Takelot II

Takelot II

Pharaoh Infobox
Prenomen="Hedjkheperre Setepenre"
Nomen="Takelot"| Name=Takelot II
Predecessor=Osorkon II
Dynasty=Twenty-third dynasty of Egypt
Successor=Pedubast I
Spouse=Karomama Merymut II

Hedjkheperre Setepenre Takelot II Si-Ese was a pharaoh of the Twenty-Third Dynasty of Ancient Egypt in Middle and Upper Egypt (840 – 815 BC). He has been identified as the High Priest of Amun Takelot F, son of the High Priest of Amun Nimlot C at Thebes and, thus, the son of Nimlot C and grandson of king Osorkon II according to the latest academic research. [Karl Jansen-Winkeln, "Historische Probleme Der 3. Zwischenzeit," JEA 81(1995) p.129, 138] Most Egyptologists today including Aidan Dodson, [Aidan Dodson, "A new King Shoshenq confirmed?" GM 137(1993), p.58 ] Gerard Broekman, [Gerard Broekman, "The Reign of Takeloth II: a Controversial Matter," GM 205(2005), pp.21-33 [http://www.aegyptologie.uni-goettingen.de/GM/jahrgaenge/gm2005.htm 1] ] Jürgen von Beckerath, [Jürgen von Beckerath, "Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten," MÄS 46 (Philipp von Zabern, Mainz: 1997. p.94] M.A. Leahy and Karl Jansen-Winkeln also accept David Aston's hypothesis [David Aston (1989), "Takeloth II: A King of the Twenty Third Dynasty?," JEA 75, pp.139-153] that Shoshenq III was Osorkon II's actual successor at Tanis, rather than Takelot II. As Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton write in their comprehensive book on the Royal Families of Ancient Egypt:

Takelot II rather ruled a separate kingdom that embraced Middle and Upper Egypt, distinct from the Tanite Twenty-second Dynasty who only controlled Lower Egypt. Takelot F, the son and successor of the High Priest of Amun Nimlot C, served for a period of time under Osorkon II as a High Priest of Amun before he proclaimed himself as king Takelot II in the final three regnal years of Osorkon II. This situation is attested by the relief scenes on the walls of Temple J at Karnak which was dedicated by Takelot F – in his position as High Priest – to Osorkon II, who is depicted as the celebrant and king. [Aston (1989), p.147] All the documents which mention Takelot II Si-Ese and his son, Osorkon B, originate from either Middle or Upper Egypt (none from Lower Egypt) and a royal tomb at Tanis which named a king Hedjkheperre Setepenre Takelot along with a Year 9 stela from Bubastis are now recognised as belonging exclusively to Takelot I. While both Takelot I and II used the same prenomen, Takelot II added the epithet "Si-Ese" ("Son of Isis") to his royal titulary both to affiliate himself with Thebes and to distinguish his name from Takelot I.

The Crown Prince Osorkon

Takelot II controlled Middle and Upper Egypt during the final 3 Years of Osorkon II and the first 2 decades of Shoshenq III. The majority of Egyptologists today concede that king Osorkon III was the illustrious "Crown Prince and High Priest Osorkon B," son of Takelot II. A misunderstanding arose over his identity because in the Crown Prince's famous "Chronicle", which was carved on the Bubastite Portal at Karnak, Osorkon dates his actions by both the regnal years of Takelot II (years 11 through 24) —with a short year 25 left unmentioned — and then by those of the Tanite king, Shoshenq III (from regnal years 22 through 29). [Aston (1989), p. 143] While Kenneth Kitchen has interpreted this to mean that Shoshenq III succeeded Takelot II at Tanis, in fact Takelot II and Shoshenq III were likely close contemporaries because immediately after the death of his father in year 25 of Takelot II, Osorkon B started dating his activities to year 22, and not year 1, of Shoshenq III onwards. Consequently, there was never a two decade long break in Osorkon B's struggle to regain control of Thebes (from Year 1 to Year 22 of Sheshonq III) as Kitchen's chronology implies because year 25 of Takelot II is equivalent to year 22 of Sheshonq III. [Aston, (1989), pp.143 and 148-149] Osorkon B did not immediately ascend to his father's throne presumably because he was involved in a prolonged civil war with his rival Pedubast I and, later, Shoshenq VI, for control of Thebes. Instead, he merely dated his activities to the serving Dynasty 22 Pharaoh at Tanis: Shoshenq III. The Crown Prince Osorkon B was not outmaneuvered to the throne of Tanis by Shoshenq III because both men ruled over separate kingdoms with the 22nd Dynasty controlling Lower Egypt, and Takelot II/Osorkon B ruling over most of Upper Egypt from Herakleopolis Magna to Thebes, where they are monumentally attested. In 1983, a donation stela was discovered by Japanese excavators (Heian Museum 1983) at Tehna which reveals that Osorkon III was once a High Priest of Amun himself. This person can only be the well-known High Priest Osorkon B since no other Theban High Priests named Osorkon are known until the reign of Takelot III half a century later when the latter's son Osorkon F served in this office. [Kitchen, Kenneth (1996). "The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC)", 3rd edition (Warminster: Aris & Phillips), pp.565 & 581]

Theban Uprising and Conflict

In Year 11 of Takelot II, an insurrection began under Pedubast I whose followers challenged this king's authority at Thebes. Takelot reacted by dispatching his son, Osorkon B, to sail southwards to Thebes and quell the uprising. Osorkon B succeeded in retaining control of the city and then proclaimed himself as the new High Priest of Amun. Some of the rebel's bodies were deliberately burned by Osorkon to permanently deny their souls any hope of an afterlife. However, just four years later, in year 15 of Takelot II, a second major revolt broke out and this time Osorkon B's forces were expelled from Thebes by Pedubast I. This caused a prolonged period of turmoil and instability in Upper Egypt as a prolonged struggle broke out between the competing factions of Takelot II/Osorkon B and Pedubast I/Shoshenq VI for control of Thebes. This conflict would last for 27 long years – from Year 15 to Year 25 of Takelot II and then from Year 22 to Year 39 of Shoshenq III when Osorkon B finally defeated his enemies and conquered this great city. Osorkon B proclaimed himself as king Osorkon III sometime after his victory. On other matters, the Chronicle of Prince Osorkon B, which is carved on the Bubastis Portal at Karnak, records Osorkon's activities between regnal years 11 and 24 of his father and then from regnal years 22 through 29 of Shoshenq III. However, Takelot II's brief 25th year is attested by a donation stela made by his son in his position as High Priest at Thebes shortly before Takelot died. As of 2007 no tomb or final resting place has been found for Takelot.

Marriages and children

Takelot II married his sister and Great Royal Wife Karomama Merymut II; they were the parents of Osorkon B, the High Priest of Amun at Thebes who later became king Osorkon III.


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