Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

Corvidius

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Jul 2017
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About God's Father we've got a pivotal clue: if Satiath's father [that is to say the father of the first Great Royal Wife of Thutmose III] wasn't a "God's Father" it means that the title wasn't connected to family relations, but it was a honorific title of some kind.
Which is why I made a post a few months back about the High Priests of Osiris at Abydos and their connections to the royal court, not familial, but because of the high position they held in society, for instance one having been a vizier before becoming HP and taking the title God's Father as an obvious honorific in this case.
 

AlpinLuke

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Oct 2011
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Italy, Lago Maggiore
I've found the moment when we discussed and I suggested that actually "God's Father" was an office, a function, more than a degree in the hierarchy.

Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

I quote myself.
I begin to suspect it was a functional office, that is to say a title which indicated a job, not a proper degree of the hierarchy. To solve the mystery, we could imagine that only after being Wab you were allowed to become God's Father, but there was the possibility to keep on doing that job even after becoming Priest, High Priest ...
 

Corvidius

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Jul 2017
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The problem, as I pointed out in that previous series of posts, is that we have within the reign of Ramesses II an example of "God's Father" being a priestly rank just above that of Wab priest but below everybody else up to HP, that's Bekenkhonsu, and the example of High Priest of Osiris and "God's Father" Mery, who never worked his way up the priesthood but was appointed to be HPO after his father, Hat, and the position of HPO passed from Mery down a further three generations, though only Hat and Mery were also "God's Father". Within the first generations of this family, with the oldest being HPO during the reign of Tutankhamun, and certainly having been alive during the reign of Akhenaten, we have three viziers as well. Therefore we have here an elite who did not have to go through the grind of working their way up the priesthood but held various high level state positions before becoming HPO, sometimes it seems in old age as a cushy retirement position, but some, such as Wennefer, was HPO for some time. I struggle to see a connection, other than name, between the lowest rank of professional priest and the High Priests who gained that position on the basis of who they were, who their father was, and not by working up a rank structure. There is something here that we are missing.
 
Definitely missing something. With the lower-ranking priests there is the possibility that despite their rank they were still recognised by the king as a valuable individual personally - like a family friend. Just because they were respected by the king it need not be essential that they have a high rank. Some kings would not necessarily have trusted the high ranking people at court and might want to discuss matters with a wider group, or with people he trusts personally, perhaps mentors he knew as a child. It would actually be wise as a ruler to seek out people at a range of levels of society who could be honest about how things are. The second possibility, which takes us back to our discussion of Ay is that they might be fathers of minor wives or concubines we don't know of. The title must have been used at different times for different reasons for all of this to make sense. It could even have been like the modern UK honours system where some people get them because of their rank or position almost as an expectation, and others receive them because they are close in some way to the monarch, or for recognised work in society.
 

Corvidius

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Jul 2017
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I wonder if there could be an analogy in modern times. We have the equivalent of a "King's Son", Prince Harry, joining the Army at the lowest rank of officer, 2nd lieutenant, but still being a prince, and the same would hold true for earls and dukes etc, and back in the days I came across a 2nd lieutenant the Lord Balgonie. So there is a rank that is not associated with a title and could three millennia hence cause people problems if they knew the normal rank structure, but aristocratic titles had long gone and were barely understood, if at all. Though the Amun priesthood throws a spanner in the works as the "prophets" were also "God's father".
 
Mar 2019
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Ogden, Utah
Checking in Hannig's Egyptian dictionary, this is what's there for "it nTr". There is an "it nTr tpi", meaning the premier god's father. There is the "it nTr fdnw n imn" or the 4th god's father of Amen. This makes me think that it's just another way of saying "Hm nTr" or "prophet", as Corvidius indicated. There is actually the "it nTr" of any god. Even though Hannig does include "father-in-law of a king" among the meanings, he gives no examples. He also gives "the one who raises the crown prince" but no reference. Would have check Faulkner for that.

Later: Perhaps the reason Yuya, a man we know was really a father-in-law of a king, was called "it nTr" was merely coincidental. Any of the other meanings of "it nTr" could have applied to him. I have yet to find proof that "it nTr" has the meaning of "father-in-law of a king". Queen Tiye had a mother, too, whose name was Thuya. Why wasn't she called "mwt nTr"? Nor was anybody else a "mwt nTr" insofar as I am aware.
 
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AlpinLuke

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Oct 2011
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Italy, Lago Maggiore
I'm not aware about human women, As for I know, Isis was called "mwt nTr" ... [and clearly divine women, like Isis, are a different matter].

Regarding "God's Father", I tend to think anyway to a kind of job disengaged from the hierarchic position. The last time we discussed this I mentioned the parish priest of the Catholic Church. Once a priest becomes parish priest of a local church he can become Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal [Cardinal Bevilacqua has been a well known example] or even Pope, but he can remain parish priest of that little local church [if he wants].

It's a possibility.
 

Corvidius

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Jul 2017
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Regarding "God's Father", I tend to think anyway to a kind of job disengaged from the hierarchic position. The last time we discussed this I mentioned the parish priest of the Catholic Church. Once a priest becomes parish priest of a local church he can become Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal [Cardinal Bevilacqua has been a well known example] or even Pope, but he can remain parish priest of that little local church [if he wants].

It's a possibility.
It is possible, though when we look at the highest state officials who carried the title we can be certain that they never started at the bottom, so never obtained the title as a low grade flunky and then carried it for the rest of their careers. We have both crown prince Thutmose and Khaemwaset entering the priesthood at the level of sem-priest, only one level below HP. Then as in my other posts, non royal HP seemed to take those positions after having been in other high positions of state, or inheriting them, and even the long serving HPO Wennefer started at the top.

A bit of a digression, and an admission that there is a bit of an ulterior motive for my posts about the High Priests of Osiris. In discussions on Amarna they never come into the frame, and rarely anywhere else for that matter, yet we see not just with the HPO but at Abydos as a whole, an accumulation of powerful individuals who cover the period from Thutmosis IV to Ramesses II, and either side of course, but less important and less known. I mention this because we do, and me included, have too narrow a focus on the Thutmosids and the "Akhmin clan", a rather nebulous bunch actually much beyond Yuya and Thuya. But at Abydos we have far more evidence of a powerful family, both as a core group and at a slight remove. This group had a firm grip on the positions of High Priest of Osiris and of Anhur, a war god who became closely associated with Shu, and produced viceroys and viziers.

In the time of Thutmosis IV the sons of HP of Anhur, Amunhotep, were officers of chariotry. In the time of Tutankhamun we have Parennefer as HP of Amun and his brother Minmose HP of Anhur. And at the same time we have their relatives Tjaj and then Hat as HPO, with the descendants of Tjay holding this position until the reign of Merneptah. The descendants of HP of Anhur, Parennefer, holding this position until the reign of Seti I. But this family also provided a High Priest of Ra and of Ptah, and not least, Viceroy of Kush, Paser, and the viziers Nebamun and Rahotep, stretching from Tutankhamun to Ramesses II.

So, should we not look beyond Akhmin for a place to provide wives and officials for the Thutmosids, and look more closely at priesthoods beyond that of Amun ,which gets all the attention, with that of Ptah getting a mention due to Thutmose, and look more closely at Abydos and the core and wider family that provided this succession of HP of Osiris and Anhur, and two viziers and a viceroy. While all bar one of these people mentioned held office after Amarna, I don't think they emerged from a vacuum on the death of Akhenaten, they cannot to have been in such high positions with Tutankhamun, and they seem to have been a serious power.
 
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Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
It is possible, though when we look at the highest state officials who carried the title we can be certain that they never started at the bottom, so never obtained the title as a low grade flunky and then carried it for the rest of their careers. We have both crown prince Thutmose and Khaemwaset entering the priesthood at the level of sem-priest, only one level below HP. Then as in my other posts, non royal HP seemed to take those positions after having been in other high positions of state, or inheriting them, and even the long serving HPO Wennefer started at the top.

A bit of a digression, and an admission that there is a bit of an ulterior motive for my posts about the High Priests of Osiris. In discussions on Amarna they never come into the frame, and rarely anywhere else for that matter, yet we see not just with the HPO but at Abydos as a whole, an accumulation of powerful individuals who cover the period from Thutmosis IV to Ramesses II, and either side of course, but less important and less known. I mention this because we do, and me included, have too narrow a focus on the Thutmosids and the "Akhmin clan", a rather nebulous bunch actually much beyond Yuya and Thuya. But at Abydos we have far more evidence of a powerful family, both as a core group and at a slight remove. This group had a firm grip on the positions of High Priest of Osiris and of Anhur, a war god who became closely associated with Shu, and produced viceroys and viziers.

In the time of Thutmosis IV the sons of HP of Anhur, Amunhotep, were officers of chariotry. In the time of Tutankhamun we have Parennefer as HP of Amun and his brother Minmose HP of Anhur. And at the same time we have their relatives Tjaj and then Hat as HPO, with the descendants of Tjay holding this position until the reign of Merneptah. The descendants of HP of Anhur, Parennefer, holding this position until the reign of Seti I. But this family also provided a High Priest of Ra and of Ptah, and not least, Viceroy of Kush, Paser, and the viziers Nebamun and Rahotep, stretching from Tutankhamun to Ramesses II.

So, should we not look beyond Akhmin for a place to provide wives and officials for the Thutmosids, and look more closely at priesthoods beyond that of Amun ,which gets all the attention, with that of Ptah getting a mention due to Thutmose, and look more closely at Abydos and the core and wider family that provided this succession of HP of Osiris and Anhur, and two viziers and a viceroy. While all bar one of these people mentioned held office after Amarna, I don't think they emerged from a vacuum on the death of Akhenaten, they cannot to have been in such high positions with Tutankhamun, and they seem to have been a serious power.
A closer look at all those nobles at Amarna has my interest. Has for a long time. Suti, Ramoses, Paatenemheb, Any - with his ‘servant’, Ay in mind: all are important figures in one way or another. And the Northern Tombs with so much suggesting close connection to Akhenaten, family, the Aten and priestly functions caught my attention only the other day. So your family from Anhur is another thing to consider. Tell us (me) more!
 

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