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Ancient Egypt: The Semna Inscription of Mermose
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Map of Nubia

The Semna Inscription of the vice-roy Merimose

    ............. occurred the reaping of the harvest of the [foe] of Ibhet. Every man [reported] and one mustered [an army of] Pharaoh, L.H.P., which was under command of this king's son. He made troops, commanded by commanders, each man with his village; from the fortress of Beki to the fortress of Taroy, making 52 iters of sailing.
    The might of Nibmatre took them in one day, in one hour, making a great slaughter ............. their cattle; not one of them escaped; each one of them was brought ... ... ... ... fear. The might of Amenhotep took them; the barbarians among them, male as well as female, were not separated; by the plan of Horus, Lord of the Two Lands, King Nibmatre, mighty bull, strong in might. Ibhet had been haughty, great things were in their hearts, (but) the fierce-eyed lion, this ruler, he slew them by command of Amon-Atum, his august father; it was he who led him in might and victory.
- -Ibhet : important for its quarries, see the biography of Weni
-this king's son : Merimose, the vice-roy. This was a local policing action fought by Northern Nubian militias rather than a military campaign. Its conduct was left in the hands of the viceroy.
-Beki : near Kubban, about 50 km above the 1st cataract
-52 iters: somewhat more than 100 km (Breasted)
-Nibmatre : Nebmaatre, Amenhotep III (1402-1364)
-mighty bull: A frequent epithet of pharaohs since earliest times, cf. The Narmer Palette.
    List of the captivity which his majesty took in the land of Ibhet, the wretched:
Living negroes 150 heads
Archers 110 heads
Negresses 250 heads
Servants of the negroes 55 heads
Their children 175 heads
Total 740 living heads
Hands thereof 312
United with the living heads 1052
    The king's son, vigilant for his lord, favorite of the Good God, governor of the entire land of Kush, king's scribe, Mermose. He saith: "Praise to thee! O Good God! Great is thy might against him that confronts thee; thou causest them that are rebellious against thee to say: 'The fire that we have made rages against us.' Thou hast slain all thy enemies, overthrown beneath thy feet."

James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, § 852 ff

-The population of Nubia was small, perhaps counting as few as 100,000 inhabitants.
-Hands thereof: A hand was cut off the corpse of a fallen enemy as proof of a kill, cf. The Armed Forces: Standards of Behaviour after Victory. Here they apparently cut off both hands.
-the Good God: Pharaoh
Tombos inscription of Merimose; Source: Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Tombos inscription of Merimose
Source: Oriental Institute, University of Chicago


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-Stela of Amenhotep III From Semna (British Museum) - Search for "Stela of Amenhotep III"

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Update: August 2004