by Dr. Sherin Elkhawaga
The Tuthmosis Pharoahs
The ancient Egyptians had a tradition of repeating the same
name of their Pharoahs in different dynasties. Thus a father,son
and grandson would have the same name but with first , second
or third after it.
The name TUTHMOSIS was given to four pharaohs in the 18th
dynasty. This dynasty was a strong one, a dynasty which also
included Queeen Hatshipsut, one of the most powerful queens
For reading more articles about ancient Egypt click on: www.kingtutshop.com
Tuthmosis I was the third king in the 18th Dynasty.His mother
was Semisene. His birth name we are told was Tuthmosis, meaning
"Born of the god Thoth", though this is a Greek
version. His actual Egyptian name was Djehutymes I, but he
is also sometimes referred to as Thutmose I, or Thutmosis
I. His thrown name was A-Kheper-ka-re (Aakheperkara). He gained
the thrown at a fairly late age, and may have ruled from 1503-1491BC.
Nevertheless, he staged a series of brilliant military campaigns
that were to establish Egypt's 18th Dynasty. So effective
were these efforts that we believe he must have started preparations
of the military operations during the last years of Amenhotep
I's rule. Ahmose son of Ebana, an admiral during Tuthmosis
I's reign, tells us that a campaign into Nubia where he penetrated
beyond the Third Cataract was highly successful. Tuthmosis
may have defeated the Nubian chief in hand to hand combat
and returned to Thebes with the body of the fallen chief hanging
on the prow of his ship.
His greatest campaigns were in the Delta and his battles against
the Syrians as he finally reached the Euphrates River. This
expedition opened new horizons that led later to Egypt's important
role in he trade and diplomacy of the Late Bronze Age Near
East. Tuthmosis I brought Egypt a sense of stability and his
military campaigns healed the wounds of Thebians.
It was by Mutnofret (Mutnefert), a minor queen who was the
sister of his principle wife, Ahmose, that his heir, Tuthmosis
II was born. Before he had two sons that had died before him.However,
his more famous offspring was Queen Hatshepsut, a daughter
by Ahmose who would rule after her husband and brother's death.
After the death of Ahmose, he probably even took Hatshepsut
as his own wife until his death. Ahmose may have also provided
him with another daughter by the name of Nefrubity who is
depicted with Tuthmosis I and Ahmose in the temple of Hatshepsut
at Deir el-Bahri.
He was the fourth king in the 18th dynasty, the son of Tuthomosis
I. In order to strengthen his position and legitimize his
rule, he was married to Hatshepsut, the oldest daughter of
Tuthmosis I and Queen Ahmose. She was very possibly older
then Tuthmosis II. During this period, Hatshepsut also carried
the title, "God's Wife of Amun", a position she
may have had even before the death of Tuthmosis I.
Hatshepsut would have been both Tuthmosis II's half sister
and cousin. In the light of history she became a much better
known pharaoh then her husband. Tuthmosis II had only one
son. Tuthmosis II must have realized the ambitions of his
wife, because he attempted to foster the ascent of his son
to the throne by naming his son as his successor before he
died. But upon Tuthmosis II's death, his son was still very
young, so Hatshepsut took advantage of the situation by at
first naming herself as regent, and then taking on the full
role of the pharaoh. He may have also had as many as two daughters
by Hatshepsut. We are fairly sure one of them was named Neferure
and another possible daughter named Neferubity.
Tuthmosis II did not rule much as he was weak and he only
ruled for thirteen years after which Queen Hatshipsut made
a lot of changes.
It took a while for Tuthmosis III to gain power as his stepmother
and aunt was very powerful at that time.However when he did
take the reigns he was a very good ruler.
Tuthmosis III became a great pharaoh in his own right, and
has been referred to as the Napoleon of ancient Egypt.But
perhaps is reputation is due to the fact that his battles
were recorded in great detail by the archivist, royal scribe
and army commander, Thanuny. The battles were recorded on
the inside walls surrounding the granite sanctuary at Karnak.
These events were recorded at Karnak because Tuthmosis's army
marched under the banner of the god, Amun, and Amun's temples
and estates would largely be the beneficiary of the spoils
of Tuthmosis' wars.
From inscriptions left on walls of the temples we find that
Tuthmosis started to have troubles from Prince Kadesh of Palestine
and Syria. He of course due to his vast military training
had to deal with all those things.
Thutmose immediately set out with his army and crossing the
Sinai desert he marched to the city of Gaza, which had remained
loyal to Egypt. The events of the campaign are well documented
because they are engraved onto the walls of the temple of
Karnak Tuthmosis III fought with considerable nerve and cunning.He
marched to Gaza in ten days and planned the battle to take
Megiddo which was held by a rebellious prince named Kadesh.
There were three possible approaches to Megiddo, two of which
were fairly open, straightforward routes while the third was
through a narrow pass that soldiers would only be able to
march through in single file.
Though he was advised against this dangerous pass by his commanders,
Tuthmosis not only took this dangerous route, but actually
led the troops through. Whether by luck, or gifted intuition
this gamble paid off, for when he emerged from the tight canyon,
he saw that his enemies had arranged their armies to defend
the easier routes. In fact, he emerged between the north and
south wings of the enemy's armies, and the next day decisively
beat them in battle. It apparently took a long siege (seven
months) to take the city of Megiddo, but the rewards were
great. The sudden and unexpected appearance of Egyptians in
their rear forced the allies to make a hasty re-deployment
of their troops. There are said to have been over 300 allied
kings, each with his own army, an immense force. However,
Thutmose was determined and when the allies saw him at the
head of his men leading them forward, they lost heart for
the fight and fled for the city of Megiddo
The spoils were considerable, and included 894 chariots, including
two covered with gold, 200 suites of armor including two of
bronze, as well as over 2,000 horses and 25,000 other animals.
Tuthmosis III had marched from Thebes up the Syrian coast
fighting decisive battles, capturing three cities, and then
returned back to Thebes. Over the next 18 years, his armies
would march against Syria every summer and by the end of that
period, he established Egyptian dominance over Palestine.
At Karnak he records the capture of 350 cities, and in the
42nd year of his rule, Kadesh itself was finally taken.
Thutmose III is compared with Napoleon but unlike Napoleon
he never lost a battle. He conducted sixteen campaigns in
Palestine, Syria and Nubia and his treatment of the conquered
was always humane. Syria and Palestine were obliged to keep
the peace and the region as a whole experience an unprecedented
degree of prosperity.
He also made campaigns into Nubia where he built temples at
Amada and Semna and restored Senusret III's old canal in his
50th year of rule so that his armies could easily pass on
their return to Egypt.
Tuthmosis III built his own temple near Hatshepsut's on a
ledge between her temple and that of Mentuhotep. Close by,
Tuthmosis built a rock cut sanctuary to the goddess Hathor.
This monument was accidentally discovered by a Swiss team
when a rock fall exposed its opening. Apparently, the shrine
was in use up to the Ramesside period, when it was destroyed
by an earthquake.
But of the many monuments associated with Tuthmosis III, none
faired better then the temple of Karnak. Wall reliefs near
the sanctuary record the many gifts of gold jewelry, furniture,
rich oils and other gifts offered to the temple,. mostly from
the spoils of war, by Tuthmosis III. He was responsible for
the Sixth and Seventh Pylons at Karnak, as well as considerable
reconstruction within the central areas of the temple. He
erected two obelisks at the temple, one of which survives
at the Hippodrom at Istanbul. There is also a great, black
granite Victory Stele embellishing his military victories.
He also built a new and very unique temple at Karnak that
is today referred to as his Festival Hall. The columns are
believed to represent the poles of the king's campaign tent.
In the rear is a small room with representations of animals
and plants bought back from Syria during the 25th year of
his reign. For obvious reasons, this room is referred to as
the Botanical Garden.
Tuthmosis III, we believe ruled Egypt from 1504 BC until his
death in 1450 BC. He was buried in the Valley of the kings.
The tomb was halfway up a cliff face, and after his burial,
masons destroyed the stone stairway leading up to it and concealed
the tomb's entrance. However, it would seem that no matter
what initiatives pharaohs took to protect their tombs, robbers
were sure to find them. Indeed, in 1898 when his tomb was
discovered by Victor Loret, all he found was the carved sarcophagus
and some remains of smashed furniture and wooden statues.
Tuthmosis III, mummy likewise was not in the tomb, for it
had been found in 1881 in the great royal cache at Deir el-Bahari.
However, the tomb is covered with black and red painted hieratic
renditions of the netherworld texts.
The Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV, who ruled during Egypt famous 18th
Dynasty, is probably most famous for his "Dream Stele,
that can still today be found between the paws of the great
Sphinx at Giza. Dreams were important in ancient Egypt and
were considered to be divine predictions of the future. In
Tuthmosis IV's "Dream Stele", he tells us that,
while out on a hunting trip, he fell asleep in the shadow
of the Sphinx (or apparently, the shadow of the Sphinx's head,
for the monument was apparently buried in sand at the time).
In the young prince's sleep, Re-Harakhte, the sun god embodied
in the Sphinx, came to him in a dream and promised that if
he would clear away the sand that engulfed the monument, Tuthmosis
would become king of Egypt.
About the Author
Egyptian medical doctor, speciality in radiology,much interested