Author Topic: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War  (Read 881 times)

Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2018, 08:47:44 AM »
The argument, surely, is that Boeotia was renowned for chariotry, whether current, historical, or legendary does not matter, in the classical era, and that therefore references in Sophocles and the like to "chariot-rich Thebes" are simply explained without any association with Egypt.

Except that 'chariot rich' (poluarmatō) is in the sense of many chariots rather than renowned chariots.

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One might add the sanctuary of Onchestos in Boeotia and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo if any more examples of Boeotian fame in chariotry are required.

I am puzzled by the reference to the Homeric Hymn of Apollo, which states:

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225    Next you arrived in Thebè’s abode, all covered in forests,
          since no one among men yet dwelt in Thebè the holy,
          nor at the time were as yet any footpaths nor any roadways
          there across Thebè’s wheat-bearing plain—it was covered in forest.

The chariots are not even a twinkle in Cadmus' eye because the city is not yet built.  There is of course the reference to Onchestos:

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          Now yet farther from there you went, far-shooting Apollo,
230    coming to Onchestos, the resplendent grove of Poseidon;
          there where a colt, new-broken, recovers his breath from the pain of
          drawing a beautiful chariot; though he is skillful, the driver
          leaps from the car-box and goes on his journey; and meanwhile the horses
          rattle the empty conveyance, bereft of a master to guide them.
235    Should they shatter the chariot there in the forested woodland,
          men take care of the horses, the car they tilt and abandon;
          for it was so in the earliest ritual; then do the drivers
          pray to the lord; as the share of the god is the chariot guarded.

The Hymn thus associates Onchestos with chariotry but specifically excludes Thebes.

It is Dionysus/Bacchus who holds Thebes foremost in honour, because his mother (Semele) lived there and his rites were first established there - it's his home town.

OK, I shall accept that.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2018, 09:14:58 AM »
I am puzzled by the reference to the Homeric Hymn of Apollo ...
The chariots are not even a twinkle in Cadmus' eye because the city is not yet built.

The point, which I made previously and you clearly missed, is that this isn't about Cadmus' time, or any legendary or Bronze-Age period; it's that Boeotia is associated with chariotry at the time of Sophocles, the author of your original quotes. The Hymn is part of the literary background of that association.
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2018, 09:23:41 AM »
There are clear antecedents for Shakespeare's Julius C through the Latin literary tradition, but there is not the same bridge (or series of shaky bridges) that gets us from Tutankhamon to Euripides, either directly, or by inference through context (Roy's point).

What does briing together Sophocles, Euripides and the Amarna era is the long series of correspondences, far too many for coincidence.

Laius = Amenhotep III.  Both originate 'the curse' by molesting a youth who commits suicide (Chrysippus = Prince Thutmose, one of the three royal suicides in KV 35*).

*Kings' Valley Tomb 35.  Originally Amenhotep II's tomb, but three Amarna period mummies were found together in an annex.

Oedipus = Akhenaten. The estranged exiled son who murders his father and marries his mother.  After a 17-year reign, he goes into exile - blind.

Jocasta = Tiy.  The incestuous mother of two princes (Polyneices = Smenkhare and Eteocles = Tutankhamun) who depose their father, share rule, fall out and fight a civil war against each other which ends when, among other things, Eteocles sustains a leg wound and terminal chest wound together.  Upon the death of her two sons, she commits suicide.  (Tiy is the older woman from among the three Amarna royal suicides in KV 35.)

Creon = Ay. The brother of Jocasta/Tiy takes over rule and forbids the burial of the invading king (Polyneices/Smenkhare) while giving the defending king (Eteocles/Tutankhamun) a most splendid burial (KV 62*).  His cruelty causes a 'tumult of hatred' to rise against him - exemplified by the thorough destruction of Ay's tombs.

*Kings' Valley Tomb 62; Tutankhamun's tomb.

Polyneices = Smenkhare. This son of Oedipus/Akhenaten is first to rule but then displaced by his brother (Smenkhare's one-year reign).  Denied burial by Creon/Ay, he is given an improvised clandestine burial by his sister (Antigone/Meritaten).  This burial is subsequently disturbed by Creon/Ay's guards (KV 55*).

*The KV 55 burial involved many 'borrowed' items: Tiy's catafalque and coffin; Meritaten's canopic jars; pots, boxes, tools and symbolic offerings with the names of Amenhotep III and Tiy.

Antigone = Meritaten.  The sister of Polyneices/Smenkhare is punished for his burial by being imprisoned within a rock chamber (KV 54*).  She hangs herself with a halter made of strips of fine linen, the third of the KV 35 Amarna royal suicides.

*KV 54 was a mystery to archeologists.  It contained food and water jars, worn kerchiefs, cups which had been used as lamps, a worn broom and strips torn from fine linen.

Eteocles = Tutankhamun. The second son of Oedipus/Akhenaten and Jocasta/Tiy deposes his brother and rules for several years while the latter gathers an invading force to support his claim.  The campaign stalls at the walls of Thebes and the brothers duel, both perishing.  Creon/Ay gives Eteocles/Tutankhamun a splendid burial (KV 62) - which is the greatest distinction this pharaoh is known to have received.

Ismene = Ankhesenpaaten.  Antigone/Meritaten's sister accepts what cannot be changed, unlike her fiery sibling.  She is little more than a spectator in the events of the tragedy.

Haemon = Nakhtmin.  Ay/Creon's son and heir is betrothed to and enamoured of Antigone/Meritaten and kills himself upon learning of her suicide.

Tiresias = Amenhotep son of Hapu.  The famous aged seer in the Oedipus story, who was said to have lived both as man and woman, has his counterpart in the Egyptian Amenhotep son of Hapu, a noted and long-lived seer, one of whose statues portrays him as a woman.

This series of ocrrespondences cannot be ignored.  The Oedipus story is the relic of actual events involving historical personages of the Amarna period.  It has suffered in transmittion, but not so much that we cannot recognise the individuals concerned.  And, as we learn more about those individuals, the correspondences keep growing, one being the exact correspondence between the wounds suffered by Tutankhamun and those sustained by Eteocles.

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And I daresay that we have a ton more evidence for JC than Tut outside the literary tradition.

Depends what you mean.  For Tutankhamun, we do have a body. :)
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2018, 09:26:05 AM »
The point, which I made previously and you clearly missed, is that this isn't about Cadmus' time, or any legendary or Bronze-Age period; it's that Boeotia is associated with chariotry at the time of Sophocles, the author of your original quotes. The Hymn is part of the literary background of that association.

Very well, I take that point, but in return reiterate that even Sophocles' 5th century BC Boeotia is not noted for the multiplicity of its chariots, which is what poluarmatō means.
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Erpingham

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2018, 10:14:54 AM »
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This series of ocrrespondences cannot be ignored.  The Oedipus story is the relic of actual events involving historical personages of the Amarna period.  It has suffered in transmittion, but not so much that we cannot recognise the individuals concerned.  And, as we learn more about those individuals, the correspondences keep growing, one being the exact correspondence between the wounds suffered by Tutankhamun and those sustained by Eteocles.

Patrick, you are simply stating your interpretation of fact with little or no supporting evidence.  Akhnaten did not grow up in exile.  Amenhotep III appears to have died of natural causes.  There is no record of Akhnaten marrying his mother.  There is no evidence Smenkhare was deposed and went into exile, or that he/she returned with an army and besieged Thebes.  It has been impossible for the many experts who have examined Tutankhamun's mummy to be sure of his cause of death.  Unfortunately, the mummy was badly damaged post excavation, which doesn't help.  On what might be called the flip side, two key aspects of the story of Akhnaten are the development of a new state religion and the building of a new capital.  Neither of the these important elements appear in the Oedipus story.

Perhaps we should stop this now?  I for one have found your argument for this theory utterly unconvincing.  The story seems to fit with much less mutilation and a great deal more logic into a Greek tradition of heroic tales of legendary past.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2018, 10:21:18 AM »
Antigone = Meritaten.  The sister of Polyneices/Smenkhare is punished for his burial by being imprisoned within a rock chamber (KV 54*).  She hangs herself with a halter made of strips of fine linen, the third of the KV 35 Amarna royal suicides.

Puzzled here - is she buried in KV35 and KV54?
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2018, 07:06:26 PM »
Antigone = Meritaten.  The sister of Polyneices/Smenkhare is punished for his burial by being imprisoned within a rock chamber (KV 54*).  She hangs herself with a halter made of strips of fine linen, the third of the KV 35 Amarna royal suicides.

Puzzled here - is she buried in KV35 and KV54?

Sorry, I was a bit vague.  She was confined (and committed suicide) in KV54 and her mummy is currently in KV 35 along with those of Tiy and young Thutmose.
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2018, 07:36:05 PM »
Patrick, you are simply stating your interpretation of fact with little or no supporting evidence.  Akhnaten did not grow up in exile.

How sure can we be about that?  Amarna letters 28 and 29 (Tushratta to Akhenaten) tell him to consult his mother in order to get information on the diplomatic situation between Egypt and Mitanni - a curious suggestion unless the new pharaoh has just returned from exile and hence is out of touch with the current situation.

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Amenhotep III appears to have died of natural causes.

One advantage of being married to a kemetophile is that one can ask about the significance of erasing the ren (name) of a person.  In particular, how this affects the essence of the person even after physical death.

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There is no record of Akhnaten marrying his mother.

No record is not the same as no evidence.  Huya's tomb (Amarna Tomb 1) contains interesting evidence; if you have a copy of Oedipus and Akhnaton, please see pages 90-95 for a discussion.

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There is no evidence Smenkhare was deposed and went into exile, or that he/she returned with an army and besieged Thebes.

Not quite true: while the abrupt termination of his reign after Year 1 is not per se prima facie evidence of deposition, it is certainly consistent with such a situation.  The evidence of a civil war in the Amarna period lies in the Amarna papyrus Duncan mentioned earlier in another thread (about opponents for Mycenaean armies).  It is Amarna style and was found in Amarna; there was no reason for any Amarna inhabitant to depict Egyptian troops being defeated - apparently in Egypt itself - by Libyans and Mycenaeans.  Unless, that is, those foreigners were allies of a contemporarily successful Amarna-based faction.  By process of elimination, we can assign this to Smenkhare (Akhenaten did not invite foreign armies into the country, Tutankhamun is depicted as fighting against Ethiopians* and Libyans and Amarna seems to have been abandoned under Ay).  By process of association with the Oedipus story we can confirm it as applying to Smenkhare.

*Although not Mycenaeans. There is a strategic story there.

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It has been impossible for the many experts who have examined Tutankhamun's mummy to be sure of his cause of death.  Unfortunately, the mummy was badly damaged post excavation, which doesn't help.

All true, especially as the embalmers rather overdid the preparations and used too miuch resin and too many unguents.  However the 2004-2005 CT scan discoveries have highlighted the knee and chest injuries and especially the terminal nautre of the latter.  Any prior examinations and theories were thus based on significantly incomplete information.

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On what might be called the flip side, two key aspects of the story of Akhnaten are the development of a new state religion and the building of a new capital.  Neither of the these important elements appear in the Oedipus story.

One suspects that neither aspect really interested the Greeks who went to Egypt or those who first heard the story in Greece (the Amarna correspondents are a bit vague on this, too).  The downfall of the world's most important man and the doings of his family, however, did interest them.  (This distribution of interest seems to be reflected in the audience comment figures on internet news items. Plus ca change ...)

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Perhaps we should stop this now?  I for one have found your argument for this theory utterly unconvincing.  The story seems to fit with much less mutilation and a great deal more logic into a Greek tradition of heroic tales of legendary past.

Again, if you possess a copy of Oedipus and Akhanton, have a look through and you might revise that opinion.  Or not, as you choose.  But you will at least have seen the reasoning which underlies the identification of the Oedipus story with the Amarna period and personages, and the refutation of the idea that the story is either Greek or a legend.
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Jim Webster

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2018, 06:23:36 AM »
Patrick, you are simply stating your interpretation of fact with little or no supporting evidence.  Akhnaten did not grow up in exile.

How sure can we be about that?  Amarna letters 28 and 29 (Tushratta to Akhenaten) tell him to consult his mother in order to get information on the diplomatic situation between Egypt and Mitanni - a curious suggestion unless the new pharaoh has just returned from exile and hence is out of touch with the current situation.



Not necessarily, it may simply be that his mother was a lady with influence who knew what was going on behind the scenes and hadn't been minuted
Looking at her, some seem to think her father was not Egyptian and given her background and possible knowledge she might have been 'in the loop' over a lot of matters

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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2018, 09:05:28 AM »
Not necessarily, it may simply be that his mother was a lady with influence who knew what was going on behind the scenes and hadn't been minuted

Which would certainly be just like Tiy. :)  Tushratta however is principally referring to the official state of 'excellent friendly relations' between Egypt and Mitanni, which would hardly be a secret to anyone at court, especially a court with at least one recently-acquired Mitannian princess (Tadukhipa) in the royal family.  Doubtless there were also some other less official things to be understood, and for those he would indeed have been nudging the new pharaoh in Tiy's direction.

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Looking at her, some seem to think her father was not Egyptian and given her background and possible knowledge she might have been 'in the loop' over a lot of matters

Yes, her parents (and Ay's) were considered to be of part-foreign stock, largely on account of their names (cf. Dudu at Akhenaten's court).  Culturally, however, they seem to have been solid citizens of Akhmim, with no discernible trace of foreign influence.  I think the jury is still out on that one.

Tiy was, of course, very close to the reins of power: she acted as regent before Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV as he then was, albeit without the 'IV') was crowned and her presence in Huya's tomb reliefs show her wearing the queen's crown during Akhenaten's reign.  She certainly has the potential to be an Agrippina figure.
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Erpingham

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2018, 10:23:24 AM »
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How sure can we be about that?

You can ask me that?   ::)  Your entire theory only works because there are enough gaps in the known record to allow you to be a bit creative.  Your reconstruction of the Thutmoside dynasty's demise is imaginative in itself, let alone trying to link it with Oedipus.  I know I'm old fashioned but I do prefer proper historical method which weighs the evidence and is clear what is fact and what is interpretation or interpolation. 


 
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2018, 03:07:18 PM »
It's certainly interesting to look at cross-pollination and influence in the development of myth cycles and traditional literature, but it's very difficult to argue authoritatively that such traditions are rooted in particular historical episodes, and even harder to prove that they are an allegorical re-telling of historical events in another place. It starts to get into 'secret history' territory and while that can be good fun to speculate on (and quite a money spinner for the Dan Browns of this world!) it's probably not a direction we want to go too far towards.

Unless of course the Society of Ancients is really an ancient brotherhood of initiates into the Mysteries, and not just a collective of slightly fusty military history and wargaming enthusiasts ;-)

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2018, 03:31:47 PM »

Unless of course the Society of Ancients is really an ancient brotherhood of initiates into the Mysteries, and not just a collective of slightly fusty military history and wargaming enthusiasts ;-)

Dammit, we've been made!  Just dropping the word Justified from the name wasn't enough  :)
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2018, 07:06:56 PM »
Your entire theory only works because there are enough gaps in the known record to allow you to be a bit creative.

This reads like the epitaph of just about every theory in Egyptology. ;)

Anyway, I have what I need, namely that nobody among our regular posters has found any actual evidence against the identification of Eteocles with Tutankhamun.  Thank you, gentlemen.  This identification, incidentally, results in some very specific historical requirements, i.e. in order to be valid, what must follow Tutankhamun's death within a few years is a foreign invasion by at least some of the successors of the leaders who were lost at Thebes.  As it happens, this invasion (mentioning the nationality of the invaders) is exactly what Ammianus and Herodotus provide.  Specifically, Ammianus mentions the invasion and Herodotus describes the aftermath and the new dynasty which took power.  And there we may conclude matters for the present.


Unless of course the Society of Ancients is really an ancient brotherhood of initiates into the Mysteries, and not just a collective of slightly fusty military history and wargaming enthusiasts ;-)

Dammit, we've been made!  Just dropping the word Justified from the name wasn't enough  :)

I have it!  They are members of the Cabiri, like that Herodotus fellow. ;D
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Erpingham

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2018, 07:40:56 PM »
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Anyway, I have what I need, namely that nobody among our regular posters has found any actual evidence against the identification of Eteocles with Tutankhamun.

An interesting conclusion but if that works for you, I'm glad.  At some point, it might be trying the argument on people with more knowledge of Egyptology, just be sure  :)

I am curious what you need it for.  A novel in the style of Christian Jacq perhaps?
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