Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

"1

feet in length, which recounts the king's achievements, and describes the state of Egypt as one of rare prosperity and peace. The papyrus gives a pleasant picture of the country at this time: “I made to be planted the entire " land with trees in leaf. I let the people sit in their shade. “I let the women of Egypt walk out to the place she wished, no vile persons molested her on her way.”

NUBKHESDEB was the wife of Ramses VI. and the mother of his daughter Ast. A stela from Koptose contains the figure of this princess Ast, accompanying her father, who was at the time living, and her mother Queen Nubkhesdeb, deceased. This princess has the title “Divine Wife of Amen, Adoress of the god.” She married Amen-hetep, a high priest of Amen, and became the ancestress of the priestly house which superseded the Ramessides, and claimed the throne in the next dynasty.

NEFERT-TERA is an unplaced queen whose name is mentioned in the tomb of an official, Pennut, at Anibe, dating from the reign of Ramses VI. The inscriptions refer to estates at Ibrim, which belonged to Queen Neferttera, who is named only as a queen, but with nothing to designate her position in the Ramesside family.

Another unplaced queen of this dynasty is

THITI, Royal Daughter, Royal Sister, Royal Wife, Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt.” These titles proclaim her one of the legitimate queens of Egypt, although her place in the list of sovereigns and queens-consort is unknown. Her tomb is in the Valley of the Queens' Tombs; it is well painted and decorated, and has an antechamber and a passage leading to a large chapel, from which open three smaller rooms.* The identity of Queen Thiti has been confused with that of the famous Queen Thịy, wife of Amen-hetep III., owing, doubtless, to the similarity of names. 1 R.P., viii, 49, 50. ? P., K's., xix ; L., D.T., iri, 101 ; Cairo M. L., D., iii, 229. • B., U.E., 187.

3

[merged small][ocr errors]

Nebseny — Thent-amen Nesibanebdadu.

?
Piankh.

Pasebkhanu I.
1

1
Pinezem I. Ti. Hent-taui 1. 2. Makeri.

1
Masaherta.

Menkheper-raTastembheb 1.

Nesikhonsu 7 Pinezem 11. = Astemkheb II.

TABLE OF THE XXIST DYNASTY.

(From Ramesside Line.)

Of Thebes.

Herhor Nezemt.

18 Princes.

19 Princesses.

Hent-taui 11. =2. Tahonit-tauti – 1. Nesibadadu.

Nesitanebasheru.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Thebes. About 1100 to 950 B.C. On the death of the last Ramesside prince, the sceptre fell from a feeble grasp to be taken up by the strong hands of Amen's priests. Through centuries, the power of this priesthood had been increasing, and when the High Priest Amen-hetep married the heiress of the Ramessides," he gained for his house actual rights to a crown, the prerogatives of which had long been usurped by his fathers.

With the advent of the priestly dynasty, a new phase of woman's position appears, which still more accentuates her powers. When the priests became kings of Egypt, the office of chief attendant on the service of Amen was left vacant. The priestesses had been steadily increasing in importance for many years. As early as the XVIIth dynasty, Queen Aah-hetep held the title “ Divine Wife of Amen, which was assumed in turn by all of her daughters, many of her grand-daughters, and the great queens who followed her. The priestess-queens were therefore the heiresses of the priests, when the latter left the service of Amen, to become the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Of this change, M. Maspero says: “The disappearance “ of the high priests had naturally increased the importance “ of the priestesses consecrated to the service of Amen. “ From henceforth they were the sole visible intermediaries “ between the god and his people, the privileged guardians " of his body and double, and competent to perpetuate the

1 P., H.E., III, 174.
; M.'s M.R., 617-635; L., D., iii, 38 a, b; 26b; 19 C.

170

[merged small][ocr errors]

of

[ocr errors]

“ line of the solar kings. The Theban appenage constituted “ their dowry."

From this time on, the sacerdotal titles increase, and nearly every queen or princess adds one or more to her name, " Priestess of Amen ”; “ Royal Spouse of Amen";

Prophetess of Mut”; “Prophetess of Hathor” ; “Chief of " the Chantresses of Min, of Horus, and of Isis,” etc. By the time of the XXIVth dynasty, the supreme title

neter tuat, “ Divine Worshipper of Amen,” gives to its holder a practically independent crown, and the great Queens of Thebes appear; their children inherit the throne of the Thebard, and are the brides sought by each new king, to legitimize his line.

As the high priestess is the sole representative of the divine rights, her power becomes so far-reaching, that, still later, she is able to transmit the legitimate royal claims by a simple “official marriage," or to bequeath them to an adopted daughter.

With the disappearance of the Ramessides, the priestly dynasty was inaugurated by the powerful high priest Herhor. His queen was

NEZEMT.
“ Great Royal Wife, Royal Mother, ,
“ Princess of the two Lands.”

Herhor was a son of the high priest Amen-hetep, and probably of the princess Ast, mentioned above as the heiress of the Ramessides; he would thus have a legal claim through his mother's right to the crown which he assumed The affiliation of Nezemt is not known, but as the founders of new dynasties usually strengthened their own claims and those of their children by marriage with princesses of the

· M.'s M.R., 752 ; S.N.
· Trans. by BUDGE, H.E., vi, 63, as“ Morning Star of Amen."

royal line, Nezemt, who has the heiress titles, was probably descended from the same stock as Herhor himself.

It has been found a difficult matter to place this queen exactly. She was believed by Champollion, Lepsius and de Rouge to have been the wife of Herhor; later M. Navillel thought she was the mother rather than the wife of that king, and this theory was accepted by several writers. M. Wiedemanno continued to hold the original view of Nezemt's position, and M. Maspero in his "Momies Royales de Deir el-Bahari,” adduces from the evidence, reasonable proof that this theory is the true one ; it is also accepted by Petries and Budget in their histories of the reign of Herhor.

The temple of Khonsu at Karnak contains the records of this family. The only queen appearing in the reign of the first priest-king is Nezemt; it is she who in the Karnak temple stands at the head of a long procession of sons and daughters, all of whom apparently belong to the house of Herhor. The eldest son, Piankh, is followed by eighteen other princes, and nineteen princesses. Queen Nezemt, heading the line, is called “Great Royal Wife, his beloved," and as in her funeral papyrus she appears as “Royal Mother," she is certainly to be regarded as the queen of Herhor, and mother of his children.

It is quite possible that the family of thirty-eight sons and daughters were all children of Herhor; and that on the Karnak tablet the queen and her own children are accompanied by those members of the royal family who were the offspring of the king by secondary wives not mentioned.

A further proof of the real position of Nezemt is found on a stela at Leyden. Herhor is there shown in adoration before Amen; he is accompanied by Nezemt, and they

[blocks in formation]

: W., G., 530.

H.E., vi, 13. • WIEDEMANN, 2., 1885, 82-4.

« PreviousContinue »