Episode 75: Thutmose Triumphant

Thutmose III (Part 9): Supremacy and Insecurity.

1455 to 1450 BCE. In his last decade, Thutmose III demonstrated a cruel streak, born of insecurity and anxiety over power.

The King’s insecurities centered on issues of legitimacy (his own) and security (for his son). What stimulated these? What else: the lingering question of Queen Hatshepsut and her unorthodox rule.

In a special-length episode, we explore (1) the King’s family life and personality; (2) the strange shift in domestic policies concerning Hatshepsut; and (3) the reasons for Thutmose’s concerns and insecurities.

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met museum votive 1995.21

Votive statue of Thutmose III – the earliest known New Kingdom royal bronze statuette    (Metropolitan Museum of Art).


Queen Meryt-Re (right) behind Thutmose

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Part of the Botanical Garden chamber at Karnak / Akh Menu (Wikimedia)

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Detail of the Botanical Garden (Herbology Manchester)

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The obelisks of Hatshepsut, re-purposed by Thutmose III (UCLA Digital Karnak)


A later example of Thutmose III’s statuary, after his alterations to the royal portrait (Metropolitan Museum)

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The development of Thutmose’s portraiture (Dimitry Laboury, UCLA EE)


Eric H. Cline and David O’Connor (eds.), Thutmose III: A New Biography, 2006.

Sue D’Auria, “The Princess Batketamun,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 69 (1983) (JSTOR).

Vanessa Davies, “Hatshepsut’s Use of Thutmosis III in Her Program of Legitimation,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 41 (2004) (JSTOR).

Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2004.

Aidan Dodson, “Crown Prince Djhutmose and the Royal Sons of the Eighteenth Dynasty,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 76 (199) (JSTOR).

Aidan Dodson, “Thutmosis III: Family Man,” The Ostracon: The Journal of the Egyptian Study Society 15, 2004.

Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1992.

Dimitri Laboury, “Portrait versus Ideal Image” – UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (Website).

Dimitri Laboury, “Royal Portrait and Ideology: Evolution and Signification of the Statuary of Thutmose III,” Thutmose III: A New Biography, 2006 (Academia.edu).

H. E. Winlock, “Notes on the Reburial of Thutmosis I,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 15 (1929) (JSTOR).

Scott Woodward, “Geneaology of New Kingdom Pharaohs and Queens,” Archaeology 49 (1996) (JSTOR).

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jo Burl says:

    Fascinating! But I still don’t get why T3 felt he had to discredit Hatshepsut. Wasn’t Neferure her only child, and she married T3. Any child from Hatshepsut’s lineage would have been T3’s. something else had to be happening.
    Where there any children from lesser queens of T1 or 2 that could have been an alternate line to compete with A2?

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hello Jo, thank you for your question 🙂 The idea that T3 married Neferure is a common misconception, and is based on little more than a single inscription which was modified after its initial carving. On that basis, there’s no scholarly consensus that Neferure and T3 actually *did* marry.
      As for secondary branches of the family, those almost certainly *did* exist, but they do not appear in the record. So we don’t know much about them 😦 I will make that more clear in the next edit of this episode. Thank you 🙂

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