Episode 32: The Repeating of Births

iamEnIAAmenemhat I (Part One): the Prophecy of Neferty

The new ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt, Amenemhat I, has seized power after his predecessor’s death. But can a coup be justified in a divine monarchy? Without the “Mandate of Heaven” (to borrow a Chinese concept), Amenemhat must make himself legitimate.

Enter the new propagandists. The King commissions a laudatory work, the Prophecy of Neferty, based around the “foretellings” of a fictional sage supposedly living in the Fourth Dynasty.

Meanwhile a courtier named Khnum-hotep establishes a new lineage of provincial governers at Menat-Khufu (Minya), near modern Beni Hasan.

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A door-lintel of Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

iamEnIAThe tomb of Khnum-hotep II, grandson of Khnum-hotep I, at Beni Hassan (Source: Wikipedia)


Wolfram Grajetzki. Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. 2009.

Gay Robins. The Art of Ancient Egypt. 2008.