Queen Hatshepsut: An Untraditional Pharaoh and Her Rise to Power

Essay by ojones720College, UndergraduateA, December 2008

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Hatshepsut accomplished what no other woman had ever done before her. Hatshepsut was the first female pharaoh of the ancient Egyptian dynasty. She successfully ruled one of the most powerful and advanced civilizations in the world for over twenty years. She was the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty and ruled from 1479 BC to1458 BC. Her name Hatshepsut means 'Foremost of Noble Ladies' because she reigned longer than any other female ruler of the Egyptian dynasty. Even though she was one of the most successful pharaohs ever, Hatshepsut is not really remembered for her achievements, but more for the fact that she did not follow the "traditional rules" of a male pharaoh ruling over Egypt. Despite this common overlook of her accomplishments, Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in ancient Egypt as she was responsible for hundreds of construction projects in both Upper and Lower Egypt.

Although there were some who resented her success, her influence on the Egyptian dynasty will remain forever.

Hatshepsut was born the daughter of Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose. She had two brothers, who died prematurely, which left her as an only child of her two parents. However, her father also had two more sons with a commoner woman. Upon the death of her father in 1493 B.C., Hatshepsut married her half-brother, Thutmose II, and assumed the title of Great Royal Wife. Thutmose II then ruled Egypt for thirteen years until his death. Since the only male child of Thutmose II, Thutmose III, was still very young, Queen Hatshepsut was appointed co-regent of Egypt along with Thutmose III. She was expected to assume the responsibilities of an Egyptian ruler without actually having the title of Pharaoh.

Hatshepsut was not one to sit back and wait...