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Triad of Queens???

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:15 pm    Post subject: Triad of Queens??? Reply with quote

Something that seems like a throw-away remark by Joanne Fletcher in her book about Amenhotep III made me wonder if during some periods there may have been a triumvirate of Queens.

She says that after the death of Mutemwia around year 34, Princess Isis is elevated to the position of Great Wife thereby bringing the number of Great wives back up to three (Tiye, Sitamen, and Isis).

That means we would have had:

Year 30: Mutemwia, Tiye, and Sitamen
Year 34: Tiye, Sitamen and Isis.

Some questions came to my mind:
Who did Sitamen replace? (Maybe Iaret or Nefertiry?)
Is there any indication that this type of triad of Queens existed at other times?
If such a triad really existed, then what would the purpose be? I would assume ritualistic?, religious?

Other possible triads:
Tetisheri – Ahhotep – Ahmose-Nefertari (Time of Ahmose)
Ahhotep – Ahmose-Nefertari – Sitkamose ? (Later in reign of Ahmose)
Ahmose-Nefertari – Mutnofret – Ahmose ? (Time of Thutmosis I)
Isis – Sitiah – Neferure (Time of Thutmosis III)
Maybe Isis – Merytre-Hatshepsut – Neferure? (Time of Thutmosis III)
Tiaa– Iaret - Nefertiry (Time of Thutmosis IV)

Tiye – Nefertiti – Kiya
Maybe Tiye – Nefertiti – Meritaten (Meritaten seems to have replaced Kiya in her monuments)

From the reign of Ramses II:
Mut-Tuy – Nefertari – Isetnofret
Nefertari – Isetnofret – Bintanath???
Bintanath – Meryetamen – Nebettawy

There are other reigns during which there’s actually no evidence of Triads of Queens.
Can’t come up with a plausible one for the reigns of Amenhotep II,Tutankhamen, Horemheb, Ramses I, Seti I to name but a few examples.

There are however reigns which have multiple Great Wives and I have always wondered if there was some religious or other reason for that. Religion changed over the different reigns, so it may have been a “fad” only adhered to during certain periods??
The best case for this triad can be made for the reigns of Ahmose, Thutmosis III, Amenhotep III and Ramses II.
With the exception of Amenhotep III, these were warrior kings, who were often away from court on military expeditions. I would expect the real power to have been in the hand of the Viziers and the High Priest of Amen, but maybe the Queens formed some representation of the King. Represented the Royal family maybe??

Any ideas?
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maahes
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its interesting to search through Manethos' list of kings marking the first and seventh in that these trimverates seems to pop with regularity. I wonder if they are not designed in preparation for specific constellation infused durbars or events ..
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Nekht-Ankh
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 12:18 pm    Post subject: Great royal wives Reply with quote

I heard a paper at a conference earlier this year which talked about great royal wives. It suggested that being a great wife conferred specific status and privileges. Other royal wives were had very limit roles, but great wives seem to have participated in diplomacy. Great royal wives were allowed to write letters to foreign rulers, but ordinary wives were not, even the foreign ones do not seem to have written home. I don't remember the details, but I think there was a suggestion that one of the foreign wives could have been given great wife status so that she could write home.

So it may be that, rather than being religious or ritualistic, the multiple great royal wives are fulfulling some sort of political function.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for both your responses.

I can think of some examples that fit both your scenarios Very Happy

Sitamen was elevated to GRW during the heb-sed festival of Amenhotep III. I think some of the goddesses had multiple facets, so maybe a way to honor different sides of a goddess.

The other example I'm thinking of is Maathor-neferure, the Hittite wife of Ramses II. She was accorded the status of GRW as part of the treaty I think.
Her father at some point mentions that if they would have had a son, then this man could have ruled Egypt? I find that a bit hard to believe.

There does seem to be some evidence that some of the GRW communicated with other Queens (Queen Nefertari wrote with Puduhepa of the Hittites and Tiye is mentioned in the Amarna letters.)
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