Amenophis II

Amenophis II
King 1450-1425 BC.
    The son of the great warrior pharaoh *Tuthmosis III by his chief queen Hatshepsut-meryetre, Amenophis II was born at Memphis. Later, as a prince, he was in charge of the delivery of wood to the great naval dockyard at Peru-nefer, near Memphis— a fact preserved in a papyrus in the British Museum. His youthful prowess in sport is also recorded on a limestone stela which was set up near the Great Sphinx at Giza. The rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty were trained as youths in various sports, not only as valuable military exercises to prepare them for leading campaigns but also as an enjoyable activity. They trained in target-shooting with bows and arrows and in driving teams of chariot horses, and they also became outstanding oarsmen.
    Amenophis II was probably the greatest of the royal sportsmen and his muscular strength is extolled in the inscriptions. He was a great archer, oarsman and athlete, and his skill with horses was such that his father allowed him to train the finest animals in the royal stable. By his eighteenth birthday he had apparently mastered all the skills required for warfare.
    When he came to the throne, Amenophis II attempted to emulate his father and to retain the empire which *Tuthmosis III had conquered. His skills as a sportsman were now channelled into warfare and he emerges as the most bloodthirsty of the pharaohs of this dynasty. All rebellions were severly crushed, and a series of three or four campaigns were launched against Syria, while, in the south, the border was fixed at Napata, near the Fourth Cataract on the Nile. A damaged stela from Karnak and one from Memphis, which partly duplicates it, provide a narrative of his first and second Syrian campaigns; they emphasise the king's personal bravery and prowess and include a list of captives, giving exaggerated numbers.
    At home, Amenophis II enjoyed a long and prosperous reign; he continued his father's building programme, adding to the Temple of Karnak and the Temple of Amada in Lower Nubia and constructing temples in the Delta. During this reign, the tombs of officials—such as that of Kenamun, the Steward of the dockyard at Peru-nefer—were also particularly fine.
    Amenophis II's own tomb in the Valley of the Kings was discovered in 1898 by V.Loret. There had been some interference, but Loret found the mummy of the king as well as those of other royal persons, in addition to some funerary furniture. Following the desecration of the royal tombs in antiquity, during the Twenty-first Dynasty, the High-priests of Amun undertook an inspection of the tombs and removed and, where possible, restored the royal mummies, before reburying them either in Amenophis II's rock-cut tomb or in another large tomb in the vicinity of Deir el Bahri. Both these caches were discovered in the nineteenth century and the royal and priestly mummies were removed to the Cairo Museum where they were subsequently studied. Although his tomb was so important in respect of this discovery, little remains of Amenophis II's funerary temple on the west bank at Thebes.
    Amenophis II's chief wife was Tio who, as the Great Royal Daughter of *Tuthmosis III and his chief wife, was probably Amenophis II's full sister. She was the mother of Amenophis II's son and successor, *Tuthmosis IV.
BIBL. Van de Walle, B. Les rois sportifs de l'ancienne Egypte. Chron. d'Eg. 13 (1938) pp. 234-57; Smith, G.E. The Royal Mummies. Cairo: 1912; Maspero, G. Les momies royales de Deir el-Bahari. Cairo: 1889.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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