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How many female rulers was there in ancient egypt??

 
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Claire
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:06 pm    Post subject: How many female rulers was there in ancient egypt?? Reply with quote

After reading in Joann Fletcher's book 'The search for Nefertiti' I am now curious about how many women actually ruled ancient egypt in their own right. It seems very likely that Nefertiti did rule by herself after co- ruling with her husband Akhenaten but many other female rulers were mentioned such as Niethikret who ruled between around the years 2148 and 2144 BC there are also a few other females mentioned as either being co regents are actual rulers. Any ideas!? Smile
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are quite a few actually.

Merytneith (ca 3000 BC), likely wife of Djet and the mother of Den, served as regent. She had a rather large tomb.

Khentkaues I (ca 2385 BC), shown as a pharaoh, may have been regent for her son Sahure.

Ankhesenpepi II (ca 2210 BC) (also called Amnkhesenmeryre) was regent for her son Pepi II.

Sobekneferu became queen in her own right at the end of the 12th dynasty. She was not a regent, but took full power. She ruled from 1785 - 1781 BC.

Ahhotep (ca 1550 BC) may have been regent for her son Ahmose. But this is not certain. She was later awarded military honors.

Hatshepsut is one of the most famous queens. She started as regent for her step-son Tuthmosis III, but she did at some point declare herself pharaoh. Her rule covers 1472 - 1457 BC.

It is not certain who was regent for Amenhotep III (he is the father of Akhenaten) Amenhotep III was only 10-12 years old when he came to the throne, so someone must have guided him in his early years. It is possible that his mother Queem Mutemwia was regent, but there is no evidence for that.

Nefertiti was most likely co-regent with Akhenaten at the end of his life.

There is some evidence of a female ruler after Akhenaten named Neferneferuaten (ca. 1346 - 1343 BC). This may be Nefertiti who took the throne. I have also read that some people (Dodson for one) think it's possible that this female pharaoh was actually Nefertiti's daughter Meritaten.

Tawosret was pharaoh from 1189-1187 BC. She was first married to pharaoh Seti II, later the regent for Siptah, and ruled alone after Siptah's death. Combining her regency and her sole rule she may have been in ppower for up to 8 years.

And then of course there is Cleopatra VII. Smile


There are other women who held quite a bit of power. The God's Wives of Amun are a good example. There were already god's wives in the 18th dynasty, but they became more powerful in the later period.
We have women such as Shepenwepet, Amenardis, Ankhnesneferibre and Nitocris. These God's Wives during the late period were always a daughter of a pharaoh, and they served as a kind of High Priestess of the god Amun. They would control quite a bit of wealth.

The Nitikret (Nitocris) you mention from the old kingdom is a rather shadowy figure, and not everyone is convinced she really existed I think.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just came across an old thread that may be of interest:

How much power did the Queen have?
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