Nineteenth Dynasty

After the recovery from the religious revolution, Egypt was a changed world. It is not easy to define the exact nature of the changes, since there are many exceptions. Yet, it is impossible not to notice the marked deterioration of the art, the literature, and indeed the general culture of the people. The language which they wrote approximates more closely to the vernacular and incorporates many foreign words. The copies of ancient texts are incredibly careless, as if the scribes utterly failed to understand their meaning. At Thebes the tombs no longer display the bright and happy scenes of everyday life which characterized Dyn. XVIII, but concentrate rather upon the perils to be faced in the hereafter.

ramses_Nineteenth-DynastyThe judgment of the heart before Osiris is a favorite theme, and the Book of Gates illustrates the obstacles to be encountered during the nightly journey through the Netherworld. The less frequent remains from Memphis show reliefs of only slightly greater elegance. The temples elsewhere depict upon their walls many vivid representations of warfare, but the workmanship is relatively coarse and the explanatory legends are often more adulatory that informative. In spite of all, Egypt still presents an aspect of wonderful grandeur, which the greater abundance of this period’s monuments makes better known to the present-day tourist than the far finer products of earlier times. Two statues found at Karnak in 1913, taken in conjunction with the famous stela of the year 400 discovered at Tanis fifty years earlier, prove the founder of the NINETEENTH DYNASTY to have been a man from the north-eastern corner of the Delta whom Haremhab raised to the end exalted rank of vizier. Pra’messe, as he was called until he dropped the definite article at the beginning of his name to become the king known to us as Ramesses I, was of relatively humble origin, his father Set I having been a simple ‘captain of troops’. We can well imagine Haremhab as having wished to choose his main colleague from within his own military caste. The statues, practically duplicates of one another, portray Pra’messe as a royal scribe squatting upon his haunches in the approved manner of his kind. The half-opened papyrus on his lap enumerates the various high offices to which his lord had raised him. Besides the vizierate these include the positions of superintendent of horses, fortress-commander, superintendent of the river-mouths, commander of the army of the Lord of the Two Lands, not to mention several priestly titles. Most significant of all is his claim to have been ‘deputy of the King in Upper and Lower Egypt’, as Haremhab had been before him. Pra’messe was an old man when he ascended the throne. He was not destined to enjoy the royal power for long.

Manetho, as quoted by Josephus, allows him only one year and four months of reign, a span not necessarily contradicted by the dating in year 2 on the sole dated monument which we possess, a stela from Wady Halfa now in the Louvre. Even this appears to have been erected by his son and successor Seti (Sethos I), who set up in the same place a stela almost identical in tenor and dated in year 1 of his own reign. These two documents record the establishment at Buhen (Wady Halfa) of a temple and new offerings to Min-Amun, for whose cult prophets, lector-priests, and ordinary priests were appointed, together with male and female slaves form ‘the captures made by His Majesty’. These last words need not be taken too seriously in view of the shortness of the reign, and indeed peace may at this time have been firmly established in Nubia, where Pesiur, the King’s Son of Cush of Haremhab’s reign, was possibly still in office. Ramesses I’s monuments in other parts are very scanty. A few reliefs bearing his name on and near the Second Pylon at Karnak suggest that he either initiated or acquiesced in the stupendous change there from Haremhab’s open court with a central double line of giant columns like that at Luxor to the great Hypostyle Hall which is among the chief surviving wonders of Pharaonic Egypt. His own tomb in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings was planned to rival in size that of his predecessor, and only stopped short, doubtless owing to his death, at the chamber below the second flight of stairs, where his sarcophagus may still be seen. His coffin and mummy suffered a fate not unlike that which befell the mummies of other kings. From his own tomb they were transported first to that of Sethos I, and from there to the great cache at Der el-Bahri.

The great ruler who occupied the throne for the next fifteen or more years was colored with true affection and loyalty towards his father. But obedient devotion has its limits, and in the important funerary sanctuary which Sethos I built for himself at Kurna, the northern-most of the line of temples fringing the western desert at Thebes, he could spare only a few rooms to Ramesses I. At Abydos, however, he appended to his own great temple a small chapel with beautifully painted reliefs and a fine stela in which he extolled the virtues of his progenitor. Yet for all the recognition which Sethos was prepared to pay his father , he was not averse to regarding himself as the inaugurator of a new period. This he showed by means of the phrase ‘Repetition of Births’ appended to dating of his first and second regnal years, and by inserting the corresponding epithet in his Two-Ladies name and sometimes in his Horus-name, as had been done by Ammenemes I at the beginning of Dyn. XII. But there may have been an additional reason for this. If the calculations of the astronomical chronologies are sound, a new Sothic period began about 1317 BC, a very short time before Sethos I came to the throne. Now the Alexandrian mathematician Theon, referring to the Sothic period, speaks of it as the era ‘from Menophres’, and this royal name has been interrupted by Struve, followed by Sethe, to be a slightly corrupted form of the epithet Mry-n-Pth ‘Beloved of Ptah’ which normally stands at the beginning of Sethos’s second cartouche. This clever conjecture may or may not be right.

As a stranger from the extreme north and with no royal lineage behind him, Sethos ran a serious risk of being viewed as an upstart. The gods of the land had by no means completely recovered from the injuries inflicted upon them by the partisans of Akhenaten. Here Sethos found an opportunity of winning popularity; doubtless it was with this in view that he set about restoring the mutilated inscriptions of his predecessors. But his cleverest move consisted in founding a temple whose magnificence should vie with that of the very greatest fans of the capital cities. Abydos, the reputed home of Osiris, had always been a favorite site for the building activities of the Pharaohs, but to none of Sethos’s predecessors had it occurred to honor the place on such a scale as he devised. His temple, together with the mysterious memorial at the back of it, remains to this day a place of pilgrimage which no enterprising sightseer would willingly miss. The reliefs of the walls, in many cases still retaining the brilliance of their original colors, display a delicacy and a perfection of craftsmanship surprising on the threshold of a period of undisputed decadence. The inherited name of SetI ‘the Sethian’ attests a devotion to the very god who had been the murderer of the venerated numen loci. All the more necessary was it for him to placate Osiris, or rather his powerful priesthood. Despite Sethos I’s lavish expenditure on his great monument the architects whom he employed did not care to give Seth a place among its divine occupants, and even in their writing of the monarch’s name the figure of Osiris was prudently used in place of the grotesque animalic image of his mortal enemy. By way of compensation, however, Osiris was not permitted to be exclusively worshipped here at Seth’s expense. The temple was conceived of as a national shrine. Beside Osiris, chapels were set apart for his wife Isis and for his son Horus, these three constituting the age-old triad of Abydos. But neighboring their chapels are others of equal size and importance dedicated to the three chief gods of the capital cities, to Amun of Thebes, to Ptah of Memphis, and to Re’-Harakhti of Heliopolis. Nor was Sethos I the man to dissociate himself from this noble company. It was to his own cult that he caused to be consecrated the seventh and southernmost chapel. To modern minds this action might well seem intolerably presumptuous, but not so to an Egyptian Pharaoh. Was he not from time immemorial a great god, if not the greatest of all? How should he not possess a memorial in the holiest place of the Two Lands? And lastly, we must never forget that early religion universally took for granted the principle do ut des. All the gods would have languished, and rightly, had not the Pharaoh’s self-interest demanded the steadfast maintenance of their cults.

The foundation or even the re-dedication of a temple was by no means complete when the actual building was ended. Priests of different grades had to be appointed, menial servants found, to discharge the ordinary duties of maintenance and commissariat and large tracts of land set apart to supply the revenues required for the upkeep. In return for this, a royal charter was usually issued to define the rights of the sacred establishment and its employees. Passing reference has been made to the decrees from the end of the Old Kingdom which protected the temple of Min at Coptos form outside interference. Good fortune has preserved for us the charter or part of the charter granted by Sethos to his great new sanctuary at Abydos. This, strange to say, is inscribed on a high rock at Nauri a short distance to the north of the Third Cataract.

It must suffice here to mention a few of the ways in which the privileges of the temple staff might be infringed. These men might be seized personally, moved from district to district, commandeered for ploughing or reaping, prevented from fishing or fowling, have their cattle stolen, and so forth. Also any official who did not exact justice from the offenders was himself to be severely punished. Paragraph after paragraph deals with such matters, but it has to be confessed that the entire decree is very carelessly drafted, and leaves the impression rather of artificial legalistic from that of precise legal enactment.

Among the dependents of the Abydos temple mentioned in the Nauri text are the gold-washers who were employed at the mines in the neighborhood of the Red Sea. Their task was to effect the extraction of the precious metal by washing away the lighter substances in the pulverized stone. The hard lot of the actual miners is described in a passage quoted by Diodorus Siculus from the geographer Agatharchides. It was important that these poor wretches should reach the scene of their labors without perishing on the way. In a long inscription of year 9 engraved on the wall of a small temple in the Wady Abbad some 35 miles east of Edfu, Sethos describes the measures he has taken to remedy their situation. A brief extract will illustrate the style an substance of the narration: He stopped on the way to take counsel with his heart, and said: How miserable is a road without water! how shall travelers fare? Surely their throats will be parched. What will slake their thirst? The homeland is far away, the desert wide. Woe to him, a man thirsty in the wilderness! Come now, I will take thought for their welfare and make for them the means of preserving them alive, so that they may bless my name in years to come, and that future generations may boast of me for my energy, inasmuch as I am one compassionate and regardful of travelers.

Sethos then recounts the digging of a well and the founding of a settlement in this locality. Another inscription in the speos warns later rulers and their subjects not to steal the gold which was to be delivered to the Abydos temple, and ends with a curse: As to whosoever shall ignore this decree, Osiris will pursue him, and Isis his wife, and Horus his children; and the Great ones, the lords of the Sacred Land, will make their reckoning with him.

Among her northerly neighbors Egypt’s prestige had fallen to a very low level, a situation which Sethos at once set to work to repair. The warlike scenes depicted upon the exterior north wall of the great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak combine with conventional illustrations of the king’s personal prowess much information of a genuine historical character. These reliefs are no great works of art, despite the prancing steeds of Pharaoh’s chariot and the agonized contortions of his victims. But surely unique must be the picture of Sethos on foot, with two Syrian prisoners tucked under each arm. There are two series of scenes, both converging towards a central doorway near which Amun stands to welcome the returning conqueror and to witness the doubtless merely symbolic battering to death of the vanquished chieftains. The lesser captives who follow in long lines were destined to become slaves in the workshops of the temple of Karnak. On the eastern side the lowest register shows the military road along which Sethos’s army had to pass before he could reach his main objectives in northern Syria. The starting-point, as with Tuthmosis III and others, was the fortress of Tjel, the Latin Sile or Selle, close to the modern El-Kantara so well known to our own soldiers in the two world wars.

From there the way led across the waterless desert of the Sinai peninsula beyond a small canal now replaced by that of Suez. The reliefs display in correct order the many small fortified stations built to protect the indispensable wells, and these together with a town with lost name which is evidently Raphia, 110 miles form Tjel, constitute the earliest equivalent of a map that the ancient world has to show. Twenty miles further on, described as ‘town of Canaan’, is the Philistine Gaza a short distance within the Palestine border. Before arriving there Sethos had been compelled to inflict a great slaughter on the rebellious nomads of the Shosu who barred the way. It is difficult to say how far the campaign of year 1 extended since the top register on the east half of the wall is lost. But it certainly reached as far as the Lebanon, where the native princes are seen felling the cedars or pines needed for the sacred bark and flagstaffs of the Theban Amun. What the accompanying hieroglyphic legend describes as ‘ascent which Pharaoh made to destroy the land of Kadesh and the land of the Amor’ probably belongs to a later year. The Kadesh here mentioned is naturally the all-important city on the Orontes, while the land of Amor is the adjacent north Syrian region extending to the Mediterranean coast. Of the two remaining registers in the western half-wall that in the middle records a battle against the Libyans, of whom but little has been heard since the beginning of Dyn. XII. The lowest register shows Sethos at grips with the Hittites, the strength of whose empire had been steadily growing in the hands of Suppiluliumas’s son Mursilis II. Naturally the reliefs display Sethos as the victor. Stele from Kadesh itself and from Tell esh-Shihab in the Hauran bear Sethos’s name, but are of far less importance than the two inscriptions of his reign found at Beisan, the Beth-shean of the Old Testament, some 15 miles south of the Sea of Galilee and only 4 to the west of the Jordan. Here since the time of Tuthmosis III a fortress of considerable size had housed the Egyptian garrison, and within its chapel had stood the stele which told of Sethos’s exploits in the neighborhood. One of them which is nearly illegible, but has been skillfully deciphered by Grdseloff, deals with the ‘Apiru-people discussed above. The other, which is well preserved, narrates as follows: Year 1, third month of Summer, day 2…on this day they came to tell His Majesty that the vile enemy who was in the town of Hamath had gathered unto himself many people and had captured the town of Bethshael, and had joined with the inhabitants of Pehel and did not allow the prince of Rehob to go forth. Thereupon, His Majesty sent the first army of Amun ‘Powerful of Bows’ to the town of Hamath, the first army of Pre’ ‘Manifold of Bravery’ to the town of Bethshael, and the first army of Sutekh ‘Victorious of Bows’ to the town of Yeno’am. Then there happened the space of one day and they were fallen through the might of His Majesty, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Menma’re’, the Son of Re’, SetI-merenptah, given life.

All the places here named have been identified with some probability, none of them at any great distance from Beisan; the capture of Yeno’am had been depicted in the Karnak reliefs. No more in the way of commentary is needed than to draw attention to the three army corps named after the gods of Thebes, Heliopolis, and the later Pi-Ra’messe respectively. These we shall find reappearing in the Kadesh campaign of Ramesses II, and they seem to imply the presence of really strong forces in the Palestinian area. Perhaps in the quarter of a century from the beginning of Dyn. XIX, Egypt possessed as much of an Asiatic empire as at any other period in her history. Nevertheless, the main administration probably lay in the hands of the local princes, and apart from the commanders of garrison the Egyptian officials claimed no more authoritative title than that of ‘king’s envoy to every foreign country’. In Nubia, on the other hand, real governors were the King’s Son of Cush and his two lieutenants, though here too Sethos had to take military action against a remote tribe in the fourth and eighth years of his reign.

Apart from the temples of Kurna and Abydos already mentioned and the work on the great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak Sethos I’s buildings are relatively unimportant. On the other hand, the sepulcher which he caused to be excavated for himself in the Biban el-Moluk is the most imposing of the entire necropolis. It is over 300 feet long and decorated from the very entrance with admirably executed and brilliantly colored reliefs equaling in quality those found in the great monument at Abydos. The fine alabaster sarcophagus is now the treasured possession of the Soane Museum in London. It had early been robbed of its occupant, whose mummy ultimately found its way to the cache at Der el-Bahri. Sethos was a man of only moderate height, but the well-preserved head, with heavy jaw and a wide and strong chin, is cast in a markedly different mound from that of the Dyn. XVIII kings.

If the greatness of an Egyptian Pharaoh be measured by the size and number of the monuments remaining to perpetuate his memory, Sethos’s son and successor Ramesses II would have to be pronounced equal, or even the superior, of the proudest pyramid-builders. The great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak is his main achievement, and on the west bank at Thebes his funerary temple known as the Ramesseum still retains a large part of its original grandeur. At Abydos his temple stands, as a not unworthy second, side by side with that of his father, which he finished. The edifices at Memphis have been largely demolished later by thieves greedy for suitable building stone, but portions of great statues of Ramesses II attest the former presence of a vast temple of his. Moreover, this is referred to in a well-known stela preserved in the Nubian temple of Abu Simbel, where Ramesses acknowledges the blessings conferred upon him by the Memphite god Ptah. The remains at Tanis will be spoke of later. It is in Nubia, however, that his craze for self-advertisement is most conspicuous. Omitting the names of four important sanctuaries which under any other king could not be passed over in silence, we cannot refrain from voicing our wonder at the amazing temple at Abu Simbel with its four colossal seated statues of Ramesses fronting the river. Yet in spite of all this monumental ardor, Ramesses II’s stature has undeniably suffered reduction as the result of the last half-century’s philological research. Previously the nickname Sese, given him in some later literary texts, had persuaded Maspero that he was none other than the conqueror Sesostris so widely celebrated in the classical authors. We now know that this half-mythical personage had arisen from the combination of two separate kings of Dyn. XII. The less enviable claim to have been the Pharaoh of the Oppression survives in the works of the ablest conservative scholars only in a greatly modified form, while a by no means negligible minority of historians are profoundly skeptical of the entire Exodus story. Lastly Ramesses II’s glamour as a triumphant conqueror has been much dimmed by evidence from the Boghazkoy records. None the less the events of his sixty-seven years of reign are better known and present more of interest than those of any other equal span of Egyptian history.

For the beginning of the reign, the main source is an inscription of great length known to Egyptologists by the name Inscription dedicatoire given to it by G. Maspero, its first translator. This occupies an entire wall in the temple of Sethos I at Abydos and is the main boastful account of Ramesses’s virtue in completing his father’s splendid sanctuary. The space devoted to factual narrative is small, but an important passage describes Ramesses’s promotion in early youth to the position of crown prince and subsequently his association with Sethos upon the throne: The Universal Lord himself magnified me whilst I was a child until I became ruler. He gave me the land whilst I was in the egg, the great ones smelling the earth before my face. Then I was inducted as eldest son to be Hereditary Prince upon the throne of Geb (the earth-god) and I reported the state of the Two Lands as captain of the infantry and the chariotry. Then when my father appeared in glory before the people, I being a babe in his lap, he said concerning me: ‘Crown him as king that I may see his beauty whilst I am alive.’ And he called to the chamberlains to fasten the crowns upon my forehead. ‘Give him the Great One (the uraeus-serpent) upon his head’ said he concerning me whilst he was on earth.

The accuracy of this statement has been challenged, but wrongly, since scenes at Karnak and at Kurna confirm Ramesses’s co-regency with his father. Probably, however, he was less young when the co-regency began than this passage suggests, because there is evidence that he accompanied Sethos on his military campaigns while he was still only the heir-apparent, and further because the passage just translated goes on to say that Sethos equipped him with a female household and a king’s harem ‘like to the beautiful ones of the palace’. He must have been at least fifteen years old at the time, and in guessing at the length of the co-regency, we must remember the Ramesses had still a reign of little less than seventy years ahead of him, for he undoubtedly counted his first year from his accession after Sethos’s death.

The Abydos inscription also gives us some information concerning his first actions after the accession. Like Haremhab, he had come to Thebes to take part in Amun’s great feast of Ope, when the god was carried in state in his ceremonial boat from Karnak to Luxor. The festivities over, he set forth by river to his new Delta capital, stopping at Abydos on the way to do reverence to Osiris Onnophris and to give orders for the continuation of the work on Sethos’s temple. This visit gave him the opportunity to appoint as new high-priest of Onuris at Thinis, of Hathor at Dendera, and also at some places farther south. This preferment is proudly recounted by Nebunenef, the priest in question, in his tomb at Thebes. Proceeding on his way northwards Ramesses arrived at ‘the strong place Pi-Ra’messe, Great-of-Victories’, thenceforth to be, with Memphis as an alternative, the main royal residence in the north throughout Dyns. XIX and XX. It is agreed that this town, the Biblical Ramesses, was situated on the same site as the great Hyksos stronghold of Avaris and that its principal god was Sutekh, as the name of Seth was by this time mostly pronounced. P. Montet and the present writer have strongly maintained that this was none other than the great city which was later called Dja’ne, Greek Tanis, the Zoan of the Bible. No one who has visited the site or read about its monuments in books can have failed to be impressed by the multitude of the remains dating from the reign of Ramesses II. On the other hand , some 11 miles to the south, at Khat’ana-Kantir, portions of a fine palace of Ramesses II, adorned with splendid faience tiles, have staked out a rival claim to be the true Pi-Ra’messe ‘the House of Ra’messe’, and among other scholars Labib Habachi has been particularly active and successful in finding stele and other evidence from the same neighborhood which might swing the pendulum in that direction. According to this theory, the monuments of Ramesses II at Tanis were transported there by the kings of Dyn. XXI, who are known to have chosen that city as their capital. The debate continues, and cannot be regarded as finally settled either the one way or the other.

A fine stela, of year 3 found in the fortress of Kuban in Lower Nubia, records the successful digging of a well in the land of Ikita where gold was to be found in large quantities. The King’s Son of Cush confirmed the report that when gold-workers were sent there, only half of them ever arrived; the rest perished of thirst on the way. He added that the well commissioned by Sethos I had proved a failure, unlike that in the Wady Abbad mentioned above. Doubtless the supplies of the precious metal from farther north were growing exhausted, whence it became increasingly important to utilize the desert road of the Wady ‘Allaki which opened out eastwards from near Kuban. For our purpose, however, this inscription is mainly of interest as corroborating Ramesses’ early appointment as crown-prince and his participation in all royal enterprises from his very childhood. We are told that he served as ‘captain of the army when he was a boy in his tenth year’, not an impossibility in the Orient when understood with the necessary qualification.

At the very beginning of the reign we have the first Egyptian mention of the Sherden, pirates who later undoubtedly gave their name to Sardinia, though at this time they may have been dwelling in a quite different part of the Mediterranean. A stela from Tanis speaks of their having come ‘in their war-ships from the midst of the sea, and none were able to stand before them’. There must have been a naval battle somewhere near the river-mouths, for shortly afterwards many captives of their race are seen in the Pharaoh’s body-guard, where they are conspicuous by their helmets with horns, their round shields and the great swords with which they are depicted dispatching the Hittite enemies. Little more than a century later, many Sherden are found cultivating plots of their own; these doubtless rewards given to them for their military services. But they were not the only foreigners whom Ramesses II was apt to use in this way. A literary papyrus, reflecting the conditions of his reign, describes an expeditionary force of 5,000 out of which, besides 520 Sherden, there were thrice that number of Libyans belonging to the tribes of the Kehek and Meshwesh, together with 880 Nubians. Most of these were, doubtless, prisoners of war or the children of sun, for there is no evidence that mercenaries were employed at this time, as is often erroneously stated. A great trial of strength between Egypt and the Hitites could not be delayed.

Ramose was ambitious to repeat his father’s successes in northern Syria, and Muwatallis, the grandson of Suppiluliumas, was determined to uphold the many treaties that had been made with the petty princes of that reign. The first ‘Campaign of Victory’, as large-scale Asiatic expeditions were termed in the Egyptian records, took place in year 4, when Ramesses led his troops along the coast of Palestine as far north as the Nahr el-Kelb (‘Dog-river’)a few miles beyond Beyrut, where he caused a stela, now illegible except for the date, to be carved facing the sea. To the following year belongs the mighty struggle in which Ramesses performed a personal feat of arms that he never tired of proclaiming to his subjects on the temple-walls built by him. The story is told in two separate narratives which usefully supplement one another and are illustrated by sculptured reliefs accompanied by verbal explanations. What was at first known to Egyptologists as the Poem of Pentaur is a long and flowery inscription now described simply as the ‘Poem’, though it is no more of a poem than many another historical record from other reigns. The attribution to Pentaur was dropped when it was recognized that he was merely the scribe responsible for a particular copy preserve in a papyrus shared by the Louvre and the British Museum. The text, often defective in the individual hieroglyphic examples, has been reconstructed from eight duplicates in the temples of Karnak, Luxor, Abydos, and the ‘Ramesseum, while the shorter version known as the ‘Report’ or the ‘Bulletin’ has been similarly edited from the same temples, except that it is not found at Karnak but exists in the great sanctuary of Abu Simbel.

Ramesses and his army crossed the Egyptian frontier at Sile in the spring of his fifth year, and just a month’s marching brought him to a commanding height overlooking the stronghold of Kadesh from a distance of about 15 miles. Kadesh, now Tell Neby Mend, lies in the angle formed by the northward flowing Orontes and a small tributary entering from the west, and as already stated, its great strategic importance was due to its position near the exit from the high-level valley between the Lebanons called the Bika’. Along this valley every north-bound army had necessarily to pass if it was to avoid the narrow route, intersected by rivermouths, along the Phoenician coast. Kadesh had, as we have seen, been captured by Sethos I, but had since fallen into Hittite hands. This was Ramesses’s obvious objective and the place which gave its name to the great battle about to be fought. The Egyptian army was divided into four divisions of which those bearing the names of Amun , Pre’, and Sutekh have been encountered on the stela of Sethos from Beisan, while the fourth, named after Ptah of Memphis, appears here for the first time. Ramesses having passed the night on the afore-mentioned hilltop south of Kadesh made an early start next morning, doubtless hoping to have captured the fortress-town before dusk. At the head of the division of Amun he descended some 600 feet to the ford of the Orontes just south of Shabtuna, this evidently the modern Ribla.

Either before or immediately after crossing the river, two Bedouins were brought to him who, on being questioned, declared that they had been with the Hittite king, but that they wished to desert to the Pharaoh. They also stated that the Hittites were still far away in the land of Khaleb (Aleppo) to the north of Tunip. Misled by this information Ramesses and his body-guard pushed ahead of the rest of the army, and began to set up camp to the north-west of the fortress-city some 6 or 7 miles from the ford. Obviously the wise course would have been to wait until the rest of his army had reached the left bank, so that all could have been to wait until the rest of his army had reached the left bank, so that all could have advance together. Instead of this Ramesses placed a distance of some miles between himself and the division of Pre’, while the division of Ptah was even farther back. The division of Sutekh was so far away, that it could play no part in the battle and is not heard of again. It was not until the king was seated upon his golden throne, in his final camping-place, that the unwelcome truth dawned upon him. They had passed round to the south of the town, forded the river, and cut their way through the division of Pre’. Immediately Ramesses dispatched his vizier to hasten the arrival of the division of Ptah, which as yet had barely disengaged itself from the forest of Robawi. A message was sent to the royal children to flee behind the palisade of shields surrounding the still unfinished camp and to keep clear of the fight. At this point in the two narratives Ramesses’s desire for self-glorification takes the upper-hand, and his personal prowess is dwelt upon at great length. He describes himself as deserted by his whole army and surrounded by the vast host of the Hittites, whose king had collected for his crowning enterprise auxiliaries form so far west as the Ionian coast and from his principal neighbors in Asia Minor.

There is much more in this strain before it is told how His Majesty routed the foe single-handed, hurling them into the Orontes. What actually happened? It cannot be doubted that the Egyptian king did display valor on this momentous occasion, but both the ‘Report’ and the sculptured scenes suggest that what saved Ramesses was the arrival, in the nick of time, of the youthful troops that had been mentioned earlier as stationed in the land of Amor. Perhaps we should think of them as coming up from the neighborhood of Tripoli along the road crossed by the Eleutheros river. At all events, they attacked the Hittites in the rear and completed their conquest. The Egyptian sources mention by name a number of prominent Hittites who were either drowned in the river or trodden underfoot by Ramesses’s horses. Among them a brother of the Hittite king, who himself is described as taking no part in the fight, but cowering somewhere in the background. Finally, the ‘Poem’ reports the arrival of a letter in which the Hittite ruler praises the Pharaoh’s valor in the most exaggerated terms and ends with the words ‘Better is Peace than War; give the breath (of life)’. Unhappily the Boghazkoy tablets tell a very different tale. On one of these Khattusilis, Muwatallis’s brother and successor, recalling the events of earlier years, relates how Ramesses was conquered and retreated to the land of Aba near Damascus, only to be replaced there by himself as regent. From another tablet we learn that Amor, which had perhaps been subject to the Egyptian power since the time of Sethos, now fell to Muwatallis, who replaced its king by one of his own choice. However, if the Egyptian reliefs are to be trusted, after the Kadesh episode, Ramesses enjoyed a number of military successes. In year 8 he reduced a whole series of Palestinian fortresses including Dapur in the land of Amor, though he had also been obliged to storm Ashkelon not far from the Egyptian border. There is also talk of an occasion when in fighting against a Hittite town in the territory of Tunip, he had not even troubled to don his corset. Whatever the exact truth of all these warlike proceedings, everything pointed to the necessity of ending a conflict profitable to neither side, and we shall see that this necessity was fully realized a few years later.

It was found politic to cement the friendship between the two great powers of the time in other ways as well, and a lively correspondence sprang up between the two Courts. The Boghazkoy fragments include congratulations on the conclusion of the peace treaty addressed to Khattusilis by Ramesses’s chief wife, Nofretari, by his mother Tuia, and by his son Sethikhopshef. At least eighteen letters from Ramesses himself have survived, though mostly in a poor state of preservation, and a very curious and interesting fact has revealed itself: almost identically worded tablets were sent not only to Khattusilis, but also Pudukhipa his queen. Evidently the Hittite queen played a much more important political role that the Queen of Egypt, influential and prominent though the latter was in all other respects. Much of the letter-writing between the two monarchs turns upon a marriage arranged between Ramesses and a daughter of Khattusilis. This union actually took place in year 34, when the princess was brought to Egypt and there given the name Mahornefrure’ or Manefrure’. The story is told in a great inscription of which copies were exposed to the public view at Karnak, Elephantine, Abu Simbel, and Amarna, and doubtless in other temples as well. It is difficult to imagine a less complimentary way in which relations with a friendly foreign sovereign could be presented. More than half of the hieroglyphic text is devoted to fulsome eulogies of the Pharaoh. When at last the submissive author embarks upon a narrative of facts, the account which he gives runs roughly as follows: the Syrian princes had been in the habit of sending yearly tribute to the Egyptian king, not even withholding their own children. Only Khatti held aloof, so that Ramesses found himself compelled to exact compliance by force of arms. Years of poverty ensued for Khatti, until its king decided to make overtures to his victorious enemy.

Stress is laid on the difficulties of the journey and of the many mountains and narrow defiles through which the travelers had to pass. When the Pharaoh, for his part, realized the necessity of sending troops to welcome the princess and her assemblage, he feared the rain and snow usual in Palestine and Syria in time of winter. For this reason he made a great feast for his father the god Sutekh praying him to endow mild weather, a miracle which actually occurred. The arrival in Egypt was the occasion for great rejoicing, the representation of both nations eating and drinking together and ‘being of one heart like brothers, and there being no rancor of one towards the other’. Happily the Hittite maiden’s beauty found favor in Ramesses’s sight, and she was quickly raised to the position of King’s Great Wife; if the wonderful statue of her royal husband is the Turin Museum tells the truth they must have been a handsome pair. By a strange chance, we have evidence that this alien spouse was sometimes taken to the harem kept by the sovereign at Miwer, a town at the entrance to the Fayyum. A scrap of papyrus found by Petrie lists garments and linen belonging to her wardrobe.

Though this foreign alliance was by no means, as we have seen, unique in Egyptian history and may indeed even have been repeated later in the same reign, yet it was long remembered, doubtless on account of the outstanding importance of the contracting parties. A fine stela in the Louvre, which was formerly held to narrate a kind of sequel, is now recognized as a later fiction intended to enhance the prestige of the Theban god Chons. It tells how the younger sister of Ramesses II’s Hittite queen–here, however, described as the daughter of the king of a remote country called Bakhtan–was possessed by an evil spirit, and how a messenger was dispatched to Egypt to seek medical help. After the skilled physician, Dhutemhab, failed to effect a cure, an image of Chons himself was sent and quickly exorcised the evil spirit. Whether this unhistoric narrative was the product of Ptolemaic times or earlier, its substance is truly Egyptian in character, and recalls the sending of the Ishtar of Nineveh to heal Amenophis III.

So proud was Ramesses II of his extensive progeny that it would be wrong to omit all reference to the long enumerations of his sons and daughters to be read on the walls of his temples. At Wady es-Sebua in Lower Nubia over a hundred princes and princesses were named, but the many lacunae make it impossible to compute the exact figure. From several temples it is clear that the eldest son was Amenhiwenamef, but his mother is unknown and he evidently died early. It will be recalled that Sethos I provided his youthful co-regent with a large number of concubines, and these will have been responsible for the vast majority of children about whom nothing more is heard. The most highly honored were naturally those born to Ramesses II by his successive King’s Great Wives. Queen Isinofre was the mother of four who were depicted together with her and her husband. Foremost among them is Ramesse, at a given moment the crown prince, but it was his younger brother Merenptah, the thirteenth in the Ramesseum list, who survived to succeed his father. Another son who perhaps never had pretensions to the throne was Kha’emwise, the high-priest (setem) of Ptah at Memphis. He gained great celebrity as a learned man and magician, and was remembered right down to Graeco-Roman times. It was doubtless in that capacity that he was charged with the organization of his father’s earliest Sed-festivals from the first I year 30 down to the fifth in year 42. Ramesses II lived to celebrate twelve or even thirteen in all. A daughter of Isinofre, who bore the Syrian name of Bint-anat, is of interest for a special reason: she received the title King’s Great Wife during her father’s lifetime. We cannot overlook the likelihood that she served at least temporarily as his companion. Even more frequent are the references to Queen Nofretari-mery-en-Mut, the Naptera of an already mentioned Baghazkoy letter. She is familiar to Egyptologists as the owner of the magnificently painted tomb in the Valley of the Queens on the west of Thebes. This henceforth, the burial-place of many females of the Ramesside royal family. Ramesses II himself had a tomb at Biban el-Moluk no doubt once as large and fine as that of Sethos I, but now closed owing to its dangerous condition. The great king’s mummy suffered a fate similar to that of so many of his predecessors, finally finding its way to the cache at Der el-Bahri. Until moved to the mausoleum at Cairo, his corpse could still be seen as that of a shrivelled-up old man with a long narrow face, massive jaw, and prominent nose, conspicuous also for his admirably well-preserved teeth.

That for Egypt herself the reign of Ramesses II was a period of great prosperity cannot be doubted. Monuments of the period, dated and undated, are very numerous, but are mostly memorials of individual persons throwing little or no light upon the state of the country as a whole. The value of recent attempts to construct a coherent picture out of the titles born by such individuals need not be denied, but the results thus obtained are too speculative to receive more that a passing glance in the present book. To mention here only the highest functionaries of the administrative and the priestly orders respectively, it may be noted that the vizierate was usually in the hands of a single dignitary, though as the ousts there was one vizier for Upper Egypt and another for Lower Egypt. The High-priest of Amen-Re’ at Thebes certainly retained his pre-eminence in his own sphere, but his office was not yet hereditary, and we have no means of knowing to what extent the wealth of the god’s estate had increased or diminished since the religious revolution. Two of these pontiffs are interested only to tell us by what steps and at what ages they climbed to the top of the priestly ladder. An exception to such tedious information is found on the walls of a tomb at Saqqara belonging to a no more exalted personage than a scribe of the treasury in the Memphite temple of Ptah. Here are set forth at length the proceedings in a trial in which matter at stake was the ownership of a tract of land in the neighborhood of Memphis. This estate, the plaintiff Mose maintained, had been given by King Amosis as a reward to his ancestor Neshi, a ship’s captain. Much litigation arose in subsequent generations. In the time of Haremhab, the Great Court sitting the Heliopolis and presided over by the Vizier sent a commissioner the locality where the property was, whereupon a lady named Wernero was appointed to cultivate the land as trustee for her brothers and her sisters. Objection to this arrangement having been raised by a sister named Takharu, a new division was made whereby the estate, hitherto indivisible, was parceled out between the six heirs. Against this decision Mose’s father Huy appealed together with his mother Wernero, but Huy died at this juncture, and when his widow Nubnofre set about cultivating her husband’s inheritance she was forcibly ejected by a man named Kha’y. As a consequence Nubnofre brought an action, dated to year of 18 of Ramesses II, went against hr, and it was only later that Mose, by this time presumably grown to manhood, appealed for the verdict to be reversed. His deposition was immediately followed by that of the defendant Kha’y, and it is from their combined statements that we learn what had happened. When the Vizier came to examine the title-deeds he could not fail to perceive that there had been forgery on one side or the other. Nubnofre then proposed that a commissioner should be sent with Kha’y to consult the official records of Pharaoh’s treasury and granary at the northern capital of Pi-Ra’messe. To her dismay her husband’s name was not found in the registers which the two, acting in collusion, brought back with them, and accordingly the Vizier, after further inquiry, gave judgment in favor of Kha’y, who received in consequence 13 arouras of land. To Mose, determined to recover his rights, no alternative was now open but to establish with the help of sworn witnesses the facts of his descent from Neshi and of his father’s having cultivated the estate year by year and having paid the taxes on it. The testimony afforded by the men and women cited by him, taken together with the written evidence previously used, no longer left any uncertainty as to the rightness of his cause, and though the end of the hieroglyphic inscription is lost we cannot doubt that the Great Court together with the lesser one at Memphis delivered a final verdict re-established Mose in his inheritance. The colorful and vivid story here told, though dealing with only a small estate and relatively unimportant litigants, is so illuminating that it cannot be studied with too great care. One point of importance that emerges is the equality of men and women as regards both proprietorship and competence in the law-courts.

The second half of Ramesses II’s reign seems to have been free from major wars. Khattusilis’s son and successor Tudhaliyas IV was too much absorbed with his western frontier and with his religious duties to give control to any aggressive intentions, and indeed the once so powerful Hittite Empire was already moving towards it decline. However, in keeping the peace with Khatti Egypt, was merely exchanging one adversary for another still more formidable? It was no longer a question of Egypt’s upholding her sovereignty in a distant province, now her own borders were seriously threatened. It is unnecessary to suppose that Sethos I’s conflict with the Tjehnu depicted as at Karnak was a very big affair, but it foreshadowed the trouble which was to come from that quarter before long. There is written evidence that the north-west corner of the Delta was protected from Libyan invasion by a chain of fortresses extending along the Mediterranean coast. Many stele of the time of Ramesses II have come to light near El-‘Alamein and others even still farther to the west. At Es-Sebua’ in Lower Nubia, an inscription of year 44 tells of Tjemhu captives employed in the building of the temple there. It was in the fifth year of Mereptah that the danger came to a head, the ringleader being Maraye, son of Did, the king of that tribe of Libu (Libyans) which here makes its first appearance. Among the allies of his won race were the already mentioned Kehek and Meshwesh, but he had also summoned to his aid five ‘peoples of the sea’; forerunners of the great migratory movement about to descend on Egypt and Palestine from north and west. The names of these confederates are of the utmost interest since, like the Dardanians and Luka (Lycians) who supported the Hittites at the battle of Kadesh, they introduce us, or seem to introduce us, to racial groups familiar from the early Hellenic world. The Akawasha mentioned here but never again hereafter are as a rule confidently equated with the Achaeans of Mycenaean Greece, but the writing does not quite square with that of the much disputed Ahhiyawa of the Hittite tablets, who at all events have an equal claim. The Luka appear to have played only a minor part, and occur in the Egyptian records only once again in the name of a slave. To identify the Tursha with the Tyrsenoi, often asserted to be the ancestors of the Etruscans, is too tempting to be dismissed out of hand, like the Shekresh or Sheklesh who so irresistibly recall the name of the Sikeloi or Sicilians.

The presumption that some of the Tursha and the Sheklesh fought on the side of the Egyptians is certainly due to a mistranslation. Unhappily there are no reliefs to illustrate the appearance of these enemies of Mereptah. The only clue to their identity, beyond their names, is the indication that the Libu were uncircumcised; therefore, they were made to suffer the dishonor of having the genitals of their slain piled up for presentation to the king. The Sherden, Sheklesh, Akawasha and Tursha, being circumcised as the Egyptians themselves had been from time immemorial, received only the lesser disgrace of their hands being cut off and presented instead. However, this indication complicates the problem rather than the reverse. We may perhaps sum up the probabilities regarding these ‘peoples of the sea’ by saying that since all their names so readily find affinities in the Hellenic world, some at least of the proposed identifications are likely to be correct. However, there is no guarantee that the tribes in question were already located in the places where they ultimately settled down.

The details of Merenptah’s great victory over the invaders were recounted in a long inscription carved on a wall of the temple of Karnak. The topmost blocks of the vertical columns of hieroglyphs having disappeared, not enough remains to slake our curiosity; nor is the situation remedied by some equally defective narratives from elsewhere. What we do glean, however, is highly interesting. It was no mere excursion in quest of plunder that had been attempted, but permanent settlement in a new home. Maraye and his allies had brought their women and children with them, as well as cattle and a wealth of weapons and utensils which were subsequently captured. Yet, it was want that had prompted them to this venture.

Such was the nature of the Libyans as it appeared to Merenptah on hearing of the graver attack that now confronted him. The attack must have come from pretty far west, from Cyrenaica or even beyond, since Maraye’s first move was to descend upon and occupy the land of Tjehnu. It was not long before they had plundered the frontier fortresses, and some of them had even penetrated to the oasis of Farafra. The Great River or Canopic branch of the Nile marked, however, the limit of their advance, and the decisive battle, when it came, seems to have been at an unidentified locality named Pi-yer, doubtless well within the Delta. It is plain that Merenptah himself took no part in the struggle. He must have been already an old man when he came to the throne. Still the victory was naturally credited him, after he had seen in a dream a great image of the god Ptah who handed him a scimitar saying ‘Take hold here and put off the faint heart from thee’. Six hours of fighting sufficed to rout the enemy, the wretched Maraye escaping capture by fleeing homeward at dead of night. The total of Libyans killed exceeded 6,000, not counting many hundreds of the allies, and of prisoners taken there seem to have been more than 9,000. These at least are the figures which emerge form the two damaged sources at our disposal, but of course we must make allowance for the usual exaggeration. The mention of Israel in Egyptian writing is unique, and could not fail to be disturbing to scholars who at the time of the discovery in 1896 mostly believed Merenptah to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The explanations now given are numerous. Actually, the name does not occur again in non-Biblical sources until after the middle of the ninth century BC, when Mesha King of Moab is said to have fought with Israel. That Merenptah actually did put forth some military activity in Palestine is confirmed by the epithet ‘reducer of Gezer’ which he receives in an inscription at Amada.

Otherwise, conditions on the north-eastern front appear to have remained peaceful and normal. Extracts from the journal of a border official, dated in Merenptah’s year 3, enumerate the successive sendings of dispatches to different garrison-commanders and other persons, among them the prince of Tyre. A literary papyrus, probably written in Merenptah’s reign, contains a composition which is as instructive as it is amusing. This professes to be the reply by a scribe, Hori, to a letter just received from his friend the scribe Amenemope. After the elaborate greetings and compliments, Hori expresses his disappointment and then launches out on a long ironic demonstration of Amenemope’s incompetence. The helpers, whom he has called to his aid, have not improved matters. Various situations are cited in proof of the criticisms: Amenemope has failed in his tasks of supplying the troops with rations, of building a ramp, of erecting a colossal statue, and so forth. But it is his ignorance of northern Syria which comes in for the severest condemnation. Many well-known places are named which this pretender to the rank of maher has never visited or where some trouble or other has befallen him. He has never reached Beisan or crossed the Jordan. He knows nothing about Byblos or Tyre. His horse has run away and his chariot has been smashed. Even towns as near at hand as Raphia and Gaza are unknown to him. Needless to say, one of the chief reasons for writing this strange work has been to give the author the chance of airing his own knowledge. Historically the text is enlightened inasmuch as there must have been a class of able scribes who had an intimate acquaintance with Palestine and Syria and were accustomed to travel there without mishap.

It is under Ramesses II, at latest, that an entirely different source of cultural and historical information begins to assume outstanding importance. Whether or not the Pharaoh now lived at and governed from one or other of the Delta capitals, he always aspired to burial in the ancestral necropolis of skilled workmen was continuously engaged upon the excavation and decoration of his tomb in the Biban el-Moluk. These men and their families formed a special community dwelling in the village of Der el-Medina high up in the desert above the great funerary temple of Amenophis III and every aspect of their lives and interests is revealed in the writings found either here or in the actual place of their daily work. Papyrus being comparatively rare, expensive and perishable, most of what has survived is inscribed on the scraps of limestone and the pot-shreds which lay on the ground only asking to be used and which Egyptologists known under the somewhat inappropriate name of ‘ostraca’. Thousands have been published and thousands more await publication in our museums or in private hands. Besides literary, religious, and magical fragments there are records of barter, payment of wages in corn or copper, hire of donkeys for agricultural purposes, lawsuits, attendance at and absences from work, visits of high officials, model and actual letters, in fact memoranda of every kind. No synthesis can be here attempted, but it was necessary to mention a mass of material through which a restricted, but not significant, picture of Ramesside life can be brought before the eyes of the modern reader.

Merenptah was an old man when he died, bald and obese. His end may have been thought to be approaching as early as his eighth year, when the preparations for his funeral were being actively pursued. Nevertheless, he lingered on for two years more. No doubt he was buried in the granite sarcophagus of which the beautiful lid is still to be seen in this tomb in the Biban el-Moluk, but at some later period his mummy was moved to the tomb of Amenophis II, where Loret discovered it in 1898. With his death, we enter upon a series of rather short reigns, the sequence of which has been much debated. The problem is of the kind at once the joy and the torment of Egyptologists. Prominent here again is the question of superimposed cartouches, another royal name being substituted for one that has been chiseled out. Arguments based upon this procedure are, as has been already said, highly uncertain. Apart from the difficulty of deciding which name lies uppermost, there always remains the possibility that this belonged to the earlier of the two kings, having been restored as the result of some loyalty or animosity which cannot now be understood. Here the reader must rest content with a bare statement of what seems the most probable course of events. There is little doubt but that Merenptah was followed by his son SetI-merenptah, mostly known as Sethos II. Memoranda on ostraca mention both the date of his accession and that of his death, this latter occurring in his sixth year. In the meantime, a certain Neferhotep, one of the two chief workmen of the necropolis, had been replaced by another named Pneb, against whom many crimes were alleged by Neferhotep’s brother Amennakhte in a violently worded indictment preserved in a papyrus in the British Museum. If Amennakhte can be trusted, Pneb had stolen stone for the embellishment of his own tomb from that of Sethos II still in course of completion, besides purloining or damaging other property belonging to that monarch. Also he had tried to kill Neferhotep in spite of having been educated by him, and after the chief workman had been killed by ‘the enemy’ had bribed the vizier Pra’emhab in order to usurp his place. Whatever the truth of these accusations, it is clear that Thebes was going through very troubled times.

There are references elsewhere to a ‘war’ that had occurred during these years, but it is obscure to what this word alludes, perhaps to no more than internal disturbances and discontent. Neferhotep had complained of the attacks upon himself to the vizier Amenmose, presumably a predecessor of Pra’emhab, whereupon Amenmose had punished Pneb. This trouble-maker had then brought a complaint before ‘Mose’, who had deposed the vizier from his office. Evidently this ‘Mose’ must have been a personage of the most exalted station, and it seems inevitable to identify him with an ephemeral king Amenmesse whose brief reign may have fallen either before or within that of Sethos II. A tomb belonging to Amenmesse exists in the Biban el-Moluk, but it is a relatively poor affair in which most of the decorations have been erased, though enough of the inscriptions remains to furnish us with the name of his mother Takha’e, possibly a daughter of Ramesses II. The monument of Sethos II are scanty, the most imposing being a small temple in the forecourt at Karnak, and nothing more is known about the events of his reign. In his well-decorated tomb his cartouches have been erased and later replaced, the erasure being perhaps the handiwork of Amenmesse. Elliot Smith, describing his mummy found in the tomb of Amenophis II, speaks of him as a young or middle-aged man.

His immediate successor was a son who was at first given the name Ra’messe-Siptah, but who for some mysterious reason changed it to Merenptah-Siptah before the third year of his reign. He is closely associated in most of his few inscriptions with an important functionary named bay, who boasts of having been ‘the great chancellor of the entire land’. There is good reason for thinking that Bay was a Syrian by birth, possibly one of those court officials who in this age frequently rose to power by the royal favor. In two graffitis, he receives the highly significant epithet ‘who established the king upon the seat of his father’ and it is almost certain that he was in fact the actual ‘king-maker’. The epithet in question implies that Siptah was a son of Sethos II, but it is unknown of his accession since he was still young when he died after a reign of perhaps not more than six years. There now comes upon the scene a remarkable woman of the name of Twosre. Jewelry discovered by Theodore Davis in a nameless cache of the Biban el-Moluk shows her to have been Sethos II’s principal wife. A silver bracelet depicts her standing before her husband and pouring wine into his outstretched goblet. It is a strange and unprecedented thing that three contemporaries should all have possessed tombs in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings. The tomb of Bay is small and unadorned, but still its location testifies to the power which he must have exercised. Siptah’s tomb, in which his mummy doubtless lay until shifted to that of Amenophis II, is much more imposing, but the cartouches on its walls have been cut out and later replaced, like those in the tomb of Sethos II.

Twosre’s tomb is even more intriguing. Here she bears the title King’s Great Wife by virtue of her marriage to Sethos II, but an isolated scene shows her standing behind Siptah who is offering to the earth-god. Siptah’s name has been destroyed and that of Sethos II substituted for it. Since there are excellent reasons for thinking that Sethos was the earlier of the two kings, this replacement must have been due to Twosre’s later preference to be depicted with the king who had been her actual husband. Subsequently Sethnakhte, the founder of Dyn. XX, took possession and possibly destroyed Twosre’s mummy, after someone had removed, to a place of safety, the jewelry above mentioned. The sole hypothesis, which seems to account for these complicated facts, supposes that when Bay forced the youthful Siptah onto the throne, Twosre was compelled to accept the situation. She still retained sufficient power to insist on having her own tomb in the Valley, an honor previously accorded to only one other royalty of female sex, namely Hashepsowe, Tuthmosis III’s aunt. Like Hashepsowe, Twosre ultimately assumed the titles of a Pharaoh and possibly reigned alone for a few years. Siptah had caused a small funerary temple to be built for himself to the north of the Ramesseum at Thebes, and here the name of Bay figures with his own on the foundation deposits, a startling fact that goes far towards demonstrating the interpretation here given. Of Twosre only one stray intrusive scarab was found there. Twosre’s separate funerary sanctuary to the south of the Ramesseum may have been begun at the same time or else may be somewhat later. Here she assumed a second cartouche which is also found combined with the first on a plaque said to come from Kantir in the Delta, and there are a few more traces of her reign in the north, and even at the turquoise mines of Sinai. Manetho ends Dyn. XIX with a king Thuoris said to have reigned seven years, and there can be but little doubt that the distorted name and erroneous sex recall the existence of the third woman in Egyptian history who had possessed ability enough to wrest to herself the Double Crown, but whose power had been insufficient to secure the perpetuation of her dynastic line.

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