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Miroslav Bárta – Maat: reign of Snofru and its aftermath

Reign of Snofru, starting about 2436 B.C. according to the latest chronological schemes, was a period of major changes and innovations in virtually all components of the society of the day. Snofru is famous not only for being the grand builder of monumental complexes which took on new forms, but also for introducing many new policies such as standardization of the non-royal tombs, launching new design of the mortuary cults, stimulating the appearance of new groups of artefacts or introducing hetep-di-nisut formula. The unique role of this ruler, his influence on the rest of the Old Kingdom and his specific role in providing legitimity for several kings who followed him on the throne, will be discussed in this contribution.

Tamás A. Bács – The Pride of the Ramessides: a note on a late Ramesside King-list

In Theban Tomb 65 dating to the reign of Ramesses IX and set within the context of representing the bark of Amun resting in a royal memorial temple during the “Beautiful Feast of the Valley” figures of twelve kings are shown. Representing the royal ancestors, these form a carefully assembled group establishing a line of ideal predecessors. As such they are reflective of an aspect of prevalent kingship ideology, and akin to royal titularies in expressing not only vague and eternal ideals, but a specific program or at least the outlines of one. This paper then attempts to understand the motives behind, or at least suggest possible readings of the particular honour roll embodied in the king-list of TT 65.

Horst Beinlich – Der Herrschaftsbereich als Prestigeobjekt

In Texten, die nicht nur der Information dienen, kann eine Beschreibung des Herrschaftbereiches eines Herrschers dazu dienen, sein Prestige zu erhöhen. Dies soll an einem Beispiel aus dem “Buch vom Fayum” dargestellt werden.

Julia Budka – Constructing royal authority in New Kingdom towns in Nubia: some thoughts based on inscribed monuments from private residences

The practice of decorating private residences with scenes of adoring the ruling king, represented by his cartouches, and with corresponding texts giving praise to the king is well attested in the New Kingdom. From the reign of Thutmose III onwards, there are examples from officials of various ranks and with diverse duties at sites located in both Egypt and Nubia. These scenes and texts—like other sources—clearly illustrate that for an Egyptian official, loyalty to the king was the key to general well-being and promotion. In exchange for granting favours to his officials, the power of the king was guaranteed within the domestic quarters and the ruler was also addressed as deity from the mid-18th Dynasty onwards. This paper highlights a number of aspects of royal authority and its construction in the New Kingdom temple towns of Nubia, which were built on behalf of the living ruler within a “foreign” landscape.

Representative elements of architecture in the settlement sphere and rock inscriptions are, in general, well-suited to demonstrate one’s loyalty to the king. However, within the Nubian examples specific features can be seen that reflect historic developments, corresponding administrative patterns and local hierarchies. In this respect, one of the key aspects is that the power of the king was embodied in Lower and Upper Nubia by the viceroy of Kush and his deputies. The construction of royal authority in Nubia by means of establishing the loyalty of the local potentates spanning several generations will be discussed on the basis of selected finds. The textual records will be presented within their archaeological and historical context, proposing some new thoughts on the perception of the power of Egyptian kingship in New Kingdom Nubia.

Filip Coppens & Jiří Janak – The near and the distant king. Two oppositions in the concept of divine authority of the Egyptian king

In the development of the ancient Egyptian concept of kingship, one encounters several different phases in the notion of the king´s divine authority. Among these, two opposite trends stand out. The first is represented by an endeavour to raise the king´s authority by linking him directly to the person and fate of the supreme power of the pantheon; the other trend ties royal power more closely with the king´s earthly duties, economic and political relations, and promotes his position among other important social and professional groups. These two approaches can be well envisaged in their extreme examples that occurred under specific historical circumstances and in specific contexts: Akhenaten´s religious-political reform and a new concept of the divine kingship under foreign rulers of the Late, Ptolemaic and Roman Periods. Both examples also reveal how the concept of kingship and the concept of the divine were closely interconnected and interdependent.

Andrzej Ćwiek – The Two Fathers of Hatshepsut and the Ideology of Kingship

The relations of Hatshepsut with her divine father, Amun-Ra, and with her earthly father, Thutmose I, are usually analyzed separately. They seemingly played their roles in different contexts, the incident of conceiving Hatshepsut being a point of junction. The relation with the queen Ahmose reveals the true nature of both fathers joined in one person, it seems, however, that their mutual relationship was much more complex. The wealth of iconographic and textual evidence in the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari, still to be explored in depth, may throw new light at this issue. The god and the king were there complementary persons, not only representing the divine and human spheres, but also related to ‘horizontal’ duality of the world. Amun-Ra had solar character and represented the South, Thutmose I was identified with Thoth, thus lunar and related to the North. The issue of the divine ka, passed on to Hatshepsut as a future ruler, is a crucial one. Amun-Ra transferred it to his daughter directly by incarnating Thutmose I. The king himself as the source of her ka played the role of Atum, with whom he was indeed identified. Such interrelations of the divine and the human, as well as the merging of Amun-Ra and Thutmose I, were neither incidental nor accidental. Though it is such a complex and individual story, it is not a special case, motivated by Hatshepsut’s need of legitimization or the alleged non-royal blood of Thutmose I, but a truly orthodox kingship myth.

Monika Dolinska – Birds and felines in royal iconography

Some components of royal dress derive from the animal kingdom – birds and feathers, tails, horns, furs, not to mention the most prominent element – the uraeus. Each of these elements is filled with symbolic meaning which accounts for its use in the royal iconography. Not always we are able to trace this meaning, which could have been changing in the course of time. Nevertheless some attempts have already been made on explaining ideas hidden behind these animal accessories. Still, there are elements which have not attracted our attention so far, for example a furry stripe in the feathered kilt.

Elizabeth Eltze – The Creation of Royal Identity and Ideology through Self-Adornment: The Jewels of Ancient Napata and Meroë

This presentation addresses the concept of royal identity and ideology creation and public display through the medium of self-adornment in ancient Kush. The Kushite Napatan culture (circa 700 BC to 400 BC) had its foundation in an amalgamation of elite traditions from ancient Egypt and those native to Kush. Many of the Kushite Twenty-Fifth Dynasty’s tropes of royal self-presentation were inherited from the Egyptian New Kingdom and were displayed publicly in art, literary texts, architecture, material culture, and jewellery. The Meroitic Period culture (circa 300 BC to AD 300) which succeeded the Napatan Period in Kush also exhibited many aspects of these practices of royal representation.
Through an examination of artistic representations of royal individuals wearing jewellery and through the examination of the jewelled items themselves, this paper will show that jewellery was not simply worn for its own sake. Instead, it represented an essential element of the Kushite monarchs’ creation of their own identity, their status as a ruler, as an indication of the wealth and position of their society, and a physical manifestation of their public persona. Furthermore, a comparison will be made of the self-adornment practices of these two distinct periods in Kushite ancient history. This will be to establish any differences in the manner in which the rulers of each period embellished their persons, and the possible reasons for these changes. Through these comparisons, this presentation will argue that the ideology of Kushite kingship can be said to have been complex and essentially unique within an ancient context, taking inspiration from the New Kingdom Egyptian kings, but not wholly mimicking their practices. It will also demonstrate that each king or queen’s choice of self-adornment (in official representational art or in terms of real material culture) can provide valuable insights into the creation and dissemination of the ruler’s public identity, thus advancing current understandings of the ideology of Kushite rulership as a whole.

Christopher Eyre – Calculated Frightfulness as Display of Authority

The display of deliberate cruelty, as punishment for crime or in a military context, is not a theme that is immediately striking in Egyptian public presentation, either pictorially or in narrative. The depiction of the king striking bound captives is formulaic in presentation, without striking focus on cruelty, with some unclarity about the balance between reality or symbolism. While the killing of large numbers of enemies, and trampling them, are standard motifs of royal presentation, the rarity of incidental details means that their factual cruelty has not seemed a core theme of their display.

There are, however, examples – particularly from the New Kingdom and later – where cruelty is clear display: for instance, the inscription of Merenptah from Amada describes the impalement of large numbers of Libyans to the south of Memphis, and the mutilation of large numbers of Nubians in the south. Merenptah’s displays of cruelty are associated with his attempts to resist the mass migration of Libyans and Sea Peoples, but the forms of display are comparable with impalement and mutilation as criminal punishments attested at the same period: all opposition to the king – civil or foreign – was classified in the same way as sbi.

This paper will evaluate the evidence for deliberate displays of cruelty as a public assertion of royal authority, and a tool of royal government.

Balázs Irsay-Nagy – “Scratch ‘Faith’ on nameless graves”: A new attribution for KV 42

Since its discovery, KV 42 has been attributed to both Thutmosis II (either as the original burial, or a reburial) and Merytre-Hatshepsut. The present talk argues that the three anepigraphic elements – the tomb itself, the burial chamber, and the sarcophagus – should be dated separately, but were eventually assembled for one person, whose name has not hitherto been suggested in Egyptological literature.

Dieter Kurth – The wnn-Formula in the Ritual Scenes of the Late Temples and the Presence of the King

Starting from Erich Winter’s pioneering work on the ritual scenes in the Egyptian temples of the Greco-Roman period this article deals with the king’s “Randzeile” (border column) of the second register. Quoting several revealing and informative texts it is argued that the main reason to create this special “Randzeile” was to exhibit the king’s omnipresence, was to display that he was able to fulfil his priestly office in every temple of Egypt although in reality his throne and his palace were far away in Alexandria.
There are fore runners of the “Randzeilen” from the end of the Middle Kingdom onwards but it is not before the New Kingdom that we find “Randzeilen” which have nearly the same contents as those in the Greco-Roman period. Those fore runners of the New Kingdom, however, appear only here and there, never being an integral part of a system. The integration into a system of the wall decoration seems to be connected with the political situation of that time.

Ewa Laskowska-Kusztal – The „centre for development” of the royal authority in Kalabsha

The instance of August taking over the rule in Egypt is an exemplary case related to the subject of building royal authority. His occupation of the Egyptian throne had to be legitimized, and the royal authority had to be clear both to the inhabitants of Egypt, and to the neighbouring nations. The phenomenon of gaining and strengthening power by August has been a subject of study by renowned scholars, researchers of Ptolemaic-Roman Egypt, for many years. The following presentation is a contribution to this discussion by another glance at the decoration commissioned by August, which was placed at the Ptolemaic temple complex dedicated to Mandulis in Kalabsha. The objective is to draw attention to the additional, not yet discussed, elements which served the purpose of building the royal authority of August, shown in the decoration of a gate reconstructed in Berlin.

Florian Löffler – Der „Thron der Götter“ (Nst-nTrw) in Edfu

Der Thron der Götter, ägyptisch Nst-nTrw, ist die Raumbezeichnung einer der Kranzkapellen des großen Horus-Tempels von Edfu, die sich um das zentrale Sanktuar gruppieren. Zentrale Thematiken dieser Raumeinheit sind die Rolle des Gottes als Herrscher und Souverän, die Verleihung des Königtums von den Göttern an den menschlichen Pharao, die Sicherstellung der rechtmäßigen, dynastischen Abfolge von Vater und Sohn und die Unterwerfung aller Fremdländer und -völker unter die Herrschaft Ägyptens und seines Königs. Die Texte dieses Raumes enthalten ausführliche Informationen über die verschiedenen Kronen des Königs, die Fremdvölker und Fremdländer, welche ihre Tribute und Abgaben herbeibringen und die Königsideologie als Ganzes mit ihrer Verknüpfung mit der göttlichen Sphäre.

Der Inhalt von Texten und Dekoration dieses Raumes, die bis dato kaum in der Wissenschaft rezipiert worden sind, und ihrer zugrundeliegenden Systematik und Theologie im Zusammenhang mit der ägyptischen Königsideologie, sollen anhand von ausführlichen Beispielen vorgestellt und kommentiert werden.

Ulrich Luft – The Gate of Power

The two letters of Papyrus Berlin P. 10032AB from Year 21, clued together in the chronological sense controversial order that letter B is dated earlier than letter A, belong to the archive of the temple of King Senwosret II at El-Lâhûn collected by Steward Horemsaef. Addressed to Horemsaef and to Scribe of the temple Qemau both letters concern deviances from the norm. In letter B the sender Nomarch Senwosret confronted Horemsaef with the document sent by “these referees of the Gate-Way” while the synopsis in the nomarch’s letter mentions two stewards of poultry pools beside two referees as actors of these accounts of bird. The nomarch however refers to the statements as being under the control of the Gate-Way. The synopsis contains four rubrics beginning with the (1) “assessment of the Htr-tax to him as debit of one year” followed by (2) “the rest of Year 21, II pry.t-season, day 28”, the next one written in red ink (3) “sum”, and the last one (4) “debit of one month from those”, i.e. the birds: (1) 1.837 / 155 / 1892 / 167; (2) 117 / 96 / 213 / 18; (3) 700 / 1400 / 2100 / 175; (4) 350 / 335 / 685 / 58. If the nomarch silently would accept these erroneous figures, he would acknowledge to have neglected the control of the tax deliverance to the God’s Offering thus the Court could hold him to account his duties. Escaping this the nomarch has to prove that the Vizier’s Office was in error.

Complaining against the disappointing screening the nomarch instructed Horemsaef to go with copies of all pertaining documents to the Gate-Way of the King’s Palace and hand over them to the warden at the gate. The warden will send them into the innermost office and get a confirmation from that office for the applier Nomarch Senwosret that Horemsaef immediately should forward to the nomarch. However, the copies of the documents should be forwarded to the God’s Offering. Horemsaef has to send the accounts to the Provisioner of the estate of the Overseer of the Sea from where the birds were delivered. Further he should submit the copies of the documents sent by the referees and the stewards to the Annex of the Treasury. After a break former tax assessments by an official of these estates were mentioned in a talk with Horemsaef. If Horemsaef would hear such a speech the nomarch orders Horemsaef to surcease the case that the nomarch himself will unravel.

Unfortunately, nothing is known of the story’s denouement as this letter is the only source of the case. However, we could catch a glimpse at the relation of the highest and high administration. In contrary to the records where officials of the local level boasted about their brilliant qualities the letters show the other feature of human behaviour as jealousy, disobedience, struggle, and power about the subordinates.

Massimiliano Nuzzolo – Human and divine: the royal paradigm in fifth dynasty Egypt

Discussion on the political and cosmic role of kingship in Ancient Egypt has fascinated generation of scholars. Opinions on the subject are quite diversified and range from the total exaltation of the divine nature of the king supported by Frankfort, to the full skepticism of Posener. Other scholars, however, have argued that the dichotomy between the two poles can be reconciled by dealing with the political and cosmic aspects of kingship as separate but equal facets that co-exist and co-act in the same person.
When approaching the issue of kingship in the fifth dynasty the latter statement seems to find further confirmation. Analysis of the available sources from this period, which is actually much more diversified than the previous periods of Egyptian history, clearly demonstrates that the interaction of the human aspects of the king’s person, with his divine nature and origin is conceptually supported – and repeatedly stressed – in all the possible contexts, and through the targeted use of a number of diversified means, including architectural, decorative and socio-political media. Altogether, these means participated in the exaltation of kingship, which was seen as an immortal and immutable institution, whose individual players, however, were mortal and mutable beings.

By analyzing the abovementioned unique mixture of wide-ranging material, the present paper thus wishes to explore the royal paradigm in the fifth dynasty with the final aim to show how important was the continuous re-modulation and re-negotiation of the ideological aspects of kingship for the successful establishment, legitimization and renovation of the individual, earthly ruler.

Christine Raedler – Creating Authority – the High Priest of Osiris Wenennefer and a special kind of Deification of Ramesses II

The investigation of “constructing authority: prestige, reputation and the perception of Power in Egyptian kingship” can be approached in different ways. Instead of looking for patterns of kingship the lecture intends to concentrate on one aspect of social connection, the relationship between “temple” and “palace” as institutions, focusing on prestige and social function. Thus this paper will highlight specific aspects of social structure, using the early Ramesside High Priests of Osiris in Abydos (HPO).

On the one hand, these priests directed the temple of Osiris and its staff at Abydos. They controlled the access to cult practices and sacred places. They also managed the highly important festival of Peker with the procession of Osiris in his Neshmet barque to “his” tomb at Umm el-Qaab. On the other hand, the HPO were members of the Pharaoh’s court, where the king’s favour ruled. Their office was an intrinsically high social position laden with prestige. One of the best examples is the famous HPO Wenennefer during the time of Ramesses II.

The following presentation of a previously unknown block statue of Wenennefer is based on some known sources. Except the titles and epithets which describe Wenennefer’s social ranking and family constellations, the unpublished object demonstrates an unusual pattern of kingship and a special kind of deification, for which the HPO appears to be responsible.

Daniel von Recklinghausen – Wie die Göttlichkeit auf den König übergeht. Überlegungen anhand der Szenen der Übergabe des Sichelschwertes an den König in den Tempeln der griechisch-römischen Zeit

Das Wesen des Königs gehört zu den vieldiskutierten Aspekten in der Ägyptologie. Ist er eher der menschlichen oder eher der göttlichen Sphäre zuzurechnen? Tatsächlich tritt der König in den Tempelinschriften, aber nicht nur dort, einerseits als Priester (und damit als Mensch) auf, andererseits kann er direkt als Abkömmling eines Gottes oder gar als dessen irdische Inkarnation angesprochen werden. Befindet sich der Monarch also „zwischen den Welten“?

Die Frage ist in der ptolemäischen Epoche umso virulenter, in der die makedonischen Könige nicht nur aus Gründen einer fortwährenden Legitimierung, sondern auch aus dem hellenistischen Eigenverständnis als Götter verstanden werden wollten. Diese Sichtweise kollidiert mit den traditionellen ägyptischen Vorstellungen und geht dennoch gleichermaßen mit ihr konform. Wie erfolgreich die Priester bei der Umsetzung der Vorstellung des Monarchen als göttliches Wesen in der Tempeldekoration vorgingen und wie sie dessen göttlichen Status in ihr eigenes theologisches Gedankengebäude einzubinden vermochten, lässt sich exemplarisch anhand des Szenentyps der „Übergabe des Sichelschwertes“ sehr gut aufzeigen. Darüber hinaus lässt sich nachvollziehen, wie dieser Szenentypus diachron kontinuierlich weiterentwickelt und den politischen Gegebenheiten angepasst worden zu sein scheint.

Anthony Spalinger – Ramesses III at Medinet Habu: Sensory Models

This will be a discussion of the newer form of historical narrative that is prevalent in the war inscriptions of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. The use of key visual sensory words and phrases reveal the purpose of kingship and how the language employed reveals an aspect of an age that was considerably different from any before, The role of pharaoh, and how the authors reflected what the elite society of Ramesside Egypt felt was worth stressing is the aim of this presentation. In particular, the historical kernel of the Year Five Inscription contains an undeviating narrative approach, albeit one now more developed than that observable in similar passages in the Israel Stela. The darkness of the enemy in opposition to the light of Ramesses starkly illustrates the eternal theme of annihilation. This remarkably sensory account reflects the age, a blackening one, but nonetheless a place where the king is still an avenger. And it is the latter aspect that deserves greater amplification.

Carola Vogel – From Power to Reputation and vice versa: The relationship between Thutmosis III and Senusret III reconsidered

Senusret III can be considered as the Middle Kingdom pharaoh who had the greatest political impact on Nubia. Various campaigns leading to the south are attested in his reign (from years 8, 10, 16, and 19) and the chain of fortresses he established or renewed at the second cataract helped to endure his success. Against this background it might not come as a surprise that various officials and kings deified and worshipped him. Particularly Thutmosis III (1479-1425 BC) a king of no minor importance in his time, made use of Senusret III’s long-lasting image in Nubia and connected himself directly with him, thus bypassing his true lineage. From his reign various monuments dedicated to Senusret III are known and will be discussed thoroughly in order to answer some essential questions:

  • What precisely made Senusret III so unique from Thutmosis III’s point of view that he chose him as a kind of hyper father? Was it his military power and the fact that he extended Egypt’s southern border in the first place?
  • In light of Senusret’s particular focus on Nubia, the question will be raised if the interest of Thutmosis III was limited to Senusret III’s glorious southern image or if he also worshipped him in Egypt proper.