Dear Dr. Federn:
Today’s mail brought your letter, started in November and finished on December 14th. Believe me, I have and not seldom much greater procrastinations; and it is probably not by chance that you started your letter on Nov. 5th with a reference to Akhnaton’s neurotic procrastination, though at that time your letter was not retarded at all.
As usual I have read your letter more than once and I found many interesting references in it; but I have also to make a series of randnotes [marginal notes] to it.
To p. 1. The idea of imprisonment of Amenhotep III (your idea) or expulsion (also yours) as that of coregency with Akhnaton (often proposed by several historians) cannot be true, and the letters received by Akhnaton upon his accession to the throne (el-Amarna collection) prove it without a shadow of a doubt. I stressed it, and Gardiner did the like in respect to coregency, also referring to the letters of Dushratta and others. The coregency idea was necessary to explain the provenience of Bekat-aten (Gardiner in JEA, 1957).
That the legend was brought to Greece via Anatolia, I would question; in the first place, there was a direct contact between Mycenae (of the ninth-eighth century [new chronology]) and Egypt; then, I imaged and hinted, even said in writing, that Nikmed (Nikdem) of Ras-Shamra-Ugarit, who was expelled together with the Ionians from the Phoenician shore, was Cadmus of the Greek tradition that arrived from the Phoenician shore; you will remember that according to Ages Vol. I, he was expelled in the days of Ahab and Akhnaton; the destruction of Ugarit is mentioned in a letter of Abimilki of Tyre, I trust my memory. Ugarit was in the domain of influence of Egypt of Amenhotep III and IV. It could have been that this man of letters who adapted the cuneiform to Hebrew, adapted Greek to Hebrew alphabet (Cadmus); he also could have brought the story of what happened in his days (when he was still in Phoenicia and what came to his knowledge after he left that place) at the court of Thebes and Akhet-Aten, to his new homeland; there he also founded the city to be an “Abglanz” of the Egyptian Thebes.
The Persian custom of incest with mother must have been unknown to Greeks centuries before Cyrus came closer to the Greek sphere; and unknown, such incest must have horrified the Greek poets, when they heard of it, related to Greece, though having happened in Egypt.
I certainly intend to describe the luxury of the late 18th Dynasty; yet I have not yet read about the marble stalls for animals or palace bathing rooms (I have from library Pendlebury II and III, but did not come across these items).
Page 2. Megalomanicac, etc. as other features of Akhnaton, require a few pages of psychiatric treatment; I hope to do it.
“Whose body was found in Akhenaton’s tomb and coffin, nobody will ever be able to decide” etc. is wrong; it was not Akhnaton (even Gardiner in his confused theory claims that Akhnaton was only first put in that coffin (of his mother, not his), and that later Smenkhkare was put there, or somebody else; it is certainly impossible that Akhnaton has died at 23 or 24. The body is that of Smenkhkare.
“Figure of Alexander” in Luxor-Temple. Was there one?
Page 3. Ammon, or Amen was Zeus. Zeus was the supreme deity of all peoples of the world at a certain age (from Deluge, when Jupiter-Isis caused Saturn-Osiris to explode, as a nova, and cause the Deluge, or from the African Rift and Sodom catastrophe, when Jupiter delivered its thunderbolt to our planet). Marduk was Jupiter; Shiva was too, though this was left to me to establish; and interestingly the Oasis of Amon is called Oasis of Shiva in Greek sources. At a later date Venus took over the name of Isis; but also Horus, originally Jupiter, became Venus, sometimes the son of Isis. This carry-over is seen also in the Canaanite religion, where Baal consecutively represented Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and even Mars, in the great Ages of their dominion. All this is the theme of additional volumes of Worlds, and partly of “Sinai and Olympus.”
Also p.3. That Thebes was founded by the Hyksos is not my invention to equal Apop with Agog who was said to have founded Thebes in Egypt. The same is said of the Hyksos; I should have given the source in a footnote to Worlds, middle of p. 151.
When I shall come again at the source in my notes, I will let you know.
“No doubt” indicating “doubt” is certainly true in many instances; one of them is Albright, who uses such expressions often, only to retract them later, writing once more “definitely established.”
P.4 I am of course very pleased that Sphinx and Hathor have something in common, if not identical they are; and even if only in Greek tradition (why should a Greek invent things about Egyptian gods?). Then possibly the statue of the Sphinx that was in Western Thebes, was the statue of Hathor, and there was the oracle or that figure and cult were thought to be responsible for the Oracle at Gizeh. However, it is probable also that there was connection between Ammon (Horus) of Thebes and the shrine of the Sphinx, if only because of the latter being under the protection of the priests of Ammon in Karnak; and the oracle was unfavorable to infant Akhnaton (why should he have spent his childhood and youth in Mesopotamia, Mitanni, or Syria-Palestine, if not for some “Bann”?)
The identity of Sechet, Tefnut, and Hathor, I found presented in Naville, La Destruction des Hommes par les Dieux (Tr. Soc. Bibl. Arch., vol. IV, 1876). Then if Hathor killed the human race in its majority, and if she presided over the cliffs of Thebes, and if she had the form of Sphinx, then we have the origin of the episode of Oedipus at the gates of Thebes, before the cruel maiden Sphinx. Psychologically of course the relation must be thought with Akhnaton’s father (Sphinx symbolizing the king or the royal power), whom he killed thus in body and/or in image; or it symbolizes the mother-queen, who committed suicide, like Jokaste by hanging, and as the maiden-monster, by throwing herself into a precipice. After this excurse, the question, which probably you have once already answered: Was there in Thebes a figure of a Sphinx, if not of a Hathor? And how was Hathor usually presented?
P.5 To the myth of Hathor Tefnut leaving Nubia, I would add the remark (scholium) of Pisander “dass die Sphinx [of Oedipus legend] aus Aithiopien gekommen sei” (E. Bethe, Theb. Heldenlieder, Footnote to p. 21). The legend as given by Junker I have not yet seen.
p.7 Everything referring to stratigraphical archaeology interests me vividly, especially in new diggings, or newly reported—when these reports have the expected by me difficulties.
The Troy of Priam (the sixth) was destroyed by earthquake or a series of earthquakes in the eighth century—the time of the tyrants and the epigoni—in Egypt the time of the Libyan conquest.
I am glad to have your reference to Blegen’s article and the difficulties he, too, sees in the existence of the Dark Ages. The eighth century and the beginning of the seventh were dark only because the natural phenomena caused such havoc.
p. 8 “Well established 14 years of the reign of Necho”. What is the source or foundation of that? Ramses II, he Necho, must have reigned about thirty years, in order to “accommodate” my reconstruction. If Ramses reigned 67 years alone, and he “began to count his regal years only after the death of Seti”, and “the long co-regency fell entirely into the reign of Seti”, then how old must have been Ramses II at his death; or how many years of co-regency are counted? Possibly Ramses II counted his years even after the first year of the dynasty, or more correctly he counted on two scales, on some documents by his own regnal years }like the campaigns of the years 2 and 5), and on others by some other calculation. There were calendar reforms in the seventh century all over the world. The era of Nabonassar started in -747; other reforms, in less developed—astronomically—countries, came later; and 687 was the year of another distrubance in the terrestrial rotation and revolution.
I am prepared to see how you solve the period between the end of the ninth century and the fourth.
Atlantis at Crete I would dismiss even without reading; yet the catastrophe was ubiquitous, and therefore so many authors upon inding some memory or relic of catastrophe, jump to the conclusion that Atlantis is found. Atlantis is under water; Crete is not; however, as I wrote in Worlds, the Carian marines and their literary relics are the most probable source to read about Atlantis, as soon as more texts in Linear A are found, and the texts read.
Your skepticism as to Hissarlik being the site of Troy, is new to me. I have recently read about somebody who thought that the Hittite conquest of Babylon (under Mursilis) is the source of the Trojan epic. ON how many feet such hypothesis stands? The Sphinx did not ask about who is it that stands on one foot. But even one foot is here one too many. By the way Schliemann was not the first to identify Hisserlik as the site of Priam’s city. Actually the echo must be looked for in Egypt under the Libyans, in Assyria in the days not too far from the time Samaria was captured by Sargon II, probably a little earlier. If Akhnaton was contemporary of Ahab, the Eighteenth Dynasty must have expried about the year 800. This must have been the time of the Seven against Thebes; then followed the Epigoni, only a few years before the Trojan War, according to the tradition. For Homer the Theban story was a legend of bygone years; but the memory was still vivid in the days of the migrations after the Trojan War (Odysseus). It is a pity that the Libyan pharos were not internationally minded; but the chance is still there that somewhere in Sudan some mention of the Trojan conflict will be found some day.
Schaeffer places the Peoples of the Sea in the 12th c. and as an aftereffect of the Trojan War, and of natural disaster, their migrations. Here is a confusion. Therefore any additional point from excavations, to prove the revised chronology, is very desirable.
I will not be surprised if Ramses II or III were placed in the thirteenth century, before the beginning of the era of archaeology. A few days ago, just before closing of the Princeton University Library, at midnight, I had a book of Lepsius on Chronology, and an earlier of Leemans, but had no time to go carefully through them.
Two days ago I have written you and extended our invitation to come. We could acquire and present you with sleeping shirt or pajamas (what do you prefer), so that you could sleep here occasionally overnight without carrying the things forth and back.