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akhenaten co-regency help
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:05 pm 
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hey guys i got a project on co-regency between akhenaten and Amenhotep III. Seeing my local libary ahs none of the books i need for the assignment and the internet didnt have much info either thought would ask you guys.

I have found heaps of reasons for co-regency but have strugled to find any theorys against co regency any info would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 11:42 pm 
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I myself am neither for or against the co-regency theory. Neither argument is so strong that it is beyond a doubt, so I am open-minded about it.

The most damning evidence against the co-regency is probably in the evidence itself. In science, as we all know, theories are tested not by proving them right, but by proving them wrong. There is no evidence for the co-regency that cannot be proven wrong. But here are some other tidbits against:

1. There are many references to Amenhotep III ruling independantly, and Akhenaten ruling independantly
2. There is only one painting showing Akhenaten and Amenhotep together, which was painted after Amenhotep was already dead. If they had been co-regents they would likely have been in more than one painting together.
3. The Armana letters are written to one king -yes, the letters were typically adressed to simply "my lord" but if there were two rulers, it is common sense that they would be adressed as "my lords"
4. In a stela of Akhenaten he complains that the arguments he was hearing in his fifth year were worse than those of his fourth, and third... and goes on until Amenhoteps reign

But, if you are writting an essay I would recomend pointing out the flaws in the evidence for the co-regency rather than showing how Amenhotep and Akhenaten reigned independantly, it is much more effective in getting the message across, and scientificly acceptable.

Best of luck on your project

-Maharet


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:21 am 
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nickrice wrote:
hey guys i got a project on co-regency between akhenaten and Amenhotep III. Seeing my local libary ahs none of the books i need for the assignment and the internet didnt have much info either thought would ask you guys.

I have found heaps of reasons for co-regency but have strugled to find any theorys against co regency any info would be much appreciated.


Hi Nick, welcome to KingTutOne :)
I would be very interested in those references in support of a coregencey if you could put then, in another post i would be most appreciative.

For a great source againt the coregencey check out Dr. Donald Redford's Seven Studies, pg. 146. He does not accept a co-regencey of much lenght. My source on this is Fredrick J. Giles, The Amarna Age: Egypt (2001), pg 31. Here he writes "Redford remaked in his dismissal of the date, year 2 or year 12. No other number will suit the traces. If, year 2 is restored, only a very short coregencey amounting to but a few months at the most is possible. If year 12 is restored, a coregency of not less than eleven years is as good as proved."

What is being discussed is the Amarna Letter known as EA27. On the back of it there is a label in hieratic noting the date and circumstances of the receipt of it at the Egyptian royal court. It is from Tushratta, King of Mitanni the brother-in-law, of Amenhotep III, and father-in-law of Akhenaten. (He actually sent his daughter to marry Amenhotep III, but he died before the marriage and Akhenaten married the princess. The original hieratic date is damaged somewhat and this is why there is a question as to just what number was written.

The Gurob Papyri (a collection of 4 papyri that are pretaining to business matters by commoners) they are dated from year 27 of Amenhotep III to year 4 of Akhenaten. They are another source that Giles uses to support his belief, in a long coregencey. It covers X number of years, with many of the same people included in the documentation. The X stands for 14-15 years if you don't accept a long coregencey, or 2-8 years if you do accept a long coregencey. Redford argues that these documents show only generations carring on with the original matter. There are generations noted in the documents... Giles' answers with some logic that for X number of generations to be carrying out the same matters over 15 years in a time when death came early for many commoners, is stretching it some. He also points out that the same scribe wrote them all. (It is interesting to note Nick, that Amenhotep III ruled seven months into his 38th year. Add 27 to 12 and you get 39)

He notes too, that the scribe in describing the 2nd appearence of one man, uses the verb whm, 'repetition' and this implicates a relatively short term repeated action. In this translation, Giles is supported by the late Prof. R.J. Williams of the Universtity of Toronto. (See The Amarna Age: Egypt pg 35, by Giles) Redford disagrees.

Giles' points out that Amenhotep III in its rebus (a composition of words or syllables that appear in the form of pictures) form spells Amenhotep (Nebmaatre) is the Splendour of the Aten. He offers that "the reason why Amenhotep III had so little identification with the Aten cult is because it was the vehicle used for his own worship; during the coregency period Amenhotep III was the "Great Living Aten"." see pg 15.

Here i believe he is on to something... it is known that earlier in the reign of Amenhotep III in Soleb, Nubia he had himself deified as the Moon God, unheard of in Egyptian history. In Egyptian mythology, espeically in Thebes the Moon God is Khons, the child of Amun-Re, and Mut. As he grew older to take on the aspect of the father, Amun-Re in the appearence of the Aten, i find credible. As i haven't finish the book, i can't tell you if Giles' makes this connection as well. (Normally, in Pharaonic Egypt, Pharaoh died before he became a god.)

Giles also points out "that by the earliest period in AKhenaten's reign from which data is available, the Aten cult was already systemic. That is to say it had considerable staff (priests, scribes, servants, and administrators) buildings, estates ... and an iconography. ...it appears that by the time that Akhenaten began to rule the whole apparatus of Atenism was already functioning.... the conclusion that the development of Atenism was the work of Amenhotep III, and only its propagation was the work of Akhenaten." (see pg 8.)

Giles mentions that on the Boundary Stele of Akhetaten, the city Akhenaten founded in his 5th year. He claims that the Aten, "his father" had commanded the building of the city. "The terminology used in this statement may have been formal, in which case he would be attributing the impulse to found Akhetaten to a command of the god, but it is possible that his teminology may have been exact, and he founded Akhetaten at the comman of his father, Amenhotep III, The Great Living Aten'. The text permits either reading." (see pg 43)

So, where does the belief that Akhenaten had no coregencey with his father, or if he did it was of a very short period. Well, it goes way back Akhetaten the city was first found by Westerners in 1824, when very few folks could read hieroglyphs. One of the first impressions of this one of a kind Egyptian period included that Akhenaten was actually a women, the city ruled by two queens. (See Akhenaten, King of Egypt by Cyril Aldred pg. 18)
Others were that he was a devoted husband of one wife-Nefertiti. They had 6 daughters, he was the first monotheist, a pacifist, a dreaming poet-priest as he lead his religious revolution. James H. Breasted (1863-1931) the founder of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institue called him the first individual in history. He wasn't alone with this thought in his day many scholars shared it with him. To be able to "buck" the system as Akhenaten did, it was decided that he had to be an adult when he came to the throne.

Since Manetho, had not included Akhenaten in his history of Ancient Egypt...he didn't know about him, Smenkhkara, or Tutankhamun to include them. These early founders and explorers of Akhetaten were left to their own thoughts on this strange Pharaoh of the New Kingdom. They reasoned that he couldn't have come to the throne very young, who would have accepted the changes Akhenaten demanded from a fresh, young Pharaoh. Therefore he had to be an adult. As Amenhotep III left no surviving notation of serving a coregency with his son it was accepted that Akhenaten hadn't had a coregencey with his father. (Of course the destruction of Akhenaten works by the 19th Dynasty Pharaohs might explain why there where no such surviving notations. These Pharaohs accepted Horemheb as the successor of Amenhotep III no one else.) Herein, is the reason why it is so difficult for many to accept that Akhenaten might have been in a coregencey period, let alone one of 12 years.

But what is changing? It is that it's becoming more and more evident that the Atenist revolution first thought to be the sole work of Akhenaten was actually begun by his grandfather Thutmose IV (see KMT A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, Volume 13, Number 2, Summer 2002 Menkheperure Djehutymes: The Fourth and Fnal Thutmose by Dennis Forbes, pgs 40-56).
With further development by his father Amenhotep III. With this expanded knowledge the need for Akhenaten to have been an adult capable of fighing off traditionalists and the priest of Amun, disappears. Until he can actually have been much younger when he came to the throne period, or have had a long protected coregency with his older and experienced father.

PS, i do support the long coregency theory, have for years.

I hope this has been a help to you Nick, again welcome to KingTutOne :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:51 am 
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Maharet wrote:
In science, as we all know, theories are tested not by proving them right, but by proving them wrong.

But, if you are writting an essay I would recomend pointing out the flaws in the evidence for the co-regency rather than showing how Amenhotep and Akhenaten reigned independantly, it is much more effective in getting the message across, and scientificly acceptable.


Welcome Maharet, to KingTutOne :D
You're so right about science and what is acceptable to it! Particularly, with the hard sciences where observation, and testing can really prove a theory right or wrong.

The thing about archaeology, is that it has always been considered a social science far more than a hard science. In the social sciences proving or disproving a theory is a bit harder. This is because they often are dealing with human vaiables; that can't really be dependable as the same, each and everytime the test is done.

Another problem with using hard science testing techniques with archaeology, and Egyptianology particularly is that we are dealing with just a small part of the larger whole. We don't have the complete picture, or knowledge of Ancient Egypt. If, we used hard science testing techniques on it. We can't really say if it is the theory that is right, wrong, or if there is just to much missing information, to form an objective answer.

Because Egyptianology is a social science, we can have scientists like Dr. Redford and Dr. Giles disagreeing on a certain issues. i am glad personally because it allows us all to get a better understanding, more information, and sometimes dream up our own answers

Thankyou, for you great input on science! :D
Again, welcome to KingTutOne Maharet! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:28 pm 
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alright thanks alot guys and sekhmet most of the books i was told to get are really just most of the books written about akhenaten (Heretic king, redford akhenaten king of egypt, aldred etc).

The best source i found for information about there being a co-regency was Ahmad Osman book sorry i can't recall the name but its the one where he talks about moses being akhenaten. In that there is a few chapters on co-regency.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:52 pm 
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nickrice wrote:
alright thanks alot guys and sekhmet most of the books i was told to get are really just most of the books written about akhenaten (Heretic king, redford akhenaten king of egypt, aldred etc).

The best source i found for information about there being a co-regency was Ahmad Osman book sorry i can't recall the name but its the one where he talks about moses being akhenaten. In that there is a few chapters on co-regency.


Thanks Nick, glad to be a help. Please becareful with Osman first off. He is a lawyer, playwrite, and a journalist with just 22 years of reseach on this. He also uses what is a rapidly becoming a discredited counting method on getting toMoses in the 18th dynasty. For more information see http://www.kingtutone.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=419
and http://www.kingtutone.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=412

While the above sites may not help you with Akhenaten they will help you understand why caution is needed with Osman.

:roll: Have a great night


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