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Amenhotep II


Posted on December 11, 2019

After the pharaoh warrior Thutmose III, we now follow the hierarchical succession to speak of his successor, his son Amenhotep II who, as we have seen, reigned, in co-operation with his father for two years and four months. On the death of his father he became the seventh pharaoh of the XVIII Egyptian dynasty. Amenhotep II, (Amenophis in Greek), was the son of Merira Hatshepsut (not to be confused with the pharaoh woman), a minor wife of Thutmosi III. From the Great Royal Bride, Satiath, Amenemhat was born but died at a young age. Physically gifted, Amenhotep II, like his father, excelled in sporting activities, archery, running, horse riding as well as being an expert rower. Following in the footsteps of his father Amenhotep II he pursued the same imperialist policy, accentuating its impetus, which he emphasized by taking the name of Horo “He who subdues all countries by force.” As his father was a great “sportsman”, his exploits , as well as in other sources found in Amada, Karnak and Menfi, are described in the “Stele of the Arch with the Arch”, where we read that: “he mastered equitation and there was none equal to him, his bow could not be bent by anyone and nobody could reach him in the races “, Amenhotep II was proud of his athletic abilities, of his exploits we know that he used to try his hand on his chariot, with the reins tied to his life, throwing arrows through a copper plate.

The episode is reported on various stelae and ritual beetles found a little everywhere. As a “son of the gods” he was able to perform in certain performances that no one could have imitated, from a story of a propagandistic nature we learn that, with his boat, wielding a 30 foot oar, (8.64 m .), reached a speed six times higher than the average. Leaving aside the flattering notes of the scribe, it must be emphasized that his mummy has a decidedly more massive constitution than that of other pharaohs, thus denouncing a strong and extraordinarily portentous physical constitution for his time. Shortly after the death of his father, Thutmosi III, in the third year of his reign Amenhotep II found himself committed to defending the Egyptian borders threatened by the people of the Mitanni who unleashed an attack on the Egyptian forces stationed near the Oronte river, the intervention of Amenhotep II he resolved with a resounding victory where the opposing forces were repulsed.

The contemporary chroniclers, always inclined to the adulation of the sovereigns, report that, thanks to its value and its physical strength, Amenhotep II alone would have knocked down at one time seven enemies that were later hung as trophies to the bow of his ship. Still the Mitanni, in the seventh year of reign, gave life to a great revolt in the vassal state of Naharina, Amenhotep II rushed again to sedate it. The reported success has come to us on a victory stele where, however, large-scale battles are not mentioned. As mentioned above, the contemporary media in reporting the battle seems to have exceeded with propaganda claims, according to some scholars it can be deduced from the fact that, after the battle, there are no more references to these regions. It is thought that since then the Egyptian garrisons stationed in the Naharina region have been withdrawn and the Egyptian influence on the territory has been greatly reduced. In the ninth year of reign Amenhotep II undertook what will be his last military campaign. With his army he reached as far as Lake Tiberias but did not go further. The usual flattery chronicles report that the sovereign returned with a haul of over 101,000 slaves and prisoners, an obviously exaggerated figure. It must have somehow concluded some agreements with those peoples so much that ancient texts report that later legations of the kings of Babylon came to the pharaoh.

Hittiti and Mitanni bearing tributes. There are no reports of military campaigns towards Nubia or towards the western desert. Regarding his building activity, unlike his father, Amenhotep II did not intervene significantly in the temple of Karnak, where he only erected a celebratory column between the fourth and fifth pylon, to commemorate the peace with the Mitanni. His interventions turned instead to the temples of Montu in Medamud and to Hermonthis, in addition to the completion of the temple of Horus, Ra-Harakhty and Amon-Ra to Amada in Nubia. It should be noted that, with Amenhotep II, the statuary, which from the time of Queen Hatshepsut had begun to lose something of the rigid canons of tradition, undergoes an evolution towards a more naturalistic form. As for his brides, in particular the “Great Royal Bride” of Amenhotep II there is not much news, archaeologists assume that the pharaoh considered excessive the weight reached then by women assuming the title of “Divine Bride of Amon”, yes he only knows the name of a secondary bride, Tiaa who gave birth to his successor Thutmosi IV. Amenhotep II died at the age of about 44 years after having reigned for about 26 years. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings where in 1898, the Egyptologist Victor Loret discovered his tomb which was classified as KV35.

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