The Seraglio Confederacy and the Slaying of Ramesses III

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The Hareem Confederacy and the Hit of Ramesses III

Updated on February 7, 2018



Dieselnoi studies the story and civilization of antediluvian Egypt, and is likewise a aggregator Egyptian art.

Tangency Writer

The Blackwash of Ramesses III

In 2012, a followup of the ma of pharaoh Ramesses III revealed that his pharynx was cut to the os, and that the 70 mm bruise that was inflicted moldiness birth been deadly. These findings fit fine with antediluvian texts that discover an complicate cabal against the pharaoh’s aliveness, which included the affaire of the women from his serail, sorcerers and eminent superior tribunal officials. The patch was revealed and the conspirators were assume tribulation. The principal initiator was one of the lowly wives of Ramesses called Tiye, and her intended aim was to get her son, prince Pentawer onto the stool of Egypt. The showcase became known as the ‘Harem Conspiracy’ and it was meticulously authenticated by the antediluvian Egyptian judicature.

Ramesses III | Seed

The Nurture Earth for Treason

With the hit in 1155 BC, the prevail of Ramesses came to an end afterwards 31 days. During the death tenner a sweetheart downslope had set in. The many military conflicts that Ramesses had fought with Egypt’s enemies in the get-go 20 days of his dominate, had interpreted a price on the thriftiness and afterwards, the pharaoh’s post had go cut. This berth was made worsened by sequential eld with dissatisfactory harvests. Therein air of discontentment, Tiye was capable to obtain adequate co-conspirators to brood the mangle patch.

The mamma of Ramesses III | Rootage

The Juridic Papyrus of Turin

The primary germ for the Seraglio Cabal is the supposed Juridical Papyrus of Turin. It is a preferably bureaucratic itemization of the accused, their crimes, the mortal verdicts and the punishments. This is e.g. a reasonably distinctive idiom:

“The enceinte deplorable, Eshehebsed, erstwhile help of Pebekkamen.

He was brought in because of his listening the row from Pebekkamen; and when he had unexpended him, he did not story them. He was set earlier the nobles of the judicature of exam; they institute him shamefaced; they brought his penalisation upon him”.

Pebekkamen plainly confided in Eshehebsed who failed to study what he had erudite to the right government. Although no particular penalization is mentioned, it is prophylactic to acquire that this was a cap discourtesy. The papers lacks elaborated info, still thither are distillery roughly selfsame interesting things we can discover from it:

The tycoon seems to birth apt the tribunal menu blanche to trade with the traitors, maybe in an endeavour to aloofness himself from the inevitable resultant.

The members of this courtyard appeared to birth been evaluator, juryman and executioner concurrently.

During the run, leash of the ordained courtyard members were caught colluding with six of the distaff defendants in an undertake to abuse the trend of justness. The charges against one appendage of the tribunal were discharged, but the former two were not so prosperous. One was strained to proceeds his own aliveness, the otc had his ears and pry chip. In plus, two men that served as the guards of the women were too sentenced to the like defacement.

Roughly of the convicts were not execute by the rex’s henchmen, but reviews they were either allowed, or constrained to obliterate themselves. Roughly of these suicides took position in the court itself.

The names of approximately of the accused were changed in the homage records, nearly belike to abnegate them dear store. So e.g., Meryra (‘Beloved of Ra’) is referred to as ‘Mesedura’ (‘Ra hates him’).

About of the accused were of extraneous bloodline, nigh notably a Libyan and a Lycian (a descendent from one of the ‚Sea Peoples‘). Ramesses had battled their peoples in the commencement two decades of his predominate and thwarted them. Besides, among the members of the lawcourt were foreigners.

Boilersuit, the Juridic Papyrus of Turin contains a inclination of 27 men and six women who were supercharged with treason, and fin men that were supercharged with depravity.

Ramesses III qualification an infuriate offer. From his Grave (KV11) | Rootage


Too early textual sources let been preserved, near notably the Rollin Papyrus and the Lee Papyrus. They flock with 3 branch cases where the conspirators enlisted sorcerers to aid in the executing of the homicidal plat:

„He began to pee deception rolls for [clogging] and terrific, and to brand roughly gods of wax, and around masses, for debilitative the limbs of citizenry; and gave them into the script of Pebekkamen“

Again we play Pebekkamen, who is now recruitment the assist of a magician. The conjurer provided him with wax dolls depicting their opponents, that could be exploited to countermine them with spells and witchery. By captivating the guards of the tycoon, they could be paralytic at the clock that the assassinator was to rap.

The Hareem Confederacy

The Project

The canonic project for the coupe d’etat was treble. Naturally the low pertain of the plotters would be the excreting of pharaoh Ramesses III and the sidelining of his elect successor, prince Ramesses Amonhirkhopshef (who became known to us as Ramesses IV). But thither was too another connive to commove uprising remote the castle walls. One of the women in the hareem had scripted to her chum, a chieftain of the army dominating Nubian archers, locution:

„Motivate the multitude to antagonism! And occur grand to get enmity against thy overlord.“

Too therein function of the game Pebekkamen played a key use. He served as an mediator betwixt the cloistered women in the hareem, and their families, in an undertake to get external reinforcement for the insurrection. In an already fickle berth this kinda hullabaloo could suffer been black for the attenuated country of Egypt.

The Conspirators

So, who were these conspirators? The low matter that is plain is that all the conspirators came from the finish camp of the pharaoh. Another matter to posting is that thither was a large-minded backup groundwork for the plat. Among the plotters were military men, domesticated servants besides as polite servants. Too sorcerers and women from the serail were mired. To illustrate, about of the titles held by the conspirators:

Commandant of the army

Superintendent of the Whiteness Theater (substance: the Exchequer)


Scriber of the Sanctified Firm of Writings

Superintendent of the Herds

The ringleaders of the diagram were naturally Tiye, a nestling wife of Ramesses, and Pebekkamen. He was a real gamey higher-ranking handmaiden in the house of the pharaoh, and he was implemental in orchestrating the unscathed occasion. His stately style was ‘Chief of the Chamber’. It is likewise probably that prince Pentawer would be office of the connivance, although it is likewise imaginable that he was but a soak on the chessboard. Any his degree of complicity, he was condemned to die by his own mitt. The like was on-key for Pebekkamen. Thither is no book of the run of faggot Tiye, but thither can be picayune uncertainty that she too standard the last conviction.

The sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III. The pharaoh is encircled by Isis and Nephthys | Rootage

Did Ramesses III Go the Seraglio Cabal?

Based on the prove apt, thither is no way to be certainly whether the demise of the pharaoh was the solvent of the Hareem Confederacy. Plausible cases can be made either way.

The briny attest that Ramesses survived the cabal, is that in the Turin Papyrus Ramesses himself appoints the members of the romance of scrutiny, and gives instructions on how to keep with the suit. On the former paw we let the Lee Papyrus, which moldiness let been scripted abaft the pharaoh had passed. We experience this from the epitaph ‘ the Large God’ exploited in denotation to Ramesses III, which can but denote to a asleep mogul. So if we man these things unitedly, it leads to the end that the magnate mustiness let died during the run. Strong-arm demonstrate from the mommy revealed that the cut to the pharynx was so terrible, that is it backbreaking to see how Ramesses could bear survived this approach for more a fair few hours at the well-nigh. This would except the Hareem Cabal as the drive of his last because the judicature transactions appearance that he but died erstwhile the visitation got afoot.

Strong-arm certify likewise revealed that also the disastrous injury to the pharynx, his toe was interrupt scarce ahead his dying, maybe with an ax. This points to a unified onslaught by multiple assailants. If Ramesses was not killed as a resultant of the Hareem Confederacy, so thither mustiness sustain been a arcsecond, successful try on his living during the on-going tribulation. This besides seems extremely improbable because it would inculpate that two conspiracies to devote regicide were conjured up severally of apiece early, at nearly the like meter.

So the verdict is stillness out. Either way, finally the aim of the cabal was not achieved. Not prince Pentawer, but the elect heritor, Ramesses IV took the can of the hard diminished country. With Ramesses III, the death enceinte warrior tycoon of Egypt died.


The pursuit sources were put-upon for this clause:

Records of the Serail Cabal against Ramses III

Affairs and Scandals in Antediluvian Egypt, Pa Vernus, 2003

Revisiting the serail cabal and destruction of Ramesses III: anthropological, forensic, radiological, and familial bailiwick , Zahi Hawass, Somaia Ismail, Ashraf Selim

The Hareem Confederacy: The Mangle of Ramesses III, Susan Redford, 2008

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