Friday, April 30, 2010

King Setnakht and the Trojan Wars

Among the many articles on my defunct Geocities website was the one equating the 20th Dynasty pharaoh, Userkhaure Setnakht, with the legendary Proteios of the Greeks, the one who gave sanctuary to the beauteous Helen of Troy and her lover, Paris, in Egypt. Thanks to the Internet "Wayback Machine" an older version of my paper [before I changed it somewhat] still survives.

I think the date ca. 1185 BCE is still good for King Setnakht and the advent of the 20th Dynasty--and a good datum for the Trojan Wars, as well. According to Manetho, the Egyptian historian of the Late Period, those rulers of the twilight years of the 19th Dynasty also reigned about the time of these wars. Unfortunately he rather garbled their names, even assuming Akhenre Siptah [prenomen vocalized "Alkandia" due to a "tapped r", a phenomenon that caused Usermaatre to sound like "Ozymandias] was a feminine name "Alkandra", and rendered this short-lived puppet pharaoh a wife of King Polybos. Polybos, meaning "rich in cattle" in Greek was a misinterpretation of the combination of "wsr" or "rich" in Egyptian and "kAw", which does mean "cattle"--but not in a prenomen such as "Userkaure Setepenre"--that of Setnakht, where "xAw" stands for "manifestations" and "wsr" has the connotation of "great".

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