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8. Who is this mysterious courtier of Pharaoh named Hermes? Is it possible to trace this man in history? With the aid of incidental details supplied by Artapanus, we are, indeed, able to identify Hermes and locate him within a particular time-frame in the XVIIIth Dynasty. Artapanus tells us that Hermes’ jealous rival, the Pharaoh Chenephres, ruler of the regions around Memphis in Northern Egypt, founded the cult and temple of the Apis bull in Memphis, in order to “bury in oblivion” the inventions of Hermes (§5, above, >>). The Temple of Apis in Memphis referred to here by Artapanus is the famous Serapeum, well known to the Greeks of Artapanus’ day, in which the remains of each successive Apis bull were reverently preserved for posterity. When one bull died, its remains were interred, and a new bull replaced it, and so on through the centuries. The earliest identifiable bull dates from the reign of Amenophis III of the XVIIIth Dynasty, and the evidence suggests it was the fourth bull to have been thus enshrined in the Temple. As each bull lived an average of 16 to 17 years, the founding of the Temple with the first Apis bull described by Artapanus must be dated to approximately four average bull-lives or 64-68 (4 × 16 or 4 × 17) years prior to the reign of Amenophis III. This means that Chenephres, Pharaoh of the regions around Memphis, and founder of the Temple, according to Artapanus, is datable to about that time, too, and his predecessor, Pharaoh Palmanothes (§2, above, >>), to the immediately preceding generation. A wide range of modern chronologies give for the commencement of the reign of Amenophis III a date somewhere between 1410 and 1379, and, for its end, a date between 1372 and 1340 — and so similarly for the era of the fourth Apis bull. A date 64-68 years earlier than these extremes takes us back at the least 25, and at the most 68, years before the beginning of the reign of Amenophis III, say to 1477, at the earliest, and 1403, at the latest, for the first Apis bull and the founding of the Temple of Apis, namely to the era of one of the following Pharaohs: Thutmosis I, Thutmosis II, Hatshepsut, Thutmosis III or Amenophis II. In the generation immediately preceding that, according to Artapanus, fell the reign of Palmanothes. Palmanothes is, in fact, a form of the Egyptian royal name Amenophis, with a “p” prefixed, as commonly in Egyptian names. As he is known to have preceded Amenophis II, according to this computation, Palmanothes could only be Amenophis I, the first Pharaoh so named. The generation immediately following him was that of his sister’s daughter, Hatshepsut, of her husband, Thutmosis II, and of Thutmosis III while he was a minor. Logically our choice must fall on the reigns of these Pharaohs as those which witnessed the foundation of the Temple of Apis. This reconstruction is confirmed by the fragmentary summary of Artapanus’ narrative preserved in the History of the Dynasties of Bar-Hebraeus, §S-101, below, >>. There, “Amonpathis,” i.e. Artapanus’ Amenophis, is the third named king of a new dynasty immediately following that of the Hyksos (called “herders”), and their king “Apapos” (= Aphophis), who was the Pharaoh who dreamed the dreams in the time of Joseph. Historically, the Hyksos dynasties were succeeded by Dynasty XVIII, therefore Artapanus’ Amenophis must have belonged to that dynasty. All three kings of the new dynasty reigned within a period of 75 years before the birth of Moses, according to the summary of Artapanus in Bar-Hebraeus, and the birth or youth of Moses in Christian chronography prior to Bar-Hebraeus was dated to the early part of the XVIIIth Dynasty, §S-207, below, >>. Therefore Artapanus’ Amenophis must have belonged to the early phase of that dynasty. Amenophis (I) was the third king of the XVIIIth Dynasty in the early Christian versions of Manetho’s king list, §S-207, below, >>, as Artapanus’ Amenophis in Bar-Hebraeus’ summary was the third king of the post-Hyksos dynasty.

9. Amenophis I’s 20 year reign is dated towards the end or around the turn of the 16th century BC, his first year being between 1545 and 1504 according to the range of chronological schemes already referred to. Artapanus tells us that in the royal generation succeeding him Amenophis I produced a “daughter” (meaning either a literal daughter or a close female descendant) called “Merrhis” (so the name is represented in the Greek of Artapanus, §2, above, >>). The second letter rho [r] in the middle of this name is aspirated, or pronounced with a sharp exhalation of the breath and the final letter s is a Greek termination not representing anything in the original Egyptian, so the Egyptian name which Artapanus was attempting to reproduce here should have sounded something like “Merkhree.”

10. Was there such a name in the family of Amenophis I? Indeed there was. Amenophis I’s sister Ahmes became mother of a royal daughter by a man unrelated to the ruling family, and this daughter was called Maat-ka-re. In the el-Amarna letters, which date from only a hundred years or so after this era, the word maat, the first element in the name, is transcribed mua, the word ka, the second element, ku, and the word re, the third element, ria, so the name Maat-ka-re sounded originally something like “Mua-ku-ria,” which is not far from the pronunciation “Merkhree.” The Egyptologist Breasted renders the name Maat-ka-re as “Makere,” and “Makare,” the favored alternative in more recent works, is the form of the name that will be used here. Makare seems to be the historical figure behind the “Merrhis” of Artapanus. It was doubtless because of the humble origins of Makare’s father that, though he later became Pharaoh (Thutmosis I), her origin was traced by preference, as in this account of Artapanus, from Amenophis I. Now, Makare had another name — and nowadays she is much better known by that name — Hatshepsut. She became in time one of the most famous queens of Egypt. Artapanus tells us that Merrhis was married to the king of the northern regions of Egypt around Memphis, called Chenephres in Artapanus, and accordingly we find that Makare (Hatshepsut) was in historical fact married to the Pharaoh who ruled from Memphis, called Aa-kheper-en-re (also known as Thutmosis II). Artapanus’ royal name Ch-en-eph(r)-re[s] corresponds to the Egyptian royal name Aa-kheper-en-re, written in Greek as though read Aa-en-kheper-re. There is frequently a doubt as to the order of the individual elements in Egyptian royal names. Sometimes foreign transcriptions, like Artapanus’ Chenephres, are the only independent evidence of the original Egyptian pronunciation. It is possible that the proper order in this case actually was “Aa-en-kheper-re.” An equally common phenomenon is metathesis of the consonants in these Greek transcriptions for the sake of euphony. Either way, Chenephres is a fair representation of the original Egyptian name.

11. As Artapanus says, again correctly, there were several rulers of Egypt at that time, “often the same persons, but sometimes others” (§2, above, >>). To illustrate the appropriateness of this comment in relation to the era under consideration, one reconstruction of the succession of rule (that of the Egyptologist Sethe, followed by Breasted) can be summarized as follows: Thutmosis III reigned for a short time alone in his early youth; Makare’s party then forced her upon Thutmosis III as co-regent; about Year 6 of Thutmosis III, Thutmosis I and Thutmosis II together gained the throne for a brief co-regency, but were not able to suppress Thutmosis III; on the disappearance (probably death) of Thutmosis I, Thutmosis III then regained the throne and ruled as co-regent with Thutmosis II till the latter’s death; Makare also (or thereafter) permanently ruled contemporaneously with Thutmosis III till her death, when Thutmosis III finally held undivided possession of the throne. It is now generally accepted that Thutmosis III, seemingly the son of Thutmosis II by a woman of his harem, reigned for a few years and then was displaced or sidelined by Makare, Thutmosis II’s new Queen. She also reigned concurrently as a Pharaoh herself, though a woman on the throne of Egypt was a great irregularity. The ousting of Thutmosis III by the arrival of Makare doubtless explains his bitter hatred of the latter. Subsequently, when Makare was dead and Thutmosis III succeeded to sole rule, he erased all inscriptions of the name Makare Hatshepsut and represented himself as the legitimate Pharaoh throughout her reign.

12. We are now in a position to identify the courtier called “Hermes” in Artapanus. Makare seems to have had no legitimate male heir. She was a powerful woman in her own right, and rather than permit a rival (like Thutmosis III) to be the effective head of the government she depended on a small circle of male courtiers, who received, in consequence, special favors from the Queen. In many ways, these courtiers played the part in affairs of state that a male heir would normally have played if Makare had had a male successor. This is exactly the situation envisioned by Artapanus.

13. One of these courtiers, according to Artapanus, was the individual he refers to as the child whom Merrhis “appropriated to herself,” the hero of his story, called “Hermes” by the Egyptians (§2, above, >>). Hermes is actually the Greek form of the name, and the native Egyptian equivalent is “Djehuty.” This is a not uncommon Egyptian personal name and is formed out of the name of the well-known Egyptian god Djehuti (Thoth). It means, literally “The Djehuti Man.” Djehuti was the Egyptian god of Scribes and of Divine Wisdom and Prophecy. His name was written with the sign of an ibis (Djehuti’s sacred bird) and he was identified by the Greeks with their own god of similar functions, Hermes. Hence the appearance of the personal name “Hermes” for the courtier and protégé of Merrhis in the Greek writer Artapanus. “Hermes” really stands for the native Egyptian “Djehuty.” Just so, in the historical setting of the XVIIIth Dynasty, one of Makare’s closest confidants in her inner circle of courtiers was a man called Djehuty. Like Artapanus’ Hermes (§2, above, >>), Djehuty was proficient in hieroglyphics, being, in fact, the royal Scribe (§S-5b, below, >>, line 16). His tomb (§S-5, below, >>) is noted for an unusual and cryptic form of hieroglyphic script inscribed on its walls, which does not follow the usual scribal conventions, suggesting he had more than normal expertise in this area. (It was common practice for prominent Egyptians to build tombs for themselves during their lifetime, though often, at death, they were interred or reinterred elsewhere. In this case, Djehuty’s mummy has not been located.) Hermes in Artapanus is said to have provided select land for priests (§2, above, >>), and Hermopolis is named as his place of residence for an extended period during the most successful phase of his career (§3, above, >>). The historical Djehuty, likewise, held the office of supervisor of the priests of the city of which he himself was prince and count, viz. Hermopolis (§S-5b, line 3, below, >>). Artapanus mentions Hermes’ expertise in “philosophy” (§2, above, >>) — a term which means, in this context, practical and religious wisdom. He is said to have “taught mankind many useful things” (ibid.). Djehuty, too, professed, in his own words, to be knowledgeable in “the useful things that are established forever” (§S-5b, below, >>, line 12). Like Artapanus’ Hermes (§2, above, >>), Djehuty, the courtier of Makare, was a ship-designer, the builder of the sacred barge of Amun, called “Great Front of Amun” (§S-5d, below, >>), and skilled in construction techniques, both of building and engineering, as he tells us himself on inscriptions carved on his tomb (§S-5e, below, >>, §S-5f, below, >>, §S-5g, below, >>). Some of Djehuty’s magnificent architectural monuments graced the capital city of Thebes (Karnak) (§S-5g, below, >>), distinguishing this dynastic center of the Theban kings, as Artapanus says Hermes did (§2, above, >>), over all other cities of the 36 nomes. Two huge obelisks covered with electrum are of particular note (§S-5g, below, >>, line 28). At 108 cubits each (over 185 feet, 20.63 inches per cubit), according to the inscription in his tomb, these were the tallest obelisks ever erected, beating the tallest now known — that of Thutmosis III currently located outside the Lateran, Rome — by an astonishing 80 feet. A fellow courtier of Djehuty’s, another of Makare’s inner circle, called Senenmut, and yet a third, called Nekhesy, were prominent in similar operations in the capital. The latter clearly is the “Nacheros” of Artapanus (§4, above, >>), who is said to have supervised building work in “Diospolis” (the Greek name for the Egyptian Thebes).

14. All these achievements were intended by Hermes as a means of strengthening the authority and stability of the court of which he was a minister, according to Artapanus (§2, above, >>). The historical Djehuty had similar motives, as his own sepulchral inscriptions testify. In these, he refers repeatedly to his personal loyalty to the Pharaoh, to his reliability, and honesty, and to his obedience and efficiency in carrying out the commissions with which he was entrusted. Furthermore, in all his tomb inscriptions Djehuty exalts the High God Amun alone, the patron deity of the royal house of Thebes, a fact which illustrates the contention of Artapanus that Hermes appointed the God (singular) to be worshipped in each nome, a deity unlike the animistic, theriomorphic, gods of earlier times (§2, above, >>). As the priesthood of Thebes rose to new heights of influence during the reign of Thutmosis II and Makare, political power was at the same time centralized under the control of Pharaoh by welding together the supreme offices of Vizier and High Priest of Amun. The man thus specially honored was Hapuseneb. The name “Chanethothes” in Artapanus (§6, above, >>) seems to represent the religious title of this important official, Ham-neter-tepy, “High Priest,” in which the initial “h” is lightly aspirated. As Artapanus says, he “had been awarded titles by him [Thutmosis II] more than all.” We later find Chanethothes being commissioned by Chenephres to build a tomb for Merrhis — in which enterprise he was thwarted by Hermes (§6, above, >>) — and the archaeological record proves that Hapuseneb did indeed construct a tomb for Makare in the Valley of the Kings (Tomb KV20). The role of Hermes-Djehuty in the burial will be detailed hereafter.

15. Further confirming Djehuty’s identification with the Hermes of Artapanus, we find that there occurred in his time an incursion of Ethiopians (Cushites) from Nubia in the far South and Aa-

The King and Queen of Punt with their sons and beautiful daughter (center)
from Mariette’s reproduction of the reliefs at Deir el-Bahari, stolen since his time and not
Mariette, Auguste: Deir-el-Bahari, Leipzig 1877, Planche 5, bottom frieze

kheper-en-re Thutmosis II (Artapanus’ Chenephres) sent an army in that direction to deal with the emergency. (See §3, above, >>.) The Syriac extracts from Artapanus, and particularly the Armenian translation of the Chronicle of Michael Syrus, which can be examined infra, claim Merrhis (Makare) was captured by the Ethiopians at that time and married off by them. Hermes was given a position of authority in an agricultural-cum-military expedition into Ethiopia and Chenephres hoped this would be his undoing. He succeeded, however, in winning over the Ethiopians and actually entered into a marriage alliance with the Ethiopian royal house. The outcome, so contrary to Chenephres’ expectations, only exacerbated his animosity towards Hermes. Likewise, the historical Djehuty is known to have played a leading role in a curious agricultural-cum-military expedition into Punt (an ancient name for part of what the Greeks called “Ethiopia”), and on the monuments of Makare we find depictions of Djehuty (mutilated later probably by the bitter Thutmosis II or by Thutmosis III), weighing out huge piles of booty and tribute obtained by the Egyptians in the expedition. The King of the Ethiopians (named “Parahu”) and his Queen (“Aty”) are depicted in postures of submission and allegiance to the Egyptian throne, and their daughter is pictured in attendance, too. It was the daughter of the King of Ethiopia that Hermes (Djehuty) married in the account of Artapanus. The same fragments of Artapanus referenced supra, tell us Hermes succeeded in recovering his adoptive mother (Makare) from the Philistines (presumably allies of the Ethiopians) whom he subdued at the end of the expedition to Ethiopia. There is archaeological evidence, outlined further infra from Papyrus Harris 500 XIXth Dynasty, to support the idea that Djehuty campaigned on the coast of Canaan, which is where the Philistines were located, during the reign of Thutmosis III.

16. The friezes depicting the Ethiopian expedition were inscribed on special panels in one prominent portico of the beautiful Memorial Temple of Makare at Deir el-Bahari, over the river from the dynastic capital of Thebes. Not only that, but there was constructed in the same location a miniature “Punt,” so named by the Egyptians, which duplicated the beauties of the original landscape of Punt, and was planted with trees brought thence for the purpose by the expeditionaries, fed by streams of flowing water. It was intended to be a “Garden of Amun” in the land of Egypt. The roots of myrrh trees identical to those the friezes tell us were imported from Punt can still be found in the ground directly in front of Makare’s Memorial Temple. Gardeners are depicted at Deir el-Bahari uprooting these trees and plants from Punt and transporting them by boat to their new location. These are the “field-laborers” or “gardeners” enrolled on the expedition to Ethiopia in Artapanus (§3, above, >>). The prominence of Djehuty in the Deir el-Bahari reliefs, and his own inscriptions in his tomb, amply demonstrate that he played the principal role in the supervision of the agricultural aspects of the expedition to the South, as Artapanus relates of Hermes, whilst the figure of the military commander of the expeditionary force, the so-called “king’s messenger,” has everywhere been erased at Deir el-Bahari, so he can no longer be identified. In Artapanus, Hermes is stated to have made Hermopolis his base of operations and to have entrusted the military aspects of the Ethiopian expedition to others, in fact, to trusted generals, who skillfully engineered the successful outcome (§3, above, >>).

17. The Memorial Temple and the neighboring river and precinct named “Punt” precisely match the description of Merrhis’ burial-site in Artapanus, with its river and complex called, as Artapanus affirms, a “Meroe” (§6, above, >>). In the light of the archaeological discoveries at Deir el-Bahari, this otherwise inexplicable designation makes perfect sense: Meroe was the usual Greek name of the regions to the far south of Egypt, otherwise known as “Ethiopia” in the Greek period and “Punt” in the XVIIIth Dynasty. So, the miniature “Meroe” in Artapanus is the miniature “Punt” described at Deir el-Bahari. Artapanus claims it was Hermes himself who arranged the burial of Merrhis, and named the “Meroe” complex at the burial-site, and, in historical fact, on the evidence of an inscription inscribed on his tomb, it was Djehuty who built the Memorial Temple of Makare at Deir el-Bahari (§S-5f, line 21, below, >>), and its first building phase is held to date precisely to the era of Thutmosis II. From the archaeological remains of the project alone we are not able to divine the motives of Djehuty in thus duplicating the scenery of Punt at Deir el-Bahari. Artapanus alleges that it had to do with the location intended for the burial of the Queen. It may well be that her time of captivity in Punt, in spite of the circumstances, so enamored Makare of the beauties of that land, “God’s Land,” as she called it, that she wished to be buried amongst the scented trees for which it was renowned: Djehuty obliged her last wishes, when he was unable to fulfill them literally, by bringing his beloved Queen here for burial, beside the myrrh trees of the Punt complex at Deir el-Bahari. The architect Djehuty employed for this project was the accomplished courtier of Makare, Senenmut. Depictions of these two principal figures have everywhere been erased on the public monuments at the site. However a small flake of limestone of the type Egyptian draughtsmen used as studies for their final portraits, has been preserved from the vicinity of Senenmut’s tomb in the same location.

Portrait of Djehuty (?) and Senenmut

Portraits of two figures, probably Djehuty (rear), and Senenmut (front), on a limestone flake from Deir el-Bahari, length 6 3/4 in, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This depicts two profiles, one in front of the other. The nearer profile is indubitably Senenmut, recognizable from other portraits of him that have escaped the chisel. The second has been taken to be an earlier portrait of the same person, but it clearly has different facial characteristics, as can be seen in the reproduction above. Considering its provenance, and the association of Senenmut with Djehuty at that site, it is probable that we have here the only surviving portrait of Djehuty himself. On the reverse of the flake, rather curiously, is a picture of a large rat. Is this an allusion by the artist to the murderous traitor hidden “behind the scenes” when Djehuty arrived at Deir el-Bahari to bury Makare (see further §21a, below, >>)?

17a. Whilst the shrine at Deir el-Bahari was the Memorial Temple for Makare, the Queen seems to have been physically buried in an unusual tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV20), high up in the rock-face just behind and beyond Deir el-Bahari, which she shared with her revered father Thutmosis I. It appears to have been the very first tomb excavated in the Valley of the Kings. Later Pharaohs were happy to follow Makare’s example in having their mummies interred beyond this “Garden of Amun” in Egypt. The original construction of the tomb was supervised by the High Priest Hapuseneb, and Artapanus confirms the connection of Chanethothes with the burial project (§6, above, >>). On an inscription of a statue of Hapuseneb we read: “ … The good god, King Aa-kheper-en-re {Thutmosis II} praised me … in the temple. [He appointed me] to conduct the work upon his cliff-tomb, because of the good excellence of my plans.” However, for the actual burial-chamber, but nowhere else in the tomb, the same measurement units were used as in the Memorial Temple at Deir el-Bahari. This is evidence of a unity in execution and design, and therefore of the hand of Djehuty and Senenmut, rather than Hapuseneb, in the final phase of the interment of Makare, just as Artapanus represents it.

18. Artapanus says that Merrhis was worshipped by the inhabitants of the burial complex as a divinity, “not less highly than Isis” (§6, above, >>). Accordingly, at Deir el-Bahari — which was still in use as a Temple well into the Greek period of Artapanus — there are found statues of Makare in the form of the god Osiris, and other monuments survive attesting her identification with the goddess Hathor, who was commonly assimilated to Isis.

19. A rather striking and unusual element in Artapanus’ story is the attention given by Hermes to the ibis (§3, above, >>). This evidently has to do with more than the mere fact that the Egyptian god Djehuti (the Greek Hermes) was associated with, and his name written with the sign of, the sacred ibis. Not only did the human Hermes protect ibises, according to Artapanus, because of their habit of attacking and killing poisonous snakes, but also Chenephres ordered the ibises and bulls (the creatures favored by Hermes) to be “buried,” hoping thus to “bury in oblivion” his inventions (§5, above, >>). We have already seen how this relates to the founding of the Temple of Apis where the Apis bulls were entombed. But it is also a remarkable fact that ibises were mummified, too, and deposited in huge numbers, not only, as one would expect, in Hermopolis, the center of the cult of the ibis-god Djehuti, and (especially in the later period) in Memphis, but also precisely in the tomb of Djehuty, the courtier of Makare. The tomb was eventually converted into a shrine of the god Djehuti himself, and Artapanus records, accordingly, that the courtier Hermes was honored “like a god” by the Egyptians. If we follow the logic of Artapanus’ account, we see that the interment of these creatures represented on the part of Chenephres (Thutmosis II) a reversion to the animal cults which Hermes (Djehuty) had demoted in favor of the cult of the High God (i.e. Amun of Thebes). Chenephres was registering his opposition to the novelties of Hermes whilst appearing to encourage them. Hermes, according to Artapanus, used conservation as a means of weaning the masses away from their old superstitions, and Chenephres used the same ideals as an excuse to promote a reactionary and extravagant cult of the Apis bull. He enlisted the support of the masses of Memphis for the foundation of a grandiose Temple, where a bull was conserved and pampered as a living image of the god Ptah. He thus alienated the popular mind from his hated rival.

20. Artapanus says the courtier Hermes set up his base of operations for an extended period in the city of Hermopolis (the modern Eshmunein) in Middle Egypt (§3, above, >>). The name Hermopolis signifies in Greek “Hermes’ city.” The historical Djehuty, likewise, was prince and count of Hermopolis, as he states specifically in his sepulchral inscriptions (§S-5b, line3, below, >>). The Egyptian city-name, and the Greek city-name corresponding to it, were derived from the cult of the god Djehuti (Hermes) which was centered there, and the cult of this god, as we have seen, was also fused with that of the courtier Djehuty at his tomb — hence in Artapanus the name of the city is connected with that of the courtier.

20a. According to Artapanus, Chenephres (Thutmosis II), king of Memphis in Northern Egypt, demonstrated a hatred of Asiatics and was punished by God as a consequence (§7a, above, >>). His father-in-law Palmanothes (= Amenophis I) maltreated these same foreigners at the time he was building the city of “Kessa” and the temple in Heliopolis (§2, above, >>). Heliopolis is the famous city of that name in the region of the Nile Delta. Kessa is likewise located in Northern Egypt and is identifiable with the native Egyptian Pa-Kas (“The [city] Kas”). Its name in the Greek period was Phakousa, and its modern name is Faqus, a town situated 60 miles north-east of Cairo (see further §51, below, >>, and §59, below, >>). It was the capital of the “Arabian” nome, in which was located the city of Avaris, at the site known nowadays as Tell el-Dab’a. Avaris was the capital of the foreign Hyksos, who dominated Egypt for a long period before they were driven out of power by Ahmosis, the founder of the XVIIIth Dynasty. The Hyksos were a multifarious ethnic group which included Israelites and other Semitic and Asiatic peoples. They were ruled in the earlier phase of their occupation by sheikhs from the Levant. The ancients often referred to them as “Arabs” and “shepherds” or “herders.” When Ahmosis expelled the main body of them, they regrouped in Canaan at Sharuhen, a small town within the territory which, at a later period, fell under the control of Jerusalem, the capital of Judah (Jos. 19. 6). Many of the Hyksos, however, remained in Egypt after the conquest of Ahmosis, but in an inferior political position. The XVIIIth Dynasty was proud of its native Egyptian heritage and its southern Theban roots. Ethnic friction between the native Egyptians and the remnant Hyksos still resident in Northern Egypt could be expected and is in evidence. The mistreatment of Asiatics by Palmanothes (Amenophis I) and Chenephres (Thutmosis II) would, in this historical context, have been mistreatment of remnant Hyksos. This conclusion is confirmed by the particular kind of persecution Chenephres visited upon the aliens. He forbade them to wear woolen clothing and forced them to wear linen. The Hyksos were shepherds (herders) by occupation, and distinguishable for that reason from the native population. Their usual clothing, therefore, would have been woolen clothing, and would have come under the ban of Chenephres. The native Egyptians, by contrast, commonly wore linen. The new legal enactment was clearly aimed at provoking nationalist discontent amongst the Hyksos, thus providing the king with an excuse to punish them. The archaeological record confirms ethnic friction of this kind between the court of Thutmosis II, Thutmosis III and Makare, on the one hand, and the Hyksos, on the other, and also demonstrates that the ethnic friction had a religious aspect. An inscription from this period (§S-2, below, >>) describes how the ruling house restored the temples of the Egyptian gods (both solar and theriomorphic), whilst the Asiatics of Avaris in the Delta (viz. the remnant Hyksos) ruled “without Re” and left in ruins the Egyptian temples. Hence the king “spat fire” against them as the avenging god Horus and removed “their footprints” from the land (§S-2k, below, >>). He then proceeded to restore the temples that had been neglected by them because of their different religious beliefs. This account is preserved on a monument at the Speos Artemidos or Temple of Pakhet at Beni Hassan and supplies us with one of the few later evidences of the Hyksos subsequent to their suppression and expulsion by Ahmosis. It is dated to a time when Punt was in possession of the Egyptians (§S-2d, below, >>), i.e. after Year 9 of Makare, and subsequent, therefore, to the Ethiopian expedition of Hermes (Djehuty), according to the account of Artapanus. Chenephres’ persecution of aliens and his smiting with elephantiasis is mentioned sequentially later than the Ethiopian expedition in Artapanus (cp. §3, above, >>, and §7a, above, >>).

20b. The action against the Hyksos is usually credited to Makare, on the grounds that the inscription is in her name and employs the first person singular when describing the royal initiative. Like most of the monuments from this period, however, the inscription at the Speos Artemidos is actually couched in ambiguous language, at one time referring to the king (male), and at another to “her majesty” (female). This seems to have been a posture deliberately adopted by Thutmosis II and the co-regent Thutmosis III, because their legitimacy was dependent on the unquestioned superior status of Queen Makare. The solution involved treating Makare as the actual, reigning, Pharaoh, whilst giving her male attributes, and switching between male and female gender in the grammar used on official monuments. Later, her name was erased, in many instances, and replaced by that of Thutmosis II, or by that of her inferior co-regent, Thutmosis III. So here, the action against the Hyksos may be taken to be the work of Thutmosis II, the husband of Makare, or of Thutmosis III — who was responsible along with her for the construction of the shrine upon which it was inscribed — rather than of Makare herself. It certainly accords with Artapanus’ account in two specifics: first, in the attention paid to the cult of the native Egyptian theriomorphic gods by the ruling house of that era, and second, in the initiation of persecution against aliens resident in the North by that same ruling house.

21. The hatred evinced by Chenephres for Hermes in the account of Artapanus (§§3-7a, above, >>) is also reflected in the historical record. Djehuty’s name and figure have, wherever they were once visible, been thoroughly erased. It is a moot point who was responsible for these erasures. Usually Thutmosis III is blamed. Certainly he had reason to hate Makare and her protégés, of whom Djehuty was one of the most notable, and Makare’s name and form have suffered the same indignities. But Thutmosis II had motivation, too. His name sometimes occurs written over an obliterated name of this period. It is understandable why a king married to such a forceful character as Makare should feel threatened by her male favorites at court. Artapanus’ account makes good historical sense, for the weak and sickly Chenephres (Thutmosis II) is said to have waited till the death of his powerful wife Merrhis (Makare) before he moved against Hermes (Djehuty). (See §6, above, >>.) The overruling of the aspirations of Thutmosis II by Makare, his early disappearance from the historical record, and the arguable traces of scaly disease on his mummified body, are generally held to be indicators that Thutmosis II suffered from a debilitating and chronic illness, and this confirms, once again, the accuracy of Artapanus’ account which names the disease as elephantiasis (§7a, above, >>). However, Artapanus appears to have credited Hermes (Djehuty) himself with the ultimate removal of Thutmosis II (Chenephres), by the administration of poison through a third party as he was about to flee into the desert. In one, popular, reconstruction of the problem-ridden Thutmosid succession, Thutmosis II’s short reign and death is followed by the reign of Makare. Artapanus represents the historical situation otherwise. In his account, Chenephres (Thutmosis II) reigns concurrently with Merrhis (Makare (§§2-5, above, >>), and he continues to reign for a short time also after her death (§§6-7a, above, >>). This version of the sequence of events accords with the evidence of a single inscription which was published by Daressy and accepted as authentic by Gardiner and Hayes, but which has since gone missing. As published, it referred to a Year 18 of Thutmosis II. That would be roughly contemporary with the death of Makare and supportive of the notion that Thutmosis II continued to rule throughout Makare’s reign, yet did so with minimal impact on the course of events. That Thutmosis II may further have reigned for an undetermined period after Makare is indicated in the archaeological record by the fact that his name occurs written directly over erasures of the name Makare. This is only likely to have occurred after the death of Makare, and therefore is another item of evidence tending to support the account of Artapanus. It is, however, somewhat unusual that Thutmosis II should thus have expunged the memory of his wife, no matter how great his jealousy of her courtiers. The most probable explanation is that, because of the chronic and severe illness referred to by Artapanus, which is said to have struck him only after the commencement of his rule, Thutmosis II was relegated to an inferior status, and then, in what was evidently an irregular measure, replaced, so far as the exercise of functions of State were concerned, by his wife, Makare, and, in a secondary role, by Thutmosis III while the latter was a minor and otherwise outshone by Makare. After Makare’s death, and the subsequent death of Thutmosis II, Thutmosis III took the reigns of government. He expunged utterly the memory of his female rival, or, in some cases, restored what he considered the “rightful” Pharaoh’s name, viz. that of Thutmosis II, back to its position, replacing that of Makare. In fact, there seems to have been no long interval also between the death of Makare and the accession to sole power of Thutmosis III, so the latter may simply have continued the policy of bitter reaction against Djehuty initiated by the former and then extended it to include Makare herself as well as her other favorites. Djehuty, not surprisingly, disappears from the historical record after the death of Makare. So does Hapuseneb, the supremely powerful Vizier and Ham-neter-tepy or High Priest of Amun in Thebes. The inscription on his statue which mentions his appointment by Thutmosis II to build the cliff-tomb is the last we hear of Hapuseneb. On that inscription the name of Makare has been erased and replaced by that of Thutmosis II. Both the disappearance of Hapuseneb and that of Djehuty are accounted for by the dramatic incident related by Artapanus in which, following the hatching of the plot against his life and the burial of Merrhis (Makare), Hermes (Djehuty) flees to the Sinai desert from Memphis, and, being suddenly accosted by Chanethothes (the Ham-neter-tepy, Hapuseneb), draws his sword and slays him (§7, above, >>).

21a. An archaeological trace of this incident may have survived the very thorough “damnatio memoriae” of Makare’s favorites. A letter in the hieratic script was discovered in 1927 in the rubbish at Makare’s Memorial Temple at Deir el-Bahari. It can be viewed to this day in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (See the reproduction below.) It was addressed to the “Master” Djehuty. There can be little doubt, considering the location of this discovery and the status of the addressee, that it was Makare’s favorite, Djehuty, who was the recipient of the letter. The letter must have been important, because, though it was later found in the rubbish in the court of the Temple, it was still neatly folded as it had been left, and had clearly been preserved by the original recipient, not immediately destroyed. The content confirms its significance. It reads as follows: “Tet greets his Master, Djehuty — may he live, prosper and be in health! — in the favor of Amun-Re. It is a dispatch to acquaint my Master with the word concerning Ptah-Sokar, forasmuch as it is you who has transgressed against him in the matter of the people of Heliopolis. Discuss (the matter) with the Herald Goreg-Men-nefer, so that you may send a letter concerning him to the Greatest of Seers.” This is a remarkable way for a servant to address his Master. Tet is literally commanding Djehuty — till this time one of the most powerful people in Egypt — to account for himself to the Greatest of Seers over some misdemeanor he is alleged to have committed against one Ptah-Sokar. Though he is unnamed, the Greatest of Seers is a religious official of sufficiently high status who would have come under Hapuseneb’s supreme jurisdiction, perhaps, as Hayes suggests, and as the context of the letter implies, the High Priest of Re in Heliopolis. On the best interpretation, the letter is provocative, on the worst, insulting. Is not this letter the final proof that Djehuty’s star was not only waning, but about to be extinguished, in the court of Thutmosis II and Thutmosis III, now that Makare was dead? The location of the find is significant, in view of Artapanus’ version of the sequence of events (§§6-7, above, >>). Hermes (Djehuty) was at the Meroe complex (Deir el-Bahari) burying Merrhis (Makare) at that site (KV20). He had just been informed that a plot to murder him was afoot. From the burial-site he made his way (rather curiously in the circumstances) north to Memphis, towards the very seat of the court which was threatening him, and then decided it was wiser to flee rather than to face his persecutors. As significant as the location of the find at Deir el-Bahari, therefore, is the geographical setting of the action required by this letter, viz. in the north, not the south, of Egypt. Both Ptah-Sokar and the Herald Goreg-Men-nefer were Memphites from the north of Egypt. The misdemeanor alleged against Ptah-Sokar involved the people of Heliopolis in the north. The legal action threatened against Djehuty was to be answered before the Herald in Memphis. We can presume, therefore, that Djehuty went north to Memphis to argue his case, as instructed by the letter. So, as in Artapanus, we have the high State official responsible for the burial of the Queen who had before now protected him, traveling north from her burial site to Memphis, under threat from an official of the court in Memphis. It is remarkable that this chance discovery, which witnesses, if nothing else, the change of the political wind against Djehuty, so nicely reflects, in these various respects, the circumstances of the flight of Hermes in Artapanus.

Letter to Djehuty

A letter to Djehuty in hieratic script found at Deir el-Bahari

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