Thursday, October 27, 2016

The succesors of Rameses II aka Pharoh Necho

I already talked about Necho being Rameses.  This is a follow up of sorts.

Revised Chronologists and Conventional Chronology both tend to assume the Pharaoh Jeremiah called Hophra is the same one Herodotus called Apries.  Velikovsky identified that Pharaoh with Merneptah (hetep-her-maat) the son of Ramses II.  One question not addressed usually is what about the Psamtik II who came between Necho and Apries according to Herodotus?

Well first I think Herodotus was likely mistaken on how they're genealogically related.

Psamtik II invaded Nubia.  I think that war with Nubia should perhaps be identified with Rameses II's Nubian Campaign in his 22nd year.

Interestingly in Abu Simbel a Greek Graiftti on a statue of Ramses II reads.
"When King Psammetichus (i.e., Psamtik II) came to Elephantine, this was written by those who sailed with Psammetichus the son of Theocles, and they came beyond Kerkis as far as the river permits. Those who spoke foreign tongues (Greek and Carians who also scratched their names on the monument) were led by Potasimto, the Egyptians by Amasis. ["king Psammetichus II (Psamtik II)". Touregypt.net. Retrieved 2011-11-20.]
Which I think is good circumstantial evidence.

We know Rameses was accompanied on that campaign by Amun-her-khepeshef his original Crown Prince.  When discussing the Sed Festival of Rameses year 30 it is said that Amun-her-khepeshef became effectively co-ruler.  But that seems like a contradiction since Amum is supposed to have died in year 26.  But given Velikovsky's suggestions on how to count the reign of Rameses, this could be a difference of which year 30.

Amun had one known son, a son named Seti.  Psamtik's only alleged son is Apries but is said to have had daughters, one was a High Presitess of Heliopolis which could be interesting latter.

 Timeline wise that would then put Amum's death about 589 BC, a date commonly given for the death of Psammetichos II.  And Ussher's date for a military victory Nebuchadnezzar had over Egypt leading up to the fall of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 37), an event dated partly on the grounds of Ezekiel 30:20-21.

Ezekiel 30 seems to refer to a Pharaoh of Egypt being mortally wounded by the Sword of the King of Babylon (inferred to be Nebuchadnezzar).  Generally it is debated whether this means Necho or Hophra, but the Mummy of Amun-her-khepeshef has a mortal head wound, usually theorized to be from a Mace but I think it could have been a Sword.  (But The Bible sometimes uses Sword idiomatically of any weapon or act of violence.)  Those who think Rameses was the Pharaoh of the Exodus attempt to use this as evidence Amun was the first born killed in the 10th Plague, but I think this Biblical connection is far more compelling.

On page 201 of Ages in Chaos II Ramses II and his time, Velikovsky mentions the head of Merneptah's mummy having a hole made by a sharp instrument in it, and suggests he died violently.  However nothing else I've read seems to back up this claim, and the images I've seen of Merneptah's Mummy shows no damage besides something that looks probably post-mortem.  Still Velikovsky argued this not even citing Ezekiel's statement.

One issue Velikovsky didn't address when dealing with the reign length of Rameses is that there were two Crown Princes who each served 25 years who predeceased him.  First Amum from year 1 to 26, then another Rameses from years 25-50.   I however have no trouble seeing them serving as Crown Prince at the same time, perhaps Ramses considered dividing upper and lower Egypt again.  Also each was the firstborn of a different wife.  Perhaps for whatever weird reason Amun was usually dated from Rameses II sole rule, while Prince Ramses was dated from the co-regency with Seti.

In Against Apion 1:26 Josephus addresses a story that seems to serve as an alleged Egyptian POV of the Exodus.  This story is the source of affiliating the 19th and/or 18th Dynasty with the Exodus due to it being seemingly affiliated with the same Amenophis identified as the successor of Rameses Miamun who reigned 66 years.  I've always been intrigued by this story since it's obviously mythical propaganda and I place the Exodus in the 12th or 13th Dynasty, yet still I've always suspected there is an otherwise forgotten real chapter of 19th Dynasty history hidden here.

Osarsiph who is alleged to be Moses is identified as a Priest of Heliopolis/On.  What's curious about that is that one of the sons of Rameses II was High Priest of On, Meryatum.  He was the son of Nefertari, the same mother as Amun-her-khepeshef, but a different one then Merneptah, so who knows what kinds of sibling rivalries they might have had.

The story involved him conspiring with descendants of the centuries before expelled Hyksos, or at least people coming from the same area.  Velikovsky tied the Hyksos to the Amalekites, but 1 Chronicles 4:40-43 records the last of the Amalekites being wiped out by the Simeonites when they migrated to Edom in the time of Hezekiah.  And earlier the city of Sharuhen was allotted to Simeon in the Book of Joshua, the actual city the Hyksos fled to when Avaris fell.  Maybe Simeonites were involved in this and that is where the Hyksos and Israelites being confused with each other begins?

Because of Jeremiah 43 and 44 we know Israelites came to Egypt during the reign of Hophra.

I  have discussed the Sea Peoples before mainly in the context of Rameses III and the 20th Dynasty.  But Merneptah also encountered them (and Ramses II had a battle with just the Sherden).  This comes up in Ages of Chaos II connecting this to Apries wars involving Cyrene.  Perhaps that also ties into the above story.

As for why Merneptah seems to be called Amenophis in Manetho as transcribed by Josephus in Agaisnt Apion.  This story also mentions this Pharaoh Amenophis seeking advise from someone else who has the same name.  Maybe the retelling of this story gave the name of this adviser to the Pharaoh himself for some reason.  Among the Children of Rameses there is an Amenhotep listed as number 14, right after Merneptah.  The Amenhoteps of the 18th dynasty tended to become Amenophis in Manetho as transcribed by Josephus.  And there was also an Amunemopet (“Amun on the Opet Feast).  Perhaps one of his brothers became this key adviser of Merneptah?  Neither is a son of Nefertari meaning they could be of the same mother as Merneptah.

Another note on the Children of Rameses, one being named Astarteherwenemef (“Astarte Is with His Right Arm”) I also feel circumstantially better fits his reign being during the Neo-Babylonian era.  His daughter Bintanath also has a Semitic name.

I think it's possible that Herodotus history of Amasis is very wrong, and that he was influenced by native Egyptian propaganda seeking to hide that Amasis was really a puppet of Nebuchadnezzar.  Basically in the account of the civil war between Apries and Amasis, I think which side had Babylon's backing got switched.  And this switching of the history to say Babylon backed the losing side is why skeptics think The Bible is wrong in saying Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt.  Bishop Ussher expressed a similar view on the matter.

It is popular in revised Chronology to suggest the post Merneptah 19th Dynasty Pharaohs actually reigned before Ramses I.  I'm not as convinced of that argument.  The Sethos of Herodotus being the Seti who was Rameses I's father is plausible however.

Amasis does not seem to be recorded in the traditional 19th Dynasty sources, at least not as a Phararoh.  I'd in the past considered identifying him with Amenmesse, but his reign was too short.

I'm now considering that Amasis could be the same as Meryatum/Osarsiph, or some other half-brother of Merneptah.  The name Amasis (used in Greek texts to transliterate Ahmose) has in it the Egyptian root that the name of Moses (Moshe) comes from, so perhaps that is a factor in this person being identified with Moses much later.  Amasis was earlier a leading general of Psamtik II's conquest of Nubia, perhaps that's a factor in how the extra-Biblical legend of Moses conquering Ethiopia came about.

Seti II and Amenmesse tend to be identified in Manetho as transcribed by Josephus with Sethosis and Rameses also called Armais/Hermeus.  The "two brothers" they are often called.  But based on the direct 19th Dynasty sources the paternity of Amenmesse is uncertain, though his mother seems to be a Takhat, who was also the mother of Seti II's wife Twosret, and yet also listed as his wife herself.  And a Takhat is also one of the named daughters of Rameses II.  So maybe the story as known to Manetho is off on the exact genealogy.

Some of the lesser sons of Rameses II listed separate from the main 28, I think could maybe actually be Grandsons.  Either way many of them were named Rameses, so perhaps that could help explain Amenmesse also being known as Rameses.  Or what if the source naming a daughter of Rameses II as Takhat is actually using that as an alternate name for one of the more well known daughters that Rameses married himself?  Yes he married at least three of his own daughters.

I've seen it claimed these later 19th dynasty rulers only really ruled Upper Egypt, that could explain them being unknown to Herodotus and other Greek historians.

The misconceptions that the 19th Dynasty followed the 18th directly may well go back to official propaganda of the 19th dynasty.  The history we place in-between is pretty much defined by foreign occupation, Libyan(22nd and 23rd) Nubian(25th) and Assyria.

I should also mention the theory of Osarseph being Chancellor Bey.  Bey is now known to have been executed during the reign of Siptah.