The wives of the Egyptian kings: dynasties I-XVII
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:19 authored by Vivienne Gae Callender
Aims of this study: The present work is, necessarily, heavily indebted to the work of these scholars, but the aim of this study differs from theirs, in that its primary attempt has been to focus on the historic position of the individual queens from Dynasty I - XVII. As a consequence, the prosopographical aspect of the individual has taken a priority in the research. A prosopographical register of queens is provided in Volume III of this study. The entries are not intended to be major studies of individual queens but, rather, a compendium of source material for further research. To this end a fairly comprehensive bibliography accompanies each entry, as well as a summary of significant elements relating to the queen's tomb - where these details are known. Each entry provides a list of titles held by the queen, together with any discussion that had bearing on the individual but, unlike the previous studies, I have not listed every occasion on which the individual's titles appeared, since that has been adequately covered by the works already mentioned. To avoid unnecessary discussion within the entries, a commentary on each of the titles has been given in Chapter 2. Volume I of this work consists of a collection of studies on aspects of queenship between Dynasties I - XVII. However, while it is appreciated that the king's mother had an even more esteemed role to play than that of the king's wife, the royal mother has not been the central focus of this study. Rather, the aim of these separate chapters has been to select major issues affecting the wives of the kings during the designated period. The major issue of the religious implications inherent in the role of the royal women has not been discussed as a unitary issue (although comments on particular individuals regarding this aspect have been made in the prosopographical register). Troy's study has already dealt more than adequately with this aspect of queenship, and the present dissertation aims not at reiterating material already provided elsewhere, but at reviewing the position of the queen from an historical perspective. For the same reason, the iconographic aspects of queenship have not been collected into a unit, but the significant iconographic instances relating to individual queens have been discussed in the prosopographical entries. However, in those chapters which survey the position of the queen for the major periods (Chapters 4, 5 and 7), an overview of the evidence from the monuments, the titulary and the iconography for that period is provided there. The earliest chapter looks at the titles given to the queen throughout the period indicated and, as was the intention of the dissertation as a whole, the treatment of this subject has taken an historic, rather than a generic perspective. The same approach has been taken in the discussion on the harim, in Chapter 3. The remaining chapters look at problems and issues arising from the Early Dynastic period, the Old Kingdom and the period from Dynasty XI - XVII. These separate studies conclude with a chapter on the hmt ntr n Jmn, one of the most prestigious offices held by some of the queens at the end of the Seventeenth Dynasty, and already the subject of two important monographs. In that chapter an examination of Gitton's thesis has been undertaken, in the light of the re-evaluation of the genealogy of the late Seventeenth Dynasty, some of which has bearing on Gitton's conclusions. As a result of these studies it is hoped that some further understanding of the status of the wives of the Egyptian kings may begin to emerge, and significant patterns and alterations to their roles in Egyptian society may become apparent.