Hatshepsut and Divine Kingship in Ancient Egypt

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The ancient Egyptians strongly believed in a natural order and balance called Ma’at. One woman however, went against this order. Hatshepsut was the daughter of the Pharaoh Thutmose I, and eventually claimed the throne as queen, but the only other heir to Pharaoh was her younger, half-brother, and it was a duty that needed filling. Evidence would suggest this would’ve been a very difficult job to accomplish for a woman and she seems to have taken considerable actions, including the claim that she was the offspring of a god, to convince the people of her divine kingly status and achieve a peaceful, successful reign. Ma’at is the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality and justice. Traditionally, the ancient civilization did not believe in a woman reigning as Pharaoh, but compromised in letting women be in power as queens. However, Ma’at requested Egyptians to give high respect and regard to the gods and their wishes, and this was how Hatshepsut influenced her claim to the role of Pharaoh. Because any royalty was required to marry another person of royal blood, they were often married to a relative. Hatshepsut was married to her half-brother, Thutmose II. Together they had a daughter, and Thutmose had a son, Thutmose III, with a concubine named Isis. However, because Thutmose was only three years old when his father died, he was unable to reign, so Hatshepsut reigned in place of him, intending only to do so until he was old enough himself to take on the role. However she decided to claim the place of Pharaoh herself. She claimed her mother, Queen Ahmose had been impregnated by the god, Amun-Ra, disguised as her father; King Thutmose I. Inscriptions on the walls of a birthing chamber in Amun’s temple depict her impregnation by his divine breath. ‘Amun took the form of the noble King Thutmose and found the queen sleeping in her room. When the pleasant odours that proceeded from him announced his presence she woke. He gave her his heart and...
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