Thursday, June 28

Hatshepsut: Foremost of Noble Ladies

It was revealed Wednesday, the long-overlooked mummy of an obese woman has been identified as Queen Hatshepsut, ancient Egypt's most powerful female pharaoh. Hatshepsut is believed to have served as a co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 BC--making her reign longer than any other female ruler of an indigenous dynasty. Following the death of King Tohotmos, his son Tohotmos the second,who was a son for a secondary wife, ascend the throne of Egypt, and he was compelled to support his right to throne to marry his sister Hatshepsut, the daughter of the main wife of the late monarch Tohotmos the 1st. But Hatshepsut did not produce any boys but a female child namely "Nefro Ra." After the death of her husband Tohotmos 2nd, his male son Tohotmos 3rd (from one of the secondary wives) was to take the throne. But due to his age Hatshepsut was allowed to reign as queen dowager. Hatshepsut was not one to sit back and wait for her nephew to age enough to take her place. As a favorite daughter of a popular pharaoh, and as a charismatic and beautiful lady in her own right, she was able to command enough of a following to actually take control as pharaoh. article
Egypt ICT article--more on Zahi Hawass

An inscription at the time details this change in power: 'Came forth the king of the gods, Amun-Re, from his temple, saying: "Welcome, my sweet daughter, my favourite, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the king, taking possession of the Two Lands". Josephus writes that she reigned for 21 years and 9 months while Africanus states her reign lasted 22 years, both of whom were quoting Manetho. More description here in Wikipedia.

The Woman King webpage
The Story of Hatshepsut
As the Feminist movement matured, prominent women from antiquity were sought out and their achievements became increasingly publicized. Hatshepsut went from being one of the most obscure leaders of Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century to one of its most famous by the century's end. Biographies such as Hatshepsut by Evelyn Wells romanticized her as a beautiful and pacifistic woman — "the first great woman in History". This was quite a contrast to the 19th-century view of Hatshepsut as a wicked step mother usurping the throne from Thutmose III. The novel Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw kept her as a wicked step-mom.