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Article 2 - The Origin of
Article 3 - Prince Amenemhat.
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Article 3 - Prince Amenemhat
DURING THE REIGN OF KING USERTSEN I
Amenemhat, also known as Ameni or Ameny, is a name that means "Amen
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
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".
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
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
also said he was "free from planning evil", and "clear of
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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