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Ancient Egypt: The adoption stela of Nitokris
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The adoption stela of Nitocris, daughter of Psamtik I

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"I am his son, first in the favor of the father of the gods, offering to the gods; whom he begat for himself, to satisfy his heart. I have given to him my daughter, to be Divine Consort, that she [may invoke protection for the king] more than those who were before her; that he may indeed be satisfied with her prayers, and that he may protect the land of him who gave her to him."
 
"Lo, I have now heard saying, a king's-daughter of Taharka, triumphant, is there whom he gave to his sister to be her 'Great Daughter' who is there as 'Divine Votress' (ntr-dwA.t). I am not one to expel an heir from his place, for I am a king who loves truth; my particular abomination is lying; (I am) a son protecting his father, taking the inheritance of Keb, uniting the two portions as a youth. Hence I give her to her, to be her 'Great Daughter' as her father (once) conveyed her to (his) sister."
 
"Then
5 they bowed to the ground, they gave thanks to the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Wahibre (Psamtik I), living forever; and they said: 'Abiding and enduring through eternity? Thy every command shall abide and endure. How beautiful is this which the god doeth for thee! How excellent is that which thy father doeth for thee! /////' 6 ////// He loves to remember thy ka, and he rejoices at the mention of thy name, O Horus, 'Great-of-Heart', King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Psamtik (I), living forever. He has done this as his monument for his father, Amon, lord of heaven, ruler of gods. He hath given his beloved eldest daughter, Nitocris (nt-jqr.t), whose 'beautiful name' is Shepnupet, to be Divine Consort, to play the sistrum before his (Amon's) beautiful face."
 
- Family tree of Nitocris
By this time the office of God's Wife of Amen overshadowed that of the First Prophet. It was of great political and economic importance and the pharaohs did all they could to keep it in the family, in contravention to the original stipulations of the Donation Stela of Ahmose I.
-king's-daughter: Amenirdis II
-Taharka: Khunefertemre (689-663 BCE)
-Keb: Geb (Opening in a new window). The inheritance of Geb was the earth, or rather the part of the earth which counted, Egypt, which was divided into Upper and Lower Egypt.
-uniting the two portions: Psammetic became ruler of the whole of Egypt.
-her to her: Nitocris to Shepnupet II

-Wahibre: Wahemibre Psamtik (656-609 BCE)
 
 
 
 
 
-ka: a constituent part of a human being. cf Body and Soul.
 
 
 
 
-'beautiful name': rn nfr (ren nefer), the name one was known by.
-Divine Consort: God's Wife of Amen.
-sistrum: a rattle, the main musical instrument used by priestesses.
In the year 9, first month of the first season (first month), day 28, went forth his eldest daughter from the king's family apartments, clad in fine linen, and newly adorned with malachite. The attendants conducting her were legion in number, 8 and marshals cleared the path, for beginning the goodly way to the harbor, to turn upstream for Thebes. The vessels bearing her were very numerous, the crews were mighty men, and they were deeply laden [to the decks] with every good thing of the king's-palace. 9 The commander thereof was the sole companion, nomarch of Heracleopolis, commander in chief of the army, chief of the harbor, Somtous-Tefnakhte. Messengers sailed to the South, to make splendid provision before her. Sail was set [/// /// /// /// /// (?)]. b10 The great men took their weapons, and every noble [had (?)] his provision, supplied with every good thing: bread, beer, oxen, geese, [/// (?)], dates, herbs, and every good thing. One transferred (her) to his neighbor, until she reached Thebes.
 
-year 9: 9th year of the reign of Psammetic I, 647 BCE
-malachite: malachite was used in cosmetics.
11 In the year 9, second month of the first season (second month), day 14, they arrived at the city of the gods, Thebes. As she advanced, she found (all) Thebes, men and women alike, standing, rejoicing at her approach, surrounding her with great offerings, a multitude in number. Then they said: "The daughter of the King of Upper Egypt, Nitocris, comes to the house of Amon, that he may receive her and be satisfied with her. The daughter of the King of Lower Egypt, Shepnupet, comes to Karnak, that the gods therein may honor her. Every monument of 13 the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Psamtik (I), abides and endures forever and ever. Amon, lord of heaven, king of gods, hath received what his son, Horus, 'Great-of-Heart,' living forever and ever, made for him. Amon, ruler of gods, hath praised that which his son, Favorite of the Two Goddesses, Nebe (nba), living forever and ever, made for him. //////.14 The reward therefore is with Amon, and with Montu, even a million years of life, a million years of stability, a million years of satisfaction. All health and joy of heart are with them for their beloved son, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Wahibre, 15 Son of Re, Psamtik (I), living forever and ever. //////."
 
-In the year 9, second month ... Thebes: The journey upriver took sixteen days. (cf. Means of Transportation)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-the Two Goddesses: the tutelary deities of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Nekhbet and Wadjet
Nekhbet and Wadjet (Opening in a new window)
-Montu: Lord of Thebes.
Now, afterward when she came to the Divine Votress, Shepnupet, 16 she saw her, was satisfied with her, and loved her beyond everything. She conveyed to her the fortune (jmj-pr) which her father and her mother had conveyed to her and to her 'Great Daughter', Amenardis, king's-daughter of King ///, triumphant. It was put into writing concerning them, saying: "We have given to thee all our property in field and in town. Thou abidest upon our throne, abiding 17 and enduring forever and ever."
The witnesses concerning them were the prophets, the priests and all the adherents of the temple.

 
-Shepnupet: Shepnupet II, daughter of Piye.
-conveyed to her the fortune (jmj-pr): the same kind of conveyance was used in the Donation Stela of Ahmose I.
-Amenardis: Amenirdis II
List of all the property given to her [by [them (?)]] in the towns and nomes of the South and North
 
That which his (sic!) majesty gave to her in seven nomes of the Southland:
1. In the district of Heracleopolis, the nome 18 called Yuna (jwnA), which is in the district thereof lands, 300 stat
2. In the district of Oxyrhyncus, the estate of Putowe (pw-tAwy), which is in the district thereoflands, 300 stat
3. In the district of Sep, the estate of Kewkew (kAw-kAw), which is in the district thereof19 lands, [300 (?)] stat
4. In the district of the Hare nome, (Hermopolis), the estates of Nesumin, which are in the district thereof600 stat
5. In the district of Aphroditopolis, (the town of) Kay (qAj), which is in the district thereof300 stat
6. In the district of [/// (?)], the estate of Harsiese, which is in the district thereof20 200 stat
All this added togetherlands, 1,800 stat
together with all the income thereof from field and town; with their arid lands, and their canals.
 
-stat: aroura, ca 2700 m²
Bread and beer given to the temple of Amon for her:
That which the fourth prophet of Amon, prince of
21 the city (Thebes), governor of the whole South, Mentemhet, gives to her:
Daily:
Bread 200 deben
Wine5 hin
[Cakes (?)]1
Vegetables1 bundle (Htp)
Monthly:
Oxen 3
Geese 5

 
-deben: about 91 grammes
-hin: about ½ litre
That which his eldest son, chief of the prophets of Thebes, Nesuptah, gives to her:
Daily:
Bread 100 deben
Wine2 hin
Vegetables1 bundle (Htp)
Monthly:
22 [Cakes (?)] (Sa)15
Beer10 jars (hbn)
Lands in the region (qaH.t) of Wawat100 stat
 
That which the wife of the fourth prophet of Amon, Mentemhet (named) Uzarenes (wDA-rns), gives to her:
Daily:
Bread 100 deben
 
That which the High Priest of Amon, Harkheb (Hr-xb), gives to her:
Daily:
Bread 100 deben
Wine2 hin
Monthly:
[Cakes (?)] (Sa)10
23 Beer5 jars (hbn)
Vegetables10 bundles (Htp)
 
That which the third prophet of Amon, Pediamennebnesttowe, gives to her:
Daily:
Bread 100 deben
Wine2 hin
Monthly:
Beer5 jars (hbn)
[Cakes (?)] (Sa)10
Vegetables10 bundles (Htp)
 
Combined total:
Daily:
Bread 600 deben
Wine11 hin
[Cakes (?)] (Sa)
Vegetables2/3 bundles (Htp)
Monthly:
Oxen3
Geese5
Beer20 jars
Lands100 stat
 
That which his majesty gives to her in the nome of Heliopolis in the temple of Atum, of the divine offerings (temple income), which his majesty founded:
Spelt2 khar
after it has been offered in the (divine) presence daily, and the god has been satisfied therewith.
 
-khar: from the New Kingdom onward 16 heqat, about 80 litres.
-after it has been offered ... therewith: spiritual entities like gods, kas etc drew their nourishment not from the physical offerings themselves. These could be used after the gods had feasted.
That which is given to her from the temples:
Sais Bread200 deben
25 Buto    "200     "
House of Hathor of the Malachite    "100     "
[Memphis (?)] (Pr-jnbw)    "   50     "
Kom el-Hisn    "   50     "
Per-Manu    "   50     "
The house (a.t) of Tharu    "   50     "
Tanis    "100     "
House of Hathor    "100     "
26 Bubastis    "100     "
Athribis    "200     "
Mesta (mS.tA)    "   50     "
Bista (bjAs.tA)    "  50     "
House of Harsaphes, lord of Heracleopolis    "100     "
Per-Seped (Saft-el-Henneh)    "100     "
Combined totalBread1500 deben
 
That which was given to her in four nomes of the Northland:
1. 27In the district of Sais, the estates (pr) of the southern Bedwin, which are in the district thereof: lands360 stat
2. In the district of Bista (byAs.t), the house (a.t) of Neferher (nfr-Hr), which is in the district thereof; lands500 stat
3. In the district of Thebu (Tbw), 28 in the Barque of the Sycamore, which is in the district thereof2[4]0 stat
4. In the middle district of Heliopolis, "The-Wall-of-Hori", son of Zedti (Ddtj), which is (also) "The-Wall-of-Psenmut", born of 29 Meretubekhet (mr.t-wbx.t), which is in the district thereof 200 (+x) stat
Total lands of four nomes1,400 stat
together with all the income thereof, from field and town; with their arid lands and their 30 canals.
 
Combined total:
Bread 3,100 deben
Lands in eleven nomes3,300 stat
Abiding, abiding, conveyed, conveyed, imperishable and ineffaceable, forever and ever, forever and ever!
 
In the district of ///[pep (?)], with all its people, all its lands, and all its possessions in field and town.
-In the district of ///[pep (?)]... town: the land which had been omitted in the list above was added here at the end.
 

J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Four, §§ 942ff.

 


- -Index of Texts
 
-The Donation Stela of Ahmose I
-The stela of Ankhenesneferibre
-The priests of Amen-Re and the Theban Kings
 
-Index of Topics
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© January 2006

 

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