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His kingship is eternal: a study of rhetorical stelae from the Ramesside period
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 00:48 authored by Brenan Dew
"Rhetorical stelae" are a collection of monumental texts dating to the Ramesside Period of New Kingdom Egypt, whose sole purpose, it appears, was to praise and promote the king as both a victorious and pious devotee to the gods, without reference to a particular event or occasion. These stelae were first grouped and classified by K. A. Kitchen in his volumes on Ramesside inscriptions, however they have never attracted scholarly interest, due to their reputation as ahistorical texts. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive investigation into these rhetorical stelae, through an analysis of both their content (including textual themes, composition, presentation and iconography) and context (historical and physical settings). This methodology is modelled on the work of A. Spalinger, who applied a literary analysis to a small number of these texts before commenting on their historicity. It is hoped that this undertaking will re-establish the significance of rhetorical stelae as a historical source, by demonstrating the especial role of these monuments in the promotion of the king through proliferation of his name and ideology.