Weni and Harkuf comparison

Weni and Harkuf comparison - Derek Ems 10/8/07 Weni vs....

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Derek Ems 10/8/07 Weni vs. Harkhuf Comparison The ancient autobiographies of Weni and Harkhuf are examples of text that enable us to view what the 6 th Dynasty was like socially and politically. Weni and Harkhuf were what we consider today as bureaucrats who were involved in various government activities such as trade, warfare, and the construction of the pyramids. Weni and Harkhuf were also governors of Upper Egypt. Weni had a fairly long career that covered the reigns of Teti, Pepi 1 st , and Mernere. Weni began his career as Custodian of the Storehouse but, held positions such as, Overseer of the Robing Room, Inspector of priests in the pyramid town, Senior Warden of Nekhen, and sole companion and overseer of the royal tenants. Weni was so trusted by the pharaoh that he was appointed to investigate a conspiracy in the Harem. He states that he was so worthy that no one else was needed in the investigation. Harkhuf worked during the reigns of Mernere and Pepi 2 nd . Throughout Harkhuf’s lifetime he held positions such as, The Count, Governor of Upper Egypt, Royal Seal-Bearer, Sole Companion, Lector-Priest, and Chief of Scouts. While he was Governor he led various expeditions to Nubia. These expeditions allowed Harkhuf to gain respect among the nobles and the Pharaoh back in Egypt. He returned from these expeditions bearing items such as incense, ebony, oils, panther skins, elephant’s-tusks, and throw sticks. In return for bringing these goods to Egypt, Mernere gave Harkhuf date wine, cake, bread, and beer. On one of his expeditions he returned with a dancing pygmy man. The king was greatly appreciative of these gifts from foreign lands and a thank you letter from the king takes up a significant portion of the inscriptions written inside Harkhuf’s tomb. During the 6 th Dynasty not much was known
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about the lands far to the south and lands that were distant to the Nile. The Nile was the key to life in this arid area and it made it difficult to travel to areas away from the Nile. Harkhuf was able to do this many times throughout his life and the fact that the king rewarded him so greatly for these pursuits show that it was an important contribution in ancient Egypt. The inscriptions in both tombs follow a similar format in which both men are identified by the positions they held throughout their life, prayers for things such as a good burial, and are then followed by the various accomplishments the men held while they were in government. Neither of these men started off as important government officials but rather worked their way up through various positions. This shows us that the Egyptians valued individual merit and allowed people to prove their worth. In many societies if you were born into a certain social caste you were not allowed to move into a different social caste. For example, if your parents
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2008 for the course HIST 130 taught by Professor Bryan during the Fall '07 term at Johns Hopkins.

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Weni and Harkuf comparison - Derek Ems 10/8/07 Weni vs....

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