Manetho mid-late 18th dynasty
Wed Dec 21, 2011 07:54

Hi Joe,

Thanks for responding to an old post. I thought nobody was interested in the topic.

I agree with you on certain points, as far as your philosophy goes, but it is mostly a matter of how we look at the details. For instance:

14. Armais - Clearly Horemheb as in a known bilingual Demotic/Greek manuscript. You however say he is Ay, most unlikely. IMO year dates can be more easily corrupted than names.

It is all too clear that the name is from Horemheb, thus I agree. But it is also all too clear that the number of 4-5 years consistingly given to him is from Ay. Now where do we put priority? If I accept the name and assign him to Horemheb, which is perfectly clear, I get the wrong number of years attached to him. If I accept the number of Years and assign him to Ay, I get the wrong name attached to him. So it is necessary to divorce the numbers from the names, and even certain associations (events, statues like Memnon) can be attached to the wrong name and number.

My take on all this is that I study Manetho from the viewpoint of what we really know of these reigns. If the order cannot be substantiated by archaeological and monumental data (to which also astronomical data belong), then Manetho goes out the window. It's as simple as that. But Manetho remains useful in a number of ways.

As for the writing and reading direction, we still don't know how Manetho put it all together or got his info from. It may just as well be that he had a pack of ivory labels as well to fill in details. And we still don't know who transmitted what and how. There are people writing books for the sole purpose of fooling everyone, making things more mysterious than they are, like the idiot here on list who claims his "discovery of an Archaeic Peramid" but never tells us really anything. Just beating around the bush, changing history into something they personally believe in. Such people surely also existed in antiquity. So we cannot take everything Manetho supposedly wrote at face value, even if he was a saint or the pope. So whatever we can make of such writings that have gone from hand to hand, it must remain guesswork. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

So not the names but the order of the kings and the assigned number of years have been the priority to me. For instance:

9. Oros - The king who followed Amenohotep 3 should be his son Neferkhepeure WAenRe Akhenaten - but you say Oros was Amenhotep 3. Amenhotep 3 was one of the most revered of Egyptian kings (worshipped for a long time after his death and the only king to have a month named after him) Akhenaten the most reviled (being called criminal in a later text). For Manetho Or was a most sacrilegious king. Also Manetho says that Oros fathered a female pharaoh. The only king of the late 18th dynasty known to fit these condition is Akhenaten.

There are many problems with this identification. For one thing Akhenaten cannot possibly have reigned for 36-38 or even 28 years as this illusive figure Orus does. Secondly, even in the story of Josephus's Osarseph = Moses, the figure Orus cannot be Akhenaten. In this story Orus is a predecessor of Amenophis, who in this context is clearly Amenhotep IV not III, thus leaving us with only one option: Orus was Amenhotep III. The Amenophis in this story was Amenhotep IV = Akhenaten, but in that light the Amenophis of the king lists can then only be Amenhotep II. This is further bolstered by the fact that the reign length of the Amenophis of the king lists does not match that of Amenhotep III either, but Orus's does. And who knows who thought who Memnon was? One thought of Memnon also as fighting in the Troyan war, but I think we can all agree that none of the Amenhoteps I-IV ever had anything to do with Troye, unless perhaps Merenptah, "Amenophis V" is meant and may have been "mytyhologically" associated with the Troyan War and perhaps also with Memnon by some culprit.

8. Amenophis - An Amenophis following Thmosis should be Amenhotep 3 - but you say he was Amenhotep 2 (misplaced due to ignorance of the boustrophedon layout). However the Christian chronographers say this king was Memnon who built the two singing statues (of Amenhotep 3) at Thebes. So even Manetho identifies him as Amenhotep 3. I doubt if the Christian chronographers would have made this identification themselves as in their time the builder of these statues was known as Amenothes (not as Amenophis).

There are two instances in which an Amenhotep follows a Thutmosis:

Thuthmosis III
Amenhotep II

Thutmosis IV
Amenhotep III

You are just making a choice between these two instances which are both viable.

There are also two instances in which an Amenhotep precedes a Thutmosis:

Amenhotep I
Thuthmosis I

Amenhotep II
Thuthmosis IV

This time Amenhotep III is not involved.

Now let's look at how Manetho has it:

18.7 = Tuthmoses, 9y8m
18.8 = Amenophis, 30y10m

If taken at face value without regardig the number of years assigned to these kings and without questioning the order, one could easily mistake these two for either Thuthmosis III and Amenhotep II, as noone has it, or Thuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III, as you have it.

However, if the reign lengths are taken into account, this Tuthmosis cannot be Thuthmosis III, so this would leave Thuthmosis IV, who can and must have reigned for only about 10 years. This still does not make Amenophis to be Amenhotep III, because we still have the order of the kings not secured, and Amenhotep III did not reign for only 30-31 years but rather for 38 years closer to the reign lerngth given to Orus. Since we already know that the order of the kings prior to 18.7 amd 18.8 have been swapped around, whether systematically or not, we can be pretty sure it was the same here too. The only king which fits the reign length of 30-31 years is Amenhotep II, from 1453 to 1423 BC, including his coregency with his father, and which reign length and relative and absolute position in time can be substantiated by both monumental and astronomical evidence. So it is perfectly clear that these two kings in particular have been swapped around, the names together with their reign lengths. The figure of Memnon and the speaking statue is thus likely assigned to the wrong Amenhotep. Thus Correcting Manetho at this point, we get the following correct order:

18.8 Amenophis, 30y10m = Amenhotep II
18.7 Tuthmoses, 9y10m = Thuthmosis IV
18.9 Orus, 36y5m

So even swapped back or forth, there is no way the two kings Amenophis and Tuthmoses of Manetho can be Amenhotep I and Thuthmosis I and we know that their reign lengths do not match either. But with the two kings swapped back to where they belong, we can finally see the light, because after Thuthmoses IV we indeed have Amenhotep III, who did did have the reign length ascribed to Orus, who is now in the right position and order of kings:

18.8 Amenophis, 30y10m = 18.7 Amenhotep II, 30-31y !
18.7 Tuthmoses, 9y10m = 18.8 Thuthmosis IV, 9-10y !
18.9 Orus, 36y5m - 38 = 18.9 Amenhotep III, 38-39y !

Good, so these three kings are now perfectly OK. And now also the story of Memnon after Thuthmosis IV indeed goes to Amenhotep III = Orus instead of Amenophis, which is historically absolutely correct.

What now remains is how to deal with the Amarna kings. Since Orus cannot be Akhenaten, then who was Akhenaten? Would the following not be the most logical, or are we again or still dealiong with swapped orders of kings:

18.8 Amenophis, 30y10m = 18.7 Amenhotep II, 30-31y !
18.7 Tuthmoses, 9y10m = 18.8 Thuthmosis IV, 9-10y !
18.9 Orus, 36y5m = 18.9 Amenhotep III, 38-39y !
18.10 "daughter" Akenkheres, 12y1m
= Amenophis & Osarseph-Moses, 13y
= 18.10 Amenhotep IV = Akhenaten, 12-13 to 17y

Only Josephus gives designations like "daughter" and "brother", so I wouldn't take him too seriously, knowing also how faulty, speculative and contradictive Josephus often is on nearly every page of all his writings.

So here too, we need to separate designations "daughter" and "brother", which may or may not have a historical basis, the same way as we did with designation "Memnon".

If 18.8 Amenophis was already confused with Amenhotep III and because of this Memnon was wrongly assigned a position too high instead of to Orus, then surely designations "daughter" and "brother" had come along with that same mistake. So we should expect all designations here to have shifted one position upward. Correcting this by lowering all designation by one position, the following original order of designations emerges:

18.9 Orus = "Memnon" (one position down)
18.10 Akenkheres I = "Amenophis" - Osarseph-Moses (one position down)
18.11 Rathotis = "daughter" (one position down)
18.12 Akenkheres II = "brother" (one position down)
18.13 Akenkheres III
18.14 [Harmais], 4-5 years
19.01 "Harmais" (one position down)

With this in mind, everything falls automatically into place and we are not even missing a single king at all, so NO SKIPPING has occurred:

18.9 Orus = "Memnon", 37-38y = Amenhotep III, 38 years
18.10 Akenkheres I = "Amenophis", 12y = Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten, 12-13 to 17 years
18.11 Rathotis = "daughter", 6-9y = Meritaten Neferneferuaten, 7-9y
18.12 Akenkheres II = "brother" = 12y = Smenkhkare as husband of Meritaten Neferneferuaten 7-9y + 3y sole
18.13 Akenkheres III, 12y = Tutankhamun, 11y
18.14 [Harmais], 4-5y = Ay, 4-5y
19.01 "Harmais", ? years = Horemheb 13-14y


  • Manetho mid-late 18th dynastyJoe Baker, Tue Dec 20 07:18
    Hi Ian I am way behind in reading many of these posts. So rather than answer this one I want to lay some groundwork and return to an old post I began to write to counter one of your posts but never... more
    • Manetho mid-late 18th dynasty — Ian Onvlee, Wed Dec 21 07:54
Click here to receive daily updates