Παρασκευή, 30 Ιανουαρίου 2009

The Role of Noble Women in Egypt`s foreign relations from the times of Thutmosis III to the times of Ramesses II

I) References:
a. Sources: Amarna Leters, Bogazkoy archives, Commemorative Scarabs, Pharaonic inscriptions (eg. The Marriage Stela of Ramesses II)
Description and Chronology.
b. Royal names and Identities: Egyptian and foreign names (eg. Queens Tiye, Dahamunzu, Nefertari, Tuya, princesses Meritaten-Mayati, Tadukhepa, and others).
c. Cases of References:
Ø In a standard wish in letters.
Ø In cases of marriage for political reasons.
Ø Participation in politics.
Ø Greetings (Nefertari and Tuya)
Ø Others (eg. ´Servant of Mayati`)
So: 1. Egyptian Noble Ladies are referred :
- As senders of diplomatic letters.
- As receivers of diplomatic letters.
- In general references in political power or action.
- One case of diplomatic marriage (Dahamunzu) and two hypothetical.
2. Foreign Royal Ladies are referred:
- As to get married to a Pharaoh.
- As senders of diplomatic letters.
- As receivers of diplomatic letters.
- Some indirect references (queen Juni, wife of Tushratta).

II) Commentary on the References: what do they show?
(eg. Participation only, participation and action, and if there is action, how it is expressed? consultancy, marriage etc.)

Points of commentary:

Why these Egyptian noble ladies and not all of them? Do they have anything in common in their aspect of Queenship?
- did they were allowed to participate anyway, as their foreign partners did the same? ( difference of Tiye to Nefertari)
- only because it is the only data we have? What do we know about other queens?
Royal Marriages:
a. of Egyptian women.
- What is the general rule for Egyptian women?
- The Hypothetical case of Niqmaddu of Ugarit (´vase de Marriage`)
- The Dahammunzu case.
Ø Textual evidence: what the texts say, problems interpretation of an event in later times in ´Deeds…`.
Ø What does it make the difference in this case?
To understand that, the actual period and the exact person must be known (Ankhesenamun, Nefertiti or Meritaten?).
b. of foreign women.
- did they themselves had any action in the arrangement of a marriage?
- What was their place in the royal palace?
- The case of dowry. The economical role of a royal marriage. In which extent did the dowry come to the royal harim? Did the Queen of Egypt have any participation to the arrangements?

Zeta Xekalaki, Ph.D Egyptology

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