N. M. Bondarenko EVOLUTION OF THE OFFICE OF “GOD’S WIFE” IN ANCIENT EGYPT
EVOLUTION OF THE OFFICE OF “GOD’S WIFE” IN ANCIENT EGYPT
N. M. Bondarenko
MA Student Department of Ancient and Medieval History, the Faculty of History, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv 60, Volodymyrska Str., Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine firstname.lastname@example.org
Annotation. The article is devoted to the study of the influence of the religious female title of “God’s Wife”, which was the highest religious female title in Ancient Egypt. Throughout the history of different Dynasties, it took on political overtones. As the prestige of this title grows, so does the role and status of women in society. It reached its apogee in the 18th dynasty, during the reign of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. We can trace the evolution of the title and the changes in its functionality. The most interesting were the conditions and reasons for these changes.
The title “God’s Wife of Amun” gained a special rise during the reign of the 18th Dynasty and the Third Intermediate Period. King Ahmose I, the founder of the 18th Dynasty, gave this title to his wife Ahmose-Nefertari. After the reign of Thutmose III, the title lost its initial influence. During the reign of the 19th Dynasty, it was owned by only two women – the wives of Ramesses I and Seti I. In the Third Intermediate Period, the queen, usually the king’s daughter, had to ensure the king’s influence already in Thebes. Later, with the increase of the priesthood of Amun, the God’s Wife took more and more care of the temple in Karnak. As for the contribution of the God’s Wife to the history of Ancient Egypt, the most significant were the cult temples. The main task of the queens, the holders of the title “God’s Wife”, was to ensure the support of the king and the ruling dynasty. At the same time, it allowed women in Ancient Egypt to gain unprecedented religious and political influence.
Keywords: “God’s Wife”, title, Thebes, High Priest of Amun, Ancient Egypt, gender, women in Ancient Egypt
Preislamic Near East 2021, (2):27-32
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