Monday, August 15, 2011

Chaos, Murder, and Civil War in Ancient Egypt

Dr. Aidan Dodson’s Poisoned Legacy is a fascinating attempt to sort out the questions surrounding the end of the Nineteenth Dynasty, which is one of the most obscure periods in ancient Egyptian history.

The death of Ramesses II, arguably one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs, ushered in a period of intrigue within the members of the royal family that led to chaos, civil war, and (likely) regicide.

Dr. Dodson takes the tantalizing, fragmentary evidence available and paints plausible answers to some of the vexing questions of the period:

  • Who was Amenemesses and how did he gain the throne?
  • Was Siptah a child when he came to the throne? How did he get there and who backed him?
  • Who as Chancellor Bay? Was he the kingmaker he claimed to be?  Was he a foreigner? How did he get the right to build a tomb in the royal valley and was he eventually murdered by a member of the royal family?
  • Did Tawosret have Siptah murdered so that she could become Pharaoh?
  • How did Sethnakht get to the throne and who was he? 
    This book contains over 120 illustrations (black and white photos and line drawings), several useful appendices and an extensive bibliography. It is well researched and written by a recognized expert in the field. This book is sure to hold the interest of anyone interested in Egyptian history.

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