Section III – personalities in Their Times 2007 Question 14 – Option A – Egypt: Hatshepsut a) Describe the relationship between Hatshepsut and Thutmose III? There are many contradicting views and interpretations in regards to the relationship Hatshepsut had with Thuthmose III. Hatshepsut had ruled with Thuthmose III for over 10 years, it is definitely evident that Hatshepsut was the senior Pharaoh in the co-regency. However, the nature of their relationship is not entirely known. Some of the perceptions are that Thutmose III was frustrated and resentful towards Hatshepsut and that she was the ‘evil stepmother’.
However there is also much evidence to support the idea that Thutmose III was completely fine with the co-regency, as he knew that he would assume the throne when Hatshepsut had passed away and things were working well in the co-regency. Even though Hatshepsut was the senior partner in the co-regency, the surviving inscriptions indicate that she accorded Thuthmose III the respect to which he was entitled. Throughout the co-regency it seems that Hatshepsut was careful to show her young partner the respect he was entitled to, even though she was almost invariably shown as the dominant pharaoh.
Hatshepsut and Thuthmose III appear in many reliefs and inscriptions together. In a relief on a building in western Thebes, Hatshepsut and Thutmose III are depicted worshiping Amun-Re together. Thutmose III’s private thoughts about Hatshepsut are unknown; it appears that he did not challenge Hatshepsut’s authority. Historian Steindorf believes that, “It must have been much against his will that the energetic young Thutmose III watched from the side lines the high-handed rule of the pharaoh Hatshepsut and the chancellorship of the upstart Senenmut.
Surely a collision was inevitable between the maturing strength and the resentment of the young king and the waning powers of the queen”. Evidence for a hostile relationship between Hatshepsut and Thuthmose III in the co-regency is the fact that all of Hatshepsut’s monuments were destroyed some years after her death, during the reign of Thuthmose III. Many historians believe that this may be a case of demnatio memorae, however Redford describes the events of the damaging of her monuments as a political necessity as Thutmose III may have been preferred to be linked to his male ancestors for posterity rather than to an atypical woman.
The exact nature of the relationship between Hatshepsut and Thuthmose III will never be known, however there is evidence for both civil, successful co-regency on both parts – Hatshepsut took care of the homeland and Thutmose III was a traditional warrior pharaoh. There is also evidence for Thutmose III as raging with anger and hated his stepmother. While the exact nature of the relationship remains unknown, Hatshepsut and Thutmose III ruled very successfully in a co-regency which some describe as the most successful and prosperous period in Egypt’s reign.