Chas, you wrote;
"Typically a childless king or prince found themselves pegged as an Issachar or Noah-Solomon type. These men had to have heirs produced on their behalf, but the culture at least had a means for them to save face. It was not so kind to "barren" royal women."
Barbara G. Walker, in her numerous books involving women's role in ancient society, shows strong supporting evidence indicating that many of the events we read about today as being accurate reports of ancient history, have been re-written from a male dominated society, rather than the female dominated one that actually existed in most of the European world and Mediteranean world of the past. Thus, great male leaders are constantly killed off in battle, or deposed and exiled, or murdered, etc., when they do not reproduce or fail to show sexual excitement and perform, etc. Looking at society thru Walker's eyes, makes it easier to believe that it was the power of the ruling women that made and disposed of their consorts (men). How simple it becomes to recognize the strange stories in the Bible which tell of birth-rights stolen, and other Roman stories whereby nephews rule, and adopted sons rule, etc., ater the fall of the father figure. It has even been supposed that the royal women gave birth to the new male or female children in public view so there would be no doubt as to its real birth-rights!
Stories about the alleged female pope Joan, even describe her giving birth on a city street!
Of course even the fatherhood of Jesus is most correctly linked to royalty thru Mary and not Joseph, many experts consider that the royal lineage of Joseph was a later insertion, and in many respects confounds the story of his conception via an angel of God. In reality the concern of paternity are relatively new to our world, and it appears became something of importance when harems were guarded by emaculated males, or in medieval times and later when wives wore chastity belts, etc. Otherwise, before scientific tests were available, no man could be sure that any child born by his wife or concubines, etc., was his! It probably was not the right of a pharoah to marry his mother, rather it was the right of the queen mother to marry her offspring, to pick and choose as she might.
I shall stop now!
Aga-mem-Ron the Eighth!
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.