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Ay

The meaning of «ay»

Ay was the penultimate pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period (1323–1319 BC[1] or 1327–1323 BC, depending on which chronology is followed), although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and is thought to have been the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign. Ay's prenomen or royal name—Kheperkheperure—means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra" while his nomen Ay it-netjer reads as "Ay, Father of the God".[2] Records and monuments that can be clearly attributed to Ay are rare, not only due to his short length of reign, but also because his successor, Horemheb, instigated a campaign of damnatio memoriae against him and other pharaohs associated with the unpopular Amarna Period.

Ay is believed to have been from Akhmim. During his short reign, he built a rock cut chapel in Akhmim and dedicated it to the local deity Min. He may have been the son of the courtier Yuya and his wife Tjuyu, making him a brother of Tiye and Anen.[3] This connection is based on the fact that both Yuya and Ay came from Akhmim and held the titles 'God's Father' and 'Master of Horses'. A strong physical resemblance has been noted between the mummy of Yuya and surviving statuary depictions of Ay.[3] The mummy of Ay has not been located, although fragmentary skeletal remains recovered from his tomb may represent it,[4] so a more thorough comparison with Yuya cannot be made. Therefore, the theory that he was the son of Yuya rests entirely on circumstantial evidence.

Ay's Great Royal Wife was Tey, who was known to be the wet nurse to Nefertiti. It is often theorised that Ay was the father of Nefertiti as a way to explain his title 'God's Father' as it has been argued that the term designates a man whose daughter married the king. However, nowhere are Ay and Tey referred to as the parents of Nefertiti.[5]

Nakhtmin, Ay's chosen successor, was likely his son or grandson. His mother's name was Iuy, a priestess of Min and Isis in Akhmim.[6] She may have been Ay's first wife.

All that is known for certain was that by the time he was permitted to build a tomb for himself (Southern Tomb 25) at Amarna during the reign of Akhenaten, he had achieved the title of "Overseer of All the Horses of His Majesty", the highest rank in the elite charioteering division of the army, which was just below the rank of General.[7] Prior to this promotion he appears to have been first a Troop Commander and then a "regular" Overseer of Horses, titles which were found on a box thought to have been part of the original furnishings for his tomb.[8] Other titles listed in this tomb include Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King, Acting Scribe of the King, beloved by him, and God's Father. The 'Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King' was a very important position, and is viewed as showing that the bearer had the 'ear' of the ruler. The final God's Father title is the one most associated with Ay, and was later incorporated into his royal name when he became pharaoh.[8]

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aya* ayb* ayc* ayd* aye* ayf* ayg* ayh* ayi* ayj* ayk* ayl* aym* ayn* ayo* ayp* ayq* ayr* ays* ayt* ayu* ayv* ayw* ayx* ayy* ayz*
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