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Ramesside Research Topic
In Response To: Re: Ben Molech David ()

Egyptologists presently assume that the royal woman holding the office of "God's Wife" was celibate. This, as it turns out, could not be further from the truth. The office instead granted social acceptability to polyandry, that is, a single woman producing offspring through multiple partners. The leading king generally established one of his own wives or daughters as "God's Wife". She was the leading royal baby-maker, but other royal women could be polyandrous as well. I don't think that Tuya is ever designated by the title God's Wife, yet there is compelling evidence that she had children by multiple partners, certainly by Thutmose IV and Yuya, and probably also by Webensenu/Heby and Siamun.

Tuya's own daughter, Tiye, who certainly was a God's Wife, had children by Aye, Yuya, Akhenaten, and Sena'a (Osorkon I). Her firstborn, named Panehesy, seems to have been sired by a son or grandson of Webensenu. (Panehesy, a.k.a., Prince Osorkon claimed to be a son/heir of Ramses I in a Karnak inscription.) This strengthened the alliance between the houses of Joseph and Reuben. Her sons by Aye represented "connubium" with the house of Judah. Combined these intermarriages formed the proverbial triple-braided cord.

It isn't possible to understand ancient royal genealogies without appreciating the role of polyandry and incest in their culture. Unfortunately, these ancient customs are avoided by prudish Egyptologists who still try to apply Victorian mores to their subject matter.

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