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THE PHARAOH OF THE have been the son of Rameses II., Menephtah, when king, who was the author of this meager bas-relief upon his father's statue, and this fully accounts for its misplacement and poor quality. It is a work of pathos: he did it with a trembling hand, for the Heir to his Throne -his hope, his dependence, his joy, his lovely boy-was dead.
Why, then, did he not insert Setî before the "Menephtah" of these inscriptions?
At that time, and for the people of all Egypt in those days, it was wholly unnecessary. Everybody understood who was meant without it. 3. The Sides of a Statue of Menephtah. Of course Menephtah must needs imitate his father Rameses in all things, and among all things in setting up a similar image of himself. His was not so much of a colossus perhaps, being scarcely ten feet high, but it was cut of equally fine pale rose-granite of Syene. The standards he tipped with the images of the gods after whom he was named, the right with Ptah-Tutanen, the left with Amen. He assumed a similar wig, upon which an atef-crown was placed; he put on the conventional beard; and from his belt he let fall an apron displaying his own titles with the same ornaments his father had used. This statue was discovered by Mariette Bey in the course of his excavations at San nearly thirty years ago, who describes what he saw and read on the sides of the statue in the following
Upon the left side of the base there has been afterwards cut the figure, standing erect, of a personage holding an ostrich plume in his hand. The legend reads: "The Heir upon the throne of Seb (formula designating the heir to the crown), the Governor of the Two Countries for his father, the Royal Son Setimeri-en Ptah, the justified."1
As in the third tablet of Silsilis, so in the present legend, the full or double name, Setî-Menephtah, appears its author or engraver did not leave the 66 Setî out this time.
But how remarkably alike these side-scenes upon the statues of the kings Rameses and Menephtah are!
1" Notice des Principaux Monuments à Boulaq," p. 292.
Iset, haman-headed, standing with user.
4. The Back of a Throne of Usertesen surviving at San. To the open court of the Great Temple, Usertesen I., one of the earliest kings in the twelfth dynasty, contributed two colossi. They were seated figures, in black gran4.A.
ite, very highly polished. Upon the back of one of these, still remaining at San, Usertesen had not engraved anything. a fact that did not escape the notice of King Menephtah, who at different times filled this field with inscriptions, copied in illustration 27. The first or vertical inscription, in large characters, covering the back of the pilaster, pertains to King Menephtah himself, and reads:
King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Countries Bai-en-ra Beloved of the gods, Son of Ra, Lord of Diadems, Meren-ptah Hotep-hi-ma, Beloved of Set the very valiant forever.
But the second or horizontal inscription, covering the back of the throne with small characters, does not pertain to King Menephtah, but to another the person, first two lines running:
27. BACK OF USERTESEN'S STATUE AND THRONE. (FROM TANIS 1: EGYPT
[Heir] to the double throne of Seb, inheriting the sovereignty of the Two Lands, Chief of officers, Administrator of the Upper and Lower Countries, the Royal Scribe, the Chief of the Soldiers, the Royal Son, Mer-enptah deceased.
And the last line describes the offering of incense and wine to the deity Set the very valiant by
Sutek the very valiant: His loving Adorer, the Heir to the Throne over the Two Countries, the Royal Scribe, Chief Sealer, Chief Soldier, the Royal Son, Mer-en-ptah deceased.
The picture underlying these words, not reproduced by Mr. Petrie, but long ago described by Mariette Bey,
Represents the adoration of Sutekh by a Prince named Menephtah.
The god, clothed in Egyptian fashion, wears upon
us still to read the formula, "Heir upon the throne
In thus speaking, Mariette refers to King Menephtah when a prince, and to the throne of Rameses II. But Menephtah the father is excluded from consideration by the twice-told tale "dead." Again the truth is, King Menephtah's son, Setî-Menephtah, is meant. 5. The Back of a Throne of Usertesen removed to Berlin. Because set up along an avenue the seated colossus of Usertesen I. just described required a mate for company on the opposite side of the way: the throne of this companion was, many years ago, carried away to Berlin, where it silently relates to every visitor its story of the tragedy enacted in Egypt centuries ago (28). Menephtah found the back of this second throne untouched in like manner; and the temptation to fill it up with the decorations of his own glory was too great for him to resist.
28. BACK OF USERTESEN'S THRONE. (FROM THE MONUMENT IN THE BERLIN MUSEUM. FROM A SPECIAL PHOTOGRAPH BY G. NEUMANN.)
his head a pointed miter from which depends a kind of long waved ribbon ending in a fork, like the tail of the animal symbolical of Sutekh. This same fork is placed at the extremities of the two little horns with which the forehead of the god is armed.
As to the other personage, he stands erect in the posture of adoration, and exhibits the grand costume of Egyptian princes, with the uræus upon his brow. . . . A fragment of inscription permits
His first act was to cover nearly the whole of its surface with his titles and escutcheons in two series.
In the course of time, however, he changed his mind: something happened that led him to recast a portion of his first work. His second act was, esteeming the lower set of titles as of least account, to chisel them away, thus lowering this portion of the back to the depth of two or three inches.
For what purpose?
To inscribe a new name and a new record there, more in the vein of his newly acquired mood. It was, for the most part, a repetition of what Mariette has described from the San throne. On the right we now look upon
Sutekh, the great god, Lord of heaven. And on the left we behold his worshiper, decked with the recurved lock of a prince and with the royal uræus, in the act of offering
incense and a libation of wine to the god, the adjacent hieroglyphs describing him as
His loving Adorer, his Son, beloved of him, rejoicing in his service, of Royal Birth, the Heir to the Throne, Royal Scribe, Chief of the Soldiers, great Royal Son, Mer-en-ptah deceased.
But all these titles are the peculiar distinctions of Seti-Menephtah. And it was only natural that he should be represented as professing relationship to, and delight in the service of, that god whose name he bore. The change that had befallen the father and reigning King Menephtah was the untimely death of his matchless son, so very dear to his heart and already exalted so near to his own rank and seat.
6. The Tablet of Four Hundred Years. All the foregoing monuments are, in some measure, introductory to, and serve as so many keys for unlocking the purpose of, the longest witness in this series. A double obscurity has always surrounded the Tablet of Four Hundred Years. After discovering it within the inmost shrine of the Great Temple, under a heap of similar stela and mural inscriptions, for the most part broken to fragments, Mariette Bey concealed it on the site, near by, so they say; and when he died he carried the secret of its hiding-place with him into the other world.
But its subject-matter has always been a riddle. A confusion lurks under an evident combination-in its vignette of two unrelated pictures, and in its record of two unconnected stories, pertaining to two different persons.
Referring to illustration 29, the first of these occupies the left-hand side of the vignette a, and the first seven lines of the horizontal inscription. Here the vignette sketches an apotheosized forefather, Aa-peh-peh, under the form of the deity Sutekh, or Set, holding a scepter in one hand, the symbol of life in the other; wearing the white crown, rendered quite odd by a forked horn in front, and from its apex by a long waving streamer, likewise forked at the end. Here Rameses II. is the actor, as well as the epigraphist of this part of the tablet, identified by his cartouches and defined by the intermediate hieroglyphics as
Giving wine to his beloved god that He may make him a giver of life.
The upper seven horizontal lines of the record explain the meaning of these sketches of god and king, and reveal the original simple purpose of the tablet to be, on the part of Rameses, to acknowledge and honor the Shepherd king Set Aa-peh-peh, who lived four hundred years before, as the father of Rameses' fathers: the great king hereby seeks to immortalize an act of ancestor worship. Literally, this part of the legend runs as follows:
LINE 1. The living Horus, the living Sun, the powerful Bull beloved of Ma, Lord of the Festivals of Thirty years like his father Ptah, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ra-user-ma Sotep-en-ra, Son of Ra, Rameses Mer-amen, Giver of life,
2. Lord of the Vulture and Uræus Diadems, Protector of Egypt, Chastiser of Provinces, Sun born of the gods, Possessor of Lands, the Hawk of gold, Rich in years, Greatest of the Victors, Sotep-en-ra, Son of Ra, Rameses Mer-amen, Chief3. King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ra-user-ma tain enriching the Lands with memorials of his name.
4. The sun has shone as the king liked, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ra-user-ma Sotep-en-ra, Son of Ra, Rameses Mer-amen.
5. His Majesty ordered that a great Tablet of granite should be made in the great name of the
Father of his fathers
6. (The King of Upper Egypt, Ra-mer-en-ma, Son of Ra, Mer-en-ptah-Seti, being firm and prosperous forever, like Ra every day)
7. In the Four Hundredth year, on the fourth day of the month Mesori, of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Set Aa-peh-peh, Son of Ra, beloved of him, Nubti Set, beloved of Harmakhis,
who is forever and forever.
No regnal year of Rameses II. is supplied to serve as a date for the monument, because, as line 6 shows, the reign of Rameses had not yet begun; this stela was set up when he was acting as a regent only at Zoan, in Lower Egypt, while his father, Setî I., was still living at Thebes, in Upper Egypt, and continuing to rule as king firmly and prosperously over the land.
But the second personage is the one in whom our special interest lies: he is treated on the right-hand side of the vignette and in the lower portion of the horizontal inscription b, b. By a fracture of the slab his portrait and head are lost; but the two vertical lines of hieroglyphics expressing a petition in his behalf, addressed also to the deity Sutekh on the left, a, imperfectly read:
Thy service, O Set, son of Nut, Grant Heir to the Throne, Royal Scribe, Commander of thou a long time in thy service to the ka of the the Cavalry, Controller of Provinces, and Superin
tendent of the fortress-town Tsar-on-the-frontier.
Here the single fact that the prayer is offered for the benefit of the ka of the person prayed for would indicate that we have in these words a petition for the welfare of some one no longer in life. Who was he? Already we encounter some of the titles familiar as those belonging to the subject of our study; but the last five lines of the horizontal inscription offer many more:
LINE 8. Having come [before the god represented at a in the vignette]
The Heir to the Throne, Governor of the Nome, Fan-bearer at the King's right hand, Commander
mouth of a royal personage, represented as adoring and addressing one and the
same deity with Rameses. Its petition to the deity Set, "Grant me a long time in thy service," reflects the cultus drawn upon the last monument, and recalls the words of its adorer of the same god, Sutekh, "Happy" or "Blessed in his service." This personage is plainly named the "Prince Setî deceased." By such designation Setî I., the father of Rameses II., cannot be meant, because this Prince Setî, when alive, is said to have been commander of the cavalry stationed at Pa-Rameses, the biblical town Raamses built by the children of Israel for Rameses II., which therefore was not in existence in the days of Setî I., father of Rameses. Hence the "Prince Setî" must designate Setî II., the son of Menephtah the King. Seti I. also would be excluded by
29. THE TABLET OF FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. (FROM THE REVUE ARCHÉOLOGIQUE.)
of the Archers, Controller of Provinces, Superintendent of the fortress-town Tsar-on-the-frontier, Chief of the Matsu, Royal Scribe, Commander of the Cavalry,
9. The processional priest of the fête Bai-nebtat, High-priest of Set, Officer of Uati, Ruler of Lands, Superintendent of the priests of all the gods, Prince Seti deceased, Son, Heir to the Throne, Mayor of the City, Governor of the Nome,
1o. The Commander of the Archers, Controller of Provinces, Superintendent of the fortress-town Tsar-on-the-frontier, Royal Scribe, Commander of the Cavalry of Pa-Rameses, the Prince deceased born of the Lady of the House, Chantress superior of Ra, Princess deceased,
the anachronism involved in the office "Superintendent of the fortress-town Tsar-on-the-frontier," if this frontier fortress, Tsar, was the biblical town Zoan, shown with equal surety by its ruins to have been the creation of Rameses II. A superintendent of Zoan could be only a son or a grandson of Rameses the Great; and so, as his name was Setî, he must have been Setî-Menephtah.
Here, too, we have most of the titles belonging to Setî-Menephtah, already met with in addition to these, he is said to have occupied "Heir to the Throne," "Son," "Prince"; and, many offices which together would be held only by one on the road to the throne-" Fanbearer," "Royal Scribe," "Governor," "Commander," "Priest," etc. Indeed, he is deto have been born of a royal wife, a "Princess," the "Lady of the House." In Egypt the right to the throne descended through the mother; accordingly the mother, from among whose sons the heir was to be selected, must be of the royal line. If the king married out
11. Hail to thee, Set, son of Nut, valiant in the boat of millions of years, overthrowing enemies at the prow of the boat of Ra! Great are thy bellow-clared ings in
Grant thou me a long time in thy service to follow thy person. I have been placed in...
Here we have another prayer, an echo of the one written in the vignette, put into the
side of a royal family the children were ineligible to the crown.
Here also we have apparently the last of King Menephtah's works. Since the tablets described under 1 of this series were placed on the walls of the Speos at Silsilis, this "Princess," the royal wife and mother, had departed; she, too, had gone before to recover her lost boy. The queen was no more, and the heir to the throne was not. What lament could be greater? These are the words of one bereaved indeed. Who inscribed those mortuary strokes? Manifestly, he who had both consort and prince to mourn-Menephtah the King, the desolate survivor. No possibility now remained of another heir or successor in his line to perpetuate his dynasty.
Either Menephtah found the parts of the vignette on the right and the bottom of the tablet (b, b) without tracing, or he made them so, and then he engraved them between his
Such is the resolution of the "peculiarity," the incongruity, of the Tablet of Four Hundred Years. He who wrote his name upon several monuments of other rulers, his predecessors at Zoan, he who bequeathed to us a statue composed of the body of Amen-em-hat and the face of Menephtah,- he it was who has caused us to puzzle over a tablet presenting the original worship of Rameses II., supplemented by an imitation of it imputed to SetîMenephtah his son, who, because no longer with him on earth, was conceived to be entering the presence of an ancestral deity in the world of the gods. So overmastering was Menephtah's misery that he could not refrain from draughting and rehearsing the honors of his painfully absent child upon every monument, no matter whose, that offered an opportunity. Upon three of these six memorials the youth referred to has been called Menephtah, upon two Seti-Menephtah, and upon one Setî: no argument is required to show that they all refer to one and the same individual.
Every one of the six, at its end, has confessed just such an unlooked-for death in youth as the Bible attributes to the first-born of Pharaoh and the tomb at Thebes concedes.
Four reasons ascribe the authorship of all these retrospective sketches to Menephtah the King.
First. He was the last survivor of the whole family.
Second. No one except Menephtah would have done such things: Amen-meses and Siphtah who followed, descendants of other or irregular lines, were usurpers, rivals, anti-kings, full of antagonism to the house of Menephtah. They would have struck out, effaced, covered up by their own cartouches and claims to
the throne, had they done anything; whereas this sort of regretful work reveals the parental hand. Menephtah was now left a broken-down old man. The high expectation cherished two short years ago, that this vigorous youth would shortly become the sole wearer of Egypt's crown in spite of earth and heaven, the Lord had extinguished in a moment of time. The bright hope was blasted, and in its seat was bitter grief. The stricken father was beside himself: we can fairly hear him moan, not unlike David over Absalom, "O my son Menephtah, my son, my son Menephtah! would God I had died for thee, O Setî, my son, my son!" By day he sought him and by night he missed him. Stooping under the blow, his faltering limbs led him to those spots where his boy had lived, had fought, had worshiped. What wonder if, in this aberration of distress, this agony of loneliness, he should exhibit a weakness for wandering among the monuments of Zoan to picture on them the image that was ever before his eyes, and to remind the people, who by no means needed to have their memory quickened,-in words that wept, of the lad who was once alive. He would have the world remember his loved one till the world itself should die.
Third. Whatever had been conferred on the son now reverted to the father. Setî-Menephtah had been real ruler and nominal sovereign; the plan that these were to be permanent and finally merge into kingship had been frustrated by a higher power. Both the crown and the government had fallen back wholly upon Menephtah; his reign was continuing as before, and, on account of the absence of other heirs, it must continue till he should die. Then the question must have arisen, How is Seti's brief regency, accompanied by his assumption of kingly prerogative, to be regarded? What would have been reckoned as part of another reign under the nineteenth dynasty could not now be counted. Officially it must be treated as if it had never happened, it must be recognized as such no longer; indeed, measures must be taken to show that he lived and died while yet a prince and not as a king. Accordingly he was represented on the monuments, after his death, just as Khamus was (illustration 3), a deceased prince, distinguished by the sidelock of a royal infant who had not reached the throne as sole ruler after the death of the king.
Fourth. The juxtaposition on the monuments 3, 4, and 5 above-described, of the cartouches and inscriptions of Menephtah the King to those of Seti-Menephtah the son, indicates synchronism.
To the six monumental witnesses of SetiMenephtah's minority, already considered, another might be added from the papyri. Having