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Dr. Mariam F. Ayard's delightful treatise on the lives of five 'God's Wife of Amun' [Eg. hemet netjer en imen] accomplishes three things: a deligthful filling in of a confusing period in Egyptian history, where Egypt saw the rulership of three ethnic groups, Libyan, Nubian and Saite, to be followed by Persian rulership, within a span of 200 years; a much needed analysis of the Royal women (Queens, mothers, daughters & priestesses) in Egypt's aristocratic theocratic culture; and analysis of the royal ideology and propaganda of the ruling families during this very changing times in the Middle East.
Generally, reders here like to be given a reason for buying a book. This is usually accomplished by divulging juicy details of the book's content. Since one is able to peer inside, I need not do that. I merely wish to draw attention to its superb scholarship. It is in the high tradition of Lady Egyptologists who have come to fame so recently. Dr. Ayard is of the impeccable scholarship of Dr. Colleen Manassa of Yale University, even though her focus is more limiting in scope. Any lady scholar working on women issues, feminist rights or gender issues of rulership must buy and read this book. It is expensive, but it is well worth its cost. It is the sort of book one reads two or three times, so as to garner and retain all of its insights.
Dr. Ayard has written a masterpiece! It has set a very high standard in meticulous scholarship. Furthermore, it fills a dreadful gap in our understanding of the Egyptian women of royal rank. It also sheds light on how the Ptolemaic Queens acquired their royal ideological titulatures to legitimate their rulerships.