You are on page 1of 21

Sonderdruck aus

5. Symposium zur gyptischen Knigsideologie /

5th Symposium on Egyptian Royal Ideology

Palace and Temple

Architecture Decoration Ritual
Cambridge, July, 16th-17th, 2007
Edited by Rolf Gundlach
and Kate Spence


Harrassowitz Verlag . Wiesbaden

Prestige, Role, and Performance

Ramesside High Priests of Memphis
Christine Raedler
As noted by the organisers, the aim of investigating the relationship between palace and
temple can be approached in different ways. I intend to concentrate on one aspect of social
connections in the relationship between temple and palace as institutions, focusing on
prestige and social function.1 Thus this paper deals with specific aspects of social structure,
which I will highlight using the early Ramesside High Priests of Ptah in Memphis (HPM).2
On one hand, these priests directed the temple of Ptah and its staff. As Great Director
of craftsmen (wr xrp Hmw.w) they also managed the workshops of the House of Gold
where the statues of the king and the gods were produced. They were also responsible for
the cult of the Apis bull. Ex officio, they were also Sem-priests, responsible for the highly
important ritual of the Opening of the mouth.3
On the other hand, the High Priests of Memphis were members of Pharaohs court
society, where the kings favour ruled. The temple of Ptah at Memphis being one of the
most important institutions of the Ramesside period, the office was intrinsically a very high
social position laden with prestige.
Some famous and important individuals of the early Ramesside period acted as High
Priests of Ptah of Memphis for instance the kings son Khaemwaset and the viziers (Pa-)
Rahotep and Neferrenpet. Being members of this elite court society, they conveyed a
special kind of culture, articulated in their monumental buildings, stelae, statues and other
items. In terms of prosopography, what remains of this court culture today are the sources
revealing their social rank, partly through titles and epithets expressing their proximity to
the king. Together with their monuments, these features testify to a complex system that
distinguished them from lower levels of society.
1 This study forms part of my doctoral thesis Rang und Gunst: Zur Struktur der Hofgesellschaft der
frhen Ramessidenzeit, summarised in RAEDLER, Rank and Favour. As in my article on the viziers
(RAEDLER, Wesire), references such as Q_18.10 (the naos stela of Pahemnetjer, Cairo, Egyptian
Museum, JdE 89046) refer to this thesis.
2 The title of High Priests of Memphis (HPM) had several different versions in the Ramesside period,
generally wr xrp Hmw.w, but also: sm wr xrp Hmw.w, wr xrp Hmw.w nj PtH, sm wr xrp Hmw.w nj PtH,
sm wr xrp Hmw.w sm nj PtH. There was only one single individual bearing one or the other of these
titles at any one time, although any one single individual could use several variants on different
monuments. See notes 33 35 below.
3 For the duties of the High Priests see M AYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah; for the Sem and Iunmutef see
U. RUMMEL, Pfeiler seiner Mutter Beistand seines Vaters. Untersuchungen zum Gott Iunmutef vom
Alten Reich bis zum Ende des Neuen Reiches, Diss. Hamburg 2003, online publication 2007
(; IDEM, Ein Bildostrakon aus
dem Tal der Knige: Der Gott Iunmutef als Dekorationselement der Pfeilerfronten in den Grbern der
Familie Ramses II., in: MDAIK 59, 2003, 389 409 with pls. 65 66.


Christine Raedler

Aside from prosopographical and chronological problems, we will try to focus on the
social context. Particularly important in this case is the ranking of the High Priests of
Memphis in court society, reflected in their proximity to the king which allowed them a role
as mediators for subordinates.

The Chronology of the High Priests of Memphis

Before we focus on these social structures, we must quickly review the individuals who
held office as High Priests of Ptah at Memphis, and check their chronological order. In the
Lexikon der gyptologie (L), Dietrich Wildung listed 22 individuals (his numbers 3758)
holding office as High Priests of Ptah from the end of the 18th Dynasty to the end of the
reign of Ramesses II.4 However, after some culling, we will suggest that from the end of the
18th Dynasty after the Amarna period to the end of the 19th Dynasty there are actually
only 15 (or perhaps even 14) individuals, who acted as High Priests of Ptah at Memphis.
In addition to the Thutmoside HPM named Sennefer (no. 27), Wildungs list of the
HPM also includes a Ramesside namesake (no. 45), citing the so-called Daressy fragment
to be dated in the early 19th Dynasty. 5 A High Priest named Sennefer is mentioned on the
Daressy fragment as having been in office under Seti I. Obviously he does appear on a
Ramesside granite offering tablet, together with the early Ramesside priest Pahemnetjer,
who was the father of the Vizier (Pa-)Rahotep, to whom we will come in an instant.6
However, there are no other contemporary Ramesside sources. Amongst the other
prosopographical sources, typologically, Sennefers canopic jars in Brussels and Leiden
belong to material from the time of Thutmose III as noted by Beatrix Gessler-Lhr.7
Dietrich Raue suspects that Sennefer held office as High Priest at both religious centres,
Memphis and Heliopolis. In his Heliopolis und das Haus des Re he stresses that a number
of High Priests at Heliopolis are missing in the 18th Dynasty, but he does contend that the
series of High Priests at Heliopolis is complete for the Post-Amarna period. Hence he does
not count Sennefer among them, and thus places him in the 18th Dynasty. 8 We assume that
the prosopographical and typological arguments are more reliable than the Daressy fragment, and observe that one singular Ramesside source may actually be commemorative. In
4 WILDUNG, L II, 1260 1261; see further the list in PM III2.2, 917 and MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de
Ptah, 80 81.
5 PM III2.2, 571; WILDUNG, L II, 1260 (no. 45). See further D. WILDUNG, Imhotep und Amenhotep.
Gottwerdung im alten gypten, MS 36, 1977, 28 29; IDEM, Sesostris und Amenemhet, Mnchen
1984, 14, fig. 4.
6 Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JdE 2732; TN 17/3/25/5: PM III2.2, 871 (mentioned as stela); G.
DARESSY, Remarques et notes, in: RT 10, 1888, 150; KEES, Priestertum, 63 64 with note 1;
MAYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah, 284, no. 83 (Q_18.7).
7 B. GESSLER-LHR, Bemerkungen zur Nekropole des Neuen Reiches von Saqqara vor der Amarnazeit
I. Grber der Wesire von Untergypten, in: D. KESSLER (ed.), Htp dj n Hzj. Gedenkschrift fr Winfried
Barta, Mnchener gyptologische Untersuchungen 4, Frankfurt 1995, 139 with note 39. Cf. WILDUNG,
L II, 1259, no. 27.
8 RAUE, Heliopolis, 42 43, 46 47, 248 250 and passim; see the index on p. 519: Sn-nfr (1).

Prestige, Role, and Performance


this interpretation, Sennefer would not date to the 19th Dynasty and would be identical with
his namesake in the reign of Thutmosis III. In consequence, he should be removed from
the list of the HPM of the Ramesside era.
We will assume that the positions in the priesthood at Memphis were vacant during the
Amarna period,9 and that the occupation of the post of High Priest resumed with PtahemhatTi. Ptahemhat-Ti held office during the reign of Tutankhamun and perhaps Ay (?) and it is
his colleagues who are in mourning on the Berliner Trauerrelief depicting his funeral.10
His successor under Tutankhamun (?)/Ay (?) and Horemheb was Meriptah.11 Ptahemhat-Ti and Meriptah are both shown with shaven heads, a criterion allowing us to date
them to the immediate Post-Amarna period.12 Their successors revert to the traditional hairstyle of the High Priest of Memphis the curled and (usually) braided sidelock.
The following High Priest is Dedia, mentioned together with Sennefer and Pahemnetjer
on the above mentioned Ramesside offering tablet from the reign of Seti I.13 And, in fact,
we can also find him alongside the High Priests of Memphis Pahemnetjer and (Pa-)Rahotep
on a stele dedicated by Heli, the wife of (Pa-)Rahotep.14

9 Pace MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de Ptah, 80 81; see GESSLER-LHR, Meriptah, 36 and 55, note 87. I
want to thank Beatrix Gessler-Lhr for very useful discussions with regard to the dating of the HPM.
10 PM III2.2, 711 712; K.-H. PRIESE (ed.), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. gyptisches Museum und
Papyrussammlung, Mainz 1991, 136 138, no. 82; RAUE, Heliopolis, 442 443.
11 See PM III2.2, 917 and GESSLER-LHR, Meriptah, contra WILDUNG, L II (nos. 37 and 38 in wrong
order!) and again contra MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de Ptah, 80 81 and 138.
12 GESSLER-LHR, Meriptah, 36.
13 See note 5.
14 London, BM 183: KEES, Priestertum, 64; H. DE MEULENAERE, Deux vizirs de Ramss II, in: CdE 41,
1966, 227; BM Stelae 9, 1920, pl. 15; MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de Ptah, 296 297, no. 102; G.
ROBINS, Reflections of Women in the New Kingdom: Ancient Egyptian Art from The British Museum,
San Antonio/Texas 1995, 36, no. 18; D. RAUE, Ein Wesir Ramses II., in: H. GUKSCH/D. P OLZ (eds.),
Stationen. Beitrge zur Kulturgeschichte gyptens (Fs Stadelmann), Mainz 1998, 342, no. 9; KRI III,
57.2 8 (4); RITA III, 39 (Q_5.9).


Christine Raedler

HPM (sm wr xrp Hmw.w)


Other Principal


Thutmose III

HP of Heliopolis

Ptahmose I15

Thutmose III

Northern Vizier

Ptahmose II

Thutmose IV

Ptahmose the elder, son of Vizier

Thutmose. Perhaps to be identified
with Ptahmose II

Thutmose IV (?)
Amenhotep III

Thutmose, son of Amenhotep III

Amenhotep III

Ptahmose the younger, son of


Amenhotep III
year 5 of Amenhotep IV

Crown Prince


Tutankhamun Ay (?)


Tutankhamun (?) Horemheb HP of Heliopolis


Seti I

Sokaremsaef, son of

Seti I (?)

15 The numbering of the HPM named Ptahmose during the 18th Dynasty is the subject of controversy. The
discrepancy revolves around the issue of whether there were 4 or 5 different individuals (i.e., Ptahmose
IV); see W.J. MURNANE, Too many High Priests? Once again the Ptahmoses of Ancient Memphis, in:
D.P. SILVERMAN (ed.), For His Ka. Essays offered in memory of Klaus Baer, SAOC 55, 1994,
187 196. I prefer the minimal solution numbering only 4 namesakes and suggest counting Ptahmose II
(following WILDUNG, L II, 1259, no. 29: CG 584, time of Thutmosis IV; cf. MURNANE, op. cit.,
188). He might perhaps be identified with Ptahmose the elder, son of the Vizier Thutmose or (less
likely) Ptahmose the younger, following B. BRYAN, The reign of Thutmose IV, Baltimore 1991, 275
(3.2). Assuming that Ptahmose II and Ptahmose the elder, son of Thutmose are the same (see
MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de Ptah, 130 131 and 258 259) is far from certain. Since the discrepancies
cannot be discussed here in detail, I use the Roman numbering system only for Ptahmose I and II.
There is definitely another HPM named Ptahmose (PM III2.2, 861 and 917), but he cannot be dated
with precision, and can be attributed only to the New Kingdom.

Prestige, Role, and Performance

HPM (sm wr xrp Hmw.w)



Other Principal

Netjeruihetep, son of

Seti I (?)

Pahemnetjer I, father of

Seti I


Ramesses II, year 16


Ramesses II, year 1652

Kings Son

(Pa-)Rahotep, son of Pahemnetjer I

Ramesses II, from year 52


HP of Heliopolis /
Northern Vizier


Ramesses II, 7th decade

Northern Vizier

Hori, son of Khaemwaset

Ramesses II Merenptah

Pahemnetjer II, son of Mahu

(son of Hori)
= Pahemnetjer III, son of Hori,
brother of Vizier Hori (SiptahRamesses III)

End of 19th to the beginning

of 20th Dynasty

Table 1: The High Priests of Memphis (HPM)

The Berlin Table of Ancestors (Berliner Ahnentafel) records another two priests in office
under Seti I: Sokaremsaef and Netjeruihetep. However, this family-tree of the Memphite
High Priests of Ptah dating to the 22 Dynasty may not be reliable for the Ramesside era;
this is thus far the only source for them, and we cannot really be certain about their titles
and dates.
Dietrich Raue solved the prosopographical problem of how many Viziers named
Rahotep or Parahotep flourished under Ramesses II, by suggesting that only one (Pa-)
Rahotep acted as Vizier during that period.17 He was the son of the aforementioned High
Priest of Ptah Pahemnetjer, who held office at the time of Seti I.

16 Berlin, SMBSPK, gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, 23673: L. B ORCHARDT, Ein

Stammbaum memphitischer Priester, SPAW 24, 1932, 618 622; IDEM, Mittel zur zeitl. Festlegung,
96 104, pl. 2a; MAYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah, 94, 375 377.
17 RAUE, Ein Wesir Ramses II. (see note 14), 341 351.


Christine Raedler

After Hui and the famous Prince Khaemwaset, (Pa-)Rahotep became High Priest of
Memphis, and later on High Priest of Heliopolis, at the end of his career.18
At the end of the reign of Ramesses II, the Vizier Neferrenpet was installed as High
Priest of Memphis. He was followed by Hori, son of the Kings Son Khaemwaset.
With the exception of Pahemnetjer II, son of Mahu, we thus have 10 High Priests of
Ptah at Memphis in the early Ramesside period.
However, one prosopographical problem nevertheless remains: Wildungs list has 5
Pahemnetjers during the entire Ramesside period. Therefore, we must determine just how
many individuals named Pahemnetjer acted as High Priest of Memphis, and when they
served.19 Analysis of the details of the relevant material leads me to conclude that sources
for Pahemnetjer, father of the Vizier (Pa-)Rahotep, are abundant. This Pahemnetjer I, father
of (Pa-)Rahotep must be distinguished from two further Pahemnetjers: one (1) Pahemnetjer
II, son of Mahu, and one (2) Pahemnetjer III, son of Hori.
The pillar in Florence certainly belongs to a Pahemnetjer, son of Mahu.20 However
stylistic details suggest that the pillar should be dated to the end of the 19th or the beginning
of the 20th Dynasty, with the latter Dynasty more likely.21 In addition, he left an inscription
on a block statue in Florence belonging to Ptahmose, the well-known High Priest of
Memphis from the time of Amenhotep III and son of the Gods Servant Menkheper (here:
Ptahmose the younger).22 On a tomb relief seen on the art market in Cairo (figs. 12),
Pahemnetjer, son of Mahu, is identified as the son of the High Priest Hori.23

18 A Ramesside HP of Memphis named Merenptah was recorded by HELCK, Materialien I, (132) and
WILDUNG, L II, 1260, no. 48, but correctly stated to be just a Sem-priest by J. Malek in PM III2.2,
733 and therefore he is not included in this list of HPM, PM III2.2, 917. This person is only mentioned
on a stela in Berlin, SMBSPK, gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, 7276 (IB II, 106)
dating to the time of Amenhotep III and thus at a minimum Merenptah must be eliminated from the list
of Ramesside office-holders. Since the title wr xrp Hmw.w is missing, it remains doubtful that he ever
acted as a HPM at all. I wish to thank Beatrix Gessler-Lhr for this information.
19 A similar problem exists for the 18th Dynasty with the HPM named Ptahmose, see note 15.
20 Florence, Museo Archeologico, 2607; cf. PM III2.2, 709.
21 See, for comparison, a similar costume, in: HOFMANN, Bilder im Wandel, 44 49, 167, fig.12 (from TT
22 Florence, Museo Archeologico, 1790; cf. PM III2.2, 727; A.P. KOZLOFF/B.M. BRYAN et al. (eds.),
Egypts Dazzling Sun, Cleveland/Ohio 1992, 241 242, no. 37; HOFMANN, Bilder im Wandel, 142, fig.
23 Q_20.2: (1) rD.t jAw n nb &A-Dsr (2) sn-tA n n tp Dw=f (3) jn Wsjr sm (4) wr xrp Hmw.w @rj (5) jn sA=f
sanx rn=f jrj-pa.t jtj-nTr mrj (nTr) (6) mrr(.wt) nb=f mH-jb nj nswt m Hw.t-PtH sm xrp
SnD(.w)t [nb(.w)t] (7) wr xrp Hmw.w sHtp PtH PA-Hm-nTr mAa-xrw sA MaHw [mAa-xrw]. References:
ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire, 191 192 (NE 52); MAYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah, 288, no. 89;
P. PAMMINGER, Magistrale Intervention: Der Beamte als Mittler, in: SAK 23, 1996, 297, 302 (no. 25),

Prestige, Role, and Performance

Fig. 12: Tomb relief of Pahemnetjer in Cairo



Therefore Pahemnetjer, son of Mahu, and Pahemnetjer, son of Hori, seem to be the same
person. Thus we should not be surprised to find Pahemnetjer depicted beside Horis natural
son the Vizier Hori25 on a group statue in Paris (figs. 34).26 As this later Pahemnetjer
was High Priest at the end of the 19th or, more likely, the beginning of the 20th Dynasty, we
will discard him from the list of the early Ramesside High Priests.

24 Fotoarchiv H.W. Mller, Universittsbibliothek Heidelberg (Photographs nos. 145/29 30), published
here with permission generously accorded by Nicole Kloth, University Library Heidelberg.
25 H. DE MEULENAERE, Le vizier ramesside Hori, Annuaire de lInstitut de philologie et dhistoire
orientales et slaves 20, 1968 72, 191 198; M. BIERBRIER, Genealogy and chronology, in: E.
HORNUNG/R. KRAUSS/D.A. WARBURTON (eds.), Handbook of Oriental Studies Ancient Egyptian
Chronology, HdO 1.83, 2006, 42.
26 Louvre, A 72; cf. PM III2.2, 731.


Christine Raedler

Fig. 34: Group statue of Pahemnetjer and Hori at the Louvre


My conclusion is that only one early Ramesside Pahemnetjer remains. This was Pahemnetjer, father of (Pa-)Rahotep, who held office under Seti I. The other Pahemnetjer, son of
Mahu, who wanted to be related to the famous family of Khaemwaset and Hori, and thus to
Ramesses II himself, dates to the end of the 19th or even to the 20th Dynasty.
To summarize: in my opinion there were 11 High Priests of Memphis during the early
Ramesside period, holding office from the reign of Horemheb to the reign of Merenptah.

The Titles of the High Priests of Memphis

Following Klaus Baers Rank and Title, prosopographical studies allow the assembly of a
dossier of an official the basic material from which we are able to reconstruct his cursus
honorum. In addition, taking his titles and epithets into account, his administrative function
and social status can be distinguished.

27 Photos made by Maurice and Pierre Chuzeville, Muse du Louvre, with the kind permission of
Christiane Ziegler, former director of the department of Egyptology of the Louvre.

Prestige, Role, and Performance


The career of the Vizier of Ramesses II (Pa-)Rahotep 28 is illuminating. As noted, (Pa-)

Rahotep is the son of the HPM Pahemnetjer. He must have benefited from his fathers
position, which will have eased his access to a basic scribal education in the Memphite
temple of Ptah. Aside from having served as an envoy, the highest civil office he reached
was also the highest in the entire land: initially he served as Northern Vizier in Memphis but
he later moved to Piramesse. After four decades as Vizier, he was named High Priest of
Memphis, after the death of the prince Khaemwaset. He was subsequently appointed High
Priest of Heliopolis, perhaps while still holding the post of HPM, which was probably the
zenith of his long career. Comparable is the case of his slightly older contemporary
colleague, the Southern Vizier Paser, who ended his noble career of service to state and
king as High Priest of Amun.29


Gods Servant of Ptah/Great Director of Craftsmen (Hm-nTr (nj PtH)/wr xrp


As Charles Maystre showed in his Grands prtres de Ptah de Memphis, (High) Priests of
Ptah at Memphis are entitled Gods Servant of Ptah (Hm-nTr nj PtH) and Sem-priest in the
Old Kingdom.30 During the 6th Dynasty, the title Great Director of craftsmen or ...
crafts31 (wr xrp Hmw.w or ... Hmw.t) appears as the title of the High Priest of Memphis. The
god Ptah was the patron divinity of craftsman, and since the Old Kingdom his priest, the
Great Director of craftsmen, was responsible for the production of statues of the king and
the gods. This traditional role still existed in the New Kingdom. A famous example is the
striding statue in London dedicated to the temple of Osiris in Abydos where the Kings Son
and High Priest Khaemwaset says:
He fashioned you as the one great of form that he might live for you. Oh God, may you live for

Usually the High Priests of Memphis used the title wr xrp Hmw(.w) in combination with the
title of Sem-priest. All High Priests of the early Ramesside period show this combination,33
28 RAEDLER, Wesire, 371 375.
29 RAEDLER, Wesire, 298.
30 MAYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah, 6 ff., 215 216. See further E. FREIER, Zu den sogenannten
Hohepriestern des Ptah von Memphis im Alten Reich, in: AOF 4, 1976, 5 33.
31 According to Malek in PM III2.2, 916, Greatest of the Directors of craftsmen. German: Oberster der
Leiter der Handwerkerschaft: Wb I, 329; R. HANNIG, Hannig-Lexica 5: gyptisches Wrterbuch II.
Mittleres Reich und Zweite Zwischenzeit, Mainz 2006, 706: Oberster Handwerker. De Meulenare
reads Hmw.w wr sxm as lartisan du Trs Puissant: H. DE MEULENARE, Le Grand-prtre Memphite
Shtepibr-ankh, in: Festschrift zum 150jhrigen Bestehen des Berliner gyptischen Museums, Berlin
1974, 183. D. DEVAUCHELLE, Le titr du Grand Prtre Memphite, in: RdE 43, 1992, 205 207.
32 British Museum, EA 947 (Q_24.105); references: PM IV, 268; GOMA, Chaemwese, 86, no. 60; BM
Stelae 10, 18, pl. 33 35; FISHER, Sons II, 100 101, no. 4.35; KRI II, 889.8 890.9; RITA II, 578 579.
33 wr xrp Hmw(.w): (Pa-)Rahotep (Q_5.24: KRI III, 54.12); Neferrenpet (Q_7.1: KRI III, 47.8; Q_7.2:
KRI III, 47.11 13; Q_7.4: KRI III, 48.15 49.3; Q_7.6: KRI III, 50.10; Q_7.20; Q_7.23: G.T. MARTIN,
Corpus of reliefs of the New Kingdom from the Memphite necropolis and Lower Egypt, Studies in
Egyptology, London/New York 1987, 32, no. 78, pl. 27; Q_7.27: MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de Ptah,


Christine Raedler

some with the affiliation wr xrp Hmw(.w) (nj) PtH, such as Dedia, Pahemnetjer, Khaemwaset, and Hori.


Sem-priest (sm/stm)

The same affiliation can be found with the Sem-priest title most commonly (sm/stm).34
Office-holders with the title s(t)m (nj) PtH35 are Khaemwaset, (Pa-)Rahotep and Neferrenpet. Pahemnetjer is also a Sem-priest in the two houses (sm m pr.wj).36
94, 375 377; Q_7.28: KRI VI, 78.10, 14); Hori (Q_13.1: KRI III, 415.2, 7; Q_13.2: KRI IV, 293.4,
11, 13); Khaemwaset (Q_24.2: KRI II, 872.1; Q_24.[4]: KRI II, 874.4 (C); Q_24.7: KRI II, 874.2
(A); Q_24.26: KRI II, 376.10; Q_24.28: KRI II, 376.12; Q_24.43: BOVOT, Serviteurs funraires, no.
113, 267 268; Q_24.71: KRI II, 876.4, 7; Q_24.74: KRI II, 881.3, 15; Q_24.78: KRI II, 879.7, 8, 11;
Q_24.81: KRI II, 877.9; Q_24.83: KRI II, 882.9; Q_24.93: E. R OGGE, in: CAA Kunsthistorisches
Museum Wien 6, 1990, 87; Q_24.96: KRI II, 872.11; Q_24.97: KRI II, 884.7, 14; Q_24.99: KRI II,
886.15 16; Q_24.102: KRI II, 888.1 11; Q_24.106: KRI II, 891.2; Q_24.136: KRI II, 892.14;
Q_24.137: KRI II, 893.2; Q_24.164: KRI II, 893.9, 15; Q_24.170: KRI III, 415.2; Q_24.171: KRI IV,
293.6; Q_24.172: KRI IV, 292.9, 11, 293.2; Q_24.173: KRI II, 886.7; Q_24.186: YOSHIMURA/
TAKAMIYA, A monument of Khaemwaset, 22; FISHER, Sons II, 105, no. 4.48); Ptahemhat-Ti (Q_14.2:
BM Stelae 10, pl. 8; Q_14.3: MAYSTRE, Grands prtres de Ptah, 280, no. 73; Q_14.4: MAYSTRE, op.
cit., 280, no. 74; Q_14.6: WILDUNG, Imhotep (see note 5), 28 29; Q_14.7: MAYSTRE, op. cit., 94, 376,
no. 182); Dedia (Q_15.2: C. BARBOTIN, in: Muse Granet, Aix-en-Province. Collection gyptienne,
Aix-en-Province 1995, 188 189, no. 102; Q_15.3: BARBOTIN, op. cit., 186 187, no. 101);
Sokaremsaef (Q_16.1: MAYSTRE, op. cit., 94, 376, no. 182); Netjeruihetep (Q_17.1: MAYSTRE, op.
cit., 94, 376, no. 182); Pahemnetjer (Q_18.5: KRI III, 412.5 9; Q_18.6: KRI III, 412.14; Q_18.7:
MAYSTRE, op. cit., 284, no. 83; Q_18.9: KRI III, 413.9 10; Q_18.16: PM III2.2, 709; B.J. PETERSON,
Some Reliefs of the Memphite Necropolis, in: Medelhavsmuseet Bulletin 5, Stockholm 1969, 8 10,
fig. 4 5); Pahemnetjer (Q_20.1: KRI III, 413.13, 15); mentioned by Hormin (Q_125.1: KRI I, 309.16).
wr xrp Hmw.w (nj) PtH: Neferrenpet (Q_7.5: KRI III, 50.1; Pahemnetjer (Q_18.1: KRI III, 57.2;
Q_18.2: KRI III, 65.14; Q_18.6: KRI III, 412.11); Hori (Q_13.3: KRI III, 207.7); Dedia (Q_15.1: KRI
III, 57.2 3); Khaemwaset (Q_24:170: KRI III, 415.7).
34 Except for the High Priests of Thebes Nebnetjeru-Tjeli (Q_4.1: KRI I, 285.12) and Bakenchons
(Q_43.4: KRI III, 296.15), the Vizier Paser (Q_4.3: KRI III, 10.4; Q_4.31: KRI III, 16.13, 17.2;
Q_4.32: KRI VII, 408.2; Q_4.35: KRI III, 16.8; Q_4.43: I.A. LAPIS/M.E. MATE, Drevne egipetskaya
skulptura i soranii gosudarstvennogo ermitazha, Moskau 1969, 82 83, no. 77) and Ramose, father of
the vizier Nebamun (Q_3.5: KRI III, 451.9) who did not act as HPM, the title sm/stm is used for
Neferrenpet (Q_7.5: KRI III, 50.3; Q_7.6: KRI III, 50.10); Hori (Q_13.1: KRI III, 415.2; Q_13.2: KRI
IV, 293.4 6, 10 11, 13 14; Q_13.4: KRI IV, 292.9, 293.2; Q_13.5: IB II, 361 362; Q_13.7:
unpublished Canopic jar, London, BM 36535: PM III2.2, 703, inscription copied by myself on 07
18 2007 in the store-rooms of the British Museum with kind permission of Vivian Davies; Q_13.8: E.
WARMENBOL (ed.), La Caravane du Caire, Brssel 2006, 106, 224 225; Q_13.9: MAYSTRE, Grands
prtres de Ptah, 288, no. 89); Ptahemhat-Ti (Q_14.2: BM Stelae 10, pl. 8; Q_14.3: MAYSTRE, op. cit.,
280, no. 73; Q_14.4: MAYSTRE, op. cit., 280, no. 74); Dedia (Q_15.2: BARBOTIN, in: Muse Granet
(see note 33), 188 189, no. 102; Q_15.3: BARBOTIN, op. cit., 186 187, no. 101); Pahemnetjer
(Q_18.5: KRI III, 412.5 6; Q_18.7: MAYSTRE, op. cit., 284, no. 83; Q_18.10: KRI III, 411.7, 10);
Meriptah (Q_19.1: GESSLER-LHR, Meriptah, 32 36); Hui (Q_23.1: KRI II, 369.3; Q_23.2: KRI II,
369.4); Pahemnetjer (Q_20.1: KRI III, 413.13, 15; Q_20.2: MAYSTRE, op. cit., 288, Nr.89);
Khaemwaset (Q_24.1: KRI II, 871.15; Q_24.2: KRI II, 872.1; Q_24.3: KRI II, 872.3 4; Q_24.[4]: KRI
II, 874.4, 8, 11,15 (C); Q_24.7: KRI II, 874.2, 6, 14; Q_24.10: KRI II, 875.5; Q_24.11: KRI II, 875.7;
Q_24.12: KRI II, 874.[3], [7], 10 (B); Q_24.13: KRI II, 367.9, 12; Q_24.15: KRI II, 367.15; Q_24.16:

Prestige, Role, and Performance


KRI II, 367.16; Q_24.17: KRI II, 375.14; Q_24.18; KRI II, 375.15; Q_24.19: KRI II, 375.16; Q_24.20:
KRI II, 368.12; Q_24.21: KRI II, 368.13; Q_24.22: KRI II, 368.14; Q_24.23: KRI II, 368.10; Q_24.26:
KRI II, 376.10; Q_24.27: KRI II, 376.11; Q_24.28: KRI II, 376.12; Q_24.29: BOVOT, Serviteurs
funraires, no. 99, 249 250; Q_24.30: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 100, 251 252; Q_24.31: BOVOT, op. cit.,
no. 101, 252 253; Q_24.32: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 102, 254 255; Q_24.33: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 103,
255 256; Q_24.34: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 104, 256 257; Q_24.35: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 105, 257 258;
Q_24.36: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 106, 258 259; Q_24.37: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 107, 260 261; Q_24.38:
BOVOT, op. cit., no. 108, 261 262; Q_24.39: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 109, 262 263; Q_24.40: BOVOT, op.
cit., no. 110, 263 264; Q_24.41: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 111, 264 265; Q_24.42: BOVOT, op. cit., no.
112, 266 267; Q_24.44: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 114, 268 269; Q_24.45: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 115,
269 270; Q_24.46: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 116, 270 271; Q_24.47: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 117, 272;
Q_24.48: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 118, 273 274; Q_24.49: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 119, 274 275; Q_24.50:
BOVOT, op. cit., no. 120, 275 276; Q_24.51: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 121, 276; Q_24.52: BOVOT, op. cit.,
no. 122, 277 278; Q_24.53: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 123, 279 280; Q_24.54: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 124,
280 281; Q_24.55: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 125, 281 282; Q_24.56: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 126, 282 283;
Q_24.57: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 127, 283 284; Q_24.58: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 128, 284 285; Q_24.59:
BOVOT, op. cit., no. 129, 285 286; Q_24.60: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 130, 286 287; Q_24.61: BOVOT, op.
cit., no. 131, 287 288; Q_24.62: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 132, 288 289; Q_24.63: BOVOT, op. cit., no.
133, 290 291; Q_24.64: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 134, 291 292; Q_24.65: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 135,
292 293; Q_24.66: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 136, 293 294; Q_24.67: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 137, 294 295;
Q_24.68: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 138, 296 297; Q_24.69: BOVOT, op. cit., no. 139, 297 298; Q_24.70:
BOVOT, op. cit., no. 140, 298 299; Q_24.71: KRI II, 875.14 876.1, 3 5, 7; Q_24.72: KRI II, 878.3, 7,
879.3; Q_24.74: KRI II, 881.12; Q_24.75: KRI II, 896.12, 897.2; Q_24.76: KRI II, 880.7, 11;
Q_24.77: GOMA, Chaemwese, 51, 81, no. 36; FISHER, Sons I, 276, pl. 138; II, 121, no. 4.97;
Q_24.78: KRI II, 879.7 8, 11, 14; Q_24.79: KRI II, 876.13, 15; Q_24.80: KRI II, 882.2, 4, 6;
Q_24.81: KRI II, 877.9; Q_24.82: KRI II, 877.3; Q_24.83: KRI II, 882.10; Q_24.85: KRI II, 883.4;
Q_24.88 90: KRI II, 493.16; Q_24.92: BM Stelae 10, pl. 22, no.1; Q_24.93: ROGGE, in: CAA Wien 6
(see note 33), 1990, 87; Q_24.94: KRI II, 884.2; Q_24.95: KRI II, 494.10; Q_24.96: KRI II, 872.11;
Q_24.97: KRI II, 884.9, 14; Q_24.98: KRI II, 885.1, 4, [5], 6; Q_24.99: KRI II, 886.15 887.5;
Q_24.100: KRI II, 887.10; Q_24.101: KRI II, 887.13; Q_24.102: KRI II, 888.3, 6, 7, 10 11;
Q_24.103: KRI II, 888.14 889.1, 3; Q_24.105: KRI II, 889.8, 13, 15, 16 890.7; Q_24.106: KRI II,
890.13, 15 891.2, 5; Q_24.117: KRI II, 377.10; Q_24.118: KRI II, 390.16, 391.[4]; Q_24.119: KRI II,
390.8; Q_24.120: KRI II, 392.7 10; Q_24.121: KRI II, 392.15; Q_24.122: KRI II, 891.12; Q_24.123:
KRI II, 385.[4]; Q_24.124: GOMA, Chaemwese, 89, no. 77, 130, fig. 30b; FISHER, Sons I, pl. 89A; II,
95, no. 4.17; Q_24.125: KRI II, 392.3 4; Q_24.126: KRI II, 854.13; Q_24.128: KRI II, 892.6;
Q_24.129: KRI II, 386.2 3; Q_24.134: KRI II, 862.9; Q_24.136: KRI II, 892.14 15; Q_24.137: KRI
II, 893.2 3; Q_24.139: KRI II, 897.16; Q_24.140: KRI II, 892.11; Q_24.141: KRI II, 893.6; Q_24.142:
KRI II, 855.7; Q_24.145: KRI II, 876.11; Q_24.147: GOMA, Chaemwese, 94 95, no. 102; FISHER,
Sons II, 137, no. 4.134; Q_24.148: KRI II, 898.16; Q_149: KRI II, 898.15; Q_24.150: GOMA,
Chaemwese, 95, no. 105; FISHER, Sons II, 104, no. 4.43; Q_24.151: GOMA, Chaemwese, 95, no.
105.; Q_24.152: GOMA, Chaemwese, 95, no. 105; Q_24.153: KRI II, 898.4 5; Q_24.154: BARBOTIN,
Linscription ddicatoire de Khemouaset, 32; Q_24.155: KRI II, 898.9, 12; Q_24.158: KRI II,
897.5 6; Q_24.160: GOMA, Chaemwese, 96, no. 114; ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire, 201 203;
Q_24.161: GOMA, Chaemwese, 96, no. 115; J.-F. AUBERT /L. AUBERT, Statuettes gyptiennes:
Chaouabtis, Ouchebtis, Paris 1974, 86, fig. 30; Q_24.164: KRI II, 893.9, 13 15; Q_24.165: GOMA,
Chaemwese, 97, no. 120; FISHER, Sons II, 140, no. 4.141; Q_24.166: KRI II, 898.4 5; Q_24.168:
FISHER, Sons II, 142, no. 4.146; Q_24.169: KRI II, 898.12 13; Q_24.172: KRI IV, 292.11, 293.2;
Q_24.173: KRI II, 886.7; Q_24.174: ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire, 203 205, NE 59; Q_24.176:
M. IBRAHIM ALY, A propos du prince Khemwaset et sa mre Isetnefret. Nouveaux documents
provenant de Srapum, in: MDAIK 49, 1993, 97 98, no. 1, pl. 20 21; FISHER, Sons II, 111, no. 4.65.;
Q_24.185: YOSHIMURA/TAKAMIYA, A monument of Khaemwaset, 20; FISHER, Sons II, 105, no. 4.47;
Q_24.186: YOSHIMURA/TAKAMIYA, op. cit., 22; FISHER, Sons II, 105, no. 4.48; Q_ 24.188:


Christine Raedler

The title Sem-priest in the horizon of eternity (sm m Ax.t nHH), one of the titles held
by the High Priest of Ra at Heliopolis and Kings Son Meriatum is quite different.37
On a tomb relief from Saqqara in Paris,38 the superintendent of the harem Hormin
expresses the special wish to be embalmed by Anubis himself, and to enjoy Isiss milk and
The Opening of the mouth will be a pleasure for the Ka(-soul) with every beautiful thing, in the
event that the Sem-priest performs it and the High Priest of Memphis elevates your Ba(-soul) (sm
Hr jr.t wp.t-rA wr xrp Hmw.w Hr soAj kA=k).

The haunch may be cut off for the Ba when it is deified at the necropolis:
Your corpse shall be ennobled as an eternal body and your soul, it shall enjoy provisions in the
place of Wenennefer, for whom Anubis did the embalming, and Isis shall provide her milk for
you. The Opening of the mouth will be rejoicing for your spirit in every beautiful place (when)
the Sem-priest performs the Opening of the mouth and the Great Director of craftsmen exalts
your spirit. The haunch shall be cut up for (the benefit of) your soul, when it becomes divine in
the Necropolis, when Wenennefer is loved and exalted in the presence of Ra.



YOSHIMURA/TAKAMIYA/KASHIWAGI, Waseda University Excavations at Saqqara, 19, fig. 9, no. 22;

FISHER, Sons II, 105 106, no. 4.50; Q_24.191: J. LECLANT / G. CLRC, Fouilles et travaux en Egypte et
au Soudan. 1995-1996, in: Or 66, 1997, 255, fig. 14 15; FISHER, Sons II, 104, no. 4.42.; Q_24.192:
KRI II, 892.3; Q_24.193:; Q_24.194: http://; Hori (Q_13.4: KRI IV, 292.9, 293.2); mentioned
by Hormin (Q_125.1: KRI I, 309.16).
s(t)m (nj) PtH: Nebnetjeru-Tjeli in Paser (Q_4.1: KRI I, 287.5. He is moreover sm m Hw.t-PtH: Q_4.1:
KRI I, 295.16); Q_4.29: KRI III, 21.13 and 34.3; Q_4.33: KRI III, 14.16 15.3; Q_4.36: KRI III, 13.13;
Q_4.44: KRI III, 33.[11]; Q_4.98: J.-L. BOVOT, Chaouabtis, Paris 2003, 37 38, 84, no. 85. More s(t)m
(nj) PtH are: (Pa-)Rahotep (Q_5.24: KRI III, 54.12); Neferrenpet (Q_7.1: KRI III, 47.8; Q_7.2: KRI III,
47.11; Q_7.4: KRI III, 48.15 49.3; Q_7.9: KRI III, 51.9; Q_7.10: KRI III, 51.12; Q_7.11: KRI III,
51.14; Q_7.23: MARTIN, Corpus of reliefs (see note 33), 32, no. 78, pl. 27; Q_7.28: KRI VI, 78.10, 14);
Khaemwaset (Q_24.74: KRI II, 881.4 5, 10, 14, 16; Q_24.86: KRI II, 493.15; Q_24.91: KRI II,
897.13; Q_24.99: KRI II, 886.13; Q_24.102: KRI II, 888.4; Q_24.107: A.B. WIESE /M. P AGE -GASSER
(eds.), gypten Augenblicke der Ewigkeit. Unbekannte Schtze aus Schweizer Privatbesitz, Mainz
1997, 180 181, no. 114; Q_24.116: KRI II, 393.16 394.2; Q_24.143: KRI II, 894.12; Q_24.144: KRI
II, 811.9; Q_24.146: GOMAA, Chaemwese, 94, no. 101; FISHER, Sons II, 137, no. 4.133; Q_24.157:
KRI II, 854.5; Q_24.160: GOMAA, Chaemwese, 96, no. 114; ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire,
201 203; FISHER, Sons II, 136 137, no. 4.131; Q_24.167: KRI II, 898.7; Q_24.169: KRI II, 898.13;
Q_24.182: M. IBRAHIM ALY, in: MDAIK 49, 1993, 99, no. 7, pl. 23b; FISHER, Sons II, 113, no. 4.71;
Q_24.189: YOSHIMURA/TAKAMIYA/KASHIWAGI, Waseda University Excavations at Saqqara, 22, 24,
26, pl. 3, no. 1 2; FISHER, Sons II, 106, no. 4.51).
See note 6.
Statue in Berlin, SMBSPK, gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, 7347 (Q_29.2); references:
IB II, 49. For Meriatum see RAUE, Heliopolis, 202 205.
Louvre, C 213; cf. PM III2.2, 664; HOFMANN, Bilder im Wandel, 102 104, fig. 125.
BARTA, Opferformel, 158 with note 3; KRI I, 309.4 16; RITA I, 251 252; RITANC I, 206 208:
Sps(3)s XA.t=k mj XA.t nHH Hmsj bA=k xnm=f DfA m s.t nj Wnn-nfr jrj n=f Jnpw wt n=f nxf n=k As.t
jrT.t=s wp.t-rA Hr Haa.w (4) n kA=k m bw nfr nb sm Hr jr.t wp.t-rA wr xrp Hmw.w Hr soAj kA=k rxs xpS jHw
n bA=k nTrj.t m Xr.t-nTr jw mrr.wt Wnn-nfr m-bAH Ra.

Prestige, Role, and Performance


Thus the aspect expressed by the Sem (sm) seems to be responsible for the Opening of the
mouth and the aspect of the wr xrp Hmw.w covers the transfiguration of the deceased to an
Akh-spirit (Ax).


Jwn-mw.t=f (Pillar of his Mother)

Occasionally, the role of the Iunmutef-priest is connected to the functions of the High Priest
of Memphis. The god Iunmutef is generally associated with Horus as the son of Osiris.40
Amongst the gods he performs for Osiris equivalent duties to those the Sem-priest performs
in the cult of the dead. Khaemwaset bears the title of a Iunmutef-priest several times twice
in the combination as Horus-Iunmutef.41 Pahemnetjer compares himself with the god
Iunmutef as depicted on his statue:
Who has access to his lord through his wisdom, love for him abiding in the kings palace, chief of
secrets in the chapels, who sees the secrets of all the gods. Uniquely excellent, articulate, the
(very) image of Iunmutef is he. The [Sem-priest Pahemnetjer], justified.

The frequent collocation of the titles Sem-priest and Iunmutef establishes a clear association
between the titles and functions.


Other Titles

The title Controller of all kilts (xrp SnD.wt nb.wt) or as an alternative with iconography
indicating leopard skins43 instead is attested for Khaemwaset, (Pa-)Rahotep, Neferrenpet and Hori. However, this seems not to be a specific title used only by the High Priests

40 See RUMMEL, Pfeiler seiner Mutter (supra note 3).

41 Jwn-mw.t=f: Q_24.2: KRI II, 872.1; Q_24.27: KRI II, 376.11; Q_24.72: KRI II, 878.5; Q_24.74: KRI
II, 881.4, 5; Q_24.76: KRI II, 880.7, 11; Q_24.80: KRI II, 882.2; Q_24.85: KRI II, 883.4; Q_24.93:
ROGGE, in: CAA Wien 6 (supra note 33), 1990, 87; Q_24.101: KRI II, 887.14; Q_24.102: KRI II, 888.
6, 7, 9, 11; Q_24.126: KRI II:854.13; Q_24.137: KRI II, 893.3; Q_24.139: KRI II, 897.16; Q_24.142:
KRI II, 855.7; Q_24.145: KRI II, 876.11; Q_24.154: BARBOTIN, Linscription ddicatoire de
Khemouaset, 32; Q_24.160: GOMA, Chaemwese, 96, no. 114; ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire,
201 203.
@r-Jwn-mw.t=f: stela, Brussels, Muses Royaux dArts et dHistoire, E 6721 (Q_24.141); references:
GOMA, Chaemwese, 93, no. 95, 133b; W. SEIPEL (ed.), Gott Mensch Pharao. Viertausend Jahre
Menschenbild in der Skulptur des Alten gypten, Wien 1992, 293 295, no. 110; FISHER, Sons II, 113
114, no. 4.73; A. DE CALUWE, in: Egyptian Treasures in Europe, Bd. 2: Brussels, Utrecht 2000 (CDROM); KRI II, 893.5-6; RITA II, 581; tomb relief from Saqqara (Q_24.187): YOSHIMURA/TAKAMIYA,
A monument of Khaemwaset, 22; FISHER, Sons II, 105, no. 4.49.
42 Naos stela, Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JE 89046, cf. PM III2.2, 709: ao(.w) Hr nb=f m sAr.t=f mrr.wt=f m pr-nswt Hrj-sStA m rA.w-pr.w mAA StA.w nTr.w nb.w waj.w jor stp mdw tjt Jwn-mw.t=f pw [sm PAHm-nTr] mAa-xrw (Q_18.10).
43 FISHER, Sons I, 100.


Christine Raedler

of Memphis moreover Paser, Vizier of the South and later High Priest of Amun is entitled
xrp SnD.wt nb.wt.44
In order to specify the high rank of the social elite, the old ranking titles Noble and
Count, Seal-bearer of the King and Sole Companion jrj-pa.t, and of the Old and Middle Kingdoms are still used.

The Social Background of the High Priests of Memphis

The High Priests of Memphis of the early Ramesside period belonged to the most distinguished families of their age. For example, the Vizier (Pa-)Rahotep is the son of the High
Priest of Ptah at Memphis, Pahemnetjer. (Pa-)Rahotep proudly states his origins in the
priesthood of Memphis in his autobiography:
My lord appointed me as Vizier, as one whom the temple of Ptah has raised. I became supreme
executive (in) the Two Lands, who judged the land for the king.

(Pa-)Rahoteps family is well represented across the spectrum with many diverse high
posts. The family is also bound through marriage with the family of the High Priest of
Amun Parennefer/Wenennefer and his son, the Chef of Medjayu (wr nj mDAj.w) Ameneminet.46
His predecessor, Khaemwaset, was the fourth son of Ramesses II. An inscription at the
Serapaeum, the burial place of the Apis bulls, indicates that he was appointed by his father
to the cult of Ptah early in life:
The Osiris, Sem-priest and Kings Son Khaemwaset, he says: I am a courageous heir, an attentive protector, efficient of mind in the affairs of Thoth, confident of [the perfect god?] beloved [of
him, chosen by him] while still a child, lifted by the living Apis in the presence of Ptah, elevated
to the dignity as his Iunmutef-priest while he was an excellent youth (...)

His son Hori sustained the presence of the lineage in the priesthood of Ptah; his grandsons
are the Vizier Hori, the Wab-priest and Lector-priest of Ptah Werherephemu and the Priest
44 Paser (Q_4.3: KRI III, 10.[4]; Q_4.32: KRI VII, 408.2; Q_4.43: LAPIS/ MATE, Drevne egipetskaya
skulptura (supra note 34), 82 83, no. 77); (Pa-)Rahotep (Q_5.24: KRI III, 54.12); Neferrenpet (Q_7.5:
KRI III, 50.3); Hori (Q_13.5: IB II, 361 362); Khaemwaset (Q_24.71: KRI II, 876.4, 7; Q_24.74:
KRI II, 881.12; Q_24.82: KRI II, 877.3).
45 Block statue, Boston, MFA, 031891 (Q_5.3): KRI III, 64.5 6; RITA III, 44:
(1) Dj.n wj nb=j r
(2) m sxpr.n (3) Hw.t-PtH (4) m rA Hrj tA.wj wpj tA n nswt. See RAUE, Wesir, 341, no. 3.
46 RAEDLER, Hofgesellschaft Ramses II., 3987, particularly 80 (family tree).
47 Q_24.72: (1) Wsjr sm sA-nswt #aj-m-WAs.t Dd=f jnk jwa onj rs-tp jor sAr(.t) Hr-jb jr.wt=f +Hwtj
jmj-jb [nj nTr-nfr?] mrr[.wt=f stp n=f] (2) tj sw m xnw soA r n @pj anx m-bAH PtH swr m jaH=f n Jwnmw.t=f tj s(w) m rnp jor (); references: PM III2.2, 819; H. BRUGSCH, Thesaurus, V, 1891, 957958;
HELCK, Materialien, 144; GOMA, Chaemwese, 43 44, 80, no. 31, 110 111, fig. 10 11; K.A.
KITCHEN, Pharaoh Triumphant, Warminster 1985, 105 106; MAYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah,
312 314; FISHER, Sons I, 103; IDEM, Sons II, 114, no. 4.74; KRI II, 878.3 879.3; RITA II, 569 570;

Prestige, Role, and Performance


of Baal Kama. Except for the Vizier Hori, his sons and grandsons served as priests in different cultic offices. Therefore, it seems to have become a family tradition to aspire to the
position of a High Priest of Memphis.48
Compared with this family, the origins of the family of the Vizier Neferrenpet remain
obscure. His father is only mentioned once as a noble (sAb) and bears no specific title.49
The testimony of monuments like the Daressy fragment50 and the Berliner Ahnentafel51
must be set alongside the fictitious claims of Pahemnetjer, son of Mahu, to have been a
member of the family of Khaemwaset and Hori. Together, these stress the high prestige of
this particular position.
Neferrenpets naos stela in Berlin shows him proudly wearing the costume of the
Vizier, together with the leopard skin and the curled sidelock of the Sem-priest and the High
Priest of Ptah.52

Social Ranking at the Court of the High Priests of Memphis

Because the king dominates highest social resources such as power, honour and prosperity each step of the cursus honorum of an official depends on royal favour (Hs.wt nswt)
which is the ruling element of court society.53
Gaining the kings love (mr.wt nswt) and favour (Hs.wt nswt) is the frequently
expressed wish of officials on their monuments along with life, prosperity and health.
Thus, the Vizier and later High Priest of Ptah Neferrenpet hopes to earn
an offering which the king gives, (to) Hathor, Mistress of the West, Lady of Heaven, Mistress of
the Two Lands, that she may give life, prosperity and health, (kings) favour and love.

And further, on another monument,55 he states:

48 For similar evidence as early as the 18th Dynasty see B. GESSLER-LHR, The Tomb of the Gods Father
Hatiay at Saqqara, in: Enduring is the Perfection, Proceedings of the International Conference held at
Macquarie University of Sydney on August 14 15, 2008 (in press).
49 RAEDLER, Wesire, 308, 396.
50 See note 5.
51 See note 12.
52 SMBSPK, gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, 2290 (Q_7.5); references: IB, II, 316 317;
KRI III, 49.9 50.5 (5); RITA III, 33 34; RAEDLER, Wesire, 388 389.
53 RAEDLER, Rank and Favour, 141 149; H. GUKSCH, Knigsdienst, Studien zur Archologie und
Geschichte Altgyptens 11, Heidelberg 1994.
54 London, BM, EA 108 (Q_7.4); see BM Stelae 9, 17 18, pl. 13, 13A; KRI III, 49.4: Htp-dj-nswt <n>
@w.t-@r Hnw.t jmnt.t nb.t p.t Hnw.t tA.wj Dj=s anx wDA snb spd-Hr Hs.wt mr.wt n kA nj jmj-rA njw.t
55 Naos stela, Berlin, SMBSPK, gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, 2290, left side (Q_7.5):
KRI III, 49.16 50.1; RITA III, 34:
(1) r(D.t) jAw n nb nTr.w Jmn-Ra tA.wj Dj=f aHa nfr Xr
Hs.w(t) nj(.t) nswt (2) n kA nj jrj-pa.t jmj-rA Hm.w nTr (3) nj nTr.w nb.w ^maw MHw wr xrp Hmw.w
(4) nj PtH jmj-rA njwt Nfr-rnp.t mAa-xrw.


Christine Raedler

Give praise to the lord of the gods, Amun-Re, primordial one of the Two Lands, that he may give
a happy lifetime, enjoying the favour of the king, for the spirit of the Noble and Count, superintendent of prophets of all the gods of the South and North, High Priest of Ptah, city-governor and
Vizier, Neferrenpet.

Likewise, even Khaemwaset (on his sistrophorous statue from Sheikh Mubarak) prays to
Hathor to receive besides life, prosperity and health the favour and love (of the king),
too. 56
On his naos stela, obviously from his tomb at Saqqara,57 using virtually the same
terminology as that used by Khaemwaset cited above Pahemnetjer describes himself as
the Noble and Count, revered one, enduring (in) the (kings) favour,58 the kings Sole
Companion who is loved, uniquely excellent, truly beloved of his Lord59 and as the one,
who has access to his Lord, through his wisdom, love for him abiding in the kings
palace.60 Finally, he promises following generations that the king of your day will
favour you if they assure him offerings by reading his name aloud.61

The Role of the High Priests of Memphis as Mediators for Subordinates

The High Priests of Ptah were responsible for the temple of Ptah and its staff, but also for
the cult of the Apis bull, maintaining the living bull and burying the dead bulls in the
Serapaeum. Their involvement in this activity is documented by the Apis bull burial of year
16 of Ramesses II, accomplished by the High Priest Hui, and the burial of year 30, when
Khaemwaset officiated. Many extrasepulcral shabtis of both priests and some carefully
selected relatives, colleagues and subordinates such as the Kings Son Ramesses, the
Vizier Paser and the scribe Ramose were deposited in the burial-chambers of the
Serapaeum aiming to profiting from the dead Apis as a mediator with the gods. This is
because the Apis bull symbolised fertility and was seen as the earthly manifestation of Ptah,
mediating between god and man.62
On the above mentioned naos stela, the High Priest of Ptah Pahemnetjer left the
following appeal to the living:

56 Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JE 66754 (Q_24.102); references: KRI II, 888.1 12; RITA II, 577.
57 Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JE 89046 (Q_18.10); references: PM III2.2, 709; J. LECLANT, Fouilles en
gypte 19181950, in: Or 19, 1950, 492, pl. 55; G.A. GABALLA, Two Dignitaries of the XIXth
Dynasty, in: MDAIK 30, 1974, 21 24, pl. 2: b c; KRI III, 411.6 412.3; RITA III, 297 298.
58 Frame, right: jrj-pa.t jmAx.w Ddj(.w) Hs.wt (nswt) ().
59 Frame, left: () smr [] n(tj?) mrr.wt waj.w jor mrj(.w) mAa nb=f ().
60 Right side: ao(.w) Hr nb=f m sAr.t=f mrr.wt=f m pr-nswt ().
61 Ibid: Hsj.w nswt Tn nhA.w=Tn Htp(.w)=Tn Hr js.wt=Tn m &A-Dsr mj Dd(.w)=Tn Htp[-dj-nswt] xA m t Hno.t
jH.w pAo mnx.t ms[dm.t] jx.t nb.t nfr.t wab.t anx.t nTr jm=sn Dj(.w)=Tn n=j snTr Hr sD.t.
62 GOMA, Chaemwese, 39; H.D. SCHNEIDER, Shabtis I, Leiden 1977, 287; FISHER, Sons I, 104; BOVOT,
Serviteurs funraires.

Prestige, Role, and Performance


O (you) High Priests of Memphis, Sem-priests, Gods fathers, Chief Wab-priests, and Lectorpriests in the temples, every scribe of the sacred book(s), the living who are upon earth, (and) all
who will come [...] may the king favour you in your time, may you rest in your tomb(s) in the
Necropolis, according as you say, A boon [which the king gives]: a thousand (each of) loaves
of bread, jars of beer, oxen and fowl, linen and alabaster vessels, eye-paint [...] and all good and
pure things where from a god may live, give ye to me in[cen]se upon the flame [...], pronounce
my name, while acting for me [...].

In return for an offering, the royal favourite promises to act as a mediator between the visitors and the gods, and thus to convey royal favour to others a phenomenon which can be
found among many members of the court society in the early Ramesside period.
On a stela from his Ka-chapel in Saqqara (Pa-)Rahotep addresses the priests with the
following wish:
O all (you) lector-priests and mourners of the living Apis, the herald of Ptah, may you pay attention every time you come to the tomb of Apis, to the Mansion of Eternity to the city-governor
and Vizier, Rahotep, to perform censing and libation, say: For your spirit, for your name, O
Vizier Rahotep! (so) shall you say daily.

Sometimes the favour of the High Priest of Memphis was so extraordinarily high that he
was able to have his own favourites. In the case of the Seal-bearer of the god and Gods
father Ti (sDA.wtj-nTr jtj-nTr), it is Khaemwaset who sponsored the burial equipment for his
servant, as is shown on Tis canopic jars. 65 They are inscribed as gifts by Khaemwaset with
given with favour Dj.w m Hs.wt66 a formula which is not ordinarily used by anyone
except by the king.67
Many of the sons of Ramesses II were officials serving the king in different roles as
generals, marshals, and various High Priests. Obviously they must be counted among the
highest members of court society. Significantly, however, like many other members of the
elite, they specify their education: for example, we note that the kings own sons bear both
the title Kings scribe (sS-nswt) and two of them to my knowledge Royal nursling
(sDtj nswt).68 Like the other members of the elite, they are able to exploit their own specific
proximity to the king and his favour as mediators for their own clients. Khaemwasets
role among the royal offspring is particularly striking as he was a legitimate royal son,

63 GABALLA, in: MDAIK 30, 1974, 23 24.

64 Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JE 48845: PM III2.2, 665; KRI III, 55.1 3; RITA III, 37: j Xrj-Hb nb Tzw nj
@pj anx wHm.w PtH jx rDj=Tn Hr(.w)=Tn Tnw jwj=Tn pA xr nj @pj r Hw.t-nHH nj jmj-rA njw.t Ra-Htp r
jr.t sn-nTr Hz r Dd n kA=k n rn=k Ra-Htp xr=Tn ra-nb.
65 Three canopic jars in Paris, Louvre, N.493 (Hapi, Amset, Qebechsenuef): S. S AUNERON, Le
Chancelier du dieu dans son double rle dembaumeur et de prtre dAbydos, in: BIFAO 51, 1952,
149, no. 14; GOMAA, Chaemwese, 59, 96, no. 111; FISHER, Sons II, 135, no. 4.129; BARBOTIN,
Linscription ddicatoire de Khemouaset, 39, note 89; KRI II, 897.5 8; RITA II, 584.
66 (...) Dj.w m Hs.wt nj.t sm sA-nswt #aj-m-WAs.t n sDA.wtj-nTr jtj-nTr &jj m-x.t r Dj=f r pr-nfr n aA.w n
Hs.wt=f wr.t.
67 RAEDLER, Rank and Favour, 141 149.
68 Seti: statue Cairo, Egyptian Museum, TN 16/2/25/8: KRI II, 900.11; Meriatum: statue Berlin, SMB
SPK, gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, 7347: KRI II, 907.4 (Q_29.2).


Christine Raedler

brought forth from the divine seed, coming forth from the victorious bull,69 and in
anticipation of his possible inheritance of the throne he was also distributing royal favour.
Yet in terms of the titles he chose to bear, and in his role as one of many high officials
distributing patronage, his behaviour was quite in accord with that of other members of the
highest court society.
Aiming to use the High Priest of Memphis as a mediator, some of his favourites were
seemingly allowed to erect their own monuments in the immediate proximity of the High
Priests monuments. For example, the naophorous statue of Ramessesemperamen, 70
Steward of the treasury of his Lord (jmj-rA pr-HD nj nb=f), was erected beside a statue of
the same type by his mediator Khaemwaset,71 at the entrance of the Serapaeum the burial
place of the Apis bulls. Some selected favourites were even allowed to add inscriptions
directly to the High Priests monuments. A tomb relief of Pahemnetjer in Stockholm shows
two of his subordinates, only one of whom is mentioned by name, Ptahemheb, the Master of
Ptahs altar (Hrj XA.wt nj PtH).72
This shows the undoubted advantages of a close personal relationship between master
and subordinate.

Summary and Conclusion

We can identify 10 individuals as early Ramesside High Priests of Ptah at Memphis:

Meriptah, Dedia, Sokaremsaef, Netjeruihetep, Pahemnetjer I, Hui, Khaemwaset, (Pa-)
Rahotep, Neferrenpet and Hori. During this period only one High Priest called Pahemnetjer
held office; he is the father of the Vizier (Pa-)Rahotep. Another Pahemnetjer son of Mahu
served as High Priest of Memphis at the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th
The High Priests of Memphis mostly belonged to the highest families of the early
Ramesside period including Viziers such as (Pa-)Rahotep and Neferrenpet, and members
of the kings family like Khaemwaset and Hori. They proudly proclaim their membership of
the traditional priesthood of Ptah. In two cases (Pa-)Rahotep and Hori the office of the
HPM is held by children of former High Priests of Memphis.
Officially, they had administrative and religious duties in the temple, the workshops
and the Serapaeum. Socially, the office of the High Priests of Ptah was inherently a very
69 mw nTrj prj m kA-nxt: Q_24.130 131.
70 Naophorous of Ramsesemperimen (Q_24.75). References: PM III2.2, 817; . DRIOTON, Deux statues
naophores consacres Apis, in: ASAE 41, 1942, 27 35, pl. 2; GOMA, Chaemwese, 46, 80 81, no.
34, 112, fig. 12b; FISHER, Sons II, 109 110, no. 4.63 (Isisnofret is not mentioned here, contra Fisher);
KRI II, 896.3 897.2; RITA II, 583.
71 Naophorous of Khaemwaset (Q_24.74). References: PM III2.2, 817; DRIOTON, in: ASAE 41, 1942,
21 27, pl. 1; GOMA, Chaemwese, 46, 80, no. 33, 112, fig. 12a; FISHER, Sons II, 110-111, no. 4.64;
KRI II, 881.2 16; RITA II, 572.
72 Medelhavsmuseet, MM 32014 (Q_18.16). References: PM III2.2, 709; PETERSON, in: Medelhavsmuseet Bulletin 5, Stockholm 1969, 8 10, fig. 4 5.

Prestige, Role, and Performance


high and very prestigious position, as is clear from our sources. As with all the other
members of court society, the social rank of the High Priests of Memphis depended upon
royal favour.
A complex system of titles and epithets describes their social rank and closeness to the
king features which distinguished them from lower levels of society.
Acting as mediators, they used their social rank as royal favourites to mediate individual requests for their subordinates and their own families to divine powers or to the king

Abbreviations generally in accordance with W. HELCK/W. WESTENDORF (eds.), Lexikon
der gyptologie (= L), vol. VII, 1989, pp. IXXXXVIII. In addition:
BARBOTIN, Linscription ddicatoire de Khemouaset: C. BARBOTIN, Linscription ddicatoire de Khemouaset au Srapum de Saqqara, in: RdE 52, 2001, 2940, pl. 512.
BOVOT, Serviteurs funraires: J.-L. BOVOT, Les serviteurs funraires royaux et princiers de
lAncienne gypte, Paris 2003.
FISHER, Sons: M.M. FISHER, The Sons of Ramesses II, III, UAT 53, 2001.
GESSLER-LHR, Meriptah: B. GESSLER-LHR, Reliefblock aus dem Grab des Hohenpriesters Meriptah, in: S. ALBERSMEIER, gyptische Kunst. Bestandskatalog Badisches
Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Mnchen 2007, 3236.
GOMA, Chaemwese: F. GOMA, Chaemwese. Sohn Ramses II. und Hoherpriester von
Memphis, A 27, 1973.
HOFMANN, Bilder im Wandel: E. HOFMANN, Bilder im Wandel. Die Kunst der
Ramessidischen Privatgrber, Theben 17, Mainz 2004.
KRI IVII: K.A. KITCHEN, Ramesside Inscriptions IVII, Oxford 19751989.
KSG: R. GUNDLACH/M. SCHADE-BUSCH/D. KREIKENBOM (eds.), Knigtum, Staat und Gesellschaft frher Hochkulturen, Wiesbaden 2004 ff.
MAYSTRE, Grand prtres de Ptah: C. MAYSTRE, Les grand prtres de Ptah de Memphis,
OBO 113, 1992.
RAEDLER, Hofgesellschaft Ramses II.: C. RAEDLER, Zur Struktur der Hofgesellschaft
Ramses II., in: R. GUNDLACH/A. KLUG (eds.), Der gyptische Hof des Neuen Reiches
Seine Gesellschaft und Kultur im Spannungsfeld zwischen Innen- und Auenpolitik.
Akten des internationalen Kolloquiums vom 27.29. Mai 2002 an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universitt Mainz, KSG 2, 2006, 3987.
RAEDLER, Rank and Favour: C. RAEDLER, Rank and Favour at the Early Ramesside Court,
in: R. GUNDLACH/J. TAYLOR (eds.), Egyptian Royal Residences, 4th Symposium on
Egyptian Royal Ideology, London, June, 1st5th 2004, KSG 4,1, 2009, 131151.


Christine Raedler

RAEDLER, Wesire: C. RAEDLER, Die Wesire Ramses II. Netzwerke der Macht, in: R.
GUNDLACH/A. KLUG (eds.), Untersuchungen zum gyptischen Knigtum im Spannungsfeld zwischen Innen- und Auenpolitik im 2. Jahrtausend v.Chr., KSG 1, Wiesbaden 2004, 277417.
RAUE, Heliopolis: D. RAUE, Heliopolis und das Haus des Re. Eine Prosopographie und ein
Toponym im Neuen Reich, ADAIK 16, 1999.
RITA, IIII: K.A. KITCHEN, Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated and Annotated: Translations, Vols. IIII, Oxford 19932000.
RITANC, IIII: K.A. KITCHEN, Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated and Annotated: Notes
and Comments, Vols. IIII, Oxford 19932000.
WILDUNG, L II: D. WILDUNG, in: L II, 1256 1263, s.v. Hoherpriester von Memphis.
monument of Khaemwaset at Saqqara, in: Egyptian Archaeology 5, London 1994, 19
YOSHIMURA/TAKAMIYA/KASHIWAGI, Waseda University Excavations at Saqqara: S.
YOSHIMURA/I. TAKAMIYA/H. KASHIWAGI et al., Waseda University Excavations at
Saqqara: A Preliminary Report on the Fourth Season, August-September 1995, in:
Ejiputogaku Kenky (Journal of Egyptian Studies) 5, Tokio 1997, 534.
ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire: C.M. ZIVIE, Giza au deuxime millnaire, BdE 70,