Ay versus horemheb: the political situation in the late eighteenth dynasty revisited

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Author: Nozomu Kawai1
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  • 1 Waseda University Tokyo

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Abstract

This article examines the interaction between Ay and Horemheb and their attitudes towards one another. Under Tutankhamun, Ay was the fatherly advisor of the king at the court, while Horemheb was the actual governor of all the administration in the country. However, Ay seems to have obtained the title “Vizier,” indicating that he was also capable of governing the country. Ay was indeed on the verge of becoming the successor of Tutankhamun. There was strong antagonism between Ay and Horemheb sometime after Tutankhamun’s death. The evidence implies that Horemheb sought to discredit Ay as proper successor to the king. As a result, Ay appears to have excluded Horemheb from greater courtly influence by appointing Nakhtmin not only as his “Generalissimo” but also as “King’s Son.” This squabbling even continued after Ay’s death as Horemheb endeavored to erase all memory of Ay, his men, and even Queen Ankhesenamun in revenge.****

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