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Ancient Egypt: Inscriptions of Amenhotep, son of Hapu
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Amenhotep sopn of Hapu
Amenhotep, son of Hapu
Source: V. Easy
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Inscriptions of Amenhotep, son of Hapu

[Given as a favo]r of the king's-presence to the temple of Amon in Karnak, for the hereditary prince, count, sole companion, fan-bearer on the king's right hand, chief of the king's works even all the great monuments which are brought, of every excellent costly stone; steward of the King's-daughter of the king's-wife, Sitamon, who liveth; overseer of the cattle of Amon in the South and North, chief of the prophets of Horus, lord of Athribis, festival leader of Amon, Amenhotep, son of Hapi, born of the lady Yatu (yAtw), triumphant.
26 ........ The king's-scribe, Amenhotep, triumphant; he saith: "I was great, at the head of the great, skillful in the divine words in 27 the [council (?)] of understanding, following the plans of the king; one whose ka the sovereign, L.P.H., advanced.
The Good God, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nibmare (Amenhotep III), firstborn, son of Harakhte, praised me. I was appointed to be inferior king's-scribe;
28 I was introduced into the divine book, I beheld the excellent things of Thoth; I was equipped with their secrets; I opened all their [passages (?)]; one took counsel with me 28 on all their matters.
- Dedicatory inscription on a statue of Amenhotep in the Amen temple at Karnak
-fan-bearer on the king's right hand: the position of royal fan-bearer was much coveted, the right-hand position being the more exalted one.
-chief of the king's works: The 5th century BCE architect Khnumibre claimed Imhotep as his ancestor, giving him this title [1]. Imhotep was deified as the son of Ptah.
-King's-daughter of the king's-wife, Sitamon: kings had often many children from a number of wives and concubines. Sitamon was Amenhotep III's daughter and became his Great Royal Wife.
-Athribis: Birthplace of Amenhotep, son of Hapu.
My lord again showed favor to me; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nibmare, he put all the people subject to me, and the listing of their number under my control, as superior king's-scribe over recruits. 30 I levied the (military) classes of my lord, my pen reckoned the numbers of millions; I put them in [classes (?)] in the place of their [elders (?)]; the staff of old age as his beloved son. 31 I taxed the houses with the numbers belonging thereto, I divided the troops (of workmen) and their houses, I filled out the subjects with the best of the captivity, which his majesty had captured 32 on the battlefield. I appointed all their troops (Tz.t), I levied /// /// ///. I placed troops at the heads of the way(s) to turn back the foreigners in their places. 33 The two regions were surrounded with a watch scouting for the Sandrangers. I did likewise at the heads of the river-mouths, which were closed under 34 my troops except to the troops of royal marines. I was the guide of their ways, they depended upon my command. -millions: i.e. a large number, not to be taken literally
-troops (of workmen): large workforces were organized somewhat on the lines of an army.
-subjects: Egyptians.
-best of the captivity: prisoners of war were awarded to deserving servants of the crown.
-way(s): the route for instance which connected the region of Horus Road in the eastern Egyptian delta with southern Canaan. (cf. The Journal of a Frontier Official, The Pursuit of Runaway Slaves) or the road into northern Libya.
-turn back the foreigners: Egypt tried to control its borders and the flow of foreigners into and out of the country, not always with success.
-Sandrangers: bedouins.
-heads of the river-mouths: the access to the river Nile was controlled both in the south by a string of forts (cf. The Semna Stelae of Senusret III) - a lesser problem at the time and therefore not mentioned - and in the Delta, by erecting custom-houses on the coast and by the more mobile means of a navy manned by archers (cf. The Incursions of the Sea Peoples.)
I was the chief at the head of 35 the mighty men, to smite the Nubians [and the Asiatics (?)], the plans of my lord were a refuge behind me; [when I wandered (?)] his command surrounded me; his plans embraced all lands 36 and all foreigners who were by his side. I reckoned up the captives of the victories of his majesty, being in charge of them. I did according to that which he (the king) said, I followed according to the things which he commanded 37 me, I found them excellent things for the future. -reckoned up the captives: the Egyptians had a mania for making lists, be they about the things offered to a temple or the cut-off genitals of fallen enemies.
My lord a third time showed favor to me; Son of Re, Amenhotep (III), Ruler of Thebes, the sun-god is he, to whom hath been given an eternity of his jubilees without end. 38 My lord made me chief of all works. I established the name of the king forever, I did not imitate that which had been done before. I fashioned for him a mountain of gritstone, for he is the heir of Atum. 39 I did according to my desire, executing his likeness in this his great house, with every precious stone, enduring like the heavens; there was not one who had done it (the like) since the time of the founding of his Two Lands, 40 l conducted the work of his statue, immense in width, taller than his column, its beauty marred the pylon. Its length was 40 cubits in the august mountain of gritstone at the side of Re-Atum. 41 I built an eight-vessel, I brought it (the statue) up-river; it was set up in [this] great house, enduring as heaven. My witnesses are ye, ye who shall come 42 after us; the entire army was as one under my control, they wrought with joy, their hearts were glad, rejoicing and praising the Good God; 43 they landed at Thebes with rejoicing, the monuments rested in their places forever ////////////. -established the name of the king forever: part of becoming immortal meant immortalizing ones name.(On the importance of the name cf. Body and Soul)
-his great house: According to Breasted the temple at Karnak where the statue bearing this inscription was discovered, is meant here. A statue of Amenhotep III was also found in the Karnak temple.
Boyo Ockinga on the other hand, and before him Brugsch and others, thinks this refers to the funerary temple of Amenhotep III in West Thebes, and the royal statues mentioned are the colossi of Memnon.
-there was not one who had done it: an assertion frequently found in such inscriptions.
-his statue: Breasted: Text has plural, but the singular pronouns show the error.
Ockinga leaves the plural: I led the work on his great statues
-40 cubits: about 20 metres. Breasted: A statue of Amenhotep III of the Gebel el-Ahmar stone before Harmhab's pylon at Karnak was about 15 meters high, and is probably the one referred to; for it is not stated that the statue was 40 cubits high, but the block in the quarry was 40 cubits long.
-august mountain of gritstone at the side of Re-Atum: Ockinga: In the splendid sandstone quarry near Re-Atum
-it (the statue) up-river: Breasted: From the quarry near Cairo to Thebes.
3 ///////// I [saw] him fighting hand to hand upon the battlefield, while he was like Min in the year of [///]. I recorded the [numbers (?)] of his [captives (?)] as subjects of the temples //////// 4 /////////// while I was apportioner of ointment. I was versed in her art [/// /// ///] and she knew (it), while I was in front with my lord, and I was great before him. I did that which men loved and gods praised ///////// 5 //////
Behold ye, I did excellent things; do (so) to me, and it shall be done (likewise) to you; for I am an heir who furnished his city, and expelled its [///] (twA) from every place. My lord did benefactions for my god [///] ////////
6 ////////. My lord [dug (?)] his southern lake and his northern lake, brightened with flowers upon their shores. I /// their ///, and led them, because I was one [/// ///] his city. He made the house of my god, and my [city (?)] How beautiful is //////// 7 ///////// because of his daily offerings. My lord magnified my city greatly, and my family [/// ///] on earth.
-my god: Breasted: The god of his city, Athribis. He calls on the people of the place to pray for him because he had used his influence with the king to secure royal benefits for the local god and temple of Athribis. (Cf. Cities and Citizens)
I buried my father, doing again that which "The-Son-Whom-He-Loves" did. I interred my mother ///////// 8 /////////. My lord /// my necessities, causing me to receive bread [after (?)] the feasts. Men said to me: "[///] it hath come to thee through the Lord of the Two Lands. There is no citizen (SwA) to whom the like has been done."
I executed truth /////////
9 /////////..........
 
-it hath come to thee through the Lord of the Two Lands: Where favouritism is concerned Amenhotep son of Hapu was in a league by himself. Burials for his parents, statues of himself, a sizable mortuary temple right by the temple of his patron Amenhotep III: he was not far wrong when he claimed that There is no citizen to whom the like has been done.
-............: Breasted: Two lines of self-praise

 
 
1 Year 31, fourth month of the first season, sixth day, under the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Two Lands, Nibmare, L.P.H.; Son of Re, of his body, Lord of Diadems, Amenhotep (III), L.P.H.
 
Mortuary temple edict
Inscription on a limestone stela
On this day, one (=the king) was in the ka-chapel 2 of the hereditary prince, count, king's-scribe, Amenhotep. There were brought in: the governor of the city, and vizier, Amenhotep, the overseer of the treasury, Meriptah, and the king's-scribes of the army.
One said to them in the presence of
3 his majesty, L.P.H.: "Hear the command which is given, to furnish the ka-chapel of the hereditary prince, the royal scribe, Amenhotep, called Huy, Son of Hapu, whose excellence is [extolled (?)] 4 in order to perpetuate his ka-chapel with slaves, male and female, forever; son to son, heir to heir; in order that none trespass upon it forever. It is commended to Amon-Re, king of gods, as long as it is upon earth; 5 he is the king of eternity, he is the protector of the dead.
As for the general and scribe of the army who shall follow after me and shall find the ka-chapel beginning to decay, together with 6 the male and female slaves who are cultivating (the field) for my endowment, and shall take away a man therefrom in order to put him (to) any business of Pharaoh, L.P.H., or any commission, may his body be [accursed (?)] Then if another trespasses upon them, and does not answer in their behalf, he shall suffer the destruction of Amon, lord of Thebes, he (the god) shall not permit them to be satisfied with the office of king's-scribe of the army, which they have received for me. 8 He (Amon) shall deliver them into the flaming wrath of the king on the day of his anger; his serpent-diadem shall spit fire upon their heads, shall consume their limbs, shall devour their bodies, they shall become like Apophis on the morning of New Year's Day. They shall be engulfed in the sea, 9 it shall hide their corpses. They shall not receive the mortuary ceremonies of the righteous; they shall not eat the food of them that dwell in Keret; the waters by the flood of the river shall not be poured out for them. Their sons shall not be put into their places, 10 their wives shall be violated while their eyes see it. The nobles shall not set foot in their houses as long as they are upon earth; the leaders of the two sides shall not introduce them, nor shall they hear the words of the king in the hour of gladness. 11 They shall belong to the sword on the day of destruction, they shall be called enemies; when their bodies be consumed, they shall hunger, without bread, and their bodies shall die. If the vizier, overseer of the treasury, chief overseer of the estate, superintendent of the granary, 12 high priests, divine fathers, and priests of Amon, to whom has been read this edict, issued for the ka-chapel of the hereditary prince, the king's-scribe, Amenhotep, son of Hapu, shall not show solicitude 13 for his ka-chapel, the edict shall touch them, and them especially. -serpent-diadem: the uraei were spitting cobras.
-Apophis: serpent of the underworld battling Re on his nightly crossing.
-righteous: unless one was judged by Osiris and was found innocent one faced certain destruction.
-Their sons shall not be put into their places: they will not inherit their fathers, which included public offices and positions.
-their wives shall be violated: one may well ask what fault it was of their children and wives, but ancient Egyptians knew and applied at times the concept of Sippenhaft where one's relatives might have to pay for one's crimes.
-the leaders of the two sides: Breasted: The people on the two sides of the central aisle in formal assemblies; the leaders (sSm.w) or ushers of such assemblies were the heralds (whm.w)
But if they shall show solicitude for the ka-chapel, with the male and female slaves who are cultivating (the field) for my 14 endowment, then all favor shall be shown them. Amon-Re, king of gods, shall reward them with prosperous life. The king of your day, shall [reward (?)] you is as he [rewards (?)] ///. There shall be doubled for you office upon office, ye shall receive from son to son and heir to heir. They shall be sent on as messengers, and the king of their day will reward them. [Their (?)] bodies shall (rest) 16 in the West after (a life of) 110 years, doubled to you shall be the mortuary oblations likewise. -110 years: the ideal lifespan according to the ancient Egyptians.
As for the officers of the gendarmes, [belonging to (?)] the district of the mayor of the west side, in Khaft(et)-hir-nebes, who 17 shall not protect my endowment each day, and on my feast-days on the first of the month, the edict shall touch them, and their bodies shall not [escape (?)] 18 But if they shall hear all the edict, issued as a command, and they shall obey and shall not forsake it, good shall happen to them as (to) the just. 19 They shall rest in the cemetery after years of old age.
Codicil. The mayor of the west side is he who [///] my servants during a single day.
J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, §§913ff.
 
 
-Khaft(et)-hir-nebes: xft.j-Hr-nb=s, district on the western Nile shore, north-west of Thebes.
Ye people of Karnak, ye who wish to see Amon, come to me! I shall report your petitions. [For] I am indeed the messenger of this god. [The king] has appointed me to report the words of the Two Lands. Speak to me the "offering spell" and invoke my name daily, as is done to one who has taken a vow.
Morenz, 1992, p.102
Inscription carved on the papyrus roll statues of Amenhotep are holding
The promise to mediate brought him local fame at first, by Ptolemaic times he had entered the pantheon. People who were deified such as Imhotep, Pepinakht, or Amenhotep had a lifetime of successfully serving the king in common.
Ockinga, noting that the inscriptions on these statues looked very worn suggested that they had been touched by the petitioners for good luck.
-has taken a vow: Ockinga: is praised
 
O prince Amenhotep, son of Hapu, justified! Come perfect physician! See, I suffer in the eyes, O may you grant that I be hale at once. I have made this in return.
 
Votary text on a statue dedicated to Amenhotep by a daughter of King Psamtik (26th dynasty)
-physician: Medicine had not been one of Amenhotep's many accomplishments, but his ability to intercede on behalf of the suffering had magical qualities and was therefore strong medicine. The third dynasty official Imhotep, still venerated in the Memphite region only, and became known as a healer in the Late Period as well.
-this: the statue.
 
I enquired of the great god Amenhotep. He replied that a fever was in the body of Teos and that one might give him two Syrian figs, watered from the evening to the morning.
 
Greek votive text
Deir el Bahri, Ptolemaic period
By this time, both Imhotep and Amenhotep were venerated nationwide as gods and were hugely popular as healers.
 
But I had heard from different sides that the miracles of Amenotes were numerous, that he was merciful and that the hopeless were numerous who had found curing by him. Being a hopeless case, I went along to the sanctuary of Amenotes as a suppliant. Amenotes helped me, and I was cured by him by a vision, and having regained my health, I wish to express to him and the other gods sharing his altars and cults their miraculous power.
Boyo Ockinga, Amenophis, Son of Hapu - A Biographical Sketch, The Rundle Foundation for Egyptian Archaeology Newsletter No. 18, February 1986
 
From a Greek ostracon dating from the reign of Ptolemy II
-Other gods: Ockinga: Asclepsius (Imhotep) and Hygieia
 
The learned ones praise god for you (i.e. Imhotep),
Foremost among them your brother,
Who loves you, whom you love,
Amenhotep son of Hapu.
He abides with you,
He parts not from you;
Your bodies form a single one,
Your ba's receive the things you love,
Brought you by your son, Caesar Augustus.
Lichtheim, 1980, p.106
 
From a hymn to Imhotep
Roman Period
Amenhotep was not just someone one could turn to in one's hour of need. He was remembered as a sage, perhaps second only to Imhotep. There may have existed an Instruction of Amenhotep if that is what this inscription in the Deir el Medina temple refers to: His name shall abide forever, his sayings shall not perish. (Breasted)
-Caesar Augustus: Lichtheim: Tiberius

Bibliography:
J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, 1906
Warren R. Dawson, Bridle of Pegasus, 1930, pp.55ff.
Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings: The Late Period, 1980, University of California Press, Page 104
Siegfried Morenz, Egyptian Religion, 1992 Cornell University Press
Margaret Alice Murray, 1931, Egyptian Temples, 2002 Courier Dover Publications
Boyo Ockinga, Amenophis, Son of Hapu - A Biographical Sketch, The Rundle Foundation for Egyptian Archaeology Newsletter No. 18, February 1986
Ivan Van Sertima Great Black Leaders edited, 1988 Transaction Publishers
 
Footnotes:
[1] Van Sertima, p.218

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Amenophis, Son of HapuBoyo Ockinga, Amenophis, Son of Hapu - A Biographical Sketch, The Rundle Foundation for Egyptian Archaeology Newsletter No. 18, February 1986
 

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