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Critical study: Comparing the reigns of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The biography of Hatshepsut.
    1. Direct rule of Egypt by a queen.
    2. Hatshepsut's successor.
  3. The second element of this essay.
    1. The expansion of trade.
    2. Thutmose's strategy for increasing Egyptian trade output.
    3. Increasing Egypt's regional influence.
  4. Hatshepsut and Thutmose success in expanding Egyptian power and influence.
  5. The last hallmark of the reigns.
  6. Hatshepsut's finest architectural masterpiece.
  7. Conclusion.

One of the most interesting periods of Egyptian history comes during the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. In approximately 1479 B.C., the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose II died and, after a short dispute, was succeeded by his consort Hatshepsut who ruled as first between equals with her nephew Thutmose III. This period, which, though technically a joint monarchy, is often seen as one of the few periods of Egyptian history where a woman ruled independently rather than as a consort. This was followed by the two decade long reign of Thutmose III, one of the most famous and successful warrior pharaohs of antiquity. Why are these events significant? One reason is that the joint period of their reigns is generally considered to be the apex of the New Kingdom and, by many, of all of Egypt's indigenous history. However, while their joint reigns were both incredibly successful and did share some similarities, they were also vastly different.

[...] The Wars in Syria and Palestine of Thutmose III. London: Brill Press Rosalie and Anthony David. A Biography Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. London: Biddles, Ltd Morris L. Bierbrier. Historical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press Aidan Dodson. Monarchs of the Nile. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press Pgs 78-80 Aidan Dodson. Monarchs of the Nile. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press Pg 78-center Aidan Dodson. Monarchs of the Nile. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press Pg 18-bottom Aidan Dodson. [...]

[...] Indeed, upon his death, she claimed the throne on the basis of her status as daughter and consort of two different pharaoh's and was crowned jointly with her underage nephew Thutmose III in approximately 1479 B.C. Thutmose was intelligent and headstrong and would ultimately become a successful warrior pharaoh in his own right, but he was dominated by his co-ruling aunt for nearly two decades[1]. Interestingly, direct rule of Egypt by a queen was rare but not unprecedented[2]. One of the most famous examples, cited by Hatshepsut herself, was that of Merneith: a queen who ruled alone at the end of the First Dynasty[3]. [...]

[...] In conclusion, the reigns of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III were two of the most successful in Egyptian history. Both proved capable rulers and achieved their goals of expanding Egypt's trade networks, power and influence, and large-scale monument building. However, what is notable is that, though they were both successful, their methods for achieving each of these goals were quite different. As pertains to trade, Hatshepsut expanded Egypt's contacts to nations further afield like the semi-mythic Punt, whereas Thutmose chose to force Egypt's existing partners to renegotiate their trade deals with Egypt in her favor. [...]

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