an  arrow  at  a  copper  target,  (an  arrow)  that  went  right  through  it
and  dropped  to  the  ground…. I  g
Amenophis  II  was  the  first  king  born  to  mpire,  and  in  him  we detect
a  congenital  “imperialist”  spirit.  His  contempt  for  “lesser  breeds  without
the  law”  is  as  manifest  as  his  pride  in  his  strength.  Yet withal  he  shows  a
trace  of commendable wit.  A  letter,  fascinating  because  of its  lack  of con
vention,  which  he  sent  to  the  viceroy  of Nubia,  was  set  on  stone  by  this
flattered  worthy,  and  has  luckily  survived.  The  date  is  the  twenty-third
anniversary  of his  accession  (November,  1428  B.C.)  and  the  venue  the
harem. The king,  the text  tells us, was drinking wine (which in part explains
the tenor of  the missive).  After complimenting himself on his  total victory,
and  his  viceroy  on  his  prowess  as  a  faithful  warrior,  the  king  proceeds  to
characterize  himself as  “[the slaughterer of the]  Naharinian,  he who  sealed
the  fate  of  the Hittite,  and  the  [owner?]”  of various  cities  in  Syria.  Each  is
contemptuously identified metaphorically as  a female:  Sangar is  a slave-girl,
Byblos  a maidservant,  Alalakh*  a  little  girl,  and  Arapkha  an  old  woman.
“And the Takhsians,”* continues Pharaoh,  “they have nothing at all!  Really,
what are they good for?  .. Don’t have any truck with the Nubians! Beware
of  their people and  their magicians.  See  to  the  tax of  the sharecroppers  …
don’t  listen  to  their words  and  don’t meddle  in  their  affairs!”

It  is  difficult  to  criticize  or advise  a  god-king whose  every  scheme  and
feat  of strength  succeeds  beyond  the wildest  dream.  How  ludicrous  in  the
mouth of Amenophis  II  is  the  solicitation of counsel  from  his  court,  a  for
mula  that  the  literature  of the  times  demanded!  Something  of the  impos
sibility  of the  situation  seems  to  come  through  in  the  text  describing  the
investiture of Ken-amun  as  steward of Peru-nefer:
[His] Majesty [appeared] upon the great [seat] on  the dais of electrum,

[and the princes] and courtiers [were ushered in]  in  two rows on either

side of him.  Then  [His Majesty]  said  to  them  … “My desire  is  that

a  [steward]  be  appointed  … on whom my heart  can  rely…. Let

each man say what he knows,  and  the king himself shall  do what he

suggests.”  Then  they  said  to  the  king:  ” … shall  Horus  who  is  in

heaven be  led and guided across  the  sky? Shall  directives be  given  to

the acquaintance ofPtah, * the patron ofcrafts? Shall Thoth* be taught about  speech?  … If thou  givest  thine  attention  to  him who  knows
nothing,  by  the  next day  he  is  cI  vercr  than  the wise…. Thou art
Re,  and  nothing  fail  that  thou  hast ordained!20
The contemporary perception ofkingship had indeed created som  brittle
icons!  The  roles  the  king  and  his  court were  forced  to  play  were  virtually
those  of opera  buJfa;  shallow,  narrow,  and  comic.  Had  the  “Horus-throne
of the  Living”  be  n  redu  ed  to  fit  the  rump  of a macho,  posturing  pooh­

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be  put  into writing.  He  used  to  shoot  at  a  copper  target  … in  fact
His Majesty  put one such  in  the  temple of Amun (on  display):  it was
an  ingot  of beaten  copper,  three  fingers  thick,  with  his  arrow  stuck
in  it,  having passed  through and protruding on the other side by thr  e
handbreadths …. I speak  accurately of what he did  … there  is  not
fabrication-after all,  it was in  the presence ofhis entire army!-there
is  not one word of  exaggeration  in  it.  Whenever he  spent a little  time
in  relaxation,  hunting  in  any  foreign  land,  the  number of animals  he
bagged would  be  more  than  that  of the  entire  army.  He  shot  seven
lions  in  the space of  a moment,  and  bagged  … twel ve wild  bulls  in
one hour!!
The sporting  tradition was  taken  up  and  exploited  to  the  full  by Thut­
mose’s  son,  Amenophis  II,  the  true  “muscle-man”  of the  dynasty.  The
mummy and statuary of  this king show him  to have been very much a scion
of the Thutmosids: a thickset man,  relatively short,  with a round fleshy  face
and  a boyish,  cherubic appearance  that  belied  his  ferocity.  He never  tires  of
telling  us  in  his  inscriptions  that  no  one  else  in  the  kingdom  could  match
him  in  feats  of strength  and  endurance.  “There was  none  like  him  among
the  vast  numbers  of troops.  Not  one  of them  could  draw  his  bow;  none
could outrun him.  Strong-armed was he,  one who never got exhausted when
he  took his  oar:  He could  row  in  the stern  of his  ‘Hawk-boat,’  the equal of
twenty men.”

Like  his  father,  Amenophis exc  lied  in  archery.  But one senses  from  his
statements  a gnawing desire  to  surpass  his  sire.
He drew  300  stiff bows,  while  comparing  the work of  their makers,
in  order  to  distinguish  the  incompetent  from  the  competent.  Now
after  he  came out  from  doing what  I have just  told  you,  he  entered
his  northern garden,  and  found  set up  for him  four  targets of Asiatic
copper,  (each)  one palm  thick,  and spaced  twenty cubits  (a  little over
thirty-three  feet)  from  each other.  Then His Majesty  appeared  upon
his  chariot  like Montu  in  his  power.  He  seized  his  bow,  grabbed  a
fistful  of arrows,  and  drove  north  shooting  at  each  one  like Montu
in his  regalia,  his  arrows  passing  right out  the  backs  of  them…. It
was  a deed  never  seen  before,  nor heard  of  in  gossip,  viz.  shooting

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The  Image  Of  Pharaoh
It  would  be  strange,  in  the  light  of the  drastic  changes  that  had  overtaken
Egypt  in  so  short  a  time,  if the  image  of Pharaoh  did  not  undergo  an  al­
teration as well. And,  in fact,  the imperial pharaoh was consid  rably different
from  his  dignified  ancestors  who  had  occupied  the  “Horus-throne  of the
Living”  in  centuries  past.  In  contrast  to  the  austere and  remote  bng of  the
Pyramid Age who  rarely  appear  d  outside his  palace,  the Middle Kingdom
had  created  the  image of  the  “strong-man”  king who  “acted with  his  own
arm.” The Amenemhets  and  the  Senuserts were mighty warriors who per­
sonally  led  their  troops  in  battle.  They  revealed  their divine nature  in  their
ability  to  lay  detailed  plans  without  help  from  their  courtiers,  and  then  to
put plans  into effect  through  their  own  (physical)  strength.
This aspect  of  the king  as  administrative and military genius was all  but
lost during  the  13th Dynasty and  the Hyksos period,  but it  reappeared with
the  rise  of the  new  Theban  dynasty  in  the  south.  The  ideal  was  enhanced
by  the  international situation:  the Thebans were involved  in  a life-and-death
struggle  with  the  Hyksos.  The  prolonged  period  of hostility,  when  their
efforts  were  directed  solely  toward  winning  the  war,  profoundly  shaped
their attitudes.  Small wonder,  then,  that with the emergence of the victorious
18th Dynasty,  the  ruler  should  have  assumed  once  again  the mantle of the
Middle Kingdom  warrior-king.  The military  aspect  of kingship  thus  con­
tinued,  but with a new and  important element added:  the  image of pharaoh
as  a  healthy  athlete and  sportsman,  with  a  perfect  physique.

There  is  evidence  that Ahmose had already  cultivated  this  physical  ideal
of kingship,  and its  roots may  in  fact  be found  in  the practice of  fishing  and
fowling of the Middle Kingdom monarch; 15  but we first see the “sportsman­
king”  as  a  full-blown motif in  literature during  the  reign  of Thutmose  III.
The chatty,  first-person  narrative  by  a  court  scribe,  describing  the mighty
acts  of strength of the  king,  whether on  the battlefield  or  in  the  hunt,  had
by  this  reign  become  a  full-fledged  literary  genre.  One of th  earliest  ex­
amples,  the Armant  stele  of Thutmose  III,  runs  as  follows:
(This  is)  a  compilation of the  deeds  of mighty  valor  that  this  Good
God performed, viz.  every successful deed of  (personal)  bravery….
If they  were  recounted  individually  they  would be  too  numerous  to

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empire is  the wandering bedouin with his  flocks.  To pasture his  animals  in
the Delta and  eat of  the  plentiful  food  produced  there  remained  the  goal of
many  a  tribesman  from  the  Negeb.  By  establishing  fortifications  at  Sile, *
the  entry  into Egypt of  the  road  from  Caza,  and  in  the Wady Tumilat*  to
the  south,  pharaoh’s  government  sought  to  control  the  ingress  of the  no­
mads.  Entry  quotas were  set  up,  and  entry  times  restricted  to  certain  days
of the  month.  Nevertheless  it  was  still  possible  to  meet  sizable  clans  of
bedouins  in  the  Delta,  tending  to  their  flocks  and  carrying  on  their  own
customs,  uninfluenced  by  their  surroundings.  In  a  New  Kingdom  school
text, a father scolds his wayward son in a “model” letter: “you are wandering
like  a  swallow  with  its  young!  You  have  reached  the  Delta  after  a  long
journey, where you mingle with Asiatics,  and have eaten br  ad  (mix  d) with
your own blood!”  (a  reference  to  a  tribal  ritual  of blood brotherhood). 13  A
renegade  groom steals  from  his  master,  a military  officer,  then  runs  away:
“Now he has  entered  right  into evil  (ways):  he mixes with  the  tribes  of  the
Shasu,* having  adopted  the  guise of an Asiatic!”1

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transported by  his  troops  to  Egypt  and  distributed  to  the  tcmple  estates. TO
Four generations after the founding of the empire the Asiatic slave population
of Egypt was  so numerous  that Amenophis  III  could  peak of his mortuary
temple  as  “fill  d  with male  and  female  slaves,  the  children of the  chiefs  of
all  the foreign lands,  the captivity ofHis Majesty …  their number is  beyond
knowing,  (the  temple itself being)  surrounded by  the settlements of Syria.”
Apart  from  captives  of war who,  of course,  had  no  choice,  Canaanit  s
and Syrians began of  their own free  will  to  £lock  to Egypt.  Commerce was
a  great  attraction,  and  the  Syrian  merchant  soon  becam  a  fixture  in  the
Memphite marketplace.  Hi  strange West  Semitic dialect was  also  heard  in
the  streets  of the  major  cities  of the  Delta,  and  Canaanite  loanwords,  cs­
pecially  techni  a1  terms,  began  to  turn up  in  Egyptian  its  If.  Indeed,  “to do
business  in  the  tongue of Syria”  is  the Egyptian  expression  for  “haggling”
over  a  price! 11  Some  quarters  in  the  larger  cities  were  s  t  a  ide  for  Asiatic
residents. 12  Thus at Memphis we hear of the “camp of the Tyrians,” centered
upon a  “temple of Ba’al of Memphis,”  and  a  “house of Ba’al  and Astarte”
at  Peru-nefer near Memphis.  Similarly,  the Canaanite goddesses  of  fertility
Anat and Kadesha  found  places  on  the periph  ry  of  the Egyptian  pantheon;
and  Reshef the Canaanite  god  of war  enjoyed  a  cult  center  somewhere  in
the Delta.  Though  the  presence of these  alien  deities  in  Egypt must  be  set
down  to  the  religious  needs  of the  new  resident  Canaanites,  these  strange
foreign  gods began shortly to exert an attraction on native Egyptians.  Their
names were  transliterated  into hieroglyphic,  their  representations  cast  in an
Egyptian style, and occasionally their myths were even translated into Egyp­tian.

Merchant  or  POW  the  first  expatriate  Syrians  may  have  been,  but  by
the end of the 15th century B. C. Canaanites in Egypt had graduated to higher
roles.  They  are  found  in  the  priesthood,  as  palace  functionaries,  and  occa­
sionally  in  the  “Foreign Office.” Many of them  were  pr  ssed  into  service
in the army, where w  see the Syrian spearman side by side with the Sudanese
black  (PI.  2. I).  Those  in  higher  offices  were  sometimes  given  Egyptian
names,  usually  compounded with  the  name of the  reigning  king.
One class of Asiatic whose presenc  in  Egypt,  though not desired  by  the
Egyptians,  can  still  from  time  to  time  be  detected  in  these  halcyon  days  of

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coveted the  manufactured  goods  her  new  dependencies  could  produce  or
acquire  through  trade.  Weapons  of war,  including  swords,  shields,  armor,
bows,  and  chariots were  included  in  every  quota  set  for  Syrian  towns.  Es­
pecially  sought after were  the costly  and  elaborately  crafted vases  of metal­
work which  Syria  could  produce.

The  reception  of these  taxes  and  tributes  in  Egypt was  often  organiz  d
as  a  gala  event.  Here  is  the  description  of a  presentation  of Nubian  gifts
during  the  reign  of Amenophis  II,  taken  from  a monument of User-satet,
the  viceroy.

His Majesty  appeared  on  th  midst of Thebes  on  the  great  dais  …
then  [this1army  [brought  in]  the  tribute of  the southern  lands  before
this Good God  (the king),  while  the entourage offered adulation and
the  army  saluted His Majesty  saying,  “Great  is  thy  power,  0  Good
God!  … This tribute is more numerous than (that of  all  other)  lands,
and  has  not  previously  been  seen,  since  the  time  of the  ancestors  of
former  times!  But  it  has  happened  unto  thee,  0  Our Lord!” Tally of
th  se bearing this  tribute:  those bearing [silverI.  200 men;  those bear­
ing  gold,  ISO  [menJ;  those  laden  with  Ipn
;<t-stone, * 200  men;  those
laden  with  ivory,  [3]  40 men;  those  laden  with  ebony,  [,000  men;
those  laden  with  a  variety  of [fine]  aromatics  of the  southern  lands,
200 men;  … those who bring a live panther,  10 men;  those bringing
dogs, 20 men; those bringing long- and short-horned  attle 200 m[en];
total  of those  bearing  this  tribute,  2,657ImenJ.

Cosmopolitan  Egypt
The  New  Kingdom  is  the  first  period  in  Egyptian  history  since  the  Old
Kingdom when  large  numbers  of  true  slaves  are  found  along  the Nile;  and
this  social  phenomenon  resulted  directly,  a  we  have  seen,  from  the  wars
of foreign  conquest.  The principal  beneficiaries  were,  at  first,  the  temples.
To the temple of Annm primarily and later also  to  the temple  of other gods
and  the  Theban  mortuary  temples  of the  18th-Dynasty  kings  went  large
numbers ofPOWs. Thutmose III dedicated  1,588 Syrian prisoners  to Amun
from  his  Asiatic  campaigns,  while Thutmose  IV  dedicated  the  captive  in­
habitant  of the  Canaanite  town  of Gezer  to  the  service  of his  mortuary
temple.  If we  are  to  b  lieve  Amenopbis  II,  89,600  Asiatic  prisoners  were

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guage  and  customs  they  had  had  no  opportunity  to  learn.  But  from  the
Egyptian point of view,  the advantage of having Egyptianized  rulers  in  the
subject  states  could not be  gainsaid.

To faciliate Egyptian control, Palestine and Syria were divided into broad
groupings of  city-states,  based loosely on geographical considerations. Each
such provincial division was placed under an “overseer of the northern coun­
tries”  (Akkadian* Jakin mati,  “territorial governor”) sent out from  the Egyp­
tian  court  and  usually  headquartered  in  a  major  city.  Thus  Gaza  was  the
residence  of the  governor  assigned  the  oversight  of Canaan  north  to  Es­
draelon,  Megiddo  (later  Beth-shan)  the  headquarters  for  the  upper Jordan
and  Transjordan,  Kumidi  in  the  Bekaa  the  district  capital  for  Damascus,
Galilee,  and  the  Golan,  and  Ullaza  (later  Sumur)  on  the  Phoenician  coast
the control center for  the Phoenician coast and Amurru. Often the governor
was  assisted  by  a  scribal  staff and  a  small  garrison  of Egyptian  archers.
Although  the  garrisons  were  not  numerically  large-examples  range  from
50  to  200  troop:.-they  had  the  reputation  of being  crack  fighting  forces,
and Canaanite mayors and princes often vied with one another in  beseeching
pharaoh  to  supply  such  a  peace-keeping  force  to  their  towns  as  well  as  to
the  district  capital.  The  governor was  responsible  for  the  general  policing
of his  district,  the  prompt  despatch  of taxes,  and  the  execution  of special
orders  from  pharaoh’s  court.

Every year a  tax assessor and his  party of  scribes made  the  rounds of  the
provinces,  both  in Asia  and  the Sudan,  to establish  the quotas  to  be paid  in
the  coming months.  Let  the  chief construction  engineer  and  king’s  scribe
Minmose describe  this  task, which he pursued under Thutmose ILl:  “[I trod]
Upper R  tjenu* after my lord (the king),  and 1assessed  the taxes of[Upper]
Retjenu*  [in  silver,  gol]d,  lapis,  various  semiprecious  stones,  chariots  and
horses  without  number,  cattle  and  flocks  in  similar  multitudes;  and  1 in­
formed  the chiefs  of Syria what was  their  yearly  labor.  1 (also)  assessed  the
taxes  of the  chiefs  of Nubia,  in  e1ectrum,  … in  gold,  ivory,  ebony,  nu­
merous  boats  of  dam-wood  (a  kind  of  palm),  this  being  the  yearly
quota….9  The  commodities  demanded  varied  with  the  natural  products
of the  districts.  The  plain  of Esdraelon  to  the  northeast  of Megiddo  grew
wheat  for  pharaoh’s  court,  while Lebanon  despatched  cedar  logs  60  cubits
(100 feet)  in length  for Egyptian shipyards. Wine and oil were exacted  from
southern  Palestine,  lead  from  Syria,  and  copper  from  Cyprus.  Egypt  also

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