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who causes his name to live


the vivification formula through the Second
Intermediate Period
M. G. Nelson-Hurst
University of Pennsylvania
D
avid P. Silverman has made significant contributions to a wide variety of subjects in
Egyptology. In his teaching, he has placed particular emphasis on the importance of ana-
lyzing formulaic expressions and their chronological changes, and on the interplay between art
and writing, including the position of text on individual objects. Thus, it is my hope that the
following analysis of the sanx rn.f formula, its textual position, and its changes over time will
be seen as a fitting tribute.
1
sanx rn.f
The phrase sanx rn.f who causes his name to live makes its earliest appearance in texts
from the First Intermediate Period, although it does not occur in significant numbers until the
Middle Kingdom. Its usage increases even further during the New Kingdom, only to decrease
dramatically after this period.
2
This article examines the 174 known examples of the sanx rn.f
formula from the earliest through the Second Intermediate Period.
3
In her book on building, dedication, and consecration inscriptions, Silke Grallert dedi-
cates three pages of commentary and a table of examples to jn PN sanx rn.f, its usage, and
its grammatical form. She calls the phrase the vivification formula (Belebungsformel) and
groups it under the heading of dedication inscriptions (Stiftungsinschriften), noting that its
use as a label and its syntax are the same as those of the dedication formula (Stiftungsformel).
Like the dedication formula (jn PN jrj n.f), the syntax of the sanx rn.f formula is that of jn
(sometimes omitted), followed by a filiation and/or personal name, an active participle, and
(in the case of sanx) rn.f/s/sn as the direct object of the participle.
4
As Grallert notes, the sanx
rn.f phrase appears most often on stelae from chapels and sanctuaries, such as the so-called
cenotaphs at Abydos, where the owners of stelae could take part in the divine procession that
was celebrated there.
5
However, the use of the formula was neither restricted to Abydos nor
to the medium of stelae. It also occurs on statues, shabtis, tomb walls, an offering table, and
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Ne l s o n- Hur s t
even on a private obelisk, from multiple locations during the Middle Kingdom and Second
Intermediate Period.
The vivification formula is structured in such a way as to emphasize the actor, or benefactor,
whose name or family relationship is mentioned at the beginning of the phrase, usually after jn,
but sometimes in initial position. The translation of this formula as an emphatic sentence also
emphasizes the actor (It is his son who causes his name to live, so-and-so).
6
The emphasis on
the benefactor (Stifter) in this formula is similar to the emphasis placed on the king in the royal
consecration formula (kniglichen Weiheformel).
7
Despite the fact that the literal translation of the vivification formula is easily discerned, the
manner of action that is understood as the means of vivifying a name remains open for debate.
Grallert states that the type of action and duration of that action remain unclear, with it possibly
being a one-time ritual or verbal act, a perpetual act carried out indefinitely by means of the
text, or the actual dedication of the object.
8
Although Grallert does not commit to a particular
action being related to causing ones name to live, the concept appears to fit best in the realm
of funerary cult practices. Ones name was considered part of ones being, just as was the body,
the ka, and so forth, and was closely associated with ones personality and lasting reputation.
9

Possessing and using ones name was essential for the afterlife,
10
and, therefore, perpetuating
a persons name helped assure that persons continued existence in the afterlife. In reference
to the fame one might achieve as a learned scribe, the New Kingdom text on pChester Beatty
IV, verso has another view on the importance of ones name, and extols the advantages of hav-
ing ones name spoken aloud. It compares the perpetuation of ones name through writings
with the crumbling and buried monuments of times gone by, which have been forgotten and
neglected.
11
One section states, surely useful in the graveyard is a name in peoples mouth!,
12

emphasizing, though for a different purpose, the importance of a persons name being said aloud
for continual life after death.
Keeping in mind Grallerts various possibilities, we turn to the question of what type of
action one carries out in order to cause a persons name to live. In the case of the dedication
note (Stiftungsvermerk), jr.n PN (+ additions), Grallert asserts that the texts position indicates
its referent (what the actor did or made). For example, if the notation is next to a man whos
shown praising a god, then this label indicates that praising is what the actor is doing, whereas
a notation at the bottom of a stela, separated from the main scene, would indicate that the
named individual actually commissioned and dedicated that stela to the beneficiary.
13
Although
Grallert does not apply this model to the vivification formula, it is a valuable form of analysis
to keep in mind when examining the placement and usage of sanx rn.f.
The vivification formula appears most often on stelae, largely in the same two locations as
the dedication note, next to an individual performing an action or at the bottom of the stela,
separated from the rest of the inscriptions. In addition, on many examples, the actor does not
appear at all and is only mentioned in the sanx rn.f sentence,
14
while other stelae depict the
benefactor, but he or she is not shown carrying out any discernable action. However, the most
common position of sanx rn.f up to the Second Intermediate Period is that directly following
the Htp dj nsw formula. In most of these cases, there is no separation and the text flows unin-
terrupted from the Htp dj nsw formula to sanx rn.f, implying that the sanx rn.f formula might
be referring back to the Htp dj nsw and indicating who is saying the offering prayer or making
physical offerings. In addition to the many examples in this position, several scenes show the
benefactor in a position of offering or recitation,
15
usually just below the Htp dj nsw, with the
sanx rn.f formula written above or around the actor as a sort of label. In some instances, the
Fig. 1: CG 20516
Fig. 2: Detail of CG 20516; the son wears his lector priest
sash while reciting the Htp dj nsw formula
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who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
actor is also explicitly labeled as saying or making a Htp dj nsw, for example, Dd.f n kA jt.f Htp dj
nsw on CG 20516 (figs.1 and 2) and jrt Htp dj nsw on CG 20059.
In cases where the vivification formula is written next to or around an individual shown fac-
ing the owner with one arm outstretched in a pose of offering or recitation, the actor sometimes
possesses the title of lector priest (Xrj-Hb) and wears the customary sash of that office,
16
and on
rare occasion an actor without the title of lector priest is shown wearing the sash. There are also
examples of the benefactor standing in a similar pose, holding out a food offering, though these are
significantly less common. As mentioned above, sometimes the named actors in the vivification
formula do not appear to be carrying out any particular action for the owner of the stela, but rather
are shown simply standing or sitting in various locations on the stela, though this is only in very
few instances. In addition, there are cases where the sanx rn.f formula appears to stand on its own,
not only in the bottom position that Grallert discusses, but also down the side or middle of a stela
scene or along the top of the stela, without an accompanying depiction of the benefactor.
Similar to Grallerts model for the dedication note, it seems probable that the uses of the sanx
rn.f formula following immediately after the Htp dj nsw, labeling a person who is also said to be
making a Htp dj nsw, or labeling a person shown in a position of verbal recitation is meant to
indicate that the action of the individual is one of reciting the offering formula for the owner.
108 out of 141 stelae display the sanx rn.f formula in one of these Htp dj nsw-related positions,
and 16 of 33 other objects (statues, statuettes, shabtis, offering tables, obelisks, coffins, and tomb
walls) contain a vivification formula directly following the Htp dj nsw. The majority of other
text positions can also be interpreted as relating to actions that center around the funerary cult
of the monument owner (offering goods, dedicating the monument, etc.).
Strengthening the argument for causing ones name to live being related to speech are two
unique uses of sanx rn.f - in Coffin Texts Spell 38 and on stela BM 562. CT 38 consists of
a dialog between father and son in which the son is attempting to convince his father that he
means him no harm or disturbance in the afterlife and that he has carried out his duties, acting
properly as a son. In one part of the sons argument, he lists things he has done for his father:
bringing up your orphans, strengthening your gate, perpetuating your name (sanx rn.k) upon
earth in the mouths of the living, and setting up your door and your tomb at your stairway.
17

The mention of the fathers name in the mouth of the living is strikingly similar to the line in
pChester Beatty, mentioned above, about the benefit in the necropolis of having ones name in
peoples mouths. The inscription on BM 562 shows the importance of speaking ones name in
a different manner, by expressing the owners desire for officials who pass by to speak and cause
his name to live: May the nobles who shall pass by speak, may they give me spirithood (Ax),
that I may live by the breath people give; reviving my name (sanx.sn rn.j) makes them gods in
a potent hereafter, and the ba is content when they make it remembered.
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Actors
With the majority of the vivification formulas uses relating to the maintenance of ones
funerary cult, it would stand to reason that the benefactor would be someone with an expected
role in this maintenance, in particular either a funerary priest or a son (or other heir) of the
monument owner.
19
Examples of a son as benefactor abound, with just over thirty-five percent
of all examples through the Second Intermediate Period featuring a son as the benefactor. It
is not surprising that some of these examples also name the son as an heir. For example, stela
Brooklyn 54.66,
20
which says immediately after the Htp dj nsw formula for jntf and his wife: jn
18
Ne l s o n- Hur s t
sA.f mry.f jwa.f jr Hzzt.f ra nb jntf ms n snttx sanx rn.f jr mnw.f It is his beloved son and heir
who does what he favors every day, Inyotef, born of Senettekh, who causes his name to live,
who makes his monuments .
21
On this one stela we get confirmation on multiple points
discussed above; it is a mans son and heir who causes his name to live (perhaps by reciting the
Htp dj nsw, which this sentence follows) and who builds monuments for him. In our corpus, six
examples of the actor being called an heir exist, primarily on stelae from the late Eleventh and
early Twelfth Dynasties. However, one example is from the reign of Amenemhat III on a statue
from the Heqaib sanctuary at Elephantine (Aswan 1115), and a possible Thirteenth Dynasty
example exists on a statue from Karnak (the transcription is uncertain), which was dedicated to
the father of the vizier Ankhu (CG 42034).
In addition to the use of the word jwa heir on Brooklyn 54.66, the son is also called mry.f
his beloved, which is associated with the role of the heir as well. Modeled on the relationship
of Osiris and Horus, the heir and funerary priest of his father is often labeled mry.f or given
the title of sem priest,
22
rather than being referred to as the eldest son.
23
While there are no
examples of a benefactor being labeled as a sem priest or Hm-kA, funerary priest, in our examples
of sanx rn.f, several actors are called mr(y).f/s/sn his/her/their beloved, emphasizing their role
in the funerary cult of the beneficiary. Nineteen sons are labeled as such, representing more
than ten percent of all actors in our corpus. The role of the son as his fathers funerary priest
had an underlying economic interest, serving to solidify the line of succession and the per-
petuation of the household from one generation to another. The father and son are mutually
dependent on each other because the son takes care of the funeral and continued mortuary cult
of his father, and in return he receives his inheritance.
24
Documents from later periods also
indicate that it was the heirs duty to take care of the funerary cult of his (or her) predecessor.
25

Similarly, J. P. Allen interprets the positioning of Pyramid Text Spell 247, which says jr.n n.k sA.k
Hrw Your son Horus has acted for you, in pyramid antechambers as referring to the funerary
rites carried out in PT spells in the connected sarcophagus chambers. These rites would have
been carried out for the king by his son or an officiant, playing the role of Horus acting for his
father, Osiris.
26

Although none of the actors in our corpus is labeled as a sem priest, many are shown with
the title of lector priest (Xrj-Hb). The fact that the benefactors are perpetuating the funerary
cult and taking on the role of an heir, even though many are called lector priests rather than
sem priests, argues in favor of the sanx rn.f formula being related to reciting funerary or offer-
ing texts, such as the Htp dj nsw, because it was the role of the lector (or literate) priest to read
aloud the appropriate formulae during funerary rituals, while the sem priests carried out other
(non-recitation) rituals.
27

Having discussed the connection between the benefactors and the traditional role of the
heir in ancient Egypt, the topic of who exactly acted as benefactors remains to be examined. As
already mentioned, we often find sons in such a position. The second most common relatives
among actors are brothers, making up approximately twenty-nine percent of the examples in
our corpus. Less frequently, we have examples of sisters, daughters, and individuals with no
stated filiation (possibly colleagues or relatives without relationship labels); extended family
members are even less common. Five percent of the examples have damage rendering them
illegible where the relationship is located in the text, and, therefore, cannot be included in the
discussion of actors and their relationships with the monument owners.
In a small number of cases (four), the owner of (or main figure on) the monument is said
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who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
to cause names to live. These examples state that the owner causes their names (rnw.sn) to live,
presumably referring to the multiple family members represented on the same object, with one
exception: Ashmolean E 3921,
29
on which the actor is depicted and mentioned multiple times
in different scenes as causing, in each case, the name of a different relative to live. Because of
the generalized nature of these examples where the owner causes their names to live, rather
than an individual with a specific relationship, they also will not be included in the discussion
of benefactors relationships.
Wider Patterns and Correlations with Social and Historical Changes
If one examines the remaining monuments by time period, a general pattern emerges.
Among the Eleventh and early Twelfth Dynasty examples, sons predominate as actors, compris-
ing seventy-five percent of examples from this time (fig. 3).
30
Grandsons, brothers, and one
owner acting for himself make up the remaining few examples from this period. When exam-
ined as a whole, the Twelfth Dynasty also features sons as the most common actors, but they
constitute only sixty-two percent; and, while all other relatives appear only in small numbers,
there is a wider variety of possible relatives, which now includes daughters, wives, and those
without a specified relationship (fig. 4). Moving into the late Twelfth and early Thirteenth
Dynasties, we find little has changed with the sons, who still claim fifty-two percent of examples.
Fig. 3: Distribution of Actors, Eleventh-Early Twelfth Dynasties (N=20)
20
Ne l s o n- Hur s t
However, the percentage of brothers as benefactors moves up to twenty-six, having comprised
eleven percent or less in previous periods (fig. 5).
The trend of moving away from sons and increasingly toward brothers continues into the
Thirteenth Dynasty (fig. 6). If we examine instances from the whole of that dynasty, we find
that now brothers outnumber sons, making up forty-two percent of actors, while sons constitute
only thirty percent. At the same time, we find a slight increase in sisters, daughters, and those
without specified relationships as actors during this dynasty. However, it is during the Second
Intermediate Period, that is, the late Thirteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties (the period from
which these objects originate may include other dynasties as well, depending on the chronol-
ogy to which one subscribes), that we see this trend come to its zenith. During this time, sons
have almost been eliminated from the picture, making up only six percent of examples, while
brothers decrease slightly to thirty-four percent (fig. 7). At the same time as these male relatives
decrease, sisters obtain substantial recognition as benefactors, constituting seventeen percent of
examples, while the remainder consists of those without a specified relationship and colleagues
(seventeen percent), extended family members (a small number of grandsons, great nephews,
and cousins), and one case of a father causing the name of his daughter to live. An interesting
development during these dynasties is the appearance of people labeled Xrd(t) as actors in the
sanx rn.f formula. While Xrd is generally interpreted to mean child,
31
Franke has argued that
its usage changes in the Thirteenth Dynasty to that of indicating a subordinate person in the
Fig. 4: Distribution of Actors, Twelfth Dynasty (N=44).
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who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
administration.
32
Therefore, the appearance of this category of actor should be interpreted as an
increase in work colleagues and other individuals without a family relationship.
The change over time in preference from children to siblings and the shift to a much greater
number of female actors raises the questions of why such a dramatic shift away from the tradi-
tionally ideal heir to other relatives occurred, and what significance the shift holds. The answers
to these questions likely lie in the social and historical changes that took place between the time
of the Eleventh Dynasty and that of the Seventeenth Dynasty.
Our first chronological division, the Eleventh to early Twelfth Dynasty is marked histori-
cally as a time of reunification, followed by a change in royal family and the eventual move to
a new capital city. It was also a time when great emphasis was placed on ones family history
in office or at a particular location, alongside the necessary acknowledgement of royal preroga-
tive, most famously exemplified in the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hasan.
33
However, at
the same time, there was a greater emphasis on children, rather than parents of the owner, in
tomb scenes and texts because the children would connect their parents to the future and the
sons were responsible for the funerary cult.
34
In other words, the father-to-son model of suc-
cession is emphasized on private monuments of this time, but specifically in the direction of
the would-be successor, with less attention paid to the predecessors. It is from this same time
that most of our examples on which benefactors are referred to as heirs originate. The higher
number of explicit mentions of heirs in the early Middle Kingdom texts might reflect a desire to
shore up the line of succession in a somewhat turbulent time of changing royal families. Since
Fig. 5: Distribution of Actors, Late Twelfth-Early Tirteenth Dynasties (N=27).
22
Ne l s o n- Hur s t
many of the objects in our corpus originate from the offering chapels at North Abydos, it may
also be significant that there was a restriction on who was permitted to erect monuments in
this area, which then loosened in the mid-to-late Twelfth Dynasty, so much so that boundary
stelae were erected around the processional way during the Thirteenth Dynasty to prevent the
chapel area from encroaching on this sacred land.
35
This loosening of decorum in the chapel
area of Abydos, as well as at the Heqaib sanctuary at Elephantine, where several of our sanx rn.f
examples also originate, corresponds to a greater shift in the material culture and socio-political
structure in Egypt in the mid-to-late Twelfth Dynasty.
36
Changes also took place in burial prac-
tices, including body position
37
and which items were included with the body of the deceased,
38

and in the structure and complexity of the administration and its increasingly detailed titles as
well.
39
Simultaneously, we start to see a shift in the preferred actors in sanx rn.f texts, with a
slight movement away from sons and towards brothers.
With the Thirteenth Dynasty, we see the first strong movement from sons to brothers and
other relatives in the sanx rn.f formula (figs. 8 and 9). This change does not correspond to any
discernible change in the administrative structure of the country.
40
However, the period from
the end of the Twelfth Dynasty through the Seventeenth Dynasty does feature an increase in the
use of kinship terminology and representations of family members on private monuments, such
as stelae. In addition to the increased use of kinship terms, more complex, compound relation-
ships, indicating extended family relationships, appear more often.
41
Whether these changes
reflect an amplified significance placed on the extended family or only an increase in specificity
of terms (extended family thus being represented before without clearly defined relationships),
the increased variety of family members represented certainly indicates the existence of greater
social and religious changes at this time.
42
Fig. 6: Distribution of Actors, Tirteenth Dynasty (N=50).
23
who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
The change that sets the Thirteenth Dynasty apart most clearly from the Twelfth is in royal
succession practices. While the Twelfth Dynasty is marked by a strong father-to-son succession
pattern in the kingship, the Thirteenth Dynasty succession remains debatable and somewhat
mysterious, with only one or two clear cases of father-to-son succession.
43
In a few cases, we
have examples of multiple brothers holding the office of king, one after another.
44
However, the
majority of Thirteenth Dynasty kings have no apparent relationship with each other.
Several theories about how kings were selected and why they appear in most cases to be
unrelated to one another have been suggested. For many years, the idea of the vizier holding the
real power in the country and the king being only a figurehead had popular support.
45
More
recently, Quirke has suggested that the approach of searching for what went awry during the
Thirteenth Dynasty, as Egyptologists have often done, is a useless practice because a strong line
of kings with a father-to-son succession for seven generations, such as the Twelfth Dynasty, is
likely the exception, rather than the rule.
46
In addition, he posits the idea of circulating suc-
cession being used at the royal court at least some of the time during the Thirteenth Dynasty.
47

In the circulating succession model, powerful families at court would have the opportunity to
have a family member installed as king, essentially taking turns with which family filled the
royal office, though not necessarily in any regular order. In this scheme, successive kings from
different families could be considered colleagues, since they came from somewhat equal social
status and likely held high offices at court before becoming kings, and perhaps were often at an
Fig. 7: Distribution of Actors, Second Intermediate Period (N=35).
24
Ne l s o n- Hur s t
advanced age by the time they were chosen as king.
48
C. Bennett has suggested that part of
the Thirteenth and most of the Seventeenth Dynasties followed a fratrilineal method of succes-
sion, that is brother-to-brother, uncle-to-nephew, and cousin-to-cousin succession, rather than
a patrilineal one.
49
In this type of system, the family, including women, likely played a central
role in deciding who would be the next king.
50
While the exact nature of succession within the Thirteenth Dynasty remains unknown,
several apparent features of the dynasty parallel the choices of actors in sanx rn.f phrases. The
most obvious of these parallels is the move away from a father-son model and the appearance of
succession from one brother to another, mirroring the decrease in sons and increase in brothers
as benefactors in our corpus. In addition, the large number of kings without a known family
relationship among them reminds one of the increase in the number of actors without a speci-
fied relationship in our examples. The lack of specificity leaves open the possibility of the actors
being colleagues of the monument owner.
The late Thirteenth to Seventeenth Dynasties continued in a similar manner, with an
increased emphasis on siblings and female relatives (fig. 10). This pattern is again similar to
that of the royal family at the time. If Bennett is correct in applying a fratrilineal model to the
Seventeenth and part of the Thirteenth Dynasties, it would parallel the situation in private texts,
such as the sanx rn.f formula, where brothers, sisters, and other female relatives predominate
during this period. During the Seventeenth Dynasty, there appears to be a greater role played
by women in the royal family, including the well known case of Ahhotep acting as regent for
Ahmose at the turn of the dynasty. This increasingly visible role of women in the royal family
could be due in part to a fratrilineal succession model, where the most prestigious women of the
family might have had substantial input in choosing kings successors or might have been the
family link between one king and another. Another possible reason for the increased empha-
sis on women is the need during war or other unstable time periods to have trustworthy and
competent adults at home to tend to ones affairs (whether royal or private) while the men are
away at battle. Leaving a young and inexperienced son or other male relative in charge would
be impractical and possibly disastrous. Warfare could also lead to an actual shortage of men in
the population, leaving few qualified to fill such roles.
In addition to paralleling each other in prominence of particular family relationships, the
areas of royal family and sanx rn.f actors overlap explicitly on a statue of Ahmose in the Louvre.
Fig. 8: Comparison of Sons, Brothers, and Sisters as Actors over Time.
25
who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
On it are five separate sanx rn.f sentences, three of which feature female relatives as the benefac-
tors. These three women are his sister, the kings eldest daughter, Ahmose, his sister, the kings
daughter, Ahmose-sheri, and the kings eldest daughter, she-that-cleaves-unto-the-fair-(white)-
crown, Ah-hotep. The other two of the five sanx rn.f phrases feature the perfect god, son of
Re Tao.
51
While this study does not cover the New Kingdom and later in depth, a brief survey of sanx
rn.f from these later periods shows a shift back to emphasizing sons during the New Kingdom
and later. Brothers and female relatives still appear, but significantly less often than in the late
Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period, especially after the Eighteenth Dynasty.
This change perhaps parallels the return to a primarily patrilineal system of succession, while
the persistence of some variety in actors of the Eighteenth Dynasty, particularly female actors,
might reflect the continued emphasis on royal women and the somewhat flexible order of suc-
cession (for example, Amenhotep I to Thutmose I and the succession of kings at the end of the
dynasty).
Summary and Conclusions
The act of causing ones name to live is most strongly associated with speech, in particu-
lar speaking ones name aloud and reciting offering prayers such as the Htp dj nsw formula.
Vivifying a name, an essential component of a person both before and after death, was part of
funerary cult practices, for which the heir was responsible. In exchange for carrying out funerary
rites, the heir inherited from his or her predecessor the means with which to sustain the cult.
52
The relationship between beneficiary and benefactor strongly resembles the relationship
between an office holder and his successor at a high level in society, especially at the very highest
level, the kingship itself. Whether the contemporary model of kingship influenced those lower
down or whether both kingship and officialdom were simultaneously affected by the same socio-
political changes cannot be known for certain. However, it is clear that, over time, the changes
in patterns of choice of sanx rn.f actor and in choice of royal successor mirror each other.
The shift from sons to brothers and men without a specified relationship both in the bene-
factors and in the royal succession may indicate a similar change in the practices of transferring
offices in other levels of the administration. A change such as this one would also indicate a
dramatic shift in the role of the heir and in who played this role, since passing on ones physi-
cal property as well as ones office (and the property that was attached to that office) was the
Fig. 9: Comparison of Children and Siblings as Actors over Time.
26
Ne l s o n- Hur s t
main way of providing the heir with the resources to maintain ones funerary cult. Whether
or not inheritance or office transfer practices shifted emphasis from sons to other relatives or
colleagues, the shift in actors within the sanx rn.f formula clearly indicates a change in funerary
cult maintenance. During the Thirteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties, the son was no longer the
most important person for assuring ones funerary cult was maintained and name perpetuated.
This is no insignificant change, since the social position of the son on earth was dependant on
his care for his dead father.
53
A move away from sons being responsible for their fathers funer-
ary cults would indicate fundamental changes in both religious concepts and social relations.
Since funerary cults were generally not maintained beyond one generation after a persons
death,
54
the shift in actors is perhaps a reaction to this reality. The selection of brothers, sisters,
and colleagues as benefactors may indicate a new preference for someone other than the son
to be the maintainer of the funerary cult, likely in return for an endowment or inheritance of
some kind, which might then be passed down to the next generation for continuing to maintain
the funerary cult (as is exemplified in the introduction to the contracts in the earlier tomb of
Djefahapi at Asyut).
55
The methods through which Thirteenth Dynasty kings legitimized their
reigns may have made having such flexibility in transferring offices and choosing heirs socially
acceptable. Since the kings were no longer using the social ideal of father-to-son succession
to legitimize their positions, the legitimizing focus shifted to ceremonies and festivals, titulary,
royal regalia, and the concept of divine birth and prophecy.
56
Regardless of the precise reasons
for the change in the sanx rn.f formula, we know that it reflects the greater social and religious
changes that took place during the late Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period,
which are also evidenced by the changes in burial practices, access to sacred space, administra-
tive structure, and royal succession.
Notes
1 An earlier version of this paper was presented in June 2008 at the American Research Center in Egypts oces in
Cairo, as part of their Wednesday night lecture series. I would like to thank Josef W. Wegner, Antonio J. Morales,
Jane A. Hill, and Joshua A. Roberson for their feedback and encouragement on this project. In particular, discus-
sions with Jane A. Hill and Antonio J. Morales on the implications of the changes illuminated in this paper and the
possible reasons behind them were invaluable. I would also like to thank Dawn McCormack, who was kind enough
to allow me to see her dissertation shortly after it was nished, which added greatly to the understanding of the
Fig. 10: Comparison of Male and Female Actors over Time.
27
who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
historical context for this study. For allowing me access to many stelae in the Egyptian Museum on which the sanx
rn.f phrase appears, I would like to thank the Permanent Committee of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, as well
as Dr. Wafaa el Sadik and Mme. Salwa Ahmed Abdel Rahaman of the Egyptian Museum. For providing photographs
valuable to my research, I would also like to thank Cline Rebire-Pl of the Muse du Louvre.
2 S. Grallert, Bauen -- Stiften -- Weihen: gyptische Bau- und Restaurierungsinschriften von den Anfngen bis zur 30.
Dynastie (Berlin, 2001), 98.
3 Note that Grallert lists 78 examples (Grallert, Bauen -- Stiften -- Weihen, 100-106) and Hannig lists 177 examples of
sanx rn.f (R. Hannig, gyptische Wrterbuch II (Mainz am Rhein, 2006), 2108-2110). However, of Hannigs entries,
two of the examples are not the sanx rn.f formula and a third is a duplicate of another entry. Before going to press,
I identied three additional examples of the vivication formula, which are not included in this article. Tese three
objects do not cause a signicant change in the numbers presented here, but will be included in a future publica-
tion.
4 Grallert, Bauen -- Stiften -- Weihen, 93, 98; J. P. Allen, Middle Egyptian: an introduction to the language and culture of
hieroglyphs (Cambridge, 2000), 23.13, the participial statement; gs. 1 & 2.
5 Grallert, Bauen -- Stiften -- Weihen, 98.
6 Tis is the typical translation found in publications of the objects in our corpus, indicating the interpretation of sanx
being an active, imperfective participle. However, it has been pointed out by J. A. Roberson in personal communica-
tion that the participle sanx may also be interpreted as a perfective participle, in its future usage, i.e., It is his son
who will cause his name to live. Te interpretation of the participle, whether perfective or imperfective, as indicating
the future would be most tting on monuments which were erected by the owner while he still lived (that is, before
there was a need to cause his name to live, when the vivifying act was anticipated to take place in the future). See
also, Allen, Middle Egyptian, 23.10.
7 Grallert, Bauen -- Stiften -- Weihen, 100.
8 Ibid., 100.
9 A. Erman and H. Grapow, Wrterbuch der gyptischen Sprache (Berlin, 1971), 425.
10 P. Vernus, Name, Lexikon der gyptologie, IV (Wiesbaden, 1982), 321-322.
11 A. H. Gardiner, Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum (London, 1935), 38-39.
12 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: a Book of Readings (Berkeley, 1976), 177.
13 Grallert, Bauen -- Stiften -- Weihen, 80-81.
14 A few examples are: Florence 7581, on which the formula runs along the top of the stela (S. Bosticco, Museo Ar-
cheologico di Firenze (Roma, 1959), pl. 51), Heidelberg 560, on which the formula appears along the bottom of the
stela (E. Feucht, Vom Nil zum Neckar: Kunstschtze gyptens aus pharaonischer und koptischer Zeit an der Universitt
Heidelberg (Berlin and Heidelberg, 1986), 89), and statue Louvre E15682 (D. Redford, Textual Sources for the
Hyksos Period, in E. Oren, (ed.), Te Hyksos: New Historical and Archaeological Perspectives (Philadelphia, 1997),
13).
15 B. Dominicus, Gesten und Gebrden in Darstellungen des Alten und Mittleren Reiches (Heidelberg, 1994) 77-93,
especially illustration 17.
16 W. Helck, Priestertracht, Lexikon der gyptologie, IV (Wiesbaden, 1982), 1105, n. 2; E. Otto, Cheriheb, Lexikon
der gyptologie, I (Wiesbaden, 1975), 940; g. 2.
17 R. O. Faulkner, Te Ancient Egyptian Con Texts (Warminster, 1973), 30-31; A. de Buck, Te Egyptian Con Texts
(Chicago, 1935), 163; H. Willems, Te Social and Ritual Context of a Mortuary Liturgy of the Middle Kingdom
(CT Spells 30-41), in H. Willems, (ed.), Social Aspects of Funerary Culture, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 103
(Leuven, 2001); H. Willems, Les Textes des Sarcophages et la Dmocratie (Paris, 2008), 196-201.
18 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Autobiographies Chiey of the Middle Kingdom (Freiburg, Schweiz; Gttingen,
1988), 108; ANOC 5.3, pl.12.
19 J. Assmann, Totenkult, Totenglauben, Lexikon der gyptologie, VI (Wiesbaden, 1986), 662.
28
Ne l s o n- Hur s t
20 T. G. H. James, Corpus of Hieroglyphic Inscriptions in the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, 1974), 34.
21 D. Spanel, Palaeographic and Epigraphic Distinctions between Texts of the So-called First Intermediate Period and
the Early Twelfth Dynasty, in P. Der Manuelian and R. E. Freed (eds.), Studies in Honor of William Kelly Simpson,
II (Boston, 1996), 773-774.
22 Assmann, Totenkult, Totenglauben, 662; Willems, Les Textes des Sarcophages, 197-198.
23 W. Helck, Sohn, Lexikon der gyptologie, V (Wiesbaden, 1984), 1054; T. Mrsich, Untersuchungen zur Hausurkunde
des Alten Reiches (Berlin, 1968), 159.
24 Willems, Te Social and Ritual Context, 369.
25 Assmann, Totenkult, Totenglauben, 662, n. 20.
26 J. P. Allen, Reading a Pyramid, in C. Berger, G. l. Clerc and N. Grimal (eds.), Hommages Jean Leclant, I (Cairo,
1994), 18.
27 E. Otto, Cheriheb, Lexikon der gyptologie, I (Wiesbaden, 1975), 940.
28 See again, Dominicus, Gesten und Gebrden, 77-93; P. Der Manuelian, Presenting the Scroll: Papyrus Documents
in Tomb Scenes of the Old Kingdom, in P. Der Manuelian (ed.), Studies in Honor of William Kelly Simpson, II
(Boston, 1996).
29 A. N. Dakin, Te Stela of the Sculptor Sire at Oxford, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 24 (1938), pl. XII; J.
Garstang, Tombs of the Tird Egyptian Dynasty at Reqqnah and Bt Khallf (Westminster, 1904), pl. XXXIII, D1.
30 Total numbers in a particular chart may vary slightly from the actual number of objects included in the particular
time period because they represent the number of actors, and individual objects occasionally have more than one
sanx rn.f sentence and more than one actor named.
31 Erman and Grapow, Wrterbuch, 397-398.
32 D. Franke, Altgyptische Verwandtschaftsbezeichnungen im Mittleren Reich (Hamburg, 1983), 304-8; see also, W.
Grajetzki, Two Treasurers of the Late Middle Kingdom (Oxford, 2001), 74-6.
33 A. B. Lloyd, Te Great Inscription of Khnumhotpe II at Beni Hasan, in A.B. Lloyd, (ed.), Studies in Pharaonic
Religion and Society in honour of J. Gwyn Griths (London, 1992), 22; P. Newberry and F.L. Grith, Beni Hasan I
(London, 1893-1900), vol. 1, 56-66.
34 J. Lustig, Ideologies of social relations in Middle Kingdom Egypt: gender, kinship, ancestors (Ph.D. diss., Temple Uni-
versity, 1993), 252, 260; Willems, Te Social and Ritual Context, 369.
35 A. Leahy, A Protective Measure at Abydos in the Tirteenth Dynasty. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 75 (1989),
41-60.
36 J. Bourriau, Patterns of Change in Burial Customs During the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, in S. Quirke (ed.),
Middle Kingdom Studies (New Malden, 1991), 15.
37 J. Bourriau, Change of Body Position in Egyptian Burials from the Mid XIIth Dynasty until the early XVIIIth
Dynasty, in H. Willems (ed.), Social Aspects of Funerary Culture in the Egyptian Old and Middle Kingdoms (Leuven,
2001), 1-2, 7-14.
38 Bourriau, Patterns of Change, 13-15.
39 S. Quirke, Te Regular Titles of the Late Middle Kingdom, Revue dgyptologie 37 (1986), 124; O. Berlev, Ob-
shchestvennye otnosheniia v Egipte epokhi Srednego tsarstva: sot sialnyi sloi tsarskikh hmww. Nauka
(Moscow, 1978), 45.
40 S. Quirke, Te Administration of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom: Te Hieratic Documents (London, 1990), 2-3;
S. Quirke, Royal power in the 13th Dynasty, in S. Quirke, Middle Kingdom Studies (New Malden, 1991), 136; D.
Landua-McCormack, Dynasty XIII Kingship in Ancient Egypt: A Study of Political Power and Administration through
an Investigation of the Royal Tombs of the Late Middle Kingdom (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2008), 97,
458-69.
41 D. Franke, Altgyptische Verwandtschaftsbezeichnungen im Mittleren Reich (Hamburg, 1983), 175.
42 Ibid., 176; 176, n. 1.
29
who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
43 Quirke, Royal power in the 13th Dynasty, 129; Landua-McCormack, Dynasty XIII Kingship, 115.
44 Quirke, Royal power in the 13th Dynasty,130; K. Ryholt, Te Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Inter-
mediate Period c. 1800-1550 B.C. (Copenhagen, 1997), 289. Note that Ryholt asserts that there were nine cases of
father-to-son succession and four or ve cases of brother-to-brother succession (ibid., 282-284). However, if Ryholt
is correct, the number of these cases still ts with our comparison of the choice of benefactors. In addition, Ryholts
assessment that one succession within the same family was either between cousins or from uncle to nephew would
parallel our examples, though infrequent, of extended family, such as cousins and nephews as actors. Ryholt paints
a similar picture for the Seventeenth Dynasty, in terms of the family members who succeeded to the throne (sons,
brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law), though without the usurpations he sees in the Tirteenth Dynasty (ibid.,
289), which also lines up well with the selection of benefactors during the Seventeenth Dynasty.
45 W.C. Hayes, A Papyrus of the late Middle Kingdom in the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, 1955), 144-149.
46 Quirke, Royal power in the 13th Dynasty, 138.
47 Ibid., 138.
48 Ibid., 138.
49 C. Bennett, Te Structure of the Seventeenth Dynasty, Gttinger Miszellen 149 (1995), 29-31.
50 Ibid., 30.
51 Redford, Textual Sources for the Hyksos, 13.
52 Franke has argued that, in the case of those labeled Xrd during the Tirteenth Dynasty, the dedicator or benefac-
tor on a stela is not playing the role of heir, but rather fullling his duty towards his patron (Franke, Altgyptische
Verwandtschaftsbezeichnungen, 307-308). Tis may indeed be the case for work colleagues and other individuals
unrelated to the beneciary, but it would not explain the heavy emphasis on the benefactor playing the role of the
heir in funerary rituals, particularly the recitation of the Htp dj nsw formula, nor why some of our examples explicitly
designate the benefactor as an heir. Also, one actor in our corpus is described as Xrdt, the feminine form of the word,
which is not as easily explained by the idea of Xrd being an administrative subordinate. However, even with Frankes
analysis, there are several possible conclusions to be drawn based on the changes in benefactors during the periods
studied here.
53 Willems, Te Social and Ritual Context, 369.
54 J. Baines, Practical Religion and Piety, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 73 (1987), 81.
55 A. H. Gardiner, Te Tomb of Hepzefa, Nomarch of Siut, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 5 (1918), 81-82.
56 Landua-McCormack, Dynasty XIII Kingship, 100-12. Te story of three brother-kings fathered by the god Re in
the Westcar Papyrus exemplies the concept of divine birth for this period, starting around the middle of Dynasty
Tirteen (ibid., 468). In fact, the concept that the god Re was able to father a king by any non-royal woman he chose
may be the reason why some kings emphasized their non-royal family history (O. Berlev, Te Eleventh Dynasty in
the Dynastic History of Egypt, in D.W. Young (ed.), Studies Presented to Hans Jakob Polotsky (East Gloucester, MA,
1981), 365), thereby showing that they were created and chosen by the god, rather than by a previous royal family.
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Ne l s o n- Hur s t
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31
who c a us e s hi s na me t o l i v e
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