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How Did Psamtek I Save Ancient Egypt

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===Psamtek I and Egyptian Religious Cults===
[[File: PsamtekI.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Relief of Psamtek I Offering to the Gods]]
Perhaps the most important policies Psamtek I enacted were in regards to the maintenance and patronage of two ancient Egypt’s most important religious institutions in the Late Period – the Apis cult and the God’s Wife of Amun. Apis was the name of a living, sacred bull that the Egyptians believed was the living incarnation of Osiris, the god of the dead. The bull was provided with luxurious living quarters while it was alive and after it died it was mummified and interred with previous Apis bulls in a subterranean burial chamber known as the Serapeum. <ref> Shaw, Ian and Paul Nicholson. <refi>The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt.</i> (London: Harry N. Abrams, 1995), p. 36</ref> The cult probably dated back as far as the Second Dynasty, but it was not until the New Kingdom when the Serapeum began being used. Psamtek I patronized the cult and began construction of the “Great Burial Chamber” of the Serapeum, which would continue to be used for centuries by later dynasties. <ref> Gomaà, Farouk. <i>Chaemwese Sohn Ramses II und Hoherpriester von Memphis.</i> (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1973), p. 39</ref>
The other major religious institution that the Psamtek I patronized was known as the God’s Wife of Amun. As the name indicates, it was a female led organization that worshipped the god Amun and was based in his cult center of Thebes. There was one woman who held the title at a time and with it came a great amount of power and wealth as well as responsibilities. The office dates back to the early New Kingdom, but it was later politicized by the Nubians. The Nubian kings appointed women from the royal family to consolidate their power in the Thebes region. <ref> Ayad, Mariam F. <i>God’s Wife, God’s Servant: The God’s Wife of Amun (c. 740-525 BC).</i> (London: Routledge, 2009), p. 118</ref> Although the Nubians were the mortal enemies of his family, Psamtek I was politically astute enough to know a good political policy when he saw one. In his desire to strengthen his hold over Upper Egypt, particularly the important Thebes region and the Amun cult, he installed his daughter, Nitoqris, as the God’s Wife of Amun. He then memorialized the move in a decree that detailed her powers and how much wealth she would have. The Saite King Psamtek II (ruled 595-589 BC) followed suite by both installing his daughter, Ankhesneferibre, in the office and by publishing the choice in a decree. <ref>Ayad, p. 120</ref> By using the God’s Wife of Amun politically, Psamtek I was able to gain control over Thebes, ensuring that it never rebelled against him or his successors.

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