Sunday, June 30, 2013
The Pharaoh--The Sorcerer Gaumata
The following was related to me by a trusted follower, who I killed later. I include this so that you will have some idea as to the situation in Egypt as King Cambyses made his plans to invade:
The body of the Pharaoh Ahmose lay on a stone slab. He was dressed splendidly. Even his crown was propped into place. His arms lay crossed on his chest in the manner of a mummy and the two scepters glinted in the sunlight. Attendants walked noiselessly through the room as a phalanx of shaved-headed priests dressed in pure white stood looking at the body, as if it would get up at any moment and address them. The Pharaoh had finally entered the underworld, where he would rule forever. The heat of the day was intense. Matwa, the head priest, knew that he must give the order that the body of the god-king be taken to the royal embalmers. He hesitated because his heart was heavy with thoughts of the state of Egypt.
The great Pharaoh Ahmose was truly the god on earth and now he was Osiris and would rule the underworld. None of the priests surrounding the dead pharaoh showed any emotion, for this was a time of grave peril for the king. His body had to be prepared and this might take up to six weeks. The tomb was well prepared—it had been for the last thirty years. A priest used a fly whisk to make sure no insect landed on the king.
No, it wasn’t the fact that the pharaoh had gone to the underworld that bothered Matwa, but that he had left no real successor. The son who had been groomed for the throne of Upper and Lower Egypt was now dead. He preceded his father in death, thanks to the Greeks. Pharaoh Ahmose had been keen on strengthening his ties with the Greeks, but Ahmose III had died in a shipwreck on his way to Greece on an expedition.
Now they were left only with the sickly and effeminate Psamtik III. The priesthood opposed his ascension, but his mother was far more powerful than the other queens and it would be impossible to change the course of events now. Matwa had been in favor of a lesser ranked son, Ankhare, who was serving as the army commander. He was virile and steadfast. Psamtik, on the other hand...