By Henri Frankfort
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Additional info for Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion of Society and Nature
3 The dualistic forms of Egyptian kingship did not result from historical incidents. They embody the peculiarly Egyptian thought that a totality comprises opposites. edu KINGSHIP AND THE GODS 20 ceptions gave to his creation a compelling authority. A state dualistically conceived must have appeared to the Egyptians the manifestation of the order of creation in human society, not the product of a temporary constellation of power. It was in this respect that Menes' victory differed from any conquest which earlier kings, like Scorpion, had made.
It means the country, Egypt, with all that it contains. But it also means the fertile soil, and as such it is one with the creator Ptah-Ta-Tjenen. The "Risen Land" possesses, again, a multiple significance. * Ptah, the fruitful earth, is one with this hill-the starting-point of all that is, even of life itself. But the epithet alludes, at the same time, to the land which Menes had reclaimed from the marsh waters to build Memphis and the temple of Ptah; and it furthermore alludes to the "Great Land," the name of the province of This, which, as we shall see, possessed some significance for the new theology.
As an introduction to our study we shall, therefore, consider how the varying concepts of kingship were expressed in ancient Near Eastern art. edu INTRODUCTION 7 In Egypt, in the predynastic period, no kings or chieftains were depicted. On the Gebel el Arak knife handle (Fig. 1) we see a battle between two parties which are clearly distinguished by their hairdress and by the ships that brought them to the scene of action. Their conflict is depicted as a melee of equivalent figures. The contemporary Hunters' Palette shows two groups of men in the same manner.