Shepenopet I


Shepenopet I
(Shepenwepe) Divine Wife of Amun c.754-714 BC.
    Shepenopet I was the daughter of King Osorkon III, and held the position of Divine Wife of Amun at Thebes; according to the custom, she was obliged to adopt the daughter of King Kashta (*Amenardis I) as her 'daughter' and successor to this position. By the beginning of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, the position of God's Wife of Amun had become a tool of great political importance, enabling the king to retain control of Thebes, through the status there of his daughter or other female relative.
    Originally, this title had been borne by the king's chief wife, but from the Twenty-first Dynasty it was the king's daughter who assumed this position with its extensive power and possessions. She was required to live and die at Thebes and, as the consecrated wife of the god Amun, she was subject to the rule of chastity which also applied to her Court where the women were Amun's concubines, so that they too had to adopt their successors.
    These Divine Wives of Amun played an important role in later history when their main function was to prevent the seizure of political power at Thebes by a man, who could then rival the pharaoh and cause a division between the northern and southern parts of the kingdom.
BIBL. Kitchen, K.A. 3rd Int. Laming Macadam, M.F. The Temples of Kawa. Oxford: 1949, pp. 119 ff.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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