcripción de los jeroglíficos de sus títulos es Neb-Maat-Ra Amen-Hotep, su nombre de Trono y el de nacimiento.


Biografía [editar]

Amenhotep sucedió a su padre, Thutmose IV. Junto con la reina Tiy tuvo a su hijo, Ajenatón (Akenatón), que le sucedió en el trono. Parece ser que Amenhotep fue coronado siendo todavía un niño, probablemente a una edad entre los seis y los doce años. Fue debidamente regido en su infancia por su madre, la reina Mutemuia, y por un consejo de regencia.

En esta época cobraron suma importancia sus suegros, Yuya y Tuyu, quienes posiblemente podían haber sido sus tíos. Era tan grande el poder y la influencia que ejercía aquel matrimonio que incluso gozaron del honor de poder ser enterrados en el Valle de los Reyes.

Un largo reinado [editar]

El reinado de Amenhotep III puede calificarse como el más próspero de toda la historia de Egipto, pues fue inmediatamente después de las gloriosas campañas asiáticas de Thutmose III y de Amenhotep II y justo antes de la crisis de Amarna, que tuvo como protagonista a su hijo Amenhotep IV, el futuro Ajenatón.

Comúnmente se ha pensado en Amenhotep III como un monarca algo incapaz, centrado en la tarea de edificar templos y tumbas, en hacer enormes cacerías y en buscar bellas mujeres tanto dentro como fuera del país para nutrir sus harenes. Según esta teoría, el monarca estaría manejado por una camarilla de gobierno encabezada por su propia mujer, la reina Tiy. Los escarabeos conmemorativos hablan de cacerías de leones, paseos por el lago artificial de Malkata y de la llegada de jóvenes al harén: una vida regalada, pero no la de un gran rey.

Amenhotep murió el año 39º de su reinado y fue enterrado en la tumba KV22 del Valle de los Reyes. Su momia (en pésimo estado de conservación), se encontró cerca de la tumba de su abuelo Amenhotep II ya que los sacerdotes de la Dinastía XX la trasladaron allí para protegerla de saqueos y actos de vandalismo. Junto a él había otros grandes reyes e incluso se supone que la momia de Tiy.

Siempre se ha hablado de la posibilidad de una corregencia entre Amenhotep III y Amenhotep IV, y se han dado plazos de unos dos, nueve o incluso doce años, si es que tal situación llegó a existir. Gracias a las cartas de Amarna, en especial a una recibida por Suppiluliuma, el rey hitita, que felicita cortésmente a Ajenatón por su subida al trono, parece ser que la corregencia entre padre e hijo tuvo que ser de dos años como máximo.

Política exterior [editar]

La estabilidad lograda por las conquistas de sus predecesores trajo una época de prosperidad, debido a los tributos pagados por los pueblos vencidos. Egipto era, indiscutiblemente, la gran potencia de la zona. La paz favorecía el comercio, fuente adicional de riqueza.

  • Levante era zona de influencia egipcia, y se mantenían alianzas con Mitani y Babilonia.
  • En una estela se informa de la campaña contra Ibhet en Kush el año quinto de su reinado. Afirmó la soberanía de Egipto levantando numerosos templos en todo el territorio nubio.

Política interior [editar]

Se apoyó en dos consejeros: el visir del Alto Egipto, Ramose y el arquitecto Amenhotep, hijo de Hapu, con la poderosa influencia de la primera Gran Esposa Real, Tiy. El problema interno lo creaban los sacerdotes de Amón, que debido a las donaciones de Tutmosis III se habían vuelto tan poderosos que amenazaban al propio faraón. Tutmosis IV había intentado frenar al clero potenciando el culto al disco solar, Atón, que figura en su tumba. Amenhotep III continuó con esta huida diplomática, se alejó de Tebas construyendo un palacio en Malkata, en la ribera occidental y otro en El Fayum. Muertos sus consejeros y al subir como corregente su hijo, éste empezó la verdadera guerra política contra los amonianos, apoyado por la reina Tiy.

Descendencia [editar]

De la infinidad de mujeres que tuvo el faraón, sólo tres ascendieron al rango de esposa real: su posible prima Tiy, una mujer con gran energía y una auténtica gobernante en la sombra; la princesa real Giluhepa de Mitani, que fue el símbolo de la alianza entre ambos países; y la primogénita de Amenhotep III y Tiy, la dama Sitamón, con la que cometió incesto en los últimos años de reinado. Este caso es puntual, pero no es el único en la historia de Egipto. El viejo faraón se casaría con otras dos hijas suyas, a las que no ascendió al rango de gran esposa real. Otra esposa bien conocida, y que tampoco fue gran esposa real, sería otra princesa mitania, Taduhepa, sobrina de Giluhepa e identificada por algunos como la propia Nefertiti.

Archivo:GD-EG-Louxor-123.JPG
Estatua de Amenhotep III y el dios Sobek, procedente del templo de Sobek, en Dahamshaen. Museo de Luxor
  • Hijos nacidos de Tiy.
    • Sitamón. La primogénita, que más tarde se casaría con su propio padre a finales del año 30º con motivo de su jubileo.
    • Ajenatón. Llamado originalmente Amenhotep, acabaría por sucederle en el trono y romper totalmente con todos sus antecesores, rechazando a Amón y estableciendo un culto casi monoteísta al disco solar, Atón.
    • Henuttaneb e Isis. Otras princesas, que también se casarían con su padre en el segundo y tercer jubileo, respectivamente, con el rango de esposas secundarias.
    • Nebetta y Baketatón. Quizás planease casarse con ellas en siguientes jubileos; sea como fuere, sus huellas desaparecen, y lo único que sabemos es que Baketatón permaneció en Tebas con Tiy hasta su muerte.
  • Hijos nacidos de Giluhepa.
    • ¿Thutmose? El hijo varón mayor del rey no era hijo de Tiy, pues de haber sido así no habría tomado el nombre de Thutmose. Aun así, no se sabe con exactitud que hubiese nacido de la primera princesa mitania.
  • Hijos nacidos de Sitamón.
    • ¿Semenejkara? No sabemos nada de este personaje, ni siquiera si llegó a existir o era Nefertiti con un nombre masculino. Si fue un varón emparentado con Ajenatón, es posible que fuera sobrino suyo.
    • ¿Tutanjamón? Hay dos serias parejas candidatas a ser los padres del famoso rey-niño: Amenhotep III y Sitamón o bien Ajenatón y Kiya, su esposa secundaria. En el caso de que la corregencia de Amenhotep III y Ajenatón sólo fuese de dos años (tendencia que se suele seguir ahora), es materialmente imposible que Tutanjamón (Tutankamón) fuese hijo de Amenhotep III.

Construcciones más importantes [editar]

El periodo de su reinado coincidió con una época de paz, prosperidad y esplendor artístico. Realizó numerosas construcciones en el templo de Amón en Karnak, incluyendo al menos un pilono, una columnata a continuación de la nueva entrada y un templo dedicado a la diosa Maat.

Archivo:Egypt.ColossiMemnon.01.jpg
Coloso de Memnón

También supervisó la construcción de un nuevo templo en Tebas, una monumental y bellísima edificación que aun puede admirarse. Se cree que en el undécimo año de su reinado empezó un gigantesco palacio en el lugar conocido hoy en día como Malkata, en la ribera occidental, como regalo a su esposa Tiy. Una cabeza de granito de Amenofis III de 2,5 metros de altura fue hallada en su templo funerario en la zona de Kom el Hitan en el actual Luxor.[6]

Su templo funerario, situado en la orilla occidental del río Nilo, fue en su tiempo el mayor complejo religioso de Tebas. Desgraciadamente lo construyó en una zona que sufre continuas inundaciones; por eso, doscientos años más tarde, el templo ya estaba en ruinas. Los Colosos de Memnón, dos estatuas de 18 metros de altura, que estaban situadas a la entrada del complejo, son el único resto que aún sigue en pie de aquel fabuloso complejo.

Y no sólo se contentó con adornar Tebas, sino que hizo ampliaciones en otras ciudades sagradas como Menfis, Heliópolis e incluso llegó a construir templos en Nubia, como el de Soleb, cosa hasta entonces inaudita y que después repetiría en varias ocasiones Ramsés II, el único rey que superaría a Amenhotep III en actividad constructora.

La gran actividad constructora de su reinado, sin parangón en la historia egipcia hasta entonces, fue también gracias a la incesante labor del hombre fuerte de su reinado, Amenhotep, hijo de Hapu, un anciano devoto de Amón que fue la gran presencia hasta aproximadamente el año 30. Fue tal la valía de este hombre que llegó a ser recompensado con un pequeño templo funerario cercano al de Amenhotep III: un privilegio sólo digno de los reyes.

Cronología [editar]

  • 1391 a. C.: Ascenso al trono, posiblemente con doce años de edad.
  • 1386 a. C.: Expedición victoriosa a Kush (Nubia).
  • 1360 a. C.: Muerte del arquitecto real, Amenhotep hijo de Hapu, diseñador del templo de Amón en Tebas. Sus normas arquitectónicas permanecerán hasta la época ptolemaica.
  • 1359 a. C.: Se completa el templo de Amón.
  • 1353 a. C.: Su hijo Amenhotep IV (Ajenatón) es asociado al trono como corregente.
  • 1352 a. C.: Muerte de Amenhotep.

Titulatura [editar]

Titulatura Jeroglífico Transliteración (transcripción) - traducción - (procedencia)
Nombre de Horus:
G5


E2
D40
N28 m C10


Srxtail2.GIF
k3 nḫt ḫˁ m m3ˁt (Kanajt jaemmaat)
Toro potente, de quien surge la Justicia (Maat)
Nombre de Nebty:
G16
s mn
n
Y1
O4
p
G43 Y1
Z2
s W11
r
V28 D36
N17
N17
smn hpu sgrḥ tauy (Semenhepu segerhtauy)
Quien sustenta la ley
y da tranquilidad a las Dos Tierras (Egipto)
Nombre de Hor-Nub:
G8
O29
D36
F23
V28 A24 S22 t
t
G21 Z3
ˁ3 ḫps hu sṯtu (Aajepeshjusedyu)
Quien vence a los asiáticos con su gran poder
Nombre de Nesut-Bity:
nswt&bity

Hiero Ca1.svg

N5 C10 nb


Hiero Ca2.svg

nb m3ˁt rˁ (Nebmaatra)
Ra, Señor de la Justicia (Maat)
(Lista Real de Abidos nº 73) y (Lista Real de Saqqara nº 54)
Nombre de Sa-Ra:
G39 N5


Hiero Ca1.svg

i mn
n
R4 S38 R19


Hiero Ca2.svg

imn ḥtp ḥq3 u3st (Amenhotep heqauaset)
Amón está satisfecho, Gobernante de Uaset (Tebas)


Véase también [editar]

Notas [editar]

  1. Nebmaatra Amenhotep es la transcripción de su nombre de trono y de nacimiento, según las convenciones académicas.
  2. Amenhotep III es la transcripción de su nombre de nacimiento, más el número ordinal, muy utilizado en textos académicos.
  3. Amenofis III es el nombre común más utilizado en español en textos generalistas. Amenofis es el nombre helenizado del faraón que aparece en los epítomes de Manetón:
    Amenofis (Flavio Josefo, Contra Apión)
    Amenofis (Flavio Josefo, de Teófilo)
    Amenofis, llamado Memnón (Julio Africano, versión de Sincelo)
    Amenofis (Eusebio de Cesarea, versión de Sincelo)
    Amenofis (Eusebio de Cesarea, versión armenia)
  4. Cronología según Grimal, Shaw, Krauss, Murnane, Arnold y Málek.
  5. Otras grafías de su nombre: Amenhotp, Amenhotpe, Amenophis, Atendyehen, Atondyehen, Imenhotep, Khaemmaat, Memmon, Memnon, Nebmaetra, Nebmaetre, Nebmara, Nebmare, Nubmaatra, Nubmaatre, Sekhemfau, Titrakhentitaui, Uahrenputsakhebu.
  6. EFE (28/02/2010). «Hallada una cabeza gigante del faraón Amenhotep III». El Público. Consultado el 28 de febrero de 2010.

Bibliografía [editar]

  • Fletcher, Joan (2001). El Rey Sol de Egipto: Amenhotep III. Folio. ISBN 84-413-2141-8.
  • Dodson, Aidan y Hilton, Dyan (2005). Las familias reales del Antiguo Egipto. Oberon, Madrid. ISBN 84-96052-51-6.

Enlaces externos [editar]


Predecesor:
Tutmosis IV
Faraón
Dinastía XVIII
Sucesor:
Akenatón (Amenofis IV)

[edit] Family

The son of the future Thutmose IV (the son of Amenhotep II) and a minor wife Mutemwiya, Amenhotep was born around 1388 BC.[6] He was a member of the Thutmosid family that had ruled Egypt since the reign of Thutmose I, almost 150 years previously.

Amenhotep III fathered two sons with his Great Royal Wife Tiye, a great queen known as the progenetor of monotheism[7]. via the Crown Prince Thutmose who predeceased his father, and his second son, Akhenaten, who ultimately succeeded him to the throne. Amenhotep also may be the father of a third child—called Smenkhkare, who later would succeed Akhenaten, briefly rule Egypt as pharaoh, and who is depicted as a woman.[8]

Amenhotep III and Tiye may also have had four daughters: Sitamun, Henuttaneb, Isis or Iset, and Nebetah.[9] They appear frequently on statues and reliefs during the reign of their father and also are represented by smaller objects—with the exception of Nebetah.[10] Nebetah is attested only once in the known historical records on a colossal limestone group of statues from Medinet Habu.[11] This huge sculpture, that is seven meters high, shows Amenhotep III and Tiye seated side by side, "with three of their daughters standing in front of the throne--Henuttaneb, the largest and best preserved, in the centre; Nebetah on the right; and another, whose name is destroyed, on the left."[9]

File:Egypte louvre 182.jpg
Vase in the Louvre with the names Amenohotep III and Tiye written in the cartouches on the left, (and Tiye's on the right).

Amenhotep III elevated two of his four daughters—Sitamun and Isis—to the office of "great royal wife" during the last decade of his reign. Evidence that Sitamun already was promoted to this office by Year 30 of his reign, is known from jar-label inscriptions uncovered from the royal palace at Malkata.[9] The lineage of the royal line of Egypt was traced through its women and the religion of Ancient Egypt was interwoven inexorably with the right to rule. It must be stressed that Egypt's theological paradigm, therefore, encouraged a male pharaoh to accept royal women from several different generations as wives to strengthen the chances of his offspring to succeed him.[12] The goddess Hathor herself was related as first the mother, and later wife and daughter of Ra when he rose to prominence in the pantheon of the Ancient Egyptian religion.[9] Hence, Amenhotep III's marriage to his two daughters should not be considered as incest in our contemporary conception of marriage. Sitamun may have actually been the youngest daughter of Amenhotep III's father Thutmose IV, making her the half-sister of Amenhotep III and not his daughter.

Amenhotep III is known to have married Gilukhepa, the first of a series of diplomatic brides and the daughter of Shuttarna II of Mitanni, in the tenth year of his reign.[13] Around Year 36 of his reign, he also married Tadukhepa, the daughter of his ally Tushratta of Mitanni.[14]

[edit] Life

Amenhotep III enjoyed the distinction of having the most surviving statues of any Egyptian pharaoh, with over 250 of his statues having been discovered and identified. Since these statues span his entire life, they provide a series of portraits covering the entire length of his reign.

Another striking characteristic of Amenhotep III's reign is the series of over 200 large commemorative stone scarabs that have been discovered over a large geographic area ranging from Syria (Ras Shamra) through to Soleb in Nubia.[15] Their lengthy inscribed texts extol the accomplishments of the pharaoh. For instance, 123 of these commemorative scarabs record the large number of lions (either 102 or 110 depending on the reading) that Amenhotep III killed "with his own arrows" from his first regnal year up to his tenth year.[16] Similarly, five other scarabs state that the foreign princess who would become a wife to him, Gilukhepa, arrived in Egypt with a retinue of 317 women. She was the first of many such princesses who would enter the pharaoh's household.[16]

File:Queen Tiye - cropped - probably with her husband Amenhotep III - 34 louvre - egyptarchive.JPG
Queen Tiye, whose husband, Amenhotep III, may have been depicted to her right in this broken statue

Another eleven scarabs record the excavation of an artificial lake he had built for his royal wife, Queen Tiye, in his eleventh regnal year,

"Regnal Year 11 under the Majesty of...Amenhotep (III), ruler of Thebes, given life, and the great royal wife Tiyi; may she live; her father's name was Yuya, her mother's name Tuya. His Majesty commanded the making of a lake for the great royal wife Tiyi--may she live--in her town of Djakaru. (near Akhmin). Its length is 3,700 (cubits) and its width is 700 (cubits). (His Majesty) celebrated the Festival of Opening the Lake in the third month of Inundation, day sixteen. His Majesty was rowed in the royal barge Aten-tjehen in it [the lake]."[17]

Amenhotep appears to have been crowned while still a child, perhaps between the ages of 6 and 12. It is likely that a regent acted for him if he was made pharaoh at that early age. He married Tiye two years later and she lived twelve years after his death. His lengthy reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and international power. Proof of this is shown by the diplomatic correspondence from the rulers of Assyria, Mitanni, Babylon, and Hatti which is preserved in the archive of Amarna Letters; these letters document frequent requests by these rulers for gold and numerous other gifts from the pharaoh. The letters cover the period from Year 30 of Amenhotep III until at least the end of Akhenaten's reign. In one famous correspondence—Amarna letter EA 4--Amenhotep III is quoted by the Babylonian king Kadashman-Enlil I in firmly rejecting the latter's entreaty to marry one of this pharaoh's daughters:

"From time immemorial, no daughter of the king of Egy[pt] is given to anyone."[18]

Amenhotep III's refusal to allow one of his daughters to be married to the Babylonian monarch may indeed be connected with Egyptian traditional royal practices that could provide a claim upon the throne through marriage to a royal princess, or, it be viewed as a shrewd attempt on his part to enhance Egypt's prestige over those of her neighbours in the international world.[citation needed]

The pharaoh's reign was relatively peaceful and uneventful. The only recorded military activity by the king is commemorated by three rock-carved stelas from his fifth year found near Aswan and Sai Island in Nubia. The official account of Amenhotep III's military victory emphasizes his martial prowess with the typical hyperbole used by all pharaohs.

"Regnal Year 5, third month of Inundation, day 2. Appearance under the Majesty of Horus: Strong bull, appearing in truth; Two Ladies: Who establishes laws and pacifies the Two Lands;...King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Nebmaatra, heir of Ra; Son of Ra: [Amenhotep, ruler of Thebes], beloved of [Amon]-Ra, King of the Gods, and Khnum, lord of the cataract, given life. One came to tell His Majesty, "The fallen one of vile Kush has plotted rebellion in his heart." His Majesty led on to victory; he completed it in his first campaign of victory. His Majesty reached them like the wing stroke of a falcon, like Menthu (war god of Thebes) in his transformation...Ikheny, the boaster in the midst of the army, did not know the lion that was before him. Nebmaatra was the fierce-eyed lion whose claws seized vile Kush, who trampled down all its chiefs in their valleys, they being cast down in their blood, one on top of the other."[19]

Amenhotep III celebrated three Jubilee Sed festivals, in his Year 30, Year 34, and Year 37 respectively at his Malkata summer palace in Western Thebes.[20] The palace, called as Per-Hay or "House of Rejoicing" in ancient times, comprised a temple of Amun and a festival hall built especially for this occasion.[20] One of the king's most popular epithets was Aten-tjehen which means "the Dazzling Sun Disk"; it appears in his titulary at Luxor temple and, more frequently, was used as the name for one of his palaces as well as the Year 11 royal barge, and denotes a company of men in Amenhotep's army.[21]

[edit] Proposed co-regency by Akhenaten

File:Amenhotep III and Sobek1.jpg
Amenhotep III and Sobek, from Dahamsha, now in the Luxor Museum

There is currently no conclusive evidence of a co-regency between Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. A letter from the Amarna palace archives dated to Year 2—rather than Year 12—of Akhenaten's reign from the Mitannian king, Tushratta, (Amarna letter EA 27) preserves a complaint about the fact that Akhenaten did not honor his father's promise to forward Tushratta statues made of solid gold as part of a marriage dowry for sending his daughter, Tadukhepa, into the pharaoh's household.[22] This correspondence implies that if any co-regency occurred between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, it lasted no more than a year at the most.[23] Lawrence Berman observes in a 1998 biography of Amenhotep III that,

"it is significant that the proponents of the coregency theory have tended to be art historians [ie: Raymond Johnson], whereas historians [such as Donald Redford and William Murnane] have largely remained unconvinced. Recognizing that the problem admits no easy solution, the present writer has gradually come to believe that it is unnecessary to propose a coregency to explain the production of art in the reign of Amenhotep III. Rather the perceived problems appear to derive from the interpretation of mortuary objects."[24]

[edit] Final years

Reliefs from the wall of the temple of Soleb in Nubia and scenes from the Theban tomb of Kheruef, Steward of the King's Great Wife, Tiye, depict Amenhotep as a visibly weak and sick figure.[25] Scientists believe that in his final years he suffered from arthritis and became obese. It has generally been assumed by some scholars that Amenhotep requested and received from his father-in-law Tushratta of Mitanni, a statue of Ishtar of Nineveh--a healing goddess—in order to cure him of his various ailments which included painful abscesses in his teeth.[26] A forensic examination of his mummy shows that he was probably in constant pain during his final years due to his worn, and cavity-pitted teeth. However, more recent analysis of Amarna letter EA 23 by William L. Moran, which recounts the dispatch of the statue of the goddess to Thebes, does not support this popular theory. The arrival of the statue is known to have coincided with Amenhotep III's marriage with Tadukhepa, Tushratta's daughter, in the pharaoh's 36th year; letter EA 23's arrival in Egypt is dated to "regnal year 36, the fourth month of winter, day 1" of his reign.[27] Furthermore, Tushratta never mentions in EA 23 that the statue's dispatch was meant to heal Amenhotep from his maladies. Instead, Tushratta merely writes,

Say to Nimmureya (ie: Amenhotep III), the king of Egypt, my brother, my son-in-law, whom I love and who loves me: Thus Tušratta, the king of Mitanni, who loves you, your father-in-law. For me all goes well. For you may all go well. For your household for Tadu-Heba (ie: Tadukhepa), my daughter, your wife, who you love, may all go well. For your wives, for your sons, for your magnates, for your chariots, for your horses, for your troops, for your country, and for whatever else belongs to you, may all go very, very well.

Thus Šauška of Nineveh, mistress of all lands: "I wish to go to Egypt, a country that I love, and then return." Now I herewith send her, and she is on her way. Now, in the time, too, of my father,...[she] went to this country, and just as earlier she dwelt there and they honored her, may my brother now honor her 10 times more than before. May my brother honor her, (then) at (his) pleasure let her go so that she may come back. May Šauška (ie: Ishtar), the mistress of heaven, protect us, my brother and me, a 100,000 years, and may our mistress grant both of us great joy. And let us act as friends. Is Šauška for me alone my god(dess), and for my brother not his god(dess)?[28]

The likeliest explanation is that the statue was sent to Egypt "to shed her blessings on the wedding of Amenhotep III and Tadukhepa, as she had been sent previously for Amenhotep III and Gilukhepa."[29] As Moran writes: "One explanation of the goddess' visit is that she was to heal the aged and ailing Egyptian king, but this explanation rests purely on analogy and finds no support in this letter... More likely, it seems, is a connection with the solemnities associated with the marriage of Tušratta's daughter; sf. the previous visit mentioned in lines 18f., perhaps on the occasion of the marriage of Kelu-Heba (i.e.: Gilukhepa)...and note, too, Šauška's role along with Aman, of making Tadu-Heba answer to the king's desires."[30]

The contents of Amarna letter EA21 from Tushratta to his "brother" Amenhotep III strongly affirms this solution. In this correspondence, Tushratta explicitly states,

I have given...my daughter (Tadukhepa) to be the wife of my brother, whom I love. May Šimige and Šauška go before her. May they m[ake he]r the image of my brother's desire. May my brother rejoice on t[hat] day. May Šimige and Šauška grant my brother a gre[at] blessing, exquisi[te] joy. May they bless him and may you, my brother, li[ve] forever.[31]

[edit] Death

File:Magic Sankt Petersburg - Impressionen-Landmarks & Treasures 3 .jpg
An authentic sphinx of Amenhotep III, now adorning Universitetskaya Embankment in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Amenhotep III's highest attested reign date comes from a pair of Year 38 wine jar-label dockets from Malkata;[32] though he may have lived briefly into an unrecorded 39th Year and died before the wine harvest for that year arrived.[33]

Amenhotep III was buried in the Western Valley of the Valley of the Kings, in Tomb WV22. Sometime during the Third Intermediate Period his mummy was moved from this tomb and was placed in a side-chamber of KV35 along with several other pharaohs of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth dynasties where it lay until discovered by Victor Loret in 1898.

An examination of his mummy by the Australian anatomist Grafton Elliot Smith concluded that the pharaoh was aged between forty and fifty years old at death.[34] His chief wife, Tiye, is known to have outlived him for at least twelve years as she is mentioned in several Amarna letters dated from her son's reign as well as depicted at a dinner table with Akhenaten and his royal family in scenes from the tomb of Huya, which were made during Year 9 and Year 12 of her son's reign.[35][36]

Foreign leaders communicated their grief at the pharaoh's death, with Tushratta saying:

When I heard that my brother Nimmureya had gone to his fate, on that day I sat down and wept. On that day I took no food, I took no water.[37]

When Amenhotep III died, he left behind a country that was at the very height of its power and influence, commanding immense respect in the international world; however, he also bequeathed an Egypt that was wedded to its traditional political and religious certainties under the Amun priesthood.[38]

The resulting upheavals from his son Akhenaten's reforming zeal would shake these old certainties to their very foundations and bring forth the central question of whether a pharaoh was more powerful than the existing domestic order as represented by the Amun priests and their numerous temple estates. Akhenaten even moved the capital away from the city of Thebes in an effort to break the influence of that powerful temple and assert his own preferred choice of deities, the local deity of Akhetaten ('Horizon of Aten'), at the site known today as Amarna, and eventually suppressing the worship of Amun.[39]

[edit] The Court

There were many important individuals in the court of Amenhotep III. Viziers were Ramose, Amenhotep, Aperel and Ptahmose. They are known from a remarkable series of monuments, including the well known tomb of Ramose at Thebes. Treasurers were another Ptahmose and Merire. High stewards were Amenemhat Surer and Amenhotep (Huy). Viceroy of Kush was Merimose. He was a leading figure in the military campaigns of the king in Nubia. Perhaps the most famous official of the king was Amenhotep, son of Hapu. He never had high titles but was later worshipped as god and main architect of some of the king's temples.[40]

[edit] Monuments

File:Egypt.ColossiMemnon.01.jpg
The northern Colossus of Memnon

Amenhotep III built extensively at the temple of Karnak including the Luxor temple which consisted of two pylons, a colonnade behind the new temple entrance, and a new temple to the goddess Ma'at. Amenhotep III dismantled the fourth pylon of the Temple of Amun at Karnak to construct a new pylon—the third pylon—and created a new entrance to this structure where he erected "two rows of columns with open papyrus capital[s]" down the centre of this newly formed forecourt.[41] The forecourt between the third and fourth pylons of Egypt, sometimes called an obelisk court, was also decorated with scenes of the sacred barque of the deities Amun, Mut, and Khonsu being carried in funerary boats.[42] The king also started work on the Tenth pylon at the Temple of Amun there. Amenhotep III's first recorded act as king—in his Years 1 and 2—was to open new limestone quarries at Tura, just south of Cairo and at Dayr al-Barsha in Middle Egypt in order to herald his great building projects.[43] He oversaw construction of another temple to Ma'at at Luxor and virtually covered Nubia with numerous monuments.

"...including a small temple with a colonnade (dedicated to Thutmose III) at Elephantine, a rock temple dedicated to Amun 'Lord of the Ways' at Wadi es-Sebuam, and the temple of Horus of Miam at Aniba...[as well as founding] additional temples at Kawa and Sesebi."[44]

File:Temple of Amenhotep, Luxor.jpg
Luxor Temple of Amenhotep III

His enormous mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile was, in its day, the largest religious complex in Thebes, but unfortunately, the king chose to build it too close to the floodplain and less than two hundred years later, it stood in ruins. Much of the masonry was purloined by Merneptah and later pharaohs for their own construction projects.[45] The Colossi of Memnon—two massive stone statues, eighteen meters high, of Amenhotep that stood at the gateway of his mortuary temple—are the only elements of the complex that remained standing. Amenhotep III also built the Third Pylon at Karnak and erected 600 statues of the goddess Sekhmet in the Temple of Mut, south of Karnak.[46] Some of the most magnificent statues of New Kingdom Egypt date to his reign "such as the two outstanding couchant rose granite lions originally set before the temple at Soleb in Nubia" as well as a large series of royal sculptures.[47] Several beautiful black granite seated statues of Amenhotep wearing the nemes headress have come from excavations behind the Colossi of Memnon as well as from Tanis in the Delta.[47]

One of the most stunning finds of royal statues dating to his reign was made as recently as 1989 in the courtyard of Amenhotep III's colonnade of the Temple of Luxor where a cache of statues was found, including a 6 feet (1.8 m)-high pink quartzite statue of the king wearing the Double Crown found in near-perfect condition.[47] It was mounted on a sled, and may have been a cult statue.[47] The only damage it had sustained was that the name of the god Amun had been hacked out wherever it appeared in the pharaoh's cartouche, clearly done as part of the systematic effort to eliminate any mention of this god during the reign of his successor, Akhenaton.[47]

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (1992), EA 3, p.7
  2. ^ Clayton, Peter. Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd., 1994. p.112
  3. ^ [1] Amenhotep III
  4. ^ Beckerath, Jürgen von, Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, (1997) p.190
  5. ^ O'Connor, David & Cline, Eric. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign, University of Michigan Press, 1998, p.3
  6. ^ Fletcher (2000), p.10
  7. ^ The Amarna Succession by James P. Allen, pp.16-17
  8. ^ The Amarna Succession by James P. Allen, pp.16-17
  9. ^ a b c d O'Connor, David & Cline, Eric., p.7
  10. ^ Kozloff, Arielle. & Bryan, Betsy. Royal and Divine Statuary in Egypt’s Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and his World, (Cleveland, 1992), nos. 24, 57, 103 & 104
  11. ^ Kozloff & Bryan, fig. II, 5
  12. ^ Troy, Lana. Patterns of Queenship in Ancient Egyptian Myth and History. University of Uppsala, Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations 14, (1986), 103, 107, 111
  13. ^ Dodson, Aidan & Hilton, Dyan The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004), p.155
  14. ^ Fletcher (2000), p.156
  15. ^ O'Connor, David & Cline, Eric., pp.11-12
  16. ^ a b O'Connor, David & Cline, Eric., p.13
  17. ^ Kozloff & Bryan, no.2
  18. ^ William L. Moran, p.8
  19. ^ Urk. IV 1665-66
  20. ^ a b David O'Connor & Eric Cline, p.16
  21. ^ David O'Connor & Eric Cline, pp.3 & 14
  22. ^ William L. Moran, translation, op. cit., pp.87-89
  23. ^ Nicholas Reeves, Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet, Thames & Hudson, 2000, pp.75-78
  24. ^ Lawrence M. Berman, 'Overview of Amenhotep III and His Reign,' in Amenhotep III: Perspectives on his Reign, ed: David O'Connor & Eric Cline, p.23
  25. ^ Grimal, p.225
  26. ^ William Hayes, "Internal affairs from Thutmosis I to the death of Amenophis III," in CAH Pt 1, Vol 2, The Middle East and the Aegean Region, c.1800-1380 BC, 1973, p.346
  27. ^ Cyril Aldred, Akhenaten: King of Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 1991, pl.13
  28. ^ William L. Moran, translation, pp.61-62
  29. ^ David O'Connor & Eric Cline, p.22
  30. ^ William L. Moran, translation, p.62 n.2
  31. ^ William L. Moran, translation, p.50
  32. ^ Kozloff & Bryan, p.39, fig. II.4
  33. ^ Clayton, p.119
  34. ^ Grafton Elliot Smith, The Royal Mummies, 1912, Cairo, p.50
  35. ^ "North Tombs at Amarna". http://www.amarnaproject.com/pages/amarna_the_place/north_tombs/index.shtml. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  36. ^ David O'Connor & Eric Cline, p.23
  37. ^ Fletcher (2000), p.161
  38. ^ Grimal, pp.223 & 225
  39. ^ Fletcher (2000), p.162
  40. ^ Lichtheim (1980), p.104
  41. ^ Amenhotep III
  42. ^ The Obelisk Court of Amenhotep III
  43. ^ Urk. IV, 1677-1678
  44. ^ Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell Books: 1992. p.223
  45. ^ Grimal, p.224
  46. ^ Grimal, p.224 & 295
  47. ^ a b c d e Clayton, p.118

[edit] Bibliography

  • Aldred, Cyril (1991). Akhenaten: King of Egypt. Thames & Hudson.
  • Allen, James P. "The Amarna Succession". http://history.memphis.edu/murnane/Allen%20-%20Amarna%20Succession.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
  • Beckerath, Jürgen von (1997). Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern,.
  • Clayton, Peter (1994). Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson Ltd..
  • O'Connor, David; Cline, Eric (1998). Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign. University of Michigan Press.
  • Dodson, Aidan; Hilton, Dyan (2004). The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson.
  • Fletcher, Joann (2000). Chronicle of a Pharaoh - The Intimate Life of Amenhotep III. Oxford University Press.
  • Grimal, Nicolas (1992). A History of Ancient Egypt. Blackwell Books.
  • Hayes, William (1973). "Internal affairs from Thutmosis I to the death of Amenophis III". The Middle East and the Aegean Region, c.1800-1380 BC Pt 1, Vol 2.
  • Kozloff, Arielle; Bryan, Betsy (1992). Royal and Divine Statuary in Egypt’s Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and his World. Cleveland.
  • Lichtheim, Miriam (1980). Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings: The Late Period. University of California Press.
  • Moran, William L. (1992). The Amarna Letters. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Reeves, Nicholas (2000). Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet. Thames & Hudson.
  • Troy, Lana (1986). "Patterns of Queenship in Ancient Egyptian Myth and History". Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations (Uppsala: University of Uppsala) 14.
File:Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their children.jpg


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