Natakamani was a King of Kush who reigned from around or earlier than 1 BC to c. AD 20. Natakamani is the best attested ruler of the Meroitic period, he was born to queen Amanishakheto. Natakamani is known from his pyramid in Meroe, he is known for restoring the temple of Amun, as well as his dedication of the temple at Faras. On several monuments he appears together with co-regent Queen Amanitore; the relationship between the two is not clear: she might have been his wife, or his mother who served as his regent while he was still young. However, it is known that during the co-reign, they had equal rights as depicted in several temple sculptures. At the temple of Apedemak there is a relief showing him with his successor Arikhankharer. Natakamani was preceded by Amanishakheto and succeeded by queen Amanitore
Tefnut is a deity of moisture, moist air and rain in Ancient Egyptian religion. She is the mother of Geb and Nut. Translating as "That Water", the name Tefnut has been linked to the verb'tfn' meaning'to spit' and versions of the creation myth say that Ra spat her out and her name was written as a mouth spitting in late texts. Like most Egyptian deities, including her brother, Tefnut has symbol, her name in hieroglyphics consists of four single phonogram symbols t-f-n-t. Although the n phonogram is a representation of waves on the surface of water, it was never used as an ideogram or determinative for the word water, or for anything associated with water. Tefnut is a daughter of the solar deity Ra-Atum. Married to her twin brother Shu, she is mother of the sky and Geb, the earth. Tefnut's grandchildren were Osiris, Set, and, in some versions, Horus the Elder, she was the great-grandmother of Horus the Younger. Alongside her father, children and great-grandchild, she is a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis.
There are a number of variants to the myth of the creation of the twins Shu. In every version, Tefnut is the product of parthenogenesis, all involve some variety of body fluid. In the Heliopolitan creation myth, Atum sneezed to produce Shu. Pyramid Text 527 says, "Atum was creative in, and brother and sister were born -, Shu and Tefnut."In some versions of this myth, Atum spits out his saliva, which forms the act of procreation. This version contain a play on words, the tef sound which forms the first syllable of the name Tefnut constitutes a word meaning "to spit" or "to expectorate"; the Coffin Texts contain references to Shu being sneezed out by Atum from his nose, Tefnut being spat out like saliva. The Bremner-Rind Papyrus and the Memphite Theology describe Atum as sneezing out saliva to form the twins. Tefnut is a leonine deity, appears as human with a lioness head when depicted as part of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis; the other frequent depiction is as a lioness, but Tefnut can be depicted as human.
In her or semi anthropomorphic form, she is depicted wearing a wig, topped either with a uraeus serpent, or a uraeus and solar disk, she is sometimes depicted as a lion headed serpent. Her face is sometimes used in a double headed form with that of her brother Shu on collar counterpoises. During the 18th and 19th Dynasties during the Amarna period, Tefnut was depicted in human form wearing a low flat headdress, topped with sprouting plants. Akhenaten's mother, Tiye was depicted wearing a similar headdress, identifying with Hathor-Tefnut; the iconic blue crown of Nefertiti is thought by archaeologist Joyce Tyldesley to be derived from Tiye's headdress, may indicate that she was identifying with Tefnut. Heliopolis and Leontopolis were the primary cult centres. At Heliopolis, Tefnut was one of the members of that city's great Ennead, is referred to in relation to the purification of the wabet as part of the temple rite. Here she had a sanctuary called the Lower Menset. I have ascended to youwith the Great One behind me and purity before me: I have passed by Tefnut while Tefnut was purifying me, indeed I am a priest, the son of a priest in this temple."
At Karnak, Tefnut formed part of the Ennead and was invoked in prayers for the health and wellbeing of the Pharaoh. She was worshiped with Shu as a pair of lions in Leontopolis in the Nile Delta. Tefnut was connected with other leonine goddesses as the Eye of Ra; as a lioness she could display a wrathful aspect and is said to escape to Nubia in a rage from where she is brought back by Thoth. In the earlier Pyramid Texts she is said to produce pure waters from her vagina
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia known as Cyrus the Great, called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and conquered most of Western Asia and much of Central Asia. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. Under his successors, the empire stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, his regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of the Four Corners of the World. The Nabonidus Chronicle notes the change in his title from "King of Anshan", a city, to "King of Persia". Assyriologist François Vallat wrote that "When Astyages marched against Cyrus, Cyrus is called ‘King of Anshan’, but when Cyrus crosses the Tigris on his way to Lydia, he is ‘King of Persia’.
The coup therefore took place between these two events."The reign of Cyrus the Great lasted c. 30 years. Cyrus built his empire by first conquering the Median Empire the Lydian Empire, the Neo-Babylonian Empire, he led an expedition into Central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that were described as having brought "into subjection every nation without exception". Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, was alleged to have died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in December 530 BC, he was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to conquer Egypt and Cyrenaica during his short rule. Cyrus the Great respected the religions of the lands he conquered; this became a successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus. What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion.
According to the Jewish Bible, God anointed Cyrus for this task referring to him as messiah and he is the only non-Jewish figure in the Bible to be called so. Cyrus the Great is well recognized for his achievements in human rights and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations. Having originated from Persis corresponding to the modern Iranian province of Fars, Cyrus has played a crucial role in defining the national identity of modern Iran; the Achaemenid influence in the ancient world would extend as far as Athens, where upper-class Athenians adopted aspects of the culture of the ruling class of Achaemenid Persian as their own. In the 1970s, the last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi identified his famous proclamation inscribed onto the Cyrus Cylinder as the oldest known declaration of human rights, the Cylinder has since been popularized as such; this view has been criticized by some historians as a misunderstanding of the Cylinder's generic nature as a traditional statement that new monarchs make at the beginning of their reign.
The name Cyrus is a Latinized form derived from the Greek Κῦρος, Kỹros, itself from the Old Persian Kūruš. The name and its meaning has been recorded in ancient inscriptions in different languages; the ancient Greek historians Ctesias and Plutarch noted that Cyrus was named from Kuros, the Sun, a concept, interpreted as meaning "like the Sun" by noting its relation to the Persian noun for sun, while using -vash as a suffix of likeness. This may point to a relationship to the mythological "first king" of Persia, whose name incorporates the element "sun". Karl Hoffmann has suggested a translation based on the meaning of an Indo-European-root "to humiliate" and accordingly "Cyrus" means "humiliator of the enemy in verbal contest". In the Persian language and in Iran, Cyrus's name is spelled as کوروش. In the Bible, he is known as Koresh; the Persian domination and kingdom in the Iranian plateau started by an extension of the Achaemenid dynasty, who expanded their earlier domination from the 9th century BC onward.
The eponymous founder of this dynasty was Achaemenes. Achaemenids are "descendants of Achaemenes" as Darius the Great, the ninth king of the dynasty, traces his genealogy to him and declares "for this reason we are called Achaemenids". Achaemenes built the state Parsumash in the southwest of Iran and was succeeded by Teispes, who took the title "King of Anshan" after seizing Anshan city and enlarging his kingdom further to include Pars proper. Ancient documents mention that Teispes had a son called Cyrus I, who succeeded his father as "king of Anshan". Cyrus I had a full brother. In 600 BC, Cyrus I was succeeded by his son, Cambyses I, who reigned until 559 BC. Cyrus II "the Great" was a son of Cambyses I, who had named his son after his father, Cyrus I. There are several inscriptions of Cyrus the Great and kings that refer to Cambyses I as the "great king" and "king of Anshan". Among these are some passages in the Cyrus cylinder where Cyrus calls himself "son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anshan".
Another inscription mentio
Amun is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty, Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu. After the rebellion of Thebes against the Hyksos and with the rule of Ahmose I, Amun acquired national importance, expressed in his fusion with the Sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra or Amun-Re. Amun-Ra retained chief importance in the Egyptian pantheon throughout the New Kingdom. Amun-Ra in this period held the position of transcendental, self-created creator deity "par excellence", his position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other gods became manifestations of him. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most recorded of the Egyptian gods; as the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra came to be worshipped outside Egypt, according to the testimony of ancient Greek historiographers in Libya and Nubia. As Zeus Ammon, he came to be identified with Zeus in Greece.
Amun and Amaunet are mentioned in the Old Egyptian Pyramid Texts. The name Amun meant something like "the hidden one" or "invisible". Amun rose to the position of tutelary deity of Thebes after the end of the First Intermediate Period, under the 11th dynasty; as the patron of Thebes, his spouse was Mut. In Thebes, Amun as father, Mut as mother and the Moon god Khonsu formed a divine family or "Theban Triad"; the history of Amun as the patron god of Thebes begins in the 20th century BC, with the construction of the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak under Senusret I. The city of Thebes does not appear to have been of great significance before the 11th dynasty. Major construction work in the Precinct of Amun-Re took place during the 18th dynasty when Thebes became the capital of the unified ancient Egypt. Construction of the Hypostyle Hall may have begun during the 18th dynasty, though most building was undertaken under Seti I and Ramesses II. Merenptah commemorated his victories over the Sea Peoples on the walls of the Cachette Court, the start of the processional route to the Luxor Temple.
This Great Inscription shows the king's campaigns and eventual return with items of potential value and prisoners. Next to this inscription is the Victory Stela, a copy of the more famous Israel Stela found in the funerary complex of Merenptah on the west bank of the Nile in Thebes. Merenptah's son Seti II added two small obelisks in front of the Second Pylon, a triple bark-shrine to the north of the processional avenue in the same area; this was constructed with a chapel to Amun flanked by those of Mut and Khonsu. The last major change to the Precinct of Amun-Re's layout was the addition of the first pylon and the massive enclosure walls that surrounded the whole Precinct, both constructed by Nectanebo I; when the army of the founder of the Eighteenth dynasty expelled the Hyksos rulers from Egypt, the victor's city of origin, became the most important city in Egypt, the capital of a new dynasty. The local patron deity of Thebes, therefore became nationally important; the pharaohs of that new dynasty attributed all their successful enterprises to Amun, they lavished much of their wealth and captured spoil on the construction of temples dedicated to Amun.
The victory accomplished by pharaohs who worshipped Amun against the "foreign rulers", brought him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the rights of justice for the poor. By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at, those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans' village at Deir el-Medina record: who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him, wretched.. You are the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor. Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive; the Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger. His breath comes back to us in mercy... May your kꜣ be kind. Subsequently, when Egypt conquered Kush, they identified the chief deity of the Kushites as Amun; this Kush deity was depicted as ram-headed, more a woolly ram with curved horns. Amun thus became associated with the ram arising from the aged appearance of the Kush ram deity.
A solar deity in the form of a ram can be traced to the pre-literate Kerma culture in Nubia, contemporary to the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The name of Nubian Amun was Amani, attested in numerous personal names such as Tanwetamani and Amanitore. Since rams were considered a symbol of virility, Amun became thought of as a fertility deity, so started to absorb the identity of Min, becoming Amun-Min; this association with virility led to Amun-Min gaining the epithet Kamutef, meaning "Bull of his mother", in which form he was found depicted on the walls of Karnak and with a scourge, as Min was. As the cult of Amun grew in importance, Amun became identified with the chief deity, worshipped in other areas during that period, the sun god Ra; this identification led with Amun becoming Amun-Ra. In the Hymn to Amun-Ra he is described as Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of m
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place, now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes; the history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great; the Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs; the many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids and obelisks.
Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were copied, its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world, its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy; the Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region.
In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid. Large regions of Egypt were traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, this is the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs and beads; the largest of these early cultures in upper Egypt was the Badari, which originated in the Western Desert. The Badari was followed by the Amratian and Gerzeh cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements; as early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East Canaan and the Byblos coast.
Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Nekhen, at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile, they traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east, initiating a period of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, jewelry made of gold and ivory, they developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, used well into the Roman Per
Amunet is a primordial goddess in ancient Egyptian religion. Her name, jmnt, is a feminine noun that means "The Hidden One", she is a member of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, who represented aspects of the primeval existence before the creation: Amunet was paired with Amun — whose name means "The Hidden One" too, with a masculine ending — within this divine group, from the earliest known documentation. Such pairing of deities is characteristic of the religious concepts of the ancient Egyptians, being the Ogdoad itself composed by four balanced couples of deities or deified primeval concepts, it seems that Amunet may have been artificially conceived by theologians as a complement to Amun, rather than being an independent deity. The Pyramid Texts mention the beneficent shadow of Amun and Amunet: O Amun and Amunet! You pair of the gods. By at least the 12th dynasty, Amaunet was superseded as Amun's partner by Mut as cults evolved or were merged following Mentuhotep II's reunification of Egypt — but she remained locally important in the region of Thebes, where Amun was worshipped.
There she was seen as a protector of the pharaoh, playing a preeminent role in rituals associed with the coronation of the pharaoh and Sed festivals. In the Festival Hall of Thutmose III, Amaunet is shown with the fertility-god Min while leading a row of deities to visit the Pharaoh in the anniversary celebration. In spite of Amaunet's stable position as a local goddess of Egypt's most important city, her cult had little widespread following outside the Theban region. At Karnak, Amun's cult center, priests were dedicated to Amaunet's service. Amaunet was depicted as a woman wearing the Deshret "Red Crown of Lower Egypt" — as in her colossal statue placed in the Record Hall of Thutmose III at Karnak during the reign of Tutankhamun — and carrying a staff of papyrus; the exact reason for this iconography is uncertain. In some late texts from Karnak she was syncretized with Neith, although she remained a distinct deity as late as the Ptolemaic Kingdom: she is carved on the exterior wall of the Festival Hall of Thutmose III in Karnak suckling pharaoh Philip III of Macedon, who appears after his own enthronement, as a divine child.
Hart, George, A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Routledge, 1986, ISBN 0-415-05909-7. Wilkinson, Richard H; the Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2003, ISBN 0-500-05120-8