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royal lines; that of her Ethiopian father Kashta, and that of her mother or adoptive mother, Shepenapt of Thebes.
Amenertas was certainly the daughter of King Kashta, with whom she is frequently figured in inscriptions; his wife Shepenapt is not definitely stated to have been her mother, but as inheritance through the female line continued to be the law, it was doubtless as that queen's daughter that Amenertas held the
She was the reigning sovereign of the principality of Thebes, a province which extended as far South as Aswan, and had its Northern boundaries at Thinis and Khemmis, the modern Abydos and Ekhmim. This important section of the kingdom was governed by the queen, with the assistance of a prime minister.
The priestess-sovereign seems to have been devoted to the service of Amen, and to the improvement of her beautiful city of Thebes, where she not only restored the works of her predecessors, but also dedicated to the gods, chapels in her own name. She left the records of her reign over a wide tract of country: Thebes, Aswan, Medinet Habu, Hamamet and Memphis, all bear evidence of her influence. There is, in fact, every reason to suppose that Queen Amenertas was a vigorous ruler, administering her kingdom in peace and prosperity, both as its political and its spiritual chief.
She shared the crown with two of her brothers in succession, Shabaka and Pankhy II.; but whenever represented in their company, she appears as a person of far more importance than the co-regents with whom she was associated. All the functions pertaining to her sacerdotal office, the high priestess was competent to perform unaided, but the military and other duties of a sovereign which a woman could not fulfil, were as usual relegated to the prince nearest in blood to the queen, or to a prime minister. To Shabaka, the elder of her brothers, the princess was married when between fifteen and twenty. Their names for a time are connected, as was customary with a king and his consort ;' these records are in the twelfth year of Shabaka, when from her titles, Amenertas appears to have been already the ruler at Thebes. After a few years Shabaka died, and the queen then married her younger brother Pankhy II., who appears but as a shadowy figure in comparison with his sister. One daughter was born to them, and was given the name of her grandmother, Shepenapt.
i For relationships of this Jamily, see MASPERO, Momies Royales, etc. ; ERMANN, A.Z., V, 29.
Among the buildings at Thebes with which the name of Amenertas is connected is the Temple of Osiris at Karnak,' and a chapel situated to the North of the Temple of Ptah. This temple was adorned with statues of the queen, one of which, a life-sized figure in alabaster, was found amid the ruins of the building. The statue is I m. 67 cent. in height, and was doubtless intended as a portrait of the queen. On the head is a heavy wig and flat crown, with triple uræi on the brow. At the time of its discovery, this monument was hailed as a great work of art. The features are, however, heavy, and the execution is not of the finest workmanship; nevertheless, the lines are graceful, and the beautiful material employed gives to the whole figure an air of delicate purity which makes it a pleasing portrait statue.
The pedestal of grey granite has the following inscription: “ This is an offering for the Theban Amen-Ra of
Apt, to the god Mentu-Ra, the Lord of Thebes. May " he grant everything that is good and pure, by which the
1 M.'s M.R., 751. : L., D., V, i, e; M., K., 45 e. 3 Rec., xxiv, 212 ; G., H. Coll., 220. * Ibid., xxii, 126, 127 ; xxiv, 209, 210. s M., K., 45, c, d. 6 Cairo M., Room X, 685.
“ divine (nature) lives, all that the heaven bestows and the " earth brings forth, to the princess the most pleasant, the "most gracious, the kindest and most amiable queen of
Upper and Lower Egypt, the sister of the king, the ever
living daughter of the deceased king, the wife of the “ divine one-Amenertas-may she live."
I was the wife of the divine one, a benefactress to her city “ (Thebes), a bounteous giver for her land. I gave food to " the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked,” etc.?
From the same chapel comes a stela of sandstone, on which Amenertas, accompanied by her daughter and one or two other priestesses, is depicted in adoration before Amen, Mut, and Khonsu, the divine trinity of Thebes. A black granite figure found with the alabaster statue is in a mutilated condition, but also represents Amenertas ;3 a third statue in grey granite is in the British Museum ;4 the name of the queen is inscribed on the rocks of Aswan and Hamamat, and other memorials of her reign exist at Medinet Habu,” where she made numerous restorations and additions.
Many small objects have been found which were once the property of Amenertas. These include bronze plaques from Memphis;& alabaster and serpentine vases ;' a granite figure of Osiris ;10 an altar for offerings ;11 a glazed cylinder ;12 a bronze door pivot ;18 fragments of articles in stone and alabaster;14 and many scarabs and ushabtis in brown serpentine.15 Besides these personal mementos, there are many monuments of various officials who served during the reign of Queen Amenertas.
· B., E.P., 420.
• Ibid., Room X, W. wall. • B.M., No. 36440.
5 P., S., ix, 263. • L., D., V, i, e.
· Rec., xxiii, 4; D., M.H., 29. • A.S., iii, 142.
, B.M., 24709, 4701. 10 SABATIER, Coll.
11 Cairo M. 12 B.M., 29212.
13 Ibid., 36301. 14 Berl. M., 2107; A.M., 35.
is Louvre and F.P. Coll. The remains of this queen, tabulated by PETRIE, H.E., iii, 288.
She seems to have had dominion over Thebes for many years, and possibly did not die until sometime during the reign of Pankhy's successor, Taharqa. This king built a temple at Karnak, and was assisted at the dedication ceremonies by a “divine wife," a princess-priestess. In the inscription recording this event, the name of the princess is effaced, but there are circumstances connected with it which make it possible that she is Amenertas.
PEKSATHER was a half-sister of Amenertas, the daughter of King Kashta, and a secondary queen, Pebathma.” This princess also became a wife of Pankhy II., but with the exception of her one mention at Abydos, she seems to have left no trace, unless she is the same as the queen figured on a stela at Bologna, who is called by M. Wiedemann, Pekersala, and by him supposed to belong to the XXVIth dynasty
The joint reign of the Theban queen and of Pankhy II. was succeeded by that of Taharqa, a son of Pankhy. This relationship is shown by a stela of Psamtek I.,4 where the wife of Taharqa is said to have been also his sister. As this sister was the daughter of Pankhy, it follows that Taharqa was his son, although the queen Amenertas was not Taharqa's mother. Pankhy had married a third wife, whose name, appearing in a somewhat mutilated form, is variously read as —rqa ;5 Aqel ;and
AKALUKA. Her descent was from the priestly line, 8 and she appears in the records of her son's coronation as,
I M.'s M.R., 762.
• BRUGSCH, E.P., 324. · MASPERO, P.E., 361.
* E. DE ROUGÉ. • Tanis Stela. Discovered by MARIETTE; transl. by E. DE ROUGÉ.
“ divine wife of Amen ”; “ royal sister ” ; “royal mother”; and "palm of love."
Taharqa, when a youth of twenty, had parted from his mother at Napata, and had gone Northward into Egypt. After some years had passed, he made good his pretensions to the throne, and desiring to be crowned, he sent to Napata for his mother," sweet of love," to share his triumph. She accordingly journeyed to Egypt, where she was met by her son, who proclaimed her regent of the North and of the South, and “ associated her with himself in the rejoicings "at his coronation. This ceremony, celebrated at Tanis, “ with the usages customary in the Delta, was repeated at
Karnak, in accordance with the Theban ritual ; and a
chapel, erected shortly afterwards on the Northern quay of “the great sacred lake, has preserved to us the memory of "it. Akaluka, installed with the rank and prerogatives of " the 'Divine Spouse of Amen,' presented her son to the
deity, who bestowed upon him through his priests, " dominion over the whole world. She bent the bow, and " let Ay the arrows towards the four cardinal points, which “ she thereby symbolically delivered to him as wounded prisoners.”
Nothing further is recorded of Akaluka, the “palm of love," but as Taharqa brought prosperity to the land, in his• twenty years of government, and as his mother accompanies him in various temple scenes, it may be supposed that after their long years of separation, she lived a happy life by the side of her victorious son.
Taharqa had two great queens, both his sisters, one of whom was the “Great Heiress ” of Napata ; the other, heiress of Thebes.
AMENDUKHAT, “Royal Sister, Royal Wife, Great Heiress, Mistress of all Women," was doubtless by her position the hereditary ruler of Napata. She was probably
1 M.'s P.E., 362. ? L., D., V, 5.