Dear Dr. Federn:
I spoke to you on phone last Wednesday (Nov. 5th). At that time I had a letter form you on Nov. 2nd. You have mentioned that another letter was on the way, if I understand you right, but none arrived till today.
You apparently need additional time and contemplation to come to where I stand since years. The Exodus 480 years before Solomon does not bring you to Thutmose IV or Amenhotep II, but to the end of the Middle Kingdom.
I cannot find that you have written to me about Amenhotep the sage, and Teresias; but it is no wonder that you independently have come to this identification, because you look for the same personages of the Greek legend in approximately the same time of the Egyptian past as I do: the time you prefer differs but by a decade or two from the time that I have found as the protoscene of the Oedipus legend. Yet I am not satisfied with the fact that in later times Amenhotep son of Hapu was involved against blindness, as you indicate; this may refer to his having been a healer, not to his having been blind, like the Greek sage. Is not any indication that he was blind, or is not any other person among the personages of Amenhotep II or IV courts or surrounding that would fit into the role of a blind seer?
I have read in the book of Dessenne that you recommended me; I found that Tiy was actually the first to portrait herself as a female sphinx; and that in the days of Amenhotep III the image of the sphinx was a very favourite motive; once more the sphinx is ofund on the tunic of Tutenkhamen; but no sphinx in sculputre or design was discovered from the period under Akhnaton. This of course points that he was the “destroyer” of the Sphinx; and I wonder why he did not destroy the Sphinx of Gizeh. But if Hathor was figured as a sphinx which I assume (cf. also Dessenne, p. 135) (I believe that more direct statements I have read, and even if in later times the pharaohs were figured as Sphinx, this may refer to their role comparable to that of Hathor of vigor and cruelty), then probably Akhnaton destroyed the sphinx of Thebes; and here, following your idea, the oracle of this sphinx may have given an unfavorable prognostication of Akhnaton’s role or fate. I came across a reference to an Egyptian tale about “Prince predestiné” and I have to look up in G. Lefebvre, Romans et Contes, to see whether there is anything related to the subject under my pen.
When you wrote about the “secret of the Sphinx”, you did not intend to say that you have a different interpretation of the riddle of the Sphinx, the riddle about the two, three, and four legs?
Schaeffer suggested me to read the reports of the excavations of Ras-Shamra, by himself, Jericho, by Kenyon, Hazor, by Yadin, Tell Fara, by De Vaux, Tell Atehana (N. Syria) by Woolley, Enkomi-Alasia, by himself, Tarsus, by Goldman, Troy by Blegen, Kultepe by Osguç, Beys tan Tepe, by Lloyds. Should you look in some of them for references about difficulties in synchronism, I could go through some others, at least to start that way.
Since I let Ages 2 to be set, there appeared the third volume on Carchemish, and the third volume on Lachish, and a new volume on Ramses III (Medinet Habu), and new volumes on Boghazkoi, and the neo-Babylonian chronicles (British Museum, Wiseman), and much more, not of all of which I am presently aware.
In JEA, vol. 42 (Dec. 56), p. 97, there is reference to the temple of Hathor at Der-el-Medineh in Western Thebes, “Hathor-who-is-in-the-midest-of-Thebes, the Mistress of the West.” Could it have been the Sphinx of Thebes to which you have referred? Judging by Albright’s remarks concerning Frankfort, he must have become rather sceptical about the conventional chronology (Albright in the volume dedicated to H. Goldman); I think it would be good to go through everything Frankfort wrote in the last year of his life.
If from the article or the hair styles I shall be able to deduce that Amenhotep III was a homosexual, another important link with the Greek legend will be estalbished. Was homosexuality known at the royal palace in earlier times in Egypt?
As you see my letter is a forth and back discussion of themes from both books, and it is not well construed` but this is the way people talk between themselves.
With warm regards from both of us,
I am enclosing several letters from my readers.