Aidon Dodson writes of Siptah in 'Monarchs of the Nile' (p 139-140):
"As can be seen from his mummy, the king suffered from a deformed left leg, his foot being forced in to a vertical position by a shortened achilles tendon. This has been diagnosed as being as a result of polio, but is far more likely to have been a congenital defect, probably caused by cerbral palsy."
Siptah chose as his throne name, Akhenre, which was evidently adapted into Greek as Achilles. The mother of Siptah is called Tiaa, and corresponds to Thetis mother of Achilles in the Iliad.
Regarding Seti II, the predecessor of Siptah, Dodson writes (p 139):
"By the time Sethos II had regained power [after the death of the usurper Amenmesses], he only had a year or two to live; he also now had a second wife, Tawosret, a lady of whose antecedents we are wholly ignorant."
In my model, Tawosret and the Libyan Shepenwepet are presiding as God's Wife of Amun at the same time. Shepenwepet is thought to have still been alive and holding her position at the end of Shabaka's reign.
See Chart 27
This is also when Tawosret was declared a pharaoh. Robert Morkot writes in 'The Black Pharoahs' (p 286):
"The chapel of Osiris Ruler of Eternity [Heqa Djet] at Karnak has scenes of the God's Wife of Amun, Shepenwepet I, being suckled by Hathor, an adaptation of a conventional royal image; but in one example she wears two double crowns. This innovation (as it seems to be) must have been stimulated by the changing role and importance of the God's Wife at this time."
The crowning of Shepenwepet at Karnak provides us then with the previously unknown antecedents of Tawosret. A queen taking on the authority of pharaoh is of course not unprecedented, and in fact had occurred in every major period (Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, Hykos/Early 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom) prior to the 19th Dynasty.
Shepenwepet is generally considered the daughter of Osorkon III/Assur-Dan III/Alara, identified here as Amen/Seth-hirkhepeshef, firstborn son of Nefertari/Karomama Merymut. Helen of Troy is the foster-daughter of Tyndareus, but actually sired by Zeus ("Great King"). Putting two and two together, Tawosret/Shepenwepet was the biological daughter of Meremptah (who became Great King) or even of Ramses the Great himself, but the legal daughter of Osorkon III.
This new association simplifies Chart 26 and reveals that most of the five leading princes of the following generation were the sons of a single "God's Wife of Amun", namely, Psusennes-Ramses III, Smendes-Menkheperre, Psamtik-Taharqa, and Haremakhet-Ramsesnakht (Osorkon IV), and Masaharta-Mentuemhet. The prince Seti-Meremptah was also the child of Tawosret/Shepenwepet by Seti II, but he did survive to adulthood. Only one other great prince, Amenhotep/Tanuatamun was not hers.
In the Iliad there are also two rival sisters, Cassandra and Clytemnestra. Cassandra ("entangler of men") is undoubtedly an alias of Helen. Cassandra is also the twin sister of Helenus and therefore would have been called Helen (the femmine equivalent of Helenus). In Egypt, Shepenwepet was the daughter of the former Gods' Wife of Amun, Merit-Amon/Karomala/Kasaqa. Kasaqa is perhaps the source of the Greek Cassandra.
The Iliad is coy about the fate of Helen. However, other Greek myth makes Cassandra the victim of Clytemnestra's jealousy. The first part of the name Clytemnestra associates with the Nubian name Qalhata. The second is a feminine form of "garrulous" Nestor ("newly speaking"), a leading male figure in the Iliad described as being the most eloquent man in all of Greece.
The most eloquent man in all of Egypt during this period was unquestionably Ramses-Tefnakhte of Sais, grandfather of Qalhata. As shown in Chart 26, one of his Biblical names is Zadok, which corresponded to the Egyptian epithet Nes-Ptah ("King Ptah"). The Greek name Nestor makes for an effective word play with Nes-Ptah. Nestor is a peculiar and highly venerable figure in Greek myth. He was said to have lived for 300 years and have influenced three separate generations. As shown on Chart 17, Ramses-Tefnakhte inherited the name/title of Zadok from his father Khaemwaset-Sheshonq (V), also renowned for his wisdom and eloquence. The role of Zadok was played by the priest Aanen/Meri-Ptah in the preceding Amarna Period.
Nestor in Greek memory thus combined three or more Zadok figures of royal history. The line of Nestor (Tefnakhte) was also the one that ultimately prevailed when the dust of Troy settled, and ultimately founded the Persian dynasty under his grandsons Osorkon V (Darius) and Nes-Ptah II (Cyrus II). Robert Graves writes (169 o): "Only Nestor, who had always shown himself just, prudent, generous, courteous, and respectful to the gods, returned safe and sound to Pylus, where he enjoyed a happy old age, untroubled by wars, and surrounded by bold, intelligent sons. For so Almighyt Zeus decreed." This is in spite of losing two of his oldest sons in the conflict.
Based on a strong identification of Iliad character Nestor with Ramses-Tefnakhte, the best candidate for Paris then becomes Seti II. Both Paris and Cassandra/Helen are listed among the children of Priam by his second wife Queen Hecabe/Hecuba. The root Hec/Heq/Hyk in Egyptian signifies "ruling", therefore Hecabe probably corresponds to the God's Wife of Amun (Merit-Amon daughter of Nefertari). If both Paris and Cassandra/Helen were true offspring of Merit-Amon, they likely had different fathers, as the half-sister/brother royal marriage was considered the most optimal. Seti II is considered the son of Meremptah, however his mother is unknown from Egyptian sources.
Other daughters attributed to Hecabe (see Robert Graves, 'The Greek Myths' section 158) are named as Creusa ("sovereign being"), Laodice ("justice of the people"), and Polyxena ("many guests"). However, these appear to only be further epithets of Helen/Maatkare, who ruled first as "God's Wife" and then as pharaoh. Laodice (Graves, 164 e) is further called Eurydice ("wide justice"), Hiera ("priestess"), and Astyoche ("possessor of the city"), all names appropriate for a God's Wife of Amun. Laodice was supposedly married to one Telephus. He declined to join the expedition against Troy due to his relationship with the daughter of Priam. However, when Troy falls his so-called wife Laodice is not with him but at Troy as is both Cassandra and Helen, a (triple) moon goddess. A further epithet of Helen was probably Anaxibia ("queenly might"). Clytemnestra was probably also called Clymene ("famous might") mother of Oeax (Ajax?) and Palamedes (Idomenes/Ihtesamun/Amenhotep?).
Hecabe is also considered mother to both Hector (Egy. Amenmesses), her eldest child, and to Deiphobus who is said to have married Helen after the death of Paris. Deiphobus is possibly also then one and the same as Telephus, and who according to one version of the story conspired with Polyxena (Helen) to kill Achilles. So it appears that Achilles was fighting to win Helen like everyone else, yet he was determined to win her on his terms and not Priam's!
There is still some clean-up left to do, but the overall framework is now in place. This truly opens up another "New World" in ancient studies. Happy Columbus Day!
Responses To This Message
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.