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KAWAI, JEgH 3(2) (2010), Ay Versus Horemheb

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© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 JEGH 3.2 Also available online – brill.nl/jegh DOI: 10.1163/187416610X541727 AY VERSUS HOREMHEB: THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE LATE EIGHTEENTH DYNASTY REVISITED* Nozomu Kawai Waseda University, Tokyo Abstract This article examines the interaction between Ay and Horemheb and their attitudes towards one another. Under Tutankhamun, Ay was the fatherly advisor of the king at the court, while Horemheb was the actual governor of all
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  © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 JEGH 3.2Also available online – brill.nl/jegh DOI: 10.1163/187416610X541727 AY VERSUS HOREMHEB: THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE LATE EIGHTEENTH DYNASTY REVISITED * Nozomu Kawai Waseda University, Tokyo Abstract  This article examines the interaction between Ay and Horemheb and their attitudes towards one another. Under Tutankhamun, Ay was the fatherly advisor of the king at the court, while Horemheb was the actual governor of all the administration in the country. However, Ay seems to have obtained the title “Vizier,” indicating that he was also capable of governing the country. Ay was indeed on the verge of becoming the successor of Tutankhamun. There was strong antagonism between Ay and Horemheb sometime after Tutankhamun’s death. The evidence implies that Horemheb sought to discredit Ay as proper successor to the king. As a result, Ay appears to have excluded Horemheb from greater courtly influence by appoint-ing Nakhtmin not only as his “Generalissimo” but also as “King’s Son.” This squabbling even continued after Ay’s death as Horemheb endeavored to erase all memory of Ay, his men, and even Queen Ankhesenamun in revenge. * * * * * This article is the revised and expanded version of the excurse: “Ay versus Horemheb” in my Ph.D. dissertation, Studies in the Reign of Tutankhamun , Department of Near Eastern Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 2005. The ideas from this article were Þ rst presented in the forty-ninth annual meeting of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan at Waseda University in 2006 (in Japanese) and a revised version was presented at the Tenth International Congress of Egyptology in Rhodes, 2008. I would like to thank Betsy M. Bryan, Richard Jasnow and Marc Gabolde for reading the manuscripts of this article and providing invaluable suggestions. I am also grateful to Geoffrey T. Martin and Jacobus van Dijk for the invaluable information about the Memphite tomb of Horemheb which they provided to me after I had presented my paper in the congress. I am also grateful to Dr. Christophe Thiers, Director of Centre Franco-Égyptien d’Étude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK) for granting me the permission to publish Horemheb’s scribal statue from Karnak. I would like to acknowledge Drs. François Lárche and Luc Gabolde for allowing me access to the photographic archive of CFEETK, and I would like to thank Alain Arnaudiès for his kind assistance in the archive.  262 nozomu kawai  Introduction For many years the individual roles of Ay and Horemheb and the relationship between them have been discussed. Did they work together cooperatively or did some form of competition or hostility exist between them? Was Horemheb the designated suc-cessor of Tutankhamun, although Ay ascended to the throne after Tutankhamun’s death?This paper attempts to understand the interaction between Ay and Horemheb and their attitudes towards one another through an examination of all the evidence available to us, including some recent discoveries. The Þ rst part focuses on their positions and relationship during Tutankhamun’s reign and the second deals with their interactions following Tutankhamun’s death, namely during Ay’s reign.During Tutankhamun’s reign, Ay was the fatherly advisor of the  young king at the court, while Horemheb acted as the actual gov-ernor of all the administration in the country under Tutankhamun. I would suggest that Ay intentionally obtained the title of Vizier in order to demonstrate that he was capable of ruling the country as the counterpart of Horemheb’s role as King’s Deputy. I will also demonstrate that there is no concrete evidence that Horemheb was the designated successor of Tutankhamun as has been proposed recently.At the time of the death of Tutankhamun, both Ay and Horemheb seem to have maintained a peaceful relationship. However, sometime after Tutankhamun’s death there was strong antagonism between Ay and Horemheb. I argue that Horemheb sought to dishonor Ay as the proper successor to the king. Horemheb represented himself as the near equal to the king, although he was a private of  Þ cial. At the same time, Ay appears to have excluded Horemheb from greater court in ß uence by appointing Nakhtmin as his designated successor. This squabbling continued after Ay’s death as Horemheb, soon after ascending to the throne, endeavored to erase all memory of Ay, his men, and even Ankhesenamun, as revenge.1.  Ay and Horemheb under Tutankhamun Ay and Horemheb were undoubtedly the most in ß uential of  Þ cials behind the throne during Tutankhamun’s reign, but scholars have   ay versus horemheb  263 debated the exact nature of their positions and in ß uence. Some scholars hold that Horemheb was the predominant Þ gure, 1  while others considered Ay to be the major player. 2  Among the former scholars, Jacobus van Dijk argued that Tutankhamun appointed Horemheb as “Crown Prince” immediately after his accession, since Horemheb was ô  ry-p   t  , “Hereditary Prince,” chosen by the king according to Horemheb’s coronation inscription. 3  On the contrary, Otto Schaden maintained that Ay was the regent of Tutankhamun, since on a gold foil from KV58 Ay was shown standing in front of Tutankhamun striking an enemy, and more signi Þ cantly, it was Ay who became king before Horemheb. 4 As for the relationship between these two Þ gures during Tutank-hamun’s reign, the picture is also cloudy. C. Descroches-Noblecourt suggested that there was a tacit agreement between Ay and Horemheb to operate for mutual bene Þ t. 5  Schaden also argued that Horemheb and Ay must have worked together, Horemheb perhaps concerning himself with the army and the northern frontiers and Ay remaining at court to tutor the young king and look after inter-nal affairs. 6  Ahmed Badawi pointed out that the nation was split. 7  Robert Hari characterized Ay’s role as passive and Horemheb’s role as active insofar as the politics of the day were concerned. 8  Andrea Gnirs recently suggested that under Tutankhamun the court was divided into two circles: those who had been close to Tutankhamun and supported Akhenaten’s religion, and those who favored restoration and wanted a return to orthodoxy. 9  Gnirs 1  Gardiner, “The Tomb of the General Horemheb,” 11; Winlock, “Harmhab, Commander-in-chief of the Armies of Tutekhamon,” 8; Badawi,  Memphis als zweite  Landeshauptstadt im Neuen Reich , 86; Martin,  The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb ; van Dijk, The New Kingdom Necropolis of Memphis ; van Dijk, “Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun”; van Dijk, “The Amarna Period and the later New Kingdom,” 291. 2  Newberry, “King Ay, The Successor of Tutankhamun,” 52; Carter and Mace, The Tomb of Tut.Ankh.Amen , 27; Helck,  Der Ein  ß  uß der Militärführer  , 74; Seele, “King Ay and the Close of the Amarna Age,” 176; Hornung, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie und Geschichte des Neuen Reiches , 93; Schaden, The God’s Father Ay , 142. 3  Van Dijk, The New Kingdom Necropolis of Memphis , 47–48 and “Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun,” 36. 4  Schaden,  The God’s Father Ay , 142. 5  Desroches-Noblecourt, Vie et mort d’un phraon, Toutankhamon , 170. 6  Schaden, The God’s Father Ay , 143. 7  Badawi,  Memphis als zweite Landeshauptstadt im Neuen Reich , 86. 8  Hari,  Horemheb et la reine Moutnedjemet  , 57. 9  Gnirs, “Die 18. Dynastie: Licht und Schatten eines internationalen Zeitalters,” 41.  264 nozomu kawai noted that Tutankhamun’s restoration program was initiated by the latter circle and that Horemheb was the driving force behind this. Although she admitted that we cannot establish to which side Ay belonged when Tutankhamun ascended the throne, she saw him as one of the most eager supporters of Akhenaten’s religion, characterizing him as one of the major Þ gures in preserving the continuity of the royal family of Akhenaten.These theories, however, do not seem to have examined the contemporary evidence of Ay and Horemheb as a whole in order to understand what kinds of roles they played in relation to Tutankhamun. The following discussion will demonstrate that Ay was the senior advisor to Tutankhamun at the court and also in the cult rituals performed by the king, while Horemheb functioned as the regent supervising every branch of the administration.  Ay Although Ay does not mention his parents at all, he seems to have srcinated from Akhmim, from whence the wife of Amenhotep III, Queen Tiye, also came. 10  Ay held the important titles “fan-bearer on the right of the king,” “troop commander,” “master of the horse,” and “god’s father.” Obviously, his background was from the military sphere. However, his most important title was that of “god’s father,” which he retained even when he became king after the demise of Tutankhamun. The “god’s father” seems to have played the role of the closest advisor to the king. 11 10  Although Ay did not leave any documents regarding his parents, some scholars suggest that he was a son of Yuya and Tjuya. See van Dijk, “Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun,” 3. Three inscriptions of Ay after he became king con Þ rm Akhmim as his place of srcin. The rock shrine of Ay in Akhmim suggests that he srcinated from there; see Kuhlmann, “Der Felstempel des Eje bei Achmim.”   In an inscription on the base of a sphinx between the 10th pylon and Mut temple at Karnak, Ay is mentioned as “Son of Min and Isis”; see Vandersleyen,  L’Égypte et la Vallée du Nil  , 479. In the tomb of Neferhotep (TT 49), chief scribe of Amun under Ay, an inscription mentions “forever on the throne of his father, just as the lifetime of Min in Akhmin”; see Davies, The Tomb of Nefer-hotep at Thebes , 21. 11  The of  Þ cial who had the title “god’s father” prior to Ay was Yuya from Akhmim, who was the father of Queen Tiye. Thus, he was the father-in-law of Amenhotep III. Recently, Birrel proposed that Ay was the father of Akhenaten’s second wife Kiya (Birrell, “Way Ay the Father of Kiya?”), yet this hypothesis does not provide plausible evidence that Ay and Ty were the parents of Kiya. Ty’s position as the nurse of Queen Nefertiti suggests that she was in the highest position after the female members of the royal family. However, this does not seem to have been the reason why Ay was very in ß uential. Rather, their srcin from Akhmim was important. They
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