Tiye – The Nubian Queen of Egypt (ca. 1415-1340 B.C.)

Now it came to pass that in the 14th century B.C., a wise and beautiful woman from Nubia so captured the heart of the pharaoh, she changed the course of history.

Although often invaded for their gold, labor and cattle, and despite being a colonial dominion of Egypt, the Nubians were a proud black people who maintained a strong cultural and political identity for the best part of 5,000 years. So from an early age, Tiye was taught by her parents never to accept second-class status.

Apparently, she learned those lessons well, for the young Egyptian ruler, Amenhotep III, was so taken by her beauty, intellect and will, he defied his nation’s priests and custom by proclaiming this Nubian commoner his Great Royal Spouse. Thus, her future offspring (one of whom was to be the pharaoh Tutankamen) became full heirs to Egypt’s throne, with fully royal and divine inheritances.

Pharaoh Amenhotep III publicly expressed his love for his beautiful black queen in many ways, making her a celebrated and wealthy person in her own right. And he took her counsel in matters political and military much to heart.

As a final gesture of the great regard in which he held Tiye, Amenhotep declared that, as he had treated her in life, so should she be depicted in death…as his equal. And so the colossal sculpture ordered for their joint funerary temple thus portrays them, as a pair of majestic monarchs. Both proud, both noble, both serene.

©1984, Anheuser-Busch, Inc • St. Louis

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A rather flowery depiction, but not too far off the mark. Queen Tiye, IMO was the greatest Ancient Egyptian Queen of all.

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January 18, 2014 · 7:30 pm

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