Partial statue head of the pharaoh Amenhotep II
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Amenhotep II (sometimes called Amenophis II and meaning ‘Amun is Satisfied’) was the seventh pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III
It is claimed he had great athletic skills and was even more powerful than the great Thutmose III.
Amenhotep has left several inscriptions touting his athletic skills while he was a leader of the army before his crowning. Amenhotep was no less athletic than his powerful father. He claims to have been able to shoot an arrow through a copper target one palm thick, and that he was able to row his ship faster and farther than two hundred members of the navy could row theirs.
The king was well known for his physical prowess and is said to have singlehandedly killed 7 rebel Princes at Kadesh, which successfully terminated his first Syrian campaign on a victorious note.
There are two different possible dates for the reign of Amenhotep II – 1453 to 1419 BC and 1427 to 1400 BC.
“As usual, different resources provide different time frames for Amenhotep II’s reign. While the Chronicle of the Pharaohs by Peter A. Clayton gives his reign lasting from 1453 until 1419 BC, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt provides a reign between 1427 until 1400 BC.”
These sightings limit the date of Thutmose’s accession to either 1504 or 1479 BC. Thutmose died after 54 years of reign, at which time Amenhotep would have acceded to the throne. Amenhotep’s short coregency with his father would then move his accession two years and four months earlier, dating his accession to either 1427 BC in the low chronology, or in 1454 BC in the high chronology.
Unlike his predecessors, his home was originally in the northern kingdom.
“Amenhotep II was born and raised in Memphis in the north, instead of in Thebes, the traditional capital. While a prince, he oversaw deliveries of wood sent to the dockyard of Peru-nūfe in Memphis, and was made the Setem, the high priest over Lower Egypt.”
He became king when he as 18 years old and reigned between 26 and 35 years.
“When he assumed power, Amenhotep II was 18 years old according to an inscription from his great Sphinx stela”
The beginning of his reign, he went on many campaigns, but ceased campaigns after his ninth year.
“Amenhotep’s last campaign took place in his ninth year, however it apparently did not proceed farther north than the Sea of Galilee. According to the list of plunder from this campaign, Amenhotep claims to have taken 101,128 slaves.”
His scribes attributes the end of his campaigns to his enemies seeking to make peace.
“Amenhotep records that the kings of Babylon, the Hittites, and Mitanni came to make peace and pay tribute to him after his ninth year, although this may be outlandish boasting.”
At the height of his military career at age 27, why would he have retired from campaigns? Could it be his army had been crushed by attempting to chase the Hebrews in the parting sea?
Amenhotep II also was a part of erasing the memory of Hatshepsut.
“They point to the fact that he participated in his father’s removal of Hatshepsut’s name from her monuments and the destruction of her image.”
Since Hatshepsut was closely associated with Moses, could that be the main reason for her removal from history?
Thutmose IV succeeded Amenhotep II, however he was not the first born of Amenhotep II. Apparently Thutmose IV had an older brother that we know little about and died under unknown circumstances.
Thutmose IV was born to Amenhotep II and Tiaa, but was not actually the crown prince and Amenhotep II’s chosen successor to the throne. Some scholars speculate that Thutmose ousted his older brother in order to usurp power and then commissioned the Dream Stele in order to justify his unexpected kingship.
If the first born son was killed by the 10th plague, could that be why we know so little of his first born son?