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Psheren(ptah)

 

Psheren[ ptah ]1, daughter(?)2 of Pedubast3 by Berenice4, possibly born Mecheir year 19 of Cleopatra VII = February 335, probably died 21 Pharmouthi year 19 = 18 April 336, probably buried 30 Epeiph year 19 = 26 July 337.

[1] Not in PP. Gr: Psen[ptais]. Named only in stele BM 392, translated in E. A. E. Reymond, From the Records of a Priestly Family from Memphis 202ff. Reymond notes that the stele required special technical and photographic techniques to read it, together with the aid of an early 19th century transcription by Thomas Young. Even so, she regards the key section as only fragmentarily legible. J. Quaegebeur, CdE 49 (1974) 59, 69f. (22) regards the stele as essentially unreadable. However, D. Devauchelle, CdE 58 (1983) 135, 139 endorses the genealogical portion of Reymond's work on this stele.

Reymond does not specify why she chose the restoration Psheren[ptah] rather than, say, Psheren[amun]. Presumably it is because of the family's association with Ptah and Memphis, and the use of the name. Ý

[2] Stele BM 392. E. A. E. Reymond, From the Records of a Priestly Family from Memphis 204 translates lines 10 and 11 as: "It came to pass in regnal year 19 which makes year 4, second month of [.....] / she (i.e. Berenice) bore forth to him [......] daughter of Pedubastis, Psen[-Ptah(?) ......] in regnal year 19 which makes year 4, the 21st of Epeph" (sic -- see below). The length of the lacunae are not indicated. On page 53, she states that the occurrence of the name suggests that Pedubast and Berenice had a son of this name, and that the context suggests that they had twins.

It would appear that Reymond's theory is that the original text named a daughter followed by a son, Psheren[ptah], apparently on the assumption that the name "Psherenptah" must indicate a male, perhaps also noting that it is the name of both Berenice's father and Pedubast's maternal grandfather. But Egyptian names were not normally gender-specific, whereas it would be unusual to name a twin daughter ahead of her brother. For this reason I prefer to understand the passage as indicating that Berenice gave birth to a daughter Psheren[ptah]. Ý

[3] Stele BM 392. Ý

[4] Stele BM 392. Ý

[5] Stele BM 392; see above. D. Devauchelle, CdE 58 (1983) 135, 140 notes that E. A. E. Reymond, From the Records of a Priestly Family from Memphis 202ff consistently assigns Smw months to Axt. It is unclear whether Devauchelle's judgement is based on Young's transcription or the logical inconsistencies of Reymond's chronology as published. In any case, the month names as given in the translation do not always match the transliteration. Thus, the date of birth in line 10 (second month of .... ) in line 11 is followed by a mention of 21st of IV prt (Pharmouthi) in the transcription, which Reymond translates as "21st of Epeph" (III Smw). This is then followed by a mention of embalment and the mortuary in the "first month [season lost]", with the burial ceremony of her mother Berenice being dated to "30 Hathyr (III Axt)", recte 30 Epeph (III Smw). Berenice is said to have died in Tybi (= I prt), although the transliteration says "tpy Axt" = I Axt = Thoth; recte I Smw = Pachon.

The birth, therefore, happened either in II Axt (Phaophi) or II prt (Mecheir). Her mother died either 3 months or 7 months later. The causes of death are unknown, but it seems likely they are related, and therefore probably close in time. For this reason, I prefer to assign the birth to Mecheir rather than Phaophi. Ý

[6] Stele BM 392; on months in general in this stele see above. The date 21 Pharmouthi cannot be the birth date of Psheren[ptah], nor is it the death date of Berenice, which was a month later, in Pachon. Since it associated with embalment, I am here assigning it as the date of death of Psheren[ptah]. Ý

[7] Stele BM 392; on months in general in this stele see above. Ý

Update Notes:

27 March 2002: Created page
20 May 2002: Corrected Egyptian date equations as necessary

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