Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Three and a half thousand years ago in Egypt, a noble pharaoh was the victim of a violent attack.

  • But the attack was not physical.

  • This royal had been dead for 20 years.

  • The attack was historical, an act of 'damnatio memoriae,' the damnation of memory.

  • Somebody smashed the pharaoh's statues, took a chisel and attempted to erase the pharaoh's name and image from history.

  • Who was this pharaoh, and what was behind the attack?

  • Here's the key: the pharaoh, Hatshepsut, was a woman.

  • In the normal course of things, she should never have been pharaoh.

  • Although it was legal for a woman to be a monarch, it disturbed some essential Egyptian beliefs.

  • Firstly, the pharaoh was known as the living embodiment of the male god, Horus.

  • Secondly, disturbance to the tradition of rule by men was a serious challenge to 'Maat,' a word for "truth," expressing a belief in order and justice, vital to the Egyptians.

  • Hatshepsut had perhaps tried to adapt to this belief in the link between order and patriarchy through her titles.

  • She took the name Maatkare, and sometimes referred to herself as Hatshepsu, with a masculine word ending.

  • But apparently, these efforts didn't convince everyone, and perhaps someone erased Hatshepsut's image so that the world would forget the disturbance to Maat, and Egypt could be balanced again.

  • Hatshepsut, moreover, was not the legitimate heir to the throne, but a regent, a kind of stand-in co-monarch.

  • The Egyptian kingship traditionally passed from father to son.

  • It passed from Thutmose I to his son Thutmose II, Hatshepsut's husband.

  • It should have passed from Thutmose II directly to his son Thutmose III, but Thutmose III was a little boy when his father died.

  • Hatshepsut, the dead pharaoh's chief wife and widow, stepped in to help as her stepson's regent but ended up ruling beside him as a fully fledged pharaoh.

  • Perhaps Thutmose III was angry about this.

  • Perhaps he was the one who erased her images.

  • It's also possible that someone wanted to dishonor Hatshepsut because she was a bad pharaoh.

  • But the evidence suggests she was actually pretty good.

  • She competently fulfilled the traditional roles of the office.

  • She was a great builder.

  • Her mortuary temple, Djeser-Djeseru, was an architectural phenomenon at the time and is still admired today.

  • She enhanced the economy of Egypt, conducting a very successful trade mission to the distant land of Punt.

  • She had strong religious connections.

  • She even claimed to be the daughter of the state god, Amun.

  • And she had a successful military career, with a Nubian campaign, and claims she fought alongside her soldiers in battle.

  • Of course, we have to be careful when we assess the success of Hatshepsut's career, since most of the evidence was written by Hatshepsut herself.

  • She tells her own story in pictures and writing on the walls of her mortuary temple and the red chapel she built for Amun.

  • So who committed the crimes against Hatshepsut's memory?

  • The most popular suspect is her stepson, nephew and co-ruler, Thutmose III.

  • Did he do it out of anger because she stole his throne?

  • This is unlikely since the damage wasn't done until 20 years after Hatshepsut died.

  • That's a long time to hang onto anger and then act in a rage.

  • Maybe Thutmose III did it to make his own reign look stronger.

  • But it is most likely that he or someone else erased the images so that people would forget that a woman ever sat on Egypt's throne.

  • This gender anomaly was simply too much of a threat to Maat and had to be obliterated from history.

  • Happily, the ancient censors were not quite thorough enough.

  • Enough evidence survived for us to piece together what happened, so the story of this unique powerful woman can now be told.

Three and a half thousand years ago in Egypt, a noble pharaoh was the victim of a violent attack.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 TED-Ed pharaoh egypt erased attack throne

【TED-Ed】The pharaoh that wouldn't be forgotten - Kate Narev

  • 21234 1001
    稲葉白兎 posted on 2019/07/07
Video vocabulary