Studies in Access to the King, The Interconnection With the Court and the Subjects Until the End of the New Kingdom

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The University of Liverpool,

Studies in


.: -

Thesis submitted in accordance with the requirements of the University of Liverpool for the degree of Doctor in Philosophy


Sherine Abd El Aziz El Menshawy



Table of Contents


... vii

S List of figures ... viii

List of abbreviations ... xi

Bibliographical abbreviations ... xi

Other abbreviations ... xiv

Acknowledgement ... xv

Prologue ... 1

CHAPTER 1. INTERACTION BETWEEN THE KING AND HIS PEOPLE (TEXTUAL EVIDENCE) 1 1T l i 5 . extua narrat ve ... 1.1.1. Basic elements of narrative ... 8

1.1`2. Preparations before meeting the king ... 10 The Duties of the Vizier text ... 11 The story of the Shipwrecked Sailor ... 15

1.1.3. People responsible for the ushering in ... 17

1.1.4. The king's appearance in audience hall ... 26

1.1.5. Kings' behaviour ... 27

1.1.6. People's attitude ... 30

1.1.7. Greetings ... 31

1.1.8. Court entertainment for kings ... 33

1.1.9. Kings' visits and interaction with their subjects ... 37

1.1.10. Interaction during rituals and ceremonies ... 39

1.1.11. Interaction with subjects when celebrating their coronation... 42 Classes of people who have access to the king ... 46

1.1.12. Other sorts of interaction ... 48

1.1.13. Kings' contact with their subjects from battlefield tests ... 51 The battle of Qadesh ... 51 Ahmose son of Abana ... 54 The stela of Kha-Sobek ... 55 The battle of Megiddo ... 55 The inscription of Amenemheb ... 57



1.2. King's decision

... 58


2.1.1. The promotion and rewarding scenes ... 62 Interaction through scenes before Amarna period... 62 The tomb of Wsr-7mn ... 62 The tomb of Rh-ml-R3 ... 64 The tomb of 7mn-htp-s3-s ... 64 The tomb of Nb-7mn ... 65 Discussion ... 66 Evidence of interaction from scenes of the Amarna period 67 The tomb of 7y ... 67 The tomb of Twtw... 70 ... The tomb of P3-rn-n 71 The tomb of Mry-Rr I ... 73 The tomb of Mry-Rn II ... 74 Royal Audiences and the Window of Appearances at Amarna... ... 76

... Interaction through scenes after Amarna period ... 86 The tomb of Hwy ... 86 The tomb of Nfr-htp ... 88

1.1. Discussion ... 90 Interaction after the Eighteenth Dynasty ... 91 Stela Louvre C 213 ... 91 The tomb of 7py ... 92 The reward of Pn-niwt ... 93 Discussion ... 94

2.1.2. Tribute scenes ... 95

1 The tomb of 7mn-ms ... 95 The tomb of Mry-R" II ... 96


iv The Tomb of Hwy ... 101 Discussion ... 102

2.1.3. Presenting flowers to the king ... 109 The Tomb of Dhwti... 109 The Tomb of Nfr-rnpt ... 110 The tomb of P3-rn-nfr ... 111 The Tomb of R"-ms ... 111 The Tomb of 7mn-m-h3t (Surer) ... 112 Discussion ... 113

2.1.4. Presentation of the New Year's gifts ... 118 The Tomb of 7mn-htp (? ) ... 118 The Tomb of Sn-nfr ... 119 The Tomb of Tn-n3 ... 120 The Tomb of 7mn-m-h3t ... 120 Discussion ... 122

2.2. Over all discussion ... 123

2.2.1. Basic elements of narrative ... 123

2.2.2. Preparations before meeting the king ... 123

2.2.3. The king's appearance in the audience hall ... 124

2.2.4. People responsible for the ushering in ... 124

2.2.5. People's attitude ... ... .... 124 . .. 2.2.6. Greeting ... . ... .... .. .. ... 124 2.2.7. Court entertainment ...:... 125

2.2.8. People witnessing these events ... 126

2.3, Interpreting pictorial narrative ... 127

2.4. Appendix I: The dw3 rhyt Motif ... 129

2.5. Appendix II: The Heb-Sed festival ... 132

2.5.1. Discussion ... ... . ... 13 6 CHAPTER 3. INTERACTION BETWEEN THE KING AND HIS PEOPLE (ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE) 3.1. Palace layout ... ... 138


V The Malkata Palace

... 140

... The Palace of Merenptah ... .. 142 Amarna Palaces ... 142 The North Palace ... 143 The North Riverside Palace ... 143 The Great Palace ... 143 The King's House ... 144 Depictions of the Amarna Palaces ... 145

3.1.2. Temple palaces ... 147

3.1.3. Comparison between residential palaces and temple palaces... 149

3.2. Terms indicating halls within the palace architecture ... 151

3.2.1. d3dw ... 151 3.2.2. W3hy ... 157 3.2.3. Is-Ist ... 160 3.2.4. n-imy-wrt ... 163 3.2.5. stp-s3 ... 166 Discussion ... 169 3.2.6. rrryt ... 170


4.1.1. Eyes and ears of the king ... 175 Discussion ... 183

4.1.2. People referring to themselves as "stepping freely" in the sacred place ... 192 Discussion ... 196

4.1.3 Approach ability to the royalty ... 203

4.... 207 Discussion ... ... 212

4.1.4. The king's acquaintance ... 4.215 Discussion ... 4.2. Narrative with special statements reflecting the king's interaction with his subj ests ... 217



4.2.1. The autobiography of Tti on his stela BM 614 ... 217

4.2.2. The autobiography of In-It -f son of Tfi ... 218

' 4.2.3. The Quarry inscription of the Steward Hnw ... 220

4.2.4. The two stelae of the Chief Priest Wpw3w3t-r3 ... 221 Leiden V 4= No. 5 ... 221 Munich GL. WAF 35 ... 222

4.2.5. Stela of the Chamberlain Semti the Younger ... 223

4.2.6. The autobiography of Shtp-lb-Rr on his stela Cairo No 20538, originally from Abydos ... 224

4.2.7. Discussion ... 225

CHAPTER 5. CONCLUSIONS 5.1. To what extent was the king isolated in his palace? ... 227

5.2. Reconstruction of a royal audience ... 235

5.2.1. Barrier of the royal palace ... 235

5.2.2. Purifying before entering ... 235

5.2.3. Waiting for the ushering in...:... 237

5.2.4. The moment of ushering in ... 238

5.2.5. Attitude of recipients upon ushering in front of the king ... 238

5.2.6. Place of ushering ... 239

5.2.7. The King's appearances in the audience hall ... 241

5.2.8. The last stage before leaving ... 242

5.2.9. A continuation of the narrative ... 242

5.3. Relationship based on the idea of `Exchange' ... . 243

5.3.1. Spiritual offerings ... ... 243

5.3.2. Material offerings ... . 243

Works Consulted

or of Related








This work seeks to determine and analyze the relationship between the king, as the head of the Egyptian political structure, and his people. The research is based on textual, pictorial and archeological evidence. It also employs' narrative accounts,

epithets and titles of the officials.

Chapter One introduces the main themes using texts from the Old to the New

Kingdom. It is divided according to the following categories:

The basic elements of narrative, preparations before meeting the king, people responsible for the ushering in, the king's appearance in the audience hall, people's

attitude, greeting, court entertainment for kings, kings' visits and interactions with their subjects, interaction with the kings when celebrating their coronation, other sorts

of interactions and kings' contact with their subjects from battlefield texts.

Chapter Two examines the relationship between the king and his subjects based on pictorial evidence. It is divided according to the following categories:

The promotion and rewarding scenes, tribute scenes, presenting flowers to the king

and presenting New Years gifts to the king.

Chapter Three has two parts. Section One examines the layout of the palaces. Section Two discusses the various terms used to refer to as rooms/halls where audiences are considered to have taken place. These include: w3hy, d3dw, is-ist, stp-s3,

imy-r wrt and rrryt.

Chapter Four search in the relationship between the king and his officials based on their titles, epithets and their biographies.

Chapter Five I consider the evidence as a whole and attempt to reconstruct a view of the ancient Egyptian royal audience.



List of figures

Fig. I Ushering the official into the presence of the vizier (after Davies, Rekhmire, pl. XXV).

Fig. 2a The reward of ly (after Davies, ElAmarna VI, pl. XXIX).

Fig. 2b 7y Congratulated by his friends (after Davies, ElAmarna VI, pl. XXX). Fig. 3 The reward of Twtw (after Davies, El Amarna VI, pls. XVII, XVIII).

Fig. 4 The P3-rn-nfr (after Davies, El Amarna VI, pl. IV).

Fig. 5 The promotion of Mry-Rc I (after Davies, ElAmarna I, pl. VI).

Fig. 6 The reward of Mry-Rr II (after Davies, ElAmarna II, pl. XXCIII). Fig. 7a The North Reverside Palace (after Kemp, JEA 62, fig. 4).

Fig. 7b The king's house at El Amarna (after Kemp, JEA 62, fig. 1).

Fig. 8 The window of appearances depicted shut by a door with two leaves (Badawy, History of Egyptian Architecture III, 33, fig. 18).

Fig. 9 The window of appearances in the facade of the first palace at Medinet Habu (Hölscher, The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, pl. 3).

Fig. 10a Two representations of the palace from the tomb of Mry RC at Amarna (after Badawy, History of Egyptian Architecture III, fig. 15).

Fig. I Ob Representation of the palace from the tomb of Twtw at Amarna (after Badawy, History of Egyptian Architecture III, fig. 16).

Fig. Il The promotion of Hwy (after Davies, Tomb of Huy, pl. VI).

Fig. 12 The reward of Nfr-htp and his wife Mrit-Rr (after Davies, Tomb of Neferhotep, pl. 1).

Fig. 13 Hr-min and an audience with the king stela Louvre C213 (after Schulman, Ceremonial Execution, fig. 22).

Fig. 14 The reward of 7py (after Davies, Two Ramesside Tombs, pl. XXVII).

Fig. 15 Tribute introduced to the king (tomb of 7mn-ms) (after Davies, Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, pl. XXXIV).

Fig. 16 Mry-RC II introduces tribute to the king (after Davies, El Amarna II, pl. XXXVII).

Fig. 17a The king and the queen carried on the state palanquin (tomb of Hwy3) (after Davies, ElAmarna III, pl. XIII).



Fig. 17b Bringing the tribute of the nations (tomb of Hwy3) (after Davies, El Amarna III, pl. XIV).

Fig. 18a Tutankhamun sits in state under his baldachin (after Davies, Tomb of Huy, pl. XXII).

Fig. 18b Hwy introduces the tribute of the south to Tutankhamun (after Davies, Tomb of Huy, pl. XXIII).

Fig. 19 Dhwti presenting flowers to the king (after Davies, in Studies Presented to Griffith, pl. 35).

Fig. 20a Nfr-rnpt presenting a bouquet before two kings (after Helck, MDAIK 17 (1961), 103 fig. 3).

Fig. 20b Nfr-rnpt presenting two bouquets and geese before the king's kiosk (after Helck, MDAIK 17 (1961), 102 fig. 2).

Fig. 21a The tomb of R"-ms: Amenhotep IV enthroned with the goddess Maat (after Davies, Tomb of the Vizier Ramose, pl. XXIX).

Fig. 2lb-c Rr-ms presenting different bouquets and staffs to the king (after Davies, Tomb of the Vizier Ramose, pls. XXX, XXXI).

Fig. 22 7mn-m-h3t presenting different staffs and bouquets to the king (after Save-S6 derbergh, Four Eighteenth Dynasty Tombs I, pl. XL).

Fig. 23 7mn-htp presenting New Year's gifts to Hatshepsut (after Habachi, JNES 16 (1957), 92, pl. V).

Fig. 24 Presenting New Year's gifts to Amenhotep II (tomb of Sn-nfr) (after Davies, BMMA 23 (1928), fig. 6T).

Fig. 25 New Year's gifts presented to king Thutmosis IV (tomb of Tn-n3) (after Save- Söderbergh, Four Eighteenth Dynasty Tombs I, pl. LXXII).

Fig. 26 7mn-m-h3t presenting New Year's gifts to the king (after Save-Söderbergh, Four Eighteenth Dynasty Tombs I, pls. XXX, X)O(VI):

Fig-27 Dancers and musicians performing jubilee ceremonies before Amenhotep III (after The Epigraphic Survey, Tomb of Kheruef, pl. 34).

Fig. 28a Scene of the First Sed-Festival of Amenhotep III at Soleb temple (after Gohary, Akhenaten Sed-Festival, pl. I).

Fig. 28b Scene of the First Sed-Festival of Amenhotep III at Soleb temple (after Gohary, "Akhenaten Sed-Festival, pl. II).



Fig. 29 Tell Basta, Middle Kingdom Palace Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 35).

Fig. 30 A Palace of the 13th Dynasty at Tell el Dabra (after Eigner, in Bietak (ed. ), House and Palace, fig. 1).

Fig. 31 Malkata, Palace of Amenhotep III: Tytus and Metropolitan Museum of Art Excavations Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 22).

Fig. 32 Tell el Amarna, North Palace Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 26).

Fig. 33 Tell el Amarna, North Riverside Palace Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 27).

Fig. 34 Tell el Amarna, Great Palace Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 24). Fig. 35 Tell el Amarna, King's House Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 25).

Fig. 36a Comparison of Temple Palace and Official Palace: Medinet Habu, Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III First Palace Plan (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 29a).

Fig. 36b Comparison of Temple Palace and Official Palace: Palace of Merenptah at Memphis (after Lacovara, Royal City, fig. 29b).

Fig. 37 A diagram illustrating the king's word carried out by the official to the outside world.

Fig. 38 Schematic layout of the palace in P. Boulaq 18 (after Quirke, Administration of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom, 41, fig. 1).

Fig. 39 Palace sectors in the orders for supplies. (after Quirke, Administration of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom, 104, fig. 4).



List of abbreviations

Bibliographical abbreviations

AA Agyptologische Abhandlungen. ÄAT Ägypten und Altes Testament.

AcOr Acta Orientalia.

ADAIK Abhandlungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung


AEB Annual Egyptological Bibliography, Leiden. AF Agyptologische Forschungen.

AfO Archiv für Orientforschung.

AJA American Journal of Archaeology.

AJSL American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Chicago.

Alex Annie Lexicographique, Paris.

AnOr Analecta Orientalia, Rome.

AoF Altorientalische Forschungen, Berlin.

Artibus Asiae Artibus Asiae Journal of the Institute of Fine Arts. New York University.

ARWAW Abhandlungen der Rheinisch-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

ASAE Annales du Service des Antiquites de 1'Egypte.


Abhandlungen der Sächsichen Akademie der Wissenschaften



ASE Archaeological Survey of Egypt.

AV Archäologische Veröffentlichungen. BAe Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca, Brüssel.

BES Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar.

BdE Bibliotheque d'Etude, Institut Francais d'Archeolgique, Cairo. BIE Bulletin de 1 'Institut d'Egypte.

BIFAO Bulletin de l'Institut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale, Cairo. BiOr Bibliotheca Orientalis, Leiden.



BMF Bulletin des Musees de France, Paris.

BMFA Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

BMMA Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

BMRAH Bulletin des Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Bruxelles. BSAE Britich School of Archaeology in Egypt.

CASAE Cahier. Supplements aux ASAE, Cairo = SASAE. CdE Chronique d'Egypte, Brüssels.

CGC Catalogue General des Antiquites Egyptiennes du Musee du Caire.

CRIPEL Cahiers de Recherches de'Institut de Papyrologie et d'Egyptologie de


DE Discussions in Egyptology. EEF Egypt Exploration Fund

EES Egypt Exploration Society

GM Göttinger Miszellen, Göttingen

GO Göttinger Orientforschungen, Wiesbaden. JAOS Journal of American Oriental Society

JARCE Journal of the American Research Centre in Egypt JE Journal d'entree, Cairo Museum

JEA Journal of Egyptian Archaeology JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies

JSSEA Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities

Kind Kemi. Revue de Philologie et d'Archeologie Egyptiennes et Coptes, Paris

Kush Kush. Journal of the Sudan Antiquities Service, Khartum

Lexikon der Ägyptologie

LAAA Liverpool Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology LD Lepsius, Denkmaeler aus Aegyten und Aethiopien MS Münchner Ägyptologische Studien, Berlin

MÄ U Münchener Äg q tologische Untersuchungen

MDAIK Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo



MIFAO Memoire publies par les Membres de 1'Institut Francais d' Archeologie Orientale, Cairo

MIO Mitteilungen des Institutsfür Orientforschung, Berlin

MMIFAO Memoire publies par les Membres de la Mission Archeologie Francais au Caire

MMJ Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal

NGWG Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen

ÖAWDG Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie

OBO Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis

OLA Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, Leuven OLP Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica, Leuven

O1Z Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Berlin, Leipzig Or Orientalia, Nova Series, Rome

PdÄ Probleme der Ägyptologie Leiden

PM Topographical Biblio raphy of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts. Reliefs, and Paintings by Bertha Porter and Rosalind L. B. Moss,

Oxford, 1960-1981.

PSBA Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, London

RdE Revue d'Egyptologie

RT Recueil de Travaux Relatifs ä la Philologie et ä 1'Archeologie Egyptiennes

et Assyriennes

SAK Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Hamburg

SAGA Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens SAOC Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilisation, Chicago

StudAeg Studia Aegyptiaca, Rome

TÄB Tübinger Ägyptologische Beiträge

UGAÄ Untersuchungen zur Geschichte und Altertumskunde Ägyptens URAÄ Urkunden zum Rechtsleben im Alten Ägypten

VA Varia Aegyptiaca

VÄK Veröffentlichungen der Ägyptischen Kommission. Wien Wb Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache



WdO Die Welt des Orient

WZKM Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlands



Other Abbreviations

CDME Faulkner, R.. O. A Concise Dictiona of Middle Egyptian. Oxford, 1962. CT de Buck, Adriaan. The Egyptian Coffin Texts. 7 vols. OIP 34-37.

Chicago, 1935-1961. col(s). column(s) fig(s). figure(s) no(s). number(s) P Papyrus P1(s). Plate

PT Faulkner, R. O. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramide Texts. Oxford, 1969. EYE Sethe, K. Die Altaegyptischen Pvramidentexte. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1908-


TT Theban Tomb

[... ] lacuna/ possible restoration in the translation

<> enclose words or parts of words omitted in the original text () enclose additions to the English translation




I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Christopher J. Eyre who granted me a great opportunity to be under his supervision. He has shown every

help, care, guidance and a considerable amount of patience throughout my research. He has launched me on Egyptian sea of knowledge though I have not yet reached the far

distant shore.

My thanks are due to Dr. Khaled Daoud, for his valuable help and advice. His encouragement contributed enormously towards the completion of this project. I am deeply grateful to Prof. Kenneth A. Kitchen for his continuous support and encouragement during my years in Liverpool. My thanks are extended to Professor A. Nur el Din (Cairo University), Dr. M. Saleh (Cairo Museum), Professor E. M. Ahmed

(Alexandria University), Professor A. Omar (Helwan University), Dr. M. Nigem (Helwan University),, Dr. M. El Zerai (Sohag University) and Dr. G. Abd el Razik (Alexandria University), for their assistance.

I am thankful to Dr. Steven Snape for his kind assistance and to Dr. Mark Collier for his valuable remarks. I also appreciate the assistance of Professor C. Mee, Professor A. Millard, Professor E. Slater, Professor J. K. Davies, Dr. F. Jones and Mrs. N. Fox. My warm thanks are due to Miss Pat Winker and Mrs Jean Bolton for their kind

assistance. Also, I would like to thank my colleagues who contributed in a variety of ways to this research especially, Dr. P. Kousoulis, Mrs A. Koltsida, Miss S. Thomas, Mr

W. Ertl, Mr. A. Cooke, Miss F. Simpson, Miss G. Muskett and Miss M. Rajh.

I owe a special depth to Ms Lara Thompson and Miss Akiko Sugi for their special care and assistance always.

I would like to thank Mr R. Wilde the Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and his kind staff and to express my warm thanks to the members of the Egyptian Educational

and Cultural Bureau in London for their support during the years of this scholarship. I am grateful to Mr. M. Dessouky, Judge in the Egyptian Court, for his assistance.

I acknowledge receipt of funds from the Egyptian government whose financial support without which I would have been unable to undertake this research.



My heartfelt thanks, respect and gratitude are offered to my father Professor A. El Menshawy, my Mother and my two brothers Ahmed and Sherif for their

encouragement and support.

To my sweet-heart, young YOUSSEF, I deeply apologize for not being an ideal mother to a child his age. The research work took most of my time and I hope he will forgive me in the future. To him I dedicate this work. .




The ruler's responsibility was significant for the performance of Egyptian civilisation. The country depended on social and cosmic order, and so maintaining these was one of the duties of the king: that of liaison between the gods and humankind. The concrete

foundation of his authority was the ability to manage the machinery of administration, including the military forces and the police force. Edgerton, in his classic article,

summarises this standard view of how authority functioned in relation to the people of Egypt. ' He stresses that `the court scribes tell us that the divine Pharaoh personally

did every thing needful for the welfare of Egypt, with that unlimited personal ability which properly characterises a god. They tell us that he personally mowed down his

enemies by tens of thousands on the battlefield, 2 personally discovered what was wrong throughout his empire, and personally devised the necessary laws and regulation

to set everything right. 3 They tell us that foreign kings came spontaneously from their distant lands, bearing their tribute on their backs and begging Pharaoh for the breath of life which he alone could give. 4 And they tell us many other things equally incredible'.

Traditional assessments accept at face value many of these assertions of the nature of the role of the Egyptian king. The problem is to reach a more modern assessment of

contemporary reality. This poses the question of the king's role in ritual and ceremonial, whether he was without real personal administrative power or was really a ruler controlling the government, and what evidence do we have for what he actually


Diodorus of Sicily describes

an idealised

picture of the circumscribed

life of an

Egyptian king. He says: `In the first place, then, the life which the kings of the Egyptians lived was not like that of other men who enjoy autocratic power and do in

all matters exactly as they please without being held to account, but all their acts were regulated by prescriptions set forth in laws, not only their administrative acts, but also those that had to do with the way in which they spent their time from day to day, and with the food which they ate'. He continued, `For instance, in the morning, as soon as

1 Edgerton, JNES 6 (1947), 153.

2 See below (51-57) discussion on the contact between the kings and their subjects in battlefield texts. 3 See below (58) discussion on reporting to the king by his vizier concerning the condition of the land. Van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, R 5. Cf. See below (102-108) discussion on king's decision.

4 See later discussion on tribute scenes in the course of the interaction between the king and his people.



he was awake, he first of all had to receive the letters which had been sent from all sides, the purpose being that he might be able to despatch all administrative business and perform every act properly, being thus accurately informed about everything that was being done throughout his Kingdom'. '

At the peak of the Egyptian social order stood the king whose doctoral nature

was both divine and human. As a political power, however, he had to rely on performers for the implementation of his willpower. Sequentially, to run every section of the government, the king selected various high-ranking officials. 6 The degree to which ruler's courtiers transformed his determination into realism presumably varied

from occasion to occasion and from place to place. '

Next to the king the most significant figure in the state was the vizier, 8 who organized the administrative system of the government and functioned as the head of the judiciary. As the prime minister, the vizier was in close contact with the king, for

whom he served as a `mouth piece that brings contentment of the entire land' .9 Among his functions he was `the one to whom the affairs of the Two Lands are reported'. '°

The people close to the king gained both power and prestige. As such they are the class who have left the most monuments, inscribed with texts, titularies and autobiographies, which focus strongly on their relationship to the king. "

The privacy of the king and what happened inside his house was kept a mystery. Palaces were the places where special classes of people could meet the king, deal with him, and be close to him. To the outside world, it was perhaps a matter of hidden places, full of secrets which were not to be revealed to the outside world. This

aim of mystery was the focus of my interest and from here the idea for this project

5 Diodorus of Sicily, with an English translation by C. H. Oldfather, Book I. 70-71. 6 Wen-Peng, Atti VI Congresso Internazionale di Egittologia II, 270.

7 Edgerton, JEA 6 (1947), 219-230.

8 In the Old and Middle Kingdoms there was only one vizier. In the New Kingdom there were two viziers, one for Upper Egypt and one for Lower Egypt. Each vizier in his own region probably

directed all public activities, being subordinate only to the pharaoh. See Eva Martin-Pardey, LA VI, 1227-1235.

9 Davies, Tomb of the Vizier Ramose, pl. XXXX, XL. 'o Habachi, Supplement BIFAO 81 (1981), 29-39.

11 The king's authority over his subjects also extended into the after world. There is evidence that at least during the Old Kingdom the Egyptians believed that their king would defend and supervise them in hereafter. Also, high-ranking officials were buried around his tomb. Since they were surrounding him in life, they wanted to do the same in death. Reisner, Development of the Egyptian Tomb, 117-



appeared, especially as no complete research has been previously undertaken regarding the conduct of audiences and the control of entry to the royal presence.

The aim of this project is to try to determine the relationship between the king and his audience through pictorial, textual and archaeological evidence, using both narrative accounts and also the titles and epithets of the officials. This project will deal with three types of interaction:

(a) From/to the king. (b) From/to the court.

(c) From/to the public.

The court here represents the people who held high-ranking positions and who could, in one way or another, have access to the king. I was particularly attracted to the scenes from the Amarna period, many of which enabled me to investigate this sort of communication between the king and his subjects. I started my enquiry at this particular point, where I ended up with more than one occasion where the king was

communicating with his subjects. Private tombs of the officials provided a large amount of information, which I have dealtwith in Chapter Two. I divided this chapter into four categories: the rewarding and promotion scenes, tribute scenes, presenting flowers to the king, and presenting New Year's gifts to the king. In each of these

categories I selected the best examples as case studies. I concentrated on the king, the recipient (mainly the tomb-owner), and the intermediary people, as the main elements of the pictorial narrative. I considered the people witnessing these events as secondary elements.

The main aim of Chapter One was to try to examine the early contact between the king and his people since pictorial evidence does not allow me discovering such

interaction before the New Kingdom. I examined texts, from the Old to the New Kingdom, and attempted to employ them according to the following themes:

Basic elements of narrative.

Preparations before meeting the king. People responsible for the ushering in.

The king's appearance in the audience hall. People's attitude.



Court entertainment for kings.

Kings' visits and interactions with their subjects. Interaction during rituals and ceremonies.

Interaction with kings when celebrating their coronation. Other sorts of interactions.

Kings' contact with their subjects from battlefield texts.

In Chapter Three I examine the question of where these occasions might have taken place inside the palace. An essential part of the search was based on the archaeological remains of palaces, plans of which are included at the beginning of the chapter. Section Two of this chapter considers the issue of special rooms of the palace, focusing on the places where the king used to meet his subjects. I have discussed different terms

alluding to rooms/halls in the palace: w3hy, d3dw, is-Ist, stp-s3, imy-r wrt and rrryt.

In Chapter Four I attempt to consider the relationship between the king and his people, employing titles and epithets of the officials connected to his functions and his relationship with the king in one way or another. Here I deal with the epithet `Eyes and

ears of the king', for which I tried to discover the real function of its bearer. Other epithets were of special interest: notably `One stepping freely in the sacred place', `One who can approach his Lord' and `King's acquaintance'. Section Two of this chapter

contains sections of interesting biographical narrative, in which their owners refer to special contact with the royal personage.

In Chapter Five I consider the real limitations, even failure of this data in reconstructing a consistent view of the royal audience.






1.1. Textual narrative

Narrative is the explanation of an occasion and its significance. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term `narrative' as `a tale or a story'. 12 In its elementary form, it

is any story which involves a teller and receivers. 13 However, the term also includes the account of a detailed event carried out by characters in a particular location at a particular time. 14 In Egyptian sources narrative appears in both texts and pictures.

The typical basics in the Egyptian textual and illustrative narrative are location and time. In many pictorial illustrations an additional inscription appears to indicate the event of a depicted occasion. Gaballa notes that narrative in its whole sense must be

recognized from these elements and the non existence of a particular character or place could indicate that narrative is not recognized in its complete sense, however it can be taken as narrative. Gaballa adds `This is due to the fact that the significance of the other elements is entirely dependent on the specific nature of the event. Therefore if this is absent, the other elements will certainly not form a significant story and the

representation will not be a narrative but a typical action'. '5

Quirke16 specifically distinguishes between two types of narrative in Egypt: the non-literary narrative and the literary " narrative. In a non-literary narrative the audience was both edified and entertained. 18 This includes autobiographies19 on tomb-

chapels, royal inscriptions including the Königsnovelle, and narrative art.

12 The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 785.

13 Toolan, Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction, 1; a guide to literary theories: Jefferson and Robey, Modern Literary Theory: A Comparative Introduction.

14 Gaballa, Narrative in Egyptian Art, 5. 15 Gaballa, Narrative in Egyptian Art, 6.

16 Quirke, in Loprieno (ed. ), Ancient Egyptian Literature, 263.

17 For Egyptological discussions of literature and specific arguments about the nature and purpose of literature see, e. g. Assmann, OLZ 69 (1974), 117-126; Baines, Man 18 (1983), 572-599; Baines and Eyre, GM 61 (1983), 65-96; Loprieno (ed. ), Ancient Egyptian Literature, passim; Parkinson, Tale of

Sinuhe, 1-25. Eyre justified the writing of literature `as a way of extending the effectiveness of intellectual creativity, as well as ensuring its survival': in Atti VI Congresso Internazionale di Egittologia II, 118 and cf. Morenz, Beiträge zur Schriftlichkeitskultur im Mittleren Reich.



Rare instances of narrative survive from the Old Kingdom. 20 Texts concerning the construction' and the endowment of tombs and funerary offering chapels22 provide the earliest attestations of narrative form in Egypt. Narrative autobiography enters the

hieroglyphic field in tomb chapels as early as the Fifth Dynasty in the Memphite Necropolis. 2' Examples continued to be used in the Sixth Dynasty as for Wnl at

Abydos, 24 or in the tomb-chapels of the provincial governors at Deir el Gabrawi and Aswan. 25 During the First Intermediate Period narrative autobiography appears in the tomb chapels of governors at Asyut'26 Mo'a11a27 and at Abydos. 28 This sort of narrative also occurred on offering stela during the Middle Kingdom. 29 New Kingdom autobiography includes extended accounts on tomb-chapel walls, for example that of 734-ms, son of Abana, at El Kab, and on temple statues and stelae. 3° All such narrative focuses on relations between the king and his subjects.

Royal inscriptions may have included limited narrative in the Old Kingdom, 31 although evidence for such features in royal texts is very limited before the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. This is the issue of a few fragmentary texts. At the end of the Middle Kingdom more examples of royal narrative, the so-called Königsnovellen, occur, as for

example, the stela of King Neferhotep, which recounts the decision to renew various elements of the cult of the god Osiris. 32 From the New Kingdom, there is the longest royal narrative of campaigns, in the annals of Thutmosis III, located within the

19 For the term `autobiography' see Assmann, in Assmann (eds. ), Schrift und Gedachtnis, 64-93; cf. Nicole, 54K 25 (1998), 189-205; Gnirs, in Loprieno (ed. ), Ancient Egyptian Literature, 191-241.

20 Eyre, in Powell (ed. ), Labor in the Ancient Near East, 5-6. 21 E. g. Dbhni (Urk I, 18-21).

22 E. g. Estate of Khafra pyramid complex (Urk I, 11-15); Nykawra, son of Khafra (Urk I, 16-17); the fuller early Fifth Dynasty text of Ny-k3-enb (Urk I, 24-32), involves grants from Menkawra and Userkaf.

23 E. g. Pth-JJpss (Urk I, 51-53); S3bw known as Tty (Urk I, 84-85); Wal-Pth (Urk I, 40-45); Sndm-lb Intl (Urk I, 59-67); cf. Eyre, in Powell (cd. ), Labor in Ancient Near East, 6.

24 Urk I, 98-110.

u E. g. Hnkw (Urk I, 76-79); Tb! (Urk I, 142-145); Dew (Urk I, 145-147).

26Edel, Die Inschriften der Grabfronten der Siut-Gräber in Mittelägypten aus der Herakl eopol i tenzei t.

27 Vandier, Walla: la Tombe d'Ankhtifi et la tombe de Sebekhotep; Gnirs, in Loprieno (ed. ), Ancient Egyptian Literature, 198-199.

28 Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Autobiographies.

29 For Abydos stelae during the Middle Kingdom; see Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Autobiographies, 55-128.

30 An early example of a private stela in temple with narrative text is the Seventeenth Dynasty stele juridique from Karnak. See Lacau, Une Stele Juridique de Karnak, Spalinger, LA VI, 6-8.

31 See a fragment from the valley temple of the Sahure pyramid complex: Borchardt, Das Grabdenkmal des Königs Sa? hu Re , pl. 72.



sanctuary area of Karnak temple. 33 The battle of Qadesh is another example of Egyptian royal narrative. 34 Royal inscriptions recount events in order to maintain and

propagandise kingship.

Literary narrative appears in manuscripts in the Middle Kingdom. The discourse of Nfr-ty3S begins with a short narrative passage to locate the scene for a

series of declarations. The tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor36 is framed by a conversation between the head of a failed expedition and a member of his team. The Westcar Papyrus has lost its beginning, but the surviving part begins at the court of King Khufu

where he is entertained by his sons, each of whom recites a story from the past. 37 Characteristically the border of such a narrative provides information of royal ceremony and audience.

In art, episodes of narrative are recorded in relief on walls of temples for the royal cult of the Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Dynasty. 38 By the Eighteenth Dynasty, the divine birth of Hatshepsut and the expedition to Punt illustrated at the temple of Deir el Bahari, provide full cycles of narrative in art. There are also occasions of juxtaposed visual and textual narrative however, as for the battle of Qadesh, where the pictorial

and textual narratives give parallel information regarding the event.

The frameworks

of these


can be regarded

as supplying

an amount


`objective account' for various events. This structure of fiction, or idealising, narrative furnishes a realistic context, and so in principle a reliable source of material. In such

narratives there is often a contact, an interaction, between the king, the court, and the people, in different situations.

33 Urk IV, 625.

34 Kuentz, La Bataille de Qadech; KRI II, 3,1- 147,4. The textual record is conveniently published by Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions: Translated and Annotated II, 2-147; for a full translation see

Hartman, The Kadesh Inscriptions of Ramesses II; Gardiner, The Kadesh Inscription of Ramesses II; the texts of the "Poem" and the `Bulletin" have been translated by Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature II, 57-72. Cf. von der Way, Die Textüberlieferung Ramses II zur Qades-Schlacht,

Goedicke, Perspectives on the Battle of Kadesh. Cf Shirun-Grumach, in Eyre (ed), Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists, 1067-1073; for private royal narrative on stelae cf.

Galan, in Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists, 419-428. 35 Helck, Die Prophezierung des Nfr, ti.

36 Golenishchev, Les Papyrus Hieratiques no. 1115,1116A and 1116B de 1'Ermitage Imperial ä St. Petersbourg, 1-2, pl. 1-8.

37 Blackman, The Story of King Kheops and the Magicians: Transcribed from Papyrus Westcar (Berlin Papyrus 3033), edited by W. V. Davies.



1.1.1 Basic elements of narrative

The basic elements of narrative describing the interaction between the king and his people in most of the relevant texts deal with the following situations: the royal

council, the speech of the king, his attitude, the reply of courtiers, their attitude towards their king, and the one who is responsible for ushering in the court to His Majesty. 39 This motif generally appears as the frame to the literary type referred to as

the Königsnovellen. It is attested from the Middle Kingdom to the Ptolemaic period. Hermann defined this genre as an exact literary form reciting a sole event in the life of the king which regarded as a solitary and enormous action. 40 Loprieno understands the

term as `referring to a form of Egyptian narrative which focuses on the role of the king as recipient of divine inspiration or as protagonist of ensuring the decision-making process' 41 The Middle Kingdom Könignovellen however is a characteristic found, for

example in Nfr-ty's narrative and the tales of the Court of King Cheops. Dziobek has given this the title `king's audience', which he stresses is a theme repeated in `non- literary' texts, 42 for example, in the promotion text of the vizier Wsr, the coronation

inscription of queen Hatshepsut at her temple of Deir el Bahari, or the throne session of her expedition to Punt. Therefore, the sequence of events is frequently repeated as follows: a- The appearance of the ruler. b- A request for information might follow. c- The king either relates a standard passage, or answers his officials' questions or statements. d- The officials then reply with admiration to the person of the king. The literary subject employed within this structure, is of the king displaying his authority. 43

The building inscription of Senwosret I, 44 the so-called Berlin Leather Roll comprises such elements, revealing a direct contact and communication between the king and his courtiers. The story records the measures taken by Senwosret I in order to

39 For example the beginning of the narrative of Nfr-ty presents the king in his palace surrounded by his courtiers and officials. See; Osing, LET III, 556-557; Posener, Litterature et politique dans 1'Egypte de la Xlle Dynastie, 30.

40 Hermann, Die ägyptische königsnovelle, 19.

41 Loprieno, in Loprieno (ed. ), Ancient Egyptian Literature, 277.

42 Dziobek, Denkmäler des Yezirs User-Amum, 16; Urk IV, 255; Urk IV, 349. 43 Spalinger, Aspects of the Military Documents, 101-103.

44 Berlin Museum (no. 3029). The document is perhaps an Eighteenth Dynasty (? ) hieratic copy of the building inscription of the temple of Heliopolis. See de Buck, Studia Aegyptiaca I (1938), 49,1-4;

Goedicke, in Festschrift zum 150 jährigen Bestehen des Berliner Ägyptischen Museums, 87-104; Piccato, LingAeg 5 (1997), 137; Parkinson, Voices From Ancient Egypt, 40-43. Compare with Tod



begin the construction of a temple for the god Harakhte in Heliopolis. 5 The king announces his project before the royal council. He has decided to build a monument and to set up fixed decrees for Harakhte, as well as to carry out architectural works in the temple of Atum. The courtiers' answer with a hymn of admire declaring the

dominance of the royal project. Senwosret I then give the specific commands to the chief architect. After this he celebrates the foundation rites before the assembled people. 46 The text reads: 47

`Year 3, third month of the inundation, day 8, under the Majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Kheperkare, Son of Ra, Senwosret, the justified, may he live forever and ever. The king appeared in the double crown; 48 a sitting took place49 in the

audience hall (d3dw), and a consultation with his followers, the friends of the palace (smrw n stp-s3)5° L. P. H, and the officials of the private apartment (st w«w). Commands at their hearing, a consultation for their instruction'. 5'

In the last stage the king managed the founding ceremony in which a cord was stretched and released at the mark for the foundations of the building: 52

`The king appeared in the two-plumed crown with all the folk following him, the chief lector-priest and the scribe of the divine book stretching the cord. The rope was

released; the line put in the ground and made into this temple. Then, His Majesty caused (them) to proceed; the king turned himself to face the people, who were joined together in one place, (both) Upper and Lower Egypt, they who are in prosperity upon

earth'. "

45 Similarly constructed royal narrative occurs in the stela of King Rehotep (UC 14327). The king also announces to his courtiers his wish to renovate the ruined gates and door of his father's temple. See

Stewart, Egyptian Stela, Reliefs and Paintings from the Petrie Collection II, 78. 46 Piccato, LingAeg 5 (1997), 137.

4' De Buck, Studia Aegyptiaca I (1938), 49,1-4. The theme which recounts a discussion between the king and his officials is paralleled by a fragmentary text of Senwosret I from Luxor and the Abydos

inscription of Nfr-http: see Pieper, Die grosse Inschri, J1 des Konigs Neferhotep in Abydos, Helck, Historisch-biographische Texte der 2. Zwischenzeit, 21-29; cf. the stela of Sbk-htp IV and the stela of

Re htp, both from the Second Intermediate Period: Legrain, RT 30 (1908), 15-16; Petrie, Koptos, pls XII- XIII; translation after Parkinson, Voices from Ancient Egypt, 40-41.

48 The double crown is a technical note about the royal regalia worn, which qualifies the character of the meeting distinguished from the `plumed crown'.

49 For jpr timst see Derchain, RdE 43 (1992), 40.

50 For smrw n stp s3 see Derchain, RdE 43 (1992), 41.

51 Translation following de Buck, Studia Aegyptiaca I (1938), 52 and Parkinson, Voices from Ancient Egypt, 40.

52 De Buck, StudiaAegyptiaca I (1938), 51,7-12.



The text provides evidence for the conduct of ceremonial life at court in the

course of royal acts. Its elements are: the royal council in which the king appears before a full gathering of the courtiers; "' the speech of the king" in which he

announces his plan to build a temple; the reply of the courtiers making an answering speech in which they applaud the royal plan; realisation of project proposed by the king. The king turns to his chief architect and charges him with the implementation of

the plan, and the king then personally presides over the founding ceremony. 56 The story therefore runs: the king is surrounded by his courtiers, who are totally unsure as to how to handle this particular difficulty, the king present the answer and the courtiers

react with respect to their king. Although this is an ideological literary motif, and so fictitous, the royal counsel and its sequence of events is based on reality, and so this

may be taken as reliable evidence.

The Great Harris Papyrus, " is another example, which clarify the basic elements of narrative, it includes a speech made by the king to `the magistrates, the princes of the land, the army, chariotry, Sherden, numerous bowmen, and every citizen

of the land of Egypt'. Although there is no way to tell if this is a real address from Ramesses III to the court, at a specific time and place, the delivery reflects the royal

sitting hmst nsw, and the royal appearance lint-nsw.

1.1.2. Preparations (protocol) before meeting the king

Texts also allude to sorts of preparation, or kinds of protocol, taking place directly before making an audience with the king. The Oxford Thesaurus defines the term

`protocol' as a `noun associated with royal visits, rules of conduct, code of behaviour,

54 For royal audience see Urk IV, 1380,12-15; Dziobek, Denkmaler des Vezirs User Amun, 1-6.

55 For direct address to an audience by the king cf. Eyre, in Israelit-Groll (ed. ), Studies Lichtheim I, 134-165.

56 Loprieno, in Loprieno (ed. ), Ancient Egyptian Literature, 277. 5' Grandet, Le Papyrus Harris I, 91-95.

58 In a letter from Papyrus Anastasi VI 51-61, the text reads: di. I in. tw. w m snn where Goedicke translated the sentence as `one shall bring it in a protocol'. He referred to a parallel passage from

Papyrus Anastasi VI 74 where the text reads: In. tw m snn n ply. t nb 'they were brought in a protocol of my lord'. The term snn literally means 'official document' (Wb III, 460,1). Goedicke over- interprets the term snn as `protocol', as for this there is no solid evidence, except in so far as protocol means communication and not an official document. For the term snn cf. Helck, Altagyptische Aktenkunde, 131; Goedicke, SAK 14 (1987), 84.



conventions, formalities, customs, propriety, decorum, manners, courtesies and good form'. S9 These are the themes I intended to investigate here. The Duties of the Vizier text

The text known as the Duties of the Vizier60 provides us with specific information: 61

`Rules of conduct of sitting of the overseer of the city and vizier of the southern city and of the residence in the office of the vizier. As for every thing this official does, the vizier listens in the office of the vizier. He sits on the phdw chair, mat on the floor, a

. np on it, a leather cushion under his back and a leather cushion under his feet, the []

on him, the ßb3 sceptre in his hand, the 40 . smw spread out before him. The Great of 10 of Upper Egypt, in two rows before him, the chamberlain on his right hand side, the one who is in charge of entering on [his] left hand side, the scribes of the vizier at his hand, one facing the other, each man opposite the other. Each one is heard after the other without allowing the low (ranking official) to be heard before the high (ranking

official). If (however) the high (ranking official) says: "No one beside me is to be heard", then he is constrained by the messengers of the vizier.

There is reported to him the closing62 of what is closed on time and their opening on time. There is reported to him the conditions of the southern and the northern mnw (mnnww), when everything that has to leave the king's house leaves.

There is reported to him when everything that has to enter the king's house enters. Now as to, everything that enters or everything that leaves the ground of the residence,

they will enter and they will leave. It is his messenger who allows entering and exiting. The Overseer of the Police and the Policeman and the Overseer of the District reports

to him their condition.

Now, he enters to greet the lord, life, prosperity and health. The affairs of the Two Lands are reported to him in his house every day. He will enter to the Great

59 Kirkpatrick, The Concise Oxford Thesaurus, 639.

60 This distinctive text is our only connected 'job description' of the office of the vizier, and provides primary evidence for the administration of Egypt through the Eighteenth Dynasty. See van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 12.

61 Translation closely following van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, R 1-R 8.



House iift the Overseer of what is Sealed. He stands at the northern flagstaff then, the vizier shall move to appear in the doorway of the great double gate, and the Overseer

of what is Sealed will come to meet him together and report to him, saying, "All your affairs are safe and sound, every responsible functionary has reported to me", saying "All your affairs are safe and sound. The king's house is safe and sound". Then, the

vizier will report it to the Overseer of what is Sealed. "All your affairs are safe and sound, every place (office) of the Residence is safe and sound. The closure of the buildings (btmw) on time has been reported to me, and their opening on time has been

reported to me by every functionary". Now after the two officials have reported one to each other, then, the vizier will send out to open every doorway of the king's house'. 64

The text begins by illustrating a scene of the vizier in his complete authority inside his office receiving a daily report on the affairs of the Two Lands, surrounded by his assistants. The first section describes his ceremonial setting in his office: sitting in

state on the phdw6S chair, with a mat66 on the floor, a leather cushion on his back and another at his feet, and a sceptre in his hand as a visible symbol of his power and

authority. 67 The 40 Ismw68 lie spread out in front of the vizier and a high-ranking69 group is arranged in two rows before him. The phrase presumably alludes to a certain

kind of protocol, which probably demands the presence of the . smw and the high ranking group of officials at the session of the vizier. 7° The arrangement involving the wrw and bmew was in all likelihood the standard practice in the New Kingdom. The

framework as a whole resembles that of a session with a council, standing around to give advice. Comparable in this respect are the prologues to the Middle and New Kingdom Königsnovellen. " For example in the story of the Eloquent Peasant, when

63 Van den Boom translated the term bft as `corresponding to', which is incomprehensible. The word could be translated as `with' or `as well' since there was `team work' between the imy-r btm and the vizier. See van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 59-60.

6' Translation closely following van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 12-79.

65 According to this text van den Boom concluded that the vizier adopted the phdw chair from the royal court. See the discussion of van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 25-26.

66Cf. Urk IV, 1104,1.

67 Cf. Hassan, Stöcke und Stäbe, 183-188.

68 See discussion and reference collection of van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 29-32; for the interpretation as `rods', against the continuing argument of Allam, in Studien Westendorf II, 447-453 as rolls of laws.

69 The title wrw-md . me'w traces its origin back to the Third and Fourth Dynasty, where Fischer stresses the fact that already in the Old Kingdom these officials seem to have had strong ties with the

residence. See Fischer, Dendera, 99 no. 452. 70 Van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 33. 71 Cf. Blumenthal, ZAS 109 (1982), 17-19.



the peasant first appealed to Rnsi, the High Steward, he respectively passed the case on to his court, asking them for their advice on the matter. 72

On the vizier's right and left hand, standing respectfully, are the imy-r rhnwty and the one who is responsible for the access. The imy-r rhnwty's presence is perhaps obvious since, besides other roles, he was in charge of ceremonies and protocol in the

receptions in the halls of the palace, of the vizier and of the treasuries. 73 Surrounding him also are his scribes, as his representatives or secretaries, necessary for the workings of the bureau of the vizier. 74 All are standing opposite to each other, an

indication of the proper, respectful, attitude of officials.

The next section describes the speeches of the officials to the vizier in an organised way. The court gives their opinions in order of rank, superior before inferior. The final word is then for the vizier himself. The third section speaks about reports

made to the vizier. The first report is made about the htmw, which are closed and opened at the accurate times. The second report is made about the state of the

southern and northern mnnw. The third report includes the entering through the king's house, pr-nsw, and exiting from it. The text highlights the fact that the vizier is in

charge of the security, order, and access in the royal complex. This vizier's representative, his wpwty, is described here as the one who is in charge of security. His role is to allow the entering and exiting from/to the pr-nsw. There are other security

personnel: the imy-r Snt Overseer of the Police, the . ntw policeman and the Imy-r hrp" Overseer of a District76 who reports to him as well.

The text describes one side of the arrangements for the royal audience, the vizier's preparation of his business report before entering to the king. Section R5 describes the responsibility the vizier performed every day: to enter the palace, greet the king and report on the condition of the Two Lands. Before entering, the vizier is

required to wait outside the palace (pr-9), in front of rwty wrty `the great double gates' until the Imy-r htm, the Overseer of What is Sealed, " takes up position by the

72 Parkinson, Tale ofSinuhe, 60 B170.

73 Cf. Gardiner, AEO I, 44-45; Helck, Zur Verwaltung, 54.

74 Helck, Zur Verwaltung, 54-55; Ward, Index of Egyptian Administrative and Religious, 159.

75 See van den Boom argument: Duties of the Vizier, 50-53; cf. Meeks, Annee Lexicographique I, 77 (77.07 98).

76 See discussion of the titles by van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 50-53.

" In the early Middle Kingdom the title tmy-r jtmt Overseer of the Treasure, literary `of what which is sealed', held a function, which may be exercised at various levels. At an individual level it may designate a confidant in the service of a high official. At an intermediate level it may designate the



northern flagstaff (snt mhtt). On seeing the vizier moving towards the doorway of the great double gate the imy-r btm goes and meets him. There is an exchange of reports between the vizier and the imy-r htm, in preparation for the meeting with the king. This would have begun with the ! my-r btm giving two reports to the vizier. One would

concern the condition of the country, prepared by the fry nb s 1m, who was in charge of the various enclosures (btmw) in the pr-nsw. 78 The other would concern the situation

inside the king's house itself. In this way the vizier would be up to date about state business and issues of importance before entering to the king, and consequently able to

report up to date information to him. This exchange of reports would happen outside the pr-nsw, 79 therefore the vizier had to pass through some part of the pr-nsw to reach the pr-f3 for his audience with the king. 8°

A discussion concerning the place where the vizier meets the Imy-r btm is derived from this text. The term snt is frequently used in New Kingdom texts to

describe the flagstaffs before a temple and not a palace, 81 whereas the Wb refers to this term as alluding to the flagstaffs of a palace. Van den Boom considered that the snt

mhtt here an adjunct of the pr-c3, the building which the vizier entered when the imy-r btm had drawn up to his position at its northern flagstaff. 82 He argues that mhtt

`northern' alludes to the main entrance of the palace, which was oriented east-west. 83 David O'Connor, on the other hand, argues that flagstaffs are connected only with temples and that the reference must be to a temple orientated east-west. He alluded to

Karnak temple which has an east-west orientation. He suggests therefore that the vizier might be in the process of moving from or towards the east and therefore be in a

treasury director of a town or region. At the national level, the Overseer of the Treasure's responsibilities extended to the goods that came in as booty or tribute and the administration of precious commodities, including metals and fine stone, which may explain why the title appears for

the first time at this level during the Twelfth Dynasty. Building activities were part of the treasurer's responsibilities as well. See Vernus, in Allara (ed. ), Grund und Boden, 251-260.

78 Van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 72.

79 Van den Boom argued that section three indicated that the management and the operation of the pr- nsw were tasks passed on to the vizier who acted in co-operation with the Overseer of the Treasury as

his co-director. However in theory the king personally controlled the pr-nsw. Van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 74-75.

80 Lorton, SAK 18 (1991), 293.

81 Wb IV, 152,9-11; Arnold, LA II, 257-258; Urk IV, 152,9-10. 82 Urk IV, 152,11.



building oriented east-west. 84 Van den Boom argues, certainly correctly, that the consultation with the Imy-r htm comes before the vizier's admission into the palace. 8S

Van den Boom translated the phrase fir mnmn ß3ty m wbn m p3 sb3 n rwty wrty as follows: `Then, the vizier shall move to appear in the doorway of the great double gate', as `in/from the East in the gateway of the main entrance'. Next he will move on to enter the pr-r3, which indicates that he will proceed westwards. 86 However, wbn in this context is a verb connected to movement rather than orientation, so it would be translated as `to appear' with no reference to orientation. The verb wbn meaning `to

appear' is usually functional only to gods or kings but can be used rarely denoting private individuals. 87

The vizier then replies that st nbt hnw `every place in the residence' is working well, the individual departments (meaning either departments of state outside the

king's house, referring to the affairs of the Two Lands, or inside the king's house). After the vizier and the Overseer of What is Sealed report to each other, the vizier

sends his wpwty messenger to open the door of the king's house. This is to allow the entering and exiting from the king's house, including that of the vizier himself.

To sum up the overall narrative of the text: at the beginning

the vizier receives

a day to day report on the affairs of the Two Lands in his residence or in his office, then confers and checks the information with the Imy-r htm before entering the palace,

all as part of the protocol. He then enters the palace to simultaneously salute and report to the king. His role can be summarised, according to van den Boom, 88 as

managing director of the pr-nsw, head of the civil administration and the King's Deputy. The story of the Shipwrecked Sailor

The tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor89 is a work of fiction90 that has a context based on realism. The story is arranged in a narrative frame. A high-ranking official is

84 O'Connor and Silverman, Ancient Egyptian Kingship, 272. 85 For other opinions cf. Lorton, CdE 70 (1995), 126-127.

86 Van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 63-65.

87 O'Connor and Silverman, Ancient Egyptian Kingship, 273; CDME, 58 refers to Caminos, Literary Fragments in the Hieratic Script, 11 dating to the second half of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

88 Van den Boom, Duties of the Vizier, 310.

89 Blackman, Middle Egyptian Stories, 41-48; Simpson, LA V, 619-622; for its interpretation see Baines, JEA 76 (1990), 55-72.



returning from a mission that appears to have failed in its aim hence he is afraid of attending his audience with the king. One of the retainers recites a tale for him

concerning a previous journey that happened to him years ago, in order to inform his superior of how a tragedy may turn into an achievement. He intends to give confidence to his leader for passing his account to the king: 9'

`The excellent follower said, "Command your heart my lord. See, we have reached home. The mallet has been taken up. The mooring-post has been struck. The prow- rope has been placed on land. Praise has been given. God has been thanked. Everyone

is embracing his companion. Our crew has come safe, with no loss to our expedition. We have reached the limits of Wawat. We have passed Senmut. Look, we have come

in safety. Our land, we have reached it. Listen to me my lord. I am free of exaggeration, Wash yourself, pour water upon your fingers. Then, you will answer (when) you are questioned. You must speak to the king with presence of mind. You will answer with no stammering. The mouth of a man saves him. His speech makes one forgive him. (But) you can do as you wish! It is too weary talking to you. I will tell you something similar which happened to me myself ". '

The tale begins with a dramatic setting, which matches the subsequent subject of a successful home returning. 92 The retainer (. msw ikr)93 is looking for a bright side

and is encouraging his leader who appears to be disconsolate about the failure of their current mission. 94 He is giving advice that his master must follow before having audience with the king. He asks him to wash himself and pour water on his hands. This possibly represents a preparation for his reception at court and indicates a kind of

protocol performed when attending for audience with the king. Washing and pouring water could allude to a sort of purification, which would take place before meeting the person of the king. Presumably this practice would resemble the purification undertaken by the king before entering the presence of a god in a temple. The king,

91 Blackman, Middle Egyptian Stories, 41-42,1-23. 92 Parkinson, Tale of Sinuhe, 89.

93 The Egyptians called the people who followed their masters throughout a trip Smsw. Also the term designates servants in general. See Ignatov, JEA 80 (1994), 195.



however, had to be purified by two priests who sprinkled him with water, sometimes containing natron. 95

The retainer continues encouraging his master to justify himself before the king, presumably so he can tell him of the ineffective expedition in the best way. Kemp has

suggested that `one might imagine that the official to be rewarded, before making audience with the king, receives some instructions or reminder of what to do and of what to say to the king' 96 He based his argument on archaeological evidence. 97 Does the evidence therefore show that a sort of purification should be undertaken before

undergoing an audience with the king? However, the statement `wash yourself and pour water on your hands' could possibly imply a cooling off of anxiety rather than protocol.

It is characteristic that priests performing rituals should be `pure'. This seems also to be the case for officials dealing personally with the king. The Royal Butler Rr- mss-m pr-R , for example has the title Priest Pure of Hands of the Two Lands. 98 He

was a Royal Butler whose main duty was as a personal servant with close connection to the administration of food, which may possibly be connected with the epithet wrb

ewy Pure of Hands. Since he also held the title First Royal Herald of His Majesty, 9' it is possible to accept that officials in personal contact with the king were required to

adhere specific standards of purity. loo

1.1.3. People responsible for the ushering in

Texts allude to the persons responsible for ushering in or introducing people before the king. The verb used is st3, literally meaning `to pull' or `to drag'. 10' In practice, it is also used in the sense to `introduce someone to somebody'. 1°2 It is commonly used to

95 Grieshammer, LA V, 212-213. The water is called `the water of life and good fortune' and that which `renews life'. It was brought from the sacred pool, which every temple seems to have contained.

See Mariette, Denderah, pl. 10. 96 Kemp, JEA 62 (1976), 87.

97 Kemp, JEA 62 (1976), fig 1. 98 Gardiner, AEO I, 43.

" For the title web ewy Pure of Hands see Zivie, Giza, 99 1.6. For the title web dbew Pure of Fingers see Zivie, Giza, 99 1.7.

100 Schulman, JARCE 13 (1976), 120; Schulman, CdE 61 (1986), 198; Sw-m-nlwt (TT 92) was also King's Butler web n nswt with the epithet `clean of hands' see Goedicke, in der Manuelian (ed. ), Studies Simpson I, 253; Gardiner, AEO I, 40-43.

101 CDME, 255




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