April 11, 2012

Tuthmosis I Pharaoh 1524-1518 BC

Tuthmosis I
Akheperkare
Dynasty 18
1524-1518 BC
Tuthmosis I
Amenhotep I was succeeded not by his son (a break with tradition that would usually indicate a change in dynasty), but by a military man, Tuthmosis, already in middle-age when he achieved supreme power. He may have partly legitimized his rule by acting as co-regent with Amenhotep in the last years of the old king's reign. His main claim to the throne, however, was through his wife, the princess Ahmose, who was the daughter of Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertary. Since ancient Egypt was a matrilineal society, he had thus married into the royal blood line.

Tuthmosis I Statue
Although Tuthmosis had a short reign of only about six years, it was marked by a series of brilliant military campaigns that were to set the seal on most of the rest of the 18th Dynasty (the Amarna period apart, pp. 120ff). Presumably some start or preparations must have been made in the last years of Amenhotep I for Tuthmosis to have been able to inaugurate his military movements so rapidly and effectively. Ahmose son of Ebana was still on active service during this period, and he recounts how he was promoted to admiral, was highly successful in the Nubian campaign and returned therefrom with 'that wretched Nubian Troglodyte being hanged head downward at the prow of the barge of His Majesty'.

Under Tuthmosis the grip of the priests of Amun at Karnak began to take hold, as the king extensively remodelled and restored the great temple to the chief of the gods under his architect Ineni. On his great Abydos stele, Tuthmosis records not only his vast building work there but also the fact that 'I made the boundaries of Egypt as far as that which the sun encircles ... I made Egypt the superior of every land.'

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