A «Nameless» Official of the End of the XIX Dynasty and New Titles of «Great Chancellor» Bay

Safronov Alexander V.

In the first part of the article the author considers the figure of «Great Chancellor of the Entire Land» Bay, who became exeptionally influential under Pharaoh Siptah and even claimed that he had «established the king on the seat of his father». The author suggests that Bay could have been of Syrian origin. In that case his influence could be due to some kind of relationship with Pharaoh Siptah, who, in the author’s opinion, was son of Pharaoh Merneptah and his Syrian concubine ⁄oteraja. In the second part of the article the author examines a relief on pillar 16 of the temple of Horus of Buhen (according to R. Caminos) showing Pharaoh Siptah making offerings to the goddess Bastet. Behind Siptah there is a figure of an official holding a fan (Δw) in his hand. The official’s name is not preserved, but the combination of the titles «king’s messenger to Syria (Ô rw) and Nubia (K¡)» and «fan-bearer on the king’s right hand» was extremely rare under the XIX dynasty. An analysis of official’s titles under Siptah shows that neither was any «fan-bearer» «king’s messenger», nor did any «king’s messenger» bear the title of «fanbearer on the king’s right hand». The only official who is regularly depicted together with Siptah on his representations (Gebel es-Silsileh, Deir el-Bahri, Aswan) is «Great Chancellor» Bay. This gives the author grounds to suggest that the «nameless official» on pillar 16 of the temple in Buhen is none other than Bay. This makes it possible to add to the list of Bay’s titles two new ones, unknown before: «fan-bearer on the king’s right hand» and «king’s messenger to Syria and Nubia». The latter title falls in well with the letter RS 86.2230 from Ugarit, where Bay is called «chief of the bodygards of the king of Egypt». The fact that Bay was in direct touch with Ammurapi, the last Ugaritic king, allows the author to suppose that under Siptah he could have taken control of foreign affairs. The title of «chief of the bodygards» may give a clue to the question about the forces that supported Bay when he elevated Siptah to the throne of Egypt. In Ugaritic letter Bay was called as LU.GAL ERIN.ME⁄ Δu-rade4. The Ugaritic term Δrd refers to the warriors who served on the person of the king. This elite group of warriors included Shardana detachment. That is why the author suggests that the bodyguards who were headed by Bay could consist partly of the Sea Peoples.

Keywords: Ancient Egypt, «Great Chancellor of the Entire Land», reliefs, Sea Peoples