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Article 1 - The African Origins of the Martial Arts Revealed!
Article 2 - The Origin of Karate.
Article 3 - Prince Amenemhat.

Article 4 - Restoring the image of Buddha
Article 5 -
The African Origin and Meaning of the "Belt"
Article 6
Article 7

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Article 3 - Prince Amenemhat


by Nijel BPG


Prince Amenemhat

Amenemhat, also known as Ameni or Ameny, is a name that means "Amen is Supreme".  Amenemhat was the Prince and governor of Mahez, and a high official in the Court of King Usertsen I.  He was known as the Great Chief of Mahez.  Amenemhat ruled for 25 years from the time of Usertsen I into the reign of King Amenemhat II (King Amenemhat's grandfather, King Amenemhat I of the 12th Dynasty was the author of the famous "Testament of Amenemhat" that can be found in the Milligan Papyrus and the Papyrus Sallier II.  It is the world's first statement about the duty of a king.  It is a document that clearly defines royal obligations based upon the needs of the people.  Amenemhat I made a point of stating that a ruler must be willing to endure personal sacrifices and loneliness). 

Amenimhat's tomb illustrations (click on color figure above)

Regarding his parentage, inscriptions about his mother indicates that her name was Henu.  She was of noble descent, being the daughter of a prince.  She was called "Lady of the house".  Henu was also the name of the wife of Khety, the Governor of Mahez who proceeded Amenemhat.  The name of the father of Amenemhat has been removed, but his titles indicates that he was also a prince and Chief captain of the host Mahez.  Amenemhat's wife was Hotept who was the daughter of a Prince.  Her title was "Priestess of Hathor, Lady of Neferus, and Mistress of the two lands".  She was also known as "Priestess of Pacht, Lady of the Valley, true royal acquainance, and Lady of the house".  They had one son named Khanemhotep.  His title was "Chief lector, Sahw of the King of Lower Egypt, confidential friend of the King, true royal acquaintance in the south, and Captain of the host".

In Prince Amenemhat's autobiographical writings that appear in his tomb he says of his character and conduct as a ruler that: "I was a possessor of favor, abounding in love, a ruler beloved of his city.  Moreover, I passed years as governor in the Mahez province, so that all the works of the King's house came into my hands.  Behold, the superintendants of the gangers of the domains of the herdsman of the Mahez province gave me 3,000 bulls of their draught stock; I was p\raised for it in the King's house.   At each annual occasion of stock-taking, I rendered all their produce to the palace: there were no arrears to me in any  of his offices.  I worked the Mahez province to its boundaries, in numerous visits.  I have never violated a poor man's daughter, or oppressed a widow.  I have never beat a farmer, nor drive off a herdsman.   There was not a foreman of five men whom I took even one away from his work.  There was not a poor person around me, or a hungry man in my time.  When there came years of famine, I arose, ploughed all the fields of the Mahez province from the northern boundaries to the southern boundaries.  I enabled all of the inhabitants to live, providing provisions so that not one man went hungry.  I provided for the widow as if she had a husband.  I did not discriminate between the young and the old.  I gave equally to both.  After the great inundations of the Nile took place, producing wheat and barley, and all things in abundance, I did not exact the arrears of the farm".

  Amenemhat showed that he understood and followed the laws of Maat when he said "I spoke words of truth".  He also said he was "free from planning evil", and "clear of speaking lies".

  Amenemhat was patient, beloved not only by his people but also by the officials and nobles of the palace.  He admitted everyone in to see him, and assisted the passing travelers.  He encouraged the timid man, but as a judge, was unbiased.  By speaking truth when he judged between two disputants, he gained reverence among his people.  As a courtier of judgement and tact, he said he "knew the place of his foot in the house of the King".  He was careful in his goings and comings among his equals and "patient in the presence of nobles".  

  Amenemhat was celebrated for his ability in "understanding how to get things done".  He was often appealed to in times of difficulty and always praised for being able to "find order in the midst of chaos".  Amenemhat is described as "a master in the art of causing writing to speak", meaning that he was very good at enterpreting the written word.  He was a great hunter, and "superintendent of the pools of sport".

  Amenemhat recorded three expeditions in which he played an important role.  One was an expedition to Ethiopia when he accompanied the King as "Chief Captain of the host of the Mahez province".  He was representing his father in this expedition.  He records his victory in Ethiopia and reports that there was not a man lost among his soldiers.

  The second expedition was undertaken to obtain gold for the King.  Amenemhat took an army of 400 men, and was accompanied by the King's eldest son named Ameny, who later became Amenemhat II.  He returned with all his men intact and was praised by the King and his son for a successful voyage.

  The third and last expedition mentioned was to the city of Coptos a few miles to the north of Thebes.  He took 600 men with him and returned with his army safe and sound. 

  Amenemhat ruled for 25 years during the reign of King Usertsen I, and made his transition in the first year of the reign of King Amenemhat II.

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