Thursday, December 16, 2010
A New Female Pharaoh for Ancient Egypt?
For some time, Cleopatra VII has been considered the only female pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty. However, one of her lesser known ancestors, Queen Arsinoë II may have also held the title of a female pharaoh approximately 200 years prior to Cleopatra VII’s reign. Maria Nilsson, of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, theorized that Arsinoë could be another female pharaoh. Born to Ptolemy I, Arsinoë married her first husband, then her half brother, and finally her full brother Ptolemy II, with whom she reigned with. She and he shared equal rule of Egypt. Her royalty was determined by her crown, based on the height, position, and pictorial elements. Her existence and reign challenges the assumptions of an almost strictly patriarchal society. When Arsinoë died around the age of 45, she acquired a cult following and her crown was adopted by Cleopatra III and VII, showing that she was a powerful ruler worth modeling after.
by Jen Y., Period 8